I’m not a huge fan of reality TV, particularly on MTV. I lost interest in the genre after the first season of The Real World (you remember, with Julie the Southern girl and Heather B. and that model dude and the other guy). But I’ll be tuning into MTV tonight to catch my new favorite reality show about a washed-up celebrity letting camera crews tape his humiliating attempts to get back on top. I’m referring, of course, to Warren the Ape, the latest spin-off of Greg the Bunny, the brilliant puppet act that’s been bouncing around cable channels in one form or another for nearly a decade now.
Warren’s last big break was in prime time on Fox’s version of Greg the Bunny, a brief-lived 2002 sitcom that took you behind the scenes of a children’s TV show in a universe where puppets weren’t only real creatures, but treated as second-class citizens in the most adorable metaphor for racial injustice you’ve ever seen. Warren DeMontague, of course, was the veteran stage actor puppet (voiced by series co-creator Dan Milano) with an ego the size of a gorilla and multiple substance-abuse issues who was slumming his talents by playing Professor Ape on the kiddy show. After Fox canceled Greg the Bunny, Warren got sporadic work doing shorts for the Independent Film Channel (where he and Greg got their start before Fox discovered them). Now, after years on the skids, but still inexplicably wearing a football helmet, the primate thespian is getting another shot on MTV, letting viewers tag along as he attends the Adult Video Awards, loses a breakfast cereal endorsement deal, and has a session with celebrity therapist Dr. Drew Pinsky. In last week’s episode, Greg himself hopped along for a guest spot (Warren took him to a brothel). Fingers crossed for this week’s third installment: We’re hoping Count Blah makes a cameo.
What do you think, Popwatchers? Is anybody else out there going ape over Warren?