After spending years out of the spotlight, the legendary star of stage and screen Dr. Zaius has made the kind of comeback only possible in the 21st century: he’s a YouTuber now. The Planet of the Apes heavy is the host of a weekly talk show, HanginG with Dr. Z, where the orangutan scientist interviews some of the biggest names in comedy. His guest this week is Will Forte, who talks a bit about the upcoming MacGruber series for Peacock, as well as his impending marriage to Laugh In star Ruth Buzzi. Check it out below!
Okay, yes, Dr. Zaius is not a real person. (Uh, monkey.) He’s a fictional character, played here by Dana Gould, the stand-up comedian and former Simpsons writer and producer. (And yes, videogame fans, the voice of Gex.) Gould’s passion for Planet of the Apes and Dr. Zaius in particular is well-established, and he’s about as perfect a fit as you could possibly find to play Zaius in a talk show hosted by the shifty villain. There’s a good bit of Space Ghost Coast to Coast in its DNA—it’s another talk show parody hosted by a ‘60s pop culture relic who interviews guests on TV screens—but Hanging with Dr. Z is less interested in Adult Swim-style absurdity than in capturing the look, feel, and rhythms of ‘70s talk shows. That’s a running joke throughout the web series—that Dr. Zaius is absolutely stuck in the ‘70s, not just with his dress and the show’s décor, but with his pop culture and political references, too. That leads to a pretty solid recurring gag in the closing credits, if you make it all the way through this episode.
This is the seventh episode of the first season, and previous ones have featured Patton Oswalt, Paget Brewster (whose Adult Swim show Birdgirl debuts this weekend), and Bobcat Goldthwait, among others. It’s a bit of goofy, harmless fun, anchored by Gould’s surprisingly committed Dr. Zaius impression; if you’re looking for something light and nostalgic to watch, but not too nostalgic, this might do the trick. Here’s a link to the full series so far; if it’s your kind of thing, enjoy.