Although there have been some pretty big chimpanzees in American show-business, I don’t think I can ever remember one that had a bulldog for a best friend. Nor one that looked so good in overalls. For today’s Saturday timewaster, I’d like to share with you my favorite chimpanzee of all time. He lives in a zoo called the “Cuddly Dominion” (doesn’t sound all that cuddly) but has appeared in a lot of television shorts. This is what we will be looking at.

Pankun & James

The thing that’s so entertaining about this pair is that one their TV shows they are often having to do “human” tasks. While it’s pretty cool that a chimp can do a lot of these things, it gets better when Pankun has to take care of his bulldog buddy. For example, in this video Pankun and James go to a firestation to become firefighters. I for one would trust him with my life.

Pankun always seems to be pretty good at the physical challenges. In this one he goes to a school and does sit ups. James is lazy though. James can’t do any.

But, they don’t always give Pankun easy tasks. In this video, they make him cook udon. I feel like someone switched out his udon with someone else’s. If not, then this chimp can cook better than me.

But how’s Pankun’s memory? What would happen if you told him to go get a cake? Let’s find out what happens.

Sadly for us audience members, sometimes Pankun goes it sans his lazy bulldog friend. Obviously, though, he’s the star of the show. You couldn’t have a James-only spinoff because James basically just lays around most of every episode. Of course, even when Pankun goes it alone it is also quite entertaining. Usually this just means more human-Pankun interaction.

So, the question is… how smart is he? Does he understand magic?

If you thought Pankun was about to go into monkey-strength mode and tear that magicians face off three or four times, be sure to let me know in the comments. I know I can’t be the only one suspicious of supposedly “humanized” chimps… Don’t trust ’em. I mean, they can’t even draw properly.

Pankun was born in 2001, which means he’s 11 years old right now. In captivity, chimps can live around 60 years. Perhaps we’ll be seeing more of Pankun in the future. Currently (if you want to see Pankun in person) he is doing shows at the Cuddly Dominion in Kyushu. Have you seen him before? What’s the show like?

So what do you think? Is Pankun a genius? Will he become the iron fisted monkey ruler of our future? I kind of hope so. With that, I’ll leave you with Pankun riding on a segway. You’re welcome.

♪ Chimpanzee riding on a segwayyy ♫

  • Yager

    I, for one, welcome our new chimp overlords. As a human being, I can help round up people to toil away in their underground grape mines.

  • Kuwagata98

    Good Article! I love パン.  One mistake though, you said rip his face of three or four times. Did you mean off?

  • innadee

    i’ve seen a couple of episodes of tensai shimura dobutsuen, which he “stars” in. i find him to be super adorable and it’s absolutely entertaining to watch him do all these human tasks, and sometimes, even beat out humans at doing certain tasks. it’ super funny when he outwits them, too. :D

  • Bridget

    Is pan-kun still on Shimura Zoo? Last I heard his hormones were raging and he was getting ready for mating…which meant he could be potentially aggressive toward humans/other animals. Ultimately I think they retired him? Does anyone else remember this?

  • MangaTherapy

    Thank you for blogging about Pankun and James! Oh man, I still have memories of watching Pankun as a firefighter. :D

  • koichi

    why yes I did, ty!

  • Garrett

    I’m a huge fan of Pankun and James! I went to Cuddly Dominion last year around this time. It was interesting to say the least. Not only did I see the duo, I got to be on stage with both Pankun and James. I wrote about it here:

  • Familiesmice025

    It was great. Pan-kun too smart. Pan-kun loved so much, Pan-kun always make dental health

  • Chimpgirl

    Chimps as pets and in showbiz are horribly abused. That grin you see is actually a fear grin. Chimpanzees are strong willed, and must be beaten into submission. Chimps used in showbiz are trained using forceful methods, and kept in terrible conditions. In addition, showbiz only uses young chimps, as adults are too strong, so when they become too old, they are put in a cage for breeding or sold to a roadside zoo. Baby chimps used both as pets and in entertainment are taken from their mothers at birth, causing both terrible distress, as chimps have a strong mother-child bond. Chimps are also critically endangered in the wild due to habitat loss and hunting for the meat and live animal trade, and shows like this give us the impression they are actually common. Chimps raised among humans do not learn the skills needed to interact with other chimps, so most zoos will not take them, and sanctuaries are usually full, so when they become unmanageable, a cage is usually their fate.