As the Eagles and Cowboys go head to head in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is scheduled to make his second start since coming back from a broken bone in his foot. Just before making his return to the field, Bryant made a new friend in the form of his pet monkey, which he creatively named Dallas.
Bryant now joins a certain pop phenomenon on the list of monkey owners.
But Bryant's new little buddy got me thinking about who the best monkeys are in cinematic history. I came up with my own list, but I needed to hear from the Eagles as to who their favorite movie-star primates are. My list included the following movies: Planet of the Apes, Dunston Checks In, MVP: Most Valuable Primate, Grandma's Boy, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Jumanji, Zookeeper *and Ed. *All films with quality simian characters.
As it turns out, my list was missing some important names …
Beau Allen: I feel like you're missing some here. King Kong? Mighty Joe Young? The monkey from Friends?
Alex Smith: No, no I had Marcel, but I kept it to movies.
BA: I just want to make record of the monkeys you're missing out on. I like Mighty Joe Young … and I do like MVP, Most Valuable Primate. It's a classic.
AS: There's an MVP 2 where's he's a skateboarder.
BA:I've seen that one too. I know all about it. He's my favorite monkey and it's not a title I give out lightly.
AS: Hey Mark, who is your favorite movie monkey? (Shows him the list.) You've got Dunston Checks In, MVP ...
Mark Sanchez: You got Cesar from Planet of the Apes,
AS: Ace Ventura, Grandma's Boy, Juman –
MS: Don't tell me!
MS: Come on, I know these.
AS: I'm sorry.
MS: I'll go with Ace Ventura.
Jason Kelce: What are you looking at?
AS: Best movie monkeys. You can go through and pick your favorite one.
JK: I'm choosing none of these.
AS: Okay, well I had a couple that I left off the list. Who are you going with?
JK: The monkey from umm, what's that movie where they're in the middle of the jungle and there's a group of renegade -- oh I guess they're gorillas.
AS: That counts.
JK: It's like a terrifying movie about a bunch of people being out in the middle of –
AS: It's like a scary movie?
JK: No, it's like a thriller.
Sanchez pulls up a video of a monkey sitting on his shoulders on his phone.
AS: Who is that?
MS: Ace Ventura monkey.
AS: That's the Ace Ventura monkey?
MS: Yeah this is on the set of Ace Ventura.
MS: No. Do you know when that movie was filmed? Do you know when this was filmed? Like last night. You're sick.
AS: I know.
JK: What's the movie where there are a bunch of gorillas and they're in the jungle and they're killing everybody?
MS: "I Amy. I love you." You don't have that on your freaking list? What kind of list is that?
AS: I put a lot of eff-
MS: You put a lot of what? Ink on some pieces of paper.
AS: Alright, good talk.
Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com
Jimmy Kempski: This is a question I'm going to take very seriously.
AS: I would hope so.
JK: Dunston Checks In, that was with George (Costanza)?
AS: I think so, yeah. He like runs a hotel or something.
JK: That monkey did get into a lot of hijinks. I mean all of these monkeys did, but Planet of the Apes wasn't really hijinks … I'm going to go with Dunston Checks In. If I recall correctly, there was like the crotchety old hotel operator, and she just got really mad at everything all the time, and poor George Costanza was trying to run the hotel and the monkey just kept getting him into all of these wacky situations. I think with any monkey movie, the higher level of hijinks, the better.
AS: I can't argue that.
JK: And in my opinion, it didn't get any more hijinksy than Dunston Checks In, and you can quote me on that, my friend.
Bennie Logan: Jumanji was good as hell. Planet of the Apes was bad too.
Bryan Braman: What is this?
BL: Jumanji, definitely.
AS: But they caused a lot of trouble.
BL: Yeah, exactly, but they were funny.
BB: Ace Ventura just because it's Ace Ventura.
BL: But that monkey don't do much in that movie! I was thinking about that too. The movie was funny, but the monkey didn't really do anything.
BB: He left him on the wood when he was floating over the waterfall. That was pretty funny.
Brandon Graham: Let me see that. … This is a hard one.
AS: That's Jumanji.
BG: Oh yeah, I know. If I gotta pick one, I'm going Dunston Checks In. That's my movie.
AS: Fletch, do you have a pick?
Fletcher Cox: What did BG pick? Dunston Checks In? Yeah, I'll go with that.
Malcolm Jenkins: Cesar, by far.
AS: Do you want to even look at the list?
MJ: Alright, let me see. Is that Jumanji? It's definitely Cesar, with a close second being Jumanji.
AS: Those are kind of the bad monkeys though. All of the other monkeys are good guys.
MJ: Cesar is actually a great guy when you look at him from the core.
MJ: He started out innocent, then he learned that he was just being a pet, so then he raised up.
Kelce: Cesar's great.
MJ: Yeah, he stood up for his people, and even as a ruler, he rules fair. He leads and he doesn't just walk around killing people, but I haven't seen the last one.
JK: Well he definitely killed somebody in the last one, but he deserved it. He was a bad guy.
MJ: He killed a monkey?
JK: I don't want to give it away.
*WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW *
MJ: He doesn't kill humans though does he?
JK: In the last one he – I think he's killed a human before. When he was rising up, he didn't kill any humans?
MJ: The bad humans, maybe.
AS: Well, that's still a human.
MJ: He doesn't kill good people.
JK: Literally, good and evil, it's just a frame of reference.
MJ: Yeah, we don't know the other side of the story. Cesar isn't bad though. I'm going with Cesar.
So what did we learn today in Smithology?
Beau Allen has seen and enjoys not just MVP, but the sequel, MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate. Dunston Checks In is a favorite among both players and reporters. Malcolm Jenkins believes Cesar is just misunderstood, and Mark Sanchez now thinks that I'm a fool who makes bad lists. It's great to be back from the bye week.
I'm also somewhat surprised that no one picked the monkey from* Grandma's Boy*. He saves the day by driving a car when the other characters aren't able to. That's both hijinks and heroism.
Have a good weekend, everyone.