Comedian hopes to revive 'Today' idea with Muggsie

Comedian Dennis Miller hasn’t picked just any regular guest star for his new CNBC talkshow — he’s picked a monkey.

Most folks attending the Television Critics Assn. tour Wednesday thought Miller was joking when he mentioned the monkey. Who better to joke about such a thing than Miller, whose weeknight show bows Jan. 26? Turns out it wasn’t in jest.

Remember J. Fred Muggs, the chimpanzee who made a splash on the NBC “Today” show in the 1950s? Well, Miller sure does. At his very first meeting with NBC Studios — which is producing the CNBC show — Miller said he wanted to revive Muggs.

NBC Studios veep Rick Ludwin said it was later discovered that the original Muggs was still alive, hence Miller’s monkey couldn’t have the same name.

The solution? Miller is going to call his new friend “Muggsie.” He even wants to dress Muggsie in different colored T-shirts corresponding with the color-coded terror alert system.

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