The chimp, Philbin suspects, belonged to original Today show host Dave Garroway

By Alex Heigl
Updated July 17, 2014 08:35 AM
Credit: Lloyd Bishop / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank

The highs and lows of the NBC page program (like fetching nachos from Yankee Stadium) were frequent plot points on Tina Fey‘s beloved comedy 30 Rock, which featured Jack McBrayer as Kenneth, the perennially put-upon and relentlessly cheerful page.

According to Regis Philbin‘s appearance on Late Night Wednesday, 30 Rock might not have been that far off.

Philbin recounts to Seth Meyers that back in the days when he worked as an NBC page, he watched a chimp on a bike arrive seemingly from nowhere and crash into a door backstage at the Rockefeller Center studios.

The chimp, Philbin suspects, belonged to inaugural Today show host Dave Garroway, whose on-air companion in the early days was show mascot J. Fred Muggs.

Despite Muggs’s stature, keeping people (and presumably, animals) away from the door had been part of Philbin’s assigned page duties.

Obviously, the incident was not a professional highlight for Philbin.

You can watch the full clip of Philbin’s interview with Meyers below.

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