When did chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs join the “Today” (NBC, 1952) cast?

Chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs joined the “Today” (NBC, 1952) cast in January 1953. Ratings immediately soared.

Muggs was let go four years later when he got too old and hard to handle.

NBC said that Muggs had “decided to terminate” his position so he could “extend his personal horizons.”