Monkey Business with Dean Johnsen

Interview by Miles Leicher

Dean Johnsen is both the co-executive producer of ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ and a leading voice in the call for greater understanding between humans and primates. He also attended the premiere of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes.’ We talked about it.


I think I know where this is going, but if you had to watch one movie (on repeat) for our entire five-week hiatus, which would it be?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, obviously. It’s the best movie ever – and a very astute commentary on human-simian relations. I seriously think that if Orson Welles were alive, he would cry because Citizen Kane is so comparatively lame.


(Damned, Dirty Sketch)

We do seem to have a lot in common with apes. A love of bananas, for one.

I prefer to call them “monkey pickles.”

What’s the difference between monkeys and apes?
Monkeys have tails.

Does your fiancé – the lovely and talented Judy Greer – share your passion for the Apes movies?
Rise was the first that she’s seen, but she will be forced to watch the other four – which I now have on Blu-Ray – thanks to [‘Real Time’ co-producer] Matt Wood.

What’s the best thing you’ve read all week?
A story in Variety about the motion-capture animation for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It’s really interesting how they…

[I fall asleep, interview ends]