This one goes out to horror fans who were at least conscious in the 1970s because you know you loved Land of the Lost! (And just for the record, I refuse to even acknowledge that the 2009 abomination of a remake even exists!) For those of us past a certain age, the Saturday morning offerings of Sid and Marty Krofft were a gateway to horror, and nothing was more thrilling than the tale of Rick, Will, and Holly Marshall!
Even today, that banjo riff that kicks off the theme song to Land of the Lost still gets me excited, and I love revisiting these old classics on Blu-ray. Every once in a while, though, I find myself wondering about peculiar aspects of the show, like the semi-simian sidekick Chaka, part of a tribe of “Pakuni”, for example. I understand that he represents a missing link in the human evolutionary chain, but I found myself curious about the actor who played him: Was he a child actor, or was he a little person? What has the actor been up to sense and, most importantly, what does he even look like?
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Chaka, it turns out, was played by child actor Phillip Paley who came to the attention of Land of the Lost producers after earning a black belt in karate at the age of 10. As for what he’s been up to sense, Paley has exactly 2 additional acting credits to his name besides Chaka: A one-time appearance on Airwolf in 1985 and a turn in Roger Corman’s teensploitation Beach Balls in 1988—which he actually starred in! Check out the trailer below.
Official Synopsis: A California beach boy (Philip Paley) and his sister like a beach girl (Heidi Helmer) and her lifeguard brother.
As for what Paley looked like in his Land of the Lost days and what he looks like now, check out a few pics below. His Wikipedia page is incredibly spare, so I have no idea what he’s up to these days. Apparently, he hits the convention circuit from time to time. And check out some classic Chaka in a Land of the Lost clip at the bottom—one that bears uncanny similarities to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
And here’s the opening/closing theme song—cause I just love me that banjo!
Were you a fan of Land of the Lost? Were you ever curious about that little bugger Chaka? Sound off in the Comments section!