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Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. He is the son of a British Lord and Lady, marooned on the coast of Africa by mutineers. His parents died when he was an infant, and he was raised by Great Apes of a species unknown to science. Kala is his ape mother. Tarzan (White-skin) is his ape name; his English name is John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. As a young adult, he meets Jane, and when she returns to America he leaves the jungle in search of his true love. Tarzan and Jane marry, and he lives with her for a time in England. They have one son, Jack, who takes the ape name Korak. Tarzan is contemptuous of the hypocrisy of civilization, and he and Jane return to Africa where, both being immortal, they still live.


  • On episode 120 of The Muppet Show, an unseen Tarzan can be heard swinging through the African Berry Bush jungle backstage, after Kermit tells Statler that Tarzan is the only one he's going to meet backstage.
  • A recurring segment on Sesame Street features kids on a safari who happen upon a letter of the alphabet in the jungle that swings on a vine and yodels like Tarzan.
  • A monster named Curly in Sesame Street Episode 4174 trades a recently acquired Radar for a stuffed monkey he names Tarzan.
  • The Wise Old Duck episode of Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures feature Bert and Ernie in an Indiana Jones spoof. When Ernie helps Bert swing across a ravine, he yodels like Tarzan.
  • In a Facebook post dated September 29, 2011 on his fan page, Fozzie Bear posted, "Ooh, I’ve got one! What do you get when you cross a zebra with a guy swinging from vines? Tarzan Stripes Forever! Wocka Wocka!"
  • The "Tarzan yell" comes out of Gonzo's trumpet during "The Muppet Show Theme" in The Muppets.
  • In Grover's 140 character speech for the Shorty Awards, his second one is Tarzan.


  • John Alexander played the primate leader White Eyes in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
  • Ailsa Berk played Tarzan's gorilla mother Kala in Greystoke (1984)
  • Paul Brooke played the Reverend Stimson in Greystoke (1984)
  • Diahann Carroll voiced Queen La in the television series The Legend of Tarzan (2001)
  • Glenn Close dubbed the voice of Jane in Greystoke (1984) and voiced Kala in Disney's Tarzan (1999)
  • Phil Collins composed and performed the songs for Tarzan (1999)
  • David Forman played a primate in Greystoke (1984)
  • James Fox played Lord Esker in Greystoke (1984)
  • Craig Ferguson voiced Samuel T. Philander on The Legend of Tarzan (2001-2003)
  • Richard Griffiths played Captain Billings in Greystoke (1984)
  • Geoffrey Holder played Mayko in Tarzan (1966, TV series)
  • Ian Holm played Capitaine Phillippe D'Arnot in Greystoke (1984)
  • John Hurt will play Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter in The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
  • Samuel L. Jackson will play George Washington Williams in The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
  • Andie McDowell played Jane on-camera in Greystoke (1984)
  • Rosie O'Donnell voiced Terk in Tarzan (1999)
  • John O'Hurley voiced Johannes Niels on an episode of The Legend of Tarzan (2001-2003)
  • Deep Roy played a primate in Greystoke (1984)
  • Kiran Shah played a primate in Greystoke (1984)
  • Tara Strong voiced Hazel on an episode of The Legend of Tarzan (2001-2003)
  • Christoph Waltz will play Captain Léon Rom in The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
  • Frank Welker supplied animal sounds for various Tarzan adaptations, including the 1999 Disney film and the 2003 WB TV series.
  • John Wells played Sir Evelyn Blount in Greystoke (1984)
  • Fred Willard played Bahruti in The Legend of Tarzan episodes "Tarzan and the Rogue Elephant" and "Tarzan and the Seeds of Destruction"
  • Mak Wilson played the ape Figs in Greystoke (1984)
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