Television

Meet 'Mr. Moneybags'

Giving away a billion dollars? Bo-ring. Letting a chimpanzee give away a billion dollars? Brilliant! On The WB's special ''Play for a Billion'' (airing Sept. 14), 1 of 1,000 contestants gets stupid rich if his/her six-digit number matches the one drawn by Kendall, left. (If no one hits, the closest wins mere chimp change, a million bucks.) Below, three things you need to know about the most important primate ever. In your face, chimp from Ed.

1 Despite his limited resume -- ''Oprah'', a couple of Nickelodeon shows, the Universal theme park in Orlando -- Kendall beat out dozens of hopefuls. ''This is like discovering Leonardo DiCaprio before he's big,'' insists Billion exec producer Matti Leshem.

2 At 3'0'' and 39 lbs., Kendall can ride a tricycle, sit like a gentleman, and do backflips, reports his trainer, Candy Cothern. And what about his retrieval skills? ''He cleans up litter,'' she notes.

3 What happens if Kendall, 4, refuses to determine America's next billionaire? ''I do not have a backup chimp,'' Leshem says cryptically. ''But I have a backup.'' Pauly Shore? -- Dan Snierson

Originally posted Sep 19, 2003 Published in issue #729 Sep 19, 2003 Order article reprints