Jane Goodall on Falling in Love With Tarzan

This Blank On Blank video animates an interview legendary primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall gave to Science Friday host Ira Flatow in 2002. It starts with Goodall doing a chimp impression and only gets more endearing and wonderful. She’s smart, loves what she does (and is good at it) and she’s fun. Jane Goodall is the total package.

The interview covers how Jane got interested in working with animals. Turns out it all started with a crush on Tarzan. “Animals were my passion from even before I could speak, apparently. Then when I was about 10, 11, I found the books about Tarzan of the Apes. Fell in love with Tarzan," she says.

jane goodall

"He’s got that wife Jane, so I was terribly jealous of her. That was when my dream started. When I grew up, I would go to Africa, live with animals and write books about them. That’s how it all began.”

Jane discovered that chimpanzees could make tools — a HUGE discovery — but when she went to share her discovery she faced a very hostile environment from the established scienteist and academics.

She says they told her she shouldn’t have named the chimps. "It wasn’t scientific. I didn’t know. I knew nothing. And the worst sin of all was that I was ascribing to them emotions like happiness, sadness and so forth.” She says she was even “accused of teaching the chimps how to fish for termites which, I mean, that would have been such a brilliant coup.”

The interview covers the importance of her work but also gets into Jane Goodall’s whimsy. Like the fact that she believes in Bigfoot/the Yeti. She says, “I’m a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist.”

Bonus info: Check out John Oliver’s hilarious with Jane Goodall for his People Who Think Good series on his HBO show Last Week Tonight.