The Monkey From ‘Community’ and ‘The Hangover Part II’ Makes an Insane $12,000 Per Episode

The Hangover Part II came out in 2011 and featured the main cast as the first one. The Wolf Pack comes together again, this time in Thailand, to celebrate Stu’s (Ed Helms) wedding. In addition to this same cast, Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, and Zach Galifianakis, Crystal, the monkey joined the cast as a cigarette smoking drug mule. It was the first time Crystal worked with Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Still, she had acted with Ken Jeong before on the show Community

Crystal the Monkey smiling in a white coat in tie in front of a red and purple backdrop
Crystal the Monkey | Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Who is Crystal the monkey?

When The Hangover Part II debuted in 2011, People reported about Crystal, listing five facts people may not know about her. Crystal is a Capuchin monkey, who is now about 26 years old. She lives with her handler and trainer, Thomas Gunderson. Gunderson was first assigned to train Crystal in 1996 and is the one who named her Crystal. He said after he received the assignment, he was sitting in his car listening to the radio. A song by Country singer, Crystal Gayle, came on to the radio, which inspired him to name the monkey Crystal. 

Gunderson says that while monkeys are typically liars, Crystal is not. She’s very honest and takes her work seriously. In addition to this, Crystal is not a diva either and handled herself well when walking on the red carpet for The Hangover Part II premiere. She also got along great with her co-stars. Both Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong were comfortable around Crystal since they had worked with her before. However, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis were a little apprehensive initially, but it didn’t take long for them to warm up to adorable Crystal. The main cast, including Crystal, often had lunch together, and the guys would take turns petting and feeding her. Jeong once said about Crystal, “she’s amazing. She’s not a monkey, she’s an actor. And quite possibly the best actor I’ve worked with.”

For her part in The Hangover Part II, Crystal plays a chain-smoking drug mule. Crystal’s cigarette smoking led people to wonder if she is addicted to smoking cigarettes in real life, but she is not a smoker. Crystal was given a hollow prop that looked like a cigarette for this role, and Gunderson trained her on how to hold it properly. The smoke effect was added later through CGI.

Crystal has been acting for a long time 

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Crystal made her acting debut in 1997 when she appeared in George of the Jungle, which starred Brendan Fraser and Leslie Mann. However, according to IMDb, her big break came when she landed a role in Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller. After this, she continued to land movie roles, as well as a few TV appearances. She reprised her role as Dexter in the second Night at the Museum. Then in 2011, she appeared in We Bought a Zoo, acting alongside Matt Damon. She also had a small part in the show Community and appeared on a few episodes as the monkey named “Annie’s Boobs.” In 2012, Crystal was given a significant role in an NBC show called Animal Practice

What is Crystal’s net worth?

Crystal has made a number of appearances on famous shows and movies from Community to The Big Bang Theory and more, earning her a considerable amount of wealth. While her exact net worth is not known, it’s safe to say it’s pretty impressive. Crystal earned, according to DailyMail, at least $100,000 for the 9 episodes of Animal Practice and has a box office gross of over $2 billion, according to IMDb. Crystal and owner Thomas Gunderson are likely doing pretty well on the actor’s salary.