CHiPs: Motorcycle Cops Ponch And Jon, Stories And Facts

By Kellar Ellsworth
Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox on 'CHiPs.' Source: IMDB

The TV police drama CHiPs starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as Ponch and Jon. The series combined the adventure and intrigue of traditional cop shows with the lighthearted tone of a buddy movie, as the two California Highway Patrol cops encountered some serious emergencies, but more often found themselves in comedic scenarios, often in the same episode. Like any good '70s show, CHiPs featured plenty of celebrity guest performers (Leif Garrett, Cassandra Peterson, Billy Barty) and silly plot devices (chimpanzee, robot). 

Off camera, the two actors weren't quite buddies, both suffered motorcycle accidents, and both bailed on the show for professional reasons, with Wilcox's departure prior to season six more or less killing CHiPs. It was a wild, and mostly fun ride -- while it lasted.