Are you wearing a gorilla suit? if so, why not? Did someone forget to tell you that today is National Gorilla Suit Day? Didn't you notice the banks were closed and no mail was delivered? You would think in this day and age when information can travel instantly we'd all be on the same page about this.
Anyway, National Gorilla Suit Day stems from the late Mad Magazine artist Don Martin, known for his bulbous-nosed characters and wacky sound effects. In the Mad paperback Don Martin Bounces Back!, Martin illustrated a story about a man who wants to ban National Gorilla Suit Day and consequently ends up beaten up by gorillas and abominable snowmen.
To honor this special day, enjoy this clip from The Ernie Kovacs Show featuring the Nairobi Trio. Kovacs is one of my favorite old-time comedians. If I had been alive when his show was on, I would have watched it. Kovacs was one of the first comedians to play around with the television medium to create gags that couldn't be done on a live stage. Clip is after the jump.
Despite their long history in comedy, I've never found primates of any kind to be inherently funny. I don't care how human they act, how many cowboy hats you put on them, or how many props you give them, they're just not that humorous. Of course, now I must contradict myself by saying that pretty much anything can be funny if it's placed in the right context, which is why The Chimp Channel, a program which ran on TBS for one season in 1999 and whose cast consisted entirely of chimps, sometimes made me laugh, despite my aversion to the idea of monkeys being a kind of comedic Holy Grail whose mere presence brings comedy to any situation.
In a nutshell, The Chimp Channel was a sketch comedy show with chimps, spoofing the television shows and movies of the day. Based on that premise alone it's no wonder the show only lasted one season, but the writing was actually quite solid and funny, and they were able to get some great performances from the animals. The series was actually much better than it had any right to be. I don't see how a show consisting of an all-chimp cast could have lasted very long, no matter how funny they tried to make it, but the TV landscape has seen more than a few shows like this one that were just too outlandish to ever find a wide audience. If you're lucky enough to catch these types of shows when they're on, they provide a nice respite from the mundanity of "normal" television fare. Also, it helps if you like chimps pretending to be characters from Star Wars.
As we begin, this time the Hippies not only need money, they need clothes. Yolanda donates purple pants and Eric and Jeremy throw in a couple of sandals. BJ and Tyler are really excellent beggars. If they don't win the million they could have quite a brisk panhandling career.
Finally, an eating challenge comes in the form of a fast forward. The first team to eat a bunch of deep fried crickets earns the prize. Ray and Yolanda and BJ and Tyler sit down to a meal of crickets. It takes one cricket for Yolanda and Ray to ditch the crickets.
Eric and Jeremy are enthralled by the monkeys of Thailand, partially because the life of a monkey involves lazing around and scratching fleas, pretty much their dream gig. The roadblock involves preparing a feast for the monkeys, which Eric and Jeremy are happy to do. It's pretty cute watching the monkeys sneak away with the food as fast as the teams can put it on the table. It's not so cute watching the predictably petulant Monica sulk on the sidelines when she and Joseph arrive late.
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