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A man wearing a gorilla suit.

Gorilla suits are full-bodied costumes resembling gorillas. Gorilla suits have been used both to represent real gorillas in film and on stage, and also as a source of humour. The gorilla suit is a popular Halloween and masquerade party costume.

An actor in a gorilla suit spars with an actor in a Gamera costume at CONvergence (convention).

Gorilla suit performance involves pantomime, wearing a heavy costume, broad physical comedy skills, and a partial suspension of disbelief, while still playing on the very artifice involved. In this respect, gorilla suits are not far removed from puppetry.


The early history of the art of gorilla impersonation dates at least to the late 1920s, with the rise of Charles Gemora, an early practitioner of the art in such short films as Circus Lady and the Our Gang entry Bear Shooters. In later decades, in addition to abounding in B movies such as Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, the gorilla suit came to prominence in television, in a wide range of series, from 1960s sitcoms like The Addams Family (as seen in the episode "Morticia Joins the Ladies League") and The Beverly Hillbillies, which typically attempted to present their gorillas as "real," to more recent series such as L.A. Law and Scrubs, which have contrived to have regular characters don the primate costume.

In 1869, Noah Brooks' short story, "Mr. Columbus Coriander's Gorilla" appeared in Bret Harte's "Overland Monthly Magazine." The story concerned a young man employed at a menagerie dressed in a gorilla suit. It is mistakenly credited to Max Adeler.

In recent decades, the work of performers or designers have altered the mechanics and effect of gorilla suits, often using animatronics, taxidermy eyes, realistic fur, and other aides. Jim Henson utilized typical gorilla suits and never a full-bodied gorilla Muppet in several productions (like in Time Piece, The Cube, some episodes of Sesame Street, and the "Avery Schreiber" episode of The Muppet Show). The person inside the gorilla suit is often uncredited. Jim Henson's Creature Shop has contributed to this development in its own way, through work on Buddy, George of the Jungle, and MirrorMask. Many suit performers of Jim Henson's characters portrayed gorillas in other productions.

A gorilla suit is usually used to portray a gorilla in some episodes of Gilligan's Island.

National Gorilla Suit Day[edit]

In 1963, Don Martin published National Gorilla Suit Day in a collection Don Martin Bounces Back, in which Fester Bestertester mocks the (then fictitious) concept of a National Gorilla Suit Day, and suffers a series of incredible assaults from gorillas and other creatures in gorilla and other suits.

Subsequently, Don Martin fans have celebrated National Gorilla Suit Day on January 31.[1][2]


A gorillagram is a gift message, similar to a singing telegram, but delivered by a performer dressed in a gorilla suit.

Many entertainment companies worldwide have offered gorillagrams and continue to do so. In Australia, the costumes include a heavy crash helmet, introduced after the recipient of one gorillagram, believing the gorilla to be real, rendered the actor unconscious by use of a typewriter (which was destroyed and the actor hospitalised).[citation needed] A gorillagram company run by Clive Gibbons has been an important plot element in episodes of Neighbours.

Great Gorilla Run[edit]

The 2013 Great Gorilla Run passing through Tower Bridge

This informal running event, organized by the Gorilla Organization, is held in September each year in London. The aim of the event is to raise funds for the preservation of the habitat of the wild mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Participants receive a Gorilla Suit to wear and are encouraged to create a fancy dress to add to the suit. The run is approximately 7 km around the City of London and has raised almost £2m since the first run in 2003.[3]


  1. ^ "news from me - ARCHIVES - November 23, 2007". Newsfromme.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  2. ^ "It's National Gorilla Suit Day - VIDEO". Aoltv.com. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  3. ^ "The Great Gorilla Run". greatgorillarun.org. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorilla_suit — Please support Wikipedia.
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191 news items

Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:00:00 -0700

The main thing I learned from wearing that pink gorilla suit is this: It's hot. It's damn hot. Wearing it is like being waterboarded. You sweat, and you sweat while smelling and feeling like melted plastic. The suit itself is not actually that bad, if ...
Comcast SportsNet New England
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:00:00 -0700

In 2005 he was forced to take part in that charade when he was named co-general manager with Jed Hoyer when Theo Epstein and his gorilla suit followed Pearl Jam through South America. Then just when he got his chance and was properly named Red ...
The Carroll News
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

“My first costume was a gorilla suit that my son inherited. After that I got a Red Devil costume and just built it up from there. Some of my costumes date back to the 1960s,” said Jadlowe. Obviously, all those costumes total up to a tidy sum, despite ...

Den of Geek (US)

Den of Geek (US)
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:33:36 -0700

Films where you can see the monster's strings, or nylon stockings or the zip up gorilla suit, which Sharknado has, in its way. There's nothing that resembles the reality of sharks in Sharknado. Their weight or substance. I love movies that have no ...
Mason County News
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:15:00 -0700

This would not be an issue with peta, of course, since they don't care a whit about humans, but the guy happened to be wearing a gorilla suit at the time of his unfortunate tranking. He worked at the Loro Parque zoo, and was wearing the gorilla costume ...
Sydney Morning Herald
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:07:30 -0700

Frazer was introduced to wood engraving by Tim Jones in the mid-1990s, having returned to art school after dreams of a career in show biz ended with his singing karaoke in a gorilla suit in a country town. It makes a good story: you may have heard it ...

The Northern Echo

The Northern Echo
Sun, 06 Jul 2014 06:08:47 -0700

A RAPTUROUS welcome greeted Tour de France riders as they pedalled into the Yorkshire Dales. In every town and village huge crowds lined the route to cheer and applaud as the cyclist went past at speeds that drew gasps. On the Buttertubs Pass the ...
WKRC TV Cincinnati
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:54:25 -0700

On Thursday afternoon, many pedestrians seemed to ignore the markings, though there were some who took pictures of the novel signage or stopped to watch someone in a gorilla suit eating a banana that was also somehow part of the filming. Irene Fadakar ...

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