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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 and 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.

Lego even has a minifigure called a Gorilla Suit Guy (a man in a gorilla suit) in series three of the Minifigures theme. This minifigure is in the same category as the Lizard Man (a man in a lizard suit), the Bunny Suit Guy (a man in a rabbit suit), the Chicken Suit Guy (a man in a chicken suit), the Panda Guy (a man in a panda suit), the Bumblebee Girl (a woman in a bumblebee suit), and the Piggy Guy (a man in a pig suit). The Gorilla Suit Guy made a cameo with the Lizard Man in Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload and they were also playable in Lego City Undercover.

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]

See also[edit]


  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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255 news items


Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:54:30 -0700

It also means that on this date in 2005, then-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein resigned from his post and left Fenway Park in a gorilla suit, as to avoid reporters. The gorilla suit was later auctioned off for $11,000 for charity and Epstein then ...

Central Kentucky News

Central Kentucky News
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:26:15 -0700

Does anyone remember Anna's first Halloween, when I tried to be a good mother and start shopping for her costume in August, only to discover that everything was already sold out? In August. Halloween costumes for infants were sold out at every store ...

Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder Daily Camera
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:52:30 -0700

"I'm the only person anywhere, probably, who will make a personalized gorilla suit to fit people's measurements," Coffman said from an armchair in his home on Spruce Street in Boulder. "With others, the fur might not be very good, the mask might not be ...
Westword (blog)
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:30:00 -0700

First-time participants are required to rent a gorilla suit for $99 and race in it; the rate is discounted for return runners. By 2011, the event had attracted the attention of the Guinness Book of World Records, and last year, the Denver run (there ...

Centre Daily Times

Centre Daily Times
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:41:15 -0700

Dakota Bond, 13, and Nate Gray, 14, said the best scare was a man in a gorilla suit that remained still next to a fake gorilla. They said he let people think he wasn't real and jumped at them just as they decided to keep going. The man in the suit was ...
Us Magazine
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Jessica's BFF is in trouble! CaCee Cobb and Donald Faison poked fun of King Kong's most iconic scene for Halloween on Thursday, Oct. 30. The Scrubs alum and Cobb, who is expecting baby No. 2, went as King Kong and the damsel in distress Ann Darrow ...

ABC News

The Miami Hurricane
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:03:45 -0700

I'm not talking gorilla suit here; I'm talking cat ears plus a black leotard and fish net stockings, or cheetah ears plus a cheetah leotard and fish net stockings, or bunny ears and a … you get the idea. It's easy and you're going to look adorable ...

DavidsonNews.net (blog)

DavidsonNews.net (blog)
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:37:30 -0700

She also has fond childhood memories of a gorilla suit. “I could wear it and do whatever I wanted,” she told me recently. Costumes allow anonymity and a chance “to act the fool without being recognized.” She fondly remembers as a child the unique ...

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