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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.

History[edit]

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.

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.

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]

Gorillagrams[edit]

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]

References[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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82 news items

Science 2.0

Science 2.0
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:03:45 -0700

In a classic study of the effect, when people focused on counting basketball passes, half of them failed to see a woman strolling through the middle of the scene in a gorilla suit. The new study used a similar design, although the basketball game was ...

The Denver Post

The Denver Post
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:47:32 -0700

Fees vary (based on age and whether you already have a gorilla suit) and include entry into The Denver Zoo the rest of the day; teams welcome. The Silverback Block Party for participants (free) and spectators ($10 each) follows with food, beer and live ...
 
TheDay.com
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:19:12 -0700

"If they want me to come out in a gorilla suit and a tutu, I will." Visconti, 57, a builder who served a term on the West Hartford Town Council and waged an unsuccessful bid for Congress, said tonight's debate appearance will help him overcome the lack ...

OhGizmo!

OhGizmo!
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:07:30 -0700

One guy will be in the gorilla suit, while the other one plays the, well, caged human. Neither can probably keep the charade going throughout the night–carrying an adult dude isn't exactly easy on the arms, and sitting in that cage all cramped up can ...
 
Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Sun, 12 Oct 2014 05:11:15 -0700

Julie told me there will be a hot-air balloon and a gorilla suit on stage. They plan to have the "William Tell" overture played, sort of in marching band style, before the performances. You know that it was the "The Lone Ranger" theme music on TV and ...
 
Motley Fool
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 05:22:30 -0700

Halfway through the video, a woman wearing a gorilla suit appears, crosses the court, thumps her chest, and moves on. The gorilla is in view for 9 seconds. Many thousands of people have seen the video, and about half of them do not notice anything ...
 
NewsOK.com
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:18:23 -0700

... the state's music scene have flocked to the southern Oklahoma college town to venture into The Boohatch, where a stuffed pheasant bears a giraffe's head, a woman's mannequin head wears a luchador's mask, and a beastly gorilla suit looms in the corner.
 
Ghost Theory
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:13:47 -0700

This specific piece of important evidence that is M.K. Davis' Frame 61 should now be considered damning evidence against the gorilla suit theory. After all, it was only a year after the Patterson-Gimlin footage was shot that the iconic 1968 film Planet ...
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