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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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48 news items

 
NorthJersey.com
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:15:00 -0700

At last year's parade, the avid fan of the zombie apocalypse genre said a friend wearing a gorilla suit tossed candy to spectators from the back of the Jeep, and they had a blast. He also wants to join the Veteran's Day Parade and dress the Jeep in a ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:53:48 -0700

In his final days as a Yankee, Derek Jeter gave the media what he had not been able to deliver during his 20 seasons in pinstripes — controversy. The more precise way of describing Jeter's gift is this: He provided the media with the motivation to ...
 
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 ...

The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:02:13 -0700

The run is an 8km circuit through the centre of London, passing by some of the most iconic sights, dressed in a full gorilla suit. You can run, walk or jog the route. There is nothing quite like running as part of a 500-strong gorilla troop over Tower ...

La Crosse Tribune

La Crosse Tribune
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 14:56:15 -0700

For some reason, running on a few hours sleep didn't matter. It seemed trivial that a few hours before, the sports staff was feverishly cranking out copy on another wild Friday night of prep football. This was a new day. Early morning, actually, which ...
 
City Watch
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:52:30 -0700

There were floats, synchronized dances, outrageous slogans, chants, songs, costumes, marching bands, hugs, parents with their kids, and one very sweaty guy in a gorilla suit. Above all, there was joy...which means optimism...which means we believe we ...

Progressive.org

Progressive.org
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:15:00 -0700

The most hopeful, diverse, photogenic, energizing and often hilarious march I've joined in 52 years of activism---and one of the biggest, at 310,000 strong---has delivered a simple message: We can and will rid the planet of fossil fuels and nuclear ...
 
CounterPunch
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:22:30 -0700

There were floats, synchronized dances, outrageous slogans, chants, songs, costumes, marching bands, hugs, parents with their kids, and one very sweaty guy in a gorilla suit. Above all, there was joy…which means optimism…which means we believe we ...
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