The television magician David Nixon once did a trick that involved a caged gorilla ‘magically’ switching places with someone outside the cage. This was a source of pleasurable wonderment for the viewing audience, but possibly not so wonderful for the show’s resident singer, Anita Harris.
A gorilla on the loose is often bad news for young women unlucky enough to be in its path. Here’s one young lady who had it even worse than Anita:
She’s Ayshea Brough, the miniskirted presenter of the British pop music show Lift Off with Ayshea, which ran for 144 editions between 1969 and 1974. Only three of those episodes still exist, sadly not including the one broadcast on October 24, 1973, in which the glam-rock band Wizzard performed ‘Angel Fingers’. One member of the band was dressed in a gorilla costume, and Ayshea was dressed as a schoolgirl in a straw boater and a very, very short skirt. Those who saw the show in 1973 vividly remember how, at the end of the song, the ‘gorilla’ picked her up, and the length of her skirt left her self-prepared for a spanking on the seat of her white panties.
This wasn’t a one-off: it seems gorillas often spank.
Here’s a 2013 ad for a Costa Rican nightclub.
There’s even a US heavy metal band named Gorilla Spank, which made it inevitable that certain imagery would make an appearance in their logo.
And in the years after World War Two, there was a European vaudeville comedy act called Christy and Gorilla. In reality, Christy was Miss Budiakoff, and the gorilla was Mr Bisogno, and in 1951 they toured the US with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. This enabled them to get into Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth, which in turn preserved a lasting record of their act, including a less than perfect moment for Christy:
One gorilla that wasn’t a man in a suit was Roy Boy, who escapes from captivity in a 1943 sequence of Roy Crane’s newspaper strip Captain Easy, and abducts Lulu Belle after an unfortunate misunderstanding concerning her species.
When she tries to KO him with a right to the jaw, his response is, well, almost human:
Because of course, that’s nothing like how real gorillas behave. Any naturalist will tell you that the gorilla’s reputation for chaotic violence is a terrible misrepresentation of a species that are, in reality, placid and gentle.