Sunday, September 6, 1998

Gorilla Suit Jesus

What if...at the end of time...they don't let you into heaven because of your attitude towards Messiahs in Gorilla suits?

No blasphemy intended. Hear me out. It's an important theological point.

If you take the New Testament literally, Jesus pulled a fake-out on the Jews.

Seriously.

As every good little girl and goy is taught in Sunday School, the Jews were expecting a triumphant Messiah. God sent them a humble carpenter instead -- the old King in Disguise trick. The Jews didn't believe that this working class guy in sandles was the Messiah because they were bad. Jesus, meanwhile, performed miracles -- but only when the people who didn't believe in Him weren't looking. If you believed already, then He would do the miracle. If you needed proof, you didn't get a miracle -- that was the rule. Besides which, Jesus wouldn't answer a straight question. Are you the Messiah? What do we do about work on Sunday? What wine goes best with fish? He acted sort of insulted and either answer with a riddle or walk away. Like -- why are you asking me this? You should already know.

So now, this time around, it's the Christians expecting the triumphant return of the King of Kings. Now WE think the Messiah is coming as a conquering king. OK. What if, yet again, Jesus pulls a fast one? What if Jesus returns -- not as a gorilla -- but a man in a gorilla suit? The Gorilla Suit Jesus...

We take you now -- live -- to the TELEVANGELIST CONVENTION at the Golgotha Inn Convention Center Auditorium. CHARLTON HESTON, dressed as Moses, is addressing the National Association of Religious Broadcasters.

CHARLTON HESTON: I'm not a prophet but I play one on television.

(They laugh -- then get cut off by some kind of noise -- a disturbance from above. Everybody looks up -- rows and rows of brittle, blow-dried hair moving as one...)

HESTON: What the hell...

We hear Oooh-oooh sounds -- then a man in a gorilla suit drops down from the scaffolding holding the stage-lighting. It's...GORILLA SUIT JESUS!

GORILLA SUIT JESUS: I am the Gorilla Suit Jesus! (conventioneers recoil in horror) I am the way, the tru-oo-ooth and the banana. Follow Me!

SWAGGART: Blasphemer! You can't be Jesus!

GORILLA SUIT JESUS: How do you know? I'm in a gorilla suit!

ORAL: Because it says in the Bible our loving and forgiving savior is coming to destroy the world with fire!

FALWELL: Yeah! The fire next time!

ORAL: You can't fool us!

GORILLA SUIT JESUS: Oh wicked generation that knows Me not! I speak unto thee the tru -- ooo -- ooo -uth yet ye hear it not! (He climbs back up onto the ceiling) Eeeeee! Eeeeee!

SWAGGART: Goddamnit, this is worse than that Little League World Series game!

FALWELL: Stop him!

They all rush outside....

EXT, ROOF OF GOLGOTHA INN - NIGHT

GORILLA SUIT JESUS emerges from an air vent. He runs to the edge where the TELEVANGELISTS, down in the parking lot, are shaking their fists at Him. GORILLA SUIT JESUS screams, shows teeth, pounds his chest. And then begins shouting down at the multitudes...

GORILLA SUIT JESUS: Oh hateful wicked people who-ooh dost ever kill my prophets whom I have sent to make straight the way before me! Did I not even send unto thee the Kong whom ye didst kill with machine gun fire -- both in the original version and even unto the Dino DeLaurentis remake, which didst suck? Didst thou not put Diane Fossey to the sword whom I had sent forth to minister unto the gorillas in the mist? Hypocrites! Ye have heard it said "thou shalt place one box upon another to draw unto you the bananas from the top of the cage," yet though dost pluck the banana from thy neighbor's eye while slipping on thine own banana peel! It has been said "thou shalt see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," but I say unto thee RELEASE the monkey nor cage him not nohow. Ye have heard it said "love of monkey is the roo--oo--oot of all evil," but I say unto thee thou shalt love the monkey in the middle, nor spank thine own monkey, not thy neighbor's monkey, nor even thine own but love thy monkey even as thy self!

CHARLTON HESTON: (still in Moses costume, holding high powered rifle and looking in scope) Damn dirty ape.

We see GORILLA SUIT JESUS from HESTON's POV in the rifle scope. HESTON fires. GORILLA SUIT JESUS visibly takes the bullet, staggers dangerously close to the roof's edge...


GORILLA SUIT JESUS: And they knew-oo-oo me not...

He falls from the roof. We hear a thud...

The televangelists cheer. Suddenly the skies darken. Lightning crashes. The GRIM REAPER appears from behind a cloud waving a bony hand like Porky Pig going th-th-that's all folks...

VOICE OF GOD: OK. Now I'm really pissed...

HESTON: (handing Oral Roberts the rifle) Here. Take this.

HESTON runs. More judgmental wrath brewing in the sky. Fire. Brimstone. Smog...

VOICE OF GOD: Who did this?

ORAL looks over at dead body of GORILLA SUIT JESUS. Then down at the rifle.


ORAL: Uh-oh.

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