National Gorilla Suit Day was invented by Dan Martin, the lunatic cartoonist of Mad Magazine fame, he of the bumbling characters with heads like Easter Island sculptures and feet that fold in the middle, the master of onomatopoeia, genius of frenetic action and perfect sound effects. However, Gorilla Suit Day, contrary to legend, did NOT originate within the pages of Mad Magazine; instead, this noble holiday had its genesis in the second of many paperback book collections that Martin released throughout the 1960s, Don Martin Bounces Back, now sadly out of print, but still cheap on Ebay and Amazon.
Back in 2007, MAD Cartoonist Tom Richmond wrote a nice piece about National Gorilla Suit Day on his own site, giving all the pertinent details. Here’s an excerpt:
The best thing about National Gorilla Suit Day is that there isn’t much that needs to be done to celebrate this very important holiday….
No, all you need to do is put on your gorilla suit and go about the neighborhood knocking on doors and spread the good word about National Gorilla Suit Day. Scaring the bejeezus out of some of the old folks wouldn’t ruin your day, either. So, on January 31st wear your mangy, moth eaten simian garb with pride, and just say “I’m wearing a Gorilla Suit… and I’m okay!”
With that in mind, I’m planning to spend the evening in my gorilla suit, shopping at Banana Republic. They must have bananas; it’s right there in the name, right?