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The Spider Monkey Routine

Every now and then we run into something so peculiar we have to stop and ask ourselves "is someone pulling my leg?" "Is this really true?" This happened to me recently at a small family gathering, when a particularly odd phrase came to my attention. My sister had just gotten married and we were sitting around the living room, getting to know her husband, Jack. He was talking about sports and sports trivia and he made a passing reference to something called "The Spider Monkey Routine.

" He continued telling his story, but I was no longer listening. These four words slowly worked their way to the part of my brain that yells "wait. what the heck did he just say?" I had to stop him as soon as it seemed a polite enough time to do so (see: right away). "'Spider Monkey Routine?' What's 'The Spider Monkey Routine?'" He stopped and turned to my direction and said "Oh, you know.

The 'Spider Monkey Routine.'" I'm not sure why he felt this was an acceptable response. It's not like we were discussing television or breathing for crying out loud. This was "The Spider Monkey Routine!" What could that possibly mean?! Luckily my entire family was also puzzled.

So Jack began to explain. He claimed that Brian Billick, the current coach of the Baltimore Ravens football team, was once a contestant on "The Gong Show" in the late 1970s or early 1980s. He said that his talent was something called "The Spider Monkey Routine," which has since gone on to be sort of an underground joke in the NFL. I will admit, I was still a little confused, but then Jack went on to describe the routine itself.

According to him, Billick, clad in a furry, thumb-less monkey suit began to wave his arms in the air while screaming "Waa wooo! Monkey, monkey, monkey! Waa wooo! Monkey, monkey, monkey!" This continued for what seemed like an eternity, but was only about twenty-five seconds. Needless to say, he was 'gonged' and left the stage in shame. Judge Jamie Farr described the scene as a train wreck you couldn't look away from because there was an idiot dressed as a monkey screaming in front of it.

This sounded downright hilarious and frankly, too weird to be made up on the spot. But I had my doubts. So later at home, I did some research, hoping to find more information, pictures, and maybe (dare I hope) video. Thanks to a few search engines, I found out that Brian Billick was on "Match Game" in the 1970s. But that show doesn't give it's contestants the opportunity to dress up as "spider monkeys," let alone scream and dance. I then googled "Brian Billick Spider Monkey.

" And to my surprise it pointed me right in the direction of Wikipedia (a free, user maintained encyclopedia). Under the Brian Billick entry there was a small bit of trivia. "A young Billick was a contestant on the game show Match Game in 1977. Billick later appeared on The Gong Show in 1980, where he performed his famous "Spider Monkey" routine." Not only did this small sentence give my search hope, it referred to the routine as "famous!" Unfortunately, this glimmer of hope was also as far as my search would go.

To this day, I have not found anymore information about the alleged "Spider Monkey Routine." I am hoping someone out there can help shed some more light on this subject. Is it real? Is it "famous?" Please email any information/pictures/videos you may have to l.maccorkindale@hotmail.com. Until then, waa wooo! Monkey, monkey, monkey, my friends.

Waa wooo! Monkey, monkey, monkey. .

By: Lew MacCorkindale


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