Super Ape

Like many of you, I watched Super Bowl XLI -- better known as the Showdown Between the Guy Who Does Too Many Ads vs. the Guy Who Makes Jake Plummer Look Competent. I'm sure in Chicago and Indianapolis, people were glued to their seats, but for the rest of the country, this clash of the tediums was incredibly dull, highlighted only by a few funny commercials and the fact that Prince may have sprouted a demon penis during halftime.

The funniest ad by far was the Snickers commercial where the two mechanics got all queer and Lady-and-the-Tramped a candy bar until they made out, then ripped out swatches of their chest hair to atone for their homosexual slip-up. Everyone I was watching with laughed quite hard, but apparently some uber-PC gay groups didn't get the joke. After they complained that the commercial was offensive, Snickers promptly pulled it. Personally, I think showing a commercial mocking homophobia during a televised event seen by more intolerant meatheads than even ultimate fighting is a step forward for the gay community, but hey, what do I know about it? I never sucked a cock.

Okay, once, but I was black-out drunk, so it doesn't count. Plus, I really wanted to be a Beta.



Snickers ad aside, the best Super Bowl campaign award clearly goes to Bud Light for its hilarious animal series, especially the spot featuring the two gorillas. In the ad, the larger gorilla tells the smaller gorilla that he's been working on a plan for three years and today is the day, then explains how when the delivery guy comes by with cases of Bud Light, the smaller gorilla needs to jump over the fence and grab some. The smaller gorilla simply nods and says, "Okay" over and over again -- but meanwhile, he's keeping his eye on a hot woman up by the fence who's trying to take a picture of him. While the larger gorilla counts down the clock to when his inattentive companion needs to make the leap, the woman counts down for her picture. And right when the first gorilla says "Go!" the smaller gorilla smiles as big as he can for the pretty lady's camera, then says, "Wait, what did you say?"

That spot made me laugh, then want a Bud Light. But there was no Bud Light in my parents' basement, so I shoveled one more deviled egg into my mouth and continued to try to work a galleon of Cheetos through my arteries. It wasn't until several days later that I learned the lady-crazy gorilla was not just some random TV ape, but Cenzoo of Denver Zoo fame!

Known as "Nick" to the keepers, Cenzoo was born on February 2, 1996, the year of the zoo's centennial celebration -- hence his name, which is short for "century celebration of the zoo." Early on, Cenzoo showed a knack for comedy. While his father, Koundu, was receiving special training and attention from some of the keepers in the back, Cenzoo would whip by the exhibit like a blur of fur and bombard his father with armfuls of straw. One time, while Pops was lounging at the bottom of the indoor exhibit, Cenzoo -- who'd been playing around on the cargo nets and ropes overhead -- decided enough was enough. He rolled up a piece of burlap in classic, locker-room-towel-twister fashion and slapped his dad right on the ass, much to the delight of zoo visitors.

When Cenzoo and Koundu got shipped to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2003, Cenzoo pushed his pranks to the next level. In gorilla communities, there's typically one dominant male, the silverback, who breeds with the females. Gorillas usually develop a silver back in their mid-teens as a sign of their sexual maturity and readiness to run their own group. But his first year in Tampa, Cenzoo -- still a black-back, mind you -- sneaked off and sired himself a little baby gorilla. Cenzoo, you dog. After that, there were some serious dominance issues between Cenzoo and his father, and they had to be separated. Cenzoo now resides in an exhibit with two other young silverbacks, and even though he is the smallest and youngest of the three, the cocky rascal walks around like he owns the place.

Whether or not the Bud Light ad jockeys knew of Cenzoo's womanizing ways when they cast the uppity fella, they certainly picked the perfect ape. In that ad, the hammy Cenzoo showcased the devil-may-care attitude that his keepers love and that we all have come to expect from our animal stars, be it the monkey in Friends or the trio of orangutans in the classic 1981 Tony Danza vehicle Going Ape! On Super Bowl Sunday, Peyton Manning may have won a ring -- but it was a Colorado gorilla that won our hearts.

Also, some gay mechanics.


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