Monkey vs Bird

Well, chimp, actually, but whatever – this is still one of the funniest clips ever.

/via Richard Wiseman

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. I guess we still don’t know who’d win in a fight, monkey* or bird, but at least now we know who started it.

    *All apes are monkeys, but not all monkeys are apes.

  2. I agree with dahduh. The chimp had the height and the bird was tied down. I say we need a rematch. Cage style “two animals enter, one bird leaves”.

  3. I move to dismiss this video as evidence. The primate in the video is clearly an ape and not a monkey. There are clear differences in the structures of the skeletons allowing for different arm movements. Plus, the video was miss named. Also, being tethered gave the owl a distinct disadvantage.

  4. Mike, Jo … it’s SLAPSTICK! People either like slapstick or they do not. But one is not limited if one likes slapstick, for people who like THE THREE STOOGES may also appreciate the subtleties of OSCAR WILDE. If you laugh … it’s funny.

    Now, one component of appreciating slapstick is knowing that the participants survive their misfortune and go on thriving in their world.

    I have it on good authority that the owl survived , shaved his own head, recruited other owls, shaved their heads, formed a Skinhead Terrorist Owl militia, and took to revenging this incident upon innocent chimpanzees throughout all of Africa.

    So this makes this video quite complex: although the owl survived and thrived, the havoc suffered by all chimpanzee-kind ever since makes this not one bit funny.


  5. Addendum: actually … what does make this funny is the same thing that makes the THREE STOOGES FUNNY: sound effects. The Stooges without sound effects are not as funny. They’re just not. The THWACK was the key to making this clip funny. Always respect the THWACK.

    The intriguing thing to me is … that Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom chose to run this in the first place AND, once they made that decision, they chose to add audience laughter and the THWACK.

    They knew the THWACK would make it funny and it did … well … for 90% of people anyway.

  6. @halincoh: No, it’s not. Slapstick is planned and choreographed–and not real. The Stooges didn’t actually poke one another’s eyes out, etc.

    Chimps are incredibly strong. The bird could have been killed. It was poor wrangling, and I didn’t find it funny.

  7. But it wasn’t. Woody Allen once said, ” comedy is tragedy pus time. ” This was unplanned slapstick: the unplanned banana slip. It’s a fine line when it happens in real life, but if nobody gets hurt, it follows the rules of slapstick, of comedy.

    As SGT Hulka ( Warren Oates) said in Stripes, ” Lighten up Francis.”

    The bird was unhurt. As strong as a chimp is ( and it IS ), the sound made it seem worse than it was.

    They would not have showed it otherwise.

  8. @mike from queens:
    I’m with you (and the owl) on this one. I actually never found slapstick funny. Disturbing, yes. I don’t find that watching people fall down to be funny either, but I know many people find this extremely entertaining.

  9. I don’t find this funny, and it’s not really a skeptical topic… unless you had mentioned how set up some of the “Wild Kingdom” scenes were, it’s just a scene of animal cruelty set to a laugh track.

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