Moishe, a Jewish actor who is so down and out, he’s ready to take any acting job that he can find. He sees a classified ad that says, “Actor Needed To Play an Ape.” Somewhat desperately, he thinks to himself, “I could do that.”
To his surprise, the employer turns out to be the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Owing to the recent budget cuts and the lingering effects of the Great Recession, they can no longer afford to import an ape to replace a recently deceased one; so until they can raise the money, they’ve decided to put an actor in an ape suit on actual display.
With no other options available, Moishe takes the offer. At first, his conscience keeps nagging at him, that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers, especially the kids. Moishe also feels undignified in the ape suit, stared at by the crowds who watch his every move. But after a few days on the job, he begins to enjoy all the attention and starts to put on a decent show for all the zoo-goers.
Moishe hangs upside down from the branches by his legs, swinging about on the vines, climbing up the cage walls and roaring with all his might while beating on his chest. Soon, he’s drawing a sizable crowd.
One day, while Moishe is swinging on the vines to show off to a group of school kids, his hands slip and he goes flying over the fence into the neighboring cage, the lion’s den. Terrified, Moishe backs up as far from the approaching lion as he can, covers his eyes and prays at the top of his lungs, “Shama Yisroel Adonoi Eloheinu, Adonoi Echud!”
The lion opens his powerful jaws and roars; “Baruch Shem K’vod Malchuso! L’olam Va’ed.”
From a nearby cage, a panda yells, “Shut up you shmucks, you’ll get us all fired!”
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!