"The monkeys are running the zoo."

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 23 23:51:41 UTC 2014

Below is a 1959 citation for "animals start running the zoo" and a
1960 citation for "monkeys are now running the zoo".  Both citations
discussed two expensive movies and their marquee stars: Kirk Douglas
and "Spartacus", Marlon Brando and "One-eyed Jacks" I only looked in
GenealogyBank so earlier citations are likely.

Date: July 3, 1959
Location: Trenton, New Jersey
Paper: Trenton Evening Times
Article: Wacky Film
Author: Bob Thomas (AP Movie-TV Writer)
Page: 9, Column: 4
Database: GenealogyBank

[Begin excerpt]
He doesn't seem the least bit concerned that the movie runs on and on.
Nor did Marlon Brando, whose "One-eyed Jacks" finally finished after
six months. Average for a big production is six to eight weeks. As one
wag put it, this is what happens when the animals start running the
[End excerpt]

Date: March 29, 1960
Location: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Paper: Aberdeen American-News
Article: Hollywood
Author: Bob Thomas
Quote Page: 14, Column: 1
Database: GenealogyBank

[Begin excerpt]
What about the argument that the monkeys are now running the zoo; that
is, that the top stars have too much say in the pictures they make.
Examples: Kirk Douglas and Marlon Brando both taking more than a year
apiece and 14 million between them to finish their pictures.
[End excerpt]


On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 9:24 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "The monkeys are running the zoo."
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> But that's not the point, obviously.  The point is that this take-off of
> "The lunatics are running the asylum" seems not to be listed in the usual
> sources.
> I first encountered it about twenty-five years ago.
> 1983 _The Adversary Press_ (St. Petersburg, Fla.: Modern Media) 68 [GB: not
> verified]: LOUIS HODGES: As you know, the subject of the morning is the
> role of reporters, whether or not the sailors have taken over the ship or
> the monkeys are running the zoo.
> I believe the speaker is Prof. Louis W. Hodges (1933- ), a media ethicist.
> If so, the date is especially plausible.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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