Gorilla by thebutterfly-d6scic5.jpg

Date Aired
October 30, 2013
Running Time
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Todd plays "Gorilla" on the piano.

A pop song review

Todd: I like Bruno Mars again.

Clip of "Grenade"
Bruno: I'd catch a grenade for ya

Todd (VO): Okay, yes, I am aware that I've spent the better part of two years bitching about how awful he was and how stupid his hat was and how he's a little whining emo boy who throws a tantrum if his girlfriend so much as sends him a text with [picture of three hearts as text] less than five hearts at the end.

Todd: But before that, back when he first arrived, I thought I was watching the arrival of a bold, new talent in pop music.

Clip of "Nothin' on You"
Bruno: Beautiful girls all over the world
I could be chasin'...

Todd (VO): A songwriter well-versed in tradition, a producer with a knack for smooth R&B with a funky backbeat, and of course, a performer who could stretch himself to the most intense of emotions. And uh...

Todd: I guess all those things are still true, but...it didn't take long for some serious flaws to reveal themselves.

Clip of "The Lazy Song"

Todd (VO): I've already noted his over-the-top histrionics and his embarrassingly inane sense of humor.

Todd: By the way, he wrote this with Mike Posner.

Clip of Mike Posner - "Bow Chicka Wow Wow"
Mike Posner: Once I throw on this bow chicka wow wow
What you gonna say?

Todd (VO): So that's another mark against him.

Todd: But I don't think I've yet zeroed in on what I think is the biggest issue with his work—its curious soullessness.

Clips of "It Will Rain" and performance of "Valerie" at 2011 MTV VMAs

Todd (VO): In spite of all the ridiculous melodramatics, he's always had this kind of false...this phoniness about him. He's a showbiz personality in the old-school, pre-rock 'n roll kind of way. And he's not really developed a feeling that any of this comes from his heart or that he legitimately feels any of the things he writes about or anything. Oh, he's still very talented and he'll probably kill in Vegas someday, but he'll never have a cult of personality like Michael or Kanye or even Usher have.

Todd: So what is it that brought me back around to liking him again? Well, it turns out Bruno has finally found something that he is unequivocally good at—being other people.

Clip of "Locked Out of Heaven"
Bruno: Oh yeah yeah
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Todd (VO): Yes, much of his second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, has been wonderful pastiches of other peoples music. He does the Police, [clips of "When I Was Your Man"...] he does a piano bar ballad, [...and "Treasure"] he does some retro, early 80s funk. And it has turned out really well for him. He reminds me a lot of [clip of "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" by...] Lenny Kravitz—that was another guy I only liked when he sounded like someone besides himself.

Todd: So, [brief clips of "Just the Way You Are"...] Bruno Mars, fedora-wearing runt who sings like someone's taking a carrot peeler to his scrotum? Yeah, I don't need any more of that. But [...and performance of "Treasure" on The Voice] Bruno Mars, uncanny style-mimicking imitator of more interesting people? I am totally down with that Bruno.

[Giving thumbs up] So now that he's off the shit list, I am eagerly awaiting whatever song he's got up next. I can't wait to see what new genre Bruno will take on. And so, without further ado, I bring you the next big Bruno Mars song, "Gorilla."

Video for "Gorilla"
Bruno: 'Cause what I got for you
I promise it's a killer,
You'll be banging on my chest
Bang bang, gorilla
You and me, baby, making love like gorillas

Todd: [pause] So... Wait, could you play that again and start a little earlier? I...I feel like I'm...I'm missing some context here.

Bruno: You got your legs up in the sky
With the devil in your eyes
Let me hear you say you want it all

Todd (VO): No, I guess I understood it the first time.

Todd: So this is a, uh, sex song about...

Todd (VO): ...ma...making...

Bruno: You and me, baby, we'll be fuckin' like gorillas!

Todd: [no way to avoid it] Um...I have to apologize 'cause even though we haven't really started yet, I can already tell this episode is just gonna be based around one joke. So...

Clip of...

Todd (VO): ...this is what gorillas mating looks like. So...

Todd: ...that's what you need to think of...

Todd (VO): ...when you hear this song. That's the image Bruno Mars wants in your head.

Bruno: You and me baby making love like...
Another clip of gorillas

Todd: If, for some god-forsaken reason, you're...

Todd (VO): ...a Bruno Mars groupie and dream of gettin' it on with Bruno Mars, you can expect it to look like this. [Another gorilla sex clip]

Todd: So, uh...make sure that image is burned in your head right now.

"Gorillas" played against gorillas
Bruno: Oooh...

Todd (VO): Do I really need to take this anywhere else? I mean, I can just show gorillas getting freaky, and that can sum up the review, right?

Todd: I guess I'd better come up with something else to say. Um...well, first off, this song is just the stupidest thing.

Bruno: Bang, bang. Gorilla

Todd (VO): Yes, I realize gorillas have always been a symbol of virility.

Clip from Training Day
Alonzo Harris: King Kong ain't got shit on me!
Clip of gorillas fighting

Todd (VO): They're big, strong, dangerous animals. Every guy wants to be this dominant, [clip from King Kong] musclebound, chest-beating king of the jungle.

Todd beats chest

Todd: Yeah, I get that. Now, with that said, watch as I destroy this metaphor with science. [Funny graphic reading...] Science—ruining everything for everybody always! [gives thumbs up] Thanks, science.

Well, anyway, here's the main thing you need to know.

Clip from National Geographic

Todd (VO): Male gorillas have tiny, little penises. Yeah, that's actually true. They're, like, four times bigger than an average human, but they're hung like five-year-olds. [Picture of gorilla with arrow pointing at groin] Look, you even see anything going on down there? Nothing. [Still from...] Mighty Joe Young wasn't Mighty Joe Hung, that's all I'm saying.

Todd: They have tiny balls, and they don't really have sex that often.

Drawings of...

Todd (VO): Back about a hundred years ago, people did believe that gorillas raped people, but, uh...they don't really do that either. [Obligatory clip from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls] Like, in this hilarious scene from the end of Ace Ventura 2?

The Tokens: Ee-e-e-um-um-a-weh

Todd (VO): Yeah, don't worry about that guy, he's fine. They're, like, playing chess or something back there.

So whenever people talk about wild monkey sex, gorillas are not the ones they're thinking of. A much better primate to use here would be [pictures of...] bonobos, who really do get their freak on all over the place at anytime with anything and anyone.

Todd: So there's my revision. "You and me, baby, making love like bonobos."

Okay, it doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but it's not like you're gonna make the song sound any sillier.

Bruno: 'Cause you know how I like it
You's a dirty little lover

Todd (VO): Okay, so, going back to earlier, most of that latest album is Bruno Mars trying to be other people.

Todd: So let's listen. Who is Bruno trying to be here?

Bruno: You'll never be the same baby once I'm done with you-oo-oo-oo-ooh!

Todd (VO): Well, that solves that.

Todd: Okay, the person he's trying to be here is Prince

Clip from Purple Rain
The Kid (Prince): You!

Todd (VO): "Purple Rain" and "Darling Nikki" especially. Prime Prince.

Todd: Which...yeah, makes sense. He and Prince have a lot in common.

Clip from "1999"

Todd (VO): Prince is also a short, racially ambiguous little guy who blends a lot of genres and is convinced he's a sex god. I can see why Bruno Mars would want to try that on.

Todd: The thing is, Prince actually was a sex god.

Clip from "Kiss"
Prince: Ah!

Todd (VO): I have no idea how he was a sex god, considering he was a tiny purple man in assless chaps. But whatever it was, Prince had it. People believed it because he believed it. And unfortunately, I don't think I can say the same for Bruno. Sexiness is just not something Bruno Mars can pull off.

Todd: I mean, when has he ever gotten explicit about sex?

Clip from "Locked Out of Heaven"
Bruno: 'Cause your sex takes me to paradise

Todd (VO): I guess you could say that "Locked Out of Heaven" is sexual, but it's only hot if you find desperation really attractive, which maybe you do.

Todd: So...was there, like, any other time?

Clip from "The Lazy Song"
Bruno: Meet a really nice girl
Have some really nice sex
And she's gonna scream out, "this is great!"
Girl: Oh, my God, this is great

Todd (VO): Yeah, point proven. I...I have a feeling that's a closer approximation of what sex with Bruno Mars is like.

This comes back to that whole phoniness thing. Bruno Mars wrote this song not because he believed he was, like, this manly, chest-beating wild animal, but because he wanted to make a song that sounds like Prince. [Clips of "Edge of Glory" and "Get Lucky" by, respectively...] Now, you know, Lady Gaga and Daft Punk are just as much pop nerds as Bruno, but they build their influences into something new and different, whereas Bruno is just trying on Prince's sound like a Halloween costume.

Todd: Speaking of Halloween costumes, I considered getting a gorilla suit for this episode, but [listing on GorillaSuits.com for $142.99] they're actually quite expensive. At least, the good ones. Yeah, I'm...I'm not making that Angry Video Game Nerd money over here, so no costumes. Sorry.

Todd (VO): So anyway, let Prince sing this and you could maybe make it work, but Bruno just doesn't have the appeal. And I have concerns about his abilities.

Bruno: I got a body full of liquor
With a cocaine kicker
And I'm feeling like I'm thirty feet tall

Todd (VO): Oh, good. Because nothing improves your sexual performance than a nice gallon of whiskey.

Todd: Of course, I guess you can counteract that depressant with a nice kicker of cocaine.

Bruno: ...cocaine kicker

Todd (VO): That's some better living through chemistry right there. What could go wrong with mixing alcohol and cocaine. [Picture of tombstone] Oh yeah.

Todd: I guess we know why gorillas are endangered.

Bruno: You and me, baby, making love like gorillas

Todd (VO): Actually, as hilarious as "makin' love like gorillas" is,...

Todd: ...I think the true comedy comes from the line before it.

Bruno: You'll be banging on my chest
Bang bang, gorilla

Todd (VO): That's probably my favorite new bad lyric. I mean, hashtag lyrics are just stupid to begin with, but he just blurts it out there.

Bruno: Gorilla

Todd (VO): I think that's what it sounds like when he orgasms. You know, like...

Todd: [breathing hard and climaxing] Bang bang! Gorilla!

Todd (VO): Another thing, you realize, "you'll be bangin' on my chest"?

Bruno: You'll be banging on my chest
Bang bang

Todd: Okay, gorillas bang on their own chest. You know, like this. [demonstrates] Ow. Anyway...

Todd (VO): ...female gorillas don't bang on their mate's chest during sex. And for that matter, neither do humans. People do all sorts of crazy stuff in bed, but I haven't heard that one. If someone else is banging on your chest, that generally isn't foreplay.

Clip from Blazing Saddles
Dancer: You brute, you brute, you brute, you vicious brute!

Todd: Yeah, they're trying to stop you or get away.

Bruno: But in this jungle you can't run

Todd: So, uh...this is, uh...starting to sound a little... (#RAPEY) yeah. You know, it's really sad that this has become a running joke on this show. How many songs have I covered that I can use this label on?

Bruno: You'll be banging on my chest

Todd (VO): Okay, to be fair, maybe there's another explanation for why she's pounding on his chest. Um...maybe Bruno Mars has...

Todd: ...passed out and she's trying to revive him. You know, like [mimics pounding] live, damn it! [Picture of...] Alcohol and cocaine—bad combination.

Bruno: If the neighbors call the cops,
Call the sheriff, call the SWAT ‒ we don't stop,
We keep rocking while they're knocking on our door

Todd (VO): [laughing] Well, when they do knock down your door, make sure you've hidden your cocaine. You [image of Crimesider article: "Bruno Mars Mug Shot: Singer Arrested in Las Vegas on Cocaine Charge"] do have a problem with that.

See, here's what I think the real problem is. Not everything sex-related is sexy, and I don't know if Bruno Mars understands that. Gorillas aren't really something that turns people on. Except for this hot little number here: [Clip of Gorillaz - "DARE"] That one is pretty sexy.

Todd: But usually, otherwise no. And this kind of thing is all through the song.

Bruno: You got your legs up in the sky
With the devil in your eyes

Todd (VO): Yeah, see, there you go. "Legs up in the air" is sexual, but that doesn't exactly make it a hot image. It's...it's kinda [image of woman with legs in air] silly, you know...

Todd: [demonstrating] Ooh! Come and get it, big boy.

Todd (VO): Really, "Gorilla" is so grandiose and over-the-top, and I like bombast generally, but...it just doesn't fit with the lyrical subject matter. Here is what I'd say if I had to sum up the song in a sentence. [Clips of...] If "The Bad Touch" thought it was "Kiss from a Rose," it'd be this.

Bruno: You and me, baby, we'll be fuckin' like gorillas!

Todd (VO): Yeah, it just doesn't work.

Todd: Bruno Mars may feel like [image of King Kong] this, but he's honestly more like [image of Magilla Gorilla] this, at best. [pause] What is it with this guy and [brief clip of "The Lazy Song"] monkeys anyway?

Shrugs, then leaves

Video ends

Closing tag song: The Monkees - "(Theme From) The Monkees"

"Gorilla" is owned by Atlantic Records
This video is owned by me

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