Moishe, a Jewish actor, is so down and out, he’s ready to take any acting gig that he can find. Finally, he gets a lead, a classified ad that says, “Actor Needed To Play An Ape.” “I could do that,” says Moishe. To his surprise, the employer turns out to be the Central Park Zoo in New York.
An ape has just died, and owing to the recent budget cuts and the recession, they can no longer afford to import an ape to replace the deceased one, so, until they can get the money, they’ll put an actor in an ape suit instead.
Out of desperation, Moishe takes the offer. At first, his conscience keeps nagging him, that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers. 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, “Sh’ma Yisroel, Adonoi Elaheinu, 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 schmucks, you’ll get us all fired!