Saturday Night Live Monkey Trial

Posted by Selby LighthillNov 29, 20220 Comments

The judge presides over court proceedings, hears witnesses and evidence presented by each side of a legal case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the respective parties, and then issues a ruling based on his or her professional interpretation of the law. A judge is expected to ensure lawful and orderly court proceedings and to uphold the utmost impartiality in his or her rulings.

The Honorable Judge Tango does not embody those principals. He is not, in fact, a person. But even if the enlarged ears, reduced forehead, lush head and body hair, gnarled hands, slooped posture, swaggered swing-step, elongated arms, shortened legs, and shredded newspaper nest of favored prize items do not directly highlight his primate tendencies, Judge Tango lacks a certain moral fitness demanded of our nation's courts of law.

“Well, that's a tough break. We got the monkey judge,” the prosecuting attorney sighs in exasperation at the appearance of Judge Tango as he shuffles into the court, taking the court deputy's hand as he climbs into his seat at the presiding courtroom bench.

The plaintiff righteously expresses her dismay after first enduring the criminal, crushing blows of the defendant's pet monkey, Gumbo, and his strength of thirty men pulverizing her skeletal frame; and then observing the defense attorney approaching the bench with a bribery birthday cake and behavioral mannerisms favorably suited toward the honorable presiding primate.

The prosecuting attorney declares, “Your Honor. It is obvious that you are favoring the defense.” Tango replies, “That is ridiculous.” And right on cue, the defense attorney interrupts to reclaim the Judge's attention by saying, “Your Honor, I love Judge” -- to which Judge Tango enthusiastically replies to the defense, “I love you” and eventually, “You are baby. Judge love baby. Bring Judge baby. Judge love you. Judge favor defense.”  

The demonstrative interaction of affectionate, arm-sweeping gestures carries on between the bench and the defense attorney until the prosecuting attorney angrily interjects, “We move to request a new judge.” Shocked, the Honorable Judge Tango asks, “Are you suggesting that I'm not competent?

The prosecuting attorney counters the defense and appeals to the Honorable Tango by pleading, “Wait! Wait! I'd like to call a surprise witness.” Exhausted and at his limited wit's end, the Honorable Judge Tango offers, “Unless that surprise witness is a ratty, old stuffed animal for me to violate, I assure you, the Court is not interested in being startled.”

In a tactful twist of cheap courtroom posturing, the prosecuting attorney reveals a tattered stuffed animal bunny rabbit from behind his back, and says smoothly, “Well, I got some good news for you, Judge.”

Bouncing up and down at the bench waving his gavel in one fist and pounding on the bench with his other open hand, the Honorable Judge Tango issues his ruling, shouting, “That side wins! That side wins!” Only the most impartial of characters, yet another legal case of the people (and/or non-human primates) sealed under the wise counsel of Honorable Judge Tango.

Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation with courtroom proceedings heavily biased by sand-throwing and teeth-bearing displays of dominance, defense or prosecuting sides steeped in gimmicky attempts for bench favoritism, or the mere involvement of any chimpanzees in your legal case, please do not hesitate to reach out to Lighthill Law.