Dance Monkey Dance

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"Dance, Monkey, Dance !" is a popular expression in the United States. It describes the desire of a person to have another person or animal perform a trick or dance for their entertainment. It is generally considered demeaning, the person asked to perform the trick being devalued for satisfying this request.


The first noted use of this expression was in 1967 in the movie The Cape Town Affair. This movie, directed by Robert Webb, features two spies visiting South Africa. They stop in front of a street performer with a monkey. A little girl next to Claire Trevor shouts "Dance, Monkey, Dance!" at the animal.

Popular culture[edit]

This expression has gained popularity since the 1980s. An episode of "Saturday Night Live" made it popular in 1986 with a single skit, where an actor dressed as a monkey in a cage is mocked by the visitors to a zoo. Since this skit, "Dance, Monkey, Dance!" is perceived as a mockery.