Forty-One Years After the Climax of One of the Most Mocked Soap Storylines Ever, We Take a Second Look at a Plot for Which We Were Actually Bananas
ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Universal Pictures/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
People laughed. A lot. Not us, though. Here’s why.
In the March 31, 1980, episode of Ryan’s Hope a gorilla named Prince Albert dropped Randall Edwards’ Delia Coleridge off a tower. It was an obvious homage to King Kong, which had just been remade in 1976 with then-newbie Jessica Lange in the Delia (or Fay Wray) role.
And everybody laughed. Everybody thought that it was a grotesque attempt on the part of the otherwise-realistic ABC soap to cash in on an iconic big-screen moment.
Only, for those of us who were actually watching at the time, that wasn’t what it was at all. Delia, at loose ends, had made a confidant of Prince Albert. That he would be ape for her was no surprise; he didn’t seem to get a lot of company at the zoo.
They broke our hearts, honestly.
Their camaraderie was sweet, moving, unexpected. Yes, you had to look past the fact that Prince Albert was a guy in a gorilla suit. But Edwards sold the hell out of it. So it pains us, all these years later, to know how mocked the storyline, and certainly its climax, is.
Maybe reviewing the episode above will help you reconsider your stance. Or, on the off chance that it doesn’t, hey… maybe the below photo gallery of soaps’ worst-ever storylines will amuse you. Don’t expect this one to be among them, though. We dug it and will go to our graves defending it.