It sounds like a joke right? Before we watched this video of Robin Williams’ first meeting with Koko, a full-grown gorilla fluent in American Sign Language, we thought it was probably just a clever title of one of his comedy sketches. But believe it or not, this video is exactly what the title says it is. When Robin Williams sat down to connect with this very special gorilla, the meeting quickly turned into a giant tickle fest.
Williams described his experience with Koko as “mind altering” and “amazing.” When they first sat down together, the giant primate took his eye glasses and even checked his ID. A few minutes later, Koko began giving him the “tickle” signal in sign language. Williams didn’t hesitate a moment. The interaction between these two beings — one human, both animal — is touching, awe-inspiring, and a powerful reminder of the opportunity we have to genuinely connect with our non-human brethren, even without words.