1298 Bob and Mae Noell were a big part of "Free Show Tonight". These comments by Ron Dentinger deal with the Noell"s 31 years on the road with their "Gorilla Show." They all take place after the Noells" time on the road with Medicine Shows. A picture of Bob and their gorilla, Tommy appeared as a full-color picture on an issue of Science Digest. Bob and Mae"s families go way back (at least a couple generations) with the Medicine Shows. They purchased their first chimp in the late 1930"s. As I understand it, Bob went to town to purchase supplies, and ran into a circus. He was attracted to a chimpanzee that the circus had, and the guy from the circus offered to sell the chimp to Bob. Bob came back with a chimp, but no supplies, and no money. What he did have was a number of cuts and bruises inflicted by the chimp, who wanted to show Bob who was the boss. That started over four decades of learning, by trial and error, what it takes to handle an adult chimpanzee. Bob and Mae soon became nationally known among primate people, for their wealth of knowledge about the care and handling of chimps and gorillas. In Free Show Tonight you can see that Bob is missing the two middle fingers on his right hand. They were bitten off by a chimp. Bob and Mae said that gorillas are much easier to handle than an adult chimp. Gorillas are passive, and chimps are aggressive and opportunistic.