Lumpy is the ship's cook aboard the Venture and is a supporting character in the 1932 novelization of King Kong, who makes his onscreen debut in its 2005 remake. In the 2005 film, he also served as the ship's barber, physician, veterinarian, and dentist.
Seven years before, Lumpy and Benjamin Hayes were sailing aboard a Norwegian barge. They found a castaway who had been adrift for days after his ship wrecked on a mysterious island. He spoke of a hundred foot tall wall built to keep out a monstrous creature. The next morning, they found that the man had stuck a knife in his heart.
Lumpy was originally an elderly Black man with a pet monkey named Ignatz who sailed aboard the Wanderer. He and Ann Darrow became fast friends, and Ignatz took an immediate liking to her, a relationship which Carl Denham joked was like "Beauty and the Beast". After their first encounter with the natives of Skull Island, Ann came to talk with Lumpy about what the alleged Kong they referred to might be, as Denham supposed it might be a gigantic monster. Lumpy scoffed and assured her that Kong was likely just a wood or mud idol somewhere in the jungle, and that the sacrificed girls went to the witch doctor's harem beyond the wall, citing past experience with tribal cultures. Ann then shifted, and made Ignatz run off. Lumpy was forced to chase him down, and while doing so, he discovered a native bracelet on deck. He showed it to Captain Englehorn, and they deduced that Ann had been kidnapped. Due to his frailty, Lumpy was one of the sailors that waited in the village for the search party to return. Eventually, Denham returned with news that the entire party save for himself and Jack Driscoll had perished in the jungle, and he asked for more volunteers. Englehorn forced the new party to wait until it was light to head out. Lumpy heard the men talking of a great beast beyond the wall, which Lumpy did not believe, but it still made him a bit on edge. When strolling to the gate to peek through, he saw Ann and Driscoll walking over the great Plateau toward them. However, after a brief celebration, the great beast found them, and began to terrorize the village in search of Ann. Luckily, there were a few gas bombs left in the camp, and Lumpy accompanied Denham as he threw them to incapacitate the beast.
One year before the events of the 2005 film, Lumpy sailed to Baffin Island area with Denham and Englehorn in search of a mythical gigantic Orca named Killer. At one point, the rough waters forced the stew he was making to fall, and his cursing could be heard up on deck, leading Denham and Englehorn to suspect that their dinner would consist of canned beans and yesterday's biscuits. However, things quickly went bad, and they were forced to go to Halifax to treat Denham's wounded cameraman. When he was well enough, they sailed back to New York.
While sailing aboard the Venture, Lumpy acted as the cook, barber, dentist, veterinarian, and chief medical officer, which put him in charge of examining new passengers like Ann Darrow, who had come aboard as an actress with filmmaker Carl Denham. The next morning, Lumpy served porridge and shaved a sailor named Judah simultaneously as he kept the food hot for the later-rising film crew. From then on, he completed his duties, and was revered for his wisdom by his friend and fellow sailor, Choy. While overlooking Denham's filming out on the top deck, Lumpy wondered about the process, and thought that, now that he was seeing how movies were made, they didn't really seem as impressive, and that it looked a lot like just playing around. He also reflected on Choy, and how he seemed happy to do anything. Lumpy guessed that it was his upbringing in the warring Northern China, and the fact that he had survived the horrors he had witnessed made everything else seem wonderful by comparison. However, he and Hayes grew suspicious of Denham, and headed him off in the mess hall, where they told him of a man they had found while on a ship seven years before. He was deranged and spoke of a fog-covered island with a wall built to keep out "Kong". Denham was unfazed, and the sailors' warnings were not heeded. However, when Lumpy learned that Denham was being left in Rangoon, he teased Jack and Ann about him choosing to finish his film there and how difficult it was to find safe passage out of. Later in a dense fog, Lumpy went to the top deck to scrub his dodgiest looking vegetables to prevent other sailors from seeing them and putting off vegetables forever. However, on hearing Jimmy from the crow's nest call out that he saw a wall, Lumpy laughed at the notion of a wall being in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Lumpy sailed with the Venture to Skull Island, where Ann Darrow was kidnapped by natives. Lumpy was one of the men that stormed the island to search for her. Englehorn gave then twenty-four hours before they would haul anchor. While examining one of Kong's footprints, Lumpy came to the conclusion that an Abominable Snowman had taken Darrow, and proclaimed that they stood no chance of defeating it. However, a Brontosaurus stampede kept his ravings from being considered. Later, while crossing a fallen tree over a chasm, Kong, who turned out to be a gigantic gorilla, shook the sailors off. Before falling, Lumpy kicked off Carl Denham's camera, and claimed that he had killed them all by bringing them to the island. At the bottom of the pit, Lumpy fought to stay alive with a kitchen knife, but was eaten alive by the encroaching Carnictis.
- While Lumpy does not appear in The Mighty Kong, a boy with a monkey, named Chips rather than Ignatz, is a major character.
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- Christopher Golden. King Kong. Pocket Star Books. p. 64. 2005. ISBN: 1416503919.