give me the horse too
March 23, 2007 5:22 AM   Subscribe

thank you mask man - lenny bruce 1971, animated, language nsfw, may offend the easily offended
posted by vronsky (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This little cartoon, was my childhood introduction to how stupid prejudice against gay people is. I was way too young at the time, I think I saw it on cable when my parents were asleep (whish is how, you know, American kids learn the important things).

Well it was a funny early lesson in tolerance, so I say "Thank you Mask Man
posted by BeerGrin at 5:48 AM on March 23, 2007

Gotta love Lenny.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:01 AM on March 23, 2007

Okay. Now, I've read a lot about Lenny Bruce, and come across countless allusions and references to Lenny Bruce, but I think this is the first time I've actually heard Lenny Bruce. I may have to go on a binge now of discovering his other material.

What you hear about all the time is that he was profane, obscene, and mean but incisive, and that the way his comedy took on sacred cows and questioned mores was an important element of the counterculture. But until I heard and saw this I had no idea he was hilariously funny and could do such awesome character comedy. Thanks!

Loved the animation style too. Both vintage and very expressive.

Some of the YouTube comments mention a show called Night Flight that aired this in the late 80s. From the comments, I'm sorry I somehow missed this show. Does anyone else remember that? Did it show more of this kind of thing?
posted by Miko at 6:31 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Now I'm really sorry I missed this show. This sounds like the Wild West days - college radio on TV! - compared to today's overstudied, marketing-driven programming lockdown.
posted by Miko at 6:33 AM on March 23, 2007

Ha. I just watched this the other day. It was good, but not as great as I'd hoped. Before you binge, Miko, a quick note that the "Lenny Bruce Performance Film" DVD with "Thank You Mask Man" doesn't really show him at his funny best; it's from late in his career when he was reading from trial transcripts, and while it's interesting, and definitely a document of a historically important moment, it's not the groundbreaking material that made his reputation a few years earlier.

I don't think there's any good footage of those early performances, but have always been told the Carnegie Hall Concert album from 1961 is probably the closest you can come to catching him in his prime.
posted by mediareport at 7:35 AM on March 23, 2007

Fact is, Lenny Bruce could be really funny & insightful. And 99.9% of the things he said that have given him the legacy of being so obscene? Wouldn't raise an eyebrow now. He was just the first person to say them. Difference is, he made you think while he was saying offensive things.

Here's a really great collection of audio links.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2007

Uhhhh... whoops. I guess I linked to the wrong damned thing. Thought I hit command C but whooops. "Think you're getting Lenny Bruce? Fooled ya! It's freaky dead people in Nike's! HA!"

THIS is the Lenny Bruce audio.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:00 AM on March 23, 2007

Man, thanks for posting this. I first saw this in college at Davis when a friend in a film course checked out video from the library, and we watched this and "Godzilla meets Bambi". Ahh good times in the UC Davis undergrad study room.
posted by Eekacat at 10:09 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite comedy skits, and a favorite in-joke with the crowd I used to hang out with in college.
posted by lekvar at 10:38 AM on March 23, 2007

Ah, wow, I was a big Lenny Bruce kick last week and saw half of this, glad I finished it!

"Men like yourself thrive upon the continuance of segregation, violence and disease. Now the Messiah's returned, everything is pure, and you're in the shithouse."

My ex-girlfriend was living in Lenny Bruce's old hotel room in New York (the hotel was recently converted to dorms). Remembering a bit from a biography she read, she unscrewed every lightswitch to look for dope. I guess this story would've been better had she found any.
posted by griphus at 3:25 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Saw this on a double bill with "Bambi Meets Godzilla" as a freshman in college.
Blew my mind.
Excellent post, sir!
posted by Dizzy at 4:01 PM on March 23, 2007

Another vote for seeing this while up late watching TV of which my folks would disapprove.

Showtime, that is. Never quite Skinemax, never quite HBO.

This lasted on a VHS tape of comedy specials for most of college before disappearing into the abyss. I found it as a torrent a while back, now I wish I'd thought to share it here.

What's sad, though, is that I didn't know it was Lenny Bruce (that is, the Lenny Bruce) until after I'd lost and found it again. I just thought the name was a coincidence. (This was before the intertubes were there to correct me.)
posted by abulafa at 4:23 PM on March 23, 2007

Night Flight was a big part of my hig school late night partying. I even had a Peter Ivers album. Zappa used to quote lines from Thank You Masked Man on stage, IIRC.
posted by trigfunctions at 6:53 PM on March 23, 2007

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