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The Sound of Shorty

October 13th, 2008

This cartoon short is The Interview (1961). The animated interviewee is Shorty Petterstein, a beatnik character/alter ego created by “sound artist” Henry Jacobs. Jacobs is an interesting and still rather obscure character who palled around with Lenny Bruce and Alan Watts, hosted one the world’s first “world music” radio programs, and experimented with audio collages and tape manipulation way back when such things were a time-consuming pain in the butt!

WFMU has posted MP3s of all the tracks from The Wide Weird World of Shorty Petterstein here.

Henry Jacobs has a website where you can purchase an autographed “Best Of” DVD. Listen to Henry’s 2005 interview for NPR here.

Ernest Pintoff directed The Interview; he’s best known in animation circles for his work at UPA, Flebus at Terrytoons, and his direction of Oscar winner The Critic —with voiceover by Mel Brooks. Len Glasser did the designs—he worked on Tom Terrific at Terrytoons.

Henry Jacobs also contributed to an early 70s oddball animated program called The Fine Art of Goofing Off, which used diverse animation techniques to illustrate meandering free association about the philosophy of pointlessness. 60’s counterculture figures including Alan Watts, Victor Moscoso, and comedy troupe The Committee also contributed to this artifact of Public Television’s early and experimental years.

After the jump, some excerpts from The Fine Art of Goofing Off:

Anne D. Bernstein

PS: Part 3 isn’t showing up on my browser. If you are also having trouble, go here to view it.

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