Bass+Crippen+Freberg=”Sale of Manhattan”

The animation above aired on the 1962 ABC special “Stan Freberg Presents The Chun King Chow Mein Hour: Salute to the Chinese New Year.” It’s been rarely seen since then. It was directed by Roger Ramjet creator Fred Crippen, designed by Saul Bass, and the song is taken from Stan Freberg’s comedy album “Stan Freberg Presents The United States Of America.” Another important name involved with this piece was Bass Office designer Art Goodman, who Crippen remembers working with closely and who contributed significantly to the overall look of the piece.


  • http://www.miehana.blogspot.com Kevin Kidney

    Oh man, how wonderful!
    Thanks Amid (and STAN!)

  • Matthew K Sharp

    One of my favourite hours of television ever. The whole thing is pretty brilliant (of course), with this sequence being one of several highlights. Oh for a nicely restored DVD release! And in other dreams…

  • http://palais.wikidot.com Jordan S.

    Am I racist for laughing at the “Running Water” joke in this day and age? Probably just a case of not having anything to laugh at for the past several days, and I only got it due to my sister once having a doll of a stereotypical North American girl and her younger brother who went by that name. But I do like the pattering style of dialogue in general (which could outstay its welcome but doesn’t quite do so here) – Kneehigh’s Rapunzel also did that particularly well, for a recent example albeit outside of animation – and that one brief shot of panning faces reminds me of my own drawings for reasons I’m not quite sure of. Perhaps it’s only related to all the “faces” I’ve been making recently by putting lips beneath any abstract design that spills out of my pen.

  • http://www.animationarchive.org Stephen Worth

    How many of these specials were there? I have a copy of the first Chun King Hour. I had no idea that there were others.

  • falconi

    Hm. Definitely an interesting piece, but I didn’t find much humor until the end.

  • http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ Nina Paley

    Politically incorrect but funny as hell! And smart, which goes a long way to compensate for the un-PC.

  • http://andynortonuk.spaces.live.com Andy

    I quite like the design of that cigar-chomping businessman. You can also certainly see the creative use of limited animation, in which Roger Ramjet is well known for; although I would prefer to have seen more ‘fluid’ lip-sync on the buyer and the Indian- I found how the cigar moves on the businessman quite fun!
    Interesting to see such talents working on the same thing like this (Bass, Crippen, and so on). It just makes you wonder what other rare collaborations, featuring famous artists/designers/animators/whatever, are out there yet to be revisited again.

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    I remember Stan Freberg being a guest on Bob Crane’s morning show talking about this special. I was working at Disney in the sixties.

    Years later, I actually got to work with Fred Crippen. Disney animators may be considered the best, but Fred Crippen is hands down one of the funniest animators in the business.

  • Luke Shea

    Stan Freberg is one of my greatest heroes. I first got a copy of “Stan Freberg Presents: The United States of America” when I was about ten, and my sense of humor has never been the same since.

    “Considering they were tap-dancing on dirt, too!” Ha ha ha! So great.

  • http://www.tombarrettanimation.com Tom Barrett

    Hey!
    Wasn’t that Jesse White and
    the great Paul Freas in there ? !

  • Kermyt

    Featuring the voices of Paul Frees (as Tishman), Jesse White (the original Maytag Repairman) as the real estate agent, and Stan himself as Chief White Cloud. (Pity they didn’t animate the prelude to this, with June Foray as the chief’s wife.) I’m with Luke Shea — I first heard this album when I my age was in single digits, and I’ve never recovered. It’s completely brilliant. (Though it took me decades to get all of the jokes in it. This piece in particular is full of references to a lot of tin pan alley tunes that, as a child of the 70s, I had never heard of.)

  • Rock

    I kept expecting Singing Cigar Dude to lapse into “Uncle Fucka”.

  • http://tsutpen.blogspot.com s.w.a.c.

    I have a VHS copy of the special, it’s great because since the whole thing is a commercial, there are no interrupting commercials. Oddly enough, I can’t find a listing for it on the IMDb, which seems a bit strange considering the talent involved (Sterling Holloway shows up in it as well).

    I’d love to have a decent looking DVD of this, and that Woody Allen TV special from the late ’60s (the one with special guests the Fifth Dimension and the Reverend Billy Graham).