Brain Pickings

The Sale of Manhattan: A Saul Bass Gem Circa 1962

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What Saul Bass has to do with George W, or why Manhattan is worth $32 worth of junk jewelry.

Today’s short-and-sweet is a cultural gem in more ways than we can count — illustrated by iconic graphic designer Saul Bass, this animation segment comes from the 1962 ABC hit special Stan Freberg Presents: The Chun King Chow Mein Hour and tells, humorously and creatively, the story of The Sale of Manhattan.


Although undeniably marked with the stylistic stamp of that era, it isn’t hard to see how this short is a distant predecesor to the animated political comedy of today. (JibJab’s This Land, we’re looking at you.)

Or, it’s simply a testament to our timeless cultural need for storytelling, humor and art.

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