Thank You Masked Man, The Animated Lenny Bruce

“Thank You Mask Man” is an animated short created in 1968, a couple years after comedian Lenny Bruce died. John Magnuson produced this cartoon depiction of Lenny’s one-man breakdown of the Lone Ranger and what a messed up dude he would be if he were real. The animation is by Jeff Hale who went on to direct the Pinball Number Count animations on Sesame Street and worked on everything from Muppet Babies to Heavy Metal.

The Lone Ranger character dates back to the 1930s on radio and was later adapted into a TV show that ran in the 1940s and 1950s. Tonto was added in the 11th radio episode, so that the Lone Ranger would have someone to talk to (and not for the reason that is mentioned in this cartoon). The Green Hornet (originally a radio show and very recently a movie) was actually a spin-off of The Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger is supposedly Green Hornet’s Great Uncle. How weird is that?