Thursday, November 27, 2008

Playlist: Goofing on the Indians

The mainstream American culture has often dealt with the hard history of Native Americans – as it has with black people – by making jokes.

These jokes were/are sometimes purely mocking, and sometimes from a posture of sympathy.

Below are a few examples. Click the track titles to listen.

1. “Marlon Brando Interview” – Chevy Chase, John Belushi

You might remember John Belushi’s Brando impression from “Saturday Night Live.” He actually did a little Brando for his “SNL” screen test.

Before all that, Belushi performed with Chevy Chase on “The National Lampoon Radio Hour.” This short skit makes fun of Brando’s well-known affinity for Native American causes.

2. “Indian In-Laws” – Cledus T. Judd

Country-music comedian Cledus T. Judd is thought by some to be funny. Judge for yourself. This song is a parody of Tim McGraw’s 1994 hit “Indian Outlaw.”

3. “Thanksgiving, or Pass the Indian Please!” – Firesign Theatre

I never got into the Firesign Theatre. So your pot is safe around me.

4. “I’m an Indian” – Fanny Brice

This one dates back to 1921. It’s a vaudeville classic from Jewish comedienne Fanny Brice.


Craig Belcher said...

Kid Creole produced a disco version of "I'm an Indian, Too," for Don Armando's Second Avenue.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Good to know, Craig. I see that Don Armando's album is available on eMusic... I'll get it when my downloads refresh.

"I'm an Indian Too," however, is a different song than "I'm an Indian."

Craig Belcher said...

Right you are, says wiki:

"I'm an Indian Too" is a song from the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun, by Irving Berlin. It was originally performed by Ethel Merman.

It is typical of mid 20th century views of Native Americans, and is sometimes considered racist and demeaning from a contemporary perspective, although others see it as a mildly satirical attack on racial stereoyping.

In 1979, the song was remixed and released as a dance track by disco artist Don Armando.

BTw, did you get my email about Laswell ...

destruction said...

What about Oscar Brown's "The Lone Ranger"? I used to flip past that in the car the with girls when they were in Day Care, even though it was in several playlists, because I didn't want them repeating the chorus to strangers.

Undercover Black Man said...

Craig: Ah yes... thanks for that email. I've been searching around the Web but I haven't found out anything regarding Laswell's health situation.