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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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6-10-08 Tom Waits for No One – Tom Waits

Posted by Sean on June 10, 2008

So I was desperate today, casting around for something, anything to post, but coming up empty, so I decided to punt and go with Tom Waits – always a reliable source. And what do I find? (WARNING: Not Work Safe)

You never knew Tom Waits bore a striking resemblance to Stan Laurel, didja? Well, now you do.

This is Tom Waits for No One, courtesy of austinstein, an animated short featuring Tom Waits and Donna Gordon as the stripper. According to, this short was created with rotoscoped animation, a technique often used by Fleischer Studios for their cartoons in the 1930s and, later, by Ralph Bakshi. Waits and Gordon were filmed while Waits belted out different lines from The One That Got Away on each take. They took 13 hours of footage, boiled it down to about five and a-half minutes, then took the remaining footage – 5,500 frames in all – and hand-drawn, inked and painted.

Here’s 45 seconds of the live footage that they used, also courtesy of austinstein. As you can see, Waits was a lucky, lucky bastard to be on stage with a woman like that.

According to Wikipedia and YouTube, it was produced and directed by John Lamb in 1979, and is one of the first films specifically designed for an MTV-like market. Lamb used a combination of video capture and hand drawing called the Lyon Lamb Video Animation Device,  “a single frame video device for pre-testing animation art before its committed to final production,” that won him and producer Lyon Lamb an Oscar for for Scientific and Tehnical Achievement in 1979.

Oh, and the lead animator was apparently David Silverman of Simpsons fame. This was his first animation job.

Tom Waits for No One was slated for release in 1980. However – and here’s where things get a little murky – it never was. It just kind of languished, with a few cels and copies appearing here and there, until the advent of the Internet. Thank you Al Gore Department of Defense!


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