AS 28: Who is Harvey Pekar?

American Splendor scene #28 (1:28:12 to 1:31:12) — In one continuous take, our man wanders through a dreamscape, musing about his name, the phone book, and the other Harvey Pekars out there. An existential meditation is brought to life in a tour-de-force combo of framing, acting, and animation. A comparison with the original comic, “The Harvey Pekar Name Story,” a masterpiece of subtlety and quiet moments, illustrated by R. Crumb. The origin of the Haspiels/Haspels in America, and the other Josh Neufelds.

Shout-outs to Gina Haspel, Haspel clothing, Tom King & Clay Mann’s Heroes in Crisis, Lenny Bruce, Marc Maron, Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Star Wars‘ R2-D2 & C-3PO, Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon, True Detective, The Matrix, Gary Leib, John Kuromoto, Josh’s ”Tribal Rituals” story from A Few Perfect Hours, Ivan Brunetti, Crumb’s ”Stoned Again,” Prince’s “Controversy,” Dan Castellaneta, the stage version of the “Harvey Pekar Name Story,” Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, and Dean’s playwriting.

Episode Notes

The scene in question
Dan Castellaneta as Harvey Pekar, originally broadcast on KCRW.

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