THIS Ain’t BeBop is Ralph Bakshi’s first live-action short, starring Harvey Keitel and featuring Ron Thompson (Tony & Pete of American Pop) as the beatnik poet and Rick Singer (Benny of American Pop) as Jackson Pollock.
Mark Bakshi produced the film; his first professional collaboration with his father. Ralph Bakshi wrote a poem influenced by Jack Kerouac, jazz, the Beat Generation and Brooklyn that served as the narration, which was spoken by Harvey Keitel.
After a car crash, Bakshi completed the post-production in stitches and casts. Bakshi said of the work, “It’s the most proud I’ve been of a picture since Coonskin — the last real thing I did with total integrity.”
Writing these poems is rather difficult you see.
Like climbing a mountain or wrestling a shark.
Searching in the dark for the right words to say
just what you are thinking.
Searching for the words to say exactly how you feel
without losing any rhythm or zeal.
What do you do when you cannot think of a rhyme?
What happens when you have not got the time?
Do you sit down and pout?
Do you ask a boy scout?
I prefer to take the more scenic route.
Howling at the moon,
I know I will find myself soon
written into a poem, and
from this world, I shall be forgotten.