Shut Up, Little Man!
Shut Up, Little Man! is the title of audio vérité recordings of two argumentative and violent alcoholics, Peter J. Haskett and Raymond Huffman in San Francisco. Bananafish magazine arranged for a commercial release of the tapes in 1992.
The recordings were made by "Eddie Lee Sausage" and "Mitchell D.", who lived in a bright pink apartment building dubbed the "Pepto Bismol Palace" in San Francisco's Lower Haight district. Eddie Lee and Mitchell moved into the apartment in 1987, and discovered that their neighbors, Haskett and Huffman, argued nearly constantly, with Peter often shouting "shut up, little man!" at Ray. Eddie and Mitchell began tape recording the arguments, and distributing copies among their friends. Eddie Lee and Mitchell sometimes goaded Ray and Peter with prank telephone calls.
The first Shut Up, Little Man! compact disc was released in early 1993. A number of other volumes were issued later. The recordings quickly gained a cult following, and were adapted into comic books, zines, a theatrical production and the 2002 independent film Shut Yer Dirty Little Mouth, starring Gill Gayle and Glenn Shadix as Ray and Peter, respectively.
The recordings found fame far beyond San Francisco. Lee reports that:
I went to see (New York City-based) John Zorn, one of my favorite jazz composers, performing with his experimental game-playing ensemble, Cobra. The keyboard player had sampled Shut Up Little Man, and thus, throughout the evening — amidst the saxophone squawks and grinding guitar breaks — there would be sampled little blasts of: “Shut your fuckin' mouth!” or “I want to kill!”
In 2010 a feature documentary was made about the Shut Up Little Man phenomenon called Shut Up Little Man! - An Audio Misadventure. The film was made by Australian documentary filmmakers Matthew Bate (director), Bryan Mason (DOP / editor / co-producer) and Sophie Hyde (producer) of Closer productions. The film features interviews with Eddie Lee Sausage, Mitchell D, Dan Clowes, Henry Rosenthal, Ivan Brunetti, Mike Mitchell and Bob Mothersbaugh. The documentary was selected for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival as part of the World Documentary section, where it had its world premiere. Special Jury Mention was presented to SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE at the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival.
- This American Life featured a lengthy segment in episode 7 from its first season, exploring the topic in the context of quitting.
- The band Devo had a side project, the Wipeouters, and on their only album there is a track titled "Shut Up, Little Man" using many samples of Ray and Peter.
- An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, "Banned in Bikini Bottom", uses the phrases "You are a nuisance to my community", "…said this ninety times", and "cops, I need you!"
- Songwriter Red Label Catharsis featured samples of Ray and Peter in the song "Black Label The Old Crow" which relates the dregs of alcoholism from the 2006 release "Chrystie"
- "Eddie Lee Sausage" interviewed by "Señor Stinky" in Fish Taco, March 2003.
- Cothran, George; “Shut Up, Little Man”, SF Weekly, 2 August 1995.
- Official Sundance synopsis
- Silver, Stephen. "DVD Movie Review: Shut Up Little Man — An Audio Misadventure". Technologytell. www.technologytell.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23.