Re: What is origin of 'What you mean, "we," Kemo Sabe?'

On Nov 22, 2:17 pm, R H Draney <dadoc...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
aruzinsky filted:

I believe that I first saw that saying in a cartoon parody of the Lone
Ranger appearing in an imitator of Mad Magazine in the 1950s.
Originally, I thought it was Mad because they did indeed have a
cartoon parody of the Lone Ranger, but, after recently looking at a
reprint, apparently not. So, my memory was playing tricks and I now
suspect it must have been an imitator such as Cracked or Sick. The
story ends with the Lone Ranger and Tonto being surrounded by hostile
Indians. Lone Ranger says something like, "It looks like we are going
to die." and Tonto replies, 'What you mean, "we," Kemo Sabe?'

Some of us may remember the musical version:

The Lone Ranger
Lyrics by: Oscar Brown Jr.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto
Were riding down the Navajo Trail
When a band of Indians found em
Proceeded to surround em and
The Lone Ranger turned kinda pale

Tonto, our lives are in danger
We got to get away if we can
Tonto just looked at Lone Ranger
What you mean, we, white man

Tell me what you mean (We, white man), Tell me what you mean (we)
Tell me what you mean (We, white man), Tell me what you mean (we)
You in heap big trouble, But it don`t involve me, white man
No, it don`t involve me
It do not involve me, white man, It do not involve me

The Lone Ranger said, Tonto
Why talk about the shade of my hide
After all we been through
It would make me mighty blue
If you don`t remain by my side

We`ll steal away said the Ranger
Grab an Injun by the hand
Tonto said, turn me loose, stranger
What you mean, we, white man

(Repeat CHORUS)

The Lone Ranger cried, Tonto
Stick with me and I`ll double your pay
We can do a switch about
You give me your pony, Scout
And ride Silver, hi-ho away

But hurry up said the masked man
To get away, we`re gonna have to race
Tonto took Silver and laughed
And said what you mean, we, paleface

(Repeat CHORUS, changing "white man" to "paleface")


"He come in the night when one sleep on a bed.
With a hand he have the basket and foods."
- David Sedaris explains the Easter rabbit

Well, that explains why the saying is popular, but, now, I am
disturbed that this Oscar Brown Jr. failed to give credit to where he
got the idea. I have a relatively good picture memory therefore I am
fairly certain that I saw the idea in a cartoon parody. I am not
going to quibble about "Kemo Sabe," "white man" or "paleface" because
my memory is much more faulty on verbal details.

I am uncertain about the time, but, it seems much more likely that the
cartoon was published while the Lone Ranger TV show was originally
broadcast 1949 to 1957. The MAD story, Lone Stranger Rides Again, had
a similar (but less clever) ending. It was first published in MAD
comics, Dec. 1953 - Jan. 1954, vol. 1, No. 8. Cartoons from MAD
comics were later published in pocket book form after Mad comic book
became MAD Magzine in 1955. This is around the same time that MAD
Magazine imitators sprang into existence. Thus, it seems likely to me
that one of the MAD imitators copied and improved MAD's story and that
is the story I remember while confusing it with MAD's story.

What is "filted?"