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Episode 164 — Clifton Was Here

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International Singing Sensation Tony Clifton, joined by Cliftonettes Maxim and Phoenix, tells exclusive stories about Andy Kaufman, Jim Carrey, and Nicolas Cage, as well as cracking some off-color jokes. Plus, "House of Pies" star Ben Schwartz competes head-to-head against Scott in a cutthroat game of What Am I Thinking. Don't forget to pick up your tickets to Comedy Bang! Bang! LIVE in a city near you!

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So let me get this straight. I wiki'd this but I'm still a little confused. Tony Clifton is a real person (the guest on today's ep) as well as a fictional character of Kaufman's? Interesting.

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Tony Clifton is more of a presence than a real person. Kinda like Dionysus or Beelzebub or something.

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This is a mindfuck. Is this guy real?!

 

 

Tony Clifton is a fictitious character created and often played by stand up comedian Andy Kaufman in the late 1970s. Characteristic of the many elaborate hoaxes and practical jokes Kaufman concocted, Clifton was not exclusively played by Kaufman—others, mainly Bob Zmuda, stepped into the role on occasion—enabling Kaufman and his accomplices to create an air of confusion as to whether Clifton was a real person or not.

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Ben Schwartz's comedic improvising during the whole "placing a phone call to Wyclef Jean" bit was one of the more impressive pieces of quick-and-funny improvisation that I've heard in a long, long time, but things got a little strange after Bob Zmuda showed up. It was still engaging, but overall pretty atypical of this particular podcast.

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Do people not know of Tony Clifton? He's a real guy. But also a character played by Andy Kaufman. But Andy Kaufman's dead.

 

An amazing episode, Schwartz was the perfect guest with Tony.

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For those of us who pathologically hate mysteries

 

 

Bob Zmuda has played Tony Clifton since Kaufman died

 

 

Kaufman is a lot like Saturday Night Live or Pee Wee Herman he just doesn't play outside the US. Todays podcast sort of died for me once Clifton showed up, meh :huh:

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I complained about that last week, but come on, Tony Clifton can do what he likes.

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Where are the pics of the girls? :P

 

Can we get a little something for daddy?

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Ben Schwartz's comedic improvising during the whole "placing a phone call to Wyclef Jean" bit was one of the more impressive pieces of quick-and-funny improvisation that I've heard in a long, long time, but things got a little strange after Bob Zmuda showed up. It was still engaging, but overall pretty atypical of this particular podcast.

 

Tony Clifton and Ben Schwartz were the only guests. You need to get your hearing checked.

 

I wish I could catch one of Tony's shows.

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You guys, it was the same as most of the other eps - one person playing himself (Ben Schwartz), and one person playing a character (Bob Zmuda as Tony Clifton).

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Tony Clifton is a real person. It was Kauffman's ultimate hoax, to convince the world that a real person was a ficticious character, which is considerably harder than the opposite.

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Tony Clifton is a real person. It was Kauffman's ultimate hoax, to convince the world that a real person was a ficticious character, which is considerably harder than the opposite.

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yea tony clifton is real...but i wish his voice didn't sound so similar to bob zmuda's. it gets confusing ;)

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I understand and appreciate the role that the Tony Clifton character played in Andy Kaufman's comedy, but I never found Clifton's act itself to be very entertaining or funny. To be honest, I never thought you were supposed to find him entertaining or funny -- that was part of the bit. Clifton's appearance on CBB didn't really change my mind.

 

I haven't seen Clifton's current stage show, so I don't want to be too quick to judge, but it always seemed to me that a big part of the gimmick was the pushing of audience buttons. Clifton's appearance on CBB seemed to be so divorced from that button pushing that I questioned why Zmuda continues to trot out the character, at least in the context of CBB, so many years after Kaufman's death.

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Is it just me or was Zmuda not really even in character? I didn't hear it all, but the parts I heard just sounded like Bob Zmuda telling Andy Kaufman/Man in the Moon stories and occasionally saying something racist or dirty to the girls while referring to himself as Tony Clifton. Didn't he used to disguise his voice a little more too?

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Is it just me or was Zmuda not really even in character? I didn't hear it all, but the parts I heard just sounded like Bob Zmuda telling Andy Kaufman/Man in the Moon stories and occasionally saying something racist or dirty to the girls while referring to himself as Tony Clifton. Didn't he used to disguise his voice a little more too?

Yeah, that was odd. The best parts of the appearance were the Man in the Moon stories, which were clearly told from the point of view Bob Zmuda and not some hacky comic/lounge singer. Would anyone believe that Tony Clifton would have the kind of stroke to offer Jim Carrey the lead in the movie?

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If you listen to WTF with Marc Maron's Zmuda interview, you will hear Zmuda telling some of the same stories in the same voice, with no effect at all. His Clifton usually sounds more over the top thank that. And I think Zmuda is doing Clifton cause it's the only way people will still listen to him. Sad really, he didnt even talk about Comic Relief when he was on WTF, and it's his biggest contribution.

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Here's a pic with the girls for those asking..

 

IMG_8843.jpg

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