Tony Clifton Lives! A Truly Offensive Performance Hosted by Maccarone Gallery

Andy Kaufman is the only other person besides Elvis Presley to continuously perpetuate a half-serious belief among the public that the rumors of his death have been greatly exaggerated. According to his official web site, Kaufman died at the age of 35 on the evening of May 16, 1984, from a rare form of lung cancer. The fact that his alter-ego, Tony Clifton, a lounge act from hell who is a perfect mix of Robert Goulet at his schlockiest and Vegas-era Elvis at his least lucid, continues to make live appearances hasn’t helped anyone rule out that his death was a hoax. In the ’70s, when Kaufman created the character, it could be hard to tell if it was Kaufman himself playing Tony Clifton, or his frequent collaborator Bob Zmuda, or someone else altogether. A lot of people thought Tony Clifton was just some ass hole washed-up lounge singer. So, Tony Clifton was Tony Clifton, a performance piece so believable that the act transformed into a live suspension of disbelief; it ceased to matter who was portraying him, or if he was fictional at all.
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