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Posts from — October 2013

Tony Clifton



Tony Clifton, a theatrical persona created by comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman, presents a modern example of how Vere could have created the theatrical persona of William Shake-speare, and then used his sidekick, Shakspere, to plausibly deny his own involvement with the persona.

As “Tony Clifton,” Kaufman performed some outrageous actions on stage. Kaufman’s friend and sidekick, Bob Zmuda also assumed the Clifton persona. Zmuda’s appearances fronting as Clifton allowed Kaufman to behave outside of acceptable norms.

Here’s Kaufman on Merv Griffin denying that he’s responsible for Clifton’s behavior.



Kaufman/Clifton/Zmuda presents a model for how Vere could have appeared on the public stage as “William Shake-speare” and deflect suspicion using the front of his favorite and minion, Shakspere.

Andy Kaufman was a brilliant artist.  His use of an alter-ego Persona and a sidekick to deflect attention may not have been so original. The ‘ol Switcheroo‘ is just a variation on Shakespeare’s ‘bed trick’, but with actors instead of lovers!

October 31, 2013   No Comments