This clip package contains several appearances and musical performances by Tony Clifton, the obnoxious, less-than-talented lounge singer alter ego of comedian Andy Kaufman. First, on his late-night talk show, Merv Griffin discusses his special guest, admitting that he cannot "break through" and discover the man's true identity. Clifton appears and sings "I Will Survive" with some very odd pronunciations, and then strongly refutes the claims that he is this comedian Kaufman. On a different episode of the show, Clifton sings "I've Gotta Be Me," "Volare" and "I Will Survive" again, and then talks with Griffin, explaining that he lives in a Winnebago in Las Vegas and was once friends with eccentric aviator Howard Hughes. He states that he is suing Kaufman for stealing his act, and adds that Frank Sinatra stole both women and songs from him. Next, on "Late Night with David Letterman," Clifton sings "I've Gotta Be Me," "Volare" and "That's Life," afterwards sitting down with Letterman and complaining that Kaufman is using his name without permission. Letterman asks about his recent trouble on Dinah Shore's show, and Clifton explains that she refused to sing a duet with him and that he was "bodily removed" from the show, as he has been from many other programs. He then recites a piece entitled "What is a Wife?" Next, on "The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show," Clifton performs a medley of "Make Your Own Kind of Music" and "Sing (Sing a Song)", while the Muppets watch dubiously from the control room. He then does "some of his famous rhyming" and finishes with "I Believe in Music."

Next, Kaufman himself introduces his "protégé" and Clifton takes the stage, opening with a few bad jokes about the weather. He then sings "Carolina in the Morning," and then brings five audience members onstage, hectoring two of them for their surnames and prompting them to tell a Polish joke or two. He harasses the guests, eventually dousing one with water, and then claims he is leaving and never coming back, to general approval from the audience. On "Dinah! & Friends" (also called "Dinah!"), Clifton appears and sings "On the Street Where You Live" from "My Fair Lady," and then drunkenly declares he will sing a second song, despite their plans to cook together. He acknowledges "some chickies" in the audience, and then duets with Shore on "Anything You Can Do" from "Annie Get Your Gun." Lastly, on "The Midnight Special," Clifton takes the stage and is annoyed by the audience's laughter, then singing "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree." He chides them not to be a "bad audience" and offers to tell a few stories from Vegas, but then walks offstage without further comment.


  • NETWORK: Various
  • DATE:
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:45:38
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:58326
  • GENRE: Comedy/Variety
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy/Variety


      Merv Griffin........ Himself
    • Andy Kaufman........ Himself
    • David Letterman........ Himself
    • Dinah Shore........ Herself
    • Tony Clifton........ Performer
    • Howard Hughes
    • Frank Sinatra

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