Tony Clifton--obnoxious alter ego of the late Andy Kaufman--was spotted recently in Chicago, and he wasn't doing lunch with Elvis at Burger King.
He was onstage at Zanies comedy club, insulting the audience as only the boorish Clifton can. He told one woman to go home "barefoot and pregnant where she belongs." The insult prompted her to hop on stage and pound on Clifton until she was restrained.
Known for chain-smoking, tacky leisure suits, indoor sunglasses and a bad rug, Clifton was portrayed in Chicago by L.A. producer Bob Zmuda, founder of Comic Relief and a former writer for Kaufman. Kaufman bequeathed Clifton to Zmuda before he died of lung cancer in 1983. But since Kaufman's death, Clifton sightings have been rare. The last occurred during a press junket for "Man on the Moon," the 1999 film about Kaufman that starred Jim Carrey.
Zmuda, as usual, denied having anything to do with Clifton's apparent resurrection. "I wasn't there to see it," he told us by phone, "but what I heard happened was that toward the end of the show, Clifton busted through the front door, drink in hand. He was kind of drunk, and the bouncer came over because he didn't pay at the door and he was drinking his own liquor."
Clifton took over the show, Zmuda said, telling Polish jokes, insulting a man and pouring water over his head. After getting thumped by the woman, said Zmuda, Clifton "pulled himself together, straightened his toupee, and asked the audience if they had had enough."
The Two Pauls
We hear that tonight's Adopt-a-Minefield benefit at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel will be a sightings extravaganza. Steven Spielberg, Penny Marshall, Julia Ormond, Tobey Maguire, Amanda Peet, Jaclyn Smith, and Lea Thompson are just a few of the luminaries expected in the audience as Paul McCartney and Paul Simon perform. The list of songs is being kept under wraps.
Memories of Moon and Roonette
Author Jeffrey Archer's former secretary testified at his perjury trial in England that despite Archer's public claims of a happy home life, the suspense writer and former London mayoral candidate was having an affair.
Secretary Angela Peppiatt testified that she knows, because she used to buy pricey gifts for her boss' mistress. The Archers led very separate lives, with the mistress often ensconced in his London penthouse, according to British press accounts of Peppiatt's testimony. All the while, "underneath our very own noses, this was going on," she said.
When Lady Mary Archer was away, the mistress and the secretary removed her pictures. "It was kind of a joke," Peppiatt said. "We called it hunt-the-photograph." She added that Archer and his mistress had pet names for each other: He was Moon and she was Roonette.
Archer is on trial for perjury and perverting the course of justice during a 1987 libel case he won against a London newspaper that printed stories about his extramarital activities. He is accused of setting up an elaborate false alibi to prove he wasn't consorting with women other than his wife. He could face seven years in prison if convicted. Lucky for Archer, it's no crime to dream up sappy nicknames for an inamorata.
Danke Schoen, Again
Stick around long enough, and you come back in style. Tony Bennett did it. And now, Mr. Las Vegas himself, 59-year-old crooner Wayne Newton, is popping up everywhere. On Saturday, Newton shares the bill at a Dodger Stadium concert with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Aerosmith, the Bee Gees, Blue Man Group and Backstreet Boys.
Then, there are the movie cameos. This fall, Newton plays himself in the remake of the Rat Pack casino heist film "Ocean's Eleven" directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Newton fan Matt Damon, as well as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Newton also will appear in the upcoming teen flick "Who's Your Daddy?" as a "Hugh Hefner type" who dies in a boating accident.
Damon is such a big fan that he recently bought out the Wayne Newton souvenir stand at the Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where Newton has a 10-year, $250-million deal to perform. Other fans include Billy Bob Thornton, Hootie & the Blowfish and 'N Sync.
"I have never been one to chase fads," said Newton, who called us from his Las Vegas home. "Tony Bennett let the younger generation come to him. That's kind of what I've done."
Burt Reynolds, Rod Steiger, Charles Durning and Charles Nelson Reilly, enjoying a boys' night out at One Pico restaurant at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica . . . Mike Myers, Bill Maher and Larry Flynt chowing down on steaks and lobster and making a lot of noise at the Palm in West Hollywood . . . Ben Stein, carrying a tomato pie out of Mulberry Street Pizza in Beverly Hills . . . Daryl Hannah, slipping dollar bills into strippers' G-strings at Tommy Lee's party at Crazy Girls in Hollywood.
Times staff writers Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: email@example.com.