Herbert Butros Khaury better known by his stage name Tiny Tim is another in a series of obscure musicians who would (with good reason) remain forgotten if there were no people making documentaries. Today it is completely clear to us that no talent is needed for success and fame, and this bizarre so-called musician shows that Warhol’s famous saying about 15 minutes of fame really makes sense. Admittedly, Tiny’s 15 minutes of fame lasted even longer, and his wedding was broadcast live on a television show with Johnny Carson and was watched by almost 50 million people, making it the second most-watched television event at the time. Immediately after the first landing on the moon.
Maybe I just don’t have a taste and maybe I don’t understand music or art at all, but the musical expression of this freak was a complete caricature, a farce, a grotesque. I get a little carried away by various guys who jerk off to weirdos like this and shit about how high art it is or I don’t know what, but the fact is that nothing was normal in this guy’s life from start to finish. The filming of the biographical film about Tiny Tim was received by Swedish documentary filmmaker Johan von Sydow (he is not related to the much better known surname Max) and this is definitely one of those bizarre, grotesque life stories about a man who was one hundred percent crazy.
The narrator of the film is Weird Al Jankovich who reads excerpts from the diary that Tiny Tim kept for life. From his childhood in his thirties and forties through his youth when God himself told him that it would be good for him to sing “Sissy Way” or in falsetto. And his performances could have been described as Freak Shows before, and that’s exactly what this tall, skinny, wearing and toothy type of long black hair looks like who comes on stage with a ukelele in a bag and then starts howling. And not only does Tiny look like he dropped out of some grotesque cartoon by Tim Burton, but he such it was both a life and a career that began and ended with performances in circuses.
But the late fifties and sixties also brought countercultures to the American and New York scene, beatniks and then hippies, and anything that went beyond the standard framework was clearly passing. So is this lunatic who really became a star in the sixties. His stellar moments could also be described by the Reality Show before the Reality Show, simply completely unreal that really someone like him could take it seriously. He sold albums, had fans, like any real American star, he got involved with the mafia. At one point he was a millionaire to soon be living on the road again. A completely amazing, even sick and insane documentary story about a weirdo who briefly managed to welcome his 15 minutes of fame.
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