As many of you out there know, I have embarked on a new career as a background actor here in New York City. I have appeared in a few productions on TV, movies and commercials. So far it's been a lot of fun, and working in the background, it's really been fascinating watching them being made and having a small part in them.
And the person largely responsible for helping me break into that world is a gentleman by the name of Clell Tickle.
We have a mutual friend in Brooklyn named Ellie Crystal, and she recommended me to him. Last summer and he and I got together and Clell explained the world of background acting to me, and also took some terrific headshots of me. Clell is a really nice guy, and a Texas native now living in New York. He also recommended a fine casting agency to me, and by August they accepted me and I was good to go in this new world of show business. (Clell and I were both part of the recent "Damages" premiere as well, the only time we have both been part of the same production so far.)
Recently, I found out that Clell had launched a lawsuit against a comedy troupe called The Human Giant, and the reason he did was that they used his name unlawfully in their skits, as he had sent them his headshot and some biographical information for one of their casting calls. They didn't use Clell in it, but what they did next really appalled him.
They used a fictional character named "Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru" and made him sound like a bigoted, insane racist, saying things in their bits like:"I'm gonna have Clell Tickle give you a Columbian necktie, you f**king Jew." So, to say that the real Clell was simply horrified by this is an understatement. Obviously, Clell has an unusual name and these people at The Human Giant took it and thought it would make for a funny recurring bit.
Clell was laughing so much he filed a lawsuit in Newark Federal Court for damages against Viacom for misappropriation, unfair competition and privacy violations for ruining his good name. The "brains" behind this operation is a comedian named Aziz Ansari, and there are many clips of his "Clell Tickle" character on YouTube. (But I won't dignify them by posting any of them here.) Unfortunately, if you google "Clell Tickle" that character dominates the posts that come up.
I makes me wonder. Did these guys really think that the real Clell would never find out about this? It's really unfortunate that these people have chosen to ruin the good name of a good man. I wish my friend all the best in his lawsuit.