Monday, February 01, 2010

Clell Tickle Isn't Laughing

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.


Peter N said...

Hey Q, do you know when you will be on MILLIONAIRE?? I don't want to miss it. We get it here five times per week at one and one thirty. The one o'clock showing is a new one. Let me know. Thanks.

BklynSoxFan said...

Peter, the episode I was on aired back on December 18th. I talked about in a post back then. Sorry you missed it, my friend. Wish it could have gone better. I taped it and haven't watched it yet. One day I will.

The Angry Tech said...

I don't know that your friend will have much legal standing. A name, no matter how unusual, probably isn't protected unless it can be easily presumed to refer to that individual. Assuming Clell isn't actually an insurance man, it's probably not reasonable to assume that this is supposed to be him. And in fact, it's probably NOT supposed to be him, they just thought his name was funny.

On the other hand, a cease-and-desist from an attorney may accomplish what he wants without having to go any further. I have no idea how nice a guy or big of a dick Aziz is.. he is (or was) loosely affiliated with some of the comedian crowd we know. He was on Flight of the Conchords for a while and is a case member on Parks & Rec on NBC now, I believe. So if you get the chance to do any extra work on that show, you can talk to him yourself. :-)

Anyway, good luck to Clell!

BklynSoxFan said...

Thanks for the input, Rob. Don't know if Parks & Rec films in NYC, but I'd be tempted to say something to Aziz if we ever crossed paths...

Jeff said...

haha, A- the skit is actually hilarious. B- the skit actually doesn't say anything racist. The line is "I'll give you a Colombian necktie" which cuts to a jovial explanation of what a Columbia necktie is, followed by "it really gets the point across."

Don't know how you managed to hear "you effing jew" in the skit, but as a Jew that makes me glance at you juuust a little sideways, haha.

(Plus, the skit was actually filmed about...I want to say, 1-2 years before Human Giant was even a television show? It was a viral video about 18 months before it aired)