Tiny Tim - Showbiz
pseudonym for Herbert Buckingham Khaury, a camp,
falsetto singer who was a celebrity "oddity" in
the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Sporting long, straggly
hair and accompanying himself with a ukulele,
Tiny Tim sang a 1929 ditty of a song called
"Tiptoe Through The Tulips" on a variety of TV
programs and nightclub engagements with a voice
that was so high he could call the neighborhood
dogs. Surprisingly, the song reached No.17 on
the pop charts.
Tiny Tim also made a number of appearances on
NBC's LAUGH-IN, and played a suspected "Vampire"
on the romantic anthology LOVE, AMERICAN
Perhaps his most famous moment on TV was his
on-air wedding to Miss Vicki (Victoria May
Budinger) on the December 17, 1969 segment of
TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON on the NBC
network. The circus-like ceremony gave Carson's
show the highest rating in its history. It was
reported that one out of every two televisions
in the country was tuned to the nuptial event.
Preparations for the wedding were enormous. Ten
thousand Tulip plants were purchased direct from
Holland, and hundreds of carnations, Indian
paint bushes (among other flowers) were rounded
up from local florist shops. Celebrities
clamored for the 100 seats available at the
Miss Vicki wore an eloquent but simple
Victorian-styled wedding gown (valued at
$2,500), and carried as part of her traditional
paraphernalia, a borrowed cameo, a new Bible and
a blue garter. Her groom-to-be wore a black,
silk and velvet frock coat, vest, striped pants,
and an Edwardian top hat. Rounding out his
ensemble was a black cape and a hand carved
Despite all the pomp and circumstance and the
enormous ratings, the marriage of Miss Vicki and
Tiny Tim soon failed. They divorced October 24,
1977. Their union bore the blossom of a
beautiful child whom they called "Tulip." Tiny
Tim wed second wife, Miss Jan in 1984.
In 1985, Tiny Tim no longer the slender
performer (weighing 250 pounds) started a
36-week engagement with The Great American
Circus Big Top earning much less than his
previous $50,000 a week salary received in Las
Vegas in the 1960s.
In 1995, 63-year-old Tiny Tim married his third
wife, Sue Gardner, 39 year old Harvard honors
graduate and daughter of millionaire
industrialist George Gardner.
Tiny Tim's album "Songs of an Impotent
Troubadour" debuted in England in the same year.
On 11/30/96 Tiny Tim collapsed after performing
his final set ("Tip-toe") at a Minneapolis
fund-raiser and was later pronounced dead of an
apparent heart attack at the age of 64.
TRIVIA NOTE: On Tuesday, July 6th, 2010, actor/screenwriter Jason Segal presided over a TV wedding ceremony held on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO. The bride and groom (Abbe Thorner and Jason Wood) were fans of the actor and initially tried to get Segal to attend their wedding, but he could not because of sheduling problems. Instead, he contacted Jay Leno and held their ceremony on the air. Leno served as a witness while the couple's family sat in the studio audience.
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