KIPPY SPAGENBUSCH 2010 fine art print / open edition / $50.00
Kippy Spagenbusch was the archetypal showbiz schlemiel. His resumé is the envy of lesser losers: back-stabbing agent, relentless self-promoter, cheap-suit haranguer, failed philanderer, wombat breeder, unapologetic skinflint. His own lawyer once described him as "a man of nugatory intelligence and much unpleasantness." Columnist Walter Winchell deemed Kippy "a nervous ugly man, swollen with petty tyranny." Broadway Moe Weingarten, interviewed about Kippy in 1970, asserted, "This guy's running out of barrels to scrape the bottom of." And Steve Allen wasn't joking when he said, "Kippy's hair is real. It's the head that's fake."

Kippy claimed to be the one who first introduced Stan Laurel to Bud Abbott. He offered career counseling to a young Jack Webb, advising the actor to "ditch the London chick." Asked who might be suited for the lead role in The Godfather, without hesitation Kippy screamed, "Bea Arthur." He also had a casting suggestion for MGM: "Mickey Rooney in a dog suit—there's your Toto."

Kippy uttered the word "moxie" 32,912 times in 1947 alone. He carried emergency bologna sandwiches in his trouser pockets. His loathsomeness was chronicled in Sophie Tucker's memoirs, where she recalled that "for about three days in 1944 the guy was known as 'Mr. Nice'." Kippy was last reported living at the Van Halen Nursing Home in Verona, New Jersey.

So woesome was the Spagenbusch reputation that his legacy has been scrubbed from every reputable chronicle of show business. Books, magazines, documentaries, archives, and masters' theses—you won't even find Spagenbusch in the footnotes, such is the contempt reserved for his shenanigans.

Yet his accomplishments—or lack thereof—should not go unacknowledged. This rare advertisement (above), found in the back pages of the November 1953 issue of an obscure pulp, CRAP for MEN, is all that remains of Kippy's historic footprint. It reflects Spagenbusch's boastful self-delusion ("I am your God"), his willingness to con no-hopers into his taloned trust ("Success without surgery"), and his deft negotiating techniques ("Obey my will or die").
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The KIPPY SPAGENBUSCH: SHOW BUSINESS "advertisement," created by Drew Friedman, is an open, unnumbered edition. The prints, offered at $50.00 each, display the artist's hand-signature in the lower right beneath the image.

The image area is 7-1/2" square on an untrimmed
11" x 8-1/2" vertical sheet. All prints are unframed and shipped flat. Paper, ink, and production specifications, as well as shipping details, are available on our PRINT SPECS page.

Kippy biografaux by Irwin Chusid, with apologies to Liz Belmont, Jim Giordano, Rich Firestone, and Thomas Wolfe.

Contribute your vignettes, recollections, factoids, fabricated quotes, and bad dreams to the Kippy Spagenbusch Heritage Society on Facebook.