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August 23, 2020

Fantasia Fest 2020: Tiny Tim: King for a Day

My earliest memory of the late Tiny Tim was seeing his ukulele smashed by wrestling great, Jerry “The King” Lawler during a segment of ‘The King’s Court’ during WWF Raw in the mid-90s. The segment is classic when Tim calls Lawler a ‘Dairy Queen’ instead of what he was already known as; ‘The Burger King.’ After Lawler smashes Tim’s beloved stringed instrument he begins to weep and dabs his tears away with a handkerchief while trying to collect the broken pieces.

Three years later, Tiny Tim would tiptoe through the tulips and leave this mortal plane.

“King for a Day” doesn’t touch on this extremely vivid memory for me, but it brings into focus the force of nature Tiny Tim was during the 60s and 70s. A CELESTIAL being that was brought into our lives, for better or worse, and created memories that would last what seems like a lifetime.

Johan Von Sydow paints a picture I’m sure many of us born in the 1980s and beyond can’t even comprehend; how could an oddball, with the highest of falsettos, playing a ukulele, have people eating out of the palm of his hand while people like Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson laud him with all the praise in the world? The 60s were a wild time my friends.

With “Weird” Al Yankovic narrating Tim’s diary, the curtain is pulled back on his deepest thoughts, yearning for acceptance, being a follower of Christ, and how he transcended gender norms.

But even with his child-like innocence and beloved public persona, a torture soul dwelled deep down inside, which Sydow is able to peel back the layers via interviews with family, friends, and his widow, ‘Miss Sue.’

Tiny Tim’s shadow loomed large, and his fall from grace is just as miraculous as his rise to the top.

“Tiny Tim: King for a Day” will have it’s World Premier at the 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Find all the films and their schedule right HERE.

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