Why Being Anonymous On The Masked Singer Wasn’t All That Strange For Funk Legend George Clinton

The Masked Singer can be a jarring experience for celebrities, even if they’re used to performing on stage. Past contestants have cited issues with singing in costume, being unable to see while giving it their all, and generally strange feelings from being out on stage without anyone knowing who they are. Funk legend George Clinton certainly shared similar experiences with other celebrities who'd previously appeared, but revealed that it wasn’t so strange at all for him to go out on stage and remain anonymous. 

CinemaBlend had the honor of speaking to Parliament-Funkadelic leader and music icon, and I asked for his thoughts on taking the stage as Gopher after performing as George Clinton for some time now. Surprisingly, the singer told me he felt comfortable in that space, largely because it matched up to his experiences with touring over the years, specifically during the height of '70s funk. In his words:

I mean I’ve been doing that, like you said, for a long time, and people would always say, ‘Which one is George Clinton?’ That used to be a big saying in the 70s. So we actually put it on the record. They didn’t know if it was Bootsy [Collins]. I never went by my name for so long. It was Dr. Funkenstein or things like that. I’ve always been into not letting people know who I was. So, that was pretty comfortable playing another character.

George Clinton’s music groups were absolutely stacked with talented performers, and as he mentioned, he often went by a pseudonym when performing. As such, a quick Google search makes it clear that people to this day are still unclear whether or not Clinton and his bandmate Bootsy Collins are the same person. 

All of that to say, George Clinton felt fine performing and concealing his identity when he jumped into the Gopher costume, though he did confess to CinemaBlend that the suit was a bit hot. That’s not at all an uncommon complaint for competitors, who have to sing their hearts out and dance under hot stage lights in a full costume. And as fans can attest, the musician is not one to just stand still calmly while jamming out.

George Clinton’s run on The Masked Singer was a short one, though it’s best not to judge anyone talents based on how long they stayed on the singing competition for Season 8. This season's big format change has ensured that only one contestant moves on per episode, and it’s already led to some pretty polarizing eliminations. Even just a quick look at who has been eliminated in Season 8 so far is proof that Clinton is in some good company with some extremely talented singers elsewhere on the list.

The funk singer ended up departing after his first episode, and was joined by former professional boxer George Foreman. The Masked Singer advanced The Bride to the next episode, who will have a shot at advancing to the semifinals and competing against Harp and Lambs. It’ll be interesting to see what other celebrities are unmasked, and how they responded to being a part of this wild Fox series. 

The Masked Singer airs on Fox on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET, but anyone needing to catch up can do so with a Hulu subscription. This season is certainly a strange one thanks to changes in the format, but I’m definitely all about seeing who will ultimately take home the trophy after this wild season.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.