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Fraud! Scandal! Shame!

March 15th, 2009 by Kevin Murphy · 75 Comments

By now you probably know about the discovery of a painting which is alleged to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare (Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, Romeo+Juliet, Shakespeare in Love) to have been finished while the Bard was alive.  Scientific tests have been run, X-rays have proven this, tree-ring dating that. Tweedy old English fellows have patted themselves on the back so much there’s a cloud of dust over Stratford.


Believe me folks, this isn’t William Shakespeare.  I don’t know who it is, but it’s not him.  Me, I believe it to be a cleverly rendered portrait of System of a Down Guy.

7 serj tankian

See what I mean?  This kind of thing happens all the time.  Another example, this famous image, once the property of the Duke of Chandros.

468px Shakespeare

Posh.  it’s Paul Giamatti. Plain as Hell.   Anyone can see that.  No friends, I shall cling to the ONLY ACCURATE PORTRAIT of the English Language’s greatest artist:


That is the short and the long of it.   I’ll not budge an inch.

Tags: Events · In the Media · RiffTrax · Shocking Conspiracies Only Kevin Sees · bacon

75 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BEMaven on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Fie upon the charlatan who passes this off as a contemporary portrait of the Bard.

    ‘Tis clearly a doctored painting of Nicholas Cage, topped with something from his huge arsenal of hairpieces.

    Yank the frilly collar off and you’ll find a sweaty Addidas shirt underneath.

  • 2 Wesley Stamper on Mar 15, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I don’t know if that portrait is Shakespeare or not, but I DO know that there is a perfectly preserved impression of The Bard’s butt cheeks which were found on the outside of Christopher Marlowe’s study window.

  • 3 Houndstooth Mind on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Shakespeare has an afro!

  • 4 Incurable Insomniac on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    And he has Groucho Marx eyes.

  • 5 Incurable Insomniac on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Or perhaps I should say he has that one Groucho Marx eye…

  • 6 Wesley Stamper on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    That actually serves to substantiate the claim that it IS a portrait of Shakespeare. It is an established, but not widely publicized fact, that the Bard wore an afro while penning the first draft of his supressed masterpiece “Troilus and Cressida and Pootie Tang”.

  • 7 AJ on Mar 15, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I had a jolly old laugh until the picture of the clown. Then I wet myself.

    In terror, you understand.

  • 8 Ann Peek on Mar 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    You are pure genius…or evil. I’m not sure which. But I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. Or till I find someone even more evil geniuser.

  • 9 Remmie Barrow on Mar 15, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Yeah, What is wrong with you, Mr. Murphy…Showing a picture of a SCARY CLOWN like that is going to cause everyone to have eternal nightmares.

  • 10 Kris on Mar 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I was in Stratford this weekend. Kevin wasn’t lying about the dusty, self-satisfied cloud.

    Casting Pennywise as the clown in Hamlet actually sounds like a pretty good idea. Someone should get on the horn with Branagh so he can schedule a remake.

  • 11 Carpeteria on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    To further confound the situation, I’d say that System of a Down Guy’s likeness is clearly that of Frank Zappa’s in origin.

  • 12 randommanthefirst on Mar 15, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Too bad the music isn’t of the same likeness. Though, I am still trying to work my way through the approximately 9000 albums that Zappa released, so I’m not too upset.

  • 13 Houndstooth Mind on Mar 16, 2009 at 2:17 am

    That Trolius was a bad Mutha…

  • 14 Ben on Mar 16, 2009 at 3:25 am

    I can’t tell if anybody here just doesn’t know who the clown is or is just trying not to say to his name. So far nobody has said it…so I will…

    I invoke thee BOZO. I invoke thee BOZO. I invoke thee BOZO.

    I said it three times, so now he will fall under my command as long as I stand within this pentagram and I will have him smite my enemies.

  • 15 Elizabeth Young on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:19 am

    It’s amazing what photoshop can do! Why the bard looks like a mere Disney Tween about to break into a musical number that celebrates the horror of high school.

  • 16 Macgyver on Mar 16, 2009 at 5:11 am

    No mentions of the Bard’s greatest works “She’s the Man” and “10 Things I Hate About You”? Blasphemy!

  • 17 Dan Noutko-Kennedy on Mar 16, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Was the lace doily attached by some feckless apothecary in order to prevent the Bard of Avon from licking himself?

  • 18 Earl Fando on Mar 16, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Shakespeare was ginger? I mean, I knew about the heavy lipstick, and the pasty complexion (you try getting a tan on the Thames) but ginger?

  • 19 Laura on Mar 16, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I wonder what a zombie clown looks like….

  • 20 Ed on Mar 16, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Sorry, Kevin. When I saw the headline, I thought you were talking about the BACONSPIRACY (Nelllllsonnnnnn!!!!!).

    No, that’s definitely Ralph (Rafe?) Fines in the first painting.

  • 21 Mystok on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Don’t you understand, they don’t call him the IMMORTAL Bard for nothing. He changes his name often, sometimes using multiple personalities during the same decade at the same time. He is even found depicted on cave walls. But do not fret, all will be revealed with everything else (as well as were chocolate milk comes from) in the final mega-episode of Battlestar Galactica.

  • 22 Earl Fando on Mar 16, 2009 at 10:35 am

    You just reminded me of the Bacon Salt Bacon Lovers collection I got for my birthday (, if such ganzo, third-party adverts are permitted). The six varieties of Bacon Salt were value enough, but the bacon-flavored lip balm and the Baconnaise sandwich spread make it invaluable.

    This and your comment also lead me to believe that almost anything can be improved by adding “bacon” to the title. For example, Baconoogle (Google), The United Baconations (with apologies to our kosher and halal friends), Baconsfield, California, and the National Baconcasting Company (NBC)

    Speaking of N Bacon C, Christian Glover’s series “My Own Worst Enemy” would have lasted unto ER proportions if it had only been called “My Own Worst Baconenemy.”

  • 23 C. on Mar 16, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Which Bozo was that?

  • 24 TAB822 on Sep 2, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    The “system of a down guy” is Serj Tankian. and while he may not be shakespear, this is a real photo, and he is one of the greatest poets/songwriters of the English, Spanish and Armenian languages… in my opinion. Not his. trust me, he’s pretty down-to-earth.

  • 25 Jenny on Sep 3, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Jumping in here kinda late, but darn! if the second pichure ain’t of ol’ Kevin hisself.

  • 26 Zack on May 18, 2010 at 6:47 am

    most of us can’t,lucy

  • 27 Prada Sunglasses on Nov 25, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Posh. it’s Paul Giamatti. Plain as Hell. Anyone can see that. No friends, I shall cling to the ONLY ACCURATE PORTRAIT of the English Language’s greatest artist

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