‘The Masked Singer’s Skeleton: ‘I Had the Time of My Life’
The Masked Singer‘s Skeleton knew some people would figure out who he was by his distinct voice.
Wednesday’s episode revealed that it was Paul Shaffer under the mask, but it wasn’t a surprise for those who know him (and his walk) best, including David Letterman. The former late night host knew Shaffer had signed a non-disclosure agreement, so he began their conversation by telling him, “You don’t have to say anything, but I know it’s you,” the Skeleton himself told TV Insider. “There was nothing I was going to be able to say to talk him out of it.”
“I had the time of my life,” Shaffer said of the experience.
Here, the Fox hit’s latest unmasked celebrity discusses his time on the show and Ken Jeong’s certainty about who he was.
You’re obviously used to performing in front of large audiences, but as yourself. How did the mask and format change that for you? Was there a different kind of nerves?
Paul Shaffer: Mainly, it was just a physical difference of having to deal with that costume. It just makes everything a little bit more difficult, and of course you’re aware that everybody’s got the same problem. Yes, it’s true that you’re hidden, nobody really knows what you look like, but I never had a problem making a fool of myself anyway. I was pretty much in my element except for the big heavy thing on my head.
In the clues package, we heard why you were the Skeleton. What did you think of that costume and how it influenced your performances?
I picked the skeleton out of a couple of options they showed me. I thought that it would be easy to move in. I was only so right about that. I also loved the debonair look that the Skeleton had about him. I thought that’s what I always wanted to be. It gave me a little bit more confidence coming on, trying to take on that character.
Can you talk about your song choices, especially between your two appearances? Any regrets about last night’s picks?
The first one was “Rapper’s Delight,” a rap, not even singing. I gave them a list of songs I knew, and that was one of them. Back in 1979 when it came out, I had a lot of it memorized then and a lot of it came back. Of course it was maybe easier to recognize me, doing a rap, because it’s, after all, just my own voice, speaking in rhythm. There was that.
And the second song, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” I had remembered seeing the band Jet do the song on the Letterman show back in the day, always liked it, and I thought I’d give it a shot.
Speaking of being able to tell by your voice, what did you think of the guesses? Ken was so certain you were Martin Short.
Wasn’t that hilarious? Not only was he sure I was Martin Short, but he said, “I have studied Martin Short. I know this man. I know his every move. This is Martin Short.”
Well, what broke me up was that Martin Short and I are best friends, and he called me actually and said, “I think you’re the Skeleton.” So I just said to him, “I think you’re the Skeleton because Ken said you’re the Skeleton,” and we were at a standoff. But I couldn’t say anything. You can’t tell anyone, even your best friend.
Did you go into this expecting one of them to know it was you right away?
I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a feeling I wasn’t going to be too hard to spot. My voice, such as it is, is pretty distinctive. The first show, I think it was still a mystery, but by the time I came back, Jenny McCarthy knew exactly who I was.
Was there anything you wanted to accomplish on the show that you were able to?
Just being able to do it was an accomplishment. Just doing it, I felt great about it. I loved it. It’s an experience I don’t think you can get anywhere else.
Speaking of the experience, what are you going to take away from your time on the show? Are you going to look at it differently now that you’ve been on it?
Yes, I certainly have an understanding of it and I see that it really and beautifully so, it really comes down to your voice. Underneath all of the costume and trickery and stuff, the panel and the audience, too, they’re really listening to the people’s vocals and the tones. I realize that’s what counts on this show, nothing else really.
The Masked Singer, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox