That's street performer and comedian Charlie Barnett, and in 1980 Eddie Murphy took Barnett's slot on Saturday Night Live. Not because he was funnier or better at short-shorts wearing, but because Barnett was a little illiterate. Put a pin in that, because we're coming back to it.
Through the 70s, 80s and 90s, Barnett was a guy who could win over any crowd with his raunchy, racially inappropriate jokes. And also AIDS jokes. And he won them, whole Washington Square fountains full of them, without a microphone, stage or eighth-grade education. Don't even watch this if you're sensitive to the N-word, blatant racial stereotypes or tight red sweat pants:
Back in the day, comedians loved Charlie Barnett. People who saw him said he was lightning fast with ad libs, and since Richard Pryor was nursing a coke addiction, Barnett was supposed to be the next big thing. He got that SNL audition, which he failed because he couldn't read the cue cards, and a three movie deal from Universal. He also got the cliche behind every good '80s performer -- a crippling drug habit.
So when the movies didn't do well and TV auditions stopped rolling in, Barnett just kept killing it at the park. Day after day, year after year. Performing for random passersby.