Andy Kaufman
American comic actor and performance artist
Andy Kaufman
Andrew Geoffrey "Andy" Kaufman was an American entertainer, actor and performance artist. While often referred to as a comedian, Kaufman did not consider himself to be one. He disdained telling jokes and engaging in comedy as it was traditionally understood, referring to himself instead as a "song-and-dance man. " Elaborate hoaxes and pranks were major elements of his career.
Biography
Andy Kaufman's personal information overview.
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News
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!BANG! TV Report - Jerry "The King" Lawler, From WrestleMania 27 to !BANG! TV - Wrestling News Source
Google News - over 5 years
Jerry "The King" Lawler, is the Color Commentator on the "Longest Running Episodic Show in the History of Television, famous for headlining WrestleMania 27 against Michael Cole, His showdown with Andy Kaufman on the David Letterman show,
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Comedy star Elayne Boosler to do show at Hilton Head Comedy Club - Savannah Morning News
Google News - over 5 years
“All the young comedians around me were my influences — Freddie Prinze, Andy Kaufman, Richard Belzer, Jay Leno, Richard Lewis and so on,” she said. “All I ever wanted to be was Richard Pryor. They were the first group of young people doing comedy for
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Pro Wrestling: A Tribute to Tennessee Legends Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Lawler's feuds with the likes of Bret Hart and Andy Kaufman were excellent. He made the fans actually think he hated Kaufman and Hart. Pro Wrestling Illustrated rated his feud with Bret Hart in 1993 as the feud of the year. In 1992, PWI rated Lawler's
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Reggie Watts leads his audiences along a meandering, hilarious road - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
Sometimes in an Andy Kaufman, can-I-laugh-yet? sort of way, as when he unspools endless run-on sentences composed of clauses that come from and lead to nowhere. When Watts was growing up in Montana (he has since called Seattle and Brooklyn home) he
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10 Celebrity Elvis Impersonations - Daily Beast
Google News - over 5 years
As a 20-year-old college student, comedian Andy Kaufman wrote a fan letter to his idol, Elvis Presley. Several years later, Kaufman had worked the King into his act. Kaufman would come onstage in his awkward Foreign Man character (the precursor to
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Dead Comedian Of The Week: Andy Kaufman, The Unlikely Bombthrower - Deadspin
Google News - over 5 years
Here, from the best book ever written about stand-up comedy, Phil Berger's The Last Laugh, we look at the evolution of Andy Kaufman, meshuga provocateur. The oldest of three children, Andy Kaufman grew up in a red brick split-level home in the affluent
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A Bare Market Lasts One Morning
NYTimes - over 5 years
It was an early Monday morning like any other on Wall Street. Before most of the blue-shirted financiers descended, there came an army of helpers: the custodians and coffee fetchers, personal trainers and headsetted assistants who make the money street run smoothly. They marched along the sidewalks, in a hurry to start their workweek. Here and
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Review: 'The Death Of Andy Kaufman' Is A Kaufman Fan's Labor Of Love - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Even though he died over 25 years ago, Andy Kaufman can still ignite impassioned arguments over his brand of humor, his career and whether or not he faked his own death in 1984. Those who understood Kaufman will typically find themselves at a loss when
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The Screenwriter's Friendly Internet Forum (and Lessons Therefrom) - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
I took a page out of their book, and combined it with Andy Kaufman's. I would make the wildest, most outrageous, unsupportable statements. I would name-call. I would make statements completely lacking in logic. And if someone called me on something I
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Pride Films and Plays Presents Ben Lerman, 'Rehabaret,' and More - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
A semi-finalist for the Andy Kaufman Award, Chicago-based Plucky has produced her own variety shows at such venues as the Wilmette Theatre, the Upstairs Gallery, and the Whistler. She has performed with such companies as Redmoon Theatre,
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Rent-A-Friend: The Original Video Companion - Huffington Post (satire)
Google News - over 5 years
On one hand, Rent-A-Friend (brought back into the light by the media archeologists at the Found Footage Festival) seems like it could have been a brilliant, avant-garde work by a lesser Andy Kaufman. On the other, it seems like this poor actor booked
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Loud Laughs From Loud Laughers - Macleans.ca
Google News - over 5 years
Here's an example where Brooks' laugh is sort of “isolated”; it's an early episode and he is beside himself at hearing Andy Kaufman talk in his made-up language. Brooks' laugh is very easy to hear once you're used to it, though usually the sound mixers
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The Death of Andy Kaufman - antiMUSIC.com
Google News - over 5 years
On Thursday The Death of Andy Kaufman was a top story. Here is the recap: (MVD) In 1984, Andy Kaufman Died. 20 years later, one filmmaker set out to find him. That film The Death of Andy Kaufman is coming to DVD on July 26th The Death of Andy Kaufman
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The Painful Collapse of Empire: How the "American Dream" and American ... - AlterNet
Google News - over 5 years
My favorite book title on the subject has to be Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream, which explores the comedian's career “within a broader discussion of the ideology of the American Dream.” According to the book's publisher,
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EXCLUSIVE: Michael Kelly Talks The Adjustment Bureau - MovieWeb
Google News - over 5 years
He portrayed Andy Kaufman's brother in Man on the Moon, but I first noticed him in one of the most memorable episodes of my favorite TV show, The Shield, in a Season One episode where he played a serial killer. Most will recognize him as the hardened
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Andy Kaufman
    THIRTIES
  • 1984
    Age 35
    Comedian Elayne Boosler, who dated and lived with Kaufman and who credits him with encouraging her to do comedy, wrote an article for Esquire in November 1984, in his memory.
    More Details Hide Details She also dedicated her 1986 Showtime special Party of One to Kaufman. An audio recording of Kaufman offering encouragement to Boosler is featured in the intro. In 1992, the band R.E.M. released the album Automatic for the People, which featured the Andy Kaufman-themed song "Man on the Moon". The video for the song also featured footage of Kaufman. On March 29, 1995, NBC aired A Comedy Salute To Andy Kaufman. This special featured clips of many of Kaufman's performances, as well as commentary from some of his friends, family, and colleagues. Comedian Richard Lewis in A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman said of him: "No one has ever done what Andy did, and did it as well, and no one will ever. Because he did it first. So did Buster Keaton, so did Andy." Carl Reiner recalled his distinction in the comedy world: Did Andy influence comedy? No. Because nobody's doing what he did. Jim Carrey was influenced—not to do what Andy did, but to follow his own drummer. I think Andy did that for a lot of people. Follow your own drumbeat. You didn't have to go up there and say 'take my wife, please.' You could do anything that struck you as entertaining. It gave people freedom to be themselves." Reiner also said of Kaufman: "Nobody can see past the edges, where the character begins and he ends.
    Kaufman died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on May 16, 1984.
    More Details Hide Details He was 35 years old. Some reports stated that Kaufman was 36. Kaufman had often spoken of faking his own death as a grand hoax, with rumors persisting, often fueled by sporadic appearances of Kaufman's character Tony Clifton at comedy clubs following the comedian's death. In 2013, responding to an outbreak of rumor following the appearance of an actress who claimed to be Kaufman's daughter and that the comedian was still alive, Los Angeles County Coroner's office re-released Kaufman's death certificate. "Clifton" performed a year after Kaufman's death at The Comedy Store benefit in Kaufman's honor, with members of his entourage in attendance, and during the 1990s made several appearances at Los Angeles nightclubs. Jim Carrey, who portrayed Kaufman in Man on the Moon, stated on the NBC special Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman that the person doing the Clifton character was Bob Zmuda. Kaufman's official website states that his death was not a hoax.
    His last resort was "psychic surgery", a New Age "procedure" bearing no scientific merit, in Baguio, Philippines, in March 1984.
    More Details Hide Details
    After audiences were shocked by his gaunt appearance during January 1984 performances, Kaufman acknowledged that he had an unspecified illness which he hoped to cure with "natural medicine" including a diet of all fruits and vegetables, among other measures.
    More Details Hide Details Kaufman received palliative radiotherapy, but by then the cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain.
    In 1984, Andy made his final professional appearance on a TV show called "The Top."
    More Details Hide Details Executive Producer was Harold Ramis, producer was Paul Flattery and it was directed by David Jove (aka David Sniderman). It starred Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield with music from Cyndi Lauper, The Romantics and The Hollies. Cyndi Lauper performed "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "True Colors," The Hollies performed "Stop in the Name of Love" and The Romantics performed "Talking in Your Sleep" and "What I Like About You". Kaufman was not the original host – that was Chevy Chase, who – dressed as a "punk" of the era—got into a physical altercation with an audience member during the opening monologue and immediately left the taping. Ramis got Andy to shoot the host segments at a later date. Kaufman never married. He had a daughter, Maria Bellu-Colonna, who was born in 1969 out of wedlock to a high-school girlfriend and placed for adoption. Bellu-Colonna learned in 1992 that she was Kaufman's daughter when she traced her biological roots by winning a petition of the State of New York for her biological mother's surname. She soon reunited with her mother, grandfather, uncle, and aunt. Kaufman has a granddaughter who briefly appeared in Man on the Moon, playing his sister as a young child.
  • 1983
    Age 34
    At Thanksgiving dinner on Long Island, New York, in November 1983, several family members openly expressed worry about Kaufman's persistent coughing.
    More Details Hide Details He claimed that he had been coughing for nearly a month, visited his doctor, and been told that nothing was wrong. When he returned to Los Angeles, he consulted a physician, then checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a series of medical tests. A few days later, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of lung cancer.
  • 1982
    Age 33
    He met his partner Lynne Margulies on the set of My Breakfast With Blassie in 1982 and they remained together until Kaufman's death in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details She later co-directed the 1989 Kaufman wrestling compilation I'm From Hollywood, as well as published the 2009 book Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts! On December 5, 1969, Kaufman learned Transcendental Meditation at college. According to a BBC article, Kaufman used transcendental meditation 'to build confidence and take his act to comedy clubs'. For the rest of his life, Kaufman meditated and performed yoga three hours a day. He trained as a teacher of transcendental meditation in Majorca, Spain, from February to June 1971.
    At Park West Theatre in Chicago on March 26, 1982, Kaufman performed stage hypnosis where he induced local DJ Steve Dahl to urinate while sitting in a large box.
    More Details Hide Details Other staged inductions included Bob Zmuda's childhood friend Joe Troiani mimicking the behavior of a pig and longtime friend Bill Karmia dressed as a police officer arresting Kaufman for inducing public nudity with a woman he had hypnotized. In 1983, Kaufman appeared on Broadway with Deborah Harry in the play Teaneck Tanzi: The Venus Flytrap. It closed after just two performances.
  • 1980
    Age 31
    He appeared in two other theatrical films, including the 1980 film In God We Tru$t, in which he played a televangelist, and the 1981 film Heartbeeps, in which he played a robot.
    More Details Hide Details Laurie Anderson worked alongside Kaufman for a time in the 1970s, acting as a sort of straight man in a number of his Manhattan and Coney Island performances. One of these performances included getting on a ride that people stand in and get spun around. After everyone was strapped in, Kaufman would start saying how he did not want to be on the ride in a panicked tone and eventually cry. Anderson later described these performances in her 1995 album, The Ugly One with the Jewels.
    Kaufman made a number of appearances on the daytime edition of The David Letterman Show in 1980, and 11 appearances on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982 and 1983.
    More Details Hide Details He made numerous guest spots on other television programs hosted by or starring celebrities like Johnny Cash (1979 Christmas special), Dick Van Dyke, Dinah Shore, Rodney Dangerfield, Cher, Dean Martin, Redd Foxx, Mike Douglas, Dick Clark, and Joe Franklin. He appeared in his first theatrical film God Told Me To in 1976, in which he portrayed a murderous policeman.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1977
    Age 28
    In the 1977 edition, Kaufman performed a song titled "I Trusted You" (which features only those three words, repeated over and over, as lyrics), while in 1981 he is shown sitting in the audience during a performance by Tony Clifton (although it was obvious Kaufman was not in the audience during the sketch).
    More Details Hide Details His SNL appearances started with the first show, on October 11, 1975. He made 16 SNL appearances in all, doing routines from his comedy act, such as the Mighty Mouse singalong, Foreign Man, and the Elvis impersonation. After he angered the audience with his female-wrestling routine, Kaufman in January 1983 made a pre-taped appearance (his 16th) asking the audience if he should ever appear on the show again, saying he would honor their decision. SNL ran a phone vote, and 195,544 people voted to "Dump Andy" while 169,186 people voted to "Keep Andy". Kaufman never again appeared on the show live, but Saturday Night Live did air a tape of him thanking those who had voted for him to appear again. During the SNL episode with the phone poll, many of the cast-members stated their admiration for Kaufman's work. After Eddie Murphy read both numbers, he said, "Now Andy Kaufman is a friend of mine. Keep that in mind when you call. I don't want to have to punch nobody in America in the face", and Mary Gross read the Dump Andy number at a rate so fast that audiences were unable to catch it. The final tally was read by Gary Kroeger to a cheering audience. As the credits rolled, announcer Don Pardo said, "This is Don Pardo saying, 'I voted for Andy Kaufman.'"
  • 1976
    Age 27
    He also appeared four times on The Tonight Show from 1976 to 1978, and three times on The Midnight Special in 1972, 1977, and 1981.
    More Details Hide Details
    Although Kaufman made a name for himself as a guest on NBC's Saturday Night Live, his first prime time appearances were several guest spots as the "Foreign Man" on the Dick Van Dyke variety show Van Dyke and Company in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1971
    Age 22
    After graduating in 1971, he began performing stand-up comedy at various small clubs along the East Coast.
    More Details Hide Details Kaufman first caught major attention with a character known as Foreign Man, who spoke in a meek, high-pitched, heavy-accented voice and claimed to be from "Caspiar", a fictional island in the Caspian Sea. It was as this character that Kaufman convinced the owner of the famed New York City comedy club The Improv, Budd Friedman, to allow him to perform onstage. As Foreign Man, Kaufman would appear on the stage of comedy clubs, play a recording of the theme from the Mighty Mouse cartoon show while standing perfectly still, and lip-sync only the line "Here I come to save the day" with great enthusiasm. He would proceed to tell a few (purposely poor) jokes and conclude his act with a series of celebrity impersonations, with the comedy arising from the character's obvious ineptitude at impersonation. For example, in his fake accent Kaufman would say to the audience, "I would like to imitate Meester Carter, de president of de United States" and then, in exactly the same voice, say "Hello, I am Meester Carter, de president of de United States. T'ank you veddy much."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1949
    Age 0
    Kaufman was born on January 17, 1949 in New York City, the oldest of three children.
    More Details Hide Details His mother was Janice (née Bernstein), a homemaker and former fashion model, and his father was Stanley Kaufman, a jewelry salesman. Kaufman, along with his younger brother and sister, grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in Great Neck, Long Island. He began performing at children's birthday parties at age 9, playing records and showing cartoons. Kaufman also spent much of his youth writing poetry and stories, including an unpublished novel titled The Hollering Mangoo, which he completed at age 16. Following a visit to his school from African musician Babatunde Olatunji, Kaufman began playing the bongos. After high school graduation, Kaufman took a year off before enrolling at the now defunct two-year Grahm Junior College in Boston. There he studied television production and starred in his own campus television show, Uncle Andy's Fun House. He also began performing at coffee houses and developing his act, as well as writing a one-man play, titled Gosh (later renamed God and published in 2000).
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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