Thursday, November 14, 2013
CRAZY EVEN BY HIS STANDARDS: IS ANDY KAUFMAN ALIVE?
Andy Kaufman was an adventurous comedian. His surreal performances paved the way for scores of comedians that test what people consider to be funny. When he died in 1984 he left a massive legacy of left field performances that are aggressively out there even by today's standards. Is it possible, however, that his greatest performance is still going on? Is his biggest joke the fact that he's still alive?
It has been rumored for years that Andy wanted to fake his death, but that's a pretty massive stunt in this on the grid world. He had apparently studied ways to do this, and his brother claimed that he even found a manuscript detailing now only how he would fake his death, but that he would appear at a favorite restaurant of his on Christmas Eve of 1999. It's one thing to talk about this sort of thing, but it's another thing to execute the plan. It's an entirely different beast to have that plan be successful for almost 30 years.
On Monday, November 11th, 2013, the 9th annual Andy Kaufman Awards were held in New York. The award celebrates performers that operate in a left field manner similar to Andy. This year's ceremony turned into a pretty weird affair. Whether you want to believe this or not is up to you. It's either a really dark joke, or a major entertainment revelation.
Andy's brother Michael revealed that on Christmas Eve 1999 he went to the restaurant his brother mentioned in his manuscript. He had to see if there was any truth to what Andy wrote, even if it seemed insane. Andy never showed up, but a person at the restaurant delivered a letter to Michael. The letter was allegedly from Andy, and it detailed why he faked his death and what he had been doing with his life. Andy asked that Michael not reveal any of this news until after his father's death, because he didn't want to cause any undue stress. This past Summer Andy's dad died, and now we have this.
To add to the gravity of this story, a woman that claimed to be Andy's daughter appeared and told the crowd what her Dad has been up to and why he wanted to be in hiding. There's video of this, and you really should watch it. Whether it's real or not is another matter, but the story is incredible and moving.
News of this is all over the interwebs, so you should check it out if interested. Here's the video of the woman and Andy's brother at the ceremony. It's definitely interesting.
And now, a few days later, comes the very example of why it would be so astounding for Andy Kaufman to get away with faking his death. It has already been discovered that the woman claiming to be his daughter is a 24 year old theater student, and her father is a 58 year old psychotherapist. I don't think anybody out there is terribly surprised that this would come out, but at the same time thestory really appealed to the same part of us that wants to believe Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster exist. It appeals to the part of us that wants to believe fantastical things actually can exist.
Still... good story.