Belated thoughts on silver anniversary of Andy Kaufman’s death
I apologize for being two months late to blog about the 25th anniversary of entertainer and inter-gender wrestling champion Andy Kaufman’s death. I say “entertainer” because Kaufman reportedly disliked being considered a comedian, thinking more of himself as a performance artist.
And, of course, some would say I should use the term “passed away” loosely since they think Kaufman didn’t die.
May 16, 1984, Kaufman passed away from inoperable lung cancer. It was the quintessential irony: Kaufman wasn’t a smoker, didn’t drink a lot and was a vegetarian. This was probably the reason why so many doubted the news of his demise, and thought it was another gag.
That being said, it’s sad to think a one-of-a-kind performer passed away so young, at 35. Heck, I’m 36! I really makes me ponder my own mortality.
Reading about Kaufman, in some ways he reminds me of the late Doors lead singer Jim Morrison: someone who was bored with this planet and tried everything within their power to go into uncharted territory, creatively and intellectually.
Maybe I’ll someday be able to blog more about Andy if I can ever talk to someone who knew him…perhaps Jerry Lawler (who was actually a good friend of Andy’s) would be willing to talk about their “feud”. Perhaps Carol Kane would be willing to talk about Andy and the show Taxi. I’m particularly interested in what the two thought of Jim Carrey’s performance in Man on the Moon.