Monday, May 24, 2004

Andy Kaufman Lives???

"Here’s a little agit for the never-believer. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here’s a little ghost for the offering. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here’s a truck stop instead of saint peter’s. yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister andy kaufman’s gone wrestling (wrestling bears). yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah"

R.E.M.- "Man on the Moon"

I think this is just a hoax. Andy Kaufman is supposed to be dead, or at least that's how his multi-million dollar biopic ended; with a cancer biopsy and a weeping widow, not with him slinking away to work odd jobs in the Caribbean.

This blog makes some pretty big claims but it could have been put together by anyone, and until I see a DNA test or his parents hugging him on Oprah, I'm going to have to keep on my skeptic hat and sit in the corner with all the other doubters.

The mainstream media is slowly biting into the hook. A Google News search of his name turns up 94 articles but most of them are just question-mark pieces like the one you're reading here at JB. Everybody wants to know if this is the real thing but so far all we've got is a blog and a couple of digicam shots of Tony Clifton schmoozing with the "Bunny Ranch ladies".

[Ed. Note: I apologize to my loyal readers for the image that got posted to this blog for a short time. I was remote linking to a file that got changed by some sadistic webmaster. Sorry for any inconvenience!]

Still, it would be marvelous if Mr. Kaufman actually got away with a scheme so well-planned, so intricate and outlandish. He did promise that he would return in twenty years but nobody believed him.

Cancer is no joke unless you're a shock-jock radio host or a comedian with a malignant tumour. I don't think that Andy would have pulled off such a stunt with the intention of hurting anyone but I imagine that hiding from his family and friends for twenty years would accomplish just that. It takes balls to disappear but it must take even more than that to reappear mysteriously out of the ether.

I want to see Tony Clifton doing a North American tour. I want to believe. Somehow, this death record seems more fake than Andy's "new blog". Maybe we're just waiting for the punchline, and everybody knows that Andy Kaufman didn't sink to that level. He was above all of that.

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