Andy Kaufman is possibly alive. At least that is what his brother Michael is saying. This bizarre story began Monday evening at the yearly awards which are named in Andy Kaufman’s honor, and held at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. As he was on the stage, Michael Kaufman started talking about what a legacy his brother had left. He said he did not know for sure if Andy was alive or dead.
He started to then tell a story about back in the year 1984 that he was going through his brother’s possessions and he found a paper that Andy had written. It talked about what he would do if he faked his own death. The article stated that he would in due course resurface on Christmas Eve of the year 1999 at a certain restaurant. That night came and when it did Michael made sure he was there to see if Andy showed up. He failed to but Michael received a letter from a stranger. It was addressed to him and it was supposedly from Andy. In it his brother had written that he desired for a normal life and that he had met someone and fallen in love. It also said that he had a daughter. He had added that he did not want Michael or anyone else saying anything while their father still lived.
It seems to be quite the strange tale but one that Andy Kaufman would have done. He was always known for being able to change completely into the character he was playing at the time, and he also had a fondness for pranks of the large scale variety. There were numerous questions about his reported death from lung cancer in 1984 and even the movie based on his life, the 1999 documentary Man on the Moon, had a question mark scene in it over Kaufman’s death. If this story that Michael is telling was to be true, that would mean Kaufman has lived nearly 30 years in anonymity with his family.
Stanley Kaufman, Andy and Michael’s father, passed away this summer. Michael explained to the crowd at the comedy club that a month went by and then he received a phone call from a woman who said that Andy was very much alive. She went on to tell Michael that Andy was in fact paying close attention to the awards that were named in his honor and was extremely proud of such an event.
Michael asked the audience if that young lady was present. A woman came from the back and made her way up to the platform. Supposedly this woman was Andy Kaufman’s daughter.
It is most likely, and very possible that all this is just some sort of giant gag being pulled in Andy Kaufman’s name. He himself was the type of man who would have loved this sort of thing in the first place.
One of the showroom managers of the club, Ed Cavanagh, stated that what happened Monday night was not a hoax in any way. The awards producer, Al Parinello, talked about how emotionally affected Michael seemed to be.
Andy Kaufman is still alive or not? It is very unlikely, but really why go to all this trouble? Who knows if even time will reveal the truth on this one. It has kept Andy’s secret for almost three decades.
By Kimberly Ruble