Andy Kaufman Is Alive. Elvis Presley Isn’t.
That’s what I believe. And it may be the best joke ever.
Two extremely effective devices for comedy are:
1. Misdirection—make them think you’re going in one direction, then go another. They think you’re zigging, then you zag. They think you’ll stay standing, then you fall. They think the joke is going this way, then it goes thattaway. Etcetera.
2. They know what’s coming, and they know it will be funny. But you make them wait for it. The longer they wait the more the anticipation. Just at the moment of greatest tension, you release the tension.
I believe Andy Kaufman is using both concepts.
He’s made us think he died. A horrible, suffering, lingering death. He may have even actually had cancer, and survived it. He made us think he’d come out several times. Even Kaufman’s alter ego Tony Clifton makes appearances. And Clifton isn’t Kaufman anymore, played by others. Or so we’re led to believe. For all we know, Kaufman’s been making people laugh at Clifton in recent years without them knowing it, even though many of them probably were secretly hoping they were witnessing his genius despite the odds otherwise. Even in the biopic Jim Carrey movie “Man on the Moon” his return is suggested.
So, perhaps we’ve been misdirected. We think he’s dead. We think he’s elsewhere. And just when we’re at the point of giving up hope…..he’s back. Maybe.
Which brings us to the waiting….His alleged daughter made an appearances recently and alluded to the idea that he’s itching to reveal himself. Maybe he’s feeling the timing, waiting for the right moment. Letting the tension build. He’ll probably let it die down again. And just as we give up hope, he’ll reveal himself. Have Tony Clifton trot out for an appearance on Letterman and then pull off the mask to show his real face. Then he’ll reveal the daughter was a fake daughter telling his real feelings.
All for the biggest, cruelest, longest-running most incredible practical joke on us all.
Or maybe the joke is that he set up the joke while he was alive, by establishing that he was capable of anything, and then let the joke sit. Forever.
Either way, best joke ever.
Andy Kaufman’s brother and former manager reportedly insist that Andy is dead and they witnessed his death in the hospital years ago. As well, his alleged daughter who made an appearance recently is apparently a fraud, and an actress, doing this for whatever reason (note our prediction, above).
On a related note, we still think he could be alive. And offer Andy Kaufman a first interview upon his reappearance.