Sunday, 23 May 2010

Retro Monday: Andy Kaufman

Ok, so this is going to take a little explaining. Since we started Retro Monday, our aim has been clear. To reminisce about all things retro, and to maybe bring to light some excellent stuff people may not have seen before. So, after recently renting the incredible film Man on the Moon, I thought why not talk about a person?!?! One of the greatest comedians of all time, Andy Kaufman.

Kaufman was a performer/actor prolific in the 70's and early 80's, Kaufman never thought of himself as a comedian, although often regarded as one. I'm not going to even begin to list everything he did. If you don't already know, wiki him. But here was a man who was truly incredible.

He 'punished' ignorance. Well-known for his Latka character in popular sitcom Taxi, when he toured his act, he would often get heckled to do it. If he felt the crowd demanded it too much, he'd read the entire novel 'The Great Gatsby' to the audience. This kind of off-the-wall thinking is what makes him stand out, and such an inspiring man. Even his obnoxious alter-ego Tony Clifton, a lounge singer with a bad temperment and a rude manner, was a sight to behold...

He was an absolute master of showmanship. Everything this man did, from so-real-it-hurt fights with WWF superstars, to taking an entire audience out for milk and cookies, this man was unique. He died in 1984, but even that is shrouded in controversy, with many claiming he's still not dead, having instead pulled the greatest prank of all.

If you haven't seen it yet, Jim Carrey plays Kaufman in the film Man on the Moon, and it is excellent. I implore you to watch it, as it does more to explain Kaufman's brilliance more than my clumsy words can. If you need further convincing, check out the trailer

"T'ank you veddy much"

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