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Allow me to introduce you to someone. This is Andy Kaufman:
Andy Kaufman January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984 (???)
You may never have heard of Andy Kaufman but doubtless if you spend any amount of time on the internet you will have heard his name mentioned. Why is this I hear you ask...? Well, there is a tale going round at the moment that Andy Kaufman is, in fact, ALIVE!
"Why do I even care" I hear you ask. Well, Kaufman was the type of comedian that was as loved as he was hated. He didn't actually even consider himself to be a comedian, more a "song and dance man" doing impersonations of Elvis Presley and singing his famous Mighty Mouse song!
Many people didn't know quite how to take Kaufman. He often staged elaborate pranks that were so convoluted that even most of the participants didn't know they were involved! It is alleged that comedian Sacha Baron Cohen takes his comedy style directly from Kaufman.
He told Bob that he would fake his death and return 20 years later which would have been in 2004.
Kaufman is recorded as being deceased having died from a rare type of lung cancer. During his performances in the lead up to his death audiences were shocked at his gaunt appearance. He acknowledged he had an "unspecified illness" which he hoped to cure through Transcendental Medicine. Kaufman meditated and performed yoga believing these would help him live.
According to the coroner's report, on 16 May 1984 Andy Kaufman died of kidney failure caused by metastasized large-cell lung carcinoma. He was just 35 years of age.
Kaufman's death certificate
So that's it then? Surely he's dead right? Possibly! Even probably. It is an interesting story nonetheless!
"Tony Clifton" continued to perform for a year after Andy's death. Bob Zmuda is known to have stepped into "Tony's" shoes once in a while, even managing to fool David Letterman! Many have speculated that this was, in fact, still Kaufman.
Man On The Moon Poster
"So, why all the fuss now then?" Well dear reader, at the Andy Kaufman Award ceremony this past week presented by Kaufman's brother Michael, a young girl came forward claiming to be Andy's daughter. Take a look at the video below and judge for yourself. Conveniently she looks nervous. This could be attributed to either her being in on the hoax and uncomfortable with it or because she actually IS Andy's daughter...! Quite the plot! Do you think she is telling the truth?
The rumour has apparently since been debunked by many as another elaborate hoax from Kaufman from beyond the grave. The woman in the video is allegedly American actress Alexandra Tatarsky. The general public are unsure if Kaufman left specific instructions from beyond the grave instructing Michael to carry out this hoax, if Alexandra is REALLY his daughter or if Andy is actually still alive and is simply poking fun at us all. Either way I'd say it was pretty genius and wouldn't put either scenario past the man!!
Of course, faking your own death is never acceptable, under any circumstances. Think of the emotional turmoil this would cause if his death really IS a ruse. It is alleged that Andy has waited until now to "return from the dead" as his father passed away in July. Others say that Michael waited until now to conduct this prank for the same reason. People are often given new identities in order to live life without threat of harm but I'm pretty sure these identities are not just handed out willy nilly to celebs who have simply had enough!
Lynne Margulies (2004)
Now, for those of you in the know, Kaufman did actually sire a daughter. Her name is Maria Bellu-Colonna. Maria was born in 1969 out of wedlock to a high school girlfriend and later put up for adoption. Bellu-Colonna only found out in 1992 that she was, in fact, the daughter of Kaufman.
Kaufman will not be the only "celebrity" accused of faking his own death. Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Tupac Shakur are to name but a few. Then, of course, there are those who are declared dead whilst sitting at home or down the pub none the wiser. Below are a few responses from the "deceased".
Jon Bon Jovi
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Hugh "Playboy" Hefner
So, that's the news on Andy Kaufman. Dead or alive, he is still creating a storm!! However things pan out, Andy giving his brother Michael these instructions before his death, Michael paying homage to his late brother or Andy still being alive, none of it would actually be surprising which is the genius behind the whole thing!!
I'm pretty sure he's goofing on Elvis (hey baby) wherever he is!!
See you in Heaven if you make the list!
Keep Smiling :):