Andy Kaufman ► Another Magical Tee Vee Moment

It’s no exaggeration to say that Andy Kaufman changed the face of Stand Up comedy.  Apparently Andy didn’t consider himself a comedian and called himself a “song and dance man.” And dance he did. Using the audience as his partner, he waltzed us into one bizarre sitch-eee-ay-shun after another with one of the most inventive comedic acts ever.  During his lifetime he perpetrated so many media hoaxes that there are still people who believe he faked his 1984 death.  The best part of this, Andy’s first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, is listening to Carson cackle in the background.

I once visited the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, part of which is a museum where one can order up any of tens of thousands of hours of radio and tee vee from all the years of broadcasting. I had a limited amount of time and would only be able to make one choice, while my kids explored another part of the center.  What did I chose?  The Andy Kaufman- Jerry Lawler bitch slap heard ’round the world, which I had missed.  Ten years later, after Andy’s death, the Lawler feud was revealed as just another one of Andy’s elaborate hoaxes.  However, even the version at the museum was censored, so I never heard it like this before. [NSFW]

One of the great thrills of Twitter, is that I can be ‘friends’ with Elayne Boosler, one degree from Andy [and a lot of my other comedy heroes].  Elayne is a comedy genius all on her own and it’s always a great thrill when Elayne Boosler Re-Tweets one of my quips. I would be remiss if I did not mention Elayne’s Tails of Joy, her rescue mission for mutts:

Tails of Joy is a not-for-profit (501c3) organization founded by comedian/writer/animal activist Elayne Boosler. Our goal, with your help, is to make the world better for animals and their people.

We raise funds for the smallest, neediest rescues all across the country.

We work for the passing and enforcing of anti-cruelty, and animal welfare laws.


About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.

3 thoughts on “Andy Kaufman ► Another Magical Tee Vee Moment

  1. Lordy I loved the Kaufman Lawler feud. Gotta admit, even I got sucked into that one, me, a seasoned pro-wrestling "smart" fan even then. Just a great gimmick. Hail The King and hail Andy!

  2. OMG, I think I saw that very Andy Kaufman segment on TV, what -nearly 40 years ago. Thanks for the memories!

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