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Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

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Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Old 09-29-14, 02:37 PM
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Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

http://nypost.com/2014/09/28/why-and...till-be-alive/

In 1980, legendary comedian Andy Kaufman and his writing partner, Bob Zmuda, wrote a script for a film called “The Tony Clifton Story,” based on a character of Kaufman’s.
On Page 124, there is a block of dialogue intended for Kaufman to speak as himself, informing viewers of Clifton’s demise. Among the lines:
“On June 12, 1980 . . . Tony Clifton, at the age of 45, died of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Hollywood, California.”
Four years later, at age 35, Kaufman himself would, supposedly, die — from cancer at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Hollywood, California.
It was no coincidence, Zmuda reveals in a new book, “Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally” (BenBella Books), written with Lynne Margulies, Kaufman’s girlfriend.


Not only does he firmly believe that Kaufman faked his death, but that Kaufman will be emerging to reveal his great prank to the world very soon.
Longtime obsession
Zmuda believes the germ of this idea — and, it appears, many of Kaufman’s mental-health issues — began with an incident in his childhood.
Modal TriggerAs Zmuda tells it, Kaufman, who first appeared to be “a normal young boy,” had a grandfather he adored called “Papu” with whom he would “sing songs, play games and just have a great time.” But when Papu died, Kaufman’s parents made “a horrible mistake.”
Instead of telling young Andy, his parents, fearing his heartbreak, said Papu “went away to another country far, far across the ocean and wasn’t coming back.” So rather than learning to deal with death, Kaufman thought he had been abandoned.
This, Zmuda says, is when Kaufman began withdrawing from the world. He would “lock himself in his room and start talking to the walls.”
But it also, Zmuda believes, planted the idea that life and death “could be manipulated.”
Modal Trigger
Kaufman on “Saturday Night Live” in 1982
Photo: Getty Images
“It was here where I believe Andy would develop the concept of ‘bending reality’ to suit his needs,” writes Zmuda. “If his parents could fake his grandfather’s not dying, Andy would just fake himself dying.”
Kaufman, a “Saturday Night Live” regular who rose to fame on the sitcom “Taxi” and was immortalized by Jim Carrey in 1999’s “Man on the Moon,” was known for stunts, such as once taking his entire Carnegie Hall audience out for milk and cookies after a performance.
He began talking with Zmuda about faking his death several years before his “actual” death.
When SNL’er John Belushi died in March 1982, Kaufman was very upset — not for normal reasons, but because, as he told manager George Shapiro, “John Belushi is pulling my stunt, faking his death.”
Shapiro, who recalls in the book that Kaufman truly believed this for a time, says Kaufman spoke often of faking his own death. “Could you imagine how this is going to blow everyone’s mind?” he would say.
To ‘die’ laughing
Zmuda presents transcripts of several of his conversations with Kaufman on this topic.
Sometime in 1982, Kaufman called Zmuda at 4 in the morning, telling him he had decided to fake his death and insisting he meet him right away.
Modal Trigger
Bob Zmuda
Photo: WireImage
A half-hour later, as Kaufman devoured a bowl of chocolate ice cream at Canters Deli in Los Angeles, Zmuda told him what he was planning was illegal and refused to have any part in it.
Another time, they argued after Kaufman admitted telling a woman he was going to “fake my death by making people believe I had terminal cancer.” (The woman’s response, according to Kaufman? “She thought it was disgusting, and if I ever brought it up again, she’d never talk to me.” Zmuda had to tell him that “people *really get wigged out when you start f- -king with death.”)
Zmuda also recalls a conversation in which Kaufman started coughing, and Zmuda said: “Stop with the coughing, already. I think it’s a dead giveaway.” Kaufman replied, “I don’t know. Everyone seems to believe it.”
Early on, Kaufman told people he was dying because he “ate too much chocolate.” He had read a book called “Sugar Blues” that said that “too much chocolate can kill you.”
“Maybe I’ll just stick with cancer,” Kaufman said, after which Zmuda asked how long he planned to stay dead. He said, “If I was going to be a little boy about it, I’d go into hiding for one or two years. But if I was going to be a man about it, it’d be 20 or 30 years.”
Modal Trigger
Andy Kaufman in “Taxi”
Photo: Corbis
Kaufman, Zmuda believes, found a “body double,” someone with his general physical appearance, who was genuinely dying of cancer. Then he began changing his own physicality to match that of the dying man, including losing weight and shaving his head, and released *photos of himself in this state.
Zmuda says that once, when Kaufman’s brother Michael flew out to LA to visit his dying brother, Kaufman accidentally dropped the charade, appearing sick and frail one day but “back to his old self” the next. When Michael asked how it was possible, he was told, “medication.”
Zmuda and Kaufman came to privately refer to it as “the dying routine.” In one of their final conversations on the matter, Zmuda says, they discussed his financial situation, since as Kaufman’s writer, Zmuda’s career was built around Kaufman’s. Kaufman suggested leaving Zmuda money, but he said no, as it could implicate him when Kaufman returned.
By then, Zmuda claims, Kaufman had decided on 30 years as the time frame for his hoax and that he would keep Margulies out of the loop, letting her believe he had really died.
Even to Zmuda, who had helped create many of Kaufman’s deceptions, it all began sounding “pretty f- -ked up.”
“Bob, it’s who I am and what I do,” Kaufman said. “Nothing could ever top it. I’ve given it great thought. Besides, I’m getting psyched. I’m starting an entire new life.”
Asked how he would start that life given that the world knew what he looked like, Kaufman suggested becoming a children’s clown, which would allow him to wear makeup, and calling himself “something stupid like ‘Zany Clowny.’ ”
When the body double died, Zmuda says, a switch was made, with the double buried as Kaufman, and Kaufman being spirited away to start his new life.
Alternate theories
Co-author Margulies doesn’t seem to share Zmuda’s feelings on this, but offers an alternate theory of Kaufman’s passing.
Zmuda and Margulies reveal here for the first time that Kaufman was bisexual, and she floats the possibility that he died not of cancer but AIDS. The pair writes that Kaufman made them promise to keep his bisexuality a secret until both his parents were dead. Kaufman’s mother died soon after he did, and his father passed away last year.
Modal Trigger
Andy Kaufman in 1978
Photo: Getty Images
While it has long been known that Kaufman was a sex addict — in just one week, Zmuda says, Kaufman had sex with all 42 women working at the Mustang Ranch brothel in Las Vegas — they recall that he would also pick up men for sex in San Francisco’s Castro District.
“Years after Andy ‘died,’ ” writes Margulies, “a gay friend in San Francisco said that everyone knew Andy died of AIDS because they saw him in the Castro District constantly.”
The book also reveals that *comedian Dave Chappelle told Zmuda at the Aspen Comedy Festival in 2005 that his own infamous exit from comedy, when he walked out on his Comedy Central show, was directly influenced by Kaufman.
After being summoned to see the comic, writes Zmuda, Chappelle announced to the few people in the room: “Folks, listen up. It was because of this man and Andy Kaufman that I quit my job!”
Zmuda says he “winced” in response and asked, “I did?”
Chappelle then told Zmuda that “Chappelle’s Show” “just wanted me to keep that same old step-and-fetch-it bulls- -t going. I wasn’t going to do it! I don’t care how much they paid me. That show was killin’ me. Now I know how Andy was feeling having to do ‘Taxi.’ ”
A late return
Toward the end of the book, Zmuda recalls how at Kaufman’s funeral, he “didn’t shed a tear” but “had to bite my lip a few times to keep from exploding in laughter.” “Everyone was expecting Andy to jump out of the casket at any time,” he says.
Zmuda believes that, given Kaufman’s self-declared 30-year timeline, his return is imminent. Kaufman died in May 1984. If Zmuda is correct, then Kaufman is already late.
In the book’s final pages, Zmuda addresses Kaufman directly, imploring him to emerge and laying out plans for how it could be done, including Zmuda coordinating a massive event at which Kaufman would appear.
Discussing his longtime code of secrecy with Kaufman about their pranks, Zmuda writes: “The only reason I’m giving it up now is that Andy set a time limit on this one. Thirty years. So I’ve kept my part of the bargain and kept my mouth shut. But no more. The prank’s over. I want him back and he’s coming back.”
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Old 09-29-14, 02:45 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I thought this 'resurrection' was to happen years ago. There was even a site made about it.
If I recall, Kaufman said he would return 25 years later. Now it's 30?
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Old 09-29-14, 03:00 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I thought he said 31 years.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:10 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Jewish guy back from the dead, I wonder if a new religion will come out of this.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:13 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

It's 32 years.... and 97days.... and 4 months.... and 1 week.... and 19 hours until he returns. If he's late to that, this story is bullshit.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:18 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Actually, after looking it up, Kaufman himself said if he faked his death, he would return 20 years later and that would have been 2004. I thought there was a thread here about it but I know there was a site made and a countdown.
Then last year some chick said she was his Daughter and he was still alive but that turned out to be bullshit as well.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:27 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I thought Zmuda came out years ago with the statement that Kaufman was really, really dead?

Now he's saying he faked it? Either he's telling the truth or he's trying to make money off his creative partner who died of cancer.

Gee, I wonder....
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Old 09-29-14, 03:33 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Originally Posted by VHS? View Post
Actually, after looking it up, Kaufman himself said if he faked his death, he would return 20 years later and that would have been 2004. I thought there was a thread here about it but I know there was a site made and a countdown.
I remember that, and I was somewhat thinking it had a chance to be true. This time, I'll let other people get sucked in.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:35 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Originally Posted by VHS? View Post
Actually, after looking it up, Kaufman himself said if he faked his death, he would return 20 years later and that would have been 2004. I thought there was a thread here about it but I know there was a site made and a countdown.
But if you add 10 to that it's 2014 and that's now!! See? It still all works!
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Old 09-29-14, 03:39 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I want this to be true. I want to believe!
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Old 09-29-14, 03:39 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Andy Kaufman has gone wrestling.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:48 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

He's goofing on Elvis.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:52 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
Andy Kaufman has gone wrestling.
Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
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Old 09-29-14, 04:04 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

this is all horseshit, but could you imagine how fucking awesome it would be if he did show up?
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Old 09-29-14, 04:19 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Well, he was going to come back this year... but then decided the joke would be that much cooler if he waited 40 years.

That, or he wants to be a priest in disguise at Tony Danza's funeral. "Who's the boss now motherfucka!?!"
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Old 09-29-14, 05:16 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I like the idea that this is all a joke on Zmuda. That when Andy found out he was dying, he told Zmuda he was going to fake his death so that poor Bob would run around for the rest of his life, claiming Andy wasn't really dead and looking like a fool.
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Old 09-29-14, 05:19 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Maybe he faked his own death, but died in the interim.

Didn't someone (who really, really looked like Kaufman) make an eerie appearance as Tony Clifton at some function when the AK movie came out?

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen View Post
I like the idea that this is all a joke on Zmuda. That when Andy found out he was dying, he told Zmuda he was going to fake his death so that poor Bob would run around for the rest of his life, claiming Andy wasn't really dead and looking like a fool.
That sounds like the most likely scenario.
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Old 09-29-14, 07:30 PM
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re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Not only did Andy Kaufman fake his death, he's been studying Jeet Kune Do at Bruce Lee's secret dojo in Aroostook, Maine. When the student becomes the master, they will both return in a series of epic sparring bouts.




only in my dreams.
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Old 09-29-14, 07:41 PM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I wonder what people would think if he really did fake his death and come back.
Would anyone care after like, a day or Two? Would people hate on him for doing it?
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Old 09-29-14, 07:53 PM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Even though I'm religious...I have to admit...I'd prefer Andy coming back to Earth over Jesus Christ.
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Old 09-29-14, 08:16 PM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

I bought in to this 10 years ago on the 20th anniversary of his death. As bizarre as it sounded, for Kaufman I didn't put it out the realm of possibility. Of course it was shit, so every time this has come up (in 2009 and again now) I'm not surprised.
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Old 09-29-14, 09:40 PM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

It would be pretty amazing if he actually did fake his death - and I wouldn't put it past him.
However, I really can't see him doing the fake death gag for 30 years. 5 years max... the longer he does the gag - the bigger the risk of being found out before the big reveal.

Plus, he probably couldn't do crappy jobs making little pay for too long without missing out on the money - unless of course he's got some kind of backing in the entertainment industry.

Anyways - he's dead.
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Old 09-29-14, 10:11 PM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

While not illegal to fake ones death, the consequences when 'coming back', may be something that could land one in jail. Life insurance fraud is one.
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Old 09-30-14, 05:44 AM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Originally Posted by Coral View Post
It would be pretty amazing if he actually did fake his death - and I wouldn't put it past him.
However, I really can't see him doing the fake death gag for 30 years. 5 years max... the longer he does the gag - the bigger the risk of being found out before the big reveal.
Not only that, but the odds of actually dying during the gag period grows.

Wouldn't that suck - plan this with a 30-year reveal, and die 29 years into it, as Joe Smith in a small town in Pennsylvania?
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Old 09-30-14, 09:18 AM
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Re: Andy Kaufman to return this year [UPDATE: STILL DEAD]

Originally Posted by Coral View Post

Plus, he probably couldn't do crappy jobs making little pay for too long without missing out on the money - unless of course he's got some kind of backing in the entertainment industry.

Anyways - he's dead.
Keep in mind he was a part-time busboy while on Taxi, because he wanted to keep himself humble.

But agreed - he's dead.
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