Andy Kaufman faked his death and is still alive, his brother says.
No, really. For real this time. Michael Kaufman said the “Taxi” star and comic genius went into hiding nearly three decades ago, and has a 24-year-old daughter. He introduced a woman purporting to be that daughter at the Andy Kaufman Awards on Monday, reports Sean L. McCarthy of the Comic’s Comic, who attended the New York City ceremony. (TMZ has video.)
Kaufman confidante Bob Zmuda has hinted for years that Kaufman was obsessed with faking his own death — and that that’s exactly what he did when he ostensibly died of cancer in 1984. (Zmuda has taken over playing Tony Clifton, the vile comedian who served as the sweet-faced Kaufman’s alter-ego.)
Michael Kaufman said in his lengthy remarks Monday that “while cleaning out Andy’s things after his death in 1984, he found among his many writings an essay about how Andy planned to fake his own death, his literal, figurative and spiritual leaps through meditation, and how he’d eventually reappear on Christmas Eve on 1999 at a particular restaurant that had served him a favored dish years earlier,” according to McCarthy.
Michael Kaufman said he arrived at the restaurant on the appointed night, and was handed an envelope with a letter from his brother.
“The letter purported that Andy wanted to go into hiding and live a normal life, that he’d met and fallen in love with a woman and had a daughter, and that he didn’t want Michael or anyone to say anything while their own father was still alive,” McCarthy wrote.
Why is Michael Kaufman telling this story now? Because their father died this summer, he said.
Soon after, the reputed daughter made her way to the stage. Later, wrote McCarthy, “Michael escorted the young woman offstage and asked that we respect her privacy.”
Killy Dwyer, an Andy Kaufman Awards finalist, said on Facebook that the event was “chilling, upsetting and absolutely intriguing. I bawled my eyes out. The entire room was freaked out. It was, if nothing else, brilliant. and incredibly mindf—ing and AWESOME.”
So, Andy Kaufman, if you’re alive, please just let us know in the comments so we can get this whole thing resolved.