Comedian Andy Kaufman Said To Be Alive After Faking Own Death

Posted on November 14th, 2013 by in Offbeat

Jim Carrey captures the spaced out eccentricity of Kaufman (Photo by Nelson Jopia Albornoz)

Jim Carrey captures the spaced out eccentricity of Kaufman (Photo by Nelson Jopia Albornoz)

Before MTV’s Jackass and Sacha Baron Cohen‘s undercover satirical work as Borat and Ali G, there was Andy Kaufman, the man who invented, or at least enhanced to a form of art, the prank. Whether he was reading large passages from The Great Gatsby during what was supposed to be a standup show, or doing an impression of a foreign man doing a pitch perfect impression of Elvis Presley, or wrestling females with misogynistic braggadocio, Kaufman would unflinchingly stay in character to the extent that no one ruled out the troubling possibility he wasn’t kidding.

Kaufman’s death in 1984 from complications caused by a rare case of lung cancer was the one thing we could say we knew to be true about him. But alas, Kaufman’s sense of humor transcends the grave to make us wonder if in fact his remains reside there. This monday, at the annual Andy Kaufman Awards, his brother Michael Kaufman and the comedian’s alleged daughter announced that Andy was alive, and in love with a woman with whom he’s had children. If true, Kaufman is 64.

Kaufman’s brother has previously revealed (or pretended) that he found an essay written by A.K. explaining his wish to fake his own terminus, which included instructions to meet him at a restaurant on Christmas Eve of 1999. The brother’s Kaufman did not meet on that fateful day, though Michael showed up. Instead he was brought a letter, delivered by a mystery courier, supposedly written by the uberprankster himself. The letter assure him that, “everything was great in his (Andy’s) life and he just wanted to get away from being Andy Kaufman.” Fair enough, but what are the chances that a personality who dreamt since childhood of pleasing audiences could resist performing for them for nearly three decades? Furthermore, are we really to believe that Kaufman could evade being caught on someone’s iPhone at the grocery store in this age of information? Technology has taken all the magic out of hoaxes in that way.

Yes, we want Andy Kaufman to be alive, and we would admire the incredibly patient work put into pretending to be dead all these years. But it’s more likely he’s pulling the more effortless trick of pretending to be alive.

For more on Kaufman’s latest ruse, check out the full article by Seth Abramovitch on

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