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An overview of the world of andy kaufman

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No one could believe he was dead. No one ever knew what to make of Andy Kaufman. In one routine, he did nothing more than sit on stage, order a bowl of ice creamand consume it to the sound of a laugh track.

At a Carnegie Hall show in 1979, he brought his grandmother on stage; then later unmasked her to reveal it was really Robin Williams; and then, he loaded the entire audience onto buses and took them out for milk and cookies. He was a behavioral scientist. To balance the lovable Latka image, he adopted the alter-ego of Tony Clifton, a vulgar Vegas lounge singer.

Is he for real? And then, he died. An outta-nowhere lung cancer struck the non-smoker. Fans were barely aware that he was sick before he passed away in Los Angeles on May 16, 1984, at age 35. Not that the family is insulated from the hoax scene: But Michael Kaufman declines to engage.

Zmuda founded the charity fundraiser Comic Relief and produced its specials, but much of his post-Andy career has been Andy-centric. I hired a publicist. Zmuda thinks Kaufman found a fan who was actually dying of cancer, and then altered his own appearance to more closely resemble that man, ultimately swapping places. Her revelation in the book is that she believes her boyfriend was bisexual and actually succumbed to AIDS.

Zmuda admits this is a tricky one.

Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally

But he notes that Margulies has a background in the theatrics of pro wrestling and knows a thing or two about long cons. What if, assuming any of these conversations are real, the death hoax is the hoax? His real, documented, too-early, unfair, terribly sad death. Zmuda shrugs this off: Nope, the cancer came up too fast, Kaufman would have had no idea he was sick a few years out. There will be DNA testing, of course.

It will be the showbiz comeback of the century. A staff writer with The Washington Post since 1995, she covered the Maryland suburbs, higher education and later the West Coast as a Los Angeles-based reporter before serving eight years as a Reliable Source columnist.

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