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Wait, I Thought He'd Gone Wrestling: Andy Kaufman Might Be Alive After All

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Miscellaneous | November 14, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Miscellaneous | November 14, 2013 |

So anyone who read his Wikipedia page after catching Man on the Moon on cable in the middle of the night, knows that Andy Kaufman was the original Internet troll. He’d get up on stage, and often his acts weren’t funny to the audience, but they were funny to someone watching the audience. It was like comedy Inception. Of course Kaufman died of lung cancer in his early thirties, but his repeated insistence on relating to friends and family how it would be possible for him to fake his own death sort of made his passing so young a conspiracy theorists’ dream.

And so many have believed that Kaufman had pulled off the ultimate fake-out gag by faking his own death and disappearing into hiding, presumably into the rain forests of the Philippines like one of those ancient Japanese soldiers who thinks that the Imperial Navy is totally going to take back the islands and rescue him next week at the absolute latest.

The problem with faking your own death like that is deciding when to pull off the reveal. Do it too soon, and it just annoys people, but wait too long and you emerge only to find that everyone forgot who you were.

Well, a 24 year old woman just showed up who claims to be Andy Kaufman’s daughter, born and raised by him after his “death”, which he faked in order to live in privacy with the woman with whom he had fallen in love. Kaufman’s brother Michael escorted the young lady to the Andy Kaufman Comedy Awards and introduced her. When contacted afterwards by reporters who wanted to, you know, talk to her, Michael Kaufman said that she was now unreachable, and that he would explain everything later.

Personally, I think it’s probably just Jim Carrey pulling a publicity stunt for a follow-up movie that no one is going to see anyway.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.