On July 16, the folks at Drag City will release a brand new comedy album of never-before-heard material from the legendary Andy Kaufman, taken from more than 82 hours of micro-cassettes that Kaufman recorded between 1977 and 1979. For a lot of fans of the former Women’s Wrestling Champion of the World, this album, “Andy and His Grandmother”, will be bittersweet, because as it provides us with something new to enjoy from the man who passed on way too soon, it will also remind us that it will once again be the last that we ever hear from him.
Except, there are some people out there who, 29 years after he succumbed to kidney failure, still believe that the strange and unique comic fulfilled one of his zany goals by faking his death. Granted, Kaufman had said that if he did fake his own death, he’d return 20 years later. However, if that happened as planned in 2004, well, we all missed it.
On the anniversary of his death last Thursday, the Huffington Post ran a story about Kaufman’s faithful fans and their fervent belief that he’s still alive. The urban legend revolves around a man named Stephen Maddox, who claims to be Kaufman’s son, and his strange, grainy Bigfoot-like video footage of a man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whom Maddox claims is his father.
If that really is Kaufman, then I hope he’s doing well and making someone in New Mexico laugh.
As for the album, South Park’s Vernon Chatman listened to each tape and meticulously gathered related excerpts that fit into an organized concept, while former Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader provided the narration. Kaufman’s old friend Bob Zmuda also contributed to the liner notes. Just to be safe, though, keep an eye out for any suspicious autograph signings.
(Banner via Drag City)