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LAist Interview: Bob Zmuda

Bob Zmuda (Custom).jpg
Photo by Archman8 via flickr.
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Tomorrow night, the Silent Movie Theater hosts a very special event celebrating the release of the compelling new book Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts (Process Media). It's essentially a collection of the mail Kaufman received in response to his televised 1979 challenge to the women of America: beat me in a wrestling match and I will pay you one thousand dollars. As the book reveals, Kaufman’s provocations inspired some pretty severe reactions, evidence that he was succeeding on the most basic level. Finding out that he befriended, corresponded and had sex with some of his combatants adds aonther layer of complexity to the gag. Kaufman associate and lounge singer extraordinaire Tony Clifton was originally on the bill for tomorrow's event. Sadly, Clifton is reported to be languishing in a jail cell in Reno, NV at press time and sadly unable to appear. The event will, however, feature some live yakety-yak from Bob Zmuda, Kaufman’s writer and creative partner in crime through the wrestling years, who also wrote the introduction for Guts, along with a screening of multiple rare and never-televised clips from throughout Kaufman’s career. Don't count Clifton out of the game though; a duets album is promised for next year, with REM among the acts said to be already on board.

Zmuda spoke to LAist last week by phone in a 30 minute “interview” during which this interviewer managed to ask exactly two questions. The answer to one of them is below. Part two of our interview with Zmuda will appear later this week.