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Review: Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!

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Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts! Photo courtesy Process Media.

Long after his death, Andy Kaufman remains a polarizing man. Some folks (either at the time or now, out of a sense of bereaved duty) love the antics of Andy, while others steadfastly maintain his unfunny arrogance. Probably larger than any of these opposing camps, however, is the mass of folks who were, well... more confused than anything. For a lot of people, Andy Kaufman was (and remains) something that they just didn’t ‘get’, if for no other reason than they never felt like they were in on the joke. And that, at least, is clearly understandable.

In the intervening decades since his death, more and more information has become publicly available about Kaufman, ultimately culminating in the 1999 Jim Carrey biopic Man On The Moon. However, there’s always something sensationalist about a Hollywood produced biopic, isn’t there? It never really touches the person in the way one might hope, meaning something is always going to be left behind, floating in the unknown space between knowledge and nothingness. This is never more evident than with perhaps Kaufman’s most well-known stunt: the taunting of women on national television, alongside a call for normal women to try to beat him in a wrestling match. If successful, he would offer to pay the woman $1,000 and / or marry them. While this stunt garnered a large amount of press at the time, the ultimate ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the foolish fiasco has never really been brought to light. That is, until now.