If you believed they put a man on the moon...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2004, 6:34pm PT  

Something fun to ponder from LA Weekly while the rest of the world crumbles...

Before Kaufman died (or “died”) on May 16, 1984, he told several friends that he was planning to fake his death, disappear and return in 20 years, precisely. So, on May 16, 2004, Comic Relief, the charity organization [best friend and writing partner, Bob] Zmuda founded in 1985, will present . . . something. Something secretive, something at House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Title: Andy Kaufman — Dead or Alive?

“So this May 16 isn't going to be exactly like [Andy's infamous show at] Carnegie Hall,” Zmuda concludes...“But it's gonna be in the ballpark.”

...

“Is this a Comic Relief fund-raiser?”

“No. It's a Comic Relief event, but it's not a fund-raiser. And there will be an important Comic Relief announcement made there.”

“What kind of announcement?”

“I can't tell you.”

“Thank you. What can you tell?”

“Well, it's going to take place at the House of Blues, which usually holds 1,200, with people standing on the main floor. But because of the nature of what we'll be doing that night, we're bringing in chairs. So there's only gonna be 350 seats available.”

“And what is the nature of what you're doing? Perhaps some form of . . . entertainment?”

“I can tell you some of it, some of it I can't. [Kaufman alter-ego, now supposedly embodied by Zmuda] Tony Clifton will perform — if he shows — with his band, the Cliftones, and his dancers, the Cliftonettes. And there's going to be the premiere of an Andy Kaufman film that's never been presented in public, and will never be shown again.”

“How do you know it won't be shown again?”

“It won't. I can't explain, but . . . it won't.. . . and I really can't tell you any more. But we really want the hardcore Kaufman fans to show up, because it is going to be a historical night, around one basic theme: Andy did say that if he was going to fake his death, he would return 20 years later, to the day. That's the day.”

“You know, in your book, it says 10 years.”

“Yeah, I know. When I wrote the book, that's what I thought he'd decided. But after [Andy's girlfriend] Lynne read it, she called and said, ‘You got that wrong.' I said, ‘Whaddya mean?' She said, ‘Don't you remember? Andy was always debating whether it should be 10 or 20 years,' and that he decided, as he put it, to ‘separate the men from the boys.' If he was going to be a boy about it, it'd be 10 years. If he was going to be a man, it'd be 20 years."

“Have you considered someone trying to fake it?”

“Yes. I'm sure there'll be some nuts showing up that night, claiming to be Andy Kaufman. And who knows how Andy'd look, 20 years later? But we will have there, that night, a foolproof way to determine if in fact they are.”

“And that foolproof way is . . .?”

“I can't tell you.”

The full article actually has some tantalizingly "credible" info on a return of Andy. Which --- of course --- may be the point. On the other hand, we live right around the corner from the House of Blues...should we pop $50 a piece for SRO tickets to be there? Just in case...? I'd bite! :-)