Elvis and Andy Kaufman
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Lee

Redmond, WA

#1 Mar 19, 2008
Does anyone here know Andy Kaufman? Andy was the guy who used to play on TAXI. I think his name was Lafta, or something like that. Andy was a hilarious comedian, and a number one Elvis fan. He used to be on professional wrestling, wrestled only women, and bragged that he could whip any woman in the world! This was in the middle of the women's liberation movement! After he pinned a woman, he would strut around and cluck like a chicken. He was absolutely hilarious!

But when it came to Elvis, Andy was dead serious. He loved and respected Elvis with all his heart.

Andy got past the guards once and actually got to speak to Elvis, and told him he was in the middle of a book about him. This was an experience Andy cherished for the rest of his life.
I don't like Elvis imitators in general, but Andy did the best imitation of Elvis I have ever seen. He was VERY respectful of Elvis, and when he imitated Elvis, he BECAME Elvis!

Unforunately, he died before he finished his book about Elvis. I sure wish the family would release the part he did finish.

There is, however, a book out ABOUT Elvis and Andy. It is called, I think, "Andy Kaufman and Elvis." That is, it is about Andy's obsession with Elvis.

Sometimes I grieve for Andy, as well as Elvis.
Complicated Lady

United States

#2 Mar 19, 2008
Elvis did a hilarious imitation of Andy imitating Elvis. "Wait, wait, there's something on my lip. There's something on my lip."
Lee

Redmond, WA

#3 Mar 19, 2008
Complicated Lady wrote:
Elvis did a hilarious imitation of Andy imitating Elvis. "Wait, wait, there's something on my lip. There's something on my lip."
As far as I know, Andy never imitated Elvis until after Elvis died. And the lip thing, I think, was Elvis imitating Elvis. Yes, it was funny.
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#4 Mar 20, 2008
Here's the chronology that matters.

i) Kaufman becomes a huge fan of Elvis, in 1960, learns every sonf that he ever did, up until that time, then all the rest that follow.

ii) Writes him a letter, from a Boston Jr. college, in early 1969, says he wants to meet him.

iii) in August, when Elvis is booked at the International, Kaufman goes to Vegas, hides inside a walk-in cupboard in a corridor, comes out of it to surprise him, then asks him whether he got the letter, then goes son to more or less repeat what he said in the letter, basically how much he loves him, admires hims, etc.

iv) He gets a huge pat in the back, and a blessing from Elvis.

iv) because of this incident, I repeat, because of this incident, which was left out completely out of the bio-pic, "Man on ther moon", Kaufman would invariably include kind renditions of ElvisÂ’ stage and off-stage persona in his sketches, till his death in 1984.

I really can't understand why this was left out of the movie, in which Kaufman was played by Jim Carrey.

The same happened with the biopic "Ali", where at least three incidents between Elvis and Ali could have been included, especially the time they went into a redneck bar, in the middle of nowhere, alone, got on the stage from behind, sang a verse of "Hound Dog" then left the premises leaving everyone there with their mouths opened, with the connivance of the owner of the bar, who knew Ali. This was in 1974.

You can actually see Kaufman¡s letter if you do a google search by writing Kaufman letter to elvis
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#5 Mar 20, 2008
As a matter of fact, there are more stories. witty, funny, unforgettable, about Elvis, before and after he became Elvis, as well as those that followed AFTER HIS DEATH, that would fill volumes upon volumes. Invariably, they are 10 times as touching and telling, as the ten thousand stories one is familiar with. It is a pity that a motion picture is not made with only these relatively unknown stories as the main storyline. Only then would those that continue to reject Presley finally come to understand what was, is, and will always be the reason Presley was loved by his fans, as he was, in the first place.
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#6 Mar 20, 2008
It is 1954. In the outskirts of Memphis, but already across the Mississippi line. Elvis is driving, with an African American at his side, who is his date for the night. A friend of Elvis is in the back of the car, also with an African-American cutie. It is three in the morning. Elvis stops the car. They are making out, furiously.

A policeman stops behind them, turns his car lights off, to surprise them. With his battery operated flashlight, he aims the light at the back seat, which gives Elvis time to compose.

He lowers the window, asks politely what can he do. The policeman looks at him, not knowing he will be, in less than 20 months, the most famous, photographed celebrity of his, or any other generation. He hints that they shouldn't be there, especially because of the company they keep, or something to that effect.

Elvis then says they're actually lost, which prompts the policeman to kindly suggest they should follow him back to the border.

So, re-capping,. instead of chaos, mayhem, drama, namely going to a police station, what happens in the middle of racism, hate, and everythiong that went on in 1954, in Mississippi, of all places, is that Elvis gets a personalized escort by a Mississippi policeman who has never even heard Elvis sing.

That's having carisma with a capital C, and luck, which incidentally always come hand in hand...
Lee

United States

#7 Mar 20, 2008
Jim Burrows wrote:
It is 1954. In the outskirts of Memphis, but already across the Mississippi line. Elvis is driving, with an African American at his side, who is his date for the night. A friend of Elvis is in the back of the car, also with an African-American cutie. It is three in the morning. Elvis stops the car. They are making out, furiously.
A policeman stops behind them, turns his car lights off, to surprise them. With his battery operated flashlight, he aims the light at the back seat, which gives Elvis time to compose.
He lowers the window, asks politely what can he do. The policeman looks at him, not knowing he will be, in less than 20 months, the most famous, photographed celebrity of his, or any other generation. He hints that they shouldn't be there, especially because of the company they keep, or something to that effect.
Elvis then says they're actually lost, which prompts the policeman to kindly suggest they should follow him back to the border.
So, re-capping,. instead of chaos, mayhem, drama, namely going to a police station, what happens in the middle of racism, hate, and everythiong that went on in 1954, in Mississippi, of all places, is that Elvis gets a personalized escort by a Mississippi policeman who has never even heard Elvis sing.
That's having carisma with a capital C, and luck, which incidentally always come hand in hand...
If anyone wants to see it, you can see Andy imitating Elvis on youtube. My computer won't play it, but it's there. I guarantee, it is the best you will ever see. He truly loved Elvis.

By the way, Ali said that Elvis was "the sweetest man I have ever met".
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#8 Mar 20, 2008
There's about 4 different sketches on you.tube. And there is one that is even better than the other three. Not because of the singing, mind you. He ends the song, goes backstage, followed by two groupies. What he does there, what he says, what he tells the public, is the greatest tribute ever given to the wonderful soul that was Elvis Presley. I'll try to find it, then get back at you guys and girls with the instructions on how to see it.

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#9 Mar 20, 2008
This is an absolutely AWESOME thread. One of the BEST and most INTERSTING I have ever read about Elvis at Topix. Thank you Lee and Jim!!!!
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#10 Mar 20, 2008
I looked, and looked, and it appears that the sketch I was looking for has been deleted. Too bad. But I'll keep searching.
Lee

Redmond, WA

#11 Mar 20, 2008
TCB-girl wrote:
This is an absolutely AWESOME thread. One of the BEST and most INTERSTING I have ever read about Elvis at Topix. Thank you Lee and Jim!!!!
You know who Andy Kaufman was, don't you TCB? He was that funny little guy Latka on Taxi. He did many characters and was multi-talented. He had an alter identity, and used to appear on talk shows under another name. Neither identity would admit to being the other. Sometime I'm not sure Andy knew. Johnny Carson used to say that he was not sure if Andy really knew he had these two identities. I forget the alter identity's name.

One of his skits was so funny. He would get on stage and pretend to be Mighty Mouse. It was so stupid. But it was so stupid it was hilarious! He just wanted to get on stage and lip sync Mighty Mouse singing, "Here I Come to save the Day!" It was really stupid, but really funny at the same time. He was so intense and sincere when he did it!

But most of all, he was an Elvis fan, and the best Elvis imitator ever!

Then out of the blue, it was announced that Andy had terminal lung cancer. He had no risk factors whatsoever. He just got it. People thought that Andy was so outrageous that he must be pulling off a stunt, and didn't believe it, when he appeared in public in a wheel chair, or even when the hospital announced his death! Many people thought that Andy was going to pop up in a new identity or something! After he died, people were saying it was a hoax, until someone from the hospital appeared on TV and said, "we wish Andy's death was a hoax. But it's not."

Someone, I don't remember who, said, "Andy had the warmest hugs, ever!"

What a tragedy. Andy had a big future ahead of him.
Lee

Redmond, WA

#12 Mar 20, 2008
TCB-girl wrote:
This is an absolutely AWESOME thread. One of the BEST and most INTERSTING I have ever read about Elvis at Topix. Thank you Lee and Jim!!!!
This is really bazaar. I have been checking around on the internet and see that there are a lot of people out there who still believe that Andy is alive! See "Andy Kaufman Lives". Apparently, he talked to a lot of people and said he wanted to fake his own death.

I think that when he found out that he had cancer, he decided that he would go out with one last hoax, that hoax being that his death was a hoax. I guess he wanted people to say he was still alive, the way they say Elvis is still alive.

That sounds wierd, but that's probably just the way Andy would want to go out. That's the way he was.

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#13 Mar 20, 2008
Oh, yes, Lee, I know who Andy Kaufman is. He was quite the interesting and talented character. Though the character he played on Taxi was great fun.... I think Andy himself was a VERY intelligent human being. I thought his characterizations of Elvis were very cool. May he R.I.P.
Lee

Redmond, WA

#14 Mar 20, 2008
Lee wrote:
<quoted text>This is really bazaar. I have been checking around on the internet and see that there are a lot of people out there who still believe that Andy is alive! See "Andy Kaufman Lives". Apparently, he talked to a lot of people and said he wanted to fake his own death.
I think that when he found out that he had cancer, he decided that he would go out with one last hoax, that hoax being that his death was a hoax. I guess he wanted people to say he was still alive, the way they say Elvis is still alive.
That sounds wierd, but that's probably just the way Andy would want to go out. That's the way he was.
I didn't mention this before, but besides hiding in the cabinet at the International to pop out and tell Elvis he idolized him and was writing a book about him, Andy also visited Graceland, managed to sneak upstairs and use the toilet!

Now you all know that if anyone else did this, it would infuriate me! But when Andy did it, it was no "toilet joke" about Elvis. It was truly Andy's way of getting as close to Elvis as possible. To use the same toilet Elvis used.

If you knew Andy's personality and career, you would know that Andy had the highest respect for Elvis. That was just Andy's crazy way of getting as close to Elvis as possible!

And has anyone else ever been smart enough to get upstairs??

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#15 Mar 20, 2008
Lee, I have NEVER read that anywhere before about Andy getting upstairs at Graceland. Where are you getting this info. I want to read it.

I do think I read somewhere about popping out and surprising Elvis at the International/Hilton though. Just can't remember where I read it.

I think Andy was a creative person but he could be very eccentric. He definitely heard his own drummer as so many talented types do.
Jim Burrows

Managua, Nicaragua

#16 Mar 20, 2008
Do you have any more details about his using Elvis bathroom? Even if Elvis was out in Hollywood, or vacationing in Hawaii, or preparing in loco, as he did, for his comeback in Las Vegas, how on earth did Andy manage to actually penetrate inside Graceland, let alone use his bathroom upstairs? Fascinating!!!

Since: Mar 08

Salerno - Campania Italy

#17 Mar 21, 2008
Hi everybody! E 'beautiful writing here with you! I did not know Andy Kaufman, but after I read some things written here, I went on to you tube see some things done by Andy.
Wow! He is sensational! I like both in this video where he impersonate Elvis! Andy is exceptional! He manages to capture the special character of Elvis, even small movements of the mouth movements of the body, the voice. I understood that Andy managed to enter deep into the soul of Elvis, Andy had a great talent! It is sad that he has died so young!

Steve

Bradford, UK

#18 Mar 21, 2008
Jim Burrows wrote:
I looked, and looked, and it appears that the sketch I was looking for has been deleted. Too bad. But I'll keep searching.
Jim go to 'youtube' and type in Andy Kaufman Elvis impersonation (1979 Johnny Cash show) there's lots of clips of Andy but this is done so well one of the best I've seen enjoy.

“....may God bless you, Adios”

Since: Jul 07

Viva Las Vegas

#19 Mar 21, 2008
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Jim go to 'youtube' and type in Andy Kaufman Elvis impersonation (1979 Johnny Cash show) there's lots of clips of Andy but this is done so well one of the best I've seen enjoy.
Thanks, Steve.
Lee

Redmond, WA

#20 Mar 21, 2008
TCB-girl wrote:
Lee, I have NEVER read that anywhere before about Andy getting upstairs at Graceland. Where are you getting this info. I want to read it.
I do think I read somewhere about popping out and surprising Elvis at the International/Hilton though. Just can't remember where I read it.
I think Andy was a creative person but he could be very eccentric. He definitely heard his own drummer as so many talented types do.
I think it was after Elvis died. I didn't mention it at first, because I was afraid fans would think it was an Elvis bathroom joke, but if you know Andy, it was not. It was just Andy trying to do something that was as intimate to Elvis as possible. He would never ridicule Elvis in any way. It was in a little book called "Andy Kaufman and Elvis". Don't remember the author.

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