Man on the Moon

I discovered the “Andy Kaufman Returns” blog a few days ago, and I’ve become increasingly fascinated by it, especially as the story gains even more publicity from this press release. Of course I don’t really buy the story. Anyone can issue a press release, and in the blogosphere, nobody knows you’re a dog (or more precisely, nobody knows you’re not Tony Clifton), but the prank is a pretty good one, effectively playing Kaufman’s practice of mixing “reality” and “performance” against the possibilities of performing alternate selves on the Internet. It’s an entertaining read that captures the spirit of Kaufman’s comedy.

Begging to Differ has an interesting post on the topic, commending the pranksters for their thorough research into Kaufman’s biography, and Snopes uncovers several of the prank’s inconsistencies, including the backtracking on some of the information in the press release.

3 Comments »

  1. Derek Said,

    May 20, 2004 @ 6:41 pm

    I’m glad you blogged this, Chuck. I hadn’t picked up on it; now I’ve got AK Returns on my blogroll, just to see how it plays out. Hoax? Fun either way.

  2. fritz Said,

    May 20, 2004 @ 7:37 pm

    have you been following Rance, the hollywood blogger? see defamer.com for a brief history. the writing (attributed at times to the likes of Owen Wilson, Ben Affleck) started strong. latest tech-savvy recon links the blog to an ad man in silverlake. interesting at least in terms of how celebrity does(n’t) function in the blogosphere.

  3. chuck Said,

    May 21, 2004 @ 12:09 pm

    I followed Rance for a while, but lost interest pretty quickly. The writing never struck me as terribly compelling, and I never linked to it on my blog, so I more or less forgot about it.

    It will be interesting to see how the Kaufman prank plays itself out. Things happen so quickly on the Internet that it’s hard to predict how long the story will last.

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