Andy Kaufman

Actor, Comedian, Busboy
A comic genius well ahead of his time, Andy Kaufman pushed the envelope in a series of performance pieces that challenged the very idea of the entertainer-audience relationship, while also confounding a public unsure ... Read more »
Born: 01/17/1949 in New York City, New York, USA


Actor (15)

100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


The Comedy Store's 20th Birthday 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


My Breakfast With Blassie 1984 (Movie)


Taxi 1978 - 1983 (TV Show)


The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)


Heartbeeps 1981 (Movie)

Val (Actor)

A Johnny Cash Christmas 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)


In God We Trust 1980 (Movie)

Armageddon T Thunderbird (Actor)

Cher and Other Fantasies 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


The Lisa Hartman Show 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


Saturday Night Live 1975 - 1977 (Tv Show)


Van Dyke and Company 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


God Told Me To 1976 (Movie)

Police Assassin (Actor)

Stick Around (TV Show)



A comic genius well ahead of his time, Andy Kaufman pushed the envelope in a series of performance pieces that challenged the very idea of the entertainer-audience relationship, while also confounding a public unsure whether or not his gags were reality or fiction. In fact, Kaufman possessed a rare courage and discipline to stay completely in character, regardless of the outcry elicited by his seemingly erratic behavior. Meanwhile, he made a name for himself on the comedy circuits of New York and Los Angeles, eliciting nervous laughter as the high-talking Foreign Man who often transformed into a dead-on impression of Elvis Presley, or singing the theme to "Mighty Mouse" after standing around in nervous silence, or reading from The Great Gatsby until audience members stormed out. Having first entered America's living rooms via "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Kaufman's Foreign Man was transformed into Latka Gravas on the hit sitcom "Taxi" (ABC/NBC, 1978-1983), where he emerged as one of the show's most beloved stars. Subsequent antics ensued, most notably his famed Carnegie Hall performance after which he took the entire audience out for milk and cookies. He also starred on "The Andy Kaufman Show" (1980), while marking numerous appearances on late night programs, including multiple stops on "Late Night with David Letterman" (NBC, 1982-1993). Though he incurred the wrath of feminists by wrestling women while hurling misogynist invective, Kaufman nonetheless maintained his strange ability to keep audiences guessing as to where the performer ended and the real Andy Kaufman began. Though some believed he was pulling yet another prank when he revealed he had cancer, Kaufman was finally being real with his fans. Although he died young, the comic left behind an indelible legacy as a bold and provocative performer the likes of which the world would probably not see again.


Janice Kaufman


Elayne Boosler

first met in 1973 had brief romance, then remained friends

Maria Colonna

born in 1969 given up for adoption mother was Kaufman's high school sweetheart married to Joey Colonna

Brittany Colonna

appeared as Andy's sister in the film "Man on the Moon"

Stanley Kaufman


Michael Kaufman

born c. 1951

Carol Kaufman

born c. 1957

Lynn Margulies

met in 1982 together until his death in 1984 made a film about his wrestling career, "I'm from Hollywood" also served as an editor for "My Breakfast with Blassie"

Kathie Sullivan

announced engagement in 1981 later separated


Grahm Junior College

Boston , Massachusetts
wrote, produced, directed and starred in the campus TV show "Uncle Andy's Funhouse"

Great Neck North High School

Great Neck , New York 1967
fellow classmate was director-producer Jon Avnet



Filming began on biopic "Man on the Moon", directed by Milos Forman and starring Jim Carrey


NBC aired "A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman"


The rock band REM saluted Kaufman with the song "Man on the Moon"


Release of final film project, "My Breakfast With Blassie", a 60-minute video spoof of "My Dinner With Andre"


Broadway acting debut as a wrestling referee in "Teaneck Tanzi, The Venus Flytrap", co-starring Deborah Harry


Diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer


Seriously injured spine during a wrestling match with Jerry Lawler (April)


First of ten appearances on "Late Night With David Letterman" (February)


Made last live appearance on "Saturday Night Live"; phone-in viewer poll voted to ban him for life from ever appearing on the show again (November); he appeared via videotape (January 1983) thanking those who voted for him


Confronted Lawler on "Late Night With David Letterman" in July


During a strike by film and TV writers, worked as a busboy at Jerry's Famous Deli in L.A.


Starred opposite Bernadette Peters in the feature "Heartbeeps"; both played robots


Engendered controversy for breaking the 'fourth wall' during a skit on the ABC late night show "Fridays"; questions about the validity of the ensuing scuffle remain (was it staged or was it real?); returned in September and was on his best behavior hostin


First major role in films, a televangelist (Armageddon T Thunderbird) in "In God We Tru$t", directed by Marty Feldman


Began challenging women to wrestling matches as part of his act; self-proclaimed World Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion


Headlined an appearance at NYC's Carnegie Hall; after the show invited audience to board buses and travel to a local school cafeteria for milk and cookies


Co-starred as Latka Gravas on the sitcom "Taxi" (ABC, 1978-1982; NBC 1982-1983)


Played the role of Andy the robot helper in a space-age comedy TV pilot, "Stick Around" (ABC)


Headlined the ABC special "Andy's Funhouse"; aired in 1979 as a late-night 90-minute special


Feature film debut in the small role of a psychotic assassin cop in "God Told Me To/Demon"


Was a regular on the short-lived NBC variety series "Van Dyke and Co"; "unscheduled" appearances during the middle of Van Dyke's sketches became an instant favorite; 'Foreign Man' to Elvis transformation stunned studio and TV audience


NBC executive Dick Ebersol caught his act in Los Angeles and asked him to audition for what would become "Saturday Night Live"


Made first of 14 appearances on "Saturday Night Live" on October 11; lip-synched the theme to Mighty Mouse


"Discovered" by IMPROVisation Comedy Club owner Budd Friedman (who did not remember his 1962 audition) while performing stand-up at My Father's Place, a Long Island rock club


While attending Grahm Junior College, wrote. produced and directed the campus TV show "Uncle Andy's Funhouse"


Auditioned for Budd Friedman, the owner and operator of The IMPROV; failed audition


At age nine, started performing at children's parties (date approximate)

Raised in Great Neck on Long Island, NY

Began performing for family as a child

Began doing stand-up at Friedman's NYC and Los Angeles clubs

Met Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke who encouraged their manager George Shapiro to represent him

Bonus Trivia


He was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series in 1979


Kaufman also told an interviewer that he was "doing things I did in my room as a child. It's just when I do them before an audience, they think it's funny."


REM's "Man on the Moon" became the title for the Kaufman biopic written by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (of "Ed Wood" 1994 and "The People Vs Larry Flynt" 1996 fame).


Kaufman had a falling out with TM (Transcendental Meditation) officials over his wrestling women. They just didn't get the joke, that the sexism belonged to the obnoxious character he was playing, that it was just shtick. TM people today call it a temporary misunderstanding.