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Here He Comes, to Save the Day!

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Andy Kaufman made a career out of spoofs, make-believe and pushing the reality envelope far beyond where it could go.

May 16 is the 20th anniversary of what some would say was his fake death. LA Weekly writer Dave Shulman looks at what could be one of the biggest comebacks of all time.

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 Zmuda founded in 1985, will present . . . something. Something secretive, something at House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Title: Andy Kaufman — Dead or Alive?

Kaufman often talked about faking his death, but it was a gag, right? Of course, he did take busloads of people from his Carnegie Hall concert out for milk and cookies.

And there’s the whole Tony Clifton issue.

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About Jim Carruthers