Friday, 30 January 2015

A Bit of Andy Kaufman History And One Damn Funny Story

I have to recommend this to you if you're not too easily offended. It's the latest podcast by the great Gilbert Gottfried and is an hour and a half with Bob Zmuda. I guess that neither is a household name here in the UK and this whole thing probably needs a little preface in the form of a brief history of American standup comedy.

Gottfried is one of my favourite comedians, though I've not had the chance to see much of his work beyond Youtube. He's just not a big star in the UK. I have no idea how big he is in the US but he's one of those comics that I just can't resist watching. I love his voice, his facial expressions, his laughter, his jokes... Most of all I love his daring. He's just out there in places where most comedians can only dream about going. I think I've posted this before but it's one of my favourite things on the internet and is itself definitely not safe for work. It's Gottfried's audiobook version of '50 Shades of Grey'. What I love about this is that it cuts through all the precious bullshit that's spoken about that damn book and he reads it exactly how it reads on the page.

So, like I was saying, his latest podcast is devoted to Bob Zmuda who was Andy Kaufman's writer and friend.

Andy Kaufman, for those too young to know their comedy history, is simply one of the great oddballs of American comedy. He's most famous for his role in Taxi but his live comedy is as far left field as left field goes. Example:

Kaufman died tragically young though stories continue to persist that he faked his own death. HIs life was the subject of the excellent 1999 Milos Forman film, Man on the Moon, with Jim Carrey as Kaufman. He was also the Andy Kaufman of the REM song the same name.

So, Zmuda was his friend and writer and he continues to add to the Kaufman legend by appearing as one of Kaufman's more famous characters called Tony Clifton. Tony Clifton is a bit hard to describe but he's a bit like Dean Martin crossed with Sir Les Patterson and then with the debauchery cranked up to 11. Example.

Clifton is deeply repulsive, which makes the story that Zmuda tell all the funnier. It begins about the 14.50 mark and is about time Jim Carrey was invited to the Playboy mansion by the star struck Hugh Heffner. Like I say, it's not for the easily offended. Definitely NSFW. The details get pretty pornographic but it's hilarious and like the best comedy, revealing about human nature, in this case, the worst kind of human nature involving celebrity .


1 comment:

  1. Brilliant!

    That is the rest of my day sorted....