Update: That didn’t take long… The folks at The Smoking Gun reveal the young woman is Alexandra Tatarsky, who is (shocker) an actress, and was hired to play the role of Andy Kaufman’s daughter by his brother Michael whom she met earlier this year.
Okay, this sort of toes the line between news and gossip we guess, but it’s also too fascinating and fun to ignore. But first, a short history: when hugely famous and influential comedian Andy Kaufman passed away in 1984 at the age of 35, almost immediately rumors floated that it was a hoax. He had apparently long talked about faking his death so he could step out of the celebrity spotlight, and over the years the myth continued with believers clinging onto various small clues that he was possibly still out there, sitting back and enjoying the best prank he ever pulled. But nothing has emerged quite like this.
On Monday night, at the annual Andy Kaufman Awards, the comedian’s brother Michael Kaufman introduced 24-year old woman whom he claimed reached out to her a few months ago, saying she’s Andy Kaufman’s daughter. And she took to the stage, discussing with those in attendance his life as a stay-at-home Dad and how she had little idea about his fame until she was older. She also seemed to suggest he had thought long and hard about showing up at the awards ceremony, and apparently this young woman’s appearance made quite the impact. Kelly Dwyer, attending the awards show as a finalist, posted to Facebook the following:
Ok. Tonight was a mindfuck. Anyone who was there will attest. Andy Kaufman’s daughter came onstage and claimed he was alive. It was. It was…I can’t tell you how it was, only that it was as real as any reality that i’ve seen. and yeah. I get that it is – could – might all be a hoax. That was the only and last thing I want to say. it was fucking fucked up. She said he is alive and that the passing of his father this July made him want to reach out via her- to Michael, Andy’s brother. She said he is watching the award entries, semi and finalists with great interest always. He just wanted to disappear. To be a father. To be an observer. As much as this seems like bullshit as I type it, it was as real as anything I’ve ever seen. There is video. It was chilling, upsetting and absolutely intriguing. I bawled my eyes out. The entire room was freaked out. It was, if nothing else, brilliant. and incredibly mindfuckng and AWESOME.
“I witnessed the entire thing and I can tell you without a doubt this was not a prank,” awards show producer and Kaufman friend Al Parinello said. And while Michael certainly seems to believe, others have their doubts. “You could see by the look on [Michael’s] face that it had an emotional impact on him,” Gotham Comedy Club manager Ed Cavanagh said while adding, “I don’t know whether somebody is perpetrating something on [Michael] or not. I’m truly 50-50 on this one.” And it should be noted, there are rumors floating the young woman is a theater student…
Still, as far as Hollywood pranks/myths go, this is pretty good whether it’s true or not. Andy Kaufman would be 64 years old today and if indeed he is alive, it would arguably be the biggest pause before a punchline in comedy history if he one day shows himself. Anyway, watch the woman claiming to be Andy Kaufman’s daughter below and let us know if you think she’s real or pulling a con. [Defamer/THR/TMZ]