Andy Kaufman, best known for his portrayal of sweet-natured Latka on 'Taxi', was one of the most ingenious and controversial entertainers of his time. More behavioural scientist than comedian, Kaufman pushed the relationship between a performer and his audience to the brink. Whether he was the teary-eyed child-man interviewing Howdy Doody, the sexually-aroused inter-gender wrestling champion who often bedded his female opponents, or the bombastic lounge lizard singer Tony Clifton, Andy Kaufman broke all the rules.
This is an illuminating portrait of a complex, often misunderstood loner who seldom ventured out of his room unless it was to jar millions of television viewers with his calculated lunacy, or to satisfy his myriad sexual fetishes. The book describes how Andy made his living straddling the thin line between genius and insanity, and how it influenced the likes of such comic luminaries as Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, David Letterman, Lily Tomlin, and John Belushi. It finally confesses the truth about what really happened between wrestler Jerry Lawler and Andy when Kaufman was hospitalised for a life-threatening neck injury and the notorious confrontation that followed on the 'David Letterman Show'. In a great testimonial to the appeal of the anti-hero, the author also relates the origin and rise of Tony Clifton, an obnoxious lounge lizard into whom Andy metamorphosed when his dark side felt playful.