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Man on the Moon (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  22 December 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 96,393 users   Metascore: 58/100
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The life and career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman.


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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Kaufman (as Tony Clifton)
Little Michael Kaufman (as Greyson Pendry)
Brittany Colonna ...
Leslie Lyles ...
Janice Kaufman - Andy's Mother
Bobby Boriello ...
Mr. Besserman
Budd Friedman
Wiseass Comic
Thomas Armbruster ...
Improv Piano Player
Pamela Abdy ...
Diane Barnett
Wendy Polland ...
Little Wendy
Cash Oshman ...
Meditation Student


Man on the Moon is a biographical movie on the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Kaufman, along with his role on Taxi (1978), was famous for being the self-declared Intergender Wrestling Champion of the world. After beating women time and time again, Jerry Lawler (who plays himself in the movie), a professional wrestler, got tired of seeing all of this and decided to challenge Kaufman to a match. In most of the matches the two had, Lawler prevailed with the piledriver, which is a move by spiking an opponent head-first into the mat. One of the most famous moments in this feud was in the early 80s when Kaufman threw coffee on Lawler on Late Night with David Letterman (1982), got into fisticuffs with Lawler, and proceeded to sue NBC. Written by Eli Boorstein <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Hello, my name is Andy and this is my website." (official site) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| | |


Release Date:

22 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andy Kaufman  »

Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,515,585 (USA) (24 December 1999)


£501,786 (UK) (12 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A man impersonating Gary Oldman discussed the project with an unsuspecting Danny DeVito for months and even submitted an audition tape to Milos Forman. The real Gary Oldman had passed on the role of Andy Kaufman months earlier, and became aware of the scam after he found his name listed as one of the actors auditioning for the part. See more »


At the end, the MPAA certificate number is listed as 369,916, which has one digit too many. At the time it should have been near 37,000. See more »


[first lines]
Andy Kaufman: Hello. I am Andy and I would like to thank you for coming to my movie. I wish it was *better*, you know, but... it is so stupid! It's terrible! I do not even like it. All of the most important things in my life are changed around and mixed up for dramatic purposes. So, I decided to cut out all of the baloney! Now the movie is much *shorter*.
Andy Kaufman: In fact, this is the end of the movie. Thank you very much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits lists Tony Clifton as himself. Tony Clifton was a character created by Andy Kaufman, and was portrayed by Andy or Bob Zmuda in real life (and by Jim Carrey in the movie). See more »


Featured in The Real Comics (2008) See more »


March & Fanfare
Written by Richard Bob Greene
Performed by The Bobs
See more »

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User Reviews

Man on the Moon is a strong film with an excellent performance by Jim Carrey
16 November 1999 | by See all my reviews

Man on the Moon is one of the most heart-felt endeavors I've ever seen on film. With each frame, you can feel how much the project means personally to all involved, especially to star Jim Carrey and producer Bob Zmuda. Although personal adoration for the subject of one's movie does not always translate into a film that audience members will identify with, Man on the Moon succeeds brilliantly. Between Milos Forman's unique directing style, the actors' performances, and Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski's writing, the film is able to simultaneously make you a member in one of Andy Kaufman's audiences, experiencing both joy and frustration at his antics, and a close friend who sees, or thinks they see, the Andy Kaufman behind the masks. Just as Karaszewski and Alexander did with the Ed Wood or Larry Flint biopicks, they challenge our concept of what it means to be successful by giving dignity to to the seeming misfits of our society. However, a biopick like Man on the Moon succeeds or fails mainly on the grounds of the lead performance. Jim Carrey proved his dramatic talent last year with a performance in The Truman Show that should have translated into an Oscar, and this year he again gives what will likely be the best performance of the year. Carrey approaches the role of Kaufman with a level of professionalism and enthusiasm far greater than that displayed by many of today's acclaimed actors. Carrey adopts Kaufman's mannerisms flawlessly and becomes Kaufman so convincingly that you forget Carrey is acting. The film's other stars, in particular Paul Giamatti, Courtney Love, and Danny DeVito, all turn in excellent performances as well.

Man on the Moon is both inspiring and thought provoking - a must see.

41 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Massive Flop BornSlippy78
Who was the guy at the end if not Andy? deutronium
Did anyone switch off at the start? Bland136
ed norton would have been better stephan_la_bize
Courtney Love throwdini
Psychic surgery k_fong_1
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