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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 97,195 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 547 user | 139 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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 <uahp@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hello, my name is Andy and this is my video." [video release] 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?


Andy Kaufman's congas were sold at auction and bought by Jim Carrey who is a major fan of Kaufman. Carrey used the congas as part of his audition tape for Milos Forman and they appear in the film. See more »


When Andy is getting his Elvis Presley impersonation together he puts on a guitar, but in the next cut when he's facing the audience the guitar is gone. 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

At one point in the movie, Kaufman clucks his way through the Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor. In the music credits at the end, it's listed as performed by "Clara Cluck". See more »


Referenced in Conan: Houston, We Have a Murder (2011) See more »


Rock the Boat
Written by Wally Holmes (as Waldo Holmes)
Performed by The Hues Corporation (as Hues Corporation)
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User Reviews

Fascinating Bio Of A Strange, Strange Man
15 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Biographies of strange people have always fascinated me, and this is no exception. And "strange" doesn't really seem to adequately describe real-life comedian Andy Kauffman. He was REALLY different, many times very offensive, sometimes very unfunny....but always extremely interesting and certainly unique.

Jim Carrey shows us once again how comedians can be such good dramatic actors. Carrey is outstanding in this role, and perfect for it. The rest of the cast is good, too, from Danny DeVito to Paul Giamatti to Courtney Love.

Right from the beginning of this movie one sees how original it is, and how original Kaufman was as a comedian. His routines, antics and put-ons are so realistically done that no thinks they are just that. Unfortunately, his "jokes" don't always go over so well, aren't appreciated by most audiences and he is not always the most likable entertainer you will ever see. That means - be forewarned - that there are a number of unpleasant scenes in this film. You have to really appreciate Kauffman's absurd humor and to appreciate Carrey's great portrait of this man.

On multiple viewings (I've seen it four times) I liked this film even more than the first time, even though I knew the surprises. I don't know of any comedian - to this day - who deliberately tried to annoy his audience or truly liked it when his audience hated him. I cannot believe he had the nerve to do the things he did. In summary, this is a fascinating biography, to say the least.

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