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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 97,186 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 Banner" [Web Banner Ads] 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?


The core cast of Taxi (1978) played themselves, with the notable exception of Tony Danza, who was doing 'A View from the Bridge' on Broadway and could not fit the movie in his schedule, and Danny DeVito, who was already playing George Shapiro. When DeVito was asked who would play him if he was playing Shapiro, he suggested that the simplest option was to simply scratch himself from the cast shown in the movie. See more »


Numerous anachronisms can be chalked up to artistic decisions; the film intentionally plays fast and loose with the timeline. For example, the Carnegie Hall performance was years before Andy Kaufman's cancer diagnosis; the title song wasn't written until after Andy's death; Andy didn't meet Lynne Margulies at a wrestling match; Stacy Carter hadn't met Jerry Lawler before Andy died (and certainly hadn't married him). Andy performs his imitation of President Jimmy Carter (elected 1976) before Saturday Night Live begins. 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 the beginning of the movie, Andy appears, criticizing the movie as "so stupid" and "terrible," and complains about the movie's events being changed for dramatic purposes. He then says that he has "cut out all the baloney," making the movie "much shorter. In fact, this is the end of the movie." To get the audience to leave, he cues up a record, and the end credits begin to roll, through the cast list, stunt performers, unit production manager, first assistant director, and second assistant director. See more »


References Liar Liar (1997) See more »


Fanfare for Andy
Written by Charlie Brissette and Ed Mitchell
See more »

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User Reviews

30 December 1999 | by (Orange County, California) – See all my reviews

Having liked the contrived Latka Gravas, but never really knowing much more about Andy Kaufman than the Headlines, Man on the Moon offered some incredible depictions of this one of a kind enigma.

I was never a big fan of his off-Taxi antics, but then again, Man on the Moon made it clear that I simply did not understand them. I'm not any more of a Kaufman fan than I've been, but Man on the Moon has left me with an incredible appreciation for his genius.

Jim Carrey's performance is chilling. His normal on-screen presence has often made it hard for me to see him as the characters he's played. This time, I forgot that I was watching an actor portraying Andy Kaufman. It was frighteningly good. The entire supporting cast was just as stellar.

Though interesting throughout, mostly because it explained so much that I never knew about events that were so highly publicized, Man on the Moon's amazing insight into the "why" behind the "what" of his antics completely left out the "why" behind the "what" of the person. I now know a lot about what he did, but I still know very little about who he was.

If the creators' intent was to let the world get to know Andy Kaufman the man, then I think the film missed its mark. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that it was an outstanding film in every way. It would be as unfair to detract from the film for this as it would be to call a hammer useless because it doesn't drill holes. A film isn't about what I expect, it's about what it is. In this case, it's astounding from beginning to end.

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Who was the guy at the end if not Andy? deutronium
Did anyone switch off at the start? Bland136
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