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Man on the Moon (1999)

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The life and career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman.


4,031 ( 183)
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
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 poster." 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


$82,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$34,580,635 (USA) (18 February 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lynne Margulies: swaying with the crowd at Andy's funeral. See more »


In the "Mighty Mouse" scene, supposed to take place in 1975, the "Proud N" NBC logo, depicting a peacock inside the letter N, is seen on the studio camera. The Proud N logo wasn't introduced until 1979 (the logo used in 1975 was simply an N divided into red and blue trapezoids). 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 »


References The Man with Two Brains (1983) See more »


I Will Survive
Written by Freddie Perren (as Frederick Perren) and Dino Fekaris
Arranged by Charlie Brissette
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.

91 of 106 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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