|Index||7 reviews in total|
This film makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it.This is the one that
turned me into a life long fan of Andy's work.To imagine a HOLLYWOOD
comic,(even though he didn't see himself that way)would go into wrestling
and take it to a "higher level"
with an element of comedy as the twist,is too unbelievable.
There is also brief clips of Kaufman playing the bongos,and impersonating Tony Clifton,the self absorbed lounge singer. With great comments by Henner and Robin Williams about Andy being so bizarre and taking his wrestling so serious.
It sent me into a frenzy looking for more Kaufman material, I would love to have more of the wrestling footage than is shown on the videotape.
"It was like,Andy was the premise and the entire world was the punchline" -Robin Williams
Andy Kaufman was the funniest man of all time. This film/biopic is just a testament to the fact that Andy Kaufman was the originator and mentor of all the great comedians since the late 70's (Robin Williams, Richard Belser, Jim Carey, and yes probably even Carrot Top). He will go down in history for mastering that rare brand of humor that was infantile yet adult, lowbrow yet refined, utterly disgusting yet beautiful. Everytime anyone reads The Great Gatsby, sees an Elvis impersonator, or professional wrestling he should be thought of.
Viewers unfamiliar with the late Andy Kaufman might appreciate this enlightening glimpse at his unique (if indefinable) comic personality, detailing his exploits as the self-crowned 'inter-gender wrestling champion' of the world. Because any man would no doubt have beaten him to a pulp, Kaufman extended his competitive challenge only to (mostly smaller) women, but what began as an inflammatory prank soon evolved, in the words of Robin Williams, "from comedy to Roman Circus". Of course the real challenge was to audiences wondering if he was serious or not. Kaufman never pretended to be a conventional stand-up comedian so much as a masochistic exhibitionist, who liked to carry his 'act' into the outer limits of entertainment by refusing to admit the joke. And make no mistake, it might have become an obsession but it was, at the same time, a joke: note the ironic repetition of his brag "I'm from Hollywood!" (as if that somehow proved his superiority), and his facetious celebrity habit of suing everyone in sight. If nothing else he proved the truth behind the famous P.T. Barnum maxim: there is indeed a sucker born every minute, at least among wrestling fans in Memphis, Tennessee.
I was born too late to witness Andy Kaufman's genius when it was brand new,
but it's still incredibly fresh. The fact that people are still wondering
how serious the wrestling was is a testament to Kaufman's uncanny abilities.
This is the movie that prompted me to start watching "Taxi" reruns on
I'm also looking forward to "Man on the Moon". If Carrey doesn't screw it up, he could be an Oscar contender playing the role of such an interesting character.
Like the previous reviewer, I too laugh out loud every time I see this. I
watched it again today on Comedy Central and laughed continuously.
Kaufman must have been one of the truly funniest, most inventive comics of his day. He operated on so many levels, and satirized the entertainment culture, its idols and himself. Who else could wow an audience with an Elvis routine and then shyly accept their applause with such a silly "Tank you berry much."?
It's a lot of fun to hear Zmuda, Williams and the others describe how Andy played with his audiences, and hooked them in to his premise so cleverly. It must have really been something to watch.
One of the ideas bandied about in this movie is whether Andy was sincere about wrestling, or simply playing his audience for laughs. To hear Williams and Henner discuss it, you would think Kaufman was at least partly sincere.
Kaufman no doubt had fantasies about being a wrestler. I think these fantasies propelled him to choose this venue for his act. But I think it was an act, and I think that's where his fantasy ended. Perhaps it was too difficult for his friends to see this; they were just too close to him. What do I know, I've never met any of them. I just think that Andy must have been one of those people who decided that performing was too much fun to turn off, and just behaved bizarrely even around (or maybe especially around) others in show business. What better way to prove your genius then to fool the best of the best?
I think Andy was playing his hick Memphis audience like a cheap fiddle. He must have sat in his hotel room, looking at their simian, neandrathal faces, and absolutely laughed his butt off. The way they grimaced at his antics and condemned him, they must have thought professional wrestling was a morality play. If I were him, I would have gotten a big kick out of it.
Of course this was an act. It was performance art by a master. He could make professional comics embarrassed to watch him; why not convince a Memphis audience he was sincerely behaving like a spoiled, obnoxious Hollywood cretin. His lawyer, after all, was Zmuda. It took me a few viewings to catch that.
The close-ups of faces in the Memphis crowd are priceless. You have never seen so much backwater, shallow-end-of-the-genepool, jutting cranial ridges as in this audience. You know how so many comedians just happen to mention the scary hick southern towns they have to play? Well, this crowd is proof that those comedians aren't lying. Those people do exist, and the highlight of their lives is driving into town to watch wrestling.
I'm looking forward to seeing Man in the Moon. I hope it's not a disappointment. With Carrey being directed by Forman, I don't think it can lose.
"I'm From Hollywood" is just about as thorough a synopsis of Kaufman's wrestling career as a 60-minute mockumentary could ever hope to be. It begins on a huge high note, covering Andy's early career via a series of tongue in cheek interviews with big name co-stars and friends, stretching the truth while maintaining an anchor in reality a'la "This is Spinal Tap." It's when the subject turns to his exploits in the Memphis wrestling scene, though, that the picture pulls a complete 180. Those celebrity chats quickly disappear, replaced with direct archival footage of the actual matches and promotional segments that eventually built to Kaufman's long-term feud with a very young Jerry Lawler. It's great in a sheerly historical sense, but considering this rivalry lasted for well over a year (in regular once-a-week installments) there's a lot of redundancy to the material that could've been cut out. I would have rather seen a continuation of those interviews spliced in with the raw footage to keep the commentary fresh and the pace quick, because this catches a terrible case of the drags midway that it never manages to shake. It's a major disappointment that the producers couldn't secure the rights to Kaufman and Lawler's infamous fight on Letterman, too, which was the real hook of the entire storyline. A true let-down.
A look into Andy Kaufman's foray into the world of professional wrestling. Interesting bit of entertainment, seeing a comedian who reached his peak playing a babbling mechanic on "Taxi" try his hand at fooling people into thinking he was serious about wrestling. Andy is made to look like an absolute psycho-case by this movie and you sort of feel sad for him, till you realize he's pulling your leg all the way. Then you realize that the producer is attempting to keep Andy's lame joke going as are the "interviewees" who are shown wringing their hands and worrying about Andy's mental condition. He certainly had neither the verbal nor the physical abilities to carry off the charade of being a wrestler for long, but it is an interesting look at a strange experiment. They let midgets, bears and all sorts of human flotsam and jetsam wrestle. Allowing some skinny guy in his flannel underwear into the ring was no big accomplishment. Recommended for those fooled by perhaps Kaufmann's ultimate scam, portraying a comic genius.
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