If this was true,
After that appearance,
Which leads me to ask: could Andy Kaufman have survived in the modern world? And is Joaquin Phoenix actually the long lost son of Tony Clifton?
During his all too brief stay in this friendly, friendly world, Kaufman’s trompe le monde attitude turned failure and self-destruction into high art. Bored with the success of his Foreign Man character (which he later modified for his Taxi's iconic Latka Gravas), Kaufman slowly began to amp up the antagonistic parts of his stand-up act. During college tours, he would stick it to rowdy audiences in search of his easily marketable impressions by reading long sections of The Great Gatsby to them. For an extended period , he indulged his love for the dialectic moral aspects of pro wrestling (and his lust for rubbing up against women) by declaring himself the Intergender Wrestling Champion, grappling with willing female antagonists during his act and on talk shows and culminating in his infamous feud with Memphis's King of Wrestling, Jerry Lawler. (For more on this period, check out this excellent compilation of real applications from women who sought to wrestle Andy: http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Andy-Kaufman-Hate-Your/dp/1934170089/ref=pd_sim_b_8.
But Tony Clifton was his crowning creation, an opportunity for Kaufman's id to run wild. While Andy's benign moon face and childlike glee tempered many of his more confrontational bits, Tony Clifton's massive boiler, roadkill hairpiece, sagging jowls and nasal twang worked just as well to alienate audiences. Kaufman would often have
The apex of the
So look at the stories of Andy Kaufman and Joaquin Phoenix. Could Kaufman have pulled off Tony Clifton for any amount of time in today’s mystery-deprived world? Would he have been dismissed as a sham within a day or so of