Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lost in the Funhouse: The Life and Mind of Andy Kaufman by Bill Zehme

I bought this biography of Andy Kaufman not long after Man in the Moon was released. That movie was my first real introduction to Kaufman and I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. In addition to telling his life story, this book tries to get inside Kaufman's mind (to the extent that that is possible). I remember it seeming pretty effective, though who can know for sure? The man's been dead for 25 years* and I doubt that anyone really knew his thought processes while he was alive.

There are a few black and white spreads of some great archival photos like these from his early days. The top left one is especially cool--it's 14-year-old Andy entertaining some neighborhood children at a birthday party.

*There are speculations that he faked his own death to escape celebrity. I suppose anything's possible, especially given Kaufman's history. But I'm inclined to think that he is just dead. Maybe he will reveal himself and prove me wrong.

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