I’ve recently had to resign to the fact that I just am apparently not HIP enough to get Andy Kaufman. Sure, when I was a little girl growing up in various truckstops I would watch the show “Taxi”, and thought his cute little character Latka was funny, what with his funny voice and googly eyes and all. But then again, I thought the shows “Hello Larry” and “The Ropers” were an out and out, shit-your-pants laugh riot. So what the hell did I know?
Andy Kaufman was a disturbed person. Period. If he were anything but a comic, he would have been the guy who rode the “short bus” to school and then became the weird janitor at work that everyone makes fun of behind his back. But instead, he was a comedian so he was acceptable. I guess I shouldn’t call him a comedian. What he really was would be called a comedian that was so incredibly unfunny that people regarded him as a genius. Are you following this? No? Good. Me neither. Because by this logic, I could be a doctor who was so sorry my line of work that I killed 67 patients and was thereby rewarded by becoming Chief of Staff at Cedars Sinai.
Andy always had (and still has) a little army or cult of fans, most of whom were trying to be “alternative” and therefore thought his brand of humor was hysterical. But in reality, these people probably didn’t find him funny at all, either. They were just trying to be different and cool around their other “we’re alternative and want to be weird and completely individual, which is why we dress just like the rest of our friends” friends. But then when they went back to Mommy’s house, they watched the Cosby Show and giggled like a school girl.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Andy Kaufman was a genius. Naaaaah.
Now on with the review of this movie, which was slow as Christmas and lasted damn near as long as Andy himself…
Man on the Moon was slow as Christmas and lasted damn near as long as Andy himself. (Deja vu? OK, I’m just being weird so you alternative folks will find me funny.) At first, I thought the movie was going to flow well. In the first 10 minutes, it takes you through Andy’s childhood, his early standup days, his “Mighty Mouse” appearance on SNL and right into “Taxi”. So I thought, “Cool. We should be right up to his funeral in about 15 minutes or so.” But then everything comes to a crashing halt. The rest of the movie drones on and on like your widowed grandmother does about the time she “had the best corn bread and beans way back in ’42.” You smile and say “uh-huh” repeatedly, all the while attempting to not nod off half way through, and eventually you find yourself trying to remember the last time you took a completely pain free dump. (Or at least that’s what I was doing.)
This was one of the biggest flops in recent memory. Remember all the hype before this film came out? Remember the Oscar talk? What happened? Man on The Moon bombed at the box office and Jim Carrey got stiffed by the Academy.
So what was it? Was it that Andy was just so hip and brilliant that his life couldn’t be sufficiently told or understood by we measley humans?
Tank you beddy much.