By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
I was told you were beaten often as a child.
Contrary to what many people think, David, I wasnít beaten that much. Two or three times a day at most. I donít blame my folks, because I was a bed-crapper. Like a bed-wetter, but worse. So they burned me now and then with a cigarette, but I hold no grudge. Iím a big believer in ďSpare the rod, spoil the child.Ē Or, in my case, ďSpare the Lucky Strikes.Ē
What do you have planned for the May 16 concert?
This will be my first musical appearance in L.A. in 10 years. This time I have a full orchestra, the Cliftones, and my backup singers and dancers, the Cliftonettes. Wait till you see those Cliftonettes! They make Hefnerís Playmates look like old hags! This booty is fresh! Fresh and talented!
Your friend Bob Zmuda was telling me about your ability to hit a 10 on the ďoctave meter.Ē What exactly is an octave meter?
Thatís exactly right. The octave meter is a highly sophisticated, scientific piece of equipment. Without getting too technical for you, David . . . is it David, or Dave?
Dave. Dave, slave, grave, knave. Without getting too technical for you, Daaave, let me put it this way: Mariah Carey has an eight-octave range, which is considered phenomenal. I have a nine. And, when Iím feeling up to it, I hit an occasional 10. And the octave meter is what we use to warn the audience. Believe me, you donít want to be sipping your Jack Danielís when Iím hitting the 10th octave ó thereís a good chance the glass will shatter. We warn people to remove any eyewear.
What if Andy Kaufman is actually alive, and he shows up for the show?
Iíd throw his ass right out of there, dead or alive. That wannabe has always been riding my coattails to make a name for himself. This is the Tony Clifton Show, not the Andy Kaufman Show. If people want to see Andy, I suggest they buy themselves a flashlight and a shovel. [An alarm sounds.] Thatís it. Thatís five minutes. Thatís the end of the interview.
* * *
I think Andy Kaufman was his happiest when he was wrestling and there were 10,000 wrestling fans screaming and yelling for his head.
ďPeople were saying, No, Andy really is dead,Ē says Moffitt, the Fridays producer. ďAnd I came around to kind of believing, Gee, maybe he actually is. A lot of people didnít believe it, because they knew Andyís pranks.
ďIs he or isnít he? You never can tell. You just canít completely dismiss it. Thereís nobody like Andy. Nobody has done things like him. Nobody has gone out that far. Nobody has tested the audience and the limits of laughs, of comedy, as Andy has. So if anybody would do it, it would be Andy.
ďItís not that I believe heís still alive ó but every once in a while I think maybe he is going to pop up. And if he does, it may be the greatest prank of all time, but whatís he done with 20 years of his life? He had to have another life somewhere.Ē
Answering Machine, the next morning, 2004: ďHi, itís Lynne Margulies. Hey! It was Aruba! I just woke up this morning and thought of it. Aruba. Thatís where Andy used to talk about going. Just jokingly, I think. I donít know where Aruba is, and I donít think he did either. But it sounds good. AH-ROO-BAH! And also I was thinking, if youíre, you know, searching for the meaning of all this, for why this is all continuing, why Bob continues with it, and why I, too, willingly, continue along with it ó itís just because itís fucking fun. You know? Thatís all. Thatís all Bob and I really care about in life, and thatís all Andy cared about in life, was because itís fun. Everything else was secondary. We keep trying, we keep trying . . . AH-ROOOO-BAH!Ē
Andy Kaufman ó Dead or Alive? happens at House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., Sunday, May 16, 7:30 p.m.; VIP tickets $250, including select seating and a reception, general admission $99.95, SRO $50. Tickets available through Ticketmaster or www.hob.com.