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Story Time With Andy Kaufman

For some reason, I love awkward humor. It’s one of my favorite styles of comedy.

Steve Carrell as Michael Scott on The Office was the perfect brand of awkward humor. And though I wasn’t around when Andy Kaufman was famous, the more I learn about him the more I appreciate his style of humor.

One commenter (and sorry, I’ve searched my blog trying to find your comment but I can’t seem to locate it) recently told me about a classic Andy Kauffman joke. Kaufmann was famously known for his “Mighty Mouse” skit, which was awkward enough, but he took it to a new level when he chose to read The Great Gatsby in front of a live audience. Why? Just to piss ’em off, I guess.

In the video, you hear Kaufman getting heckled and yelled out. It’s awesome. The audience was expecting the Mighty Mouse schtick, but when he begins reading from Chapter 1 of Gatsby, you can tell they aren’t too sure what’s up.

Finally, he appears to relent, and puts down the book. Turns on the record player like he’s about to begin the Mighty Mouse song—only the record player is now playing a recording of him reading Gatsby, right from where he left off.

Classic.

I love this. This is obviously more about Andy Kauffman than Gatsby, but I still had to share. I can’t seem to embed the video, so go here if you’d like to watch the whole thing. Or, if you’d like to see Jim Carrey’s take on the Gatsby reading in Man On The Moon, go here for that.

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brilliant, thanks for finding this. I remember watching Kaufman on late night TV, Letterman I believe, and being like what? And then just cracking up with laughter. He was such an original talent.

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    November 28, 2012
    • Wasn’t he? So funny. I wish he was still alive b/c he’s one of those guys that I think would still be as funny as an older man.

      Like

      November 28, 2012
  2. Agreed. I so adore that man and the Gatsby routine was classic and amazing. I think that Johnny Brandin will be the closest I ever come to seeing Kaufman in my lifetime. It’s the performers that can find the awkward and then goose it up to a whole different level that make comedy the most rewarding to watch.

    Like

    November 28, 2012
    • I agree. Awkward comedy is the best.

      Like

      November 29, 2012
  3. And I just realized that I was skimming for which I apologize because your blog entry was next to one I read from a Salt Lake City dweller who knows who Johnny Brandin is. We have an active local comic scene here and he’s something of a local treasure. Sorry if I confused. Long story short, yes Kaufman was awesome.

    Like

    November 28, 2012
  4. This is one of those comedians that I wish was still alive. He always cracks me up on the old SNL episodes. Thanks for posting this.

    Like

    November 29, 2012
    • Sure. His brand of humor was just so unique. That’s what makes him so memorable.

      Like

      November 29, 2012

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  1. Looking Back At The Great Gatsby | 101 Books

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