Man on the Moon (film)

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Man on the Moon is a 1999 American biographical film about the American entertainer Andy Kaufman. The film stars Jim Carrey and was directed by Miloš Forman. The story traces Kaufman's steps from childhood through the comedy clubs, and television appearances that made him famous, including his memorable appearances on Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, Fridays, and his role as "Latka Gravas" on the television sitcom Taxi. The film pays particular attention to the various inside jokes, scams, put-ons, and happenings for which Kaufman was famous, most significantly his long-running "feud" with wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler and his portrayal of the bawdy lounge singer Tony Clifton.

Carrey won a Golden Globe for his performance - his second win in a row after receiving an award for The Truman Show previously. He was nominated in the Musical/Comedy category for Man on the Moon, and remarked in his acceptance speech that he thought the film was a drama at heart,[1] an opinion shared by others, but also a reference to how Kaufman saw himself as a "song and dance man."

Contents

Plot

At the beginning, Kaufman's foreign man comes on saying (due to massive editing) it is the end of the film and plays a record alongside the credits before walking off. Kaufman then comes back on in his normal voice saying he "Had to get rid of the people who don't understand me, and don't want to try". He then proceeds to show the actual movie on a film projector starting with his childhood home, c. 1957.

Andy Kaufman (Jim Carrey) is a struggling performer whose act fails in nightclubs because, while the audience wants comedy, he sings children’s songs and overuses his “foreign man” character. Just as it becomes clear that Kaufman may have no real talent, he puts on a rhinestone jacket and does a dead-on Elvis impersonation and song. The audience bursts into applause, realizing Kaufman had tricked them – making his big Elvis payoff all the more enjoyable.[2] This is the first of many times we see Kaufman trick the audience, as "fooling the audience" is his performance style.

His autistic, eccentric style catches the eye of talent agent George Shapiro (Danny DeVito), who signs him as a client and immediately gets Kaufman on a new sitcom, Taxi, much to the dismay of sitcom-hating Kaufman. Because of the money, visibility, and chance to do his own television special, Kaufman acts on Taxi, but secretly hates it and works a second menial job as a restaurant busboy. Around this time, he gains popularity by making successful guest appearances on the new show Saturday Night Live.

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