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Is comedian Andy Kaufman alive?

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at 6:32 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at 9:39 a.m.

As if the story of Andy Kaufman couldn’t get any weirder, now a mystery woman who is said to be his daughter has come forward, reigniting the urban legend that the “Taxi” star faked his own death.

Here’s the newest conspiracy theory: That Kaufman has been living in secrecy the past 29 years with a wife and family.

Officially, Kaufman died of cancer on May 16, 1984.

But according to several reports – from The Hollywood Reporter and Cinema Blend, among others – something weird happened Monday night at the 9th annual Andy Kaufman Awards, held at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City.

This is what apparently went down.

On stage, Andy’s brother, Michael, revealed that in 1984, while going through his brother’s belongings, he found an essay Andy had written about how he would fake his own death.

The letter said the comedian would reappear on Christmas Eve 1999 at a certain restaurant. Michael went there on that date. Andy wasn’t there, but a stranger walked up to him and gave him a typed letter addressed to him – from Andy.

Michael reportedly read the letter to the audience. In it, Andy said that he had met and fallen in love with a woman and had a daughter, and that he didn't want Michael or anyone to say anything while their father was still alive.

Their father died this past summer and Michael told the audience that a month after his death, a young woman called him, telling him that Andy was alive.

That’s when an unidentified young woman joined Michael on the stage, telling the crowd that her alleged father “is alive.” According to one account, the room was entirely silent as Michael told his story, with one woman bursting into tears at one point.

(Kaufman is known to have one daughter, Maria Colonna, who lives in upstate New York, according to The Huffington Post.)

Al Parinello, a longtime friend of the comedian who produces the awards, told THR that he was “without a doubt this was not a prank.”

Ed Cavanagh, the showroom manager at the Gotham Comedy Club, told THR that he wasn’t sure what to think about what happened.

“I don't know whether somebody is perpetrating something on (Michael) or not,” he said. “I'm truly 50-50 on this one.”

Punkin’ a dead man’s brother? Yeah, that’s real funny.

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