Fifteen years ago, Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman blurred the line between reality and pretend with their strange wrestling feud. What really happened is still anybody's guess. Fifteen years ago this week, professional wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler slapped comedian Andy Kaufman out of his chair on Late Night with David Letterman, striking -- if only for a moment -- through the plastic predictability of the small screen with a flash of spontaneity that seemed to surprise everyone involved -- Kaufman, Letterman, and even Lawler. Network lawyers interviewed the parties involved and determined that the producers had no part in planning what eventually happened in the segment. There had been a plan, but Kaufman getting smacked wasn't part of it. One such rivalry is the one between Jerry "The King" Lawler and actor Andy Kaufman, which was unequivocally one of the greatest wrestling. Jerry “The King” Lawler is a wrestling legend himself but for me he was an We discovered that his relationship with Andy Kaufman was one of.
Kaufman -- the groundbreaking comic who died in 1984 and was immortalized in the song and film "Man on the Moon" -- was back in the news this week when a woman claiming to be his long-lost daughter materialized, apparently as part of an elaborate hoax. The woman claimed that Kaufman was still alive and had faked his own death.
andy kaufman wifeThe star of the hit TV show "Taxi" pointed to his head and mocked the Memphis crowd. I have brains! Fans pelted him with Dixie cups. On this April night 30 years ago, the New York native worked fans inside the Mid-South Coliseum into a chaotic frenzy. In a river town notorious for its rough-and-tumble roots, the coliseum was crammed with the rowdiest characters Memphis had to offer.
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Eric Cohen is a sports writer focused on pro wrestling. Updated May 24, 2019 The feud between Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler was one of the most successful uses of celebrity in professional wrestling and is still talked about to this day. It gave a tiny wrestling promotion in Memphis national exposure. The impact of this was huge on the wrestling business as Vince McMahon used the template that was created in Memphis to start the Rock-n-Wrestling era which turned his northeast promotion into an international entertainment powerhouse.
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