The Morning Rat Race

Andy Kaufman and Carol Kane played the characters Latka Gravas and Simka (respectively) in the television sitcom 'Taxi.' Kaufman died of lung cancer in 1984 at the age of 35. (Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In case you missed it…the WWE has announced that legendary actor and comedian, Andy Kaufman, will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year at WrestleMania!



Famous for his brilliant and unique onstage comedy…Kaufman parlayed his special act to major appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson before finding massive mainstream success by playing the quirky character Latka on the huge ABC sitcom Taxi.   Andy then took that breakthrough success from Taxi and used it to play Carnegie Hall, performing his own TV special, and creating his weird but hysterical alter-ego in the form of an early ’60’s lounge act…Tony Clifton.

"Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive?" All-Star Tribute

HOLLYWOOD,CA – MAY 16: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Comedian Bob Zmuda performs as lounge singer Tony Clifton at “Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive?” a celebration and tribute to Andy Kaufman on May 16, 2004 at The House of Blues, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)



But Kaufman was also a huge wrestling fan.   And finally in 1983…his dream became a reality when he was able to work in Memphis Wrestling against “The King” Jerry Lawler…the biggest name in Tennessee wrestling.   The feud would go down as one of the greatest in wrestling history…possibly culminating on The David Letterman Show when Lawler slapped Kaufman in the face.

The rivalry truly was one of the most innovative storyline in all of wrestling.   While Kaufman was an outside, he relished in playing the heel (or bad guy) and was fantastic at it.   Jerry Lawler himself (who was actually friends with Andy) said Kaufman changed the game of wrestling and expanded its’ possibilities of what it could do with stories and celebrities.

Congrats, Andy, on the Hall Of Fame induction!   You deserve it!

– East Side Dave

Jerry Lawler Autograph Picture For "East Side" Dave McDonald (NBC)

Jerry Lawler Autograph Picture For “East Side” Dave McDonald (NBC)

  • Andy Kaufman Challenges Jerry Lawler In 1983 In Memphis Wrestling

  • The Shove

  • Andy Shows Jerry What He's Gonna Do To Him

  • Andy Kaufman, Jerry Lawler, and the Piledriver Heard Round the World

  • Jerry Lawler Slaps Andy Kaufman On David Letterman

  • One of the Greatest Feuds in Wrestling: Kaufman vs Lawler by Jim Cornette

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