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.
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