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Andy Kaufman's Fake Death Archive Are Alive

Updated on May 11, 2017

Andy Kaufman, the White Rabbit


Andy Kaufman's Fake Death Archive Are Alive

Welcome to the catacombs of Andy Kaufman's rabbithole, sprinkled with Easter eggs and reality-bending mirrors, sprouting from the possibility of whether or not the famous song-and-danceman faked his death. May 16th marks the 33rd anniversary of when the legitimacy of the headlines, “Andy Kaufman Dies of Lung Cancer At Cedars-Sinai,” was questioned by The World. By that point, Kaufman had already demonstrated his eccentric efficiency in pulling pranks on countless television shows, faking-out audiences/family/friends with his level of intense commitment to character. His own castmates from “Taxi” didn't even show up to his wake because they thought he'd appear from behind a curtain at the end of the service and say “FOOLED YA!”

A historical timeline has been archived of how the Legend of Andy Kaufman stays alive and fresh, reminding the populace of that day in 1984, when he performed his Houdini-worthy vanishing act. Many of the links were collected while investigating and other related forums/blogs, circa 2003. The enigmatic entity known by “Puzzlementary Productions,” is credited as curators of the website, claiming to know “The Greatest Story Ever Told”...details of exactly how Andy Kaufman faked his death. There was even an official address in Indiana for the Puzzlementary Office! Stephen D. Maddox aka “The Running Man” was the main contributor to the site containing invisible/hidden text among a collage of information about the possibilities of Andy Kaufman being alive, complete with testimonies from those who claim to have seen Kaufman after 1984. Maddox described “Puzzlementary” as a combination of both a puzzle and a documentary. In addition to him, there were other staff members of Puzzlementary Productions involved with helping Andy Kaufman fake his death: Craig, Samuel Maddox, Claire Chanel, Glen Rubens, Mr. Mustache, Dianne, Andy Coughman, Huey Williams, Photo Claire, KING, Lyn, D. Glen Hardy, Julie Hastin-Ponciff, Nathan McCoy, Khaosology, Jerry Perenchio, Steve Rocco, Aaron Kanarek, Enrique Presley, Tony Clifton, Santa Andy Claus, Deep Mouth, possibly Andy Kaufman himself, and many others. Some other curious characters who've popped up here and there as well, are Alan Terry, AGKMNII (The Man With No Face) and FUgly The KlowN.

People were also invited to email questions to and sometimes get them answered on the site by Stephen Maddox, KING, or even Andy Kaufman. Other employees of Puzzlementary Productions participated on the site, on Youtube videos, through emails, on MySpace, in forums/blogs and with Twitter. These confusing characters collectively orchestrated a cult-like group of believers to follow along with the shenanigans. Wondering who was actually in charge of the site, if Stephen Maddox was Kaufman's new alias, if both Andy's writing partner Bob Zmuda and ex-girlfriend Lynne Margulies knew about it, and how Steve Rocco fit into the story, all intensified the curiousity to radical degrees.This mysterious photo of Kaufman and Margulies in the Philippines during his psychic surgery, helped amplify the bonfires...

Andy With Shaved Head And Lynne Margulies With Mystery Friends/Family


These die-hard “Kaufmaniacs,” “Puzzlementarians” and “Kaufmanites,” somehow stumbled upon a Dungeons and Dragons-ish alternate reality game, inspiring them to blog, make songs, create podcasts, and produce videos about their bizarre investigations. Without further ado, let's dive into that surprising Wonderland of Andy Kaufman and Puzzlementary-inspired archives!

This is the well-talked about Tony Clifton screenplay showing Clifton dying of cancer at Cedars Sinai like a prophecy (1980).

Andy Kaufman Midnight Special Clues with Howdy Doody (1981).

Old footage of Bob Pagani's SlyCraft Hour recently discovered, reveals a rare Russian character Andy Kaufman performed only on this show (1981)

FUgly The KlowN crashes Bob Zmuda's book signing of “Andy Kaufman Revealed” at Book Soup in Hollywood, then gets kicked out, just like Tony Clifton from the “TAXI” set, sparking the rumour that this could be Andy Kaufman in disguise (1999).

The infamous Wave and Wake Forum where most of the phenomena began brewing (circa 2003).

Hidden Archive never been previously investigated thorougly on (2004).

Brad Friedman's original blogs following the rabbithole known as Puzzlementary Productions (2004). Q&A Archive (2004).

Sheldon Patinkin from Second City, talks about meeting Andy Kaufman (2004).

A re-printed Puzzlementary Productions press release (2004).

LA Weekly “Dead or Alive” show announcement (2004). VIP Archive (2005).

“It's Puzzlementary” by Victor D. Infante about his Puzzlementary Productions discoveries (2005).

A Puzzlementary Productions blogspot (2005).

A very old Geocities Kaufman Faked It Matrix with extra theories and cosmic nuggets (2006).

A great bibliography of Kaufman's work (2006)

The intriguing Help Joe Wilson page with his particular mission (2007).

Testimonals from “Death of Andy Kaufman” (2008).

The Man Without a Face deciphers a secret letter from KING to Kat (2008).

Jellomnkey deciphers a secret letter he also received from KING (2008).

Frank Nora interviews the “Puzzlementarians”, including “Andy's Angels”, the women who helped with public relations for the Andy Kaufman Press Conference (2008).

The Man Without a Face talks to Troy, the man who encountered Andy Kaufman at a fair (2008).

Andy Teamo Blog by a woman named Stella who used to frequent the forums (2008).

Frank Nora's Archive of AK related podcasts including an interview with Stephen Maddox (2008).

AGKMNII the Man Without a Face calls a Chipotle where he believes Andy Kaufman works (2008).

Michael Kaufman interviewed in “Death of Andy Kaufman” by Christoper Maloney (2008).

AK Press Conference video as recorded by Manny the Mailman (2008).

Andy Kaufman is still alive video evidence of him living as a guru, (2008).

Andy Kaufman Returns blog about his Wal-mart tour (2008).

This Puzzlementary” music video with Jacque Babb unraveling the mystery known as Puzzlementary Productions and the AKPC (2009).

Interesting Santa Andy Claus videos emerge on Youtube (2009).

Andy Kaufman's Grave Exhumation video, giving us a peek inside the magic hat (2009).

Andy Kaufman Tv Final Video after Stephen Maddox talked to a few of his “Disciples” on the phone about the creation of (2011).

Andy Kaufman witness video by Stephen Maddox (2011).

Frank Nora's Confession to his conversation with Stephen Maddox about AKLives (2011).

Rebecca Foster Confession video of her vibes concerning her talk with Maddox (2011).

Girl Richelle Confession about Stephen Maddox and Andy Kaufman (2011).

Curt Clendenin's Confession of what Maddox told him and a convoluted explanation (2011).

Mysterious video found on AKLives (2011).

Comedian Chris Gethard interviews Andy Kaufman/Stephen Maddox in ABQ (2011)

@deepmouth Twitter arrives on the scene spouting a treasure trove of information (2011).

Andy Kaufman Lives blog on Tumblr suddenly arrives with new sightings (circa 2012?).

Jack Bristow is interviewed about Andy Kaufman and Stephen Maddox on KRQE (2013).

Puzzlementary Productions press release for Andy Kaufman book (2013).

Michael Kaufman reads letter on CNN “I have a glimmer of hope” (2013).

This is Alan Terry's enlightening Andy Kaufman Sighting 1 in a series (2013).

Puzzlementary Productions enigmatic Reverbnation page (2013).

FUgly The KlowN fakes Bob Zmuda's death at the Bunny Ranch (2014).

Lost Journals featuring other Andy Kaufman sightings (2014).

John Krauser's KaufCast Podcast contained interviews with Puzzlementarians and Kaufmaniacs young and old spanning all generations (2014).

Jack Bristow's article complete with lots of great evidence on Empty Mirror Books (2014).

Andy's Army Documentary with Bob Pagani and Bill Apter, about inducting Andy Kaufman into the WWE Hall of Fame (2014).

Andy Kaufman Alive Anniversary article, with a treasure trove of more links (2014).

Kaufman Confidential with extra theories and surprises (2014).

Promo for “Andy Kaufman, The Truth Finally” book by Bob Zmuda (2014).

May16 Andy Kaufman's 30th Anniversary Google Hangout (2014).

IamAnOrphan Sings, “Iam Andy Kaufman” song from the perspective of Kaufman (2014).

Andy's Army interviews Andy Kaufman and Sherry Havens (2014).

Latebreaking crucial Alan Terry AK evidence 2 (2014).

“Kaufman Faked It” episode of Andy's Army Podcast with John Krauser and Stephen Maddox (2015).

FUgly The Klown Press Conference appearing at Cedars Sinai (2015).

Behind the Scenes FUgly Press Conference with Jon Hamm on Plotagon (2015).

FunkyAmanda Soundcloud featuring a wonderful AK sound collage (2015).

Donald Trump as Tony Clifton created by Stephen Maddox (predicted in Sept 2015).

Jack Bristow's Funny or Die article about his awesome Andy Kaufman theories (2015).

There now exists a Milk n Cookies perfume inspired by Andy Kaufman (2015).

Joseph Brown's eye witness video of Andy Kaufman (2015).

Andy Kaufman Plotagon animation by Stephen Maddox, along with an inventory many other animated videos of even more information (2015).

The brilliant fiction (or is it?) adventure story, “Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality; or, Searching For Andy Kaufman” was created by T Fox Dunham (2015).

Matthew McConaughey reacts to Andy Kaufman's final performance with David Letterman very much like how everyone else on the Planet did (2015).

Andy Kaufman's ex-girlfriend Little Lynnie Legend has been creating music, her latest project known as “Howl” (2016).

@BunnyBartender Twitter with sightings at The Bunny Ranch (2016).

Andy Kaufman's Daughter Alexandra Tatarsky interviewed on Inspirado Projecto Radio (2016).

Tinctured Puncture – I Trusted You song made in Aruba? (2016).

Amira Ball wants to travel back in time to marry Andy Kaufman so she's looking to meet a time traveler for her special mission (2016).

Interesting blog with more Andy Kaufman theories (2016).

Ice Cutters “Andy Kaufman Lives” song Winner of “Best Music Video” at KaPow IFF (2016).

@Im_Back_4now Twitter account alluding to possibly being Kaufman (2017).

Andy Kaufman Hologram is being created and about to tour the globe (2017).

Lawler/AK photos discovered with new perspectives of their famous wrestling match (2017).

@AndyKaufmanSon twitter account currently hearkens back to familiar territory (2017).

A Bravenet forum about Uncle Andy Kaufman and Uncle Stephen Maddox is created (2017).

Auditions for an Andy Kaufman “Reality Project”, involving Dan Gordon-Levitt and clowns, and someone named Jerry Perenchio ?

Coming up May 12th, The Tony Clifton Trio will take the stage at Iowa City’s Green Gravel Comedy Festival (2017).

The Kaufman Lives doc has been in production for a few years and ideally will be finished by 2019.

Modern Day Andy Kaufman, Now Named Lynn


A thimble culled from the ocean of information mentioned above, points to a list of question marks about this decades-long Sherlock Holmesian caper. See if any of it resonates with you and if you're suddenly feeling inspired to polish your magnifying glass.....

*Kaufman was obsessed with the idea of Elvis faking his death, and spoke to many people about his desire to fake his own death with lung cancer (this site also has a great theory about Kaufman's passport renewal and photos of his psychic surgery with Jun Labo). Here are some quotes from a few of those close to him, concerning this phenomena:

-Old friend, Al Parinello, explains “Andy was an aficionado of meditation. One of the things Andy was taught at the highest level was a process where one could slow down his breath to a point where you can literally fool anyone that you may be dead when in fact you are alive.”

-His Confederate, Bob Zmuda says “For two or three years before he died, he was telling people he was going to fake his death. He called me up saying, ‘I want to know how to get a cadaver.’ He would fake a car accident. I said that wouldn’t work because they’d check dental records. . . . Then he started thinking about how he’d be lost at sea.”

-Family friend, Joe Troiani was at the funeral “I still wonder if the body I jabbed was real or wax...”

-Friend Bob Pagani has stated “Yeah, it is weird, because he did meet my friend Alan, who faked his own death and he was very very interested in that. And later he died in the hospital that when he wrote the Tony Clifton screenplay, Tony Clifton dies at Cedars-Sinai…To people who are conspiracy-minded, look like they add up to something. I don’t think they do, but I get why people think it.”

*He learned how to fake his death from Alan Abel, who pulled it off successfully over a weekend, and was mentioned in the NY Times obituary column.

*Michael Kaufman still has a “Sliver of hope...” that Andy is still alive. He explained he was going through Andy's writings many years ago and found a reference to him, " ..talking about 'faking his death,' including the line, 'I will reappear.' It said Andy's reappearance would take place at a restaurant on Christmas Eve in 1999.” When Michael Kaufman went to the restaurant, he said a parking attendant gave him a letter purportedly from his brother. "It was too much pressure to be Andy Kaufman. I just wanted to be Andy," Michael Kaufman read, "I think that's why I got sick. I had to change completely and quickly. I'm extremely very happily married with the most wonderful wife in the whole wide world and with the two greatest kids: a 10-year-old daughter and a son who is 8."

*Andy Kaufman's Social Security# is still active.

*Never smoked, unless he was playing the character, Tony Clifton.

*A paparazzi photo with Andy Kaufman and Bob Zmuda at the airport, features Andy “caught off guard” yet happily posing for the camera.

*There have been various sightings.

*Two caskets are seen at the funeral.

*Its interesting how in his last sketch with Rodney Dangerfield, Kaufman plays Doctor Vinnie Boombatz, smoking at his dead patient's funeral. When pallbearers attempt to take away the casket, the dead body falls out without the pallbearers realizing it. Was this a secret code?

*“Tony Clifton Story” written by Andy and Zmuda in 1980, features Clifton dying of cancer at Cedars-Sinai, 4 years before Andy “died” of cancer at Cedars Sinai. It turns out that Clifton is actually alive at the end of the movie and not dead at all.

*Only his head is bald in photos. If he was receiving treatment, even his chest hair would be gone.

*Was he speaking a code about faking his death, through Howdy Doody on The Midnight Special?

*Michael Kaufman has stated that Andy's left arm was deteriorating and could hardly be moved. Yet, in this video for Andy's last appearance on tv, “The Top,” he's flinging it around easily and has a full head of hair. After the show, Michael Dare took the last photo ever recorded of Kaufman.

*Comedian Chris Gethard interviewed Stephen Maddox/Andy Kaufman for Weird NJ Magazine, after witnessing the Andy Kaufman Press Conference.

*Many believe Andy Kaufman left clues in his books, mostly “The Huey Williams Story.

*He admits to wanting to fake his death in this recorded telephone call with Bob Zmuda.

*Two different books claim to know exactly HOW Andy Kaufman faked his death, and who helped.

*The mysterious grave at- #119817648 Latitude: 40.13491, Longitude: -74.52344

If Andy Kaufman did in fact fake his death, who was involved in helping him? What do you suppose he's been up to all these years? If he does decide to reappear, how long do you think it would be, before he disappears again? Or would he reappear and stick around awhile? Or has he been performing the entire time since 1984, right in front of us, camouflaged as a completely different alias? No matter what the true answer is, one thing is for sure... this Puzzlementary has been quite a crazy ride, and there's no telling what else is on its way! Until then, we'll have these compelling gifts to ravenously unwrap and ingest, like milk and cookies. The recent one of which, is the Andy Kaufman Fake Death Afterlife Bonanza hosted by Inspirado Projecto Radio, happening May 16 (2017) so stop by and state your opinion!

Andy's Infamous Jerry Lawler Neckbrace

Do You Think Andy Kaufman Faked His Death?

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About the Author: CEC

In addition to being a “Stephen Maddox Disciple,” Curt is involved with the 70s & 80s yacht rock band, Yachtley Crew. He paints and draws, acted in the horror film “Bloody Bobby: The Fall Creek Valley Massacre”, sings telegrams with his ukulele, is the host of “Inspirado Projecto” on 1630AM KCHUNG radio in Chinatown Los Angeles, is a former substitute teacher for junior high/high schoolers of LAUSD, played Orphan #5 in “Blues Brothers,” is a co-founding member of Andy's Army, was interviewed for the upcoming documentary “Kaufman Lives,” is a Peaker, co-founded KaPow Intergalactic Film Festival, and survived to tell the story about almost being thrown down an old mineshaft out in the middle of the desert with Ted Levine by Surf Guitar Legend Dick Dale.


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    • InspiradoProjecto profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Dimension 5

      Happening today, May 16th, 12pm PST!!!

      Join in the #AndyKaufman google hangout about Kaufman faking his death, and talking with others who have been involved with "Puzzlementary Productions" through the years!

    • InspiradoProjecto profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Dimension 5

      Chap, excellent article! Thank you for passing this wonderful link onto us!


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