"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Kaufman 2000

Well hell man I’m glad I ain’t too superspicious a motherfucker, ’cause here it is column number 13 right at the end of the millennium. Not too pretty on the timing there.

Yeah that’s right I said it. I know it’s not politically correct to call the 2 triple 0 the millennium, but that’s just the way I was raised bud. As for all you smart ass mathematician motherfuckers, don’t get your calculators in a bunch. Let me explain something to you bud. This is the space age year of 2000! Things are changing fast, we’re talking the god damn jetsons. I mean was it a dream or did i drive past albertsons the other day and they changed the name to albertsons.com?

Now listen here jack, are you telling me your gonna always think of 2000 as part of the 20th century? Part of the ’90s? That 6:00 pm is part of 5 o’clock? That it turns to monday at 12:01 instead of midnight? Fuck no, you’d never say something that stupid unless you got something to prove. And personally I ain’t got NOTHING to prove.

For those of you who don’t know I spent some time in the correctional system, and this reminds me of a fella I knew back in those days, a very talented pimp by the name of Icy Mike. Well icy mike and I talked about a lot of topics, and I’m not lying when I tell you this pretty motherfucker swore up and down that when you say “the muppets”, he doesn’t think of Fozzy, Kermit, Miss Piggy and other characters specific to the Muppet show. Instead, he thinks of all puppet and animatronic characters of Jim Henson from dark crystal to big bird to the otter band tv special.

Yeah right mike, i respect you and all and you definitely have one of the better stables on the west coast but quite simply this is bullshit. You say the muppets, your talking gonzo, miss piggy, fozzy, MAYBE beaker. But not bert and ernie or cookie monster or ESPECIALLY this elmo and you fucking know it. that may be the technically correct dictionary definition or whatever but its not the common usage, nor the best one for that matter. And I think even icy would agree with me on 2000 = millennium. So zip it, jack.

Anyway guys i hope you all got your new years resolutions in place, your three week’s supply of canned foods, staying away from large crowds where terrorist attacks may occur as well as had a good christmas, kwanza, hannukah, Saturday, or what the FUCK ever. Myself i may be having a VERY good millennium coming up because although my holiday was pretty fucking lonely in my opinion i did receive a package from an old partner of mine who bless his corrupt heart sent ol’ Vern a DVD player for christmas. the DIVX part doesn’t seem to be working possibly due to some sort of pre-Y2K type difficulties however the DVD does work. And what the hell one out of two ain’t bad and it’s a pretty fucking generous christmas present in my opinion even if it don’t work so I’m not gonna complain.

DVD player for those of you don’t know is the digital versatile disc, basically a CD that plays a movie but these little fuckers are beautiful. Beautiful picture, extra bonuses, and what is called the letterbox format which is too complicated for me to get into right now but let’s just say you will like it when you see it.

Now my player didn’t come with any instructions, or a box for that matter, and come to think of it — yep, I just went and checked and that motherfucker scraped the serial numbers off the back. Oh well, that’s a sign the technology is really here to stay when motherfuckers start stealing them. All hail the dvd.

Man on the MoonSo anyway lets get to it. This week i went and saw a picture by the name of The man on the moon which is the biographical story of Andy Kaufman, the comedian you may know from taxi. HOWEVER, a lot of people don’t know that in his personal life Kaufman was involved in a lot of wrestling against women, etc. and thats sort of what this picture is about.

Well the man on the moon shows Kaufman as a guy so dedicated to his comedy that it was basically all he ever did. Even when he proposed to a gal it was the setup to a joke, which of course made her pretty pissed. “I am not a prop!” she yells which i believe is an in-joke referring to the elephant man. At one point he does experiment with doing a bit of dramatic work by reading the great gatsby to an audience however this is not well received and he sticks with comedy for the rest of his career. This is very similar to what walt disney did after the failure of fantasia i believe.

This movie also says that Kaufman hates sitcoms and is ashamed to be a sitcom star and if this is true this is something i have in common with Kaufman. I mean although i’m not a sitcom star myself i agree with the first part anyway. you knew what i meant, asshole, jesus.

Jim carrey is the actor who plays Kaufman and the performing is pretty fucking remarkable in my opinion. This dude does a lot of voices similar to kaufman as well as the wrestling moves. Now carrey has done quite a few movies in the past according to the internet movie data base which is a good web sight for researching my columns in my opinion. most of this stuff i haven’t seen however i remember this duck factory show he used to be on, Love at first bite and one of his earliest movies Doing time on Maple Drive we’ve watched in group more than once.

Now i may be going out on a limb here but I think carrey’s real calling is in comedy. he does a good job in these comedy bits and for the first time i started to understand why some of the people might have thought Kaufman was pretty funny if they didn’t know about the woman beating. I think if you look over his work again with this in mind you will see that he has a certain sense of comic timing and outrageous acting, even in the drama maple drive there is an absolutely hilarious scene stealer where this dude gets fed up and yells, “I’ve DONE my TIME on MAPLE DRIVE!!!”

Hey bud i know how you feel but i did REAL time afterwards, pussy.

Anyway my problems with the man on the moon mostly have to do with historical accuracy and whitewashing Kaufman to make him seem more palatable to american audiences. Carrey explains at the beginning that some of the events have been changed but you would be surprised how much. The most ballsy is that they show a lot of what kaufman did, such as wrestling women IN PUBLIC, and say with a straight face that it was all done as a joke or as part of the perfomance. well sorry if i don’t buy it but this guy was a KNOWN asshole. Anyone who was around at the time knows that kaufman admitted multiple times in interviews that he thought he was smarter because he was from hollywood, and he thought people from the south smelled bad and didn’t know how to use toilet paper. This is a man who physically assaulted more than 300 women by waving a couple hundred dollar bills in their faces. Pathetic.

This movie really gets pretty ridiculous and it gives the little prick credit for everything from performing at carnegie hall to faking his death. The filmmakers are so intent on making him look like a nice guy that after his big performance at carnegie hall, they have him load the audience up on buses and drive them to another place to have milk and cookies! They have him as so much of a saint he hangs out with Yogis, befriends all hookers and even has Santa Claus and the Mormon Tabernacle choir help out in his performance. I know it sounds like I am exaggerating but I swear to you these scenes are all in the movie and I am only scratching the surface as to the lengths these filmmakers went to erase Kaufman’s bad boy reputation.

These dudes put Kaufman on such a pedestal I’m surprised they didn’t say he was the first man to land on the moon as the title implies. come to think of it WHAT the fuck does that mean anyway.

So what this is in my opinion is the ultimate example of whitewashing a historical figure for a biographical movie. Its pretty common to leave some stuff out in these types of movies. larry flynt had a movie, they don’t mention this guy was accused of molesting his daughter, because it makes you not want to root for him in case the allegations are true. I mean you know how molesters are treated in prison – like a god damned step child. Same thing with kaufman, except here instead of not mentioning his wrestling and what not, they explain it away as being a big joke. If you think about it its a pretty clever way to make a movie but i’m not sure its honest to be putting on an act like this, portraying this guy as someone he is not.

I hope these dudes do MY biographical story. Turns out getting caught for armed robbery was NOT a moronic mistake on my part, i was actually TRYING to get caught to prove my theory that doing time outside of maple drive gives you the life experience you need to become a great film Writer. It seems I am not only the only Cinema reviewer on the internet that has sincerely threatened to cut a man’s balls off, i am also some kind of eccentric genius or outsider hero for the downtrodden or some type of corny shit like that.

Ah hell man who am I kidding I would love that. This is a very difficult role but I think I want either james coburn or charles bronson to play me. if not lets wait until Mr. bruce campbell gets to be older and rougher. (I would have said Bruce Willis but I’m sort of questioning that dude right now because I just found out from late night cable he did a movie where he’s the voice of a baby.) The movie will end with my web sight winning the oscar for best picture. who the fuck cares if web sights aren’t eligible its only a movie.

So anyway man, amoral as the man on the moon movie is, let’s face it there is no law against being totally full of shit. And for better or worse there never will be as long as the politicians and the rich are in power. I think a lot of people will be very disappointed that the movie isn’t more about taxi. But this fantasy material about his other alleged adventures is actually pretty entertaining. there is one performance by a guy by the name of tony clifton which is particularly worthwhile. i don’t want to give anything away but he’s really andy. Anyway this gentleman is very good in the film in my opinion and makes it almost worthwhile. it is better than say a men in black as long as you are willing to put up with some historical revisionism type shit. i would almost recommend it IF it had a title that i could make heads or tales of. But it doesn’t so fuck that man go to the second run and see fight club again.

Anyway enough about that have a good one and see ya next millennium guys if you know what I mean. (next week in other words, don’t worry.)


P.S. I’m sorry to close the millennium out on a bummer, but I have just heard that a musical genius, a social and cultural force by the name of curtis mayfield passed away yesterday. This man’s music brought great inspiration and happiness to my life and those of many others. he also recorded one of the greatest film soundtracks of all time.

I would like to dedicate this column to mr. mayfield, however considering my work that might be kind of an insult so in honor of Mr. Mayfield I do not dedicate my column to him until I am better at grammar and punctuation. Mr. Mayfield was a master when it came to shaping his emotions into pure soul music for the soul, and he has inspired me to want to improve myself in all areas, Artistic and personal.

I will probaly Write about Curtis in my next column (assuming the internet is still up and running after the big y2) but until then curtis, move on up. we love you.

Whoah, jesus man why nobody told me I put up the wrong column? Well i Wrote two columns before the big 2000 switchover deal, one for if the y2k problem was pretty bad and one for if it was no big deal. You know just to be safe. Well if you already read this and thought ol’ Vern was imagining things sorry bud no cigar. put up the wrong column is all. Sorry. But other than a few inaccuracies (for example, I have not been taken prisoner by marauders) this one is still relevant in my opinion so what the hell enjoy.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 27th, 1999 at 6:17 am and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Drama, Reviews, Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Responses to “Kaufman 2000”

  1. I saw this as a kid in theaters, meaning my mom had to cover my eyes when Kaufman frolics with the topless prostitutes

    I thought it was pretty interesting and Carrey was really good, I was surprised to learn that evidently it flopped because I seem to remember Carrey’s performance getting a lot of media attention

  2. Grimgrinningchris

    July 27th, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Vern- I assume by now that you figured out the title?

  3. I believe Grim etc. is referring to this line in the review:

    “These dudes put Kaufman on such a pedestal I’m surprised they didn’t say he was the first man to land on the moon as the title implies. come to think of it WHAT the fuck does that mean anyway.”

    The film is named after the R.E.M. song “Man on the Moon”, the lyrics of which are about Andy Kaufman. Apparently the song is referencing the moon landing as a way of addressing Kaufman’s death, since both are rumored by some to be hoaxes.

    That may be common knowledge, but I’m not a pop music person myself so I freely admit I Googled this to be sure.

  4. The Netflix doc is quite good.

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