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Review: Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman

Growing up as a child of 1980s, I am old enough to remember shows like MASH and Barney Miller. As I get a little misty-eyed thinking about those times, not only the people in my life, but how these shows shaped me and particularly, my sense of humor. I don’t think I would understand the joy of pulling pranks if it was not for Alan Alda’s Hawkeye in MASH. I would never understand sarcasm if was not Mark Linn-Baker’s cousin Larry in Perfect Strangers.

As these shows not only elevated what we thought comedy was supposed to be and into several different iterations of what it is now. Another show that came during that era, was TAXI. Like anybody who grew up during that era, that theme song plays in your head like a gentle breeze, a years later, it still leaves the viewer at ease. One of the stars that came out of that show, is Andy Kaufman, an indelible genius whose life was cut too short.

We meet Andy, as a child growing up in Long Island, New York, who loved television and from that, create his own characters, and much like the rest of us, shaped his sense of humor. He reader gets a purview of his many obsessions, from wrestling, to Elvis, to finally, comedy. In a stroke of genius, he combines all three and becomes the person who the world loves then and still now. By book’s end, we do find out how he dies but how many people he touched.

Overall, an excellent book, which reminds me so much of how much of a virtuoso Kaufman truly was. Kaufman’s story as told by Box Brown is told in the spirit of Kaufman. The art by Brown is always vibrant. Altogether, if you are of this era and a fan of comedy in general, this book is a must buy.

Story: Box Brown Art: Box Brown
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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