Andy Kaufman Quotes and Jokes


I am not a comic, I have never told a joke. I don't even watch comedians. The comedian's promise is that he will go out there and make you laugh with him. I've never done that in my life. My only promise is that I will try to entertain you as best I can. I can manipulate people's reactions. There are different kinds of laughter. Gut laughter is where you don't have a choice, you've got to laugh. Gut laughter doesn't come from the intellect. And it's much harder for me to evoke now, because I'm known. They say, "Oh wow, Andy Kaufman, he's a really funny guy." But I'm not trying to be funny. I just want to play with their heads.

The critics try to intellectualize my materiel. There's no satire involved. Satire is a concept that can only be understood by adults. My stuff is straight, for people of all ages.

Whenever I play a role, whether it's good or bad, an evil person or nice person, I believe in being a purist and going all the way with the role. If I'm going to be a villainous wrestler, I believe in going all the way with it and not breaking character and not giving away to the audience that I'm playing a role. I believe in playing it straight to the hilt.

Pure entertainment is not an egotistical lady singing boring songs onstage for two hours and people in tuxes clapping whether they like it or not. It's the real performers on the street who can hold people's attention and keep them from walking away.

There's no way to describe what I do. It's just me.

I never told a joke in my life.

What's real? What's not? That's what I do in my act, test how other people deal with reality.

I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut.

I was just teasing in fun...

When you go through a tunnel - you're going on a train - you go through a tunnel, the tunnel is dark, but you're still going forward. Just remember that. But if you're not going to get up on stage for one night because you're discouraged or something, then the train is going to stop. Everytime you get up on stage, if it's a long tunnel, it's going to take a lot of times of going on stage before things get bright again. You keep going on stage, you go forward. Every night you go on stage.

We're hoping that this will also be the key to starting community events in a place where the whole community can come together. We've been working with the town on the total renovation.

That was part of the whole original concept. We were thinking, it's off-season, let's do a really fun, local-oriented event, raise money for good causes and bring some music to the valley.

I try to please people, to give them a good time, but I refuse to make my act conform to traditional show-biz standards of entertainment. There's a little voice that says, 'Oh, no, you can't do that, that's breaking all the rules.' That's the voice of show business. Then this other little voice says, 'Try it.' And most of the time, when the voice comes on and says, 'No,' that's the time it works.

While all the other kids were out playing ball and stuff, I used to stay in my room and imagine that there was a camera in the wall. And I used to really believe that I was putting on a television show and that it was going out to somewhere in the world.

When I perform, it's very personal. I'm sharing things I like, inviting the audience into my room.