Andy Kaufman was pretty unique in the kind of comedy he engaged in. It seems very similar to the kind of funny things that wrestlers have just started to do in the past decade. The crowds participation is essential to having something that is funny be portrayed as funny or just getting the crowd riled up. Only wrestling fans would be able to appreciate the effort that goes into antagonizing other wrestlers and the crowd. Like in the piece about “Pinning Down Fan Involvement,” wrestling fan appreciate the skill and thought that goes into those kinds of performances. People can look back and think of Andy Kaufman as really understanding wrestling and having created such a memorable feud with Jerry Lawler. I would think that he would be cheered in a wrestling arena today.
I remember that Triple H, a wrestler that is immensely popular today, was injured a few years back and when he came back, he was cheered. The only thing about this situation was, that like Andy, he was a heel and had been despised by the crowd during his feud with the Rock. The crowd really appreciates people like Triple H and Andy because what they do makes them love the spectacle. Without someone to hate, what would wrestling be like?Andy’s comedy to me made sense though. It didn’t seem like he was trying to be a comedian for the people. He probably did things to make himself laugh. It was never about making a joke to make people laugh but to make others who watched laugh. People might be annoyed they paid to listen to Andy Kaufman read the Great Gatsby but people watching that audience would probably laugh at him. And this is where Andy’s comedy makes sense to a wrestling fan. He needed the audience to be a part of the comedy or the spectacle. The way people would react to what he did is now funny to us today because it is apparent he is not trying to make the people there laugh, he wanted the embarrassment and the situation he put either the audience or his cast members in to be what people laughed at and those are the kinds of things that wrestling fans laugh at today.