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Man on the Moon (1999)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  22 December 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 97,179 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 548 user | 139 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

The life and career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman.


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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Kaufman (as Tony Clifton)
Little Michael Kaufman (as Greyson Pendry)
Brittany Colonna ...
Leslie Lyles ...
Janice Kaufman - Andy's Mother
Bobby Boriello ...
Mr. Besserman
Budd Friedman
Wiseass Comic
Thomas Armbruster ...
Improv Piano Player
Pamela Abdy ...
Diane Barnett
Wendy Polland ...
Little Wendy
Cash Oshman ...
Meditation Student


Man on the Moon is a biographical movie on the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Kaufman, along with his role on Taxi (1978), was famous for being the self-declared Intergender Wrestling Champion of the world. After beating women time and time again, Jerry Lawler (who plays himself in the movie), a professional wrestler, got tired of seeing all of this and decided to challenge Kaufman to a match. In most of the matches the two had, Lawler prevailed with the piledriver, which is a move by spiking an opponent head-first into the mat. One of the most famous moments in this feud was in the early 80s when Kaufman threw coffee on Lawler on Late Night with David Letterman (1982), got into fisticuffs with Lawler, and proceeded to sue NBC. Written by Eli Boorstein <uahp@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hello, my name is Andy and this is my video." [video release] See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| | |


Release Date:

22 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Andy Kaufman  »

Box Office


$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,515,585 (USA) (24 December 1999)


£501,786 (UK) (12 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For the Mighty Mouse scene, the real Studio 8H was made to look as it did circa 1975. See more »


There is an African American Rockette at Carnegie Hall. The Radio City Rockettes never had an African American member until 1988. See more »


[first lines]
Andy Kaufman: Hello. I am Andy and I would like to thank you for coming to my movie. I wish it was *better*, you know, but... it is so stupid! It's terrible! I do not even like it. All of the most important things in my life are changed around and mixed up for dramatic purposes. So, I decided to cut out all of the baloney! Now the movie is much *shorter*.
Andy Kaufman: In fact, this is the end of the movie. Thank you very much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At one point in the movie, Kaufman clucks his way through the Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor. In the music credits at the end, it's listed as performed by "Clara Cluck". See more »


Features Taxi (1978) See more »


I Will Survive
Written by Freddie Perren (as Frederick Perren) and Dino Fekaris
Arranged by Charlie Brissette
See more »

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User Reviews

Man on The Moon, indeed.
2 March 2000 | by (Caracas, Venezuela) – See all my reviews

"Man on The Moon", indeed. I remember seeing Andy Kaufman's act on TV as a teenager, and I admit, I wrote him off as another comedian, with an incredibly expressive face and a flair for silliness. Years later, I'm watching him on "Taxi" reruns. I admired the easiness where he could go from loving Latka to malicious Vic with ease, and I thought, "Wow, this guy really loves what he does". And then I watch "Man on The Moon". Reality check.

This picture, I believe, redeems Andy Kaufman. He endured five grueling years in "Taxi" just so he could get some laughs out of people. He did wrestling stints just for the heck of it. He came real close of hitting rock bottom just to save himself at the end. He died of cancer at the age of 35, ridiculously young, and even then his own family didn't buy it. He lived misunderstood, and died misunderstood. And years later, he gets a biopic. Just what he deserves. It is sad that many people will know Andy's talent and understand him only after watching this film. But still, let's face it, at the end he did get the last laugh.

The true cornerstone in this film is Jim Carrey. Yes, you've heard endless reviews about him immersing himself into Andy, not just playing him. But this is acting beyond your dreams, trust me. Especially when he plays Andy's foreign character, Carrey lived and breathed Kaufman air. This is the movie where his silly-putty face comes handy, as it seems to help Jim turn into Andy. (If only we could do something about those teeth...) NEWSFLASH FOR THE ACADEMY: Jim Carrey can act!!! I remember Tom Hanks beginning with the same kind of movies that Jim did: loud, colorful, goofy and silly (films like "Bachelor Party" come to mind). Then he did "Big", then came "Philadelphia". When is Carrey's "Philadelphia" coming along? I can't wait to see him at the Academy Awards this year.

Man on the moon, indeed.

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