History of Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman


Harmon and Scott discuss the new documentary, Jim and Andy, which is about Jim Carrey transforming into Andy Kaufman during the filming of the 1999 movie, Man on the Moon. 

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton, premiered on Netflix in November. The documentary was directed by Chris Smith - (who also directed American Movie, The Yes Men, and American Job) and centered on Jim Carrey's transformation into Andy Kaufman during the filming of the 1999 movie, Man on the Moon.

Andy Kaufman’s girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, and his friend/collaborator Bob Zmuda shot extensive behind-the-scenes footage, featured in the documentary, which had never been publicly seen before. 

Carrey remained in character as Kaufman (or as Kaufman’s alter ego:  Tony Clifton) throughout the shoot, off-camera, behind the scenes, in his dressing room, and even in venues outside the studio, such as on an impromptu visit to Steven Spielberg’s production company.

“I decided for the next few days to speak telepathically to people . . . That’s the moment when Andy Kaufman showed up, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, ‘Siddown, I’ll be doing my movie.’ What happened afterwards was out of my control.”

We have no qualms saying we hate the movie Man on the Moon. The script was completely ridiculous - and Carrey performance was as over-the-top as you can expect from a man who portrays over-the-top characters. Andy Kaufman wasn't always in character  - as Carrey portrayed him. And he didn't love it when he bombed on stage - as Man on the Moon implied. Take a look at this rare clip of Andy Kaufman backstage after bombing in front of a crowd in the Catskills:

Even the so-called  infamous appearance on the TV show Fridays - was later revealed as staged:

Our Takeaway On Jim & Andy: It's so uncanny how Jim Carrey stayed in character when the cameras weren't rolling - except for the fact that he stayed in character when he knew documentary film cameras were rolling.