Comedian and long-con artist Andy Kaufman is either alive or dead, depending on whom you believe.
According to a death certificate in California, Kaufman died in 1984 from a rare form of lung cancer. But according to his brother, he faked his own death and he’s still alive.
During the Andy Kaufman Awards on Monday night, his brother, Michael told a long story about how his brother — a fan of stunts and pranks — actually faked his own death 29 years ago and that he is still very much alive, The Huffington Post reports.
This has long been a theory and Andy himself stated that he planned to fake his own death. His illness also had an air of mystery to it, since he refused typical medical care and wanted to use natural medicine and eat fruits and vegetables to cure it.
According to Michael’s story (or performance art, whatever you want to call it), Andy practiced meditation and could slow down his breathing patterns so greatly that he could appear dead. People at the funeral say they saw his body, but Michael said he was using this technique.
During the convoluted story — Gothamist has a good recap of the bizarre night — a woman alleging to be his daughter came onstage and claimed that her dad wanted to live a quiet life. She was quickly revealed to be theater student hired by Michael to perform that night. But Michael still hasn’t refuted the story that his brother Andy is living a quiet life and raising a family somewhere.
HuffPo tracked down some of these conspiracy theories over the summer, and many people believe that Andy lives in Albuquerque, N.M.
Either way, Andy has tricked us into believing that he could be alive, which is probably what he wanted all along.