The Audience Were the Stars at Widespread Panic's Halloween Show

Widespread Panic’s Halloween shows at the Lakefront Arena have long been events, but this year the band made it even more of one by performing in Andy Kaufman-inspired costumes that commemorated different phases of his career and parts of his performances. With special guest Mike Mills from R.E.M., the band went so far as to perform “Man in the Moon,” the song inspired by Kaufman.

Tony Clifton Works His Magic

[Much of this story is in poor taste. You've been warned.] One of the challenges Andy Kaufman's comedy posed is that much of it depended on surprise, so it could only work a handful of times until the audience knew what was coming. One of the best examples was Tony Clifton, his failed lounge singer character. Kaufman presented himself as a pudgy singer with wobbly vocal chops and a barely suppressed bullying rage.

Andy Kaufman vs. Everybody

Fight Night: Last week, Drag City released Andy and His Grandmother, an album of conversations comedian Andy Kaufman recorded with a micro-cassette recorder in the late 1970s. First response: Jeez, Andy Kaufman must have been tough to live with. His level of commitment to his comedy is likely unrivaled, but for the family and friends who didn't choose that path, being forced to be a part of his audio verité had to be exhausting.