Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

You’ve got to love a bit of method actor madness, and Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond is a great new documentary that looks at the making of Man on the Moon (1999) which is itself a brilliant film.

But is it? Is any of this real? Anything to do with the late great Andy Kaufman has to be taken with a pinch of salt, especially when it includes his friend and co-conspirator Bob Zmuda. To be frank, while I really enjoyed the documentary and found it very funny. I don’t believe any of it.

Sure, there’s on set footage of Jim Carrey in the character of Andy Kaufman behaving terribly? But we’re led to believe he was like this all the time, except when he was behaving even worse when in character of Tony Clifton (I love Tony Clifton).

Carrey is seen drunk, driving with a bag on his head (and crashing his car) being difficult with director Milos Foreman. Fighting with Jerry Lawler… we’re told the footage was never released at the time because people thought it would impact Carrey’s popularity. Carrey sort of claims that he became Andy…

Nope, don’t buy any of this. This is all too much Andy. I think they set out to do this, and make the documentary (a behind the scenes look at Man on the Moon, done in true Kaufman/Zmuda style). I think Jim is actually ‘acting’ method actor madness (a performance, within a performance) and is being directed by Zmuda.

It’s a riddle within a riddle and a dream within a dream. And you know what? It’s fabulous – who gives a shit if this is an intended effect – and Anyd Kaufman is conning us one more time with Zmuda. Whatever was actually going on, this, as much as Man on the Moon itself is what Andy Kaufman was all about. Go watch it.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour