Television Legend to Be Inducted Into WWE Hall of Fame
WWE just announced its third member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2023. Andy Kaufman is set to be enshrined among WWE's elite, which will take place on March 31 in Los Angeles. He joins a class that features WWE legends Rey Mysterio and The Great Muta. Variety was the first to report the news.
Kaufman is known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live and the TV series Taxi where he played Latka Gravas from 1978-1983. At height of his career, Kaufman made an impact on professional wrestling when he declared himself the Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World, offering money to any woman who could pin him. This led to a very popular feud with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawywer who was competing in the Continental Wrestling Association in Memphis, Tennessee.
BREAKING: @ndykaufman will be inducted into the #WWEHOF Class of 2023, as first reported by @Variety! pic.twitter.com/8emfaH5dhm— WWE (@WWE) March 20, 2023
Lawyer and Kaufman were friends convinced nearly everyone they were enemies. One of the most memorable moments from the rivalry was when both appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982 and Lawler slapped Kaufman out of his chair. It's not clear who will induct Kaufman into the WWE Hall of Fame as Lawler may not be healthy enough to attend since he suffered a stroke in February.
In 2018, Lawler spoke to AL.com about Kaufman's chances of being in the WWE Hall of Fame. "I can't say that I've campaigned, he said. "I feel that would be self-serving if I was out there beating the drum for Andy Kaufman all the time. But I do feel like he would be a worthy celebrity inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame. He was solely responsible for the stuff I did with him, and it changed the face of professional wrestling that went from professional wrestling to sports entertainment. He was a guy who really loved the business."
Kaufman was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for his role on Taxi. He appeared on SNL 16 different times and made 11 appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. On May 16, 1984, Kaufman died at the age of 35 due to lung cancer. In 1999, the film Man on the Moon was released, and it's based on the life of Kaufman. Jim Carrey played Kaufman in the movie and earned a Golden Globe Award for his performance.