|Andy and His Grandmother|
|Compilation album by|
|Released||July 16, 2013|
|Compiler||Rodney Ascher and Vernon Chatman|
Andy and His Grandmother is the posthumous debut album from American comedian Andy Kaufman, released on Drag City on July 16, 2013. Composed of recordings that Kaufman made on microcassette from 1977 to 1979, the album was created by several of Kaufman's friends as well as contemporary comedians.
Kaufman recorded over 80 hours of material with the intention of recording an album similar to Steve Allen and Jerry Lewis' prank call comedy records—his tapes include explicit instructions on how the album should sound. Kaufman's girlfriend Lynne Margulies kept the tapes for decades but never found the opportunity to release them until she published a 2009 book of letters sent to Kaufman and her publisher put her in touch with Drag City. The album was compiled by editor Rodney Ascher and comedian Vernon Chatman with narration between tracks by comedian Bill Hader and liner notes by Kaufman confidante Bob Zmuda. The album includes Kaufman's potential plans for faking his own death—a long-rumored prank that he has allegedly pulled on the public for over 30 years. Chatman is contractually barred from commenting on whether or not Kaufman in fact faked his death.
|Metacritic||62, four reviews|
|The Boston Globe||Favorable|
|Consequence of Sound|||
The album has received mixed and positive reviews—review aggregator Metacritic has given it a 62 indicating "generally favorable reviews". Nick A. Zaino III, writing for The Boston Globe called the compilation "undoubtedly one of the strangest albums in recent memory" making for a "perfect tribute" to Kaufman. Matt Melis of Consequence of Sound also drew parallels between the ambiguous nature of Kaufman's anti-comedy and these recordings. Ryan Dombal's review for Pitchfork Media emphasizes the timing of the recordings and how Kaufman's act changed from a kid-friendly to an adult-themed performance and notes that this album documents his increasingly provocative act. Charles Pitter of PopMatters gave the compilation a mixed score saying, "much of the content is either the start of an idea or what could be considered unfinished business. Despite this, if you're a huge Kaufman fan, it's likely to be of great interest, but potentially it may cause you a wave of depression." Writing for Grantland, Alex Pappademas called the album a "landmark" and "part of Kaufman hasn’t been fully present in any of his work before".