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Andy Kaufman alive? Jerry Lawler hopes so

Jerry LawlerWorld Wrestling Entertainment Inc.David Letterman

Yes, it's probably a great prank being played by his brother, but the Internet was in turmoil Thursday over reports comedian Andy Kaufman, who died in 1984, is actually alive and well.

The comedian's brother, Michael, told an audience at a New York comedy club Monday night that he received a letter from his brother 15 years after his death. It said Andy's reappearance would take place at a restaurant on Christmas Eve in 1999.

When Michael Kaufman went to the restaurant, he said, a parking attendant gave him a letter supposedly from Andy.

"It was too much pressure to be Andy Kaufman. I just wanted to be Andy," Michael Kaufman read. "I think that's why I got sick. I had to change completely and quickly. I'm extremely very happily married with the most wonderful wife in the whole wide world and with the two greatest kids: a 10-year-old daughter and a son who is 8."

Of course, one of the first people you want to reach out to in a case like this is a pro wrestler, specifically Jerry "The King" Lawler, who wrestled Kaufman on a couple of occasions and appeared with him on "Late Night with David Letterman."

Lawler, currently a commentator for WWE, talked to CNN by phone Thursday and said, "I would like nothing better than to know that Andy was still alive and been with us all this time. But like anybody else, I really don't know any more than what I've heard. It could be a great hoax in his honor, dreamed up by his friend Bob Zmuda and his brother, Michael. That would be something that would be in keeping with Andy's tradition, but who's to say. It could really be legit."

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