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Notes and Observation on Andy Kaufman's one-man play titled, "GOD"

Andy developed what could be construed as a stream-of-consciousness technique during portions of this work, and it contributes a remarkable means of character portrayal, combining it with the use of mimicry of speech and the parody of literary styles as an overall method. Similar to "The Huey Williams Story", "God" is written in what appears to be the form of an interrupted series of dreams. Symbolizing all humanity, the main character, Tinctured Puncture, his friends, and his acquaintances blend (as characters/images do in dreams) with one another and with various historical and mythical figures.

Strangely, a character named, Larry Prescott, is an allegorical figure representing Elvis Presley.

Judged on it's own merit, "God" is little more than the inspired work of a sophomore in a high school Creative Writing class. But devoted fans of Andy Kaufman will, no doubt, read this story, smile at each other and nod knowingly, trading in the coinage of a simple tale, acknowledging a shared passion. To see Andy perform this one-man, one-act play live on stage was undoubtably a sight to behold!

Andy's love and devotion to writers such as, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Wolfe and Walt Whitman are present throughout "God". Many of the pages flow with the beat of a free-flowing prose. Some of his word-play rings true to the sounds of improvisational jazz.

Like his hero Kerouac, Andy's writings are forged and popularized in a jazz-flavor. It is a rebellious and personalized style of prose.

Excerpts:

On Page 59 Andy mentions Elvis by name:

(Page numbers are from Andy's handwritten manuscript.)

"Oh a stately mountain high"

"U-uh-huh"

in a low, deep, Elvis Presley type voice.

"Deep in the heart of the Rockies?"

Larry Prescott is the Elvis Presley character who (like Andy before him) drove a delivery truck and drank beer (Pages 34, 47 and 54). Larry's triumphant appearance on coast-to-coast television (which includes censors concerns over Larry's wigglin' hips), where his awesome "Hound Dog" blows everyone's minds, sets the tone for things to come, culminating in God's wrath against the earth for trying to build an unauthorized "Heaven" on the Earth (Page 124). Actually, little bellbottomed Gina (tee-hee-hee) pisses the God-man off by yanking on his beard (Page 142).

Andy=Larry=Elvis.

Manny Mackelblatt=Colonel Parker. (Page 67 & 92)

Larry's success skyrockets him to fame and fortune. He partners with other investors and has the Atlantic Ocean drained in order to build an immense amusement/theme park called, "Heaven, the Place of Paradise." (Page 117 & 130).

This heaven on earth includes multiple attractions and several layers. Access to each layer is controlled by the amount of money the visitor has. Many of the theme areas are high-tech and therefore cost a lot to produce.

"Of course, to get the most out of Heaven, the idea is to walk from the outer layer to the center, and as you walk, everything gets bigger and better..." (Page 119)

Larry meets God (Page 131) at the center of the park where Larry gives his daily concerts in front of millions of visitors.. (Page 135).

God (despite his bad back) is inspired by Larry's performance and belts out his own song (Page 138).

God's voice begins the book (and several chapters) with shouts of pseudo-spiritual dogma and old southern Negro dialect.

Interesting note: The town of Auburndale (featured at length in Huey Part II) is mentioned on Pages 8, 82 and 104. Andy's "God" was completed many years before Huey II ever began, and yet places and events seem to reappear as common throughout his work.

Andy's "God" is storytelling interspersed with religious mythologizing, modern lyric poetry, and Andy's patented wordplay.

Portions of "God" feature Andy's post-Beat style poetry with Tinctured Puncture and Gina of cute flying bellbottom fame floating. Just floating.

Excerpts follow:

Floated through. Float. Floating. And floated some more.

Tinctured Puncture. Floating. Just floating around. Tinctured Puncture. Floating. Just straight. Not stopping.

Tinctured Puncture. Floating. Just. Open arms. Tinctured Puncture. Just floating. Around. Tinctured just floated. Around. In kind of a bored daze.

God waited as Tinctured floated away. Tinctured floated around the amusement park looking for Gina. His float wasn't as pure as it had been.

Came the sunshine. Awaken. Awoke. Tinctured Puncture. Floated. Just. Andy they flew--together. Gina started to fly. Tinctured started to float but fell. Gina reached out and took him in her arms. He held her tight as she flew. And when he was ready, he let go of her and started to float. And he took her hand. And they flew away together.

THE END.