Supreme Clown

By Ira Seidenstein

January 20, 2021

Thanks to someone named Peter for posting this link of Andy Kaufman. I have only seen a few videos of Kaufman. He, as he is, is Supreme. It is almost like looking at a masterpiece of art or music or dance etc. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” as the saying goes. If you want to know about Andy Kaufman simply ask yourself what happens when you watch him. Only through yourself can you truly know someone like him. I had a three hours visit with a great clown once when he was 87. The next day I was to report back to my clown/acting students about what he was like because in their country he was considered legendary. Basically what I reported besides the details of our three hours, was, “I can tell you where a clown comes from if you can tell me where a wildflower comes from”. Meaning they are each a phenomenon of nature, or the universe, or god.

The timing of seeing this short video is interesting for me because I’m writing my third book. This one is titled “Remnants” and the jumping off point was for me to explain the connection between my Jewish Culture and my artwork and karma as a clown. Along the way I am discussing many issues which pertain to society, philosophy, metaphysics, and the creative subconscious and imagination.

Today, I would say that this short video clip is an an encapsulation of the truest nature of Clown Culture, as well as Jewish Culture, and by reflection Human Culture which in Judaism is called “dor v’dor”. That means ‘from generation to generation’ and is the essence of most Indigenous cultures that the knowledge and wisdom is passed on through the generations over eons. I have long said that real theatre including clowning occurs when there are at least three generations involved. That is the norm in traditional circus which has a lot to teach the theatre and Clown worlds.

In the video ‘for those with eyes to see’, Andy Kaufman shows and therefore teaches by example several of the most important points about Clown. First it is about love. Second its objective is spontaneous intimacy. Third by way of family and generations we are ‘all one’ in the vast human drama. And as Shakespeare pointed out, we are really made of stardust.

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Ira Seidenstein