Back in the 90's, I was also pretty "in to" a little band called R.E.M. So, when my mom brought home, on the day of its release, "Automatic for the People", and it was waiting for me when I got home from school, I was so so so excited. I became even more excited when I turned it on and listened to it. No way did I know that one of the songs was going to be about Andy and I vividly remember being in the kitchen and hearing the song and then grabbing the lyrics insert and reading along, nearly in tears. For, you see, I'd loved Andy since I was a little girl. R.E.M. didn't introduce me to him. And Jim Carrey certainly didn't introduce me to him either. I remember Latka. I remember when he "died" (I really really remember it). Andy was just simply so strange. So unique. So himself. So confused. So brilliant. So brave. So completely and totally nuts.
For those of you who don't know, and who won't go read about it, there are plenty of people who think that he faked his death. And unlike with the Elvis (Andy's idol) situation, there is reason to believe he did just that. Plenty of accounts from friends and lovers who claim that he told them, in detail, that he would pretend to have cancer, die, and then reappear. Only, not after a year or so... he'd wait 20. Well, it's been almost 25 years and he's not back yet. But perhaps he's enjoying living in a hippie cult and wearing a beard and simply has no desire to return. Showbiz and comedy aren't exactly what they were during his day. Or maybe he's just being Andy. Andy's tricks were never supposed to be revealed as tricks. We were supposed to continue believing that he really did get into a fight with Jerry Lawler (warning: profanity) and we were supposed to get up to adjust our television sets during his "prime time children's special". Another option is that he didn't, in fact, die in 1984 but has since passed away.
Whether he is still alive, dead, in hiding, committed, I don't really care. I have always loved and will always love Andy. He continues to inspire me today.
Fank you bedy much.