... Eric Idle
... Andy Kaufman
... Bob Zmuda
[At Home Base, host Eric Idle pretends to be juggling
five orange balls which are, in fact, connected by a
thin metal wire. After a moment, he stops and
addresses the camera.]
Eric Idle: [with a grand gesture] Ladies and
gentlemen, Andy Kaufman!
[Cheers and applause as Idle exits and Kaufman enters,
wearing his grandfather's elegant calf-length Sulka
bathrobe, tied at the waist. He descends the stairs to
Home Base, nods and smiles to acknowledge the applause
and addresses the audience mildly:]
Andy Kaufman: In the old days, uh, they used to
have wrestlers who went from town to town across the
country in carnivals and offer five hundred dollars--
[clears throat] - to any man who could last three
minutes in the ring with them. What I've been doing
for the last two years is going from town to town, in
my concerts all over the country, offering five
hundred dollars to any woman in the audience who could
pin me in a wrestling match in three minutes. This is
a very legitimate thing and, uh, the reason I choose
women ... is because I'm not an athlete, I'm not--
[clears throat] I really don't know that much about
wrestling but, ah-- I-- So I feel if I chose a man, I
might get beaten. ...
But I just don't feel that a woman is capable of
beating a man in a wrestling match. [crowd groans]
And, um, I'm not trying to be chauvinistic or, you
know, make fun of the women's lib movement or do any
kind of thing like that but what I'm trying to say is,
I just can't conceive of a woman having the
capabilities to do that. Even if a woman was to train
hard for a long time, I don't think that she could be
physically capable and also I don't think that a woman
is mentally capable to ... [crowd objects] No, no, no,
wait! Because you really need a certain-- You really
need a certain kind of way of thinking ... uh, to
wrestle, strategy and all that. And I just don't think
women think that way. I think that they're mostly good
for -- and, I mean, you might laugh when I say this --
but I think they're good for scrubbing the potatoes
and washing the carrots ... putting it in the pot--
[crowd groans, hisses, objects, some clap] Please. Uh,
um, mopping the floors, raising the babies. I think
also the men-- [crowd objects] The men have let the
women come to a higher, you know, a higher position
than they're able-- I think the men are a bunch of
pussy cats and pansies for letting this happen. And I
think the men in this country are nothing but pitiful
specimens of manhood.
So, if there's any woman out there tonight who would
like to prove me wrong, like to take me on in a
wrestling match, I'd like to call you up all now. You
can just volunteer. Five hundred dollars to any woman
that could pin my shoulders in three minutes. Here's
my referee, Bob Zmuda.
[Bearded, bespectacled Bob Zmuda enters briskly
wearing a referee's striped shirt and carrying a hand
mike into which he speaks.]
Bob Zmuda: [to the crowd] Okay, you heard him.
Five hundred dollars to the woman who can come up here
tonight and in a fair wrestling match-- [Mimi, a lithe
brunette from the front row, steps up on stage and
Zmuda directs her] Just line up right over here. We
have some more -- [to the crowd] In a fair wrestling
match, pin his shoulders to the ground for the count
of three. Anybody from upstairs? Come on up. Five
hundred dollars -- here's the money. [holds up a wad
of cash as a tall woman in a dress arrives on stage]
This is real. This is not set up! Right this way.
Anybody else? [more volunteers approach, Zmuda counts
them] There's one, two, three, four. Anybody else?
Come on. [a very pregnant woman and a fourth woman
join the others] ... [a fifth woman runs through the
audience, Zmuda points to her] Here's another one.
We've got one here. Anybody upstairs? That's it?
Anybody else? Okay, fine. [five women have lined up
next to Zmuda] Let's hear it for them - being very
brave. [cheers and applause] Very brave coming up
here. Let's start off by asking them what their name
is. [Zmuda holds the mike up to each of the women]
What's your name?
Mimi: [the prettiest, most athletic one] Mimi
Bob Zmuda: Mimi.
Ann: [tallest with eyeglasses] Ann
Bob Zmuda: Ann.
Linda: [extremely pregnant] Linda
Bob Zmuda: Linda.
Kelly: Kelly Bolton.
Bob Zmuda: Kelly.
Debbie: Debbie White.
Bob Zmuda: Debbie. [to the crowd] Look at 'em.
It's up to you to choose, the audience to choose. ...
This is not set up. This is real. I'm gonna put my
hand over their head. Now, vote for the girl -- by
clapping -- who you think can pin Andy's shoulders to
the ground for the count of three. Okay, here we
[Zmuda puts his hand over each woman's head. Most of
the women draw decent applause but Linda, the pregnant
one, draws huge cheers and applause. Zmuda narrows it
down to Ann, the tall one, and Linda, who again draws
the loudest response.]
Bob Zmuda: [commenting on the cheers for Linda]
Four people up front that are doin' this.
Andy Kaufman: [From offscreen, Kaufman asks
Zmuda to try the first girl, Mimi, again.] The one on
the end. Number One, she got a lot of--
Bob Zmuda: [to Kaufman, off Mimi] She was
[Zmuda narrows it down to Mimi and pregnant Linda.
Linda again draws the bigger response.]
Bob Zmuda: [off Linda] I think it's her. I
think it's her. [to the crowd] Let's hear it for her.
Let's thank the rest. [Zmuda raises Linda's arm above
her head triumphantly, she laughs, the crowd cheers
and applauds, Zmuda leads Linda over to a small
makeshift wrestling ring complete with padded ring
posts and ropes] Come right--
[The other women exit the stage and return to their
seats. A bell clangs a few times to signal that the
match is almost ready to begin.]
Bob Zmuda: [to Linda] Take your shoes off,
it'll be a lot easier. [as Linda takes her shoes off,
Zmuda addresses the crowd] I want to ask Mr. Kaufman
Andy Kaufman: [standing in the ring] I said
why. Because a woman-- [takes microphone from Zmuda
and uses it to address the crowd] I just want to say,
I challenged, uh, Diana Nyad, the world's-- supposedly
the world's strongest lady who swam to Cuba and back,
she's supposed to be so strong -- I challenged her and
she said "No!" ... Okay? She's afraid. Okay? Here we
go. ... [hands the microphone back to Zmuda who is
collecting Linda's valuables, Kaufman addresses Linda]
Come on. [as Linda readies to enter the ring, a
stunned Kaufman points at her] You're pregnant! [Linda
bends over and enters the ring under the top rope] How
can you wrestle me when you're pregnant?
Bob Zmuda: [to Linda] Wait. Wait, are you
Andy Kaufman: Zmuda, she's pregnant!
Bob Zmuda: You're pregnant? This--
Andy Kaufman: Oh, man!
Bob Zmuda: No, are you - are you
Andy Kaufman: [points off stage] Get the other
one. Get the other one in right now. [crowd cheers
Bob Zmuda: Hold it just a second. [to Linda]
Are you pregnant?
Bob Zmuda: You are? Wait, you are
Bob Zmuda: [to the crowd] She cannot do it. She
can't do it.
Andy Kaufman: [to Linda] Why did you come up
here when you're pregnant? This is a real
Bob Zmuda: No, no, no, I'm sorry, I'm
Andy Kaufman: You would hurt your baby.
Bob Zmuda: The next girl, who was close, I
Andy Kaufman: -- was the tall one!
Bob Zmuda: [points to Mimi, the volunteer from
the front row, who was not really the tall one - but
who remembers that now?] The tall one! With
[Cheers and applause as Linda exits the ring and Mimi
arrives on stage.]
Andy Kaufman: [to Linda] How can you do
Bob Zmuda: [to Linda] How could you come up
pregnant like that?
[Mimi removes her skirt to reveal that she's wearing a
pair of tights.]
Andy Kaufman: [to the crowd] Ladies and
gentlemen, I must apologize. This lady is pregnant.
Ah, we didn't know that. Okay. Here we go.
[Linda collects her belongings and leaves the stage.
Mimi removes her shoes and adjusts her tights during
Bob Zmuda: Okay, here we go. ... [Zmuda enters
the ring and addresses the crowd] It's a three minute,
it's a three minute round. It's a three minute round.
They-- She has to pin Andy's shoulders to the mat for
the count of three. He doesn't have to pin her. She
has to pin him. [to Mimi who enters the ring] Are you
Andy Kaufman: Now--
Bob Zmuda: [to Mimi] What's your name?
Bob Zmuda: Mimi, okay.
Andy Kaufman: [to Mimi] You've never seen me
Bob Zmuda: This is not set up. Okay, three
Andy Kaufman: You're not-- [points to her
tights] Why are you in those--?
Mimi: [casually] I'm a dancing--
Bob Zmuda: You're dancing, okay. ...
[Kaufman removes his bathrobe and tosses it outside
the ring to reveal that he's wearing white longjohns
under black trunks with black socks. The bell rings to
signal the start of the match. Mimi immediately goes
for Kaufman's legs to the delight of the crowd which
is clearly on her side, shouting, "Mimi!" "Come on,
Mimi!" and other forms of encouragement.]
Andy Kaufman: [to the crowd] Shut up!
[Zmuda circles around the two wrestlers like a
professional referee. The crowd is totally into it:
"Come on, Mimi!" "Keep going!" We get a rather
impressive shot of Mimi's rear end as Kaufman grapples
with her. She backs him into one of the padded ring
posts. "Go, Mimi!"]
Andy Kaufman: [to Mimi] Wait a minute, wait a
[Kaufman maneuvers away from the post but Mimi forces
him back again, this time trapping Zmuda between
Kaufman and the post. "Go, Mimi, go!" Kaufman
illegally rabbit punches Mimi, the crowd roars its
objection, and Kaufman raises his hands to protest his
innocence. Kaufman puts Mimi in an armlock and forces
her back, allowing Zmuda to free himself.]
Andy Kaufman: She was biting, Zmuda!
Bob Zmuda: What?
Andy Kaufman: She was biting!
Bob Zmuda: No biting. No biting. No
[Kaufman somehow manages to roll Mimi on her back. The
crowd goes nuts: "Get up, Mimi!" "Push! Push!" "Come
on, Mimi" "Boo!" Kaufman nearly pins her but Mimi
twists her body underneath him until she is on her
stomach. Kaufman performs another illegal maneuver on
her neck, then pulls her hair. She tries to grab for
his hair. Kaufman raises a hand to protest to Zmuda
and knocks the referee's eyeglasses off. Kaufman,
still atop Mimi, politely hands the glasses back to
Zmuda. Mimi slips free and forces Kaufman to his feet.
Hugging the back of his knees, she tries to topple
him. He finally falls and the crowd roars with
delight. But Kaufman quickly rolls her over on her
back again and illegally knees her in the stomach
several times. He's clearly faking all of these
illegal moves but the crowd boos anyway. Zmuda pulls
him away and gives him a warning. Kaufman rises
triumphantly, arms in the air, and struts around the
ring, taunting the angry, booing crowd.]
Andy Kaufman: Shut up! Shut up! Shut--!
[Mimi jumps Kaufman from behind, grabbing his knees
and pulling him backward to the mat. Huge cheers and
applause as Kaufman goes down. Now, Kaufman grabs the
back of Mimi's knees and forces her gorgeous rear end
up into the air. He calls for Zmuda to count her out
but her shoulders are not quite pinned so Zmuda cannot
do so. Abruptly, Mimi turns the tables on him and
nearly pins him three times as the crowd goes berserk.
Zmuda nearly counts out Kaufman but Kaufman always
manages to kick free. Finally, Kaufman manages to get
Mimi on her back again and illegally chokes her. The
Andy Kaufman: [atop Mimi, yelling at crowd] I'm
not chokin'! Come on! Competition! Let's get some
[The match continues. The wrestlers trade advantage a
few times before Kaufman finally pins an exhausted
Bob Zmuda: [counts her out, slapping the mat as
he does] One! Two! Three!
[The bell rings and the match is over -- about three
minutes and fifteen seconds after it began.]
Bob Zmuda: He's got it! He's got it!
[Kaufman rises and pretends to kick the downed Mimi
several times as the crowd boos. She tries to rise and
he shoves her down again. Zmuda separates them.
Kaufman grabs the microphone and addresses the
Andy Kaufman: Diana Nyad! I challenged you! You
chickened out! You swam to Cuba! [high-pitched voice]
With all the sharks and the jellyfish! [resumes
taunting] But you're afraid to wrestle me?! Diana, I
won't offer you five hundred dollars! I'll offer you--
What do you want? I'll offer you one thousand, two
thousand -- you want ten thousand dollars?! I'll give
it to ya. If you could pin me here in this ring! Not
only that but I'll have a barber here and, if you beat
me, I will have my head shaved bald in front of
everyone right here in the ring! Diana, any time,
baby! I don't think you can do it! ... I don't
think you can do it! Diana, do I hear you? [clucks
like a chicken] ... Come on, baby! Wrestle me!
[applause, groans, plenty of boos and hisses as
Kaufman struts around] Shut up! Shut
[Fade out on Kaufman taunting the crowd. During this,
we see Mimi Lambert -- heiress to the Lacoste
sportswear fortune, dance student of Martha Graham's
-- back in her front row seat, fixing her