Tech company Hologram USA is resurrecting dead comedy legends Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx and taking them on the road to haunt America with ghosts of jokes past. Actual resurrection would be a comedy zombie apocalypse—this is purely 3-D laser magic.
As Dave Itzkoff reported in the New York Times, Hologram USA will "use the likenesses of Kaufman and Foxx and parts of their previously recorded routines to create hologram shows that will be presented across the country next year."
The CEO of Hologram USA, Alki David, told the Times that Foxx's and Kaufman's estates were "amenable" to "the vision" behind his efforts to put the two very different comedy icons on stage again. David also said his company is "working with other estates of famous funny guys and funny girls" to unleash new legions of dead comedians on the unsuspecting public.
David explained to the Times thatthe Foxx and Kaufman shows will bring back some of their classic bits in addition to, in Itzkoff's words, "narrative segments that dramatize biographical details." One of those segments in Foxx's show could include "a scene with Malcolm X. We’re going to have various notable names featuring in his story," said David.
Hologram USA is based in Beverly Hills, the Times reported, and has plans on bringing music legends to life again as well, putting hologram versions of Billie Holiday and Whitney Houston onstage for shows and tours. "There are an awful lot of dead celebrities,” David told the Times, and “...an awful lot of dead people with a lot of followers. The fresher the memory, the bigger the star.”
Sometimes dead is better—but it's hard to not marvel at how the confluence of technology and nostalgia has created opportunities to review the work of great performers in a fresh and innovative way.
Though given the long-lived legend that Andy Kaufman is still alive and waiting to punk us all again, it's easy to imagine his new show selling out in hopes that it's actually just him, after all.
Photos by Jim Britt / Disney / Getty