(CNN) — Did Andy Kaufman get away with his greatest stunt?
The Internet erupted Thursday following reports that Kaufman’s younger brother, Michael, says the performance artist faked his death.
He did so during the annual Andy Kaufman Awards show at a comedy club in New York — fueling long-held conspiracy theories the comedian’s 1984 death was a hoax, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which attributed the original reports to The Comic’s Comic and Defamer.
Michael Kaufman told the crowd he had discovered an essay long ago about his brother’s desire to fake his death and that in 1999 he had been given instructions to meet his brother at a restaurant on Christmas Eve. Michael Kaufman said he went to the restaurant, met a man he didn’t know and was handed a note supposedly from Andy.
In the alleged note, Andy said “everything was great” in his life. It explained his disappearance this way: that he simply “wanted to get away from being Andy Kaufman.”
At the event, Michael Kaufman then introduced a 24-year-old woman as Andy’s daughter, born five years after the comedian’s reported death.