Harry Terjanian, winner of the 2013 Andy Kaufman Award

Above (left to right): Andy Kaufman Award winners Harrison Greenbaum (2010), Harry Terjanian (2013), Michael Kaufman, Marcus Monroe (2012), Nick Vatterott (2011).

You may have heard about the 2013 Andy Kaufman Awards.

Mostly you heard, saw and read about a young woman walking onstage and introducing herself to Michael Kaufman, Andy’s brother, as Andy’s 24-year-old daughter (who would have been born to him in hiding a few years after Andy would have had to have faked his own death).

What about the actual competition, though? As I also initially reported, Harry Terjanian emerged victorious after several years of competing for and almost winning the award. He beat out a field that included Killy Dwyer, Josh Fadem, Adam Hamway, Michael Karas, Rob Lathan and Joe Machi.

Terjanian gave an acceptance speech Monday night after all of the mischief that had preceded him onstage. He followed up with The Comic’s Comic to for a second round of thanks, saying:

“I can now confess that even though I made a joke out of it, I was legitimately pissed off about losing the Andy Kaufman award every year. Not because of jealousy but because of what this award means, not just because of Andy’s legacy but what it means to alternative comedy in general.

It’s really a showcase of all the unique comedic performers out there trying to do something different and push boundaries. And I’m so proud to represent them as this year’s winner. And yes I know how cliched and corny all of that sounded. But I’m the winner so fuck you.”

Here is video from Terjanian’s Andy Kaufman Award-winning performance, in which he traveled back in time to kill off all of the previous winners so he could finally taste victory himself:

As for what happened between his performance and the announcement that he’d won? Terjanian also weighed in on that, this morning.

“A lot of people have been asking about the whole Andy Kaufman is a live event that happened on Monday, since I was there… You know… Winning my awesome award!

I will tell you this much.

I am a skeptic by nature. I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in psychics I don’t believe in ghosts hunters. I don’t believe even in most forms of hypnosis I’m not really a conspiracy theory guy whether it be JFK or 9/11…

So most of the time it’s hard to pull one past me and even I was sucked in to how real this could potentially be.

Now is it real? Probably not. Logic obviously sides on it not being real.

But Words don’t really do the events of of what happened Monday night justice. Even reading the most accurate account of what happened on Monday from people like Sean L McCarthy and Killy Dwyer both of whom were there with me that night doesn’t do it justice. No matter how well-written or how accurate they were, I could easily see people reading the headlines and the articles and just calling bullshit on the whole thing. “Whatever it’s another silly little stunt to try to keep andy’s name around.”
Because I think I would probably be one of those people if I hadn’t been there.

Here’s how intense and real it felt, I have been working hard and fighting to win the Andy Kaufman award for five years and this was the moment of truth for me to find out if I had finally won.

But for several minutes I was so drawn into that what was going on that I completely forgot I was waiting to hear if I had won or not

Knowing Michael Kaufman for the last five years through doing the awards he’s not an actor or performer. Unless somehow he’s conned me for the last five years I don’t think he would be capable of this acting job.

His emotions seemed as real as anything I’ve ever seen. Oh and by the way. Michael always stated he was skeptical that very night on the stage. At no point did he say he was certain.

I know there’s logical reasons that this is not true. And there’s part of me that really wants it to be true and I have to factor those things in.

But whether or not it’s real just the fact that they drew me in personally, is in itself a great experience and moment. And i guess that’s what Andy kaufman was all about.

For a minute i thought the magic trick was real.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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