Now Andy, did you hear about this one?
Classic performances by long-dead comedians Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx will be reanimated for a video-hologram tour slated for the U.S. next year, under a pact between CMG Worldwide, which manages the estates of deceased celebrities, and tech firm Hologram USA.
FilmOn Studios, which along with Hologram USA is owned by Greek billionaire and entertainment entrepreneur Alkiviades “Alki” David, will work with the estates of Kaufman and Foxx along with CMG to create the shows. The hologram video segments will include some of the comedians’ famous characters and catchphrases, such as Kaufman’s Mighty Mouse routine and Foxx’s heart-attack lines from “Sanford and Son” (“You hear that, Elizabeth? I’m coming to join you, honey!”).
The companies didn’t provide info on venues or other details of the planned tour. Select Hologram USA productions will stream live on FilmOn.com and on television in partnership with Endemol Shine Group.
“We’re delighted to work with Hologram USA to celebrate Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx, two comedians who changed the genre forever,” Samantha Chang, director of licensing at CMG, said in a statement.
Chang added: “As with all our work with legendary artists, we insure that every project is authentic and created with the utmost respect for the person’s life and work.”
Kaufman, more performance artist than comic, appeared on the debut episode of “Saturday Night Live” in October 1975 and was a regular on the show until his death in 1985. He’s also known for playing Latka Gravas on ABC’s “Taxi” based on his earlier Foreign Man character.
Foxx, born John Elroy Sanford, began performing in black theaters and nightclubs in the ’50s and gained notoriety for his raunchy standup acts. Norman Lear signed him to star as junk dealer Fred Sanford in NBC’s “Sanford and Son,” a ratings smash that aired from 1972-77. Foxx died of a heart attack in 1991 at the age of 68 while on the set of CBS sitcom “The Royal Family.”
Hologram USA recently announced the 2016 launch of a hologram tour for singer Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, and is creating hologram shows with the estates of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly and Bing Crosby. It also has inked a partnership with the Apollo Theater in Harlem to create a public hologram stage for the venue’s historic entertainers, with the first show featuring Billie Holiday scheduled for late 2015.
Hologram USA’s technology has been used previously by Jimmy Kimmel, who teleported from L.A. to ABC’s 2014 Country Music Awards in Nashville, and to stage Tupac Shakur’s posthumous appearance at the 2012 Coachella music festival.