Jerry Lawler opened up about his relationship with Hollywood actor Jim Carrey following their time on set together during the late 1990s.
One of the greatest feuds in the history of professional wrestling is one that is often forgotten when the topic is discussed, and that’s because one of the people in the feud wasn’t even a wrestler. In 1982, before WWE was a global force and territories were still the done thing in the business, Jerry Lawler and comedian Andy Kaufman dragged wrestling into the mainstream with their heated rivalry.
Kaufman loved wrestling, and his notoriety helped elevate the feud to heights pro wrestling had never experienced up to that point. The pinnacle of the interactions between the two came when The King hit Kaufman on Late Night With David Letterman. The reason this feud is relevant now is because a documentary about the making of a film based on Kaufman’s life, Man On The Moon, was recently released on Netflix.
Jim Carrey played Kaufman in the biographical pic and was so invested in the character that he became something of a nightmare to work with. Shot and released in 1998, Lawler starred in the movie as himself and had a fair few issues with Carrey. Those issues culminated in the comedian spitting in The King’s face and Lawler subsequently putting Carrey in the hospital. Was it all part of the act like it was originally? Well, since the cameras were apparently not rolling when it happened, not likely.
Lawler discussed the turbulent time on his podcast last week, Dinner With The King, and also talked about a letter he received from Carrey just a few years ago. Carrey received the robe that Lawler wore during filming and thought it was a gift from Lawler. It wasn’t, but thinking it was, Carrey sent a gift in return, his collection of old wrestling records. He also sent a letter with the present telling The King it was “an honor and an odyssey” to work with him all those years ago and extended an invite for Lawler to join him in his box at the Staples Center whenever he likes.
If you’ve yet to see the documentary on Netflix – Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond—then you should find some time to watch it. The interactions between Carrey and Lawler play a big part in the doc and they’re fascinating. Lawler continually explains to the camera that Andy Kaufman was a nice, humble guy and was obviously clued into everything they were doing during the early ’80s. Carrey clearly couldn’t see that and, as Kaufman, was insistent on treating The King as his mortal enemy as that’s what he believed Kaufman had done.
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