My Breakfast with Blassie (1983)

“I paid for the check, left the crowded restaurant and got on the bus. As I rode home the streets of the city were alive with memories. Like the first time I saw a bum puking his guts out on the sidewalk.” Brilliant performance artist Andy Kaufman sits down with legendary professional wrestler and manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie (“ya pencil-neck geek”) for breakfast at a Sambo’s restaurant in downtown Hollywood in this irreverent spoof of the 1981 highbrow art-house classic My Dinner With Andre, which starred Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn. Andy, the self-proclaimed “Intergender Wrestling Champion,” sports a neck brace after being body slammed by Southern Heavyweight Champion Jerry “The King” Lawler in Nashville the month before. Andy had invited Blassie (the self-proclaimed “King of Men”) to breakfast, hoping to get some advice on how to resurrect his flagging wrestling career. Spoiler alert! Here’s play by play of the action that ensues: Blassie, who sports his signature Hawaiian shirt and gold chains, rubs the pregnant waitress’ belly (“the Buddha”) for good luck. “Don’t have to tip her so much after we leave now,” explains Blasie. For the record, Andy orders a large orange juice, two scrambled eggs and a waffle with a lot of butter on the side, along with a cup of coffee. Blassie orders sausage and eggs, cottage cheese, whole-wheat toast and a glass of milk. The conversation soon turns to a number of offbeat subjects such as typhoons in Japan, dunking toast into egg yolk and Blassie filing his teeth to intimidate the other wrestlers during his first Japan tour in 1962. Blassie continues to entertain Andy with some of his other wrestling exploits such as the time he lost vision in his right eye after he was hit with a hard-boiled egg as he entered the ring and how he introduced “biting” to the professional wrestling world. A female autograph seeker at an adjacent table gets Andy to sign her napkin; Blassie refuses to sign any autographs for the ladies. They get abrasive and Andy starts insulting them (“Do you know who I am? I am Andy Kaufman from ‘Taxi.’ TV star . . .”). The ladies make a quick exit. Blassie also shares some personal hygiene tips: “The reason I don’t like to shake hands with nobody is because I don’t know if they’ve been to the men’s room, been to the toilet, maybe their finger went right through the tissue.” Andy convinces Blassie to order dessert with their breakfast. For the record, Andy orders chocolate layer cake, while Blassie orders one scoop of vanilla ice cream. Andy invites one of the more seedy patrons of the restaurant over to the table. The man proceeds to pull straws out of his nose and wipe his boogers on the table. He then walks away. Andy tells Blassie that the man’s actions remind him of the fake boogers he recently bought at a magic shop. Blassie is disgusted by the man’s antics: “I’m ready to puke in that asshole’s face.” Andy pulls the fake boogers out of the case and shows them to Blassie. What a coincidence! He then convinces Blassie to buy one of the fake boogers for $1. The seedy-looking man returns, starts vomiting on the table and then walks away snickering. Andy thinks it’s hysterical. Blassie reacts by spitting on the table in disgust, wondering what the hell happened to the human race. Blaming Andy for inviting the asshole over to the table in the first place, Blassie demands that Kaufman pay the bill. Andy says goodbye to Blassie and boards the bus. The tagline on the My Breakfast With Blassie VHS cover reads, “It’s Comedy Meets Wrestling With a Side Order of Bacon!” Look for Andy’s buddy, Bob Zmuda, as the fan who pulls straws out of his nose and ends up vomiting on the table. The film was directed by Linda Lautrec (who also portrays the autograph hound), Johnny Legend and Mark Shepard. According to at least one source, Andy met his future girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, during the shooting of My Breakfast With Blassie. Tragically, Kaufman died of lung cancer in 1984 at the age of 35. He is buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, New York. Disclaimer: If you dislike Kaufman’s unique brand of humor, you will hate this flick. In 1994, Blassie was inducted into the World Wrestling Federation Hall of Fame along with Buddy “Nature Boy” Rogers, Gorilla Monsoon and Chief Jay Strongbow. Blassie died of heart and kidney failure in 2003 at the age of 85.

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