Andy Kaufman Award competition rejection

Earlier this year, I entered (for the second consecutive year) the Andy Kaufman Award talent competition. I aimed for something short, brilliant and that spoke to the absurdness and sometimes "anti comedian" archetype that makes Kaufman so appealing to me. My entry was purely for my own entertainment. I had no doubt I would not be even be considered - I just wanted to laugh at the fact that my ridiculous entry was listed on their website as though it was a serious contender. Last week I received the following form letter via electronic mail:

Thank you for submitting to the 6th Annual Andy Kaufman Award talent competition. Unfortunately, we have more entries worthy of being invited to the semi-finals than the 19 positions available will allow. It is our difficult task to have to notify those who didn't get the invitation, which is the purpose of this letter.

We have several contestants who have been semi-finalists and even finalists in prior years and who weren't selected for the semi-finals this year. Our selection should not be taken as a reflection on your progress, rather as not matching the criteria for this particular Award as closely as 19 other contestants.

Please remember Andy was not an overnight sensation. He had a burning passion...and stuck with it. He saw an alternative to the brand of comedy, but saw no alternative to entertaining as a career. He gave himself no fall back. Andy's philosophy was an analogy of a moving train in a long dark tunnel - every night you go on stage you're moving forward, even if you can't see your progress. He went on stage approximately 15 times every week. And even when he bombed, which he was famous for, he saw progress. So, if you have the passion, please take this result as part of your path, with the train moving forward.

We know many of you are enthusiastic about Andy's alternative comedy award, and we thank you for that. We hope to cross paths with you in the future. Again, we thank you for entering, and we hope that if you have the passion, that you may be encouraged to enter the next Andy Kaufman Award competition.

Al Parinello
Executive Director
The Andy Kaufman Award

For those of you who are curious, here is my exact submission.

The more I think about this letter (and its direct rejection of my sense of humor) the more I entertain (and strongly urge myself not to carry out) the endeavor to write Mr. Parinello a letter of my own. I've spoken to Al once and from what I can remember, was a nice guy who did in fact enjoy my submission last year - although it also was not right for the competition. All in all, I should not take this so bitterly nor should I sever a bridge out of anger and spite. But here I go anyway.

Dear Al,

This is BULLSHIT! In all fairness, I never expected my video to win. I thought it was highly amusing (lol'able even) that my submission appeared on your site in the first place. It was solely meant in a humorous gesture speaking to the absurdity of awarding someone for having a comedic spirit that is akin to Andy Kaufman. I never met Andy, he wasn't a friend or brother to me, but he is hero to me. Since receiving my rejection letter, I have been obsessing over the point that my video really did do the best job in illustrating how Andy probably would have submitted himself to a contest of this nature, which I'll admit for a hypothetical proposition is both a contradiction and highly unlikely.

How can my video "Chase heats up a cup of water" be denied the many accolades of genius it deserves? Do you really think Andy would have submitted a tape of his tightest 5 minute set or a crowd pleasing short film just so he could snag an award? I firmly believe he would have come up with some way to turn the night around on the crowd and the folks running the award program just to tell others someday about this hilarious thing he did one time.

So, in my heart, I feel like the true winner. Now get off of my website because it's for fucking WINNERS ONLY.

Something something,

Chase Roper

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