Cult comedian Andy Kaufman died of lung cancer in 1984, while “Sanford and Son” star Redd Foxx suffered a fatal heart attack in 1991.
Bizarrely neither of these facts are preventing the two stand-up comics from going back on tour, with the aid of technology company Hologram USA.
Decades after their deaths, Kaufman and Foxx are being brought back to life as holograms to perform parts of their previously recorded routines, The New York Times reported Friday.
“They’re comedy icons,” Alki David, the founder and chief executive of Hologram USA, said. “Both of them influenced so many comedians after them.”
While the company is “working with other estates of famous funny guys and funny girls, these just happened to be amenable estates who see the vision,” he said.
The hologram shows will include some of the comedians’ best-known material — such as Kaufman lip-syncing the “Mighty Mouse” theme on the debut episode of “Saturday Night Live” — and narrative segments that dramatize biographical details, including Foxx and Malcolm X.
The shows “will have residencies in multiple locations in tourist-oriented cities across the country,” David told the Times. “They will play several times a day for the first year and then eventually they’ll be put on a rotation with other acts.”
The Greek billionaire is also behind the upcoming Whitney Houston hologram, bringing the late Grammy-winning singer back to the stage for her millions of fans.
It’s not always easy to come back from the grave, however. While holograms such as rapper Tupac Shakur‘s at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music Festival have been big hits, others haven’t been so well received.
Beloved Latina singer Selena’s hologram tour announcement was ripped on social media by devout fans, and a revival of Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards startled some viewers.
Kaufman was best known for his edgy, skittish stand-up style along with his co-starring role on “Taxi.” He was last brought back life in a far more respectable way in the 1999 biographical film “Man on the Moon,” starring Jim Carrey.
Along with his most famous role on the Norman Lear sitcom “Sanford and Son,” Foxx also appeared on “The Redd Foxx Show” and “The Royal Family,” and in the films “All the Fine Young Cannibals” and “Harlem Nights.”
In 2004, Comedy Central voted him the 24th best stand-up comedian of all time.