Forget about Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, and Nicki Minaj. The hot concert tour for 2016 features two comedic geniuses we haven't seen onstage in a very long time: Andy Kaufman and Redd Foxx. Well, not the actual deceased comedians (though you never know with Andy Kaufman), but their holograms, which will be featured in shows around the country thanks to Hologram USA, the New York Times reports. "They're comedy icons," Hologram USA founder Alki David tells the paper. But while the company is "working with other estates of famous funny guys and funny girls," he adds, "these just happened to be amenable estates who see the vision." And that vision for the former Taxi star and the Sanford & Son patriarch includes what David says is the best stuff from their famous routines, as well as biographical snippets that lend further insight into the two funnymen.
Although a director at the licensing agency for the Kaufman-Foxx deal concedes to the Times that the idea is "uncomfortable" to some, David insists the mission of Hologram USA—which has also projected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel into remote locations—is no different than any other nonfiction biopic you might see. Others aren't so sure. Jesse David Fox writes for Vulture that this idea emerged because, as the headline on his post puts it, "people who crave money often have stupid ideas." The idea creeps him out, he writes, and "if they respected the 'work,' if they respected comedy, they'd know this is a terrible idea." But Michael Kaufman, Andy's brother, tells the Times that he's on board. Naturally, he also can't help but feed into the "Andy isn't dead" rumor, adding, "What if Andy actually jumps out of the technology and really appears? He'd be 66 and nobody would recognize him."