The 25 Most Controversial Comedians of All Time

20. Andy Kaufman

The original troll, Andy Kaufman's brand of comedy was something close to performance art, with the comic staying in character and pulling stunts to the dismay (and sometimes delight) of everyone around him. He was such a prankster that, when he died from cancer in 1984, many believed that he'd faked his death. But even Kaufman had limits.

One memorable prank went down in 1981, during film of the sketch comedy series Fridays. Kaufman, performing with cast members including Seinfeld star Michael Richards, refused to say his lines on camera, prompting a brawl between Kaufman, Richards, and series producer Jack Burns. This was later revealed to be a practical joke that all three were in on.

Kaufman was also widely known for his work on ABC's Taxi, in which he portrayed Latka Gravas. Audiences loved Gravas so much, they wanted him to do the bit during his stand-up routines. Knowing this was expected from him, Kaufman would sometimes “punish” his audience by reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby until the entire audience had left.

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