Trivia: Man on the Moon

  • Dyeing for Your Art: Carrey had his head shaved and lost weight to more accurately portray Kaufman dying of cancer.
  • Executive Meddling: Universal was adamant the film come in under two hours, so several scenes were dropped or shortened. This resulted in several missing trailer scenes (see below).
  • Fake Nationality: The Canadian Jim Carrey as the Jewish-American Andy Kaufman.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The DVD release includes several deleted scenes, two of which turned up in the trailers.
    • After Jerry Lawler's match with Andy ends with Andy being carted away on a stretcher in a neckbrace, he comes to backstage with a smile — to the shock and anger of his parents, who thought he was actually hurt. Andy assures them that nothing he does in public should be seen as real. While keeping this scene in would have better set up how the family reacts to his cancer diagnosis in the third act, the filmmakers wanted to hold off on The Reveal that the Kaufman-Lawler feud was Kayfabe all along, so it was cut.
    • As Kaufman's star descends, he performs his classic "Foreign Man" set at a comedy club to the audience's pleasure — but Zmuda's in the crowd heckling him and making fun of his desperation to please audiences again, leading to Kaufman running him out of the room. (This is an adaptation of a set Kaufman and Zmuda performed at the Catch a Rising Star club's 20th anniversary show.) Again, this is all staged, and Shapiro is frustrated that Kaufman won't stop antagonizing his audience. This was cut because the similar "celebrity cyst" bit did a better job setting up Act Three.
  • Playing Against Type
  • What Could Have Been
    • The choice of who would play Andy came down to Jim Carrey or Edward Norton (Nicolas Cage was also considered); Universal higher-ups got the final say when the filmmakers couldn't choose, and went for the bigger box-office draw. In the end, it didn't help the film at the box office.
    • The published screenplay was one of the earlier drafts and included many scenes/sequences that never made it to the filming stage. Most extensively, the Fridays "fight" and its aftermath would have been covered in full with Andy's two subsequent appearances on the show (and brief faux-conversion to born-again Christianity in the process). Fellow comedian (and lover, for a time) Elayne Boosler was a minor character in early drafts, but specifically asked not to be mentioned/depicted in the film.