Man on the Moon is a song by the band R.E.M. from their 1992 album Automatic for the People. The song makes numerous references to the performer Andy Kaufman, including his Elvis impersonation and work with wrestlers Fred Blassie and Jerry Lawler. The song was released as a single in 1993.
The title, video, and lyrics are a reference to the conspiracy theory that the American moon landing was faked. There have also been rumors that Andy Kaufman faked his death. The lyrics make no direct reference to this or a connection between the two, but they do imply that Kaufman should be seen as having "nothing up his sleeve."
The song gave its name to a 1999 film Man on the Moon, and was used in the film's soundtrack.
The song's video, directed by Peter Care, was shot over three days in the desert, at Lancaster in the Antelope Valley area of California, in October 1992. Care kept a journal of the unusually long planning, filming, and editing process, which was published by Raygun magazine and reprinted in the R.E.M. fan club newsletter. It gave a clear idea of the amount of work, money, and attention-to-detail involved.
In the video, Stipe, attired in a cowboy hat, walks along a desert road. He leaps onto a passing truck, driven by Bill Berry, and hitches a ride to a truck stop where Peter Buck is tending bar and Mike Mills is shooting pool. Berry trades his truck seat for a bar stool, and along with a few of the other customers, sings along during the choruses. After finishing his order of fries, Stipe leaves and walks off into the dusk. In the background on a small television set in the truck stop, various footage of Andy Kaufman can be seen showing.
This video was ranked #41 on Rolling Stone magazine's The 100 Top Music Videos. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.