On Wednesday, July 28, 1982, thirty years ago this month, Jerry Lawler and Andy Kaufman continued
their burgeoning celebrity wrestling feud with The Slap Heard Around the World on Late Night with
Meeting up on the Letterman show, the two, who had been feuding in and out of the ring in Memphis,
Tennessee for months, were reportedly going to make up and settle their now legal differences on
Letterman’s late night talk show. However, as things grew heated during the course of the interview,
Jerry Lawler stood, turned, and slapped Andy Kaufman, who was wearing a neck brace worn due to
the illegal pile-drivers that Lawler had applied to Kaufman (twice) in a match in Memphis’ Mid-South
Coliseum, sending Kaufman to the hospital and causing Kaufman to threaten to sue Jerry Lawler.
Kaufman and Lawler’s appearance and the attention and heat it drew gave birth to the introduction
of celebrities into the wrestling world.
The video itself has become one of the most viewed videos inYouTube history and one of the most surprising and talked about moments in television history.
The Lawler-Kaufman feud is chronicled in the recently released, award-winning documentary film
Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’.
Please join us in the remembrance of one of the all-time great comics on this thirty year anniversary of
The Slap Heard Around the World and, please, remember not to mess with anyone from Hollywood!
Memphis Heat is available on iTunes at
and on dvd at www.memphis-heat.com.
For Referee Jerry Calhoun’s take on the Lawler-Kaufman feud, visit this outtake from Memphis Heat: