Carol Kane worked alongside Andy Kaufman on Taxi and she’s remembering the late comedian over a prank he pulled on her. Kane played Simka Gravas, wife of Kaufman’s Latka Gravas on the show. She was part of a Taxi reunion on Monday on ABC’s The View.
The View co-host Sarah Haines asks Carol Kane about her experience working with Kaufman. “I thought it was so complicated, I wanted to sound just like him,” she replied. “There were some words, but most of it was just made up, and when I [asked] him, ‘I really need to study this, how do you do it?’ He said, ‘Well, it’s just like when you’re a little kid and you open your mouth and speak Russian or Chinese.’ For him, it was just an easy, natural thing because he could channel being a kid.”
Carol Kane Believed She and Andy Kaufman Were Going to Mexico
She remembered this, adding that Kaufman once told her that, to perfect the inflection, they needed to practice speaking to people from international regions.
“He said, ‘We have to go out to dinner, we have to go somewhere where no one will recognize us, so we’re going to Mexico,’” Kane said. “So, I pull up to his house in Laurel Canyon, and he gets on the phone and he’s on the phone forever in the kitchen, and I finally came in and said to him, ‘Andy, if we’re going to Mexico, we better go now. We better leave.’”
“He looked at me like I was out of my mind, that I believed him. He thought I was nuts. So, we go to a Chinese restaurant and we arranged a thing where I told him what I wanted, he ordered in English, and the waiter would come and ask me what I wanted, and I had to do it in the language. We sat there for a couple hours, pretending that I spoke it, and, in a while, I spoke it!”
Carol Kane referred to the same prank story while making an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien back in 1994.
Kane Made Her First Appearance on ‘Taxi’ in Season 2
Carol Kane made her first appearance on Taxi in a smaller role in Season 2. But she joined the cast as a series regular in its final season in 1982. Kaufman was a part of Taxi in all five of its seasons. Kaufman, a multi-talented actor and comedian, died in 1984 at 35 years old. He made appearances on Saturday Night Live and in other shows, too.
Besides Carol Kane, other Taxi stars appearing on The View included Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, and Christopher Lloyd. Jeff Conaway, who played Bobby Wheeler, also has passed away since the show aired in its original run.
Reruns of Taxi are a part of PlutoTV’s show offerings.
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