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T'ank you veddy much." At some point in the performance, usually when the audience was conditioned to Foreign Man's inability to perform a single convincing impression, Foreign Man would announce, "And now I would like to imitate the Elvis Presley", turn around, take off his jacket, slick his hair back, and launch into a rousing, hip-shaking, unexpectedly excellent rendition of Presley singing one of his hit songs, one that Presley himself described as his favorite.Like Presley, he would take off his leather jacket during the song and throw it into the audience, but unlike Presley, Foreign Man would immediately ask for it to be returned.His Foreign Man character was the basis of his role as Latka Gravas on the hit television show Taxi, on which he appeared from 1978 until 1983.During this time, he continued to tour comedy clubs and theaters in a series of unique performance art / comedy shows, sometimes appearing as himself and sometimes as obnoxiously rude lounge singer Tony Clifton.Kaufman first caught major attention with a character known as Foreign Man, who spoke in a meek, high-pitched, heavy-accented voice and claimed to be from "Caspiar", a fictional island in the Caspian Sea.As Foreign Man, Kaufman would appear on the stage of comedy clubs, play a recording of the theme from the Mighty Mouse cartoon show while standing perfectly still, and lip-sync only the line "Here I come to save the day" with great enthusiasm.He would proceed to tell a few (purposely poor) jokes and conclude his act with a series of celebrity impersonations, with the comedy arising from the character's obvious ineptitude at impersonation.For example, in his fake accent Kaufman would say to the audience, "I would like to imitate Meester Carter, de president of de United States" and then, in exactly the same voice, say "Hello, I am Meester Carter, de president of de United States.
"I just want to play with their heads." After working in small comedy clubs in the early 1970s, Kaufman first came to the attention of a wider audience in 1975, when he was invited to perform portions of his act on the first season of Saturday Night Live.
After the song's finale, he would take a simple bow and say in his Foreign Man voice, "T'ank you veddy much." Portions of Kaufman's Foreign Man act were broadcast in the first season of Saturday Night Live.