75d: Candice Bergen / Esther Phillips
Foreign Man.....Andy Kaufman
[ZOOM IN on Candice Bergen standing at the left side of the stage.]
Candice Bergen: Boys and girls, this is a man that I love very much. The word “genius” comes to mind, but I will let you decide for yourselves. [gestures to stage] Andy Kaufman!
[Audience cheers and whistles as Andy walks onstage and stands next to a single conga drum. Andy wears a light gray suit several sizes too large for him and a white shirt underneath with no tie. He stands silent and motionless for about five seconds, and then he speaks haltingly in his Eastern European “Latka” accent.]
Foreign Man: It was three people. And they carried the biggest cannon in thee vorld to Spain. So, it was two boys and one girl. And they carrying the cannon, ehhh, to the highest mountain in Spain. So, the first boy, you know, they are on top of the mountain, and the first boy, he, point the cannon to this castle. [starts getting excited] And so, so, so, so so, he, so he, he say to the second boy, “All right, haand me the cannonbooll!” And so, so, so, so, so the second boy, he say, “Ehhhh, I thought YOU had them!” [gets really excited] So, so, then, listen, so, so, the, so listen, so, so the boy turn to the girl, and she say, “Don’t look at ME!” You know, because, eh, they could not shoot! They, uh, they had the cannon, but, they, they could not, they had no cannonball! They could not shoot! Do you understand? Tank you veddy much.
[Audience applauds as Foreign Man takes two stiff, deep bows from the waist, then pats his greased-down hair and rubs his nose.]
Foreign Man: Right now, I would like to do for you some imitations, so, first, I would like to imitate Archie Bunker. [in same voice] "You, stupid. You, you are so stupid. Everybody’s stupid. Ehh, get, get out of my chair, Meathead! Go, and the dingbat get into the kitchen, making the food! [waves arms] Eh, every, everybody’s stupid! [waves arms] I don’t like nobody! It’s so stupid!" Tank you veddy much.
[There is laughter and applause while he bows stiffly again.]
Foreign Man: Now, I would like to imitate, ehhh...
[He freezes dead in his tracks. Audience laughs while Foreign Man stands completely silent and looks lost for a good 30 seconds.]
Foreign Man: I don’t, eh, I forget... ehhh...
[He stays silent and clueless for 10 more seconds.]
Foreign Man: You vant to see me daance? All right.
[He stiffly stomps his feet up and down.]
Foreign Man: La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la... I can, ehhh, sing... [in deeper voice] La, la, la, la, LA! La-la-la-la-la... [waves arms] Opera! [in falsetto] Laaaa, la-la laaaaaaaaa...
[He stops and giggles awkwardly in a desperate attempt to get laughter, then looks terrified again.]
Foreign Man: I... I don’t know nothing, eh... can... could... could we stop thee tape? Could we... I think... I think we should turn off the TV. I don’t know if, if you are laughing at me or weeth me. But, you know, eh, you know, I’m, trying to do my best, and, ehhh... I forgot what I was going to do, but, but... I promise that, eh, you know, is nothing I can do, but promise I vill not be here again.
[When the audience laughs, it appears to break his heart.]
Foreign Man: What is so funny about that, that? I don’t... I don’t know what to do...
[He breathes heavily, and appears on the verge of bursting into tears.]
Foreign Man: I tried to do my best, I tried to... he, he... I was trying to get you all to laugh, he, he...
[There is a rhythm slowly forming in his phrases.]
Foreign Man: Oh, yo, you’re laughing at me see, he, he...
[He keeps singing gibberish until it forms a clear rhythm, and then he starts beating the conga drum with one hand. He claps his hands for a few seconds while the audience claps along, and then beats the drum in perfect time. He sings a few more bars of gibberish, and then walks offstage, pumping his arms in time with a little piano accompaniment. The crowd cheers loudly as Kaufman walks back onstage and takes two stiff bows.]
[ZOOM in on woman in the audience, with SUPER: "Nobody Worth Mentioning". FADE to black.]
Thanks to Joe Cornfield for this transcript!