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.
Arguably his best-known act, Kaufman's Foreign Man persona was later adapted as the character Latka Gravas on the ABC sitcom Taxi.
Sam Simon, who early in his career was a writer and later showrunner for Taxi, stated in a 2013 interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast that the story of Kaufman having been generally disruptive on the show was "a complete fiction" largely created by Zmuda.
Simon maintained that Zmuda has a vested interest in promoting an out-of-control image of Kaufman.
Kaufman was born on January 17, 1949, in New York City, the oldest of three children.
His mother was Janice (née Bernstein), a homemaker and former fashion model, and his father was Stanley Kaufman, a jewelry salesman.