Photography by Evan Duning
Mr. Kite, do you cook?
Webster's dictionary defines the verb "cook" as the act of preparing food for eating especially by using heat. I have done this, most recently with micro waves. While in college, I held a very similar job to the one I have on the show. I was the grill cook at a very, very greasy spoon. It was mostly just dropping food into boiling oil... Still, according to Webster's I am a cook. Not according to France, but Webster's...
What have you learned playing Oleg in 2 Broke Girls?
I've learned that you can get away with a lot if it's told through comedy. I have also learned that although I don't own any track suits in life, I can see why rappers, gangsters, and other men in power enjoy them.
What makes your stand-up comedy different from other comedians?
I tend to perform a lot through celebrity impersonations. Whenever I do a new bit, I try to find a point of view that is grounded in a real opinion. I don't take an impression I do and put it in a scenario that seems opposite of their character just for the sake of having a crazy scenario. For example, I talk about how I think the movie Lincoln was missing the awesome presence of Tom Hanks because he's been in more wars than any other American in the history of our country.
You are known for your celebrity impersonations, and It is absolutely incredible. Is it a comfort zone for you to fall into a character?
Thank you. I enjoy playing characters and telling stories through them. I admire a lot of the people I impersonate and feel like I am able to comment on the current state of Hollywood and celebrity through these personalities. Also, voices are funny.
Tell us about your background. Are people funny in Skokie?
According to recent news stories, I just hope people in Skokie are safe. Skokie is an amazing place to grow up; English was the 9th most spoken language amongst households of with those I went to high school. Having many cultures together lends itself to interesting and comical scenarios. It was like living in a high school sitcom about the U N, which incidentally I'm trying to sell right now called "lil U N". Also, my father lives in Skokie and he's pretty funny.
When did you first realize you were funny?
Probably when I was reprimanded by my preschool teacher for disrupting the class. I was merely pointing out obvious flaws in the curriculum with the intention of leading a riot. What's funny to some is dangerous to others.
How do you prepare for a show?
A bottomless cup of coffee, push-ups til it hurts, and prayer.
So, what¹s next?
I'm not quite sure. Perhaps an Oleg cooking show for either the Food network or Skinemax. An Oleg survival show where he teaches you how to catch fish with his mesh shirts. Or maybe I'll gain a bunch of weight and then lose it with the intention of writing a tell-all book.
For more on Jonathan Kite, tune in for 2 Broke Girls on CBS.