When he was 4, Jonathan Kite, who plays lewd short-order cook Oleg on CBS' "2 Broke Girls," did his first impression.
His dad was a movie buff, so Kite impersonated Peter Lorre. By the time Kite was 8, he had expanded his repertoire. His mom would take him to the huge office building where she worked in Chicago, and along the way they would stop for doughnut holes.
"I would go deliver the Munchkins to all the employees, like the tiniest caterer," Kite says. "I was this tiny, little white kid, and I was doing Bill Cosby. I would go and make jokes and be silly. So my mother gave me ample opportunity to perform and allow me to enjoy that part of my personality."
Kite did plays in high school and enjoyed seeing Second City, but despite some reports, he was never a member of the improvisational troupe.
After college, "I wanted to get to L.A. while I was still young," he says. "I went to school with a lot of brilliant theater people. The only thing I remember thinking to myself is I hope the stage will always be there, and I know youth is a hot commodity in L.A., and I need to do it while young."
Kite is having a blast as Oleg, whom he describes as "a man of the world."
"I think people are much looser with their sexuality in other parts of the world," Kite says. "He is just a Ukrainian immigrant. He isn't Americanized because how heavy I do the accent is how long he has lived in America."
Incidentally, Kite still does impersonations, including Tom Hanks and Vince Vaughn.
"I enjoy what they have to offer," he says. "And dialect is the same thing; you get to know a culture and how they talk."
On why he's a natural as Oleg: "When I did summer stock in school, I did two or three plays. I had nothing to do during the day," he says. "I was spending an incredible amount of money at a food place. I thought, 'Well, I may as well try to figure out how to get a job here and make some money.' ... I was the grill cook, the exact job Oleg has."
What he wore to audition for Oleg: Very short Lycra pants with a tiger print and faded glitter on them, with sweat socks, brown flip-flops and stained undershirt.
Favorite movies: " 'Wizard of Oz' is probably my favorite film. 'Back to the Future,' 'Casablanca,' 'The Hustler.' "
Favorite books: " 'The Roald Dahl Omnibus.' I will be invested with a subject and then I will keep reading about the subject. There is a very influential book, 'Everyone Poops,' because actually I do a bit with Ian McKellen doing 'Masterpiece Theatre,' and I do him reading that."
Favorite music: "Freddie Mercury, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson. I love Frank Sinatra."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun