Latka & Simka's Wedding - On episode No.
87 "The Wedding of Latka and Simka" (03/25/1982) on the situation
comedy TAXI/NBC/ABC/1978-83 immigrant
auto mechanic Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) and his fiancée Simka (Carol Kane)
celebrate marriage in the traditional style of their old world country, but in a
reversal of American customs, the bride wears a suit and the groom wears a
To be worthy of marriage in the eyes of their Elders, the couple had to
pass a test ("If one of them should fail any question of the test, they will
never be married.").
Beginning the ceremony with a howling noise, the priest
puts a crown of rue on the bride's head. If she can successfully walk with the
crown on the head, she is declared a virgin. Unfortunately, Simka drops the
crown but she manages to convince the priest she is still "pure").
The next step
in the ritual involved the correct answering of three questions.
- Question No. 1:
"Who is it that is not your brother yet he is your father's son." (the groom
answers "It is me");
- Question No. 2: "What is the greatest gift a person can
give to another?" (The answer: $5,100);
- Question No 3: "There is a beautiful
baby and there is Simka. A wild bore is charging. You can save only one. Who do
Question No. 3 is a trick question, because no matter what a person answers,
the answer will be graded wrong. and the priest will say the couple "can never
be married." This is done to see if the person really loves their partner and is
willing to defy the Elders' wishes and marry their chosen mate, anyway. Simka,
of course, goes into a tirade supporting her love for Latka and the priest
joyfully announces they are marriage material.
The priest closes the wedding
ceremony with the words: "May the stars shine upon you and may God grant you
many children. You are now husband and wife." With the ritual finished, the
couple kicks up their heels doing the traditional dance called the "Plumitz."
TRIVIA NOTE: Prior to the marriage, there is the Gewirtzal. This is the person
who proposes marriage for the groom-to-be. The bride-to-be accepts the marriage
proposal by grabbing the nose of the Gewirtzal.
In addition to the Gewirztal,
there is the Murzik. This is what the groom's mother tells the bride-to-be
before the wedding. How the bride reacts to the Murzik determines if the mother
gives her blessing.
The Murzik consists of these comments: "men are nothing but
lazy lumps of drunken flesh. They crowd you in bed, get you all worked up, and
then before you can say 'is that all there is,' that's all there is. They pass
out smokes when you are still whimpering from pain of delivery. Your flaxen hair
will become like dead grass and your once firm breasts will fall to the floor."
See also- "Schloogel"
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