Taxi: Season 1, Episode 22

Substitute Father (15 May 1979)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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With Elaine going out of town to visit her sick aunt, the guys at the garage takes turns watching over her son so that he can compete in a spelling bee.



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Episode cast overview:
Latka Gravas (credit only)
Michael Hershewe ...
David Knapp ...
Spelling Bee Moderator
Carl Byrd ...
Crista's Father
Tan Adams ...
Suzanne Carney ...
Marilu Hartman


With Elaine going out of town to visit her sick aunt, the guys at the garage takes turns watching over her son so that he can compete in a spelling bee.

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Release Date:

15 May 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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References Death on the Nile (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Farewell, John Burns
14 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nothing about this episode is too memorable, but a few things stood out to me, although I doubt most will even notice or care. This was the last appearance of Randall Carver as a regular character(John Burns), although he wasn't probably wasn't even aware he'd be canned, even though most feel he was a dud and a much better and funnier Jim Ignatowski would soon replace him. That's enough time wasted on Carver. The gist of the story has Elaine leaving town to see a sick aunt, but she has to leave her son Jason(Michael Hershewe)behind to attend a spelling bee, and the guys reluctantly(at first)agree to take turns watching him for a few days, and to help him study; Hershewe hasn't done anything since 1981, although I feel he did a decent job as Jason. It's not even that funny of an episode, but a few moments at the spelling bee has Louie giving some humorous jabs at the parents of the other kids participating, which include trying to place bets on who'll win. I have to add the annoying performance of Tan Adams(Crista), who may be the one of worst actresses I ever saw, and it looks like she's reading a cue card when spelling her words; thankfully, her acting "career" ended a year later. There is a decent scene at the end when Alex and the guys ponder what it would be like having their own son, and Louie is even moved, as he opens up an old bottle of scotch for all to share, and then sings a song with Alex while drunk. I felt the song could've been omitted though, as it didn't seem realistic that these guys would be singing together.

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