Louie De Palma is a cantankerous, acerbic taxi dispatcher in New York City. He tries to maintain order over a collection of varied and strange characters who drive for him. As he bullies and insults them from the safety of his "cage," they form a special bond among themselves, becoming friends and supporting each other through the inevitable trials and tribulations of life.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Andy Kaufman asked the producers before he signed his contract to give guest appearances to Tony Clifton, who he claimed was a friend of his. They agreed to give Clifton a few guest appearances, and Kaufman signed the contract to play Latka. Tony Clifton showed up for the rehearsals late, very drunk, and with some scantily-clad women. The producers fired Tony on his third day. Clifton was, in fact, one of Kaufman's characters. To maintain the practical joke, Kaufman always denied that Clifton was not a real, separate person. He was usually played by Kaufman in disguise, but Kaufman's friend Bob Zmuda sometimes played Clifton. See more »
Taxi was, during it's five-year run, the most funny, engaging, memorable, and heartbreaking show on television. The show helped to redefine situation comedies and created a handful of classic characters.
The show revolves around the drivers at the Sunshine Cab company: Alex Rieger (Judd Hirsch) was the good-hearted mensch who finds himself solving everyone else's problems. Bobby Wheeler (Jeff Conaway) is an aspiring actor and ladies man. Tony Banta (Tony Danza) is a struggling boxer who can never seem to win a fight. Elaine Nardo (Marilu Henner) is a single mother of two with dreams of opening her own art gallery. Reverend Jim Ignatowski (Christopher Lloyd) is an absolute space cadet, and Louie DePalma (Danny DeVito) is surely the nastiest, angriest, most miserable boss in history. Thanks to DeVito's charm, he is still somehow lovable.
Besides the great acting in "Taxi," there was the writing- always funny and often bittersweet without ever being maudlin or melodramatic. There are episodes that can make you laugh so hard you cry, and vice versa. Thanks to the genius of director James Burrows Taxi stands as one of television's best shows. And who can forget the haunting theme by Bob James?
If you get a chance to see "Taxi," take it... here's hoping it gets a DVD release in the near future.
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