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The tv show Taxi was a show about a Taxi company in New York City whose cab drivers were quirky and unique. Although there were many characters, the main character was Alex Reiger. Alex was a man who considered being a cab driver his full-time job. A job that he loved. Although sometimes he questioned his choice of profession.

The Sunshine Cab Company where Alex and the other drivers worked, was run by a wise-cracking dispatch operator named Louie DePalma. His manner was less than professional and he gave all the drivers a hard time. If he could earn a buck, Louie would do it.

Tony Banta was an amateur boxer that was always trying to get the big fight. Unfortunately, it didn't pay the bills. Being a taxi driver was his main source of income. He also was pretty lucky with the ladies.

Elaine Nardo was the only female driver working for the Sunshine Cab Company. Louie made sure to give Nardo a hard time, a very hard time. If there was a situation where Louie could put the moves on her, he took advantage of it. Elaine also had another job by day. She worked in an art gallery.

Bobby Wheeler was a good-looking young actor that drove a taxi by night. He was always trying to rehearse a play, or a commercial during down time. Sometimes he would have the other taxi drivers help him rehearse. His big break never came.

One of most memorable characters was a crazy hippie/minister by the name of Jim Ignatowski. He had burned out on drugs and with the help of the Sunshine Cab drivers, he was able to pass his very difficult and laughable drivers test.

And finally came Latka Gravas. Being from a different country and having a language barrier, only made him more loveable.

This whole group of misfits made the Sunshine Cab Company the most interesting cab company in all of New York City.

ABC
5 Seasons, 116 Episodes
September 12, 1978
Comedy
7.7/10
Cast: Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza
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Taxi Full Episode Guide

  • Simka is exhibiting strange behavior, and this behavior is quite untimely in that she keeps cancelling appointments with immigration and she's likely to be deported. Eventually, her behavior is diagnosed as PMS and she feels well enough, at least knowing what her problem is, to go through with her immigration appointment. After some difficulty, Latka & Simka convince immigration that theirs is a real marriage and Simka is awarded a green card.

  • Newly wealthy Jim gives each of the gang $1000 to give away, in an effort to teach them how good it feels to give someone else $1000. Latka & Simka give the money to their minister, who protests loudly (as is their custom) but accepts the money nonetheless. Tony uses the money to buy his friend Walt a large TV set. Elaine (inexplicably) gives the money to her daughter, suggesting that she split it with her brother. Louie gives the money to Jeff, who won't accept Louie's "dirty money" until he learns it was from Jim. Alex has trouble finding someone to give the money to until he comes accross an old lady in his cab with seven kids.

  • Elaine is seriously dating the nerdy Arnie, also introduced in the Shloogel Show episode earlier this season, and decides it's time for him to meet her kids although she isn't sure if that's a great idea. Arnie is also very worried about the meeting and when he meets them, he tries a little too hard to make him their favorite person. In the process, he gives them presents and even money, to Elaine's dismay. In an effort to set things right, Arnie tells the kids that he didn't mean to try to buy their affection and it turns out they still like him. Elaine then realizes that now that the kids like Arnie so much, she's pretty much stuck with him-- but she's pleased about this.

  • Louie plans to his girlfriend, Judy (a blind woman introduced to him earlier this season by Latka & Simka), but before he can do it, Judy tells him that she's having an operation to get her sight back. Louie then gets cold feet, worried that she'll reject him because of his looks. Alex talks Louie through his insecurities and Louie goes to the hospital to support Judy after her surgery. It turns out the surgery is a success and she still loves Louie after seeing him. Louie is thrilled and decides to buy her a real diamond before he proposes (since she can now see and may be able to tell the difference).

  • Part two of a two part clip show featuring highlights of Taxi.

  • Part one of a two part clip show featuring highlights of Taxi.

  • When Elaine's son, Jason, watched Tony coaching youth boxing, he wants to get involved. Alex and Tony talk Elaine into letting Jason box, despite her better judgement. In Jason's first bout, he gets knocked out by the first punch and Elaine holds Alex responsible. Fortunately, Elaine forgives Alex eventually and Jason doesn't want to box again.

  • Louie decides to buy a luxury co-op apartment with some help on the down payment from the newly wealthy Jim. Unfortunately, Louie first has to convince a snooty co-op board that he is right for their building (as he comes in, they are rejecting actress Penny Marshall because they don't approve of the actress lifestyle). Bringing Alex for support, Louie has his work cut out for him when he sees that the board is bigoted. Alex goes on a tirade against their discriminatory process, and the board accepts Louie just to spite Alex.

  • Alex's ex-wife, Phyllis, depressed and lonely, comes to see Alex, who takes pity on her and includes her in his holiday plans. This turns ugly, when she manages to bring the whole gang down with her self-pity. Her Christmas present to Alex is that she won't bug him for New Year's, which turns out to be the best gift she could give him.

  • Latka and Simka introduce Elaine to a friend of theirs visiting from their country named Zifka. Zifka is a monk who has taken a vow of silence but during his vacation is allowed a week (every ten years) to experience all worldly pleasures. He and Elaine quickly fall in love (seemingly to Alex's dismay) but Zifka must resume his silence when his week ends right before he can tell Elaine exactly how he feels about her. Elaine is saddened but understanding, and lets Zifka go.

  • Tony's dad, a merchant seaman who Tony hasn't seen much of, arranges to bring Tony on a sea trip with him. Tony is hesitant but doesn't want to disappoint his dad, so he goes along. On the trip, Tony spends much of the time seasick, but bonds with his dad and they engage in a bar brawl in Singapore, and almost get matching tattoos until they think better of it.

  • Louie gets a call from Emily, who jilted him in an earlier episode, who is drunk and drugged and wants to meet him at a nearby bar. Louie decides to go over there to throw a drink in her face and reject her, therefore getting the last laugh. However, when he gets to the bar, Emily serenades him and has Louie eating out of her hands. The next morning, she is shocked to see him wake up next to her, but Louie somehow convinces her that they are meant for each other. They begin a relationship but it becomes evident that Louie has become Emily's slave and he's starting to hate himself for it. Eventually she comes to a realization of what she's doing to him and breaks it off with Louie, who is relieved, but he finally exacts revenge by throwing orange juice in her face.

  • Latka and Simka throw a party and decide the last to arrive will be the one that Simka must sleep with. Alex barely edges out Louie, in hilarious fashion. Simka goes to Alex's apartment to seduce him, but he refuses her advances. It seems Simka and Latka will have to divorce, but Jim points out that they can just marry again after divorcing.

  • Latka is sent to rescue a female cabbie who is stranded in a snowstorm, but he breaks down as he reaches her. The two are freezing in her cab and decide to make love in order to avoid freezing to death. They survive and are rescued but Latka feels tremendous guilt and Simka realizes he's been unfaithful (despite the circumstances) before he can even tell her. Latka and Simka seek the guidance of their minister, who says to set things right, Simka must sleep with someone Latka works with. (Continued in part two)

  • In this episode, we learn that Alex can be a compulsive gambler. Alex even scares Louie off with his compulsion, but Jim talks some sense into Alex at the end (after having bankrolled him initially).

  • When Jim's father passes away and leaves him a substantial inheritance, Jim's siblings sue to have Jim declared incompetent and his inheritance placed in an account that the brother will have control of. In court, Louie and Alex speak in Jim's behalf, but to no avail. Jim later feels better when he plays a tape of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" that his father left for him.

  • Newlyweds Latka & Samka throw a Shloogel, one of their religion's traditions. The shloogel is, in effect, a party at Mario's where they set all the gang up on blind dates. Tony is set up with Vicki, an abrasive brunette and immediately starts arguing with her. Elaine is set up with mousy Arnie, who has low self esteem. Jim is set up with actress, Marcia Wallace, who played Carol on his favorite show, Bob Newhart. Louie is set up with Judy, a pretty blind woman. Alex is set up with Susan, who seems to be his dream woman and he seems to be falling for her immediately. Despite the fact that none of the other matches seem perfect, all of them show promise by the end of the evening.

  • When Elaine is offered a job as an art gallery manager in Seattle, she asks the gang for help in making a decision. The cabbies share with Elaine some stories about life changing decisions they once had to make. Tony talks about how he refused to take a dive in a major fight, even though he will likely be in trouble with the mob. In the fight, Tony learns that the other fighter has also been paid to take a dive, and the fighter does so in comic fashion. Next, Louie talks about how he became a taxi dispatcher after mercifully taking over for the kindly old dispatcher who had to take his wife to the doctor. Louie finds he likes the job and forces the old man out of the dispatcher's job into retirement. Finally, Jim tells of how he was very studious at Harvard, until his free-spirit girlfriend turned him on to hash brownies. (Part one of two)

  • Latka, who Joyce Brothers has declared is cured of his multiple personality disorder, asks Simka to marry him. They then must endure a bizarre series of tests, as is the marital tradition for members of their religion. In hilarious fashion, things get ugly at the ceremony itself, and Simka denounces her religion, when her minister reveals that she has just passed the last test and they are now married.

  • Elaine spends over $200 to go to a trendy hairstylist before a special date, but the result is outrageously bad. When she expresses some disappointment, the hairstylist insults her and she leaves, crying, but still pays. Alex talks her into going back and standing up for herself, so she can get her hair fixed and her money back. That doesn't go too well, but in the end, Louie, who has followed Alex and Elaine to the hairstylist, exacts revenge on the guy by pouring a bucket of red hair dye on him.

  • Jim befriends a runaway child, who has stowed away in Tony's cab, and soon has "adopted" him. When the gang gets wind of this, they find the kid's parents and reunite them.

  • Latka is eagerly anticipating a reunion with his ex-girlfriend from the old country, Simka. She arrives at the garage and while Latka is in the bathroom, Alex warns her of Latka's multiple personalities. Sure enough, at Latka's apartment later, Vic Ferrarri makes his appearance and seduces Simka. Much to Latka's dismay, soon his alter-ego, Vic, and Simka seem to be an item. Alex encourages Latka to fight Vic for Simka, which he does in hilarious fashion and Vic never returns.

  • Tony takes a second job working as a chauffer for a wealthy but friendly woman named Christina. The two of them hit it off while he's driving her around, and Tony develops a crush on her. By the time Tony finally gets up the nerve to ask her out, it's too late-- she has just become engaged.

  • Alex is strangely rejecting the advances of a cute, bubbly, young African American cab driver named Nina. Alex is growing more and more annoyed until he decides to invite Nina over to his apartment to talk to her and try to explain why she shouldn't be so interested in him. Although he succeeds with a fatherly talk where he comes off very dull, they kiss goodnight. After the kiss, Nina is convinced there's no spark between them after all, while Alex seems to change his tune also, but it's too late.

  • Bobby, who has moved to Hollywood, comes back to the garage for a visit and announces that he's filmed a pilot for a new prime-time soap opera. During his visit, he learns that the pilot has been picked up as a series and Bobby throws a party at the Plaza Hotel to celebrate. He soon learns that although the series is a go, they no longer want Bobby to appear in it. Bobby is upset and entertains the idea of moving back to New York, until Alex convinces him to follow his dream in Hollywood.

  • Louie becomes scared of nuclear war after hearing someone talk on Donahue, and he sets up a bomb shelter in the garage. He schedules a weekend drill with Jeff and Tony in tow, but finds he's too "soft" to survive if war really broke out, since he is unwilling to throw Jim (who has stowed away in a radiation suit) out of the shelter.

  • When Louie spies on Elaine changing in the garage bathroom, she enlists a NOW representative's help and gets Louie fired. Louie appeals to Elaine at her apartment one evening though and begs her forgiveness (and her help getting his job back). After Louie exhibits actual remorse and demonstrates through a touching story that he knows how it feels to be violated, Elaine accepts his apology (and presumably gets him rehired at the garage).

  • Tony becomes the manager of a promising young heavyweight boxer at his gym, but after the boxer wins a major fight, the "syndicate" (which turns out to be some doctors looking for an investment, rather than the mob) makes Tony an offer he can't refuse and takes over the boxer's management.

  • Louie becomes irrationally upset when he learns that his mother plans to marry an elderly Japanese man. Louie makes his mother miserable in an effort to thwart the wedding, but she still goes through with the wedding (a traditional Japanese ceremony), and Louie refuses to attend. At the last minute, Alex talks Louie into going, however, and Louie proclaims that whatever despicale act he might perform at the wedding would be Alex's fault for convincing him to go. When Louie is very close to wrecking the wedding, he has a change of heart and gives the couple his blessing.

  • Alex's estranged father contacts Alex and reluctantly, Alex agrees to have lunch with him. At first, Alex lays into his father about having deserted his family, but eventually they start having a nice conversation. Alex's father, a real ladies' man, even sets him up with an attractive woman sitting at the table next to them at Mario's. When Alex leaves Mario's, Alex's father makes a date with the woman as well. Evidently, both men continue dating the woman, but when Alex learns that his father has double crossed him, he becomes furious and confronts his father. Ultimately, Alex's father lays on the charm enough with Alex that Alex forgives him and they are seen having dinner together.

  • Zena asks Louie to drive her friend Emily, who has just been dumped and is drugged, drunk, and upset, back to her apartment. While there, Emily comes on to Louie and he ends up cheating on Zena. Louie soon brags of his conquest, but Elaine gets so angry that she is about to tell Zena everything. Louie decides to tell Zena himself though, who understandably dumps him. Louie then shows up at Emily's apartment, but Emily is clearly regretting her indiscretion with Louie and is getting back with her boyfriend anyway, so she kicks him out quickly. Louie, back at the garage, is in tears because he is so upset at the turn of events. Alex, feeling sorry for Louie, gives him some sage advice on how to get Zena back. All of a sudden, Louie turns off the tears and Alex sees that he's been had and gets furious with himself. As Louie goes to talk to Zena (and presumably gets back together with her), he assures Alex that the tears were real.

  • While driving a television executive in his cab, Jim exhibits more psychic behavior by predicting TV ratings. Mitch, the executive, seeks Jim out the next day in hopes of getting more advice about TV programming that might save his job. Jim starts helping Mitch regularly and Mitch becomes a star at the network, but the gang soon convinces Jim (who isn't being compensated for this help) that he's being taken advantage of. Jim angrily confronts Mitch, who agrees to tell the network head honchos all about Jim and to get him a job, but Jim has a change of heart, saying he doesn't want to profit from his God-given gift as a psychic.

  • Alex and Elaine decide to take a vacation together through Europe. However, Alex feels it necessary to tell Elaine in no uncertain terms that they are going together as platonic friends, so there's no resentment if he meets and wants to spend time with any other ladies on vacation. Elaine agrees to this and they decide to do things mostly separately during the days, but to meet up once a day to write post cards together. During the trip, it turns out that Elaine is getting all the action, while Alex is lonely and unhappy. The last night, however, Elaine takes pity on Alex (more or less) and propositions him, suggesting that their friendship is strong enough to endure one night of "love." They then go off together.

  • Jim announces he has psychic dreams and unfortunately, he has had one about Alex, culminating in his death. The gang becomes increasingly worried about Alex, when one by one, all of the events Jim dreamed about start coming true. However, Alex continues to reject Jim's supserstitions. Louie becomes so worried about Alex, he comes to Alex's apartment to take him somewhere (so the final part of Jim's dream doesn't come true, since he is to meet his doom that evening at home), but possibly to spite Louie, Alex decides to stay and tempt fate. In the end, it turns out that the doom Jim dreamed about was a girl scout knocking at Alex's door, instead of his death, but when Louie leaves, Alex actually appears very relieved that Jim's premonition was wrong.

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Taxi News

Funnyman Jeff Conaway Dead at 60

It's with sadness that Yidio must report that funnyman actor Jeff Conaway died May 27. He was 60 years old. Conaway had been in a medically induced coma in Encino, Calif. following an alleged drug overdose, Variety reported. His family made the decision Friday to shut off his life support and say goodbye.

Taxi Video Clips & Extras

Taxi - Blank Check Clip (03:16) Taxi - Life and Limb Clip (01:38) Taxi - Goofy Grin Clip (02:17) Taxi - Your Last Chance Clip (03:33)
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