Apr 7, 2022
Thrilled to be joined again by pop culture historian and author Richard F. Brown to do the definitive 'Taxi' total rewatch and episode.
We get into the mysterious beauty and melancholy of Bob James' 'Taxi' theme song 'Angela', and the temporary filmed open that became so identified with the ennui and thwarted ambitions of the beloved cabbies of the Sunshine Cab Co.
We discuss all the characters and the actors who played them: Latka and Andy Kaufman, Danny DeVito and Louie, Marilu Henner and Elaine, Judd Hirsch and Alex, Christopher Lloyd and Reverend Jim Ignatowski, Tony Danza and Tony Banta, Jeff Conaway (RIP) and Bobby, Carol Kane as Simka, and more.
'Taxi' is one of the most interesting sitcoms in television history because of the originality of its approach to filming with four cameras instead of the sitcom-traditional 3 cameras. This allowed director Jim Burrows to capture what he calls the essential surprise of comedy being performed live in front of a studio audience.
Any discussion of 'Taxi' offers the best opportunity we have to discuss Andy Kauffman and his unique and often challenging approach to comedy and performance art in everyday life. We cover his outstanding and long-shelved 1977 TV special, which features one of the most amazing and little-discussed Andy Kauffman bits: a heartfelt and very real and emotional conversation he has with Howdy Doody, his childhood TV hero. And we cover Andy's famous prank on the Taxi cast and brass through the casting of his alter ego Tony Clifton, and Tony Clifton's firing and subsequent massive scene on the soundstage involving security guards and several extremely pissed off producers and actors.
This is an episode that will hopefully share with you some things you might not have known about 'Taxi' and afford us all the opportunity anew to appreciate the fact that this series uniquely brought us out of this world talents like Andy Kauffman, Christopher Llloyd, Danny DeVito, and Carol Kane in ONE SHOW. Any series would and could be built on having one of those dynamic talents in the cast; Taxi had all four. Unreal!