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Taxi
Season Two: 1979-80



SEASON ONE: 1978-79
SEASON TWO: 1979-80
SEASON THREE: 1980-81
SEASON FOUR: 1981-82
SEASON FIVE: 1982-83
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

1979-80: THE SECOND SEASON

Year-End Rating: 22.4 (13th place)

Danny DeVito's Louie and Andy Kaufman's Latka each discover romance in season two, and the cabbies recruit Christopher Lloyd's Jim Ignatowski into their ranks in the year's third episode. Once again, producers Glen Charles and Les Charles contribute some of the season's finest scripts, along with Earl Pomerantz, executive script consultant Barry Kemp, and program consultant Ken Estin. Ian Praiser and Howard Gewirtz are the story editors, and Richard Sakai is associate producer for the second and third seasons. James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, and Ed. Weinberger serve as executive producers for the remainder of the show's run.


23 Louie and the Nice Girl    First Aired: September 11, 1979
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Rhea Perlman

Louie is petrified at the prospect of falling in love with a girl he's sure is too good for him.

Kind-hearted candy girl Zena Sherman was played by Rhea Perlman, DeVito's real-life girlfriend. Louie's romance with Zena barely lasted through season four, but the real-life couple finally did tie the knot three years later in an impulsive ceremony conducted during a Taxi lunch break.


24 Honor Thy Father    First Aired: September 18, 1979
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Jack Gilford, Ian Wolfe, Richard Beauchamp

Alex is strangely unmoved by news of his father's heart attack.


25 Reverend Jim: A Space Odyssey    First Aired: September 25, 1979
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Kenneth Kimmins

The cabbies help a refugee from the 1960s find sanctuary behind the wheel of a taxi.

The Reverend Jim Caldwell Ignatowski--he added Ignatowski to his family name, we later discovered, because he thought it meant "Star Child"--was a comic creation of practically unlimited potential. There was no concept too bizarre, no drug too potent, and no experience too outlandish for Jim. He had experienced life in ways the other cabbies could barely imagine, yet he remained an innocent who drew our sympathy as easily as our laughter. When Tony angrily confronts Jim with the bitter accusation that he fought in Vietnam so that burnouts like him could stay home and get loaded at protest rallies, the philosophical Ignatowski can only stammer a heartfelt, and utterly sincere, "Thank you."


26 Nardo Loses Her Marbles    First Aired: October 2, 1979
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Tom Ewell, Paula Victor, Mary Woronov, Robert Picardo, William Callaway

Alex suggests that Elaine seek professional help when the stress of holding down two jobs while raising a pair of kids begins to take a toll on her sanity.

In a low moment, Elaine decides that sleeping with Alex might be the most expedient form of therapy--an offer that he shuns, to his instant regret. The sexual tension that developed over the course of their relationship was rarely addressed with such candor, though it remained a compelling subtext that colored their friendship throughout the life of the series.


27 Reluctant Fighter    First Aired: October 9, 1979
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Marc Danza, Armando Muniz, Michael V. Gazzo

Tony has a chance to fight the retired champ but loses heart when he discovers that his opponent has dedicated his victory to a handicapped child.


28 Wherefore Art Thou, Bobby?    First Aired: October 16, 1979
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Michael Horton

Bobby is stunned when an inexperienced actor fresh off the bus lands a plum role on his very first audition.


29 The Lighter Side of Angela Matusa    First Aired: October 23, 1979
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Suzanne Kent, Phil Rubenstein, Dick Miller

Alex's overweight blind date returns, now a hundred pounds thinner and ready for serious romance.


30 A Woman Among Friends    First Aired: October 30, 1979
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Constance Forslund

Tony and Bobby compete for the attentions of a woman who seems to have fallen for both of them.


31 The Great Race    First Aired: November 6, 1979
Writer: Glenn Gordon Caron
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: James Hong, Jean Owens Hayworth, Fred Stuthman, Scott Brady, Craig T. Nelson, Bob Levine, Julie Payne, Milt Oberman, Kres Mersky

The cabbies place their bets when Louie and Alex compete to see who can book the most money in a single shift.

Writer Glenn Gordon Caron would eventually mastermind Moonlighting, the cross-genre detective spoof that premiered on ABC in 1985.


32 The Apartment    First Aired: November 13, 1979
Writer: Barry Rubinowitz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Nancy Steen, Dick Butkus, Mike Binder

Latka blows his entire life savings on a luxury penthouse after he assumes that the $3000 monthly rent is a one-time charge.


33 Alex's Romance    First Aired: November 20, 1979
Writers: Ian Praiser, Howard Gewirtz
Director: Ed. Weinberger
Guest Star: Dee Wallace


Alex surprises everyone--including himself--when he falls in love with an out-of-work actress.

Actress Dee Wallace would find plenty of work in feature films, including a starring role in Steven Spielberg's E.T.


34 Latka's Revolting    First Aired: November 27, 1979
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Lenny Baker

Latka hears the patriotic call when revolution breaks out in his homeland.


35 Elaine's Secret Admirer    First Aired: December 4, 1979
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Michael Delano

Elaine is determined to find out which of the cabbies has been leaving anonymous love poems in her locker.


36 Louie Meets the Folks    First Aired: December 11, 1979
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Rhea Perlman, Camila Ashland, John Becher

Nervous at the prospect of meeting Zena's parents for the first time, Louie pays Alex $500 to come along for moral support.


37 Jim Gets a Pet    First Aired: December 18, 1979
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows

Jim makes a killing at the track and then buys the winning horse to take home as a pet.


38 Tony and Brian    First Aired: January 8, 1980
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Marc Danza

Tony wants to adopt his foster child officially, but the canny youngster would rather take his chances with a wealthy couple.

Tony's foster child was played by Danza's real-life eight-year-old, Marc Antony Danza.


39 Guess Who's Coming for Brefnish    First Aired: January 15, 1980
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Carol Kane, Frank Ashmore

Latka's whirlwind romance with a strange girl from his home country sours after he discovers that she's from a socially inferior class.

When Carol Kane was hired to play Simka, the actress received a crash course in Latka-language when Andy Kaufman invited her to dinner--and then refused to speak English during the entire meal. "It is the perfect way to learn a language," observed the actress. "Andy made it up and got a very specific sound to it. You just open your mouth and dive in."


40 What Price Bobby?    First Aired: January 22, 1980
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Susan Sullivan

Bobby hits it off with an influential agent who seems more confident of his talents in bed than on the stage.


41 Shut It Down (Part 1)    First Aired: January 29, 1980
Writers: Howard Gewirtz, Ian Praiser
Story By: Mark Jacobson, Michael Tolkin
Director: James Burrows

Shop steward Elaine faces a dilemma when Louie agrees to meet the cabbies' labor demands--in exchange for a date.


42 Shut It Down (Part 2)    First Aired: February 5, 1980
Writers: Howard Gewirtz, Ian Praiser
Director: James Burrows

Elaine's date with Louie goes as badly as expected, until the dispatcher surprises her with an uncharacteristic display of human feelings.


43 Alex Jumps Out of an Airplane    First Aired: February 26, 1980
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows

After he survives a death-defying ski jump, Alex develops a daredevil's addiction to thrills.


44 Art Work    First Aired: March 4, 1980
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Marvin Newman

Elaine convinces the cabbies to pool their money to bid on undervalued artwork at a gallery auction.


45 Fantasy Borough (Part 1)    First Aired: May 6, 1980
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Eric Sevareid, Herve Villechaize, Warren Munson

A visit from Fantasy lsland's Herve Villechaize prompts each of the cabbies to share their own private fantasies.


46 Fantasy Borough (Part 2)    First Aired: May 13, 1980
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Herve Villechaize, Lassie

Alex has difficulty imagining a fantasy with a happy ending; and Elaine envisions herself belting a Broadway showstopper in the dreary garage.

Lassie makes a cameo appearance as Louie's pet collie in the dispatcher's far-fetched fantasy that he's wealthy and well-liked.

 

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