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Taxi
Season Three: 1980-81



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

1980-81: THE THIRD SEASON

Year-End Rating: 17.1 (53rd place)

Taxi rolls into a strong third season under the guidance of executive producers James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, and Ed. Weinberger, and producers Glen Charles and Les Charles, who continue to contribute noteworthy scripts, along with David Lloyd, executive script consultant Barry Kemp, and executive story editor Ken Estin.


47 Louie's Rival    First Aired: November 19, 1980
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Rhea Perlman, Richard Minchenberg

Louie is crushed when Zena drops him for the bartender at Mario's.


48 Tony's Sister and Jim    First Aired: November 26, 1980
Writer: Michael Leeson
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Julie Kavner, Andrew Block

Tony tries to match Alex up with his wacky sister--who only has eyes for Jim.

Tony's sister was played by Julie Kavner, best remembered for her stint as Brenda Morgenstern, the title character's younger sister on Rhoda.


49 Fathers of the Bride    First Aired: December 3, 1980
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Louise Lasser, Talia Balsam, Carlo Quinterio

Alex--enraged that he wasn't invited to his daughter's New York wedding--crashes the fancy reception and confronts his estranged wife.

In addition to hosting one of the brightest acting ensembles in television history, Taxi also managed to attract some of Hollywood's finest character players as recurring guest stars. Carol Kane, Jack Gilford, and Andrea Marcovicci were all well established before they made repeat appearances on the series, as was Louise Lasser, who would return as Alex's loopy ex-wife in a handful of later episodes.


50 Elaine's Strange Triangle    First Aired: December 10, 1980
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: John David Carson

Alex and Tony fix Elaine up with a handsome stranger, only to discover that her new beau is actually more attracted to Tony.


51 Going Home    First Aired: December 17, 1980
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Victor Buono, Barbara Deutsch, Walter Olkewicz, Dick Yarmy

Jim's wealthy father dispatches a private eye to the garage to coax his son into a long-overdue reconciliation.


52 The Ten Percent Solution    First Aired: January 7, 1981
Writer: Pat Allee
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Sarina C. Grant, Ed. Weinberger, Jim Staskell

Bobby decides to manage Tony's budding acting career on a lark, but soon develops a bad case of professional jealousy.

Series creator Ed. Weinberger has a brief cameo as--what else?--one of the producers at Tony's audition.


53 The Call of the Mild    First Aired: January 21, 1981
Writer: Katharine Green
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Harvey Vernon

Inspired by Bobby's rugged beer commercial, the cabbies retreat to the wilderness for a survival weekend.


54 Latka's Cookies    First Aired: February 5, 1981
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Wally "Famous" Amos

Latka decides to market his own line of cookies using a special old-world recipe that includes at least one highly illegal ingredient.


55 Thy Boss's Wife    First Aired: February 12, 1981
Writer: Ken Estin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Eileen Brennan, Stephen Elliot

Louie has difficulty resisting temptation when the boss's wife casts a lustful eye in his direction--even though he knows that the affair may cost him his job.


56 The Costume Party    First Aired: February 19, 1981
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Hector Britt, Louie Guss, Michael Klingher

The cabbies plan to hobnob with the stars when they crash what they assume is Woody Allen's masquerade ball.


57 Elaine's Old Friend    First Aired: February 26, 1981
Writers: Susan Linder, Nancy Lane
Director: Jeff Chambers
Guest Stars: Martha Smith, John Considine

Elaine makes a date with her old high-school rival and then cons Alex into posing as her imaginary boyfriend--a worldly Columbia University professor.


58 Out of Commission    First Aired: March 12, 1981
Writer: Sam Simon
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Carmine Caridi, Al Ruscio, Jesse Goins, Jimmy Lennon

Tony refuses to abandon his career in the ring, even after the boxing commission revokes his license.


59 Zen and the Art of Cab Driving    First Aired: March 19, 1981
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: Will Mackenzie
Guest Stars: Nicholas Hormann, Michael Mann

The cabbies are mystified when Jim embarks on a mysterious quest for absolute perfection.

Jim goes to enormous expense to set up an elaborate bank of TVs and satellite receivers in his small apartment--a foolhardy extravagance that causes the other cabbies to scoff. And yet, none of them can resist the hypnotic lure of Jim's video Medusa, and the show closes with a curious meditation on our own love-hate relationship with the tube, as each of the cabbies sits frozen, staring at their world through Jim's electronic windows.


60 Louie's Mother    First Aired: March 26, 1981
Writer: Katharine Green
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Julia DeVito

Louie throws a party to celebrate his independence after his elderly mother moves out to enter a retirement home.

Louie's spry mom was played by Julia DeVito, the actor's real-life mother.


61 Bobby's Roommate    First Aired: April 9, 1981
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows

Alex and Tony suspect Bobby's motives when he offers to let Elaine stay at his apartment after she loses her own place.


62 Louie Bumps Into an Old Lady    First Aired: April 16, 1981
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Iris Korn, Sam DeFazio, Jay F. Riley, Lane Brody, Joe Medalis

Louie is slapped with a million-dollar lawsuit by a kindly old woman he accidentally ran down with his cab.


63 Bobby and the Critic    First Aired: April 30, 1981
Writer: Barry Kemp
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: John Harkins

Bobby performs a turgid one-man show for a vengeful theater critic who carries a personal grudge against the actor.


64 On the Job (Part 1)    First Aired: May 7,1981
Writers: Dennis Danziger, Ellen Sandler
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Robert Balderson, Bill Wiley, John O'Leary, Carmine Caridi, Alice Hirson, John Petlock, Robin Pearson Rose

A month after the cab company goes bankrupt, the drivers reunite to exchange tales of their employment experiences in the outside world.

Tony lands a job as a loan shark's enforcer; Elaine finds work as a secretary; and, as a door-to-door salesman, Jim nearly destroys a condo when he attempts to

demonstrate a new high-powered vacuum cleaner.


65 On the Job (Part 2)    First Aired: May 14, 1981
Writers: Dennis Danziger, Ellen Sandler
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Clint Young, Claire Malis, Al Lewis, Michael McGuire, Dana Halsted

The cabbies continue to recount harrowing tales of their new jobs.

Before they return to the shelter of the garage, Louie discovers his calling in the stock market; Bobby plays the Easter Bunny at children's birthday parties; and Alex lands a job as a night watchman.


66 Latka the Playboy    First Aired: May 21, 1981
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: George Wendt, Robin Klein

Tired of striking out with the ladies, shy Latka adopts the split personality of smooth-talking ladies' man Vic Ferrari.

 

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