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Taxi, the Emmy winning sitcom, was the beginning for several actors including Tony Danza and Danny DeVito and it was also the end for some. Today, we're taking a look at the Taxi cast then and now to see how they've changed through the years.
00:00 - Intro
0:18 - Randall Carver as John Burns
1:38 - Carol Kane as Simka Dahblitz
3:21 - Christopher Lloyd as Jim Ignatowski
4:26 - Jeff Conaway as Bonny Wheeler
5:31 - Andy Kaufman as Latka Gravas
6:46 - Tony Danza as Tony Banta
8:03 - Marilu Henner as Elaine Nardo
9:14 - Rhea Perlman as Zena Sherman
10:35 - Danny DeVito as Louie DePalma
11:52 - Judd Hirsch as Alex Reiger
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Taxi Cast Then and Now
The hit sitcom has been off air for almost 40 years, with its last episode airing in 1983. Even though the series was undoubtedly one of the best sitcoms of its time, it never got the ending it deserved.
Taxi was abruptly pushed off the air and its characters were left out in the cold. Many people have forgotten about the zany Sunshine Cab Company crew, but some still wonder about what became of their favorite cabbies.
Taxi was inspired by the non-fiction article "Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet" by Mark Jacobson, which appeared in the September 22, 1975 issue of New York magazine. This article helped suggest the idea for the show to James L. Brooks and David Davis, though nothing from the article was used directly. The article was a profile of several drivers who worked the night shift for a New York cab company.
The series was produced on Stage 23 at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, from July 5, 1978, to February 18, 1983.
When the series was cancelled by ABC, it seemed for a time that the premium cable television network HBO would pick up the series. When it did not, the series was picked up by NBC, which at first kept it on at its ABC time slot of Thursday 9:30 p.m following the first season of Cheers. An NBC promo for Taxi's move to the network featured Danny DeVito in character as Louie saying "Same time, better station!"
Danny DeVito hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live soon after Taxi was canceled after the fourth season. During the opening monologue, DeVito read a letter supposedly from his mother asking God to forgive ABC for cancelling the show, adding that "but I'll understand if you don't." A filmed bit had him driving around New York looking morose until inspiration strikes, and he blows up the ABC building. In addition, the Taxi cast members were given an opportunity for closure, which up to that point had been denied for them due to the abrupt cancellation. The actors took their "final" bows during DeVito's opening monologue, only to have NBC (which aired SNL) pick up the show.
Decades later, most of the cast returned to play their younger selves and briefly re-enact scenes for the Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Jeff Conaway, Carol Kane, Randall Carver, J. Alan Thomas and Christopher Lloyd all reprised their roles. The only two living members of the principal cast who did not were Danny DeVito, who produced and co-starred in the film as Kaufman's manager George Shapiro, and Tony Danza, who at the time of filming was performing in A View from the Bridge on Broadway.
Several of the cast members (along with cast members from other Judd Hirsch and Bob Newhart vehicles) reunited in different roles for an episode of the Judd Hirsch/Bob Newhart series George & Leo.
In January 2009, Danny DeVito mentioned wanting to make a Taxi reunion movie.