That really was a great ensemble cast.
During the late 70s and early 80s, TV audiences were graced with a great comedy called, “Taxi.” The show featured a great ensemble cast and really sharp writing. Many cast members went on to have huge careers post-Taxi. Judd Hirsch, Danny Di Vito, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd Marilu Henner and Andy Kaufman made for a great blend of talents. If you’ve watched the show, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, try to find it. If you like comedy, you will probably enjoy it. So here are some things you might not know about Taxi.
1: Tony Banta underwent a change of nationality.
Originally, the boxer in the cast was going to be a punch-drunk Irish boxer named Phil Ryan. Tony Danza was actually discovered at a boxing match in which he knocked out his opponent.
Danza was about to sign for a role in “The Warriors,” but signed for Taxi instead. It’s arguable if being a member of The Warriors or driving a taxi in New York is more dangerous.
2: Andy Kaufman’s contract required him to work only two days a week.
Which probably made everybody happy.
3: Kaufman also had a contract for his alter ego, Tony Clifton to appear on the show several times.
Clifton/Kaufman got himself and the two prostitutes he brought with him kicked off the set on one occasion. It seemed that Kaufman always brought something extra to a part.
4: Christopher Lloyd, aka Jim Ignatowski, showed up to audition for his role in his own shabby clothes.
The secretary thought he was a homeless person who had gotten by security. No word on if it was casual Friday or not.
5: In the opening credits, that’s Tony Danza driving the cab over the bridge.
Danza really was multi-talented. He could box and drive a taxi. I wonder if he could act. Just kidding. I really liked the Tony Banta character, and Danza also had a good run on “Who’s the Boss.”