Taxi was a classic American sit-com set in a taxi rank and had some weird and wonderful characters, an amazing cast and some classic one-liners and episodes. Some of the cast have gone on to have glittering careers of their own – Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd to use to good examples.
Some of the cast were also amazing characters in themselves, and indeed Andy Kaufman had a film created about his life starring Jim Carey in “Man on the Moon” – if you haven’t seen it then we urge you to do so as soon as possible!
Let’s have a look back at this great show with some amazing facts you probably didn’t know about it…
1. Andy Kaufman wouldn’t sign a contract until Andy Kaufman had a guest appearance…
If you have seen Man on the Moon then you already know what we’re talking about, Andy Kaufman refused to sign the contract to play Latka unless his good friend, Tony Clifton, was allowed to make several guest appearances. Clifton was one of Kaufman’s personas and would turn up drunk, late and with scantily-clad women on tow! He got fired three days in to filming.
2. There was a fight for the show when it was cancelled.
When the program was cancelled in 1982, there was a fight to win the rights to take over the show between ABC and NBC networks. NBC won the fight and promoted the show as “Same time, better network”!
3. Latka almost didn’t appear
Andy Kaufman disliked sitcoms so much that he initially refused to take the part of Latka. The studio was so desperate to get him, however, that they reached a compromise of Kaufman only appearing on set 2 days per week and for 14 episodes per season. It was worth the compromise as he became a massive fan favourite!
4. The rest of the crew didn’t get on with Kaufman
Judd Hirsch has said that the rest of the cast and crew did not get on with Andy Kaufman. He was apparently very difficult to work with, demanding and caused a lot of issues, both as himself and as Tony Clifton. Kaufman was notoriously difficult throughout his career but people bared with him due to his exceptional talent.
5. This was not the only hit for some of the crew
Following Taxi’s third season, writers Glen and Les Charles, and director James Burrows went on to create another hit comedy. That comedy was Cheers and became a huge hit in its own right!
6. Jeff Conway had issues that led to him losing his part on the show
Jeff Conway was well known at the time for having an addiction to drugs and this culminated in him being found unconscious on one of the shooting days. The producers divided his lines amongst the rest of the cast and realised it did not affect the show in any way so wrote out his character permanently.
7. Danny DeVito was apparently leaving the show for an alternate career.
In one tabloid paper, it was reported that Danny DeVito was leaving the show to pursue a career as a violinist. This was following the release of a photo from the production of one episode where his character plays the violin. DeVito’s family were so concerned this was true that they contacted him to check!
8. DeVito and Lloyd starred with each other several times
Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd starred together in Taxi and also starred together in Goin’ South, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and later in 2005, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
9. Latka’s Mum was the wrong age
When Latka’s mum appears in an episode of Taxi, the actress who plays her – Susan Kellerman – was only 5 years older than Andy Kaufman himself!
10. Lloyd was also reunited with another star years later
Christopher Lloyd and Carol Kane went on to be reunited in the production of Adams Family Values years later in 1993. It’s always nice to see cast reunited in other good productions and still working well together!
Has this brought back lots of Taxi-related goodness and memories? Are you going to look for it on TV and hope to catch up with Latka and the gang? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments as always!