Taxi S1E20 Script

Alex Tastes Death and Finds a Nice Restaurant (1979)

( Theme music playing )

Hey, Lou, you'll never believe what happened to me.

What's that?

I pick up this fare at the airport, right?

Some foreign guy. So he tells me, "Take me to the Plaza Hotel," which I do.

When I get there, there's $17 on the meter.

The guy takes out a hundred-dollar bill and asks me, "Is this enough?"

Ooh, my Lord... whoo!

Ooh, you lucky slob.

Cabbie heaven!

Oh, you know, I drove a cab 15 years, waiting for something like that to happen.

It was really wild.

Ooh, a hundred dollars.

Ooh, you must be living right, Banta.

What'd you do with the money?

I gave him $83 change.

Hey, Louie! Oy!

You okay?

Yeah, I'm okay.

I think I need a cold drink.

What happened to him?

Oh, Alex, I'm so glad I caught you.

Listen, I have a big favor to ask you.

I just found out that my aunt up in Buffalo is sick, so I'm gonna go up there to spend a couple days with her.

I'm taking Jennifer with me, but my problem is Jason.

See, he's got this big spelling bee competition and the district finals are this Saturday.

I'd hate to have him miss it after he's come this far.

So, do you think it would be all right if he stayed with you a couple of days?

Oh, please don't feel pressured into saying yes, but please say yes.

What was that, Elaine? I-I wasn't listening.

Oh, ah, yeah, sure, sure.

Yeah, yeah, I'd be glad to. Why not?

Oh, Alex, you're a doll!

Oh, thanks so much.

Oh, he-he's just in the car. I'll go get him. Thanks.

You don't have to thank me... It'd be fun.

I don't want to do this.

What am I talking about?

I can't do this.

Thursday I'm supposed to have dinner with my sister.

Friday I've got this really great date.

Hey, Bobby, can you help me out?

Sure, I'll take your date out.

What's she look like?

Bob-Bobby, come on, will you?

Aah, Alex, I don't know anything about taking care of kids.

Oh, all right.

I'll help you out Thursday, but Friday I got an acting class, all right?

Great, great. Okay.

Hey, Tony, can you help me out Friday?

I guess I could, uh...

Oh, but Friday afternoon I promised this guy I'd spar with him at the gym.

Oh, shoot.

Hey, Alex, aren't you going to ask me?

Oh, sure, John. Can you help me out Friday afternoon?

No, I have a class.

I just wanted to be asked, that's all.

Hey, maybe I could take him Friday morning if Tony could switch his sparring.

Great. Maybe I could switch my date to Friday afternoon if you could switch your sparring...

Oh, how did I get myself into this here?

Hey, this must be Jason!

How are you, Jason?

Jason, this is Alex Rieger, Hi.

Bobby Wheeler, Kid, how are you doing?

John Burns... Hi.

And Tony Banta.


Alex, I really have to run.

Are you sure you can handle this?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. the guys said they'd volunteer.

Hey, listen, you just, uh, you just go ahead and, uh, make sure your aunt gets well.


Aw, thanks, guys.

You're really the greatest.

( Kissing loudly ): Ooh! Mmm...

I'm gonna miss you.

Good luck on the spelling bee Saturday.

Okay, you be a good boy now.

Oh, I love you.

Bye-bye. Thanks, guys.

Bye, Elaine. Take care. Yeah, Take it easy.

( Chuckling nervously )

Well, I'll see you guys later. I got to go.

Yeah, I got to run. Nice meeting you, Jason.

Gee, 10:00 already.

Hey, Bob-Bobby, listen, uh, I got to get something from my locker.

Would you just stay here just a few minutes and talk to Jason, please?

What-what am I going to say to him?

I don't know. You'll think of something to say.

Just for a few minutes. I'll be right back.

Hey, listen, Jason, we'll go get some breakfast, okay? Thanks.

( Exhales )

So you're a kid, huh?

I try.

Mom told me you're an actor.

Uh... yeah, yeah, yeah.

She says you're great.

Oh, yeah?

Can I ask you something?

Oh, sure. Here, come on.

I'll put you up here.

( Grunting )

Okay, shoot.

You know, I'm really scared about this spelling bee Saturday.

How do you keep from getting nervous when you have to stand up in front of all those people?

Everybody gets nervous in front of an audience.

Okay, Jason, let's go grab a bite, okay?

Hey, that's okay, Alex. You've got things to do.

I'll take Jason out to breakfast.

Yeah? That's nice of you, Bob.

Yeah, it is, isn't it?

Yeah. I'll bring him over to your house when we're through, all right?

Okay. All right.

Bye. Take care of his books.

Bye. What do you want to eat, kid?

Food. Mmm...

Hey, Alex. Yeah?

Kid gone yet?

Yeah. Bobby just took him out.

Wh-Wh-What's wrong with you?

I don't know, I guess I just panicked.

I don't know what to do around a kid.

Do what you do when you were a kid.

You want me to punch him?

Let's go get some breakfast, okay?

Yes, ma'am.

Yes, I hear you.

You say one of our drivers was rude to you.

What was it he said exactly?

I see.

And how fat are you?

Come on!

I'll get you.

Come here!

Oh, man, you were great today, man.

Hey, Louie, you should have seen him.

Two boxing lessons and he can already beat my brains out.

What took him so long?

Would you hold on a minute, please?

Burns is looking for you guys. He's upstairs.

Oh, man, he must be mad 'cause we're late.

I'm gonna go get him.

Okay, thanks again for today, Tony.

That's all right.

Listen... Yeah, don't you worry, really.

I'm gonna give that driver a severe reprimand.

We here at the Sunshine Cab Company expect all our cabbies to be kind and courteous to every passenger especially you blimpos.

Don't mention it.

That was a complaint.

That's one of the most difficult things about being a dispatcher...

Handling these delicate situations with tact.

You know something, it's funny.

I don't dislike you as much as I do most kids.

Thank you.

I guess that's 'cause we've got something in common.

I was raised by my mother, too.

Tell me something, do... do you smoke?

You drink?

Use foul language?

Yeah, it's really tough without a father to teach you.

Hey, John.


I'm sorry we were so late, but I was having such fun that I forgot all about time.

Oh, that's okay, we have half an hour before the movie starts.

Oh, yeah? What are you gonna see?

Death on the Nile.

Hey, I saw it last week. I sat through it three times.

It was that good, huh?

Nah, I just couldn't remember where I came in.

Hey, I figured we'd go to the movies.

How do you like that?

Yeah, sure.

The only thing is, I really haven't finished studying for my spelling bee yet.

Oh. Well, that's okay.

We don't have to go to the movies.

Hey, what are you worried about?

I can tell you how it ends anyway.

Or was that the middle?

Anyhow, I guess I'd better call Suzanne.

She was gonna meet us afterwards.

JASON: Mm. No, really, John.

Please, let's go to the movie.

I got plenty of time to study.

I'm almost through the whole dictionary.

I'm already up to the S's.

Okay! We'll see you, Tony.

ALEX: Hey, you two off somewhere?

Yeah, we're going to the movies.

Make sure it's a "G" rating.

Hey, look, John, will you get him back by 6:00?

I've got tickets to the Knicks game tonight.

All right! Yeah, we'll be back.

Thanks, John. See ya.

Okay, I'll see you guys.

Yeah, bye.

Bye, Mr. De Palma.


Cute kid, isn't he?

Yeah. Hey, incidentally, did you check with Harris on the day shift to see if he could take care of the kid tomorrow night?

Yeah, I talked to him. He's busy.

There's no way I can get back on time.

I'd love to, but I've got to go to acting class tomorrow night.

I'm doing a scene.

So who we gonna get to take care of Jason?

( Clearing throat )

Gee, I... I... I don't know.

I mean, that's a real problem.

There's got to be somebody around here that can do it.

Yeah, somebody.

( Coughing loudly )

I mean, it would only be for a couple of hours.

There must be somebody who could help us out.

Uh... let's see... look around...

Who's here?

( Hacking loudly )

TONY: I can't think of a soul.

Nobody I can think of.

Me either.

Hmm... ( hacking loudly )

( Clearing throat loudly )

I got it. What?

Why don't we ask Louie?

Nah, I don't want Jason to catch his cold.


JASON: Alex, you home?

Yeah, I'm in here. I'm just changing.

Louie and his mother took me to the wrestling matches.

Great fight. Hey.

Hey, Louie, I didn't know you smoked cigars.

I don't as a rule, but Ma couldn't finish it, so...

So are you guys going some place else?

Yeah, well, I thought we might go out and get some ice cream.

What do you say?

Whoo. Gee, I don't know.

I really should do some studying for the spelling bee tomorrow.

Oh, yeah, that's right.

Hey, listen, we've been keeping you so busy, you haven't had a chance to study.

You sure you're going to be all right for tomorrow?

Yeah, sure. I just need one good night's work and I'll be fine.

Well, I got to go. Ma's in the car.

She didn't feel like coming in.

She's really self-conscious.

She spilled beer all over her dress.

( Car horn honks )

That's her.

I got to go.

Hey, thanks again for tonight, Louie.

( Grunting ): I give, I give!

( Horn honking )

I got to get going.

I don't like to keep my mother waiting.

( Honk honking )

Keep your pants on, crazy lady!

See you.

Well, look, kid, I'll get out of your way.

Are you sure you're not too tired from all this running around, huh?

Not at all; the running around has been fun.

Now I feel like getting to work.


Go get 'em, champ.


( Snoring )

Oh, Jason, uh... you feel ready?

You want to go over a few more words just to make sure?

Um, spell, um... "Encyclopedia."


Is that right?


Good, good. You're ready.

( Chuckles )

Hey, look who's here.

Hey! Hi!

Hey, Alex. Excuse me.

You mean everybody came to watch me?

Looks that way.

Surprise! We're all here!

And Suzanne sends her luck, too.

JASON: This is super!

Hey, Louie! You came here for this?

Why shouldn't I come?

I happen to love spelling bees.

Look who's here.

How about this?

You got nothing to worry about.

I can tell just by looking at the rest of them, they're all losers.

Okay, pal.

ANNOUNCER: May I have your attention, please?

Would the contestants please take their places onstage?

You show them how to spell, man.

All right!

Guys, sit down.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the district finals of the National Spelling Bee Contest.

Now, without any further delay, let me introduce the contestants.

Our first finalist, from PS 25 in the Bronx, is Miss Christa Fowler.

( Applause )

Uh, that's my daughter.

Hmm... Well, she's a loser.


Our second finalist, from PS 33 in New York, Master Jason Nardo.

( Applause and wild cheering )

( Whistling )

( Cheering )

20 bucks says my kid beats your kid.

I beg your pardon?

What's the matter?

A little wager on the side.

What do you say?

I do not bet on my child.

That's 'cause you know she's a loser.

Hey, Louie, will you get over here?

How about you? You want to put a little money on it?

Louie! Look, sit down.

And our fifth finalist, from PS 55 in Queens, is Marilou Hartman.

( Applause )

That concludes our introductions, so if the judges are ready, let the contest begin.

Please step to the microphone, our first contestant.

The word is "coagulate."




Contestant number two.

( Applause )

Okay, here we go.

The first round is always the toughest.

You ought to know, Banta.

It's the only one you ever fight in.

The word is "phosphorous."




( Raucous cheering )

Jason! Jason! Jason!

( Weak chuckle )

You'll have to excuse us.

We're a little excited.

Yeah... we're his father.

Marilou, the word is "hypochondriac."



I'm sorry, that's incorrect.

Audience: Oh...


Ladies and gentlemen, we're now down to our final two contestants.

Now, should either of them now miss a word, the other one will have to spell it correctly before he or she can be declared the winner.

Christa... the word is "onomatopoeia."




( Applause )

Lucky guess.

Louie, give her credit; she's good.

I know... I hate her.

Jason, the word is "chlorophyll."


Is that with one "I" or two "I's"?





( Applause )

That was close.

ANNOUNCER: Christa...

The word is "sesquipedalian."

Why does she get all the easy ones?





The word is "vermeil."


V-e-r-m... i-e-I.

That is incorrect.


( Audience murmuring )

ANNOUNCER: Christa, you must now spell the word correctly if you wish to be... "Vermeil."


Correct! You are our new district champion!

( Applause )

Fix! Fix!

Louie! Louie!

Come on! Come on!

( Grumbling )

Hey, you did your best.

That's the main thing, man. Come on.

Hey, let me tell you.

Coming in second ain't the worst thing in the world.

Right. Tony does it all the time.

Hey, Jason, you shouldn't feel bad about losing.

It wasn't your fault.

No? Whose fault was it?


I mean, how could he study?

He was so exhausted from all the boxing and the movies and the wrestling.

If anybody should feel bad right now, it ought to be us.

Hi, guys!

And her.

Hey, Elaine!

Hey, Elaine, how you doing?

Hi, Elaine.

( loud kiss )

Hey, how's your aunt?

She's much better. Thanks.

Ooh, how's my boy?

How did you do in the spelling bee?

Not so well, Mom. I lost.

Aw... well.

I think you should know, Elaine, it wasn't his fault, it was our fault.

BOBBY: Yeah, that's right.

We were having such a good time with him that he never had a chance to study.

It was our fault, really.

That's nice of you guys to say, but I'm the one who blew it.

Studying was supposed to be my responsibility, not anybody else's.

It was nobody's fault but mine.

You know something?

If I had to choose between your winning or losing and saying what you just said...

I'd still take winning, but this was close.

( All laughing )

Come on, your sister's in the car. Let's go home.

Bye, J.

Hey, go get 'em, Jason.

You did good, Jason.

You come back and visit us, all right?

You'll get it...

JASON: Good-bye, Mr. De Palma.

See you, Jason.

Mm, thanks from me, too, guys.

You're the greatest.

No, we're not... but I'll tell you one thing, Elaine.

That is some kid you got there, you know?

I know. Bye-bye. Thanks.

See you. Later, Elaine.

Okay, I got something I was saving for a real occasion.

I'm going to share it with you guys.

This is an occasion?

Whenever Louie shares anything, it's an occasion.

I'll bet you've never tasted stuff like this before.

What's that?

12-year-old Scotch.

You know, I never thought much about having kids before, but if I was gonna have one, I think that'd be the kid I want.

Yeah, Suzanne and I have talked about kids, but we decided to wait until we find out how.

I mean, how to raise them.

I mean, gee, you see how good Elaine did, you know.

It makes you think that you could, too.

It's kind of funny, you know, getting tied down with a wife and kids.

I must have spent half my life trying to avoid that, but, uh... now I'm starting to wonder what I'm missing.

What have you got to worry about?

You're young.

You still got a chance.

I'm never gonna have a son.

Me... Louie De Palma.

And I'd have made a great old man, too.

What are you talking about, Louie?

You could still have a kid.


First you got to find a woman.

You got to fall in love... get married... talk to her. Hmm.

It ain't worth it.

You know, you guys are just looking at the good stuff.

What about all the money it takes to raise a kid?

Not to mention the heartache and the worry that goes into it.

You worry from the day they're born and it never stops.

Are they eating enough? Are they eating too much?

Are their teeth coming in straight?

You worry when they're sick.

You worry when they don't come home from school on time.

You worry about their grades.

You worry about whether they're... they're running around with the right kids.

You worry if they're gonna meet the right girl, about a job...

I mean it never ends.

So what's it all for?

I mean, what's the best you get out of it?

Maybe a hug and a kiss every now and then because the kid feels like he has to.

All in all... it's not a bad deal.

♪ Climb upon my knee, sonny boy... ♪

♪ You're only three... ♪ What's my name?

♪ Sonny boy. ♪ What's there no way of?

♪ There's no way of knowing... ♪ What else is there no way of?

♪ There's no way of showing... ♪ What means who to who?

♪ Oh, what you mean to me... ♪ What's my name again?

♪ Sonny boy. ♪

♪ Oh, when there are gray skies... ♪ Oh, I hate the gray skies, don't you?

♪ I don't mind the gray skies... ♪ How do you explain that?

♪ You make them blue... ♪ Would you believe it?

I forgot my name again.

♪ Sonny boy. ♪ That's it.

♪ Friends may forsake me... ♪ It wouldn't surprise me a bit.

♪ Let them all forsake me... ♪ That's a rather cavalier attitude.

ALL: ♪ I still have you, Sonny boy. ♪

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters.

( Walters grunts )