Taxi S2E19 Script

Shut It Down: Part 1 (1980)

( Theme music playing )

All right, where's the mechanic on duty?

I'm going to kill him.

What are you talking about?

I don't want to talk... I got to hit.

Hey, hey, hey. Tony, Tony, Tony, take it easy, take it easy.

Nobody's going to hit anybody.

Now just sit down and tell us about it calmly.

All right, Alex. Yeah.

What is it? I'm still shaking.

I'm driving down Fifth Avenue just before Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

Yeah. Yeah.

I'm coming to a red light, I go to put my foot on the brake, my foot goes straight through to the floorboard.

Oh, no. My, God. Oh.

So I make it through the first intersection okay, right, but I can't stop this cab.

Here I am doing 50 miles an hour straight down a road, completely out of control.

Man, it's true what they say...

Your life flashes in front of you.

You know, I lost a lot of fights.

So what'd you do?

So I did the first thing that came to mind.

I stopped myself by driving into a lamppost.

Tony, why didn't pull on the emergency brake?

It's for parking, Alex.

And emergencies, hence the name, emer...

You know, there's a logic to that.


You know something?

This is not an isolated incident.

Almost every night somebody has some kind of serious accident with a cab from this garage.

Hey, I don't care. All I know is because of some dumb mechanic, I almost bought it.

Now, now, now, Tony, don't get... don't be so quick to blame the mechanics.

They can only work with what they've got, and some powers that be around here don't want to give them new cabs.

For a minute there I thought I forgot to close the old porthole.

You got something on your minds?

Yeah, you might say that, Louie.

You know, uh, the cabs, they've been falling apart lately, and Tony's brakes, they just went out on him.

I mean, every time we go out of here, our lives are in danger, and we think it's about time you do something about it.

That's right, Louie.

Now you better stop and listen.

This could easily turn into an ugly mob.

I thought most of these people were just about as ugly as they could get.

I knew I shouldn't have said that.

Louie, man, that's it. All right, all right, all right.

Hear me out. So what are you going to do?

All right, hear me out.

I can understand that you're upset about this, and I'm going to do something that I don't normally do, but I think the gravity of this situation calls for it.

Yeah, like, what?

I'm going to write out a report.

Aw, come on! That never works!

Don't try to talk me out of it!

( All talking at once )

When the welfare of my drivers is at stake, no step is too drastic.

Jeff, give me the report sheet.

( Blows )

All right, now what's the date?

Hey, Louie, you're always writing those reports, and they don't get us anywhere.

You're right.

A report isn't enough.

Tell you what I'm going to do.

I am going to issue "drive defensively" stickers.

Hey, Louie.

You're not going in that cage, Louie.

You get in there, and you lock the door, and it's business as usual.

In fact, you're not going anywhere until you promise to do something about this thing.

ELAINE: That's right, Louie.

TONY: That's right.


Go blow-dry your face.

What are you doin...?


TONY: Open up or I'll break it in, Louie.

Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.

MAN: Break it down!

Break it down!

Get in there!

Where'd he go?

There's a secret passage.

Where is he?!

ELAINE: There he is!

Go get him!

Hah-hah! Hah-hah!

All right.

You forced me to give up one of my secrets, but I got others, and I'm not going to reveal them... unless, of course, Nardo wants to beat them out of me.

Okay, that's it.

I think we should walk.

No, no, come on! Guys!

To walk out is absolutely nuts.

Hey, hang on, guys.

I mean, come on.

We have some recourse here. What recourse?

Let's talk about this.

The first thing I think we ought to do is we get our shop steward to issue a complaint with the union.

All right, who's the shop steward?

Uh, isn't it Stubby Detmuller?

No, no, no, he retired.

It was Detmuller, it was Detwyler.

No, Detwyler's the guy from the day shaft, he got thrown in the can for beating his wife.

I thought his name was Jim Petty or something.

No, Jim Petty is the backup goalie for the Rangers.

Just what I was afraid of... They're getting organized.

Well, one thing's obvious...

We got to elect a new shop steward.

Okay, let's do it. Come on!

All right, who we gonna get? Come on.

Think, think.

JIM: Hey, uh, wait a minute.

Who's that tall, red-headed guy, comes in on weekends?

His name's Jack something or other.

Why? You want to nominate him?

No, I just couldn't think of his name.

Jim, we're trying to find a shop steward.

So I nominate me.


Yeah, man, I'm the guy who almost got killed today.

I deserve to see this through.

I'm mad and I want it.

And I second it!

I mean, if he's so mad, he might be able to get something done, right?

( Clamoring )

ALEX: All those in favor of nominating Tony for the shop steward say, "aye."

ALL: Aye!

Congratulations. You're our guy.

( Cheering )

Stand back and watch my dust.

( Excited chatter )

( All chanting ): Tony... Tony...

Louie, me and you are going to talk, and I mean right now.

So you're the new shop steward, huh, Banta?

You've got it.


Thanks, Louie.

Now, hey, but I mean business here.

Oh, yeah. Of course.

Just step right into my cage, and we'll talk about it.

You want me to come into your cage?

Why, certainly.

You're the new shop steward.

I'm not going to let you stand out there on the floor with the rabble.

Come on in here and have a seat.

Right foot, left foot, right foot...

Sit down. Sit down, Tony.

( Chuckling )

Okay, Lou, we are sick and tired of coming in here every day...

All right, all right, Tony, Tony, okay.

Now before you get started here...

And I do want to hear everything you got to say...

I just want to let you know that I was pulling for you during this election.

I mean, it's high time that your talents were recognized around here.

Oh, gee. Thanks, Louie.

And I think that you're going to fit right in down at the Tide Pool.

Yeah, well, that's all well and good, Louie, but...

Tide Pool? What's a Tide Pool?

That's that restaurant around the corner that us executives frequent after hours.

And now that you're the shop steward, I'm sure you're going to want to spend time down there yourself.

( Dings ) ( chuckles )

Well, I... I don't know.

( Dings ) Oh...

Oh, you're going to love this place.

They got fishnets and blowfish hanging from the ceiling and all the waitresses wear leis, in keeping with the Polynesian cuisine.

And they got an exotic drink down there that will knock you right off your keester.

( laughing )

Hey, Louie, that sounds great but...

Hey. I saw Jersey Joe Walcott in there the other night.

Really? Yeah.

This is a classy joint.

Listen, after the shift is over, you come on down there, and I'll introduce you around to the gang.

Should I dress or anything, Lou?

Sure, well, a sport coat would be nice, huh?

How about around seven-ish?

Oh, and I'm buying.

( laughs )

Boy, that sounds great.

( Dings )

I really want you to try this drink.

It's called the monsoon.

It's days before your sky is clear.

I blew it, huh?


Well, I'm new at this.

I figured I'd get him down to Tide Pool, fill him full with monsoons and...

Tony, please don't take this personally, but if we're going to get anything done, we need a recall.

Well, that's just your opinion, man.

I'd like to hear what everybody else says.

ALL: Recall!

Well, look at it this way, Tony, you... you brought us all together on one issue.

Okay, nominations are reopened.

I nominate Tony.

Jim! Why would you want to nominate Tony?!

There's no substitute for experience.


You know, I-I think this job-steward, report-to-the-union stuff is a lot of crap.

I mean, it never accomplishes anything.

We've been trying it for years, and nothing's ever been done.

But what choice do we have?

The choice we have is walking out of here until these cabs are fixed!

Let's go!

( Angry yelling )

Hold it. Hold it. Hold it!

( Whistles )

Now listen.

A wildcat strike is absolutely nuts.

All we're doing is we're giving them the chance to fire us.

Now, I say that there are other channels we can go through to get what we want without losing anything.

Well, now, wait a minute, wait a minute.

She's making sense. She's making sense.

Go ahead. Yeah, okay.

I vote Elaine shop steward!

No, no. ( all agreeing )

Elaine, you have to do this.

Yeah, man, somebody's got to help us with this.

( Sighs )

You'd be my choice.

Okay, I'll give it a shot.

( Cheering )

All right, but... Whoa, whoa. But...

I'm not going to soil myself talking to Louie.

He's just Mackenzie's lackey, right?

ALEX: Right.

So I'm going up to talk to the big man himself.

All right. All right.

All right. All right.

( All chanting ): Elaine... Elaine... Elaine... Elaine...

( excited chatter )


Nardo's your new shop steward, huh?

Wise choice.

( Snorts )

What do you mean... ( imitates snort )?

I know how Mackenzie handles people.

Boy, Elaine's right up there, nose-to-nose with the boss, and our careers are hanging in the balance.

The suspense is unbearable, isn't it?

Sure is, Jim.

( Sighs )

Well, see you tomorrow.

Take it easy, Jim.

ALEX: Hey, here she is!

How'd you do?

Hey, Elaine, that was, like, really quick.

Uh, what happened?

Well, Mackenzie said that the profit margin is so low already that there's nothing he can do about it.

But I told him that we don't want to risk our lives in these cabs anymore.

So he said that, uh, "No one told you to take this job anyway."

Wh-What did you say then?

I said what any good New York cab driver would say under those circumstances.

( laughing )

I also said that we're on strike.

( Cheering )

Shut it down! Shut it down!

( All chanting ): Shut it down! Shut it down!

Oh, no, no, no!

Oh, no, not a strike!

Oh, fie!

This really puts me in a bad position.

Now, where am I going to find people capable enough to drive cabs?

Yeah, where, Lou? Come on.

Daily News! Daily News!

Hey, kid!

You want to make some big bucks?

Take out Cab 132.

Come on. Get out of the news field, get into the people-mover field.

You'll make some big bucks, kid.

And remember...

The big pedal's the brake.

LOUIE: All right, attention, substitute drivers.

We got a lot of cabs to get out here.


84. Hotchkiss.

Okay, Mr. Hotchkiss, now, watch out for any drunks out there.

Right? Go on out there.

Uh, Ferguson?

Eight sixty-six.


Somebody get Ferguson started there.

Okay, Mr. Ferguson, now, don't go rushing around here.

All right, here you go.

Life's too short to rush around there.

Go out there and knock them dead.

Uh, Scooter?

There you go. 626.

Go out there and buck, buck, buck, buck, buck.

Whitey? There you go.

Get out there and make some money.

Stretch? On your way.

My biggest booker here.

Okay, kid, now, you get out there and, remember, red means "stop," green means "go."

( Cackling )

I love you mugs.

Ooh, it's cold.

What are you doing in here, Wheeler?

It's my turn to get coffee.


Pretty cold out there on the picket line, ain't it?

Oh, it-it's not so bad.

( Cackling )

Louie, the coffee machine's not working.

It's just not working for non-employees.

Yeah, well, this non-employee wants his quarter back.

Put it in with your demands, Wheeler.

Hey, Bob? What?

Don't you want your message?

I got a message?

Well, ordinarily I wouldn't take messages for a guy on strike, but this seemed like a real important one.

Well, what is it?

Well, your agent called and said you got a big shot at a movie, and the producers are going to meet you at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel.

Oh, wow! Oh, wow!

What time do I meet them?

3:00 yesterday.


Well, I would've given it to you yesterday, but then I would have had to cross the picket line.

You know how I feel about the sanctity of picket lines.

You know, you only do this to me, Louie, to try and make me break down, but you're not going to get the satisfaction.

All you're going to get out of me is...

( whimpering )

TONY: Great news, Bobby.

What? It better be great news.

Oh, the union has agreed to hold a hearing on our grievances.

Yeah, they're gonna subpoena Mackenzie...

( shivers ) and Louie.

ELAINE: Isn't that great?

It ain't going to do you any good.

Oh, yes, it is, Louie.

Your back is against the wall.

We've got evidence that is overwhelming.

I'm used to this, Nardo.

I am prepared for this Mickey Mouse hearing.

Prepared? Prepared, how?

While you lame-os are out there playing in the snow, I'm in here, doing a little plastic surgery on the books.

According to these records, the Sunshine Cab Company spends as much, if not more, money on maintenance and repairs than any other cab company in the city.

Once they get a look at these books, it will give us time to do a little repairs on the cabs so they pass inspection.

You see, you guys are dealing with pros here.

Hey, Louie, nobody's going to be gullible enough to believe your story.

Oh, no?

Hey, Iggy.


The Sunshine Cab Company spends more on maintenance than any other company in the city.

Our strike worked.

All power to the people!

Well, we'll see, Louie.

We'll just see who they believe.

Come on, guys, let's get back to the line.

Yeah. Yeah.

Farewell, workers of the world.

( Bobby speaks indistinctly )

What are you hanging around for, Rieger?

A little scab city?

That's quite a little trick you're trying to pull with the books, Louie.

Yeah, I got a few touches in here that I'm proud of.

One of them is... the Safety First picnic.

Boy, did we eat a lot of hot dogs at that picnic, but it was for a good cause.

You really feel good about this, don't you?


I just hope He forgives you.

Mackenzie? He's ready to erect a statue to me.

You kidding?

No, no, no, I don't mean Mackenzie.

You know, when you walk into that hearing room, you're going to be under oath.

Sure, sure.

You know what that means?

Yeah. It means they got to believe you.

I love this country.

No, Lou, it means that you'll be swearing to God to tell the truth, and then you'll lie.

Well, every great businessman has had to do that.

Besides, he understands what's going on.

He's a man of the world.

Well, okay.

It's okay with me... if the idea of eternal damnation doesn't bother you.

You had to bring eternal damnation into it?

Eternal damnation... You're giving me that?

I used to have a nun in my parochial school...

Sister Porchnik.

She used to give pop quizzes on eternal damnation.

You know, Louie, someday, some driver is going to go out of this garage in one of these cabs... and he's going to get hurt, Lou.

He may even be killed, and you'll be responsible.

Not me. You. Not me.

You. It ain't me.

You. It ain't me.

It's Mackenzie.

He's the monster in here.

He's responsible for everything that goes on down here.

Then Mackenzie will be responsible for sending you to eternal damnation.

What am I going to do?

Well, if I were you, Lou, I'd start negotiating with our shop steward.

All right.

All right, send her in here.

It will be a pleasure.

You know what I hate about you, Rieger?

What's that? You're always giving me that holier-than-thou attitude.

Well, I'm sorry, Lou.

It's just that thou art so easy to be holier than.

You wanted to see me?

Nardo, you know that I have the authority to end this strike any way and as I see fit.

I know that.

Okay, let's talk turkey here.

Are you serious about this?


Yeah, I don't think this strike should go on another day.

It's-it's hard on a lot of people.

All right, Louie, let's talk.

Okay. All right, you sit down and tell me specifically what your demands are.


We want you to retire all cabs that have been in service for over five years.

We want new brakes on the cabs.

We want you to increase the maintenance budget by at least ten percent, and we want at least one new mechanic on each shift.

All right, it's yours, Nardo.

It is? Yeah.

You're going to give us what we want?

( laughs ) All right.


All right.

Now, all you have to do is honor a few simple demands of my own.

Like what?

Nothing bad. Nothing bad.

You and me, for four days in a mountain cabin, with no one but the furry creatures of the woods to hear our screams of ecstasy.

One weekend.

One date to save cabbies' lives.

You'd give in to all of our demands if I go on one date with you?

That's right, Elaine.

Okay, it's luncheon.

A lot of people around.

We meet at the restaurant.

We part at the restaurant.

I get to bring a friend, and we sit at separate tables.

Fine. Fine.

Let me-let me just alter that just a tiny bit.

It's at night.

It's dinner.

I pick you up.

I take you home.

It's just the two of us, and at some time during the evening, within the hearing of at least two other people, you must call me "Stallion."

And none of this... None of this...

Is negotiable.

Except "Stallion."

Especially "Stallion."

Louie, isn't there any other way we can settle this?

Yeah, the only alternative you have is to go into that hearing with me and my books, and I make mincemeat out of your case.

Do you promise me that no one will ever know about this?

Are you suggesting we keep our little tête-à-tête a secret from the eyes of a prying world?

No. I'm suggesting that if you let anyone know that I've debased myself, I'll kill us both.

Does that mean you'll do it?

( Sighs )

( Sighs )

Yeah, I'll do it.

( Whooping )

Oh, but, Louie, do you know what you're doing?

Do you realize...? ( laughing )

You are using my concern for my fellow workers and friends to blackmail me.

You're taking advantage of something that's decent in me to satisfy some indecent needs of your own.

How does that make you feel?

Horny as all get out.

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.

( Grunts )