Taxi S2E21 Script

Alex Jumps Out of an Airplane (1980)

( Theme music playing )

Hey, uh, you guys mind if I sit with you?

You know the rules, Louie.

You're not allowed to drink with us. Yeah.

I got a little problem I'd like to talk over, but if that's the way you feel.

Hey, Louie, you got a problem, Lou?

Come on. That's all right.

You don't want to hear it.

Come on, Louie, tell us about your problem, come on.

Come on, Lou.

Here you go. Come on, big...

All right.

I want to hear it.

My problem is I'm bored.

Oh, you are, huh?


I'm so bored, I got nothing better to do than to sit here and talk with you losers.

That's a dirty shame, Louie.

Hey, Louie, Mr. Mackenzie just called.

He said you got to get back to the garage right away.


I've been gone two minutes, and Mackenzie panics.

He couldn't run that company without me.

Did he say what the problem was?

Yeah, he wants you to get him some cigarettes.

Cabs without brakes to anybody who laughs.

I mean it, Banta!

One snicker and you'll get a cab you can't stop for a month. ( stifled laugh )

Tony, Tony, just think about something sad, something awful.

Yeah, like how poor Louie has to pick up cigarettes for the boss, like some kind of flunky.

( Cackling )

That did it, Banta.

You better pray for green lights.

TONY: It was worth it.

( All laughing )


Hi, Louie.

Hey, Alex.

How you doing?

Hey. Hi.

Another glass, Tommy.

TOMMY: Coming up!

So, uh... how was your latest ski weekend?


Is that all?

I'm sorry, guys, but I don't want to talk about it.

Why not? ELAINE: Oh!

ALEX: Because I had an experience that, um... well, it's very difficult to put it into words, and, uh...

I just... I'm afraid that if I talk about it, it's going to make it seem commonplace and, well, it wasn't commonplace.

I mean, it was very important to me.

I mean, it was profound.

It's changed me in a way that I'll never be able to think or feel or be the same way again.

Did you meet any chicks?

Alex, you know you're going to tell us about it eventually.

And you know that we're all waiting to hear you tell us.

Oh, please, please... And you know that none of us are going to talk about anything else until you do tell us, so...


I met a girl.


Her name was Linda.

She got the bluest eyes I've ever seen.

Anyway, we were skiing together on Saturday, and um, she said, "Don't you think that ski jumping is the biggest thrill in this life?"

And I said, "I don't know. I always thought it was good for a couple of laughs."

And I mean, somehow or another she interpreted that to mean that I'd done it before, so she suggested that we go up and take a jump.

I was looking at her just like you're looking at me.

I mean, I-I didn't know what else to say, so I said, "Okay."

I mean... No, I thought someone would come along or somebody or something would come along to stop us before we actually did it.

Well, anyway, we started climbing... and climbing... and climbing... and climbing...

Alex, why didn't you just tell her that you've never done it before?

Did I mention that she had the bluest eyes I've ever seen?

Say no more.

Anyway, so we get to the top and we look down, and I'm telling you it was straight down.

I mean, just standing there and looking, I couldn't breathe.

You know, sometimes when you get so scared you can hear your heartbeat?


She heard my heartbeat.

The people down in the lodge were saying, "What's that noise up there?" I'm telling you!

Maybe that would have been a good time to tell her that you've never done it before.

Well, yeah, I would've, but it's very difficult to talk and whimper at the same time, so...

So, did you go down it?

Well, uh... she gave me a kiss good-bye, and she went down.

And I watched.

I mean, she made a beautiful jump, and I was up there by myself.

So, I, uh, I started to take off my skis so I can climb back down, you know?

But even that was a little scary to me, so then, well, I said, "Wait a minute.

What kind of a person am I?"

I sit in my cab all my life just driving around.

You know, I've never tried to push myself.

I mean, all my life I-I've taken the safe way.

You know, I've made the rational choice.

I said, "This one time I'm going to do the opposite."

You mean you jumped?

Well, you know, Tony, the difference between going and not going is really a very small amount.

I mean, all you have to do is shift your weight forward just the slightest bit...

I mean, less than you'd even think.

Certainly less than I thought.

So you decided to go?

Well, I don't know if I decided, but, uh...

Maybe it was me, maybe it was the breeze.

But I went! I'm telling you, I went straight down!

I mean, the tears were streaming back from my eyes alongside my head.

The G-force was so great it was pulling my cheeks back.

I knew there was no force on heaven and Earth that was going to stop me now, as I went.

And then... I was flying.

I was flying. TONY: Ooh!

I'm telling you, I was flying.

I was so glad that I'd listened to Jim McKay all those years, because I knew just what to do, you know?

I mean, how to keep my chin out over the tips of my skis.

But that was going to be no small trick, because I was upside down, I couldn't find my chin.

And there I was 120 miles above Lake Placid, and I couldn't find my chin!

So how-how did you land?

You're not going to believe this.

I actually landed on my feet. TONY: All right!

And then on my head, and then on my back and then on my feet.

By the time I came to a complete halt, I was the biggest snowball in the history of Lake Placid.

( laughs )

And then, when I thawed out, I found myself staring into the bluest eyes I've ever seen.

And she said, "Boy, you got guts."



( Speaks Italian ) That's some Saturday.

Don't you understand? I actually did it.

I mean, that was the biggest thrill of my life.

Well... ever since that Saturday on that ski jump, I, uh... my food has tasted a little better, the air has smelled a little fresher, the sky seems a little bluer, and this life has seemed just a little bit nicer.

( Chuckles )

So, I've decided... the most important thing in a man's life is to face his fears.



Set 'em up... and put it on the snowball.

( Chuckles )

You know, Alex, it's-it's like that with acting, too.

It's like the biggest thrill is when, is when the role is so challenging or the performance so important that there's a chance I could blow it and be humiliated.

Right. TONY: Hey, maybe that's why boxing's so thrilling.

Every time I go in the ring, I got a shot at being humiliated.

( Elaine laughs )

And of being badly injured.

Yeah, sounds like you got the best of both worlds.

I guess that's why it's so exciting.

I mean, let me tell you, every time you step in that ring, you're testing yourself.

Say that again, Tony.

What did I say?

ALEX: Hey, Tony?

I want to learn how to box.

Oh, come on, Alex. BOBBY: What?

ALEX: No, no, no, I-I mean it.

Would you teach me?


How about tomorrow?

Tomorrow's fine. Great!

Oh, I get what you're doing. I mean, you didn't kill yourself enough on the slopes, so now you want to do it in the ring.

No, you don't understand.

You see, getting hit has been one of my fears.

TONY: Yeah, I know.

And I want to confront it.

Listen to how you're talking.

I mean, what's going on with you?

I don't know!

But ever since that jump on Saturday, I understand what Hemingway was talking about.

Every man has fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage, as well.

For instance, that piano.

You're going to ski off that piano?

No, you see, I, uh... well, I-I know how to play the piano a little bit, you see, but... I've always been afraid of calling attention to myself, you know?

Alex, what are you doing?

I don't know.

I... I...

I'll do a little, uh... "Being Alive."

( Mutters ): I don't know.

( Plays lilting notes )

( Hits wrong note )

Hmm... ( repeats phrasing )

♪ Somebody hold me too close ♪

♪ Somebody hurt me too deep... ♪

♪ Somebody sit in my chair... ♪

♪ And ruin my sleep ♪

♪ And make me aware ♪

♪ Of being alive... ♪

( Stops playing )

♪ Being alive... ♪

♪ Somebody need me too much ♪

♪ Somebody know me too well ♪

♪ Somebody pull me up short ♪

♪ And put me through hell ♪

♪ And give me support ♪

♪ For being alive... ♪

♪ Being alive ♪

♪ Being alive... ♪

Being alive.

( Plays flourish )

( laughs )

( Whooping )

Well, thank you!

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

Are there any requests?

"Being Alive."

I think I know that one.

♪ Somebody need me too much ♪

♪ Somebody know me too well... ♪

That's good, Alex.

Ooh, yeah, yeah. Stick that jab.

That's it, stick it, yeah.

( Grunts )

Oh, be careful. All right.

Ooh, good shot!

( Grunts )

Ooh, eh, that hurt.

Ooh, hey, yeah, uh.

Alex, Alex, Alex?

Yeah. Don't drop your hands.

I did that in a college fight... it killed me.

Gotcha. Okay.

Hey, yeah, that's good. Yeah, shoot it.

Yeah, that's it. Shoot it, yeah.

Whoo, whoo, wait. Alex, Alex, Alex? What?

You're telegraphing your punches.

You can't do that, you see?

See, I did that with Ellison... I was out for a week.


Okay, here we go.

Okay, oh, good eye...

Oh, Alex, Alex, Alex, Alex...

You can't take your eyes off your opponent.

I did that with Sinacori... ended up in the second row.

No substitute for experience.

Oh, yeah.

( Grunting )

Oh, what... Hey!

All right, all right, all right.

Okay, Alex, you're doing good.

Let's take a little break.



( Panting )

How am I doing, Tony?

Be honest with me.

I'll tell you the truth, Alex. You know, you got good boxing instincts, and you got great reflexes, too.

Really? Yeah, really.

Hey, come on, let's just forget about this break.

Let's get back in the ring and spar.

I want to do some more sparring, some real sparring.

Oh, no, Alex, I don't think you're ready for that kind of sparring with a professional.

I'll right, I'll settle for an amateur.

Must be one in the gym who'd spar with me.

Oh, yeah, I guess you could try him.

He any good?

No, but he's safe.

No, Tony, I don't want safe.

The idea is to get in there with someone who isn't safe.

I mean, I don't want a pushover.

( Mutters )

I want him.

He'll kill you.

Well, maybe there's somebody else.

No, man, no, I want him.

Is he an amateur?

Yeah, a good amateur.

Bring him on. Alex, I'm telling you...

I can't let you do this, it's dangerous.

No, I just want to go one round with the guy.

Just one round. I'll stay away from him.

Just one round. Look, I just want the thrill of being in the ring with a guy who's looking to knock my head off... and who could.

Alex, I understand that feeling, but this guy could break your jaw...

Tony, Tony, just one round. I got to do this.

Hey, uh, Carl?


Want to box with my buddy?


Carl, I'm talking one round, man, no more, and I'm gonna time it.

And take it easy on him, 'cause he's new at this.

Hey, hey, forget that "take it easy" stuff!

Now, wait a minute. No, I'm going to go all out, and I suggest you do the same thing.


No sense going crazy on me, though, you know.

Don't worry, I'll be all right.

You got any last tips?

Don't do this.

Don't worry. I'll go easy on the guy.

All right.

Okay... box.

Looking good, Al.

Hey, man, you want to box or not?


Alex? Hmm?

Alex? Wha, what?, what...?

Alex? What?

What happened?

You got knocked out.

I did? Yeah, man, you took a mean-looking shot to the head, Al.

Would that have knocked out a good boxer?

It would have knocked out a rhinoceros.

All right, all right!

I got knocked out!

I took it, Tony, I took it, and I feel great!

Tommy, how about another one?

Oh, I think you've had enough, Jim.

Ahh, the morning's young.

Give me another one.


( Glass breaks )

Did a beer just go by?

Sure did.

You're right again, Tommy.

( Indistinct voices )

Hey, Jim.

Don't tell me you're going home?

Okay, if you hear about it, you didn't hear it from me.

So anybody know what "Rieger Knievel" is doing today?

God only knows.

He's facing some fear or other.

This is getting ridiculous.

I mean, that man is a living beer commercial.

I mean, where's it going to end?

Hi, guys.

Oh, Alex, you having a normal day?


Oh, you mean, you haven't laughed in the face of death even once today?

I haven't even snickered.

And you're actually depressed about it?


You know, last week was one of the greatest in my life.

Now I'm running out of things to do.

Thrill Seekers?

Well, it just caught my eye at the news stand.

Aw, they're out of the latest copy of Death Wish?

( Bobby laughs )

Rieger, there you are. Hi, Louie.

Been looking all over for you.

What do you...? Banta, move over.

Move it, move it, move it.

All right. All right.

All right, man!

I got some papers I want you to sign here.

What are those?

I want to insure your life.

What? TONY: I don't believe him.

This guy's unbelievable.

Now, listen, listen. We've been through a lot together, Rieger. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And I just felt like I had to do this for you.

Mm-hmm. I took out a $50,000 life insurance policy, and in the event that anything should happen to you...

God forbid a million times...

I get the money, 'cause I took out the policy.

Don't you have to go some place to shed skin, Louie?

Now, now, Rieger, Rieger, I understand that these matters are very difficult to talk about.

But listen, you haven't heard the best part yet.

I made your daughter, Cathy co-beneficiary.

She gets half the money.

Louie, you are really the worst.

( Growls )


Okay, I'll sign it.

Are you kidding, Alex?

No, I think something should go to her... if anything should happen to me when I do this.

( Sighs ): You're going to wrestle a shark?

No, no, no, this page.

I'm going to jump out of an airplane.

Oh, my God.

Hot dog! Sign right there.

I'm going to jump out of an airplane.

Are you nuts, Alex...? I can't believe...

There is nothing more terrifying to me in this life than jumping out of an airplane.

Who's going to go with me, huh?

All right, Alex, this is going too far.

All right, you had a good ski vacation, and you've been having a lot of fun lately, but th-this is crazy.

Oh, no, you don't understand.

Listen to this. Just listen to this:

"Skydiving is the single greatest thrill in this life.

"There is a point at which you stop falling and you start flying."

( Chuckles ) I heard it's wonderful... wonderful! Right here!

Don't you think it's a little odd that your beneficiary wants you to do this?

Come on, get out of here!

Who's going with me?

Who's going with me?

How-how-how much more time?

A couple of minutes.


Okay, time to prepare for the jump.

I'm nervous.

It's... it's okay, Alex. I'm nervous, too, and I'm not even jumping, thank God.

Oh, I... it just slipped out. I'm sorry.

Hey, it's normal to be nervous first time out.

Sure it is, sure it is.

You got nothing to worry about.

Just what do you think his chances are?

Louie, sit down and shut up.

INSTRUCTOR: It's such a beautiful day for a jump.

Just do everything exactly as you did in ground school.

Everything's going to be fine.

Believe me, you're going to love it.

Just wish I were jumping today.

How come you're not?

Last time I jumped, I injured my spleen.

Soon as I'm able, though, I'll be jumping again.

It's that good, huh?

Oh, it's better than sex.

It's better than most sex.

Listen, uh, maybe we can, uh, get together and compare some notes and do some persuading, you know.

I take a lot of persuading.

Well, just give me some time, and...

ALEX: Hey, Bobby, will you cut that out?

Can't you wait till I'm gone? Till I've jumped?

You're right...

All right, you ready, Mr. Rieger?

Huh? Ready? For what?

Oh... oh, yeah... I guess so.

Okay, Alex, we're all with you.

( Grunts )

That's it... Okay.

ALEX: Oh. my God.

INSTRUCTOR: We're almost over the jump area, so let's get set.

Get you hooked up.

BOBBY: Just hooking him up.

You know what just occurred to me, sitting here with the breeze blowing in my face and my adrenaline pumping me up to do what few men will ever attempt?

What's that, Alex?

I'm not going down there. I'm not going down there.

I'm not going to go.

But Alex! I'm not go... Ah!

What about the single most greatest thrill in your life?

( Screams )

Oh, no, I don't want to go. All right, okay, Alex?

Okay, Alex, you don't have to go if you don't want to... you don't have to. No...?

Here, here, I'll-I'll handle this.



A man's got to do what a man's got to do.

( Yells )

Louie, Louie...!

( Shudders )

All right, all right, look, look, Rieger?

Yeah, what?

I'm not trying to force you into anything.

I just want you to know...

So that you don't get the wrong idea here...

This is very hard for me to say, but I just want you to know what kind of guy I am.

I got $50,000 riding on this, and I still hope you don't die.

I hope you're not waiting for applause, Louie.

INSTRUCTOR: If you're going, Mr. Rieger, it's got to be now.

Alex, Alex, you don't have to do this if you don't want to.

Nobody's going to think any less of you.

Nobody but me.

Geronimo-o-o... o-o-oh...



You're still here.

I am? I could swear I jumped.

My spirit jumped.

It's just my body that's left here.

Ah, what the hell?

( Screaming )

I'm going to die!

I'm going to die.

I'm going to die!

I'm going to die... ohh...

It opened.

The chute opened.

I'm not going to die.

I'm not going to die; I'm going to live.

I'm going to live.

♪ Oh, life is good ♪

♪ Life is wonderful... ♪ And I'm going to throw up.

I'm going to... I'm going to spend the single greatest thrill of my life throwing up.

No, hold it, hold it, I'm going to be okay.

It passed, it's going to be okay.

Oh, my God, look at this, it's incredible.

I feel like... I feel like... like...

♪ Being alive ♪

♪ Being alive... ♪

♪ Being ali-i-ve... ♪

( laughing )

And you feel small, fragile but also strangely invincible, as if you're no longer a part of that miniature world below you, because you've just separated yourself from reality for the moment...

( snoring ) diving from that plane and plunging toward Earth in defiance of your own mortality.

I mean, it's all dreamlike.

Nothing real can touch you as you float in your reverie... trying to understand what you're feeling, and at the same time, not wanting to understand it, because it's too magnificent to be within the grasp of detached logic and finite thoughts, which limit your glimpse of boundless, wondrous... magnificence.

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.

( Grunts )