Taxi S3E13 Script

Zen and the Art of Cab Driving (1981)

( Theme music playing )

MAN: Here's one.

Driver... ( engine starts )

Where to?

The Plaza Hotel.

The Plaza Hotel...

Hey, look, I know you may be skeptical...

I know you may be skeptical, but by the end of the day, you're going to be thanking me.

What's the matter?

The Plaza Hotel... Is that in New York?

Uh, I think we should get another cab.

No, no, no, stay right where you are.

I'll fix you up.

Uh, G... 7.

Oh... Oh, that's not far.

( Clears throat )

I could drive you over.


All right.

Now, look, I'm telling you, this man is brilliant.

Every time I go to one of his seminars, I come out feeling high.


And when I say high, I mean high...

Higher than I've ever been on a drug.

All the success I've had in the last four years, I attribute to him and to his theory of dynamic perfection.

Well, everything I've heard, it sounds really great.

I'm telling you, it is the secret to organizing a business, to beating your competitors, to getting somewhere in life...

To happiness.

Well, here we are, gentlemen.

The airport.

( Whistling )

You picked us up at the airport.

I thought we got here awfully fast.

Where was it you wanted to go?

The Plaza Hotel.

Plaza Hotel...

G-7. G-7.

ALEX: Hi, Jim.

Boy, what a bunch of losers.

( Blows raspberry )

ALEX: You talking about us, Jim?

I'm talking about you, I'm talking about me, I'm talking about all of us.

But I'm not going to be a failure for long.

I found the secret: dynamic perfectionism.

LOUIE: Well...

I think the little Dutch boy in Iggy's brain just let the water go.

Hey, hey, Jim, what are you talking about?

Well, I picked up a couple of guys at the airport tonight and finally got them into town.

And while I was driving along, they were talking about this dynamic perfectionism stuff.

I want to tell you, I've learned what separates successful people from people like us.

Barbed wire, if they're smart.

So, uh, what's the big secret, Jim?

Come on, tell us what it is.



every one of us has something in this world that we want more than anything else.

Everyone of us has a goal.

This should be good.

What's your goal, Jim?

Oh, no, no, no.

No, no, Tony, I can't tell you.

Like the guy said tonight, "Be a doer, not a talker."


JIM: The point is you got to have a goal and go for it.

I have a goal... Something I always wanted and thought was impossible.

Being able to think without moving your lips?

No, no, no.

That's not enough anymore.

My goal is something much bigger than that.

So how do you go about reaching this goal?

The way you go about getting it is to do every little thing in your life the best you can.

If you do everything perfectly, eventually you'll reach your goal.

Therefore, I'm going to do everything perfectly.

I'm going to start at the bottom and do as well as I possibly can the most meaningless, insignificant, mindless acts...

Like my job, for instance.


How much does a good cab driver make in a night?

150 bucks.

What was my best night?

You once broke $12.


Boss, I want to drive again.

I want to go right back out there on those streets and drive another shift... A perfect shift.

I want to be a perfect cab driver.

I want to be perfect.

Well, you're on the right track.

You've already made a perfect ass of yourself.

All right!

Yeah, yes, officer.

It's Sunshine Cab Number 643.

The driver's name is Ignatowski but he'll answer to Waterhead... uh... Mr. Halloween... The Fog... or hey, Scuzzo.

Yeah, thanks a lot, all right, yeah.

Hey, Louie, what's wrong?

What's wrong? I'll tell you what's wrong.

"Mr. Perfection" is still out with that cab so I reported him.

You mean Jim's still out there?

He's been driving for almost 24 hours.

Hey, listen, maybe some of us ought to go out and look for him.

That's a good idea.

Yeah, but where would we start?

I mean, where could he be?

Where would Jim decide to go?

Why don't we try thinking like Jim for a minute, okay?

No, let's not do that anymore.

It hurts.




All right!

Jim, where you been? Jim, where have you been?

I've been out there, working towards my goal.


You're fired!

( Group protesting )

Boss, maybe you should look at my trip sheet!

I don't have to look at anything!

You are unemployed. Out!

( Group clamoring )

What, are you telling me that I can't fire him?

I only kept him around this long because he's a conversation piece.

Hey, Jim, how come you were gone so long?

I guess I was concentrating so hard on being a great cab driver, I forgot about the time.

Well, that's that.

I guess I'll be moseying along.

Three hundred and seventy-three dollars?

So long, everybody.


Yo, boss.

I love you.

A handshake would have done it, boss.

Hi, I'd like to go to...

Oh, welcome aboard Sunshine Cab number 1-3-4.

My name's Jim Ignatowski and I'll be your driver.

I'd like to go to Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie Hall... L-6.


Traffic today between here and there should be light to moderate.

We're not expecting any bad weather.

We're traveling now along the Avenue of the Americas, which was formerly known as Sixth Avenue.

Us old-time New Yorkers still like to refer to it as Sixth Avenue.

Old habits die hard.

Speaking of old habits...

On your right, you'll notice a group of nuns going into Radio City Music Hall.

It's... By the way, it's a bit nippy out there today.

If you'd like a nice hot cup of java, there is some in that thermos back there.

If you want a sandwich, help yourself.

We got salami, sardine and watercress.

This is the strangest cab ride I've ever had.

Sir, if providing comfort, service and satisfaction to my customers is strange then you can call me a freak.

Thank you.

You're a freak.

Thank you.

Well, here we are.

Watch your step getting out and thank you for riding Sunshine Cabs.

Did I get you here fast enough?

Yeah, it was very quick.

In fact... I'm a little early.

I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee.

Why don't you take another trip around the block.

You betcha.

If, uh, you'd like to listen to a little music, there's a stereo-headphone set in the back.

Thank you.

We're featuring a Sinatra retrospective this evening.

That would be very nice.

♪ If somebody needs you... ♪

♪ It's no good unless she needs you ♪

♪ All the way. ♪

♪ Doobee doobee doobee doo wa... ♪ Hey, here he comes.

ALL: Hey... Jim!

LOUIE: James!

Hi, boss!

James, my son.

Welcome home.

How'd it go?

Fine, fine, fine.

Yeah? So how much money did you make, huh?

Approximately. Come on, come on, tell us.

Fifteen dollars.

Fifteen dollars?!

I was only kidding, boss.



That one's on you, boss!

Oh... You lug, you.

What a guy, what a witty guy.

I love this man.

Come on, so how much did you make? How much?

Come on, tell us. Come on, give, give.

It's a new record.

( Cheering )

I want everybody to know that Mr. Mackenzie called me personally, not ten minutes ago, to congratulate me on having the hottest shift in this garage, and I got the franchise right here to thank for it.

BOBBY: You know, Louie, your love for Jim is really touching.

Yeah, Iggy and me are tight.

We're like Roy and Trigger.

Hey, Jim, you're not falling for this, are you?

Uh, I don't know.

Am I, boss?

There's nothing to fall for, Iggy.

Wheeler's just jealous.

But the fact of the matter is there's a structure to cab driving.

It's like... it's like a tree of life.

On the very topmost branches you have the Ignatowskis.

Beneath them, you have the Riegers and the Nardos.

Below that, you have your Bantas, apes and gibbons.

Below that, you have your lice, your pond scum... your Wheelers.

You can't get lower than Wheelers.

What about me, Louie?

I stand corrected.

All right, enough chitchat.

I'm going to take these totals right up there to Mr. Mackenzie.

Ace Iggy!

( Louie cackles )

Hey, Jim, congratulations.

I really mean it.

Yeah, what you're doing is so incredible.

Hey, we are all really proud of you, man.

Even me, Jim.

Well, it's sort of nice being the best at something in the world, you know what I mean?

I'm sort of sorry to end it.

End it?! What do you mean, end it? What's wrong?

Well, I've got everything now I need to obtain my goal.

You mean you're not going to be a good cab driver anymore?

Oh, that was too much hard work.

I've always liked myself the way I was.

There was just one thing lacking and now I've got it.

What is it?

Yeah, what is that?

I want you to come to my house tomorrow and I'll reveal my goal.

"I want you to come to my house tomorrow night and I'll reveal my goal."

By the way, do you spell your name with one "O" or two?


I'll get it right next time, Booby.

And I got... got one here for Latka.

Where's Latka?

Eh, here.

"Dress optional."

He must mean how we dress, not if we dress, right?

No, I don't think so.


Yours is the only one that says that.

( No audio )

Hey, come on, let's go to Mario's, huh?

JIM: Yeah, that's a good idea.

I'll buy you all a drink.

ALL: Hey!

Oh, how nice!

Hey, what the hell?

I'm rich.

I'll buy each of you a drink.

Even better!

( Horn honking )

( Knocking )

( Knocking )

Hi, Jim.

Hi, everybody.

( Clears throat )

Can I take your coats?

Oh, yeah, sure.


ALEX: Yeah, thanks, Jim.


BOBBY: Thanks a lot.

Make yourselves comfortable.

Thank you.

What do you got under the old blankets here, Jim?

All in good time, Tony.

Come on, we can't wait to see your revelation.

Yeah, yeah, what's the big secret? Come on.

There came a time in my life when I sensed a certain emptiness...

Something missing.

And then I discovered this miracle to fill my life.

Because the truth of the whole world is right here...

The beauty, the ugliness, the folly, the glory, the joy, the heartache, the yin and the yang.

It's all right here under this blanket.

Anybody care to guess what it is?


It is a religious statue of some spiritual leader...

Maybe one of the prophets?

No, no, no, it's not that.

Oh, then it is booze.

Well... wrong again.

Come on, come on, Jim, the suspense is killing us.

Yeah, we're dying to know! Tell us.

I guess I've all kept you waiting long enough.




It's been under the blanket so long, I forgot.

Now what are we going to do?

Well, why don't you lift up the blanket and we'll find out?

Good man, Booby.


What in the world...?



You spent all your money on television?

What am I... nuts?

Oh, yeah, now I remember!

This isn't television, this is television...

A home video center:

Wide-screen TV, video tapes, video discs, video computer games, remote control!

I get channels from all over.

I get 24-hours news, I get 24-hour sports.

I get sessions of congress.

I'm on home cinema, I'm on cable.

I'm on satellite.



Do you mean to say you've been busting your butt, driving 12 hours a day, breaking all kinds of company records, just to buy a television?

Hey, Jim, uh, I don't know, you know?

I expected something more important to come of this.

I mean, this was like a religious thing to you.

Bobby, the whole world comes through these screens.

I watch the great events of this world.

Just this afternoon, I was watching the Delaware legislature debating whether they should call themselves Delawarians or Delawarites.

That's right.

( Clears throat )

Personally, I'm rooting for the Delawarians, although the Delawarites put up a good argument.

Delawinians didn't stand a chance.

Well, uh, hey, you know, boy, it's really getting late.

I'm going to go get a bite.

Yeah, I'll go with you.

Yeah, good idea.

You're going to be missing a great water polo game.

Water polo?


You mean horses swim?

They not only swim, they hold their breath forever.

They play the whole game and never come up for air.

Well, good night, Jim.

We'll see you tomorrow.

Good night. Thanks.

ALEX: Yeah, Jim, thank you. Good night.

Tony, would you catch the light on the way out?

Sure, Jim.

( Remote clicking )

( Din of many TVs playing )

BOBBY: That's Apocalypse Now.

Come sit.


That's funny.

And that's Submarine Command with William Bendix.

That's an Islander home game, gee.

I got stations from all over America.

Programs from all over the world...

First-run movies, sporting events... and whenever I get bored with something, I just switch channels with this little magic box.


Well, if you'll all excuse me, I don't think I'm going to waste my evening watching television.

I mean, Jim, I'm very happy for you, if this is really what you want.

But, you know, there's a whole world out there, and I think I'd rather be out there talking to people, you know, meeting people and having real experiences, instead of sitting here watching a couple of images on television, trying to decide between Delawarians and Delawarites.

OFFICIAL ( on TV ): Attention.

Good night.

Here are the results of the roll call vote.

From this day forward, all citizens of the fair State of Delaware shall be officially known as Delawarians.

What are they, nuts?


OFFICIAL: Attention, attention...

Attention, Delawarians.

May I have your attention again, please?

Now that that's settled, we'll move on to the next piece of business...

The Jeffers-Wagner Sewage Bill.

This is going to be a dogfight.

Come on, man, put on my hockey game.

( All arguing )

That's not hockey.

( Classical music plays )

There we go.

( Classical music, explosions, voices )

Come on, Islanders, let's go.

JIM: Hey, Alex, you know the great thing about television?

If something really important happens anywhere in the world...

Night or day...

You can always change the channel.

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.

( Grunts )