Taxi S3E6 Script

The Ten Percent Solution (1981)

( Theme music playing )



Cockroach at 10:00.

Oh, my God!

That's the biggest cockroach I've ever seen!

That's a man-eater.

I'm going up after it.

Careful, Louie.

Give me something, give me something.


( Hollers )

Did you see that?

I hit him dead center with everything I had, and he just smiled at me.

Here he comes!

( Crashing )

Well... he's gone now.

Yeah... he's gone.

But he'll be back.

Jim, I-I'm expecting an important call.

Just a short call, please, okay?


Thank-thanks a lot.

Who am I calling?

You mean, you weren't going to use the phone?

No, I-I was going to the bathroom.


But I'll make that short, too.

Tony, what's with Bobby with the phone?

Oh, today he finds out whether he got that movie part he's been trying for.

It's between me and another guy.

I wish they'd call already.

The suspense is killing me.

Oh, Bob, Bob, come on.

It's not the last job you're going to lose.

I mean, uh, no, I mean, uh...

Hey, what kind of attitude is that?

I mean, come on.

Let's assume Bobby's going to get the job and approach it with a positive attitude, you know. Sorry, Bob. Yeah.

Let him hear the negative things after he loses it.

Oh, no, no, sorry.

That's okay, Elaine.

I still think I have a damn good chance of getting this.

Well, good. That's the way to think, Bobby.

LATKA: Ifnosh cafe?

Latka, Latka, I'm waiting for an important call.

Uh, this is important, too.

I am ordering my lunch.

You see, there is a restaurant just open up, and they serve food from my country.

Yeah, but-but it's... all right.



Oh, yes, hello.



Thank you, and you, too.

I know.

I would like to order some food, please.


First, I would like to order a tossed gravlitee.

I would like to... okay... and a fried yufnish in the basket.

And a... a... profnika with everything. Yes.

Yes, and two large...

Latka, is there any way you could do this faster?

Oh, sure.

Just give me the number seven.


( Phone rings )


Yeah, this is he.

Yeah, I-I-I understand.

Um... Yeah, thanks for calling.

( Sighs )

Well, come on already.

The suspense is killing me.

You get it or not?

Banta, sometimes I wish you were smarter just so you'd know how dumb you are.

The other guy beat me out.

You know, I've lost jobs before, but what kills me about this one, is the guy I lost it to has almost no experience, and he's not very good.

The only reason he got this job is because of his looks.

Oh, come on, Bobby.

You're great-looking.

No, you see, they didn't cast him because he's better looking than me.

They cast him because he has the right look.

You see, casting, it goes in cycles.

Common looks are in now.

It's a handicap to be classically handsome.

Don't I know it?

You see... you see the type they want now is long on street looks, short on brains.

Somebody engaging, with a boyish smile, animal magnetism and a dumb but earnest face.

Somebody like...

Go ahead and say it, Bobby.

Somebody like Tony.

All right! Hear that?

Hey, thanks a lot.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, this is it.

I'm done.

I'm through.

I don't want to be an actor anymore.

My career is dead.

Thank God... It suffered long enough.

( Knocking on door )


Dropped by to see how you're doing.

How you doing?

Okay, for a guy whose career is over.

Ah, that's good.

I thought you'd still be depressed or something.

I brought beer and Fudgesicles.

Look, uh, Tony, I-I don't feel much like talking now, you know?

Well, uh, how do you feel about answering?

I could make up a question, you could answer it.

Okay, um, I was wondering, Bobby, could you tell me how to be an actor?

Are you kidding?

You said I was what they were looking for.

Tony, do you have any idea what acting is like?

Hey, Bobby, when I was in grade school, I had a part in the play Rip Van Winkle.

I know I shouldn't ask this.

What part did you play?

I was the guy that woke him up.

( Groans )

Hey, Bobby, you think it's easy waking a guy up after he's slept 40 years?

Tony, you got Fudgesicle all over your face.

Listen, how do you get an acting job, Bobby?

Well, you're asking the wrong guy.

But, uh, you get an agent who introduces you to casting directors who introduces you to producers who hire you.

Well, that's sounds okay.

Let's do it like that.

Tony, it's not that easy.

Come on, you have no experience.

Wake up. Rip, wake up, Rip.

Wake up, Rip.

Almost no experience.

You told me the guy who beat you out yesterday for that movie part had almost no experience.

And he wasn't even that good, but he looked right.

So, if I look right, why can't I get parts, too, Bob?

I don't...

Hey, maybe you could.

What the hell.

I'll call my agent.

The worst he can do is laugh, right?

Uh, Bobby, I don't think I want your agent.

And why not?

I mean, he hasn't exactly made you a star, you know.

Tony, Tony, what is it that you want?

Bobby, I want you to be my agent.

You're my friend, you'd look out for me.

Tony, Tony, that's crazy.

Why? You got extra time now, especially if you're not gonna act anymore.

( Sighs )

Tony, you don't know what you're saying.

Bobby, Bobby, listen.

I saw that movie The Raging Bull, right?

Yeah. And I read some place where a lot of the guys in that movie weren't real actors.

Some of them were fighters just like me.

Bobby, Bobby, listen, man.

I'm serious about this.

Bobby, I know this sounds crazy, but all my life, I felt I was gonna be something special.

I thought I was gonna be famous.

I know that sounds crazy, but that's the way I felt.

I always thought all this time I was gonna be famous as a boxer, but when you said "actor," it hit me.

That's where I belong.

You do have the right face for it.

That's what I think, too.

A girl I once dated said I was an Italian Sylvester Stallone.

Yeah, I think the world is waiting for one of those.

And Bobby, when I make it, you're in all my movies.

Oh, hey, what the hell?

You know, you may be a natural.

You know, sometimes that happens.

You may have more talent than either one of us realizes.

That means you'll do it?

Yeah. All right.

( laughs ) I can't believe this.

I am going to manage you.

What do we do? What do we do?

Okay, now, hey, we got a lot of work to do.

Now first of all, I want you to take these plays home.

Here, here, here.

And I want you to read them, I want you to study them, I want you to get familiar with them.

And then tomorrow, we start working together.

All right, Bob. Now, listen, we're gonna do this right, right, Tony? Okay.

Hey, Bobby, this is gonna be a great partnership.

You bet it is.

Hey, Bobby, this is one of my favorites...

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

I seen the Disney version.

You're still looking for that stupid bug, aren't you?

Stupid bug?

Nardo, I'll have you know that cockroaches were around before dinosaurs.

You think they stayed around that long by being dumb?

If he could see over a dashboard, I'd have this one driving a cab.

I've never seen you so nervous before.

I'm not nervous.

I'm just a little curious.

And I'm trying to do my part for the hygiene...

What's that?!

( Hollers )

I couldn't resist.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Nardo, when I catch this one, I'm gonna fix you up with it.

Hey, guys, want to see some pictures I had taken for auditions?

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Three poses for 50 cents.

And what's this one for?

The one where you're like this?

That's to show I can do comedy.

Bobby, look at these pictures I had taken.

I figure we can show 'em to casting people.

Show business is tough.

Look, Tony, don't worry about that kind of stuff, huh.

I've taken care of it.

I've been all over town the last couple of days.

Every casting director in this city has your picture on his desk.

Isn't he great?

And he's doing it for only ten percent of my earnings.

Look, uh, I want you to read a scene for me.

It's a scene from Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Now you're the youngest son, and you're trying to explain to your father that you've never felt at home anywhere.

Okay. Go ahead, stand up.

( Clears throat )

( Stiffly ): It was a great mistake, my being born a man.

I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish.

Okay, hold it, Tony.

I want to give you some direction.

I want you to listen to me.

I want you to start over again, and I want you to think about what you're saying.

I want you to feel the words, feel the emotion.

Trust everything.

Leave that pain open, okay?

Now-now go with it. Now just...

Take a moment.

Take a moment, and breathe.

( Stiffly ): It was a great mistake my being born a man.

I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish.

LATKA: Excuse me. Excuse me.

I want to ask you something.

I could not help overhearing.

Uh, I-I would like you... could you to be my agent, too?

One time this Italian, uh, movie company come to my village to film a movie called Here Come the Huns.

Uh, do you want to see my performance?

Oh, yeah. Oh, Tony...

Now in this scene, the-the terrible people, terrible men, the Huns, have gone burned everything to the ground.

And all the women and children, their bodies are lying around.

The crops are ruined.

Everything I have ever known is...


And so I am standing there, looking at, at all of this...

and it goes a little something like this.


( Clucking tongue )

He's good.

( Phone rings )

BOBBY: I'll get it.

Hello, Robert Wheeler Management.

Yes, this is he.

Uh, my secretary stepped...

Yeah, I represent Tony Banta.

Just let me check those dates.

Well, I see that we're presently negotiating for a part in the new Jane Fonda film, which could tie him up during that period.

Yeah, it is.

It's pretty well set, but we're not locked in yet.

I tell you what, you give him an audition time and I can always work out something with Jane.

Yeah, yeah, okay.

What was that? What was that?

11... 2:30, okay.

All right, he will be there.

All right, yeah, and thanks for calling.

( Shrieking with glee )

I heard.

This is so exciting.

I can't believe it, your first audition.


Hey, I want to hear about the Fonda film.

Arthur Kramer and Jerry Lowe, this is Tony Banta and Mr. Banta's manager, Mr. Wheeler, who'll be reading with him.

How do you do? Sit down. Nice to see you.

So, uh, Tony, you want to tell us something about yourself before we start?

No, but thanks for asking.


Well, uh, why don't we just start the reading then?

Tony, the role you're playing is self-explanatory.

You're a young New Yorker of Italian descent...

Eager, innocent and a little slow.

I'll give it a shot.

You two can start when you're ready.

Okay, Tony, I'm gonna start, all right? Okay.

Okay, now, I play the part of the father; remember that.


All right, uh, here, you stand over here so they can see your face better.

All right, you ready?

Yeah, I'm ready. I'm ready.

"I understand if you hate me.

"I can't blame you for that, even if it hurts me more than I've ever been hurt."

( Stiffly ): "Yeah, okay."

But at least try to understand.

You don't know what it was like for me all those years...

Living a lie, pretending I was somebody that I wasn't, trying to drown that pain with booze and drugs.

Hey, listen.

No, let me go on.

This isn't easy for me, but you have to know.

I did my best.

Those years, they were hell for me.

Sometimes I thought I would go crazy.

Finally, there was nothing I could do but just run away from it, and I'm ashamed of that now.

But it was either that or taking my life with my own hands.

Son... I'm so glad we can talk like this after all these years.

"Me, too."

Thank you. Thank you. I think we've heard enough.

Oh, yeah. Uh, come on, Tony.


Can you start tomorrow?


You bet!

Are you saying you want... him for the role?

Yeah, that's what we're saying.

We want him to start tomorrow in Long Island for some location shooting.

You, you're going to hire him after that reading?

Well, it's a small part.

You know, we'll get a dialogue coach to help him out a little bit with the lines.

He'll be fine.

Oh, uh, because he looks right.


Well, I think that's just dandy.

I mean, that's just wonderful.

You're going to cast him for his face because of the way he looks.

After the reading that he just gave you still want him.

I think that's just terrific.

You hire him, please, please hire him.

I mean, go ahead, go ahead and hire him.

Hey, why don't you hire him and give him the lead, you know.

Hey, hurry up. Sign him to a long-term contract.

Quick, before somebody comes up and grabs him away.

Come on! You know, you got a whole roomful of them out there.

Hire them all.

Just think, a whole picture of his face.

Come on!

Hey, any of you guys want a job?

Does he work for his ten percent or what?

Bobby, you here?

Hey, Tony, look, I'm really sorry what happened yesterday.

Something just snapped and I went crazy.

That's okay.

So, uh, how did your first day go as an actor?

Well, it had its ups and downs.

I went to Long Island.

Had some good coffee.

People treated me real nice.

I watched George C. Scott eat a jelly doughnut.

Then they fired me.

They fired you?

Yeah, the director didn't want me.

He said I wasn't right for the role... or any role.

He used words like "wrong interpretation" and "artistic differences," "over my dead body..."

Tony, listen, I'm really sorry.

It's okay.

No, I know it meant a lot to you.

And if anybody knows how you're feeling right now...

Hey, Bobby, I'm sorry I let you down.

Tony, I got a confession to make.

As bad as you feel now and as bad as I feel for you, I'm glad you got fired.

Something better came through.

Well, no.

The Jane Fonda movie.

The director... he was right.

How do you know? You weren't even there, Bobby.

I didn't have to be there, he was right.

And thank God for that director.

Thank God, somebody finally stood up and fought for quality.

Hey, Bobby, I know you're the manager and I don't want to tell you your job, but isn't it about now you start building confidence?

Tony, don't you understand?

There are people who sacrifice food and clothing for acting lessons... who freeze in the winter and are one step from hell in the summer... living in poverty just so they can be in New York and step out onto a dark stage and give the best damn performance of their lives, just to hear, "thank you very much, "next please" again and again and again.

Those people are actors, Tony.

And they do what they do, because they love acting.

See, when that director fired you today, it was like he was saying to all those people "I care!"

Do you know what that means, Tony?

It means that there are powerful people out there who still care about professionalism.

It means that acting and everything the theater represents... is still alive.

Just 'cause I got canned.


Tony, I'm gonna tell every actor I know what happened today.

You're going to be an inspiration for them to go on.

How does that make you feel?

It makes me feel great.

But I got to tell you something, I hope they don't expect me to bail them out every time.

( loudly ): Well, good night, everybody.

Good night. Everybody out of the garage.

All right.

( Stomping )

( Mutters quietly )

( Whispering ): Ignore me, ignore me.

Yeah, I would, but what the hell are you doing?


I put hamburger meat on the end of this.

When he nibbles... Yank his head off.

Louie, Louie, aren't you getting a little obsessed with this roach?

I mean, how big can the roach possibly be?

Rieger, this is not just a roach.

It's a roach.

He's got hairy legs.

He's got bloodshot eyes, Rieger.

What, what, what?

What are you looking at me like that for?

You got a bite.

( Both moan fearfully )

( Theme music playing )

WOMAN: Night, Mr. Walters.

( Grunts )