Taxi S4E19 Script

Tony's Comeback (1982)

(theme song playing)


How are you doing?


How about you?

Oh, pretty good.

Who are you?

Jim Ignatowski.

My name is Lucius Franklin.

JIM: Nice to meet you.

Hi. Uh, I'm Alex Reiger.

I'm Tony Banta.

Elaine Nardo.

Lucius Franklin. Hi.

Jim Ignatowski.

Hi, Jim.

Jim, we've been your friends for three years.

Oh, then it's high time we shook hands.

So, uh, your first day?

Yes, it is.

Is that a Super Bowl ring?

Yes, I was with the Pittsburgh Steelers when we won it in 1979.

ALEX: No kidding!

Oh, and they gave you a ring for that?

How cute.

Elaine, please.

That ring is symbolic.

This is Lucius Franklin. Oh.

He-he played on one of the greatest football teams of all time.

He played alongside Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth...

Tony, Tony, to be quite honest, I only practiced alongside of those guys.

I was third string.

I was wondering why I never heard of you.

Hey, listen, Lucius, um, if you don't mind, you know, we're really big football fans, and we got a lot of questions we'd like to ask you.

Go right ahead. I don't mind.

How come you guys always slap each other on the butt?


Too personal?


Can I ask something?

Don't you miss playing?

Ain't being retired tough?

Oh, I'm not retired.

I got cut last season, but I'll be back.

I've already written to a few teams for tryouts.

Hey, that's great, that's great. Good luck.

Thank you.

Ah, you know, Lucius, you're not the only professional athlete around here.

(clears throat)

Mr. Banta used to be a professional boxer.

Yeah, yeah, well, but I... but I can't come back.


Oh, just because about a year ago, the dumb boxing commission took my license away.

Yeah, it was a frivolous decision.

They were trying to save his life.

You still working out?

Oh, sometimes.

Well, if you ever need someone to work out with, why don't you let me know?

You mean, you'd work out with a washed-up has-been?

No, but I'd work out with you if you'd stop talking like that.

Well, I'll try.


All right, listen up here.

It's time to remind you hacks just who the boss is.

Now, I understand we have a new driver today, and I am gonna make an example of him.

Uh... (grunts)

Lucius Franklin, get your carcass over here!

Oh, I can't wait to see this.

(goofy growl)

You shut your mouth, you...

You work for me, right?!



All right, first of all, look at me, look at me.

If you don't like the cab that I assign you, that's tough.

And secondly... if you don't like waiting around for cabs, that's hard cheese.

I ain't finished.

And finally, I am not your answering service.

If the news of your wretched little life is so important that you must be reached in my garage, then that convenience will cost you five dollars.



All right. Go on, go on.

Wait a minute.

Why did you take that?

When you accept a job, you play by the rules and do the best you can.

And you just never forget that!

But don't ever touch me.


LUCIUS: Come on!

Come on, Tony! Come on, Tony!





Come on, man, work it!


Just two more now.

Two more, Tony.

Two? two, two.




(groans) Three more!

Three more now.

Come on, Tony, three more now.


55. Way to work, baby. Come on, one...

Come on, one more.

56. That's it. (panting)

Just ten more.


My arms feel like they're gonna fall off!

No pain, no gain. Yeah.

Besides, you probably only did 25 good ones.

Where were you when I was still fighting?

Why? Weren't you in good shape then?

Oh, yeah. I was rock solid.

You should have heard the thud when I hit the canvas.

Tony, you keep saying things like that.

But you really miss it, don't you?

Yeah, I miss it.

Well, I've known football players who were gonna retire because they had a concussion.

But they recovered and made comebacks.

Yeah, well, I wish I could do that.

Wishing won't make it happen.

You should go to the doctor and appeal to the boxing commission.

Nah, they'd just turn me down, Lucius.

So you've given up without even trying?

Well, I don't know.

Okay, I'll try.

I'll go over there right now.

No, you won't.

Right now you're gonna do your sit-ups.

I already did 250 sit-ups today.

And only five good ones.

Look, Lucius, I can't do any more.

I just ain't got it in me.

Sorry, but I can't let you quit, because I wouldn't want you to let me quit.

We got a symbiotic relationship, Tony.

Hey, uh, Lucius, uh, I don't know what you're getting at here, but...

but I swear, I'm not the least bit attracted to you.

A symbiotic relationship means we help each other out.

I push you, and you push me.

Oh. Phew!

But I guess I can't push you.

I guess I'm no good.

I guess we'd both better quit.

Oh, finally.

But I'll tell you something.

And I've never told this to anyone before, because I was afraid they'd laugh at me.


Who'd laugh at you?

That's right.

So I'll tell you.

Every time I think about somebody quitting, I think about something that happened when I was about this tall.

I had a pet duck.

I'm not laughing.

The duck's name was Rosalind.

I'm still not laughing.

Then we're home free.


One day, a car ran over my little duck.

Oh, poor Rosalind.

So I picked her up off the ground and started running to the vet.

I was eight.

It was 12 miles away.

Oh, I got tired, but every time I wanted to stop running, I'd look at that little duck fluttering in my hand, and I'd say to myself, "Do it for the duck."

And I couldn't quit.


Well, did you make it to the vet in time?

Yeah. The vet said if I'd gotten there a minute later, Rosalind wouldn't have made it through.

How many sit-ups do you want?

Five thunderball sit-ups.

Aw, no!

Come on, Tony.

Do it for the duck.

All right.

(groaning) Oh! All right.

I'm doing it for the duck.






How're you guys doing? Great.

You know, I've never been in this good a shape.

Yeah. I can't believe it.

We just ran 14 miles through the streets of New York.

That's because you've never been pushed hard enough before.

Because I never felt safe enough before.

(phone ringing)


Yeah, there's a Lucius Franklin here.

Who shall I say is calling?

The Dolphins?


I'm talking to a fish.

Excuse me. I-I mean mammal.

Boy, I knew you guys were smart.

From Miami?!

They can dial!

Can I speak to that fish?

Oh, sure.


Boy, now that they're off the phone, there were so many things I wanted to ask.



Thank you very much.

I've got a tryout with the Miami Dolphins.

All right, Lucius, yeah!

ALEX: Lucius. Hey, when you leaving?

I should catch a plane tonight.

I'll call Bob Griese and have him pick me up.

You know Bob Griese?

Know him?

I once broke his ribs.

Ah, the ties that bind.

Listen, Tony, I expect you to let me know as soon as you recertify.

Oh, yeah, I will, Lucius.

It would be great if I knew before I left.

Why don't you call them?

Maybe they've already made the decision.

Oh, I don't... I don't want to call now and ruin this good time for you with my bad news.

Hey, come on, Tony. No. Call now. No, come on, do it.

Come on, come on, call now.

Oh, I'll call. ELAINE: Come on.

You need a dime?

I got one.

Yeah, hello.

Uh, this is Tony Banta.

Uh, I had a request in for a license.

Yeah, sure.

Hey, I ain't spoiling this party.

No matter what they tell me, I'm telling you that I got my license back.


Yeah, okay.


Sure. Thanks!

I got my license back!

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, sure, Tony.

I really did get my license back!

Yeah, we know, Tony. I mean it! Yeah.

I know what I said, but I mean... It's okay, Tony.

I really got my license back.

Yeah, sure, Tony.

Hey, if I'm lying, you could punch me right in the face.

He got his license back.

ALEX: You got it back?

(screaming) Oh, that's great!

That's fantastic! I did it! I did it!

We did it!

That's terrific, Tony.

But I knew you'd do it.

I just wish I could celebrate with you, but I gotta go pack.

Hey, it's been great knowing all you guys.

Aw, good luck to you.

Hey, we'll be watching you on TV, Lucius.

Say hello to Flipper.

Good-bye, Lucius.

Bye, Tony.

TONY: Hey, Lucius... can I drive you to the airport?



♪ ♪ You know...

I never liked the idea of Tony boxing, but there's something about his coming back that reminds me of dreams that I once had, but then let slip away.

Like what?

No, I can't tell you.

Hmm? No, it's too silly.

No, come on, like what?

Well... there was a time when I wanted to be Miss America.


Why would you want to be Miss America?

To help mankind throughout the world and to uphold the ideals of the Miss America pageant!

You yutz!

Okay, okay.

Oh, don't be embarrassed.

We all have dreams.

My dreams used to change constantly.

One minute I wanted to work for world peace.

The next minute I wanted to stamp out poverty.

The next minute I wanted to eat a chocolate chip cookie.

This big.

Hey, Tony!

Hi, Duke.

So, how'd the workout go?

Huh? Get the jab back?

How's your timing on the speed bag?

I didn't work out today.

What do you mean you didn't work out today?

You skipped yesterday, too.

I had a reason.

Getting caught up in Family Feud is not a great reason.

Now I'd like to know what today's is.

Now this had better be good.

I slept late.

You slept through your workouts?

I had a hangover.

Sounds like you've got a strict regimen there, Banta.

Tony, you've got a fight Wednesday night.

Now what's going on?

I don't know, Alex.

I mean, when Lucius was pushing me, he made it seem easy.

But now I don't know if it's worth it.

All right, Family Feud... (clears throat)

Sleeping late, getting drunk...

I could help you do that.

Hey, Alex. What?

I need motivation.

I can't do it by myself.

Are you asking me to take the place of Lucius?


Ah... (sighs)

All right, I will, but I'm not a cheerleader.

I can't give you any of that power of positive thinking stuff and tell you, "Boy, if you really want it, you're gonna get it."

Now, I'm just gonna be truthful with you.

I'm just gonna be honest with you.

Win or lose, you're gonna get hurt.

It's the nature of the sport.

There are thousands of boxers out there, and very few of them ever become contenders.

The purses are small, the risks are great, and, boy, there's gonna come a time, when you're gonna say to yourself, "Why the hell am I even here?" Enough, Alex, Not a cheerleader?

That's putting it lightly. All right, all right, all right.

Okay, look, look, I-I...

Look, I just want to be realistic.

Now, come on, Tony, yeah, let's admit it.

I mean, uh, you've got a lot of work to do.

What was your record? Yeah.

Nine and twenty-three.

Eight and twenty-four?

Well, I don't count the Capasso fight.

That was a bad decision.

He knocked you out.

Oh, I mean the decision to fight him.

No, no, look, okay, look.

Let's face it.

Now you got a lot of hard work to do, and I'm the one that's gonna have to push you, right?

Right. So let's go to the gym right now.

Oh, not now, Alex. I don't feel like it.

Okay. Alex!


Oh, all right, uh, get upstairs and change.

We're going to the gym now.

I mean now and I'm not taking no for an answer.

How was that?

You're trying. Yeah.


Oh, Aunt Lucia.

What brings you here?

A terrible thing, Louie.

Your Uncle Emilio died.

Oh, oh, poor Uncle Emilio.

Aw, gee.

Well, what happened?

I just told you, he died.

No, I mean how, you old bat.

He died a wonderful death, just the way he would've liked it.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah. You know how he used to like to go to the park and feed the animals?


Well, we found him laying behind his favorite bench with a squirrel running back and forth across his face.

Aw, that's nice.

Is, is there anything I can do?

Yeah, we need money to bury him.


Well, uh, if he liked the park so much, why don't you just leave him where he is?

Don't say no to me, Louie.

I'm the only one in the family who hasn't put a curse on you.

Oh, look, there's this, uh...

There's a boxing match on Wednesday night, and I got a thousand dollars bet against that guy.

LOUIE: When he loses, I'll give you $300.

I need money to bury him.

I can't count on something that may or may not happen.

May or may not happen?

Watch this.

(mutters): Yeah, yeah... bagel.

Hey, Banta, watch out!

For what?

Thanks for the money, Louie!

RING ANNOUNCER: With a record of eight and 24 and weighing in at 161 pounds, Tony... Banta!

(audience cheering, scattered booing)

And the boxer on my left, wearing black trunks with the white stripe, in his first professional fight...


With an amateur record of 72 and one, and weighing in at 164 pounds, the Albany Assassin, Eddie Burke.

(loud cheering, whistling)

Ready now with the instructions, Gene Lebell.

GENE: Gentlemen, in the event of a knockdown, go to a neutral corner and don't come out till I tell you.

Shake hands... and good luck to both of you.

Hey, Banta, you make up your mind yet?

What's it gonna be, blindfold or cigarette? (laughs)

Move over, move over, move over.

(bell rings)

Come on!

REF: Keep them up.

(audience cheering and whistling)

Four, five, six, seven, Come on! Come on!


(bell rings)

(smatter of applause)

Don't worry, Alex.

I think that punch took a lot out of him.


Go! Go!

(bell rings)

Tony, Tony, listen to me.

You want to go on with this?

I don't know, Alex.

This guy's too good for me.

I got nothing left.

Well, listen, that's it.

I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw the towel in.

Throw it in, Alex.


The towel won't go.


Tony, I couldn't miss your fight.

I made the team, and I wanted to see you win.

That's great, Lucius. Now let go of the towel.

Not you, him! Oh.

Now throw it in! Right.

Come on, Tony, you worked hard.

You're in great shape.

All you need is a knockout.

Doesn't this crowd fire you up?

What crowd? They hate me.

They're here for him.

I've never been cheered for in my life.

They love you.

I'd appreciate it if everyone in this section would root for Tony.

(chanting): Tony! Tony!


Tony! You!


Tony! Tony!

ALL: Tony! Tony!

Tony! Tony! Tony! Tony! Tony! Tony!

Tony! Tony!

(bell rings) Tony!

Tony! Tony! Tony! Tony!

(crowd cheering)

For the duck, Tony.

For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck!

The duck?

ALL: For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

You okay?

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

For the duck! For the duck! For the duck!

(chanting continues throughout)

For the duck!

(wild cheering)

Don't get up. Don't get up.

(theme song playing)

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!

(man grumbling)