Taxi S4E6 Script

Like Father, Like Son (1981)

(theme song playing)


Oh, no! No!

Ah, why me?

What's wrong, Tony?

I've been called for jury duty.

Oh... Ah, you're very lucky.

You're getting a chance to participate in the judicial system.

It's really a privilege.

Have you ever been called?

Not so far. Yeah.

Here you go.

(phone ringing)

Yo... Alex, phone for you.

Oh, thanks, Jim.

Who is it? Your father.

I don't want to talk to him.

He'll have to call you back.

Are you anywhere near a phone?

He says it's important.

(mouthing words)

You're not gonna talk to your father?

Look, I'll, uh, I'll trade ya, okay?

You talk to him and I'll do your jury duty.

Oh, come on, Alex.

I know you're not close to your father, "Not close"?

But don't you think this is... We've talked exactly once in the last 20 years.

Why is he calling me now?

Well, you know, some people yakkety-yakkety-yakkety-yak.

Come on, pick up that phone. No, no, no, no, no, Elaine. Elaine.

Right now, it's the first step. I don't want to talk to the guy! Give me this. Give me this.

Elaine, please. Here. Alex.

Hello?

Yeah.

So, what's goin' on?

Come on, what'd I miss?

Come on, come on, what's new in the always fascinating world of my drivers?

Why should we tell you?

None of your business, Louie.

Alex got a call from his father.

Hey, what the heck?

Tony's got jury duty.

Oh...

Well, the law says

"everyone's entitled to a jury of their peers."

Who are they tryin', a pinhead?

Ha-ha-ha, Louie.

I give the kid this...

He's never at a loss for a comeback.

Boy, can you imagine being some poor defendant?

You're caught in a web of circumstantial evidence.

You've got all your hopes pinned on an incredibly complicated defense.

You glance over at the jury box and there's Banta playin' with his lips.

Oh. Are you okay?

Yeah, I guess so.

He wants to take me to lunch.

Oh. He said he's coming over here in a few minutes.

Well, well, did he say what's on his mind?

Yeah, only that we've been strangers for so many years, he figures it's time we became friends again. Good.

Sounds like a pretty nice fella to me.

Who are we talkin' about?

Alex's father, Jim.

Oh, oh, uh, right, right.

ALEX: Jim.

Jim, he walked out on the family when I was a kid and I haven't seen him since, except that one time when he was in the hospital.

What, is he in town on business?

No, no, no, he lives here now. Since when?

1974.

And you haven't seen him in all that time? Look, Elaine, Elaine, just leave me alone... look, I'm entitled to resent what he did to my mother.

Your mother?! My God, who is this man?

He's always been a compulsive ladies' man.

And a real charmer, too, by the way.

I mean, that, that was his curse.

You know, every woman he saw became a challenge to him.

Okay, Alex, but, you know, time presumably has taken care of that little habit.

Yeah. He's probably just a sweet, little old man now.

Oh, big deal. What am I gonna do with a sweet, little old man?

I mean, what are we gonna talk about?

Oh, God, I hate it.

It's always so awkward when we get together.

We don't know whether to shake hands or hug.

We end up standing and staring at each other.

Look, whatever you do, don't make a big deal out of this, okay?

Just don't anybody make a big fuss.

Oh, God, here he comes now.

Look, just cool it, all right?

Just cool it.

Hello.

Hi, Joe.

(sighs)

Why don't you just get up and...

Elaine, Elaine, stop. Don't do this to me.

You push a girl like that away?

You're still mad at me?

Look, we'll talk later, okay?

Um, uh, uh, this is Elaine.

This is Tony. This is Jim.

This is Joe Reiger.

That's for all the sons in the world who never hugged their fathers.

This is the one I talked to on the phone, isn't it?

Nice seeing you again, Alex.

Been such a long time.

It sure has.

Running around with other women, leaving your mother was inexcusable.

I wasn't good as a husband, I wasn't good as a father, but at least I was a good enough human being to realize what a bad influence I was and simply leave.

Yeah, and never send a dime.

I didn't say "perfect," I said "good."

For Heaven sake, Alex, I'm an old man.

I'm not saying we can be a close father and son.

I'm not saying we can be friends.

I'm just saying can't we be a couple of guys who don't bother each other?

I guess so. I guess so.

Okay, we can give it a shot.

How come you never remarried?

I don't know.

I guess it's kind of hard to find the woman I'm looking for.

What are you looking for?

Well...

Someone who's interested in the world and, uh, doesn't take it too seriously.

Someone who's not afraid to ask for what she wants.

Excuse me, if you're through with that newspaper, could I borrow it?

I want to see the Doonesbury cartoon on Alexander Haig.

Yeah, sure. Thank you.

Uh, someone who's, uh, not afraid to be happy.

(laughing)

And someone who appreciates me.

Thank you very much. That was nice of you.

Alex. Hmm?

Oh, yeah, that's amazing.

She's lovely.

And you spotted her before I did, didn't ya?

I saw her park her car.

I memorized her license plate.

Excuse me.

Joe! Joe, cool it, will ya?

I'm not going to embarrass you.

Hi. This young man here was just describing the perfect woman, and he described you to a "T."

Oh, come on.

Joe, would you stop, please?

Alex, there's nothing wrong with nice people acknowledging they're nice people.

Well, that was very nice.

I think she likes you.

Oh, please.

What's your name, sweetheart?

Karen. "Karen."

This is Alex.

He's a wonderful person...

Kind, sensitive, very quiet.

So without further ado, here he is to ask you what you're doing tomorrow night.

Joe, please!

(chuckles)

What are you doing tomorrow night?

Good, Alex. Joe, come on.

I'm sorry, this must be very embarrassing for you.

I mean, it's very embarrassing for me, believe me.

Yeah, but as long as we've come this far, I'm not doing anything tomorrow night.

Great (chuckles).

Let's go out.

Great. Where are we going?

How about a movie?

Oh, come on, Joe.

That's not very imaginative of you.

I mean, uh, I thought, uh...

I know a great place in the Village for jazz.

Oh, I love movies.

Yeah? Well I hate jazz anyway.

I was just foolishly trying to show you that I have a mind of my own.

Now, here's Joe to make the arrangements; go ahead.

Why don't you meet here at 8:00 for drinks?

See you then.

Okay.

She's great, isn't she?

Yeah, she really is.

Hey, look, Joe, um, this was, uh, this was a lot better than I even imagined, you know?

Why don't we do it again sometime?

It's been great. Okay, soon.

I'll pay the check.

Tommy, here.

Thank you. Karen, I'll see you right here tomorrow at 8:00.

I'm looking forward to it, Alex. Me, too.

Smooth, Reiger, smooth.

Hi. I just wanted to say I'm sorry if I made you, uh, feel uncomfortable a few minutes ago.

Oh, no, that's okay.

I'm Joe McGinty.

Sometimes I find it hard to resist being cute.

I've tried to stop it.

I even went to Cutie-Pies Anonymous.

I must say, I do feel like dunking you in a cup of coffee.

Oh...

Well, it's nice meeting you.

Oh, by the way, uh, I see that you're a big fan of Doonesbury.

If you like political humor, I think you'd be interested in a lecture down at the New School on Wednesday night:

Art Buchwald, Jules Pfeiffer, Russell Baker.

Why, that's fantastic. Maybe I'll go.

Yeah, and maybe I'll see you there.

Oh, no!

I just realized you have to have tickets for that, and I think they're sold out.

Oh... Well, if you're that interested, uh, how about my tickets?

Oh, no, I wouldn't think of it.

Why don't you take just one?

Now, wait a minute.

I don't think that's a good idea either.

I just made a date with your friend.

I'd feel funny dating both of you.

JOE: First of all, this isn't really a date.

Second of all, he's really not my friend.

We've only seen each other two times in the last 20 years.

So I'll leave a ticket at the box office.

If you feel like coming, I'll meet you there.

Well, then I don't suppose there's any harm in dating both of you. Oh, of course not.

It's the most natural thing in the world.

Especially if one of us happens to be a harmless, old man.

Which one of you is that?

(chuckles)

Then it's a date?

(giggles): Okay. I'll walk you to your blue Alpha with the brown seats. Why, you!

(laughing)

Hey, uh, what's so funny, Louie?

Reiger's on thin ice, and I'm a blow torch.

Hey.

Tony. I thought you'd be at jury duty.

Yeah, I was.

Except, uh, I kept getting turned down by all the lawyers.

And for the dumbest reasons, too, like, "Where do I live?"

Oh, come on.

They don't challenge you off a jury because of that.

It's true. I filled out a questionnaire.

It asked if I was a resident of New York City.

I wrote "yes."

Then it asked length of residence.

I wrote "about 30 feet."

Uh, maybe you measured wrong.

(Alex whistling)

Oh, yes, yes, yes.

And meanwhile, while you were away, Alex got himself a new girlfriend.

TONY: Oh... Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say she was my "girlfriend."

Yeah, who is she? Who is she?

She's a commercial artist named Karen.

Woo-woo. Yeah.

You've been seeing a lot of her, haven't you?

Well, I guess I have been monopolizing her.

(hysterical laughter)

Excuse me.

Oh, I can't contain myself.

Pay no attention.

What is it, Louie?

Something I said about me and Karen?

(hysterical laughter)

Certainly not.

Oh, come on.

If there's something so hilarious about me and Karen, I'd like to hear it.

You don't understand, Reiger.

This is special.

It just can't be blurted.

Well, suit yourself.

It's like a fine wine.

First, we should uncork it.

(pops)

Then, we let it breathe.

Then, we pour it.

(mimics pouring)

Then, we taste it.

(gargles)

Then, we swill it down.

Can I have some of that, boss?

(indistinct)

Was he making you curious? Yeah.

Well, he's not making me curious.

Whatever's on his mind, I'm not the least bit curious.

What the hell is on your mind?

Well, I was just wondering whether you and this Karen woman have a, you know, "exclusive" relationship, or whether she dates other guys?

Oh, what happened, what happened, Louie?

You saw her with some other guys?

Well, I happen to know she dates other guys.

And it happens to be okay with me.

Well, I don't mind tellin' you, Reiger, that takes some broad-minded guy.

I take my hat off to ya.

Come on, Louie, why are you going on like this?

You keep acting like you know something that he doesn't, so what is it?

Well, I mean... it takes some kinda guy to share a woman... with his own father.

I was there the first time the old boy asked her out.

I've seen them leave Mario's together.

She's two-timing you with your old man.

(hysterical laughter)

Hey, Reiger, I'm sorry I had to be the one to tell you.

Hi, Alex.

Karen, before this relationship goes one step further, I have a question to ask you.

I, uh, heard some gossip, uh, something some little bat told me.

You aren't by any chance dating my father, are you?

Dating your father? Yeah?

(laughing)

Oh, now, Alex, that's absurd.

Oh, God... Thank you.

That's a relief.

I mean, that would be ludicrous, wouldn't it?

Oh... Oh, now listen.

I think I know what happened.

I have been seeing Joe, the guy that you were with here the other day.

Someone obviously mistook him for your father.

Yeah, me and my mother.

Oh, no.

Alex, what are you saying?

(groaning)

That munchkin I was having lunch here with the other day is my father!

(gasps)

Oh, now, come on, Karen, it's not that bad.

(screams)

Karen, it's really not that bad.

At least we nipped it in the bud before anything embarrassing could happen.

(moaning)

I can't believe it!

The man lied to me.

Maybe he lied about everything.

He seemed so dear and sweet.

(groans)

Oh, Alex, I'm so sorry.

If I had known, I wouldn't have...

Oh...

Karen, just tell me one thing, will ya?

I mean, what is it about that guy?

All his life he's had the most beautiful women.

Women so beautiful, it took my breath away.

Even thinking about them took my breath away.

My mother thought I had asthma.

I mean, I hated him for what he was doing, but at the same time, I was always in awe of him.

What does he have?

Well, he makes me laugh.

Makes you laugh? How?

Well, I don't know.

Silly things.

He imitates soup.

Pardon me?

Pea soup.

Oh, I know what it is about Joe: he loves women.

But I love women.

No, no, no-no-no... I mean, he loves women.

I-I've seen his eyes glisten with tears at the way I put on an earring.

Oh, talking about him this way makes me almost wish he wasn't slime.

Now wait a minute, that's my father you're talking about.

Please continue.

He's expecting me for dinner.

I am going to go over there... No, I'm not.

Why not? Go ahead. Do it. No, I'm not gonna go over there.

I'm gonna call him and give him a piece of my mind.

No, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Don't you think this should be done face-to-face?

I don't want to go over there.

I never want to see him again.

No, I was thinking more of my face and his face.

For the first time in my life, I'm looking forward to seeing that father of mine.

Uh, I'll call you later.

(knocking on door)

Joe, this is the lousiest thing I've ever heard of!

This is the lousiest thing you've ever done, and that's saying something!

You went behind my back!

You lied, it's the most despicable thing...

This place is gorgeous.

Thank you. My second wife left me a bundle.

I'd ask you to explain how you could do such a thing to Karen and to me, but I don't think in a million years you could...

There's no fish in this tank.

I always wanted a fish tank; they're so pretty.

But the fish are too much bother.

Oh! You know, you're amazing!

Did it ever occur to you how, how you could hurt Karen and me?

Your second wife?

You were married again?

Yeah, 15 years ago.

She was a doctor.

This is your step-brother Mel.

"Mel"?

Now look, Joe, I didn't come here to talk to you.

I came here to tell you something; I'm-a tell it to you right now.

I don't respect anything you stand for and I never want to see you again.

Good, I'm glad you feel better.

You were so upset when you came in.

Now that that's settled, why don't you go because Karen is going to be here any minute.

No-no, no-no, no-no, no, she's not.

She doesn't want to have anything more to do with you.

You mean I cooked my specialty for nothing?

What's your specialty?

Tuna casserole.

That was Mom's specialty!

Remember her?

Yes. I got the recipe from her.

I changed it a little.

She always used a little too much salt.

She used absolutely the right amount of salt!

She used the perfect amount of salt, you lousy rat!

It's a matter of taste.

Why don't you sit down and have some?

You're not even bothered by the fact that I said I'm never gonna see you again?

What is it? It's like hitting air.

You're wrong, Alex, it would bother me a great deal.

But it's not true.

Why isn't it? You have to see me.

You have to listen to me, 'cause I'm old.

I'm going to die.

Probably a long time before you.

And anytime I call, you'll come, 'cause it could be the last time you'll see me.

Tonight could be the last time you see me.

I don't like you, Joe.

I like you.

Call it love, call it blood, call it genes, but every ten years or so, I have got to see you.

You're not such a dull guy.

You've still got a little kick in you.

And you're not bad with the ladies, from what I saw.

Oh, yeah? Well, you're not so bad with 'em either, from what I've heard.

Karen?

I did the pea soup.

What the hell is the "pea soup"?

Thick pea soup coming to a furious boil.

You can't do that without getting a pinch on the cheek.

Women really like that?

Drives 'em nuts.

Listen, the only thing you can do right now, Alex, is kiss me on top of the head and sit down and eat.

I'm not gonna kiss you on top of the head.

Your loss.

(clanking)


♪ ♪

(theme song playing)


WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!

(man grumbling)