Taxi S5E23 Script

A Grand Gesture (1983)

(theme song playing)

VAGRANT: Anybody got any spare change?

Anything left in your pockets you don't want?

Old gum? Traveler's checks?

Somebody want to give me their clothing?

LOUIE: Hey, hey!

Hey, come on, no scuzzos allowed in here.

Get out, out!

All right.

Goodbye, everybody!

No... Iggy, Iggy, no, not you.

You're not a scuzzo.

You're an airhead. We a...

We allow airheads in here.

Come on, hey, scuzz, hey, whoa, slither out of here, go on, go!

Hey, hey, hey, Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie!

Be a little bit more sensitive to the plight of this man.

He's not a scuzzo.

He happens to be a human being with some dignity.

I'm afraid you're mistaking me for somebody else.

Wait! Hey, wait.


What if I gave you $1,000?

Jim, Jim, look, I know you've inherited a lot of money, but, you know, there is such a thing as being too soft a touch.

Define "too soft a touch."

It's my money... and I'll spend it however I want.


Take it.

I don't know who you are and I don't know why you did this, but it's nice to know there are people like you in the world.

I mean that from one bum to another.


Jim, Jim... Huh?

Look, if you want to be that generous, why don't you give it to organized charities?

I do, but when I give away $1,000 like I just did, it's not charity.

I do it out of selfishness.

To experience the joy you get when you personally hand over money that's gonna make a person's life a little better.

You sound like you do this a lot.

Oh, no, not a lot.

Like, today, I'm only gonna do it five more times.

Oh, now, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Jim, look, I don't care how much money you've got.

Now, uh, this is stupid.

This is stup... this is cra... this is reckless, this is irresponsible and I'm not gonna let you go on doing this.

Even if it means calling the administers of your estate, I'm not gonna let you do it, Jim.

Oh, this is different.

This is helping people.

Oh, come on, Jim, will you?

Go ahead, call my lawyers if you want. I'm gonna do it!

You wouldn't say those things to me if you really knew what it was like.

(unhooking phone) Wait a minute!

What if you found out what it was like?

What if I gave you $1,000?

What if I gave all of you $1,000... to give to one person before the end of the shift?

Then if you come back and say to me that it was stupid and crazy, I'll stop.

What do you say, Alex?

Come on.

If you promise to stop!

Yes, you passionate son of a gun.

Here you go, Alex.

Elaine. (giggling)

Well, it sounds like a fair challenge.

People down on their luck get into my cab every day.

The next guy that gets in and tells me his troubles is in for a big surprise.

You know, I think, uh, I know, I know somebody I can give this to.

Can the one person I give this money to, can it be one of my kids?

Why not?

Give it to one of your kids.

That's great!

(squeals) Thank you!

Here you go, Latka.


The tradition of my country forces me to protest.

Come on, take the money.

Oh, I'll take the money, but first I have to protest.

No, no, no!

I won't take it!

This is an insult!

Thank you very much.

I notice... (wry laugh)

You excluded me from your little challenge.

You're wrong, boss.

I'm including you in this challenge.

Now, wait a minute, wait a minute, Jim!

You give a thousand bucks to Louie De Palma, you better be there to see that he gives it to somebody.

Yeah. Otherwise he's gonna pocket that money himself and lie about it.

Would you do that?

Of course.

No, no, wait, wait, wait, hold it!

I want to play, too.

All right?

How about if I give the money to Jeff?

This way you can check on it.


Do you really think... that me giving away $1,000 is gonna make me feel good?

You think me?

I'm not him, you know.

I'm not him.

I'm not the guy who says, "Oh, every day, somebody gets in my cab who's down on their luck, ooh."

Whatever you say, boss.

I wish I could be there to see the expression on your face when you give it to him.

Oh, yeah, well you won't have to wait, Iggy.

You can see it right now.


LATKA: Reverend Gorky, this is a very joyous occasion for Simka and me.

We know how little money our humble church is able to pay you.

Ah, I don't complain.

Simka and I would like to give to you...


$1,000? Yes.

You are giving me $1,000?


Stinking lousy $1,000?

How dare you!

I spit on your money!

Thank you very much.

Oh, Reverend Gorky, I'm very happy that you're happy.

Simka, is forwith so wrong?

I wanted that $1,000 so we could afford to have a baby.

You are so good-hearted.

Take money to have baby.

You are giving me this $1,000?!

No, no, no!

I won't take it!

Wow! Thank you!

God bless you!

Oh, our traditions are so beautiful!

(knocking on door)

Who is it?

TONY: It's Tony!

(TV newscast plays indistinctly) Tony Banta from down at the gym?


It's not Thursday night, is it?

No, I thought I'd stop by early this week.

Why didn't you call?

You haven't got a phone!

I meant from the sidewalk.

I do have a window.

Are you gonna let me in or not?

What are you getting so upset about?

NEWSMAN: On the national scene...

(TV shuts off)

I wanted to stop by early 'cause I got a surprise for you.

I brought you a gift.

I hope it's chocolates.


Come on, open it up.

I don't want to open it up yet.

Come on, what do you want to do before you open it?



Uh, how was Days of Our Lives today?

Good, good.

But you know what was really great?

Gilligan's Island.

That classic one where Gilligan gets hypnotized and thinks he's Mary Ann.

(laughing) Yeah, sure.

Boy, the Skipper was really mad at him that time, huh?

Who wouldn't be?

Cat dressed up like a dad-blamed woman.

Bonanza is coming on now.

Would you like to watch it?

Sure. It'll be on in a couple seconds.


Now this episode, Tony, is the one where Hoss' friend's dog outsmarts the crooks.

I've watched it 100 times.

You know, I'll tell you something, Walt.

On this old black-and-white TV set, I mean, you can't tell how blue the Ponderosa sky is or how green the trees are, or even what shade of brown Little Joe's horse is.

Hey, what did I ever do to you?

Come on, Walt, let's open your present.

Come on.

Come on, I'll help you.

It's yours.

21 inches... great color.

This is it.

Stereo speakers... and remote control.

Tony... Hey, come on, Walt.

Don't start getting teary on me now.

You know, the color's gonna look blurred.

Come on, sit down.

Sit right here.

There you go.

There, there you go.

Switch that baby on.


Pretty good, ain't it?

(crying): This is the happiest day of my life.

I'll never forget it as long as I live.

Hey, Walt, me, too.

I mean, this may be the nicest thing that ever happened to me.

I tell you, man, I just hope that this TV gives you plenty...

Shut up, shut up, Tony.

It's starting now.

(Western theme plays on TV)

Okay, Walt.

Hey, I'll see you around; I got to finish my shift.

Thursday night, right? (sniffles)

You bet your life.

And call next time!

ELAINE: Jennifer, I have to talk to you.

I'm sorry I had to wake you, but... but I have a little problem and I wanted you to help me with it.

Is it men again?

No, honey.

Not this time.

Um, Jennifer... Jim, down at the garage... he gave me this $1,000.

Now, he told me I have to give it to someone tonight, and I'd like to give it to you and your brother.

But Jason isn't here tonight.


So, I'm going to give it to you.


And I get to keep all of it?

Well, you probably want to give half of it to your brother, right?


Jennifer, come here.

Come here, baby.

Look... I gave you this money, and I'm not going to take it back.

I mean, it's your money now, and... and you can do whatever you want with it.

You can be sweet... and generous... and loving... and share it with your brother, or you can be mean and selfish and greedy and not share it with him.

It's up to you.

So, what are you going to do?

All right, I'll give half the money to Jason.



Is it okay if I use my $500 to buy something for you?

(chuckling): Oh, honey.

That's sweet... I... but... but I don't really need anything.

What would you buy me?

ColecoVision and 11 cassettes.

(chuckling): Sure.

Hey, Lou.

Oh, Jeff, there you are. (clears throat)

Listen, I got something for you.

Now, look, I know you could use some extra money, but I'm only doing this to prove a point, so don't get weepy on me here.

Now, don't get sappy.

I'm going to make this short and sweet.

I'm giving you $1,000.

The hell you are.

LOUIE: Jeff...

Jeff, I don't understand.

You need the money, so what's the matter?

I don't want your money, Louie.

What's the matter with my money?

It could be dirty money.

I'm not asking you to eat off it.

All I'm asking you to do is put it in your pocket.

Spend it on your poor grandmother.

No, thanks.

Hey, Jeff.

Did I mention it's $1,000?

I wouldn't care if it's a million dollars, Louie.

I'm not taking any money from you.

If I had a million dollars, I'd hire three big guys to stuff this lousy thousand down your throat.

Don't try to sweet-talk me, Louie.

I'm not taking your money.

Fine, fine.

You don't have to take it.

I don't have to give it to you.

There's plenty of guys who want it.

God help the person who takes it from you.

Jeff, are you trying to make some statement here?

Frankly, I'm offended.


I don't know why you want me to take that money.

All I know is, if it's coming from Louie De Palma, there's got to be a catch.

What, what, what kind of catch?


How would I know?

Maybe it's counterfeit money. (scoffs)

Or maybe it's stolen money and you want to plant it on me.

Maybe it's contaminated from germ warfare, and the Russians paid you to plant it on my body as an experiment to see if I sprout some kind of weird fungus.

It's beginning to sound like you don't trust me.

(door opens)

Sir, about how much is it to the Port Authority bus station?

I'm on a tight budget.

It's only about three bucks.


When the meter hits $2.50, drop me off.

I'll run the rest of the way.

Ah, don't worry about it.

I'll take you all the way.

Hope I have enough for the trip back to Oregon.

Well, if you don't, you can have them leave you off in, uh, Idaho and you can run the rest of the way.

Good-bye, New York!

You chewed me up and you spit me out!

MAN (in distance): And we're well rid of you!

Gee, this is a tough town.

Yeah, I know it can be.


Hey, uh, my name is Alex.

Hi. I'm Jeremy.


You look a little upset.

You want to tell me about it?


You must hear about people's hard-luck stories all day long.

Oh, not today.

Today, I am starved for a good hard-luck story.

I came to New York to make it as a cartoonist, but now I'm broke and I have to go home to Oregon.

Are you leaving because you're broke or because, uh, you don't think you're good enough to make it?

I'm leaving because I'm broke.


Would you mind if I took a look at those cartoons of yours?


Th-these are political cartoons.

Do... do you like political cartoons?

I love political cartoons. Yeah?

I've loved political cartoons all my life. Yeah?

Yeah, yeah. It's nice...

It's nice to run into one New Yorker who'll appreciate my work before I leave.

Well, you know something?

Um, I might be able to do more than just appreciate your work.

Hey, wait a minute.

Let me... let me... let me pull over here, so I can take a look at those properly.

Hold on.

Look at this one of Reagan sitting next to an MX missile silo.


Read the caption out loud.

"Nancy, we're late."

I don't think I get it.

Uh, well, you know how she's always buying new clothes.




She's in there changing.

Don't you get it?


Because, uh, she's run out of closet space and he doesn't know where to put the missile.


What are you, a Republican?

Here, here, look at... look at another one.

(chuckling) Ah, yeah.

That's Uncle Sam and the Russian bear.

(laughing): Yeah. Yeah.

But you don't have a caption.

You, too, huh?


Wh-why does it need a caption when they're looking at each other with those expressions on their faces?

You mean you're saying we don't get along with the Russians?

Well, there you go.

Was that so hard?

So, what are you going to do in Oregon?

(indistinct conversation)


Alex, Alex, Alex, Alex, Alex, Alex.

Well, I did it.

And it worked.

All right! It worked!

I almost gave that money away six times, and it just didn't seem right.

Then, this little old lady gets into my cab.

She's got seven kids and... Would you believe it?

The landlady wants to shut the heat off in their apartment.

Unbelievable. Well, if you'd have seen the look on that lady's face when I handed her that 1,100 bucks.

It would've knocked you out!

All right, Alex! That's great.

I only gave you a thousand.

Well, a guy can chip in, too, right?


Did I tell you or did I tell you?

You ain't kidding, boy.

Hey, hey, you can give away as much money as you want from now on. Yeah.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

A deal is a deal.

I said I would stop if any one of you didn't agree with me.

And I haven't heard from Louie yet.

ELAINE: Oh, come on, Jim, let's go to Mario's What are you, kidding?

And celebrate, and you can deal with Louie later.

Yeah, come on, let's go. Come on, come on!

Hey, don't bother with Louie.

The only thing that guy ever enjoyed giving anyone was hepatitis.

For the last time, Louie, I'm not taking the money.

Jeff, Jeff, I told you, there are no strings attached.

I told you that I do not want anything from you in return.

I don't care.

I don't want the money.

All right. Jim gave me the money.

He said I had to give it away.

He's trying to prove some crazy point about how good it feels to give away money.

This is Jim's money?

Yeah, it's Jim's money.

You need it, so take it, take it, take it, take it, take it!

All right, I'll take it!

Thank you.

Ah, geez!

I mean, Iggy said I'd feel great.

I said I wouldn't feel anything.

I never imagined that I would feel like a sack of dirt.

This is something.

I mean, you couldn't believe... that I wanted to do something nice for you.

You couldn't believe that I was capable of doing one decent thing.

You could not believe that I thought of you as a friend.



I'm sorry.

No, Louie, I-I mean it.


I'm sorry.

Thanks. The family will appreciate this.

(chuckles) All right.

(gentle laugh)

Feels good... doesn't it, boss?

(theme song playing)

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!

(man grumbling)