Cabbies at work: The Taxi TV show quiz

By: Bambi Turner
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

In the '70s, the TV series "Taxi" managed to make something as mundane as working at a cab company seem funny. It revealed the inner workings of the industry, while keeping the real hopes and dreams of the drivers at center stage. The motley crew brought the laughs week after week. The show featured some of the best writing on TV at the time, making it a favorite of critics and award shows. Test your knowledge of this classic sitcom with our "Taxi" quiz!

What cab company keeps the gang employed on the show?

Louie, Alex and the gang work for Sunshine Cab Company in Manhattan. Despite its cheery name and bright yellow cars, the company keeps many of the staff feeling down in the dumps.

Who is the only person at Sunshine Cab who actually calls himself a cab driver?

Realist Alex Reiger, played by Judd Hirsch, is the only one on the show who actually identifies as a cab driver. The rest of the drivers are just there until something better comes along.

What is Louie's job?

Danny DeVito plays Louie De Palma -- the meanest, rudest, most aggressive dispatcher to ever run a taxi company.

What does Andy Kaufman's character do for the company?

The legendary comedian played Latka Gravas, a foreigner from an unnamed country. He works as a mechanic and frequently spouts off in his native tongue. Latka is also known for his multiple personalities, including the smooth lothario Vic Ferrari.

Which character left after the first season?

John Burns is introduced in the first episode of the show. He gets brought back to the office when he is a passenger in Alex's cab and needs change. He is new to New York, so he sticks around and gets his taxi license, but leaves the show after the first season.

Where does the gang like to hang out in their off time?

The characters on the show are happy to get out of the workplace and hang out at Mario's, where their favorite bartender, Tommy Jeffries, slings the drinks. At the end of the series, Jim tries to buy the bar and change the name to Jim's Mario's.

Which actor played Reverend Jim on the show?

Christopher Lloyd played Reverend Jim Iggy Ignatowski. He was a star student at Harvard who became a druggie after just one bite of a marijuana-laced brownie. The drivers at Sunshine Cab welcome him into the fold, and he soon gets his license to drive.

What is Tony Banta's occupation when he isn't driving a cab?

Tony Banta, played by Tona Danza, spends his spare time in the boxing ring. He is so terrible at boxing that referees will often stop his fights because he is getting hit too many times. Later in the series, Tony marries his girlfriend Vickie.

What is Elaine's dream career?

Elaine considers herself a fine artist but must drive a taxi to support her two young children. In addition to the boredom and drudgery of working as a taxi driver, she is also subjected to frequent flirting from Louie.

What character did Jeff Conaway play on the show?

Conaway starred as wanna-be actor Bobby Wheeler, who drives a cab while he struggles to get his big break in showbiz. Conaway left the show after season three, but made a few guest appearances in later seasons.

Which of the drivers has a daughter who grew up in Brazil?

In the very first episode of "Taxi," viewers learn that Alex Reiger has a daughter who grew up with her mother and stepfather in Brazil. Alex and the other taxi drivers rush to Miami so he can meet his daughter, Cathy, as she travels to school in Portugal.

Who pretends to be Louie at his high school reunion?

Louie is ashamed to appear at his own 20th high-school reunion in season one. He sends Bobby in his place so that Bobby can pretend that he is a big-shot, instead of a sad dispatcher at a cab company.

Who crashes Cab 804?

After John crashes Cab 804 during a two-part episode in season one, Latka struggles to fix the vehicle as the cabbies share their favorite memories of the car. Tom Selleck guest stars as a former customer who rode in the storied cab.

Danny DeVito's real-life wife played his girlfriend on the show.

DeVito's wife, Rhea Pearlman, guest starred on "Taxi" as Zena, who was Louie's on-and-off girlfriend.

What almost breaks up Latka and Simka?

Latka is overjoyed to meet a woman from his homeland named Simka. The pair hit it off, but Latka almost decides not to date Simka because he is a flatlander and she belongs to a hated tribe of mountain people in his home country.

Which of these stumps Rev. Jim when he's taking the test for his taxi license?

Jim is totally perplexed while preparing for his taxi licensing test when he comes across a question that says, "What does a yellow light mean?" The other drivers tell him to slow down, so he reads the question again, more slowly....

What do the drivers on "Taxi" demand when they strike in season two?

The staff of the Sunshine Cab Company go on strike in the two-part season two episode, "Shut It Down." Louie agrees to meet their demands for better maintenance on the cabs under one condition -- he wants Elaine to go on a date with him first.

What job does Tony take when Sunshine goes bankrupt in the season three two-part episode, "On the Job?"

When the company goes bankrupt for a month, the gang is forced to take other jobs to make ends meet. Louie heads for the stock exchange, while Elaine gets a job in an office. Tony works as an enforcer for a loan shark but finds he really isn't cut out for the job. Finally, the company is back in business and the gang heads back to driving taxis for a living.

Which of the drivers does Latka become when he reveals the third of his multiple personalities in season four?

Latka starts off as a relatively benign immigrant mechanic before revealing the second of his multiple personalities, when he transforms into the slimy Vic Ferrari. When his third personality emerges in season four, he models himself after Alex Reiger -- much to Alex's frustration.

Why does Louie get fired in season four?

Louie spends the entire series hitting on Elaine, who refuses to entertain him. In season four, he finally goes too far when he spies on Elaine in the bathroom. He later apologizes to Elaine, who helps him get his job back.

Her co-workers have her back in season four when Elaine wastes $200 on what?

Elaine is the victim of a horrendous haircut in season four that leaves her crying, especially after the stylist insults her and charges her $200. Fortunately, she has Alex to help her confront the bad guy -- and Louie to pour red dye on him to teach him a lesson.

What is Alex's vice?

Alex is a recovered gambling addict who keeps his compulsion a secret, until he struggles with gambling once again in the season five episode, "Alex Goes Off the Wagon."

What does Simka do when Latka has an affair?

After Latka sleeps with a fellow driver to keep her warm, Simka must return the favor by sleeping with another man to save their marriage in the season five episode, "Scenskees from a Marriage."

Who is Louie's assistant dispatcher?

Jeff works by Louie's side for years as his assistant dispatcher. When Louie is suspected of embezzling money in season five, he has Jeff take the blame -- landing Jeff in jail until Louie helps get him off the hook.

Louie and Zena get married.

Despite their long relationship, Zena eventually marries another man, prompting Louie to crash her honeymoon in a fit of rage.

Who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Dee Wilcox?

Ruth Gordon appeared on the episode "Sugar Mama" as Dee Wilcox, a wealthy woman picked up by Alex. She won an Emmy in 1979 for her work on "Taxi."

Who inherits a fortune at the end of the series?

Reverend Jim inherits a fortune after his father dies. He gifts each of the drivers $1,000, under the condition that they must give it away, in one of the final episodes of the series.

Tony Clifton had his own contract to appear on the show.

Some of Andy Kaufman's requests were odd, to say the least. He was willing to let his Tony Clifton character appear on the show as one of Latka's personalities, but insisted that Tony get his own contract and be treated as a separate person from Andy. Andy acted so bizarre in the role of Tony that he was actually removed from the set.

"Taxi" never won a single Emmy.

The critics loved "Taxi." The show won a whopping 18 Emmys out of 34 nominations, as well as 4 Golden Globe awards.

How many seasons was "Taxi" on the air?

Despite great critical acclaim, "Taxi" only ran for 114 episodes over five seasons, between 1978 and 1983. It was canceled by ABC after the first four seasons, then picked up by NBC for season five.

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