Tag Archives: Jim Ignatowski

It’s Classic Clip Friday: Taxi – Jim The Travelling Salesman; Latka On Friendship

For this week’s Classic TV Scene, we return to New York’s Sunshine Cab Company.

You may remember earlier in the year, the Choob featured the all-time best scene from the 1970s/80s sitcom TaxiJim’s Driving Test.

However, it had plenty of other memorable scenes and great performances, so here are another couple of great clips.

First, another tour de force from Christopher Lloyd as “reverend” Jim Ignatowski who, having lost his job as a cabbie, has become a door-to-door salesman:

And here is the late, great Andy Kaufman as mechanic Latka Gravas, sharing his views on the importance of friendship:


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It’s Classic Clip Friday: WKRP In Cincinnati – Turkey Drop

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A couple of weeks ago on Classic Clip Friday, we featured Jim’s driving test scene from 70s US sitcom Taxi.

This week’s classic clip comes from one of Taxi’s contemporary comedies, but one that is even less well-remembered and more under-appreciated by modern audiences – WKRP In Cincinnati.

Yet the show, about a struggling radio station, featured some great characters, including Howard Hesseman‘s Dr. Johnny Fever (he wasn’t a real doctor…) and Les Nessman (Richard Sanders), a somewhat less than worldly-wise news reporter, whose serious, professional demeanour belied the fact that he was utterly useless.

Les gave us the show’s single best, most-memorable scene. To set it up, you should know that the station manager, Arthur Carlson (Gordon Jump) had decided to organise a special Thanksgiving promotion to try and boost the radio station’s profile, but hadn’t told anyone what it was – just that he needed 20 live turkeys.

(Incidentally, check out this post for a few more classic TV show Thanksgiving clips.)

Les is sent to a shopping mall to cover the event:

“Oh the humanity!”

A brilliant performance by Sanders, parodying Herbert Morrison’s famous coverage of the Hindenburg disaster.


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It’s Classic Clip Friday: Taxi – Jim’s Driving Test

These days, Taxi, which ran for five seasons between 1978 and 83, is somewhat overshadowed in the annals of TV history by Cheers, which took Taxi’s structure of an ensemble comedy based almost exclusively around a single location to even greater heights.

Nonetheless, Taxi remains one of the great American sitcoms. Its greatest strength was the fantastic mix of characters, played by an extremely eclectic and talented cast.

I’m a big fan of the late, great Andy Kaufman, who played innocent and naive foreign mechanic Latka Gravas on the show – but much as I admire his exceptional talent, for me the show’s scene-stealing star was “reverend” Jim Ignatowski, played by Christopher Lloyd (who would later find even greater fame as Doc Brown in the Back to The Future movies).

Jim was one of TV’s great creations. A permanently bemused and befuddled spaced-out relic of the drug-fuelled counter-culture – “the living embodiment of the 60s”, as he once described himself. Yet, over the course of the series, an intriguing back-story emerged for Jim which, combined with Lloyd’s masterful performance in the role, provided the character with, arguably more depth and charm than any other on the show. And, more importantly, he got most of the funniest scenes.

 Yet Jim was not even  in the original cast. He appeared as a guest star in one episode of the first season and made such an impression that the producers bought him back full time in the second season. And the rest is history.

When they brought him back, they were faced with the problem of how to integrate him into the cast given that his character was clearly not someone you would consider a suitable taxi driver. The resultant scene as the gang try to help him get his cab driver’s licence is one of the greatest sitcom scenes ever.

Oh-okey doke! Enjoy!


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