5 01 2007

TaxiToday I have been formatting episodes of Taxi. This is cool for a couple of reasons. Taxi (along with Rhoda) is the first sitcom that I can remember. It had a cast filled with stars of the time, from Jeff Conaway (Kenickie from Grease) to Tony Danza, a young Christpher Lloyd and a young-ish Danny Devito. It also starred the genius Andy Kaufman, who I’m guessing was already a star as he had the “And Andy Kaufman” credit at the end, usually reserved for someone special. I remember laughing at his character as a youngster, but only today I remembered why. and it takes a lot to make me laugh when I’m alone in an edit suite with only the smell of subway for company.

Another thing I noticed, and it applies to all popular sitcoms of the time, is how old the cast was. 30 somethings were playing 20 somethings, and children, like at the Milford academy, were neither seen nor heard. Nowadays most multi-camera sitcoms are populated by young people trying to act older. Could there be some correlation between this stat and the decline of the highly-rating sitcom? No.

Taxi was created by James L. Brooks, who went on to create The Simpsons, and it featured a young associate producer called Richard Sakai, who is still a Producer on the Simpsons to this day. I even remember the production company bit at the end of each episode. A woman calls out “Goodnoght Mr Walters!” and her boss just mumbles something unintelligible.. yep, good times. and a slow TV news day.

It had some really cool, jazzy incidental music, and the theme tune was something you could nod your head to, if you liked head nodding.

See, how classy was that! They don’t make them like that anymore! In fact, most shows don’t even have proper credits anymore, just more advertising time! These 80’s shows were 24 minutes standard. These days you”re lucky to get 20 mins out of “Two and a Half Men”! (That sounds wrong, I’m sure I could have phrased that better).




One response

6 01 2007

I think you need to see Man on the Moon – then you’ll understand what was really going on with Andy and the rest of the cast.

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