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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Taxi’ movie

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week: Taxi, the 1978-83 ABC-then-NBC sitcom about New York City cab drivers and their abusive dispatcher.

(If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast included:

Alex Rieger: Judd Hirsch
Louie De Palma: Danny DeVito
Elaine O’Connor Nardo: Marilu Henner
Tony Banta: Tony Danza
Bobby Wheeler: Jeff Conaway
Reverend Jim Ignatowski: Christopher Lloyd
Latka Gravas: Andy Kaufman
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: Carol Kane

My dream cast:

Alex Rieger: Connor Trinneer
Louie De Palma: Peter Dinklage*
Elaine O’Connor Nardo: Zooey Deschanel
Tony Banta: Noel Clarke
Bobby Wheeler: Owen Wilson
Reverend Jim Ignatowski: Hugh Laurie
Latka Gravas: Eddie Izzard
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: Catherine Tate

*not cuz he’s little, cuz he does mean so funny

Who would you cast?

I remember the first time I saw this scene. I’ve rarely laughed so hard:



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  • JoshDM

    Latke Gravas – Jim Carrey

  • shoop

    My response to this casting can best be summed up by the following: eww.

    I guess we all have our shows and movies about which we get very protective and emotional, and Taxi is one of those shows for me. I’ll give your cast some credit–a black English ex-footballer as Tony is kinda cool. And Hugh Laurie, doing his American-guy thing, could be a passable Rev. Jim, and I’ll even give you Dinklage as Louie (although Louie was NOT all about the anger). But jeezum crow–Owen Wilson as Bobby? What, because Wilson has shaggy hair? Twenty-something, incredibly narcissistic but somehow lovable Bobby? Wilson is way too old, and narcissism isn’t part of his palette. (Or, put it another way–imagine that scene you posted with Laurie and Wilson doing the “what does the yellow light mean” bit. And it doesn’t work.) A few more gripes–Zooey D. as Elaine? Whoever cast her in “Yes Man” is giving her more of a break than you are. And Izzard as Latka? Really? Latka with the unplaceable accent, mangled English, and eventually, split personality? Izzard is Izzard–cake or death, yeah, yeah, hilarious. But it’s not Latka. (Now, Sacha Baron Cohen, maybe…) I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on Ms. Tate–I see she does sketch, and apparently she’s good at it, so could be. (My choice–Ginnifer Goodwin.) And finally–Alex, portrayed by one of my only living acting heroes, Judd Hirsch. And you replace him with… some Star Trek guy? And not even a Star Trek people have heard of–guy looks like some dink at a local Trek convention. Painful. These games usually give me a smile, but this time, well… eww.

  • Alex Rieger: Jerry Seinfeld
    Louie De Palma: Patton Oswalt
    Elaine O’Connor Nardo: Christina Applegate
    Tony Banta: Dule Hill
    Bobby Wheeler: Jared Padalecki
    Reverend Jim Ignatowski: Will Farrell
    Latka Gravas: Kal Penn (but with a more middle-Eastern ethnicity rather than Latka’s middle-European)
    Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: Julia Louise-Dreyfus

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