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October 9, 2015

Hail to the Cabbies: 9 Awesome TV Taxi Drivers

by Ryan McKee, posted Aug 27th 2010 3:04PM

This week, a boozed-up bigot slashed Muslim cab driver Ahmed Sharif in New York City. TV Squad despises hate crimes of any kind, but especially those that happen in our backyard against our taxi-driving friends.

We love cab drivers. How else could we make it across Manhattan with minutes to spare so we're home in time to watch some primetime television? In honor of Sharif's bravery -- and cab drivers everywhere -- here are our nine favorite TV cabbies. We would happily be frightened by their wild driving anytime.

9. Angry Cabbie from 'Seinfeld'

In the series' first two-part episode, entitled 'The Boyfriend,' Jerry is obsessed with Keith Hernandez, Keith is obsessed with Elaine, George is obsessed with backseat driving and we're obsessed with the cabbie who kicks George out -- twice. Embedding is disabled on the video, but click on picture to watch it on YouTube.

8. Alex from 'Entourage'
This season, Dania Ramirez plays the worst (and sexiest) driver working for Turtle's new escort/car service. While we would probably never make it to the airport on time, at least we'd have fun getting there.

7. Antonio V. Scarpacci from 'Wings'
Before Tony Shalhoub became Monk, he perfected his portrayal of this hopelessly romantic, small-town airport cabbie. Despite the fact we almost never saw him drive a cab, we would love to sit in the back seat and listen to his deadpan humor.

6. Larry David from 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
Before David helped create 'Seinfeld, he held a series of menial jobs that included cabbie and limo driver. In 'Curb's' sixth season, he feels sorry for Charlie the Limo Driver because he's walked in his shoes before, and invites him into a party. Unfortunately, Charlie gets drunk and can't drive. Larry agrees to cover him and take John McEnroe to the airport. Embedding's disabled, but you can check out the hilarity on YouTube.

5. Jimmy the Cab Driver from the '90s MTV promos
Donal Logue has gone on to become a respected actor in both television and film, but we still love him best as the greasy, rambling Jimmy the Cab Driver. While riding from Bronx to Brooklyn with him could get annoying, a short hop across town would be hilarious.

4. Ranjit from 'How I Met Your Mother'
While we are always very nice to cabbies, none of them ever want to join us for beers like Ranjit (Marshall Manesh) does with the cast in the pilot episode. He's so friendly that he pops up and helps the gang out every season.

3. Todd Phillips from 'Taxicab Confessions'
Before Todd Phillips became a mega-director with 'The Hangover,' he posed as a taxi driver for HBO. Hidden cameras recorded the conversations of his passengers, who would then sign a waiver to allow the show to broadcast the intimate details they spilled about their lives while in transit. Wonder what Phillips would think of our secrets.

2. Ben Bailey from 'Cash Cab'

Those who don't dream of stepping in the 'Cash Cab' are those who have never watched this game show on wheels. Stand-up comic/licensed cab driver Ben Bailey randomly picks up unsuspecting passengers looking for a ride, and suddenly they're in a quiz show with instant cash prizes. You even get a free ride to your destination ... as long as you don't get three questions wrong.

1. Alex, Elaine, Tony and Reverend Jim from 'Taxi'
'Taxi' is the sitcom that really launched the careers of Judd Hirsch, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza and Christopher Lloyd. We'll forgive them for Danza ... just kidding. Here we watch Reverend Jim taking his driving test, a true rite of passage for any cabbie. The comedy still holds up.

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I have always loved Ranjit. When he also played the limo driver, I was overjoyed. :)

August 29 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you SO MUCH for having this clip of Christopher Lloyd as Reverend Jim! Before or since, no one else has ever made me laugh as much as he did when he was on "Taxi". I never could figure out how the other actors could keep a straight face when he was delivering his lines.

Thank you once again for reviving those memories!

August 27 2010 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Watson

Thanks for reminding me of Jimmy the Cab Driver. I used to love that guy in the MTV promos. I haven't thought of him in years. Good times!

August 27 2010 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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