I deeply believe in the Eugenic Theory of Good Television. (Actually, I just thought of it yesterday. But it does make a lot of sense.)
Writers who come from great TV shows tend to create great shows of their own.
For instance, the creators of “Taxi” – James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis and Ed. Weinberger – all worked on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” For “Taxi” they hired Glen and Les Charles, who later created “Cheers.”
And writers hired by the Charles brothers on “Cheers” – David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee – went on to create “Frasier.”
What a wonderful comedy bloodline, spanning 34 years.
As part of my continuing celebration of TV writers, I’m streaming a little bit of a “Taxi” episode written by the Charles brothers and Barton Dean. This was Episode #8 of the first season, titled “Paper Marriage.” (Original air date: October 31, 1978.)
The plot concerns Latka (Andy Kaufman) marrying a hooker in order to avoid deportation. The wedding is performed by “Rev. Jim” (Christopher Lloyd). Rev. Jim would later become a main character, but this was his introduction.
Click here to hear it.
As always, I’m presenting audio (instead of video) so that we may focus on the words. Yes, Christopher Lloyd’s performance was terrific. But it all started with words on a page.
Glen and Les Charles were twice nominated for writing Emmys for their work on “Taxi.” They finally got those trophies for an episode of “Cheers.”