FEATURES

Danny DeVito - A Celebration
By James W, Monday 11th February 2013

It seems quite incredible to think that Taxi, the comedy drama that launched the careers of Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch and Christopher Lloyd is now 35 years old. The show, which ran for 114 episodes, was a change of direction for American situation comedy as it added honest pathos rather than saccharine coated sentiment.

Created by James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis and Ed Weinberger the show is an ensemble piece with huge, but believable characters, that had to deal with everyday issues. By keeping it cemented in reality the show tackled subjects you wouldn't normally associate with comedy and it's this dramatic element that made it television not to be missed.

Built around the loser-in-life character of Alex Rieger (Hirsch) we witnessed the day-to-day goings on at a Taxi rank in Manhattan and the notable characters who worked for the Sunshine Cab Company. There was wannbe boxer Tony Banta (Tony Danza), arty Elaine O'Connor Nardo (Marilu Henner), acid casualty Jim Ignatowski (Lloyd) and Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman) an immigrant who is bemused by much he sees.

Though Rieger was the central character of the series, DeVito's interpretation of the manager Louie De Palma soon became the focus. He was the dark heart of the piece; always beating in the background ready to deliver pulsating acerbic one-liners with such precision timing you could set an atomic clock by his performance. De Palma was a hate-riddled man who used and abused his staff with looks that could kill, and regularly did, metaphorically speaking. Its DeVito's assured take on such a loathsome person that helped him to make the seemingly easy transition from TV to movies.

Though audiences had already seen him on the big screen in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in 1975, it would be the 1984 box office smash Romancing The Stone, directed by Robert Zemeckis which gave him the global exposure he needed. From here he had a massive run of hits including the follow up to Romancing The Stone, The Jewel Of The Nile (1985), Ruthless People (1986) and Throw Momma From The Train (1987) in which he also directed. Then came Twins (1988), The War Of The Roses (1989) and as the 80s progressed so did his career and he moved into other areas such as producing.

A turning point was starring as The Penguin in Tim Burton's stunning yet bleak masterpiece, Batman Returns (1992). Here DeVito gave the character of Oswald Cobblepot an internal anguish and showed the world how to give a grotesque comic book character a three-dimensional realisation.

Probably his greatest success was transforming Roald Dahl's Matilda into a big screen smash in 1996. Directed with care for the source text, though it did have some changes to the book, Matilda is a triumph of storytelling and DeVito cast himself as the loathsome Harry Wormwood.

But no matter what he turns his hand to, Danny will always be associated with Taxi and with the legendary character of Louie De Palma. We're catching up with Danny soon, so if you have a question for him, post it on our Facebook or Twitter feeds. You never know, he might just answer the one you sent in.

Don't miss Taxi weekdays at 6.30pm showing as part of the CBS Drama Happy Hour alongside Cheers.


MORE FEATURES
Perry Mason x 2 weekdays from 3pm
By Dave Macleod, Tuesday 3rd May 2022

Perry Mason Image 2

A long-running drama series which spawned a series of over three dozen telefilms, Perry Mason was based on Erle Stanley Gardner´s many novels about a brilliant defense lawyer and his staff that solved many a crime with surprise witnesses and stern cross-examinations. 

Filmed almost exclusively in the Los Angeles area, Raymond Burr had Gardner's seal of approval in the role. The cases were usually won by way of pivotal confessions of witnesses, solicited by Perry Mason (Burr's) surgeon-like examination or with last-minute, key evidence brought into the courtroom by private investigator, Paul Drake (William Hopper). Della Street (Barbara Hale), Perry´s faithful secretary, was alway...

SHARE: READ MORE
Allison Dubois knows the darkest secrets this April on CBS Drama
Posted on Tuesday 29th March 2022
Medium Season 1

Medium is a captivating one-hour drama series, inspired by the life story of medium Allison Dubois, starring Patricia Arquette as a wife and mother of three who is trying to understand her natural intuition about people and her ability to communicate with the dead.

While her husband Joe (Jake Weber) is as supportive and as loving as he can be, the couple is struggling to find a balance between her family life and Allison's powerful calling. At work, Allison is hired by district attorney Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) to use her abilities to help him solve cases.

Medium begins 13th April at 9pm on CBS Drama.

SHARE: READ MORE
More Medium in March
Posted on Friday 25th February 2022
Medium Season 3

When Allison, a pre-law students who is interning at the district attorney’s office, starts to experience paranormal events, she wonders if she is psychic of psycho. When one of her dreams ends up being based on a real case, she is able to help the Texas Rangers solve a mystery on, Medium.

Allison's husband Joe, a scientist, decides to prove to his wife that her dreams are not real by sending out written details of her visions to law enforcement agencies. However, Joe is proven wrong when the Texas Rangers call Allison for help when one of her dreams is identical to a case they have. Allison is able to give the Texas Rangers the missing pieces to their mystery and put a criminal behind bars ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Season 3 of Medium begins this February
Posted on Wednesday 26th January 2022
Medium 2

Medium (as in Mediumship) is a person who believes they have a paranormal gift to communicate with the souls/spirits of the dead.

Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette stars as Dubois, a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see current events and the future through her dreams, and read people's thoughts.

Dubois works as a consultant to D.A. Manuel Devalos, using her psychic abilities to solve violent and horrifying crimes that baffle Phoenix police and others within the criminal justice system. Assisting her crime-solving endeavors is Detective Lee Scanlon, her longtime ally in the local pol...

SHARE: READ MORE
More Medium this January on CBS Drama
Posted on Thursday 30th December 2021
Medium Season 2 Image 1

Inspired by the life story of Allison Dubois, Medium stars Patricia Arquette as a wife and mother of three who is trying to understand her natural intuition about people and her ability to communicate with the dead.

While her husband Joe (Jake Weber) is as supportive and as loving as he can be, the couple is struggling to find a balance between her family life and Allison’s powerful calling. At work, Allison is hired by district attorney Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) to use her abilities to help him solve crimes.

Medium - Season 2 begins 19th January at 9pm on CBS Drama.

SHARE: READ MORE
More Medium in December, bet you knew that already!
Posted on Tuesday 30th November 2021
Medium Season 2 Cast 1Medium is a captivating one-hour drama series, inspired by the life story of medium Allison Dubois, starring Patricia Arquette as a wife and mother of three who is trying to understand her natural intuition about people and her ability to communicate with the dead.

While her husband Joe (Jake Weber) is as supportive and as loving as he can be, the couple is struggling to find a balance between her family life and Allison’s powerful calling. At work, Allison is hired by district attorney Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) to use her abilities to help him solve crimes.

Medium continues weeknights at 9pm on CBS Drama.

SHARE: READ MORE
Medium: Season 3 this November on CBS Drama
Posted on Sunday 3rd October 2021
Medium Season

Medium is a drama inspired by the real-life story of research medium Allison Dubois, an extraordinary young wife and mother who, since childhood, has struggled to make sense of her dreams and visions of dead people.

Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette stars as Dubois, a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see current events and the future through her dreams, and read people's thoughts. Dubois works as a consultant to D.A. Manuel Devalos, using her psychic abilities to solve violent and horrifying crimes that baffle Phoenix police and others within the criminal justice system. Assisting...

SHARE: READ MORE
Go back to the beginning this October for Medium
Posted on Sunday 29th August 2021
Medium

Medium is a captivating one-hour drama series, inspired by the life story of medium Allison Dubois, starring Patricia Arquette as a wife and mother of three who is trying to understand her natural intuition about people and her ability to communicate with the dead.

While her husband Joe (Jake Weber) is as supportive and as loving as he can be, the couple is struggling to find a balance between her family life and Allison's powerful calling. At work, Allison is hired by district attorney Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) to use her abilities to help him solve crimes.

Medium: Season 1 begins 5th October at 9pm on CBS Drama.

SHARE: READ MORE
Season 7 of Medium starts in September but you knew that, didn't you?
Posted on Sunday 8th August 2021
MEDIUM SEASON 7

Medium is a drama inspired by the real-life story of research medium Allison Dubois, an extraordinary young wife and mother who, since childhood, has struggled to make sense of her dreams and visions of dead people.

Emmy Award winner Patricia Arquette stars as Dubois, a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see current events and the future through her dreams and read people's thoughts.

Dubois works as a consultant to D.A. Manuel Devalos, using her psychic abilities to solve violent and horrifying crimes that baffle Phoenix police and others within the criminal justice system...

SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK