Reliving the first 'Taxi' ride

Today's TV

January 06, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

History buffs, take note: Today's offerings include the first episode of "Taxi," a vintage "Saturday Night Live" with Jodie Foster as host (though you'll need to get up pretty early to see it) and a movie featuring just about every comedian alive in 1964.

* "National Geographic: On Assignment" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- "Water Blasters" takes us down inside the New York City water system to see just how all that water gets to all those faucets.

* "Sisters" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Poor Alex has one of those days where you just don't know how to feel: happy, since Reed avoids jail time on a pandering charge, or sad, because Big Al needs to get a heart transplant. One thing about this show it's always something.

Cable

* "Saturday Night Live" (7 a.m.-7:30 a.m., Comedy Central) -- What had been an hourlong show is condensed to 30 minutes, so some stuff you may remember has been left on the cutting-room floor. But this SNL from the 1970s features a young Jodie Foster as host. If you've forgotten what this two-time Oscar winner was like as a teen-ager, check it out.

* "Biography" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., A&E) -- Who will be A&E's biography of the year? Among the candidates: Colin Powell, Newt Gingrich, Pocahontas, The Beatles, Yitzhak Rabin and Mickey Mantle.

* "The 39th Pablo Casals Festival" (10 p.m.-midnight, A&E) -- Classical music aficionados, be sure and set your VCRs; this one's a keeper. The show includes highlights from Puerto Rico's annual celebration of classical music, and what highlights they are: 12-year-old pianist Helen Huang performing Chopin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra giving us Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture" and, in a rousing send-off, excerpts from Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman," with music by the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra. Some interviews and documentary footage put the festival and Casals in context, and some dramatized bits help keep things rolling at a good clip.

* "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (10:10 p.m.-1:50 a.m., TBS) -- Yeah, I know the comedy here is wildly uneven, Ethel Merman overdoes things shamelessly, and it's almost painful to watch poor Spencer Tracy make like a slapstick comic. But not only is this something of a "Who's Who" of early '60s comedy; all sorts of classic comedians show up in cameos, including the Three Stooges! Some of the movie is even funny (though not enough for some tastes). A first-rate curiosity.

* "Taxi" (1:30 a.m.-2 a.m., Nickelodeon) -- Here's the premiere episode of the long-running TV series that almost made New York City cab driving an honorable profession. The cabbies take turns driving on a trip to Miami so Alex can see his daughter.

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