Vladimir Putin, Robert De Niro and Taxi Drivers.

"Hey, Robert De Niro! Have you ever seen Kath & Kim?"
Vladimir Putin, Robert De Niro and Taxi Drivers.

HOW are the Russian president, the Hollywood actor, and cabbies somehow related?

Sam strove to impress Dave and Glenn, presenting three topics which they tried to connect.


GLENN: "It's a three-way!"

DAVE: "De Niro was in Taxi Driver, wasn't he? The movie."

GLENN: "Absolutely. One of the great movies with Scorsese... He and Scorsese; best mates.

"Here's the question from me about being a good actor. This is in my book."

DAVE: "Acting 101, Glenn Robbins."

GLENN: "Are you watching them do a character, or are you losing yourself in the portrayal of the character?

"I think with De Niro, you really lose yourself. He's one of the very few that can do full-on character drama, like heavy shit...and has got the ability to turn his hand to comedy."

DAVE: "Well, he did Meet the Parents... He was an intimidating character, wasn't he?"

GLENN: "That's a good point."

DAVE: "He was intimidating Ben Stiller, his son-in-law."

GLENN: "He actually gets laughs in Meet the Parents, doesn't he?"

DAVE: "What about one of my favourites, King of Comedy?"

GLENN: "Oh, I'd forgotten about that. 'Mom! I'm doin' a show down here!' It was something like that."

DAVE: "Yeah, then in the Joker, he's sort of reversed, where he plays The Tonight Show host...

"Marc Maron plays his producer... He said De Niro kept to himself basically."

GLENN: "He'd save it for when the red light goes on. He wouldn't be wasting his time, chatting away.

"That's what I like to do, go back to my caravan."

DAVE: "Often when we do this podcast, I never see you until the light goes on."

GLENN: "I walk in with sunglasses on, and I have a special scarf around my neck to protect my voice.

"I have a limo drop me at the door."

DAVE: "So...De Niro."

GLENN: "Has he got a restaurant?"

DAVE: "Yeah! In Tribeca."

GLENN: "He's part of the Tribeca Film Festival or something."

DAVE: "Would you approach him if you saw him? Like, at the urinal? Would you go 'hey, man, I'm an actor from Australia.'

"'Robert De Niro, have you ever seen Kath & Kim? I'm in it.' He may not have seen it."

GLENN: "You can't play the Kath & Kim card with Robert De Niro.

"I'd go through the files to see if there's a connection."

DAVE: "What Hollywood people do we know? Eric Bana. Is he in a movie with Eric? No."

GLENN: "I might do something to cause us to talk."

DAVE: "Do one of his lines, 'you lookin' at me? You lookin' at me?' Ha ha!"

(Dave's talkin' about this bit...)

GLENN: "He would love that... I would go to the door or hand-dryer at the same time."

DAVE: "I'd ask him, is he aware of the Bananarama song called Robert De Niro's Waiting?"

GLENN: "A guy I used to know had a girlfriend who left him and went and dated Robert De Niro...

"Okay, Vladimir Putin..."

DAVE: "Now, he's scary. Scarier than De Niro."

GLENN: "Has he got man-boobs a bit?"

DAVE: "Yeah, he rides a horse and has his shirt off."

GLENN: "He doesn't listen to the show does he?"

DAVE: "If I get poisoned..."

GLENN: "It could happen today... If we go out for lunch, I think you should test the food first.

"He does like getting his shirt off."

DAVE: "He's a former KGB agent."

GLENN: "He used to follow people and check up that they were doing the right things by the gov."

DAVE: "He hates western society... Have you been to Russia?"

GLENN: "No, but Jane Turner used to live in Russia. Her husband..."

DAVE: "Was a diplomat or something.

"My brother, The Red Cross one, went to Russia and said Moscow was great, really interesting."

GLENN: "The sense of history and strength...

"I just think hessian bags, potatoes and cold."

DAVE: "...and lining up... Well, what about taxi drivers?"

GLENN: "Oh, yes the three-way... Taxi drivers."

DAVE: "My dad drove taxis as a second job in the western suburbs of Melbourne, and my brother drove taxis for a little bit, too."

GLENN: "Driving a cab is admirable, but when you see an actor that's not getting any more work driving one, that's tough."

DAVE: "John Blackman was driving Ubers for a while, and he'd do all the voices for you.

"'Hello, Mr Somers!' You've gotta give him a tip for that kind of thing."

GLENN: "Mr Inbetween, that TV sh0w..."

DAVE: "Fantastic. He drove cabs."

GLENN: "He was a taxi driver in the real world."

DAVE: "He drove taxis in Echuca."

GLENN: "Larry David used to drive limos... If you googled famous people that drove taxis, there'd be a lot.

"If you had a choice... You're out somewhere and a car can come and pick you up, would you want an Uber or a taxi?"

DAVE: "A taxi."

GLENN: "Me too, I'm a taxi guy. Always have been, always will be. I like the shirts with the little things on there."

DAVE: "The epaulettes..."


THINKING MUSIC

Glenn loves the trailer for the classic Scorsese-De Niro film Taxi Driver, so they couldn't go past that as their thinking music.

Dave thought both Putin and De Niro must have been taxi drivers in real life. Glenn thought he was on the right track.


Vladimir Putin and Robert De Niro both worked as taxi drivers.

Putin briefly worked as a cabbie after resigning from the KGB in 1991, and the fall of the Soviet Union.

Robert De Niro worked as a licenced taxi driver in New York doing 12-hour shifts in preparation for his role in the film Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese.

At the 1977 Academy Awards, Taxi Driver was nominated for best picture, with De Niro also nominated for best actor.

Scorsese won the Palme d'Or - the ultimate award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival - for the movie.

Putin first came to power in 1999, and served two terms as president until 2008.

Dmitry Medvedev held leadership of Russia for the next four years, until Putin was reinstated as president in 2012.

He has remained leader for the past decade. In February of 2022, Putin actioned an explosive invasion of Ukraine which has been referred to as, 'World War III.'


Surprisingly, in an episode about taxis, neither Spicks and Specks' own Dave, or Glenn, brought up Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi.

But, Dave did mention a track from the 80s, so let's end on a light note with that...