Bobby Wheeler
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Bobby Wheeler

Taxi

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About Him

Living… in New York City. Like so many others, Bobby moved to the big city to make it as an actor. Since success has so far eluded him, his relationship with New York has reached a state of ongoing ambivalence. He sees young wannabe-actors moving to the city and instantly finding success, and resents the city’s injustices.

Profession… cab driver for the Sunshine Cab Company, while he struggles to get his acting career off the ground. His occasional breakthroughs usually result in dead-ends, like when a famous manager expressed interest in him, but only on sexual terms. He was cast on a pilot for a soap opera called Boise only for his part to be recast during production. As an actor, he’s a decent cab driver.

Interests... the week-to-week dramas of his crew at work. Bobby is usually willing to help out a member of the Sunshine Company in a time of need. He goes in disguise to Louie’s 20-year high school reunion and agrees to take care of Tony’s fish and apartment while he’s away. He’s also always trying to figure out ways to advance his career, at one point enlisting co-worker and amateur boxer Tony as his agent.

Relationship Status... single and always looking. With his looks and charisma, Bobby gets around more than his co-workers, with the possible exception of Tony, who occasionally competes with Bobby for specific girls. His most substantial relationship is actually just a product of his opportunism; he sleeps with his agent in exchange for preferential treatment.

Challenge… making his passion a career. Every time Bobby thinks he’s set, that his acting career is secure enough to allow him to quit driving a cab, the tides turn against him. His frustration has reached a point where he openly considers quitting, feeling his efforts are futile and his dreams are not meant to be. He once wrote a vicious letter to theater critic John Bowman after receiving a terrible review, only to restrain himself before sending it. Louie in turn decided to send it himself, causing a minor positive buzz for Bobby’s career.

Personality… conceited. Bobby is not immune to thespian pretensions, and is highly sensitive to any criticism. This doesn’t faze his boss Louie, who loves to make Bobby’s airs the butt of his jokes. Bobby can be shallow and opportunistic, making rash decisions that verge on naiveté, like when he made Tony his agent. He’s shocked his thespian career hasn’t made more progress because he thinks he’s God’s gift to acting and the Earth.

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