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Comic Blasted for "Snakes in a Cab" Video

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 3:03 PM EDT
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A comedian who once drove a New York City taxi is under fire for a video he posted online this week in which passengers were surprised by an albino Burmese python slithering in the back seat of a cab.

The city Taxi and Limousine Commission and PETA both blasted comic Jimmy Failla for the video, called “Snakes on a Cab,” reports Gothamist. The video, released to promote Failla's new book, shows customers shrieking, running away and cursing when they see the 14-foot serpent in Failla's taxi.

TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told Gothamist the agency is going to look into whether Failla, who still holds a valid taxi license, should have his privileges revoked.

"This was monumentally poor judgment on the driver’s part, and we are clearly going to actively question this person’s suitability to continue holding a TLC license,” Fromberg said.

A spokeswoman for PETA also came out against the video, telling Gothamist that the passengers’ reactions to the snake were “extremely stressful” to the serpent.

Failla’s publicist told Gothamist that a licensed handler was present for the video and made sure the snake was relaxed throughout the shoot.

“The snake was always held by the handler and neither the snake nor the passenger was in any danger,” she said.

Failla is a former cabbie who uses his experiences driving a taxi in his standup routines.  

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