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Car 54, Where Are You? (TV Series 1961–1963) Poster

(1961–1963)

Trivia

Was William Faulkner's favorite TV show.
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For the black-and-white location shots, the green parts of the normally black, white, and green patrol cars were painted red so as not to confuse the local populace.
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The theme song to the show: There's a hold up in the Bronx, Brooklyn's broken out in fights/ There's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights/ There's a scout troop short a child, Khrushchev's due at Idlewild! Car 54 where are you?
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The large circular object on the dashboard between the two officers is an auxiliary fan, in the days before cars had air conditioning.
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Idlewild was the original name of the airport in New York City, before it was changed to John F. Kennedy International.
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The show was filmed at the "Biograph Studios" in the Bronx, New York. The studio was originally built in 1912 by the American Mutoscope & Biograph [us] which is still in existence today. The Biograph studio facilities were sold several times through the years, until it burned down in 1980.
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William Faulkner's favorite TV show. He reportedly would visit a friend's house on Saturday nights to watch it.
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NBC wanted to buy part ownership of the show in exchange for it being renewed for a third season. Creator Nat Hiken refused and the show's sponsor, Proctor and Gamble, tried to take the show to CBS. But there was no room on their schedule. Hiken had become burnt out on the show due to its single camera set-up which required more time. He also had constant problems with Joe E. Ross who had trouble remembering his lines. Hiken gladly ended the show and never worked on another series again.
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Al Lewis joined the cast as Officer Leo Schnauser beginning with the 13th episode of season 1. Prior to that he appeared in episode 7 "The Paint Job" playing Al, the owner of Al's Garage where he would repair and repaint stolen cars for a car theft ring.
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Joe E Ross was on a Milt Jackson track - The OO OO Bossa Nova on an LP called Jazz and Samba. He contributed the "OO OO" - his "catch phrase" in Car 54.
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Real-life NYPD squad cars of the period had white roofs and trunk lids and green bodies, with all or parts of the fenders painted black. The cars on the black and white TV series seem to follow this striping design except for the black fenders.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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