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One night I was listening to talk radio and they had Leslie Nielsen on
the program. He went on to explain why there were only 6 shows. '
With TV shows like MASH you could go to the fridge to get a beer and as long as you heard what was going on you didn't miss anything. But with Police Squad, you HAD to watch the show, with the sight gags you missed a whole lot if you didn't see them. Who could forget "... the part of town known as "Little Italy"..." with the coliseum in the background.
Even the movies relied heavily on the sight gags, but then again being in the theater you were a captive audience.
Leslie also said the one reason the show, movies and other movies like Airplane were funny is because they didn't attempt to tell what was funny. It was up to the viewer to get the jokes.
Well that's just my 2 cents.
This is the brief series that lead to the NAKED GUN trilogy. Leslie Nielsen
gets to play madman with all the delicious relish he can bring to the part
of the straight-faced detective.
The stories are parodies of all the very, very, very serious and very, very, very important police and crime shows on TV over the years. Nothing escapes the satiric bashing that goes on here. The guest stars each week are murdered in the opening scene and then are never heard of again. The titles of the episodes don't fit the narration. Nielsen's own narration is a wonderful satire of all the crime story voice-overs going back to film noir and DRAGNET. And -- wonder of wonders -- the show is "In Color!"
No pun goes un-punned. No sight-gag is left un-gagged. Nothing is spared. Imagine the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges in a crime movie setting, and that gives you a hint of what POLICE SQUAD is all about. This is one of the funniest shows ever made for TV, but since it is satire, it of course had only a short run. Nevertheless, I loved it.
Proof that TV execs don't always know a good show when they see it (See "Family Guy"), all you have to do is look at "Police Squad!" A VERY short lived show (Only 6 episodes were aired) with humor that still holds up 20 yrs later. Leslie Neilsen as Frank Drebin is incredibly funny, with his partner, The late Alan North as Ed Hocken. My favorite episode is "Rendezvous at Big Gulch," (Or, as the announcer says, "Terror In The Neighborhood.")when Drebin runs a locksmith business to check out the thugs (Next to the keys, are "Florida Keys, Francis Scott Keys,""Turkeys," and "Pot Roast."). Too bad the network didn't get a clue to the humor of the show, but at least it inspired 3 very funny movies based on the series! If you haven't seen the movies or the show, you should check out the inspiration behind the movies!
This was a funny show. It had an "Airplane!" flavor to it and it parodied
the Quinn Martin Productions shows that were popular in the 60s and 70s
("The Streets of San Francisco", "Barnaby Jones", "Cannon", etc). If you're
familiar with these shows, they all had the same type of beginnings; Same
announcer who would go through the starring cast, that night's guest stars,
special guest stars (if any) and the name of "tonight's episode". As well
as the on screen act numbers and the epilogue after commercial
It was everything like "Airplane!", in the sense that you had to watch the show to see the gags and other hidden gags that were in the background along with the verbal jokes and gags.
It was a shame that only 6 episodes were produced, since this was one of my favorite shows. Unlike "The Naked Gun" movies, although funny, the problem with those movies were, the show lampooned QM Productions shows, it was probably hard to transfer that to the big screen. It just didn't have the same feeling to it as the tv show.
What can be said about this show, one of the funniest if not the funniest
Leslie Nielson played Frank Drebin who seemed to alternate each week between a Sergeant or a Lieutenant. He was joined by other detectives, particularly Al (only ever seen from the neck down).
The plots-if you can call them that-were crazy. The show was crazy from the opening title to the end credits. There were some hilarious one-liners throughout the show. Also, the narrator for each episode used to read out the title of the episode which always differed from the title on-screen. A special guest star was also introduced on the credits but never starred in the show itself. As for the ending credits, well Drebin seemed to be moving whilst the credits rolled. It was crazy.
Even though this series spawned three Naked Gun movies, it is the world's greatest mystery why this show only ran for six episodes. Where is the justice in the world where tripe such as Friends can run for years whilst a truly funny show like this can be cancelled after a mere six episodes?
I strongly recommend checking the series out and will someone please release it onto DVD?
Endlessly Hilarious! I taped the first 5 shows years and years ago, and
every so often I go back and watch them, and still they are as funny as
were the first time. In fact, there are so many sight gags and whatnot,
that you will miss a lot of them the first few times you watch the shows!
see something new every time!! Absolutely hilarious, even more so than
films. Several of the gags are used repeatedly ("Cigarette? Yes it is",
the midget cop who is the intercom), but still manage to be funny each
Too bad they didn't have Johnny the shoeshine guy in the movies. I wish
had the 6th show!!!
Highly recommended if you liked the Naked Gun or Airplane movies.
...a burlesque dancer to Det. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) as he
approaches her in a dressing room...
"Yes, that's very impressive, but that's not why were here"...(Det. Drebin's deadpan response)
The best sight-gag comedy ever. But of course, it got crushed in the ratings and was yanked right away. Our loss.
I recently purchased a VHS tape with three episodes for my dad and watched 'em again with him. I'm happy to report that if you like the Zucker's style of humor (first unleashed in "Airplane"), you'll have a blast.
This was a truly unique show. Many of the comments in this section regret that there were only 6 episodes made. But to be honest, the show used so many jokes per episode, I don't see how they could have gone too much further without running out. The great thing about this show is that every one who watches it has a favorite one-liner that they remember, and like to repeat. One could say the same thing about the movie "Airplane". There are so few things that are really original, especially in television, the medium that thrives so much on imitation of previous success. So the time has come for this limited series to get its chance on DVD. But not just another release. Visualize this. The show did such a good job of satirizing police dramas from M Squad to the QM series, that the DVD should do the same this for DVD special features. In short, the DVD release should have all the usual special features, but they would all be send-ups of special features. Now that would make for a great DVD release of this great show.
This show has the basic jokes of a spoof, but they work so well. With Nielson's deadpan delivery the six episodes of this show were better than the movies that were for some reason very successful (not that they were bad, but I just wonder why the show didn't work). I especially liked the opening in which the special guest star was killed during the credits and then the man would announce the name of the episode and it would be different from the title. Yes this show was a laugh a second great comedy. Some of the jokes from the series would even find their way to the movie versions.
To say that this is a good show is not to say anything at all. After all, this show is made by the same crew responsible for Airplane and other hilarious and brilliant movies. Writing is superb. Even though the show is built on one-liners, they don't become overbearing or annoying. Leslie Nielsen is flexing his comedy muscle to the full extent as if saying: You ain't seen nothing yet. The format was definitely polished to introduce Naked Gun. When watching these movies, notice how many schticks are taken from the TV show. The brilliant part is that they don't have to be changed too much. The show was truly a testing ground for bigger and better versions to come later.
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