"The Neighbors" turns out to be a near classic episode, as the neighborhood has boycotted Fish's delinquents, forcing him to put on an 'open house' to show them the kids aren't that bad. In a suit and tie, Victor resembles the 'Pillsbury Doughboy,' trying out his social amenities on Fish as he removes his coat ("thought he was going for my gun!"). Among the guests is old Mrs. Baumholtz (Queenie Smith), owner of half the block, who can't remember what she says but knows all the lyrics to her favorite songs. Frequent BARNEY MILLER guest Ralph Manza is in typical scene stealing form as Mr. Jackman (later seen in one other episode, "Retirement Blues"), a 74 year old postman boasting about how stamps were just 2 cents when he started. When Fish shows him where the upstairs bathroom is, he shrugs at climbing the steps: "I'll never make it in time!" Joseph Perry and Melody Thomas pop up as father and daughter, while the first guests to arrive are Harold Lester (Howard Honig) and his wife (K Callan), both of whom would reappear in "The Adoption." We learn that the couple is childless, with 4 dogs, 3 cats, and one baboon (Fish: "I know your house, I passed it one day when the window was open!"). The boozy Lester seems to have a wandering eye, particularly in pretty Diane's case, to the chagrin of his repressed teetotaler wife. After Mike shows him where to find the scotch, Lester makes the teen a generous offer: "anytime you want, you can come over and play with the baboon!" Another neighbor is played by Bonnie Kammerman, daughter of series producer/writer Roy Kammerman, who later appears in the second season episode "A Pinch of Class."
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