Police Squad!: Season 1, Episode 1

A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise) (4 Mar. 1982)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 288 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Frank investigates a murder case at a bank where a robber shot the clerk and then another staff member, Sally, shot the robber. The autopsy, however, shows differently.

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Title: A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise) (04 Mar 1982)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alan North ...
Rex Hamilton ...
Stabbed Man
Ed Williams ...
William Duell ...
Mrs. Twice
Terry Wills ...
Dr. Zubatsky
Russell Shannon ...
Ralph Twice
Jimmy Briscoe ...


Frank investigates a murder case at a bank where a robber shot the clerk and then another staff member, Sally, shot the robber. The autopsy, however, shows differently.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 March 1982 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Many characters are named after friends and neighbors of the writing/directing team. For instance, dentist Robert Zubastsky is named after Bob Zubatsky who used to live next to the Zucker brothers in Milwaukee. See more »


Capt. Ed Hocken: You know, Frank, there's one thing I still don't understand. Now, how did you know that the money Sally gave to Dr. Zubatsky wasn't traceable?
Det. Frank Drebin: [laughs] I didn't.
Capt. Ed Hocken: Huh?
Det. Frank Drebin: But neither did Sally!
[slaps Hocken on the back. They both begin to laugh, but instead of sound coming out of their mouths they freeze frame]
See more »


Spoofs The Elephant Man (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Gut busting pilot episode.
14 February 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It really is a crying shame that the 'Police Squad' TV series was so short lived. But at least it led to the creation of the successful "Naked Gun" film series several years later. Leslie Nielsen is absolutely perfect as deadpan detective Frank Drebin, in this pilot that has Frank investigating the double murder at a bank. (Given that the name of the place is Acme, this must be where Wile E. Coyote gets the money to pay for his gadgets.) Anyway, the perpetrator is the seemingly ditzy Sally Decker (foxy Kathryn Leigh Scott), who needed a substantial amount of money to pay off the debt to her orthodontist. Among other things, Drebin realizes the evidence collected by ballistics isn't verifying the story that Sally told, interviews the widow (Barbara Tarbuck) of the supposed hold up man, and goes to his standard source on the street for info, all knowing Johnny (William Duell). Priceless verbal and visual gags punctuate the good natured mayhem, in the manner formulated by the talented Zucker / Abrahams / Zucker team in "The Kentucky Fried Movie" and "Airplane!". One of the best moments has Frank and Sally shooting it out while just a few feet apart. It's also a total hoot when Frank is interrogating a dentist, ripping one wig after another off of Sally's head, and in addition to the standard chalk outline on the bank floor, there's an Egyptian hieroglyphic. A breathless verbal exchange between Frank, his boss Ed Hocken (Alan North), and Sally makes great use of wordplay. The opening sequence began a standard practice in the series of having a special guest star, in this case Lorne Greene, pop up just long enough to get killed violently. All in all, this is quite hilarious and extremely snappy, and has a brilliant wrap up by parodying any and all TV show that's ever ended an episode with a freeze frame. Just try not to laugh as Nielsen and North stand there blinking while trying - not THAT hard

  • to maintain their facial expressions. Eight out of 10.

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