Police Squad!: Season 1, Episode 1

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

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 302 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 »


Minister: What do you know about life after death?
Johnny the Snitch: I wouldn't know anything about it.
[the Minister gives Johnny a dollar bill bribe]
Johnny the Snitch: You talking existential being, or anthropmorphic deity?
See more »


References The Barbara Walters Summer Special (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Hilarious pilot for this sadly short-lived TV series
4 September 2011 | by (The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left) – See all my reviews

Bumbling Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen in fine wacky form) investigates a murder case at a bank where the robber shot the clerk and then another staff member Sally (a nicely ditsy portrayal by Kathryn Leigh Scott) shot the robber. However, the autopsy suggests the incident didn't go down quite the way it seems. Writers/directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, the same talented trio who blessed us with the almighty "Airplane!," do an expert job of sustaining a nonstop zippy pace throughout and adroitly milk their trademark winningly broad'n'zany sense of anything-goes outrageous humor for maximum belly laughs. The off-the-wall dialogue is rife with gut-busting non-sequiturs and the nutty sight gags are a complete hoot to behold (keep your eyes peeled for a ridiculously long stretcher being carried out of a crime site, plus a climactic shoot-out between two folks who are only a few feet apart is simply priceless). Nielsen excels as the hopelessly inept, yet earnest Drebin; he receives able support from Alan North as his no-nonsense superior Captain Ed Hocken, William Duell as helpful all-wise informant Johnny, and Ed Williams as nerdy lab tech Mr. Olson. Popping up in nifty guest appearances are Barbara Tarbuck as grieving widow Mrs. Twice and Terence Beasor as orthodontist Dr. Zubatsky. Look fast for Lorne Greene as stabbed man. Extra kudos are also in order for Ira Newborn's rousing "Dragnet"-style score and the absurdly solemn sub-Jack Webb narration. The cheerfully silly humor works exceptionally well thanks to the pseudo straight acting from the game cast and the astutely quasi-realistic look of the show. A total riot.

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Jokes I never got. Raemelis
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