The Enterprise rescues the captain of a broken-down freighter, only to become involved in a dispute between feuding worlds--each demanding custody of their guest. Data seeks help from Guinan in understanding humor.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Capt. Thadiun Okona (as William O. Campbell)
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Debin
Albert Stratton ...
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Yanar (as Rosalind Ingledew)
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Benzan
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The Comic
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Storyline

The Enterprise comes to the assistance of Captain Thadiun Okona when his ship malfunctions. Okona is a quick-witted and charming rogue who entertains everyone with his humor and is vastly popular with the ladies. While the Enterprise crew rebuilds the parts he needs to continue his journey, they are approached by the leaders of two planets accusing Okona of being a thief, or worse, and demanding that Picard turn him over to them. One is particularly incensed as he has accused Okona of impregnating his daughter. Not all is as it seems however. Data meanwhile tries to better understand humor. He seeks advice from Guinan and on the holodeck also gets advice from a stand up comic. Written by garykmcd

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10 December 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

When choosing a comedian in order to study humor, the name on the comm panel of the comic that Data chooses is Ronald B Moore, visual effects artist. According to Mission Log Podcast many mistake that it reads Ronald D Moore, who in real life was to join writing team of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) the next year. See more »

Goofs

Data is summarizing the Comic's joke about Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill and the briefcase that looks like a fish by stating, "So the juxtaposition of gender and an amphibian briefcase..." Data should know the difference between fish and amphibians. See more »

Quotes

Wesley Crusher: Say goodbye, Data.
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Goodbye, Data.
[crew laughs]
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Was that funny?
Wesley Crusher: [laughs]
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Accessing. Ah! Burns and Allen, Roxy Theater, New York City, 1932. It still works.
[pauses]
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Then there was the one about the girl in the nudist colony, that nothing looked good on?
Lieutenant Worf: We're ready to get under way, sir.
Lt. Cmdr. Data: Take my Worf, please.
[...]
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Soundtracks

Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

 
A show about humor and adventure, without either.
15 July 2008 | by (Kenmore, WA) – See all my reviews

After too many bad memories, I took to skipping this episode each time it showed up in the Season 2 sequence. I recently watched it again just to remind me why. I've always considered this the worst ST:TNG episode (with the exception of "Shades of Gray," which barely counts as an episode at all).

I keep listening to the clunky dialogue and thinking of the script red-penciled by the author's Writing 101 teacher: "SHOW, DON'T TELL!" From Deanna Troi's pronouncement, and everyone else's constant elbowing reminders about what a charming, dangerous rogue Okona is, to Guinan's explanation about how funny her droid joke is (it isn't), to the who-cares resolution to the conflict, there isn't a plot point that isn't highlighted and triple-underlined for our edification, and there ain't a believable moment in any of it. Unfortunately, Bill Campbell, a charming actor in other circumstances, is too puppy-dog huggable to be the center of the machinations of the plot. On the other hand, it could be that no one short of John Barrowman (Jack Harkness from "Doctor Who") could pull of this underwritten placeholder of a role.

(Zero points, by the way, to the Data subplot. While I think Joe Piscopo stopped being funny decades ago, he and Brent Spiner had nothing to work with here. Although the Jerry Lewis bit was funny in a stupid way.)

On a good day, you may be able to think of this as a charming little homage to a lesser Original Series episode. Me, I'd rather skip ahead to "Time Squared" or "Q Who."


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