Night Court (1984–1992)
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Unlike today's sitcoms where everyone portrays Woody Allen and has "sex on the brain", only one man, ONE MAN, in the cast was thinking non-stop about sexing. John Laroquette, as Dan Fielding; Assistant DA of New York, was brilliant in portraying the sleazy, sexually-addicted hunk. He won 4 Emmys for his portrayal (more then anyone else currently in T.V. comedy will ever hope to win). There were episodes where he alone made the show a gas. But you also have Harry Anderson's Judge Harold T. Stone; who's flair for magic and Mel Torme made him a much-loved star and 6'9 bailiff Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon helped make a name for Richard Moll as he played the simple-minded Forrest Gump-type lug that people would want to know. The other cast members were superb as well, especially as soon as they brought in Markie Post as the permanent Public Defender and deadpan comic Marsha Warfield as Bailiff Roz Russell in 1986. The cast stayed together until 1992 and it gelled beautifully.
With great stories and lots of hilarity, the show ruled, and although it was adult in nature because of Larroquette's character, it did it in a classy way. You couldn't hate Dan, he just had charm and flair, and wasn't something from "Friends". I believe this show is still running on A&E so if you've never seen this classic sit-com, give it a try and see what a sit-com is supposed to be like.
On a side note, one of my favorite quotes of all-time comes from "Night Court" ---
Man in courtroom: "Why is the sky blue?" Harry: "Because if it was green, we wouldn't know where to stop mowing."
Harry Anderson gave perhaps the best role of his career as the manic Judge Harry, and was absolutely wonderful. Richard Moll, Markie Post, and John Larroquette also made the show memorable. If you loved sitcoms that delivered nonstop laughs and great characters, the one's for you. Incidentally, "The Practice" guest star Ray Abruzzo appeared on this show for a few years.
**** out of ****
They were not afraid to be bizarre, as the writers would give us scenes such as Wild E Coyote appearing before Judge Stone for chasing the Road Runner. The cast would also face believable moral dilemmas, that alot of today's sitcom's do not dare attempt, or pull off as successfully.
As an adult it's even better . I've bought the first three seasons on DVD and recommend it if you enjoy great characters and a slick jazzy opening
There's something different about Night Court, and I think most fans will agree. Though it may sometimes cross the line, Night Court viewers are never let down. As I've said, I'm 14, and none of my friends have ever watched this show, which I think is extremely unfortunate. This 80s sitcom is better than any show I've seen on TV now.
I will continue to watch Night Court every night, and if (hopefully) it is still on when I have kids, I will make them sit down and watch this classic.
5 stars out of 5.
You don't seem to hear much about it nowadays--Harry, Markie Post, Marsha Warfield have kinda disappeared, though you Know both Larroquette and Bull there will never be outta work, ditto Charles Robinson.
I thought the cast was great, the show had a fine line between chaotic slapstick and socially relevant plot lines, which oddly enough Worked though damned if I know how. For about 4 years-'85-89 or so, this show was at the top of it's game and by far the best of those NBC Cosby era sitcoms for my money.
They don't make'em like this anymore.
**** outta ****
The show went had a great cast throughout it's run. Harry Anderson as Judge Harry Stone, Richard Moll as the dumb but lovable ox Bull (pun not intended), John Larroquette as the sleazy sex craved Assistant D.A. Dan Fielding and Charles Robinson as Mac were there from the beginning. The show really took form with the additions of Markie Post as Defense Attorney Christine Sullivan and Marsha Warfield as Roz.
Harry was a Judge who loved Mel Torme and magic. He constantly played pranks on people and was constantly joking around. Bull was the giant-sized Baliff who was intimidating and had a mean streak but who was also dumb, funny and caring, hands down the best character on the show. Dan was money and power driven, always aspiring to get money quick no matter if it were legal or not. He also had a strong sexual desire and wanted as much sex as he could get whenever wherever. Christine always was very emotional and did her best to get her clients off the charges while fighting off Dan's advances and struggling with her feelings for Judge Stone. Roz was another Baliff. She was street tough who talked the talk and backed it up.
All the characters fit perfectly with one another and the show was always laugh out loud funny which is why it lasted almost a decade on TV and has been a constant in syndication. The show also had many famous guest stars that were either early in their careers or who were loved for decades by others. Some of those stars include Michael J. Fox, Michael Richards, Mel Torme and Yokov Smirnoff
The best part of the show is the motley cast of characters who works the night court. It's a great group. Despite losing Selma and Billy, the show's chemistry is never lost. It's too bad that Ellen Foley got dropped. Billie has some fun romantic build-up with Harry. There is no doubt that Markie Post is an upgrade. This is a fun mid-level 80s comedy show.
Night Court is one of the best sitcoms of all time and he is a big reason why. He was so funny and likable and an undervalued talent. His appearances on Cheers were also great and funny. A VERY good comedy magician as well.
He starred as a Night Court judge, the youngest in the history of New York, who does magic tricks and plays pranks on people with joke shop gags etc... but he's also a fair and brilliant judge with a big heart, who is always underestimated by others and always proves them wrong.
The cast around him is also awesome. Bull... three different female bailiffs who were all awesome in their own way... Markie Post... and don't forget John Larroquette who won several Emmy awards for the role he was born to play, the smooth talking, upwardly mobile, manipulative, ambitious, scumbag, womanizing assistant district attorney Dan Fielding.
Harry Anderson stars as a wacky "night court" judge, stuck on the graveyard shift at a New York City courtroom. He's silly, tells a lot of bad "dad jokes" and does a lot of magic tricks (in real life he is a comedy magician, which he also had showed off in his guest roles on another great eighties sitcom, Cheers). So at first obviously he is dismissed as a goof but he's also actually got a lot of heart and wisdom and knowledge of the law, which is why he got to be a judge so young (and when he's so goofy) in the first place.
The defense attorney is a bleeding heart and very attractive young lady, who becomes Harry's romantic interest but also is the target of the lecherous, selfish, stop at nothing to win, heartless D.A. Dan Fielding, played by the hilarious John Larroquette who won many awards for this role. All of these characters are still likable and hold up today, as well as Mac the no nonsense court manager, the gigantic, dopey bald bailiff Bull (Richard Moll), and a succession of female bailiffs (two older, gruff talking, smoking bailiffs actually passed away in real life, and then Roz, the sassy black lady who takes no nonsense from anyone, particularly Dan). The supporting characters are also fantastic. Whoever cast this show, I hope they won a lot of awards.
The writing also holds up with a lot of great jokes. You can kind of tell where most of the stories are going, just like with any older sitcom, but it's still a lot of fun to get there when the characters are this likable and the jokes are still funny.
Moll, he of no hair but great height, delivers a subdued, enigmatic performance as Bull the bailiff. It is some of his finest work ever. Moll fans will not want to miss this unique series, which lasted nine seasons on NBC and is now languishing in obscurity.
Without Moll, I am afraid to contemplate what this 1980s/90s series would have looked like. Because of Richard Moll as Bull the bailiff, I give this show a rating of 7 out of 10.
PS: Watch for Markie Post in the role that made her famous.
The judge is Harry Stone who's a big fan of magic and overall prankster and a huge fan of Mel Torme.
The prosecutor is Dan Fielding who's your usual womanizer and greedy individual.
Christine Sullivan plays the defense attorney who can be described as a bleeding heart, very naive and honest to a fault.
Mack plays the court clerk who was the most normal of all the characters.
Bull and Roz play the bailiffs. Bull was a big man who while being a bit slow witted was very child like. Roz was the tough as nails character you didn't want to mess with.
With such colorful, sleazy characters things couldn't get wrong in the court. Even supporting characters that included robbers, beggars, among others were truly hilarious.
Harry Anderson, the great Richard Moll, the GREAT John Larrouquette, Markie Post, Marsha W., Florence Halop, etc. conformed the perfect cast and seemed to have great chemistry between them. You can't get a better cast.
The situations were taken from real life but of course with spice. The result is a hilarious show with excellent characters and great situations.
I can't praise this show enough. Sony Entertainment Television Latin America aired re-runs in the late 90's but , sadly, I mean SADLY, they stopped running this show since 1999. I miss it very much. It was probably my favorite show and I didn't watch it when it originally came out.
Please, bring back "Night Court" the funniest serious sitcom.
There was the deadpan comedy of Selma Diamond & when she died her replacement Marsha Warfield didn't skip a beat. Some great guest stars livened up the series too including John Astin as Harry's Dad Buddy.
The writing was very good on this show & with the talented cast it couldn't help but be a very good show for quite a few bright years on NBC.