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Nostalgia Tour: Night Court

Updated on July 21, 2012

Opening credits

(This Hub is part of a series of nostalgic tours of shows from NBC's mid-season 1986-1987 "Must See TV" line-up, probably the greatest three-hour television time bloc ever. The rest of the series includes The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers and L.A. Law.)

The sitcom of this group that attracted the most niche market, Night Court never reached the popular height of any of the other shows in this list. Yet, its originality, wit and absurdity rank it among my most treasured TV shows. It features a courtroom whose judge, attorneys, clerks and bailiffs are each more than a little quirky. Their uniqueness and brilliance is that the characters -- in particular that of Judge Harry Stone, played by Harry Anderson, -- are not archetypical. In most television shows, the characters tend to fit familiar patterns. The characters in Night Court -- both the stars, regular guests and the people on trial -- are new and fresh, a veritable you-never-know-what's-going-to-happen-next.

Night Court also served as host to many famous regulars and emerging stars. One of the unique pleasures in re-watching episodes is seeing how the show defined, launched or intersected with many careers (for instance Brent Spiner as "Bob Wheeler" or Teri Thatcher in "Just Say, 'No'"; clips below). While Night Court might never be named among the best television shows in TV history, it certainly endures as one of the most original and unique in terms of its characters.

Perhaps a Monty Python line introduces it best: "And now for something completely different."

Enjoy your nostalgic tour of Night Court!

Getting Your Attention (Christine Opens Her Blouse)

Bob and June Wheeler

Just Say, "No"

The Big Penguin

Do you have any favorite Night Court memories? List them below and/or link the clip!


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    • FF Commish profile image

      FF Commish 4 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Great line-up, KF Raizor. Thanks for the comment!

    • KF Raizor profile image

      KF Raizor 5 years ago

      There was only one other night like Thursdays on NBC in the 80s in my lifetime, and that was CBS's Saturday night line-up of All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett in 1973-74. CBS wasn't smart enough to keep THAT group of shows together (moving M*A*S*H to Tuesday the next year) so most people don't remember it for being a powerhouse line-up the way the NBC Thursday night line-up was.

      Thanks for the hub.