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Kromm

Barney Miller

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The best TV cop show in history.  Period.  The best instrumental theme in TV history.  Period.  One of the best sitcoms ever (although modern tastes can't always grasp onto because it all happens in two rooms and the pace is kinda slow compared to today's comedies).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a wonderful show.  It's turned into a worthy successor.  But it all goes back to Barney.

The Jazztastic Opening Theme:  

 

Edited by Kromm

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Yep, this is definitely the funkiest. Ron Glass's bit is awesome.

I was never completely sold on their poses in the credits though. Max Gail got especially screwed in them.  Ron Carey a bit too, although I think his got "redone" a few times because they changed his role in the show.  Plus this is a later season credit sequence in the video clip.  Earlier ones had far more faces to show (and that quicker timing probably actually helped the credits) -- Fish, Jack, Chano, and (although she hardly appeared on the show) Barney's wife.  

EDIT - actually wow.  I'd forgotten how much the credits changed.  The Season 1 creds were TOTALLY different.  In fact, here's a video someone made showing all of the credit versions from Seasons 1-4 (so half the show) back to back:

 

 

Wojo got to do KARATE in the first one!  And they traded that for him sitting at a desk feeling up a baseball, looking bored?  Man.  Who'd HE piss off in production?

That season 1-4 video even shows some end-credits (which I didn't even remember) and it has totally different EXTRA-funky parts of the song.

As for Ron Glass?  If you dig through all of the versions, I've come to the conclusion that Ron made his own magic. He was best in EVERY version in those.

Edited by Kromm

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Few series have surpassed Barney Miller in the accumulation of a "repertory company" of actors and actresses who turned up again and again in different roles to populate the stories. Some of my favorites include (and I haven't gone back to double-check everyone, it's possible some of these appeared only once):

Kenneth Tigar

Stanley Kamel (hm, is there a theme here?)

Barrie Youngfellow

Peggy Pope

Beverly Sanders

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He is?? I could have sworn he kicked it years ago.

 

I love Abe. He could have been a twin for my grandpa.

 

{ETA-- crying with laughter after playing song on site.]

Edited by bunnywithanaxe

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He is?? I could have sworn he kicked it years ago.

 

I love Abe. He could have been a twin for my grandpa.

 

{ETA-- crying with laughter after playing song on site.]

Read up on the story behind why that website even exists.  Abe was famously misreported dead in 1982 by People Magazine (quite simply, he was labeled as "the late Abe Vigoda").  At the time he was only 61, but because he'd been playing roles older than himself for so long (he looked 60 when he was 40, 80 when he was 60, etc.), apparently it was easy to assume he was dead of old age.  

Abe not only laughed off the mistake, he bought space in Variety, and had them print of photo of him sitting up in a coffin holding that issue of People.

Then in 1987 it happened AGAIN--a reporter on a New York TV station referred to him as "the late Abe Vigoda".  

Then David Letterman got ahold of Abe.  Letterman had him on as a kind of walk-on stunt and made a joke about Abe being his own ghost.  Abe came back with a great line they scripted for him "I'm not dead yet, you pinhead!"

Later, after Conan took that timeslot, he also had Vigoda on and did some very similar bits to Letterman's initial one.

if you've ever seen the 1997 film Good Burger, Vigoda appeared in it and they did a joke about how he should have been dead years ago.

In the middle of that (2001), some programmer out there, hearing all of these misreports and jokes, put up that Abe Vigoda status page to run with the joke.  So the page has now been up for almost 13 years.

Wow, here's ANOTHER Letterman bit with Abe I've never seen (this is not the "you pinhead" one, which I have seen many times).

And here's one of the many many Conan bits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMw5oEaDk_w

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Did they ever release the theme song as a single? Like they did "Elaine's Theme" and "Welcome Back Kotter"?

I don't know if it was a single per se, but it definitely WAS released commercially in some form, because there's a three minute long cut of it (versus the version used in the titles, which ranged between 45 seconds and a minute in different versions).

I'd actually argue the song gets even BETTER in the parts nobody hears in those credits.

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Who was it that played the guy who was convinced that he was a werewolf? I was sure it was Sam Anderson (who's probably best know for playing Bernard on Lost), but I just double-checked both his Wikipedia and IMDB pages, and the show wasn't listed.

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Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

Favorite episode?

By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

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This likely wasn't the real Abe (it may have been the guy who runs the Abe Vigoda Status Page website though), but for awhile there were daily tweets proclaiming his continued life:

https://twitter.com/abevigoda

Often with quips like "If I studied Scientology I'd wish I wasn't alive." or "Jimmy Hoffa and I are both alive" or "Thundercats Ho! I feel alive".

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[still alive]

So says the perennial internet hit, the ABE VIGODA STATUS PAGE:  http://www.abevigoda.com/

 

Until he's not (and I forget to come back here and change this post)

Wow.  Apparently someone actually made a COPY of the Abe Vigoda Status Page idea.  Who knew?

http://isabevigodadead.com/

 

Also, here's a nice photo of Abe in his Wombat suit appearance from last year's Phish concert:

abe-vigoda.jpg?w=650&h=375

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I think it's either MeTV or AntennaTV that shows this.  I forget which night though.  I do still love it, and agree about "Hash" as being one of the funniest episodes.

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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That episode and the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf are my all time favorites. I have not seen this show in years, none of the cable providers in our town carry a channel that shows it. I always thought maybe TV Land would start showing it but no dice. Sad really because it truly was a hilarious show.

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Some of the best writing in episodic television comedy.  You really had to listen to every word or you could miss something classic!  I can remember my dad laughing so hard there were tears running down his face!

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I remember an episode with Deputy Inspector Frank Luger in it.  There was something about a mail order bride from the Philippines and Luger suggested that she "ooze on back to Luzon."  I don't know why but I remember that line to this day and still find it hilarious.

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James Gregory (Inspector Luger) had the greatest delivery, didn't he?  I can still hear him saying, "Bah-ney.  You oughta be out on the street, whipping the citizenry inta shape."  Even in the '70s he looked old-school with the hat.

 

Most of the cast had distinctive ways of speaking, now that I think about it.

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Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

 

I've been enjoying it from Shout!'s full release; it's been so good that I'm almost through the series (I'm on the penultimate disc, and I'm nearing the 3-part Landmark finale).

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Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

 

I've been catching it on Family Net at 230pm EST/1130am PST.  On weekends there's a one hour block at 7pm EST/4pm PST. 

 

ETA:   For some dish carriers, this can be Rural or RFD-TV.

Edited by magicdog
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Antenna TV is carrying the show Sunday nights on my cable network (cablevision).

 

 

 

Can't believe it's taken me this long to find my way here.

Is anyone watching Barney Miller these days? If so, where?

Favorite episode?

By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

 

 

That episode and the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf are my all time favorites. I have not seen this show in years, none of the cable providers in our town carry a channel that shows it. I always thought maybe TV Land would start showing it but no dice. Sad really because it truly was a hilarious show.

Kopeckne - that's how I think the werewolf spelled his name.  It's running later tonight.  I've got the DVR set!

 

Love the theme music.  Really takes me back to my childhood.

 

I think Jack Soo and Fish were my favorites with Harris a runner up.  Watching again as an adult, I can appreciate some of the other detectives as well including Wentworth who I didn't care for the first time around.

 

Luger with his "Brownie" stories and his hat.  The mail order bride episode where he has Barney write letters for him.

 

One thing that I find interesting is how the stories from the 70s are very much relevant today.  They just had an episode a couple weeks ago of when people were calling in fake robberies so they could shoot at the cops.  The hasidic riots.  Political corruption (OK, that's always relevant).  Favoritism, cronyism.  Etc etc.

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Brett Somers was on an episode tonight.  Playing a wife whose husband locked her in the bathroom on election day so she couldn't cancel out his vote.

 

Ned Glass who played the super/landlord in Julia (with Diahann Carroll), a Aspire favorite, played a janitor in a recent episode who was charged with catching a huge rat.

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Today's episode had Ron Carey who became Levitt play Angelo Molinari aka The Mole - a robber who runs through sewers.  Wojo and Harris chase him down there and come back covered in ... poo.

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Not exactly on topic but

 

Saw Jack Soo on an episode of Julia (late 60s), he was a Christmas tree salesman and he sold a Charlie Brown type of tree to Julia and her son Corey.  He was so young looking!  Had a quasi Elvis vibe going on.  I love when I spot people in older shows.  (Julia is on Aspire.)

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By far "Hash" was the funniest episode ever.

 

 

"Mushie, mushie!" 

 

"Squish, Squish!" 

 

"This is the best I've felt in 25 years and [the cure] just has to be illegal!"

 

"This is definitely hash,  Barney.  I can tell by the way I feel!"

 

 

 

the one with the guy who thought he was a werewolf

 

 

Too Funny! 

 

When it's announced a man who thinks he's a werewolf is coming in:

 

Nick:  "I better put some newspapers on the floor [of the cage]"

 

 

Later when Kopechne starts howling and is told by Barney to calm down:

 

Nick:  I think he's a real [werewolf]!   He had hair growing out of his face!

 

Barney:  That's a BEARD!"  Haven't you ever seen one before?

 

Nick:  "Not in my family!"

 

(Damn, I miss Jack Soo!)

Edited by magicdog
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"Mushie, mushie!" 

 

"Squish, Squish!" 

 

"This is the best I've felt in 25 years and [the cure] just has to be illegal!"

 

"This is definitely hash,  Barney.  I can tell by the way I feel!"

 

Just saw that one last night!  Wojo brings in special brownies.  Nice girlfriend you got there Wojo!   I laughed when the robber described Fish chasing him across rooftops jumping 12 feet in span. 

 

One thing I did notice in the rewatching of these episodes is how misogynistic they are.  A battered wife comes in and they ask her why he did it.  They shrug it off to the 'heat'.  Then when she hesitates to sign the form, they don't talk her through it, they walk her out.  Then lots of 'jokes' about using violence on women.  Sign of the times.

 

One of the funnier ones (which I've saved on my DVR) is when the guys cross dress to catch a rapist in Central Park.  Fish and Wojo. No words.  And when Wentworth gets jealous that the rapist picked Wojo over her... OK, completely not pc but funny.

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A battered wife comes in and they ask her why he did it.  They shrug it off to the 'heat'.

 

 

It's been a while since I saw this one, but I always thought of it as just asking what instigated the fight.  The "heat excuse" I've seen used (usually from non LEO) to excuse riots.  I think it may have to do with a theory that riots/violence were believed to have been linked to a rise in temperatures ("long hot summer").  Back then, not everyone had air conditioning either, which would have added to things.

 

 

Then when she hesitates to sign the form, they don't talk her through it, they walk her out.

 

 

I can't remember if she was a regular or not, as she might have tried to report her husband before.  They may not have talked her through it because either she had been there before, or she (and many women like her) kept refusing to sign the papers out of "love" or loyalty  to their men.  Sadly, cops see the same behavior in such women and probably expect them all to react similarly.  IIRC, the character was hemming and hawing for the majority of the episode.

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It's been a while since I saw this one, but I always thought of it as just asking what instigated the fight.  The "heat excuse" I've seen used (usually from non LEO) to excuse riots.  I think it may have to do with a theory that riots/violence were believed to have been linked to a rise in temperatures ("long hot summer").  Back then, not everyone had air conditioning either, which would have added to things.

 

 

 

I can't remember if she was a regular or not, as she might have tried to report her husband before.  They may not have talked her through it because either she had been there before, or she (and many women like her) kept refusing to sign the papers out of "love" or loyalty  to their men.  Sadly, cops see the same behavior in such women and probably expect them all to react similarly.  IIRC, the character was hemming and hawing for the majority of the episode.

Yea, I think it's just the era.  I don't know if she was a repeat visitor, they didn't seem to know her.  She did walk out and come back in about 1 minute later to sign the papers.  What I found cringe worthy were the comments between the detectives.  Even my beloved Fish made some comments about women in general, knowing their place, being able to take a hit etc.  It's been over a few episodes that the comments are pretty bad. 

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That one episode with the battered wife (at least she finally does sign the form) is by far the worst in that respect, over the whole series. I recall seeing general agreement on that point in other forums. I'm afraid I just skip it when I rematch the series. Other episodes I can shrug and acknowledge that sensitivities on some subjects have been made mainstream over time (no doubt we'll look insensitive in our turn, to people in the future). But that one episode does cross a line for me; it's just unpleasant to watch, and not in any way that was intended.

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There was another episode where a woman reports being raped by her husband and it had comments like "how can a man rape his own wife?" although I don't think those things were said by the cops, but it ended with no change either.  The woman went home with her husband, if I recall correctly.

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Some boring technical trivia from American Cinematographer. Danny Arnold wanted the set to look just like a dark dreary police station. Unfortunately this was a 70's sitcom shot on videotape and networks demanded these all be brightly lit. The set designer brought the light levels on the set down but ABC said they'd just crank up the gain on the cameras to brighten everything again.

 

You know those little desk lights? That was Arnold's solution. If they increased the gain on the cameras, the bright desk lights would leave "trails" whenever the camera panned. ABC couldn't find a way around this so they relented. That's why Barney Miller looked different from other sitcoms on the era.

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Just saw that one last night!  Wojo brings in special brownies.  Nice girlfriend you got there Wojo!   I laughed when the robber described Fish chasing him across rooftops jumping 12 feet in span. 

 

I believe that one also had one of the funniest lines. Harris tells Barney that it's definitely hash in the brownies while blissfully eating one. Barney takes the brownie and tells him to go home and "come back when you feel better."

 

"I'll go home, Barney. But I'm never gonna feel better."

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"anybody seen my legs? they're about this long...."

 

they had a long way to go with women's issues, but they were remarkably gay-friendly for the times, as I recall. there was a gay couple who were regulars. what were their names? they were always treated with respect--even Wojo, who was really uncomfortable with them at first, eventually got over it.

 

Harris on mugging detail, when he had to shave his moustache? Gold.

Harris: OK, Nick, go on--let's hear your witty comments

Yemana, in awe: you look lovely!

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"anybody seen my legs? they're about this long...."

 

they had a long way to go with women's issues, but they were remarkably gay-friendly for the times, as I recall. there was a gay couple who were regulars. what were their names? they were always treated with respect--even Wojo, who was really uncomfortable with them at first, eventually got over it.

 

Harris on mugging detail, when he had to shave his moustache? Gold.

Harris: OK, Nick, go on--let's hear your witty comments

Yemana, in awe: you look lovely!

Marty & Daryl.  One of my favorites was the Quarantine episode where a perp is suspected of measles and everyone in the room is on lock-down until the test results come back.  They wind up sleeping on cots overnight and Wojo wants to place Marty & Daryl at opposite ends of the room.

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I remember being annoyed by Marty at first -- I got indignant about having such stereotypically queeny portrayals on TV -- but over time I saw that the show had a longterm plan for the characters, in the vein of "can't we all get along?" 

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I have a vague memory of the episode where everyone had to sleep overnight in the precinct. Harris didn't just talk in his sleep but yelled in his sleep including an unkind remark about his boss. He yells "I wanna be somebody!" and wakes up to everyone looking at him. As usual Barney is not upset at all and tells everyone to disregard what they had heard.

 

I can't imagine a scene (a tone of serious comedy) like this in a sitcom on TV today. It's more like a comic moment in a serious drama.

Edited by scowl

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There was another episode where a woman reports being raped by her husband and it had comments like "how can a man rape his own wife?" although I don't think those things were said by the cops, but it ended with no change either.  The woman went home with her husband, if I recall correctly.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0519086/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_15

Barney Miller: Season 4, Episode 15 Rape (26 Jan. 1978)

 

That episode aired on 1/27 on ANT.  I'm watching it now.  It's so uncomfortable their reactions from the first time the woman tells them that she's been raped "Oh boy" to when she tells them who did that.  Linda Dano played the ADA.

 

Thankfully there is levity from Dietrich's complainant who got robbed by a priest in a confessional.

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Tonight's episode was when the squad room was vandalized and Harris suggests Levitt might be behind it.  Turns out it was Jim from Taxi whom Barney had given a littering ticket to back in 1961 (for throwing a half eaten hotdog in the street).  Funniest part was when Barney orders Nick to straighten up the files and Nick looks at the graffiti that says Miller is a MF-er (assuming) and then looks at Barney and says that he has nothing else to add.

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They showed the Jack Soo tribute tonight, introduced by the cast as themselves. I don't think I'd ever seen it before.  It was hilarious and sad.  and perfect.  That's how you do a tribute.

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They showed the Jack Soo tribute tonight, introduced by the cast as themselves. I don't think I'd ever seen it before.  It was hilarious and sad.  and perfect.  That's how you do a tribute.

I have it recorded - look forward to watching it.

 

Saw one with Seigal's department store (S6, E1, Inquisition) where someone busts up the elevator music system.  They bleeped out Muzak.  Wonder why?  NVM.  Googled it.  Seems Muzak wanted to be paid every time the episode aired.  Sheesh!

 

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=53189

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All-Star Super Password special with Hal Linden, Max Gail, Ron Carey, and Gregory Sierra... the cast of Barney Miller!

 

 

Day 3 (3/9/88), day 4 (3/10/88), and day 5 (3/11/88) on the sidebar on the right

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I have 35 episodes on my tivo right now--some little local station is running two episodes a day!! I'm a happy viewer. Last night I watched "Eviction".

 

What a great show. All the characters are real people, not cardboard stereotypes, and everyone changed and grew over time. I love it.

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Remember when WIlliam Windom played the suicidal lunatic Commander Decker on the "Doomsday Machine" episode of Star Trek? I loved it when he showed up on Barney Miller playing another suicidal lunatic in an episode called "Doomsday". 

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An episode circa 1982 when the detectives needed to don plain clothes as it was Sargent exam day.

 

Luger: I'm not the same man I was in 1957.

Barney: Who is, Inspector?

Dietrich: Dick Clark.

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