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The Barney Miller episode, "Heat Wave," (S02, E05, first aired Oct. 9, 1975) in which "a wife claims spousal abuse" airs tonighton Antenna TV.

On various boards there has been discussion as to whether the purpose of this story line was

  1. to draw attention to the issue of there being no laws at the time that permitted a it there not being support for a woman to file a complaint against an abusive husband or
  2. the idea of a woman filing a complaint of abuse against her husband was a joke.

I seem to be outnumbered in assuming the 2nd option is correct (based upon the show's writers using plots to draw attention to civil rights of minorities, war objectors, and women's rights).
If I can watch it tonight, I'll try to see it both ways.

*Whoops. It was 6.6, "Rape," which reflected that in the 70s there were no laws against spousal rape. Tonight's episode has the battered woman ...

Same basic issues as to whether the writers were trying to draw attention to the problem or make light of it.

ETA Fish (the token "senior citizen" on the show, although Abe Vigoda was only in his early 50s) was the only one who made sarcastic remarks about the abuse, so I conclude that the writers were trying to show that modern thinkers would take it seriously.

Edited by shapeshifter
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Fans who check this thread: FETV is running the Jack Soo tribute ep tomorrow (Monday) @ 10:30pm, West Coast time.

I haven't seen it in years decades, but I still remember the last line: "Wherever Jack is, we hope the coffee is great!"

I'll correct that as needed after the show airs? 

ETA:  Well, Hal just said, "To Jack!", and they all raised their coffee mugs.

But I feel so sure about those words, makes me think I read them in a TV Guide article about him.

Loved the whole -- way too brief! half-hour.  A great reminder of what made Jack Soo one of a kind.  He figured prominently in two of my favorite eps: the hash brownies, and Mr Kopechne, who thought he was a werewolf.

Edited by voiceover
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I am thoroughly enjoying these FETV reruns.  It's a case of, "Wow!  It is as good as I remember!"  The comedy always worked, and the social messaging wasn't laid on with a trowel.  Just enough to make you pause, think, and move on.

And those guys were always something to look at.

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Watching tonight, and wondering, not for the first time, why a post-divorce Barney never got any action.   I am now the same age as Hal Linden was during the show's run, and I keep thinking: I'd hit that.

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4 hours ago, voiceover said:

Watching tonight, and wondering, not for the first time, why a post-divorce Barney never got any action.   I am now the same age as Hal Linden was during the show's run, and I keep thinking: I'd hit that.

Heh. There was a woman who flirted with him; they went into his office, and something almost happened, and I think maybe the detectives thought it did. And there was at least one other time when sparks were flying. But I recall Barney saying he was a married man. The writers kept his character on a pretty short leash of Virtue.

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Barney and Liz never divorced; they separated for a while, then got back together. Accordingly, an upright man like Barney would consider himself still married, even though not currently living with his wife.

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7 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Heh. There was a woman who flirted with him; they went into his office, and something almost happened, and I think maybe the detectives thought it did. And there was at least one other time when sparks were flying. But I recall Barney saying he was a married man. The writers kept his character on a pretty short leash of Virtue.

Yay!!  I look forward to those episodes.

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The last 2 eps aired tonight (fortunately they're resetting Monday), and of course I got a little teary.

I completely forgot Linda Lavin was on the show (Barney has a moment alone before he leaves where he recalls scenes with Chano, Fish, Yemana, and Wentworth).  Can't wait to watch the eps with her again! IIRC, she had to climb up the check-in board to reach her mark.  I did remember the moment they showed tonight -- where she's so furious with a suspect, she screams an obscenity into her purse.

I did that once over a student of mine!

This show, man.  Genius.

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They had several short-term additions to the group over the years, who would last half a dozen episodes before being transferred out again. Linda Lavin was, I think, the best of those. She fit in so perfectly.

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17 hours ago, voiceover said:

IIRC, she had to climb up the check-in board to reach her mark.

I think that might have been Detective Batista, played by June Gable, but I'm not 100% positive. I guess we'll find out when they show her episodes again (3.8 & 3.12 according to IMDb). Linda Lavin had 6 episodes in season 2.

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9 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

Detective Batista, played by June Gable,

And later in life, June Gable became a familiar face (and voice!) on TV as Joey's chain-smoking agent Estelle, on Friends.

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On 10/16/2017 at 7:58 PM, shapeshifter said:

I think that might have been Detective Batista, played by June Gable, but I'm not 100% positive. I guess we'll find out when they show her episodes again (3.8 & 3.12 according to IMDb). Linda Lavin had 6 episodes in season 2.

Batista had to climb to check herself in as Levitt would move her name up after she left each evening.

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This Season 1 isn't quite M*A*S*H Season 1-awful, but I'm not a fan.  So much better when they dropped the outside stuff & focused on the squad room and the daily grind.

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5 hours ago, voiceover said:

This Season 1 isn't quite M*A*S*H Season 1-awful, but I'm not a fan.  So much better when they dropped the outside stuff & focused on the squad room and the daily grind.

Do you mean the scenes in Barney's apartment? I don't think there's more than a couple of episodes.
I absolutely cannot watch the two episodes in Wojo's apartment with his ex-prostitute girlfriend.
The episode in Fish's apartment is tolerable.

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10 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Do you mean the scenes in Barney's apartment? I don't think there's more than a couple of episodes.

I haven't counted (I'll check ep descriptions at IMDb), but it feels like it's been at least 3 -- every 1st season ep shown so far-- and the only one that wasn't was an out-of-precinct stakeout featuring Match Game's Brett Somers as the Polish landlady who makes a Polish joke to Wojo.  In Polish.  (Actually, that was a funny moment -- in the "I can say it because I am one" way)

It all just feels a little broad.  And, though I love Barbara Barrie, and she & Hal are a nice onscreen couple, I'm already irritated by the number of phone calls Liz makes to the squad room.  Writer's fault.

At least the remotes should all go away soon.

Edited by voiceover
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"Werewolf" was on tonight, and I was so totally charmed by it, as always.  Of course, most of it belongs to Jack Soo, but all the regulars play a part.

One of those eps that belong in a time capsule of TV's greatest.

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Obviously 1977, a good year.

"Abduction" featured David Clennon as the head of a cult/restaurant.  He would go on to greater things, notably Miles in thirtysomething, but here he was his usual sardonic hoot ("We deliver!") as a Jesus lookalike.

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This evening featured “Quo Vadis?”, where the squad gets word that Barney’s been shot (turns out to be a very minor injury).  

Only Liz turns up, because the hospital where he goes to be treated, has called her.  And she fears the worst.

The ensuing argument between the two is as emotional and wrenching a scene as there ever was in this series.  I always cry; I did tonight.

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On 10/19/2017 at 7:19 AM, shapeshifter said:

Do you mean the scenes in Barney's apartment? I don't think there's more than a couple of episodes.
I absolutely cannot watch the two episodes in Wojo's apartment with his ex-prostitute girlfriend.
The episode in Fish's apartment is tolerable.

Beverly is busy.  One of my favorite Dietrich scenes.  I also like when Bernice explains how Fish feeds the pigeons.  He pelts them with stale bread.

All in all I prefer the in precinct stories, no need to leave the building.  The one with Brett Somers and the stakeout apartment was good. Barney stopping by Chano's apartment after Chano shoots the bank robbers, makes sense.  Barney and Liz at home? Meh.  Wojo at home? Unnecessary.  Even with Harris and Dietrich lived together, we could visualize it without seeing it.

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52 minutes ago, Lola16 said:

Barney stopping by Chano's apartment after Chano shoots the bank robbers, makes sense

That scene should be seen by all acting students, IMO.

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A pre-Facts of Life Charlotte Rae played a ditz who signed up to go to Saturn in "The Sniper." 

Jeffrey Tambor (much younger of course, but still bald) played a conspiracy theorist who feared the Trilateral Commission in "Field Associate."

A very young James Cromwell plays a doctor (cardiologist?) in "Stress Analyst."  Saw that one recently - he plays it relatively low-key for BM, and if I hadn't recognized him he would have made no impression on me at all.   According to IMDb he's also in "Strip Joint," "Liquidation," and "Group Home" -- different characters in each one, apparently -- but haven't seen those recently so no comments there.

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On 4/15/2014 at 9:15 PM, Rinaldo said:

It was Kenneth Tigar.

 

And he came back - don't recall the episode name, but this time the character was convinced he was possessed by a demon.  Cue the exorcist parody, complete with demonic voices (which I didn't care for - too OTT and not in the relatively realist tradition of the show).  

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So I've been watching this on the Sundance Channel recently.  I was a bit too young to appreciate them when they first ran, being just a little kid, but I'm really enjoying them now, especially as a time capsule of the mid-to-late seventies and early eighties.  The early eps especially take you back to the whole "Ford To City: Drop Dead!" era.  At one point a character says something to the effect that "all the honest people need to move out of town and then we can wall it up and just turn the whole city into a prison."  Not that I'm claiming that was the direct inspiration for Escape From New York;  I'm sure it was a general sentiment at the time.  Just amusing in retrospect.  

I love Dietrich explaining the weird new concept of in vitro fertilization.

There's one ep, "The Sniper," where the B-plot - about a con-artist who's selling charter flights to Saturn - is clearly based on the group that later became the Heaven's Gate cult.  (They were in the news briefly at the time recruiting members.)  There's a line that's wince-inducing in retrospect.  They're asking the cult leader about their bodies being left behind on Earth while their spirits are whizzing off to Saturn and he breezily says, "Oh, they're biodegradable!" So they were.

Even though I didn't really appreciate it at the time, I did catch a few eps first-run.  I remember specifically the Agent Orange two-parter (first time I ever heard of AO), and the one where the grad student built the A-Bomb (watching it as an adult, so scientifically ridiculous!).  I've seen those again on Sundance.  But there's one I vaguely remember that I'd like to see again, and so far,  I haven't run across it in the reruns.  It involves a crank (of course!) who's earnestly explaining to a detective his plan to remake the United States by reducing the number of states to twelve (I think).  The detective asks, "What about New York?"  The crank responds NY is one of the states that's going to be eliminated and the detective responds dryly he doesn't like that, he lives there.  Obviously a bit wittier on the show - I was just a little kid and can't recall the actual repartee.  They cued the laugh track up after the line, so it was obviously (meant to be) funny.   Anyway, does this ring a bell for anyone?  I'll really love to see it again.  If it's in rotation I assume it'll turn up eventually, but I'd love to know which one it is ahead of time.

Edited by Wilbur Whateley · Reason: Removed a repetition.

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On 6/20/2016 at 9:06 PM, Jordan Baker said:

I recently watched an episode that took place entirely in Wojo's apartment. It was a two-person playlet about Wojo and a woman who moved in to his apartment. I take it that the woman had been a prostitute.

It seemed to be such a departure for the show, but then I had a vague memory of a Fish episode that took place in his apartment. (Or maybe I'm remembering the Fish spinoff.) Does anyone know?

I loved Wojo, and I did understand why he was thought to be studly back in the '70s. And I was really happy to see MG in the last season of "Mad Men," even though I didn't particularly like the episode in which he appeared. Still, it was great to see him again.

Only thirteen episodes ventured outside the station: “Ramon,” “Graft,” “The Stakeout,” “Hair,” “The Hero,” “Grand Hotel,” “Fish,” “Wojo’s Girl” part 2, “Contempt” parts 1 & 2, “Chinatown” parts 1 & 2, and “Eviction” parts 1 & 2. The first five were all in season one; “Fish” and “Wojo’s Girl” were backdoor pilots for spinoffs.

Also, Max Gail is currently on General Hospital.

On 12/30/2016 at 4:29 PM, Lola16 said:

“Rape” is where the series shows its age. Other episodes are timeless, some could easily be filmed today (racism, Middle East, Russia, etc.). But that one is certainly dated. Unfortunately, we haven't progressed far enough since then.

The characters of Marty Morrison and Darryl Driscoll are problematic, as is Wojo’s homophobia.

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On 2/26/2018 at 2:48 PM, Wilbur Whateley said:

And he came back - don't recall the episode name, but this time the character was convinced he was possessed by a demon.  Cue the exorcist parody, complete with demonic voices (which I didn't care for—too OTT and not in the relatively realist tradition of the show).  

Kenneth Tigar first played Stefan Koepeknie in season 3’s “Werewolf, then reprised the character in season 8’s “Possession.”

His characters were usually wacky: a man visited by a Revolutionary War poltergeist named Julius in “The Ghost,” a man claiming to be Jesus Christ in “The Photographer,” and a clairvoyant mugger in “The Psychic.” 

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23 hours ago, editorgrrl said:

The characters of Marty Morrison and Darryl Driscoll are problematic, as is Wojo’s homophobia.

Wojo's attitudes aren't presented as anything anybody approves of -- I can accept them (dramatically speaking) as a realistic part of the scene at that time and place (and Wojo having less awareness than the others is a pretty consistent ongoing theme -- as Harris says about him in the series finale, he improved so much over the years). But about Marty and Darryl, definitely true. They tried to bring the characters back in one later episode and do better by them, but they didn't get very far. The series seemed to have a wish to air certain social issues that weren't commonly seen in half-hour TV, without always knowing just how to do it. (The later arc of the closeted gay cop who did temp work for them was better, but didn't amount to much in the end.)

It's true of other series of the period, too. Looking at the newly (wonderfully!) available DVDs of one of my all-time favorites, Lou Grant, I can see the same phenomenon in their first season particularly. They were full of good intentions, but the results haven't always worn well.

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On 3/9/2018 at 12:30 PM, editorgrrl said:

Also, Max Gail is currently on General Hospital.

I don't watch that show but I was flipping channels yesterday and caught it and I was like, why does that guy look so familiar? 

I wish I could be watching Barney Miller but my antenna channel that shows it doesn't show it till 11:00 at night. Way past my bedtime.

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I'm not a New Yorker, but my cable system up here in the wilds of Labrador has their CW affiliate, WPIX. They have a block of classic sitcoms that they air every Saturday night, including two back-to-back episodes of Barney Miller. Though lately, they've been preempting BM to air infomercials for some reason.

Well, not only is it back on the schedule tonight, but they're airing the infamous (and Canon-worthy) episode "Hash", by far one of the funniest half-hours of television ever made.

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Just a moment of gratitude for this show.  Tonight's ep featured the man who...uh...made noises with his hands.  I laughed my ass off.

It was a welcome relief from the somber last 20 seconds of the This is Us finale.

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Another favorite ep: foggy night; Wojo surprising Dietrich (and us) by quoting Carl Sandburg; the elderly trumpet player who scared off the young musicians; Barney's funk over his 3rd time miss at DI.

Now I can really relate to Barney's monologue about his early days on the force -- and even more to his horrified stopping short with a "I sound like Luger!!" (Harris: "It's okay.  We've caught it in time.")

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Another mailman got caught hoarding the mail and while most reference Seinfeld and Newman there are some that remember 1980 and Barney Miller 

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On 1/7/2015 at 12:33 AM, Lola16 said:

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.

Brett played the super's wife on one of those rare out of the precinct episodes --- where Fish, Barney, and Wojo are holed up in an empty apartment on a stakeout.

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10 hours ago, Lola16 said:

Brett [Somers] played the super's wife on one of those rare out of the precinct episodes --- where Fish, Barney, and Wojo are holed up in an empty apartment on a stakeout.

That was an early episode, wasn't it? (Goes to look it up...) Yes. Season 1, Episode 6. When they were still settling in to figure out what the best series format would be. (Admittedly, there were a handful of scenes in other sets in later seasons -- but few enough to count easily.) I also remember this episode for providing us with the edifying sight of Hal Linden clad only in a towel. Well done, writers.

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The title of this thread is self explanatory.

 

Hal Linden guest starred in a recent episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 19.22, "Mama," as a suspect who turned out to be as endearing and noble as Barney himself.
Hal Linden's role and performance lent a breath of fresh air to the aging L&O SVU, which, IMO, is showing signs of being past its sell-by date.

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Just watched the episode "DNA Story" last night and was very surprised to see it has a scene set in the squad room's bathroom! (A woman has locked herself in and Harris comes in to talk her into coming out.)   Amusingly, the shot's very carefully framed so that you don't see the commode. 

Is this the only time we see into the bathroom? I can't think of too many other circumstances where that would happen.  Makes me wonder if we ever see downstairs, even for a moment.

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3 hours ago, Wilbur Whateley said:

Amusingly, the shot's very carefully framed so that you don't see the commode.

Our dad (who directed TV commercials and such, in Chicago, and thereby knew a bit about the world of movie directors) mentioned to us often that that was an ironclad rule in the days when the Hollywood Code was strictly enforced -- no visible toilets, any time. That fizzled out during the 1960s, but I can imagine it lingering a decade or two longer in primetime TV. (Even in the 80s, when Hill Street Blues was breaking every taboo it could, it apparently ran into this one: I remember in one episode when women followed men into the men's restroom, and two men tried to gross them out and drive them away by pretending to be using urinals -- they were facing the camera which was looking over their shoulders at the other actors -- one actress was forced to say "What kind of bathroom is this? There aren't even any urinals!" so that delicate souls in their living rooms wouldn't have to imagine the guys actually peeing.)

According to Dad, the first movie to break the taboo was Divorce American Style with Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds; but that was just the first one we saw. There may have been earlier examples.

3 hours ago, Wilbur Whateley said:

Makes me wonder if we ever see downstairs, even for a moment.

My memory is that we never did. We saw into that bathroom that one time, a handful of other locations around the city (probably under 20 in all those seasons)... but never downstairs that I can recall.

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Saw an episode tonight that I don't recall ever seeing before.  It was "Homeless" where shop owner Bender finds a homeless man (Don Calfa) camping out in his store. The homeless man appeared on 6 other episodes of Barney Miller as different characters.  Bender's wife comes to bail him out and its the same actress (Mari Gorman) who played Ros, the female detective assigned to the 12th where Wojo walks in on her in the bathroom.  When looking it up, seems she played 3 different characters on the show:

Mari Gorman:
- Landmark: Part 3 (1982) ... Naomi Bender

- Homeless (1981) ... Naomi Bender

- Evaluation (1978) ... Officer Rosslyn Licori

- Hostage (1978) ... Officer Rosslyn Licori

- Wojo's Problem (1978) ... Officer Rosslyn Licori

- Bugs (1977) ... Roberta Kerlin

 

Don Calfa:
- Homeless (1981) ... Edward Pratken

- The Vests (1981) ... Arthur Thompson

- The Desk (1979) ... Gilbert Lesco

- Identity (1979) ... Calvin J. Kendall

- Hostage (1978) ... Leon Bidell

- Copy Cat (1977) ... Angelo Dodi

- Group Home (1977) ... Mr. DiLucca

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Yes, of course it's nothing new for actors to play multiple roles over the years on the show (it was part of the "stock company doing a one-act-play" charm of the series), or even for a guest player to get bumped up to a recurring role as a temporary member of the squad. But Mari Gorman's case was highly unusual: doing a guest role (that turned out to be recurring) after being established in a recurring police role. I'd forgotten that that happened for her. I remember her only as Roz, with that distinctive twist to the mouth when speaking.

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Florence Halop was in a number of episodes, always playing a different old lady.  I remember her best as the replacement bailiff on Night Court (when Selma Diamond passed away, and before Roz).

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On ‎8‎/‎19‎/‎2014 at 7:34 PM, Oosala said:

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.

He does eventually marry his mail order bride.  I recall in the last episodes him mentioning that she wants to go sit in a heart shaped tub for their Honeymoon.  I vacation frequently in the Poconos, and the rooms always have those. That was the epitome of Honeymooning when I was younger, and while we couldn't afford to go to those resorts when we actually got married, we did for our 5th anniversary (and many more) and we love them for all of their cheesy tackiness.

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Off the top of my head, I can only remember a few:

Max Gail in the movie DC Cab

Ron Glass in the badly done 80's remake of The Odd Couple

Abe Vigoda in Cannonball Run II

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On 6/20/2018 at 2:10 PM, Rinaldo said:

We saw into that bathroom that one time

And it was of the best moments of the series for Ron Glass's Harris.  He spent time in there with Kay Medford (whose character was convinced her husband of many years had been replaced by a different man), listening to her mourn the changes wrought by time on relationships, and gently encouraging her to give her husband another chance.  

It was bittersweet and moving and a tour de force for Glass.  You could see in that scene, what made Ron Harris a great cop.

Speaking of -- tonight was the ep where he shaved the 'stache for mugger-bait drag duty.  And in the face of his fellow cops' open admiration, says, "I wanna look good...not *better*!"

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On ‎7‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 7:38 AM, Rinaldo said:

I've always liked Walter Olkewicz too. I first noticed him as a regular on a good but short-lived 1979 MTM sitcom, The Last Resort. An amusing thing I remember about his career is that after that show and a dozen other film and TV appearances (Barney Miller included), his credit in the 1982 movie Jimmy the Kid read "and introducing Walter Olkewicz," as if he were brand-new. 

I haven't thought about "Jimmy The Kid" in eons.  Thought it was funny when I was young (like age 10-ish) but tried watching a few years ago, and couldn't finish it.  Walter was a chef on a funny episode of Seinfeld where George "steals" a suit the guy wants at a "secret sale", and George later shows up for a lunch interview where the guy works as a chef.  He refused to eat desert and lost the job, but he said everyone who did got violently ill.

On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 1:16 PM, Blergh said:

Let's not forget that Doris Roberts had a few run-ins with the One-Two. On two occasions she played the wife of a gold-hoarder who wanted him arrested so he would quit selling off her clothes and furniture.

 

 Anyway, she said in her Emmy TV Legends Archive Interview that she had a lot of fun playing the parts BUT she disliked having to work to their regular 2 AM quitting time.

As did her ELR husband, Peter Boyle.  He was on at least twice, playing a businessman who printed up posters encouraging people to kill criminals.  We joked about seeing Marie Barone, and then Frank Barone.

On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 4:48 AM, magicdog said:

He was a hoot in most of his pre Barney Miller appearances.  He was quite funny as Sammy Fong in "Flower Drum Song" (1961) .  He was also in the John Wayne film, "The Green Berets" (1968) in a more serious role.

 

The other night, Inspector Lugar was trying to find something to do while he was on vacation, and he asked if "Flower Drum Song" was still playing on Broadway.  Yemana just looked at him.  It was funny.

Edited by funky-rat

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3 hours ago, funky-rat said:

I haven't thought about "Jimmy The Kid" in eons.  Thought it was funny when I was young (like age 10-ish) but tried watching a few years ago, and couldn't finish it. 

This is a real sidebar, but whatever the lacks of Jimmy the Kid as a movie, the book it's based on is a good read if you like comedic crime stories. It's one in a series about the same characters by the late great Donald E. Westlake, and the book-within-the-book that the crew are using as a model for their caper is "by" Westlake's hard-boiled pseudonym Richard Stark (though this particular Stark book doesn't actually exist). Several books in the series have been filmed, so that Paul Le Mat is playing the same character played in mother movies by Robert Redford, George C. Scott, Christopher Lambert, and Martin Lawrence.

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1 hour ago, possibilities said:

FETV airs two episodes a night, actually in the wee hours. I tape them to watch the next day.

I wonder if it's the same 2 that air on Antenna TV hear at 8pm? Last night the second episode was "The Indian," which is one of my favorites, although I was just disillusioned to read that the actor who played this and other Native Americans, and who went by a traditional NA-type name was—according to his widow—probably just a plain vanilla WASP. 

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