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Car 54 Where Are You? Season One
Joe E Ross, Fred Gwynne
30 Episodes 4 DVD
Originally aired 1961-62
Shanachie DVD 2011

Car 54, Where Are You?” A : in stores as the Season One 30 episode 4 DVD set. The 30 fullscreen black and white episodes of this sixties situation comedy are from the film masters and pristine. The sitcom itself is also amazingly fresh, making you wish modern TV writers would watch the Car 54 DVD set and find inspiration to replace the insipid stuff we get in prime time. The one very odd thing about this set is the episodes are not at all in airing order, go figure.

This is a really fun to watch sitcom. The premise is Toody and Muldoon (Ross and Gwynne) are well-meaning police officers and two of the lesser lights on the NYPD. They work under long-suffering Captain Block. Something happens, there is some kind of misunderstanding or confusion, and the two Car 54 officers usually come out smelling like roses.

For example episode 2 of this Car 54 DVD set has the Captain sending all his men to Yankee Stadium to catch pickpockets during the World Series. Toody catches one but the pickpocket steals his I.D so Toody ends up in the paddy wagon. The pickpocket then goes on to arrest all the other pickpockets as Officer Toody. In episode 3 they get the unsolicited help of Toody s boy scout nephew and solve a series of crimes overnight.

One of the many good things about this comedy is unlike in modern shows it is unpredictable. Fox example Toody  (DVD 2) is in charge of the policemen s charity fund and told to put it in the bank , not the stock market. He does not, he does, but the episode does not end quite the way you would think.

Another is when Toody and Muldoon come under fire from the commissioner for the many violations in their sector

An interesting thing about Car 54 Where Are You? is the Black characters are actual characters and not the racist stereotypes you normally got in early sixties situation comedies and dramas. Look for comic Nipsy Russell.

Special features are a thirty minute Robert Klein interview with Charlotte Rae of Facts of Life fame and Hank Garrett who both had bit parts here.

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