Night Court was part of NBC’s killer Thursday night comedy lineup along with The Cosby Show, Cheers, and Family Ties. Season One is the thirteen episodes of season one when Night Court was a mid-season replacement that started on January 4, 1984. The thirteen episodes contain the original pilot / show one with audio commentary by producer Reinhold Weege. As audio comments go, this one is pretty interesting.
Season One of this great, original, and never copied (unlike the too many variations on Friends for example) sitcom has some of its stars already in place. Harry Anderson plays the judge, John Laroquette the District Attorney, and Richard Moll plays Nostradamus Bull Shannon alongside Selma Diamond who plays the other bailiff. The roles of the defense attorney and the court clerk are still in flux.
Right off the bat Night Court establishes its formula. Comedy and drama intermixed with human interest stories and themes. The quirky cases and defendants are matched with the weird characters who attend night court in the district of Manhattan as a form of entertainment. What makes season one and made this situation comedy great is definitely the writing. The writers were not satisfied with the standard main story, secondary story formula but also invested a lot in sight gags, one-timers, one-liners (often from John Laroquette and Selma Diamond) and running gags (such as when the gang goes to Bull Shannon’s apartment and Dan Fielding comments on the oversized everything -notice the fine china cabinets in the background with Hummel like figurines as an example of the quality that went behind this show–).
Warner Home Video does this great comedy TV show proud with the first season DVD set. The episodes look good and crisp and the other extra features, a behind the scenes show, is interesting and more than just filler.
All You Need I Love
Santa Goes Downtown (featuring Michael J. Fox)
The Former Harry Stone
Welcome Back, Momma
The Eye of the Beholder
Once in Love With Harry
Quadrangle of Love
Some Like It Hot
Harry and the Rock Star
Hi Honey, I’m Home
- 93Classic sitcom DVD set available on demand from Warner Archive
- 89A few clouds this season
- 87Better if you followed the first 8 seasons
- 877 Halloween shows from a groundbreaking situation comedy