Disorder in the court! That's the order of the day when a parade of zany--and often bizarre--characters passes before a rather unconventional and unpredictable judge in the hilarious, Emmy Award-winning Night Court.
A young and unusual judge arrives in Manhattan's night court and begins deciding cases in a most unusual manner, much to the horror of his court clerk and all else in the courtroom.
2. Santa Goes Downtown
January 11, 1984
Harry, the wacky night court judge, meets more than his match in a Santa Claus who swears he's just winding down from Christmas and a teenaged shoplifter who hopes to grow up as a 20th century Attila the Hun.
3. The Former Harry Stone
January 18, 1984
A man is brought before Harry for disorderly conduct after learning his bride-to-be was once a nude centerfold in a men's magazine. Simultaneously, a reporter threatens to expose Harry's criminal past, thereby ruining his career.
4. Welcome Back, Mama
February 1, 1984
An elderly lonely woman (JANIS PAIGE) surprises Judge Harry Stone (HARRY ANDERSON) when she claims to be his long-lost mother; and a bevy of international beauties are duped by a sleazy beauty pageant promoter (PAUL KREPPEL).
5. Eye of The Beholder
February 8, 1984
The night court staff tries to boost the spirits of burly bailiff Bull Shannon (RICHARD MOLL), who signs up as a volunteer father, then learns he's been rejected because the organization believes his size and appearance would frighten children.
6. Death Threat
February 14, 1984
The life of Judge Harry Stone (HARRY ANDERSON) seems doomed when a cryptic death threat, wrapped around a rock, comes flying through the window, causing, pandemonium in the courtroom.
7. Once In Love With Harry
February 22, 1984
While attorney Dan Fielding seems to be losing the city council election to a dead man, a seemingly naive Judge Harry Stone is surprised to learn a hooker, Carla B., has been frequenting his courtroom because she's fallen in love with him.
8. Quadrangle of Love
February 29, 1984
Prosecutor Dan Fielding (JOHN LARROQUETTE) explodes in a jealous rage after learning his attractive new assistant (CAROLINE McWILLIAMS) is dating other men on the night court staff--among them Judge Harry Stone (HARRY ANDERSON).
9. Wonder Drug
March 6, 1984
Court clerk Lana Wagner upsets the courtroom with bizarre and unpredictable behavior brought on by a reaction to prescribed medication to fight a virus, but it's Judge Harry Stone who must cope with her suddenly overactive libido.
10. Some Like It Hot
March 14, 1984
Judge Harry Stone (HARRY ANDERSON) charges a Russian immigrant (YAKOV SMIRNOFF) with selling stolen merchandise, but the man threatens to set himself on fire if he's sent to jail.
11. Harry And The Rock Star
March 20, 1984
Judge Harry Stone (HARRY ANDERSON) falls for a popular rock star (KRISTINE DeBELL), but the romance begins to interfere with order in the courtroom when a group of punk rockers converges on the court looking for their idol.
12. Bull's Baby
March 28, 1984
Bailiff Bull Shannon (RICHARD MOLL) worries the staff when he starts coming to work late and looking like he hasn't slept for months. Perhaps the new baby he has acquired is causing his exhaustion!
13. Hi Honey, I'm Home
May 31, 1984
Judge Harry Stone confronts a legal ambiguity as he decides the case of a veteran declared legally dead while missing-in-action who escapes and returns home to his wife only to find she has a new husband.
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I'm a huge fan of Night Court. I realize not everyone will be a fan but for those who like screwball comedy, this fits the bill. I would discuss the actors and their roles through the years but others have posted reviews that adequately address this aspect of the show. What I will add is to note that this is not a "classic" in the truest sense of the word but it is fun, wacky, sometimes a little sappy and almost always very funny. The characters definitely grow on viewers and when Selma Diamond (the first female bailiff) and Florence Halop (second femail bailiff on the show) died, it hit many of us fans hard. The commentary accompanying the series disc shows it affected cast and crew as well.
Finally, among my favorite episodes: Any of the ones with Brent Spiner (one of the Wheelers), the slo-mo guy who almost brings the court to a halt when it needed to rush to be able to help an orphanage. I also loved watching Selma Diamond playing a very stoned Selma after foot surgery. She hadn't missed a day of work since she started and didn't want to miss a day so, after surgery, came to work full of pain meds. That woman never failed to make me laugh.
For those considering buying a season of this show, I suggest starting with an early season. Almost all are terrific but earlier seasons are, IMO, the best. Video quality is not what most might expect in 2018t but it does reflect what was on TV at the time. For some of us who watched when it first came out, it is, in a weird way, "normal." I don't think it actually detracts from the show and, in fact, might even add to the screwball and somewhat "colorful" characters to be found in night courts of NYC.
Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2020
Overall - this is a funny series - between the reg antics that occur in the various story lines to the ying / yang tensions between Dan & any of the defense attorney's - or the various actors / characters which appear in various story lines - however - this type of Comedy is NOT PG & def not PC / ain't no way - no how this series would pass any level considered to be in good taste / there are LOL moments - but - at times - it's hard to take the various sexual innuendos which come across in various story lines ... if you can see past these - the series as a whole - is a blast from the past ...
Reinhold Weege has created a winner - a classic weekly TV comedy series based on the courtroom of an off-beat judge, his uniquely odball staff, and a never-ending series of goofy defendants.
There are numerous personnel changes in the first few seasons of this series that will ultimately have a successful nine-year run. In fact only three of the star's cast members will last the entire series: Harry Anderson as the magic wand-wielding Judge Harry Stone ("Hi, I'm Harry, but then, aren't we all?"), John Larroquette as the ever-selfish and always-lecherous District Attorney Dan Fielding ("I've even had ... den mothers!") and Richard Moll as gargantuan sometimes wise, usually clueless bailiff Bull Shannon ("I don't know what the hell's going on here").
The cast doesn't really settle in until the third season, but by then we've had to say goodby to Karen Austin, Selma Diamond, and Ellen Foley, among others.
If you want to watch a TV series develop, mature, and eventually morph into new directions, you'll want to be sure to start with Season One of Night Court.
This is a great set of this classic television show's premiere season. All 13 episodes are presented in their original NBC uncut broadcast entirety, clocking in at just over 24 minutes each. I'd seen all of these episodes in syndication as early as 1988, and even then they were already missing some footage for more commercial time. Not here! If you've only seen the edited versions before, you're in for a treat. It was kind of funny seeing the extended scene in the episode "Santa Goes Downtown" where Dan Fielding told Eddie Simms (played by Michael J. Fox) to "go and tease Bull about his hair." Seeing it again on the DVD reminded me that I had actually seen this episode back in 1984 and had forgotten this part due to it's being deemed less important than the almighty advertiser's dollar. It really is great to have the complete versions available to see again!
At the time of this writing, it's been 10 months since the release of this Season One box set. It's unlike Warner Bros. to take so much time between releases of it's TV shows, but for some reason they aren't on the ball with this particular show. However, I still think that they will get around to releasing more seasons. After all, several of the shows they were working on ("Friends", "Gilligan's Island" and "Wonder Woman") have wrapped. It makes sense that this would free up some resources to get to work on some of their thus-far neglected properties (a la "Night Court"). In the meantime, this set will provide you with some great classic entertainment.