STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $9.98

The Pitch

Senior Warner Bros. DVD Exec: “What’s our standard policy for TV DVDs?”

Junior Warner Bros. DVD Exec: “To release a pathetic offering of a few episodes before giving up the full season box sets and slapping a generic name like Television Favorites on it.”

Senior Warner Bros. DVD Exec: "Good, let’s go with that."

It didn’t happen very often, but Bull was known to have an idea or two pop up once in a while…

The Humans

Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Markie Post, Selma Diamond, Karen Austin, Paula Kelly, Charles Robinson, Florence Halop, Marsha Warfield.

The Nutshell

This was a sitcom about a New York court where every freak, nut job and weirdo in the five boroughs who committed a crime ended up. The only thing zanier than the perps were the lawyers who tried the cases, the large dimwitted bailiff and his colleagues (who had a nasty habit of dying in real life) and the judge who was the biggest screwball of them all.

"Damnit, Harry, come on! Counselor Troi’s spread eagled…"

The Package

Did I mention pathetic? Six episodes, apparently chosen at random, from the various seasons. There’re no special features, it’s in the original TV standard (which couldn’t be helped) and the audio is in Dolby Digital Mono. The cover art is actually quite decent, but if that’s the thing you care about most, you can get it on the Amazon link up above and save yourself 10 bucks.

"Sorry we’re late, sir. The counselor and I were going over each other’s motions…"

The Lowdown

My first thought about this disc is that it’s a joke. Night Court was one of the most outrageously raunchy and hilarious shows that I can remember growing up. The characters were crazy, especially Larroquette and Moll, who were easily doing their best work in this show; and also Anderson who did his best work since…well, his best work anyway. The cast had a great comedic dynamic and the stuff the writers came up in this show had me crying at times. Septuagenarian chain smokers Selma Diamond and Florence Halop, who played over-the-hill bailiffs Selma Hacker (genius name) and Florence Kleiner respectively, both died of lung cancer after one season each. So the producers finally smartened up and hired an actress who didn’t have one foot in the grave in Marsha Warfield, who played deadpan, ass-kicking bailiff Roz Russell. This show was doing the same crazy shit that Married With Children and The Simpsons did several years before either show hit the airwaves.

"You said you wanted to see my brief?"

Larroquette as lecherous DA Dan Fielding is one my favorite sitcom characters ever and Moll set the standard for playing a big dumb guy. The other characters played by Markie Post (Public Defender Terry Michaels) and Charles Robinson (Court Clerk Mac Robinson) could also supply the laughs. One drawback of the show could be that the sets looked like they were erected by a middle school theatre troop, but the show floated over that obstacle on the laughs it generated. Night Court was an absolute gas to watch every week way back in the Reagan Era and certainly deserves a full run of DVD box sets rather than this half-assed offering.

3.6 out of 10