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Night Court: The New Judge

Dan feels he has a great new friend in the judge substituting for the vacationing Harry...until the judge offers Dan a bribe to throw a case.

Episode Info

Episode number: 4x7
Production Number: 185939
Airdate: Thursday November 20th, 1986

Director: Jeff Melman
Writer: Linwood Boomer

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Guest Stars
Dirk Blocker
As Ernie
Patrick Cranshaw
As Mr. MacNulty
Dolores Albin
As Mrs. MacNulty
Jeff Altman
As Judge Watson
Joe Regalbuto
As Bert Felch
Main Cast
Harry Anderson
As Harold T. Stone
John Larroquette
As Dan Fielding
Richard Moll
As Bull Shannon
Charles Robinson
As Mac Robinson
Markie Post
As Christine Sullivan
Marsha Warfield
As Rosalind "Roz" Russell
Episode Quotes
Bert: Good luck, Fielding.
Dan: What if he starts shooting?
Bert: You'll bleed.

Bull: Where did you decide to go?
Harry: Des Moines.
Roz: Hope you had your shots.

Judge Watson: (laughing) Fielding, you're a hoot!
Dan: Well, if you can't laugh at the defendants, who can you laugh at?

Cultural References
Harry: I've decided that I am going to re-trace, in exact detail, the very route taken by Mel Tormé in the summer of 1942 when he toured with the Chico Marx Band.

Chico Marx, one of the Marx Brothers, did indeed front a jazz band in which he played piano. They began touring in January 1942. In August 1942 16-year-old Mel Tormé joined the Marx band as the singer and vocal arranger, and even played drums for the band later in the year. This was Tormé's first stint as a professional touring musician.

Mac: First case, sir.
Judge Watson: (startled, draws gun) Woo!

The judge with the gun is likely an ode to Jack Warden's gun-toting character Judge Rayford in the 1979 courtroom film ...And Justice For All.

Dan: Great. We're going to be arguing cases in front of Quick Draw McGraw.

Quick Draw McGraw is a cartoon character from Hannah-Barbera.

Harry: Well, 'cause that's the hotel where Mel Tormé got punched in the face by that old lady 'cause he wouldn't sing "Inka Dinka Doo."

Although Tormé wasn't punched, "Inka Dinka Doo" is a real song, co-written by, first performed by, and most associated with Jimmy Durante.

Judge Watson: Yeah, well, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

A paraphrase of closing line ("Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship") from Casablanca.

Ernie: Bert?
Bert: Ernie?

The names of the two chums on Sesame Street.

Bull: Sometimes they let us reload the staplers.
Roz: It's not just a job, it's an adventure.

The advertising slogan for the U.S. Navy during the 1970's through the mid-1990's was, "It's not just a job, it's an adventure."

The picture Harry shoots with his suction cup dart gun is Judge Joseph Wapner, who was the original judge on The People's Court, from 1981 until 1993.

Bert: You're Harold T. Stone, your mother's maiden name was Johnson, and your first pet was a cocker spaniel named "Festus."
Harry: It was "Miss Kitty" until we turned her over.

"Festus" and "Miss Kitty" were two characters on the long-running western series Gunsmoke, played by Ken Curtis and Amanda Blake, respectively.

Judge Watson: (looking at photo of Mel Tormé on Harry's desk) And how about this guy, huh? The Velvet Frog. (laughs) Ribbet, ribbet!

At one point in his career Mel Tormé loathed his nickname, "The Velvet Fog," because hecklers would call him the "velvet frog" instead.

Episode References
Bert: You're Harold T. Stone, your mother's maiden name was Johnson, and your first pet was a cocker spaniel named "Festus."

This is the first time that Harry's mother's maiden name was mentioned.

Warning: Night Court season 4 episode 7 guide may contain spoilers
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