Friday, March 19, 2021

THE 7TH ANNUAL FAVOURITE TV SHOW EPISODE BLOGATHON: Barney Miller, Fog 1980


Terence Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts is hosting his Seventh Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon. Click HERE to access this year's contributions.

FOG

Season 6, Episode 22

First aired May 8, 1980

Directed by Noam Pitlik

Story by Mark Brull, Teleplay by Frank Dungan, Jeff Stein, Tony Sheehan


Hal Linden

Captain Miller: "A helluva night for brooding."

Fog envelopes NYC and completely oppresses the 12th Precinct, the site of the award-winning ensemble comedy series Barney Miller, 1975-1982.


Max Gail

Det. Sgt. Arthur Dietrich (Steve Landesberg) quotes Shakespeare, Sgt. Stan Wojciehowicz (Max Gail) quotes Sandburg, and Detective/author Ron Harris (Ron Glass) resorts to a familiar cliche to describe the atmosphere. Pea soup, anyone? 

Captain Barney Miller (Hal Linden) is in a contemplative mood as he has, for the third time, been passed over for a promotion to Detective Inspector. The squad is concerned as Barney sits alone in the dark ruminating on life and careers and choices.


Ron Carey, Bill Dillard

Officer Carl Levitt (Ron Carey) brings in the first arrest of the evening. Edward Jennings (Bill Dillard) is a trumpet player who had a run-in with a Julliard string quartet who was playing at his corner on Washington Square. The second violin is pressing charges and Jennings has no access to bail.


Robert Levine, Sydney Lassick, Hal Linden

Dietrich and Harris bring in Victor Carse (Sydney Lassick), who has indelicately used a sledgehammer on the satellite dish atop the telephone company offices. The phone company executive Howard Kimbro (Robert Levine) has a tick and a problem with the persistent Mr. Carse. Carse's warning of the dangers of the microwaves used by the phone company falls on deaf or at least pragmatic ears due to his unhinged rants.


Ron Glass, Max Gail, Steve Landesberg, Hal Linden

Concern regarding the dark place to which Barney has literally and metaphorically retreated leads to an impromptu therapy session. Each sergeant finds they have a reason to take responsibility for "downtown" skipping their Captain for promotion. Harris's book, Wojo's acting without thinking, and Dietrich getting arrested. For Barney, it is the time that has passed.

Barney Miller: "You know, the first years were really the best. I mean, we really thought we would make a difference. We were out there every day, busting our tails, me, Baxter, Crusen. My God, I'm starting to sound like Luger." (James Gregory).

Harris: "Don't worry. We caught it early."


Ron Carey, J.J. Barry, Hal Linden, Max Gail

Wojo and Harris's last collar of the evening is Fred W. Bauer (J.J. Barry). Bauer's goal was to rob a jewellery store on Houston, but the confusing fog sent him into a Christian Science Reading Room, tripping their alarm. Bauer sees great humour in how he ended up at the 12th, but he's dealing with a tough crowd. His off-the-cuff lines which would normally fit in with the staff's sense of humor are falling flat because of the spirit of the evening.

Levitt gives Mr. Jennings his trumpet and from the cage, he serenades the 12th Precinct with a melancholy version of I Can't Get Started (Vernon Duke/Ira Gershwin).


J.J. Barry, Ron Glass, Bill Dillard, Ron Carey
Sidney Lassick, Steve Landesberg, Max Gail, Hal Linden

Another Bauer quip falls flat in the squad room but this Barney Miller fan has been chuckling about it for 40 years.

Fred Bauer: "What year is this?"




Bonus: Bunny Berigan's 1937 recording of I Can't Get Started








37 comments:

  1. I love it, "What year is this?" Barney Miller was a great show, and never missed in our house. Thanks for a lovely stroll down memory lane.

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    1. Indeed, "Barn" was a staple in this household as well. Great writing, great cast and guests. A memorable show.

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  2. I remember BARNEY MILLER. Wasn’t a huge fan, but then I was a little kid. I preferred shows like HAPPY DAYS. I imagine it would look very different if I were to watch it today.

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    1. The show is well worth having a look at from a new perspective.

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  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I love your writing style!

    https://theveryspecialblog.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thank you for the charming compliment. I plan on visiting your blog more often in the future.

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  4. Thanks for this I had heard of this series but never watched it, now think I have to add to the list!

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    1. It has a real 1970s NYC vibe that should appeal to you.

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  5. I always remember JAMES GREGORY from his BIG VALLEY ep where he plays a senator that is an old flame of VICTORIA's. (He did three other eps.) He also guest starred on an ep of GUNSMOKE as a wealthy man. BEVERLY GARLAND was also in the ep. I just remembered that was James in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE as the husband to ANGELA LANSBURY!

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    1. James Gregory was everywhere - even mentioned though not seen in this episode of Barney Miller.

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  6. Barney Miller was one of my favorites as well. In fact, you can get to know me through the cast of characters :)
    https://dubsism.com/2019/05/18/the-deep-six-how-i-can-be-summed-by-characters-from-barney-miller/

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    1. Your fabulous and fun look at Barney & Co. is a real treat.

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  7. I didn't watch Barney Miller (it was originally broadcast during my college years when I didn't watch much regular TV). However, this sounds like a very well-done episode and I have seen a few episodes in syndication--enough to appreciate the quality of the ensemble acting.

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    1. You recognize quality. Perhaps Barney Miller will find a way into your life.

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  8. All these years of hearing about Barney Miller and I've never seen an episode yet....you just hooked me in, CW.

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    1. Yes! The well-written and acted program will not take long to become a favourite.

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  9. Barney Miller was one of my favorite shows at the time. It had such a great cast of lovable goofballs, and each character got their turn to shine. Even though the comedy was over the top at times, it had a lot to say about real life.

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    1. The program really captured the era but with the timelessness of solid scripts.

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  10. HAL LINDEN is 90 today! I read that he did a play in TORONTO. He has been on BROADWAY and won a TONY AWARD. He is an actor, singer and musician. Hal sounds like your kind of fella!

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    1. Definitely. I believe it was the musical of Shenandoah that Hal appeared in here. I have a friend who saw him "way back when" in Bells Are Ringing. He was in the ensemble and the understudy to leading man Sydney Chaplin.

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  11. Barney Miller is one of my favourite sitcoms of all time and "Fog" is one of those episodes that shows why. It was wonderful about mixing in absolutely hilarious subplots (such as the thief mistakenly entering a Christian Science reading room) with more serious fare (such as Barney getting passed over promotion). It definitely had one of the best casts. All of them could do drama and comedy well. Anyway, thank you for taking part in the blogathon!

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    1. Barney Miller truly deserves the accolade "classic."

      Thank you, as always, for hosting this blogathon. It has become a favourite of mine.

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  12. Barney Miller is a long-time favorite of mine. It had a talented cast, and a terrific group of writers and directors. The humor was often laugh out loud funny, but was laced with more subtle moments, and even included a touch of pathos, as you show in your well-written look at this memorable episode. Thanks for this great post!

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    1. Thank you so much. It is a wonderful feeling to share our mutual appreciation for Barney Miller.

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  13. Being the episode is titled FOG that makes me wonder if you have seen very many movies where fog is a significant part of the movie. DORIS DAY was in MIDNIGHT LACE. I've mentioned before that I always remember that scene where she is in the park and runs back home.

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    1. I haven't seen Midnight Lace in a long time. Very entertaining.

      The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes has a very nice foggy atmosphere. Footsteps in the Fog starring Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger is a real winner.

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  14. JAMES GREGORY was in THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER starring JOHN WAYNE and CLAMBAKE starring ELVIS PRESLEY. He did some DISNEY movies including THE MILLION DOLLAR DUCK with DEAN JONES. James also did two eps of COLUMBO.

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  15. JAMES GREGORY and RON GLASS guest-starred on ALL IN THE FAMILY. Also NOAM PITLIK did an episode.

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    1. What is surprising considering the length of Mr. Gregory's career and the variety of roles he played, that he never received any nominations for film or television roles.

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  16. I mentioned DORIS DAY earlier. As you know Doris was in the movie PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES and PATRICIA CROWLEY was in the show with that title. KIM TYLER who played KYLE NASH has died at the age of 66. He was also in an ep of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW titled ONE-PUNCH OPIE. He played a friend of the main boy/guest star. Pat Crowley, MARK MILLER and the other "boys" are still with us.

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    1. I remember the sitcom fondly from my childhood but haven't seen it in ages. My son likes Doris singing Please Don't Eat the Daisies in the movie, and would rewind the old VHS tape to get to it.

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  17. Hard to believe, that so far nobody has mentioned Max Gail's recent Daytime Emmy Award for his playing Mike Corbin on General Hospital.

    Mike was suffering from Alzheimer's, and his slow decline was handled with sensitivity over about a year's time.
    Max Gail's performance won him critical raves, and some citations from professional organizations.
    Worth noting in this context ...

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    1. Max's Daytime Emmy win is among the most well-deserved in its history. I fully expect him to win another.

      Max's portrayal of Mike and his scenes with Maurice Benard will live in my heart and memory. The storyline was beautifully executed and the inevitable loss of the character left a big hole in the fabric of Port Charles.

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  18. MAX GAIL directed five episodes of BARNEY MILLER. P.S. Did you know that MAURICE BENARD wrote an autobiography? I think it came out last year.

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    1. I had forgotten about Max Gail's directing credits. I plan on getting Maurice Benard's book one of these days.

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  19. Speaking of daytime soaps there is an article with ERIC BRAEDEN (VICTOR NEWMAN on Y&R) in the Apr. 5 issue of PEOPLE. That magazine rarely covers soap stars. On Apr. 3 Eric will be 80! I remember that you sometimes see the last five minutes of Y&R. You may recall Eric from his role in the TV-Movie A PERRY MASON MYSTERY-THE CASE OF THE WICKED WIVES where he played photographer DAVID MORRISON (the homicide victim). This was the only "Perry" movie with PAUL SORVINO as ANTHONY CURUSO.

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    1. Funnily enough, my husband just turned on the Y&R channel to catch the 5:30 news and (ta-da!) there was Eric Braeden, and there was the hubby making a joke about Rat Patrol as if it was the first time he'd done it. Ha-ha.

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