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  • mermatt2 November 2000
    This is the brief series that lead to the NAKED GUN trilogy. Leslie Nielsen gets to play madman with all the delicious relish he can bring to the part of the straight-faced detective.

    The stories are parodies of all the very, very, very serious and very, very, very important police and crime shows on TV over the years. Nothing escapes the satiric bashing that goes on here. The guest stars each week are murdered in the opening scene and then are never heard of again. The titles of the episodes don't fit the narration. Nielsen's own narration is a wonderful satire of all the crime story voice-overs going back to film noir and DRAGNET. And -- wonder of wonders -- the show is "In Color!"

    No pun goes un-punned. No sight-gag is left un-gagged. Nothing is spared. Imagine the Marx Brothers and Three Stooges in a crime movie setting, and that gives you a hint of what POLICE SQUAD is all about. This is one of the funniest shows ever made for TV, but since it is satire, it of course had only a short run. Nevertheless, I loved it.
  • One night I was listening to talk radio and they had Leslie Nielsen on the program. He went on to explain why there were only 6 shows. '

    With TV shows like MASH you could go to the fridge to get a beer and as long as you heard what was going on you didn't miss anything. But with Police Squad, you HAD to watch the show, with the sight gags you missed a whole lot if you didn't see them. Who could forget "... the part of town known as "Little Italy"..." with the coliseum in the background.

    Even the movies relied heavily on the sight gags, but then again being in the theater you were a captive audience.

    Leslie also said the one reason the show, movies and other movies like Airplane were funny is because they didn't attempt to tell what was funny. It was up to the viewer to get the jokes.

    Well that's just my 2 cents.
  • Proof that TV execs don't always know a good show when they see it (See "Family Guy"), all you have to do is look at "Police Squad!" A VERY short lived show (Only 6 episodes were aired) with humor that still holds up 20 yrs later. Leslie Neilsen as Frank Drebin is incredibly funny, with his partner, The late Alan North as Ed Hocken. My favorite episode is "Rendezvous at Big Gulch," (Or, as the announcer says, "Terror In The Neighborhood.")when Drebin runs a locksmith business to check out the thugs (Next to the keys, are "Florida Keys, Francis Scott Keys,""Turkeys," and "Pot Roast."). Too bad the network didn't get a clue to the humor of the show, but at least it inspired 3 very funny movies based on the series! If you haven't seen the movies or the show, you should check out the inspiration behind the movies!
  • This was a funny show. It had an "Airplane!" flavor to it and it parodied the Quinn Martin Productions shows that were popular in the 60s and 70s ("The Streets of San Francisco", "Barnaby Jones", "Cannon", etc). If you're familiar with these shows, they all had the same type of beginnings; Same announcer who would go through the starring cast, that night's guest stars, special guest stars (if any) and the name of "tonight's episode". As well as the on screen act numbers and the epilogue after commercial breaks.

    It was everything like "Airplane!", in the sense that you had to watch the show to see the gags and other hidden gags that were in the background along with the verbal jokes and gags.

    It was a shame that only 6 episodes were produced, since this was one of my favorite shows. Unlike "The Naked Gun" movies, although funny, the problem with those movies were, the show lampooned QM Productions shows, it was probably hard to transfer that to the big screen. It just didn't have the same feeling to it as the tv show.
  • Endlessly Hilarious! I taped the first 5 shows years and years ago, and every so often I go back and watch them, and still they are as funny as they were the first time. In fact, there are so many sight gags and whatnot, that you will miss a lot of them the first few times you watch the shows! I see something new every time!! Absolutely hilarious, even more so than the films. Several of the gags are used repeatedly ("Cigarette? Yes it is", or the midget cop who is the intercom), but still manage to be funny each time. Too bad they didn't have Johnny the shoeshine guy in the movies. I wish I had the 6th show!!!

    Highly recommended if you liked the Naked Gun or Airplane movies.
  • This was a truly unique show. Many of the comments in this section regret that there were only 6 episodes made. But to be honest, the show used so many jokes per episode, I don't see how they could have gone too much further without running out. The great thing about this show is that every one who watches it has a favorite one-liner that they remember, and like to repeat. One could say the same thing about the movie "Airplane". There are so few things that are really original, especially in television, the medium that thrives so much on imitation of previous success. So the time has come for this limited series to get its chance on DVD. But not just another release. Visualize this. The show did such a good job of satirizing police dramas from M Squad to the QM series, that the DVD should do the same this for DVD special features. In short, the DVD release should have all the usual special features, but they would all be send-ups of special features. Now that would make for a great DVD release of this great show.
  • This show has the basic jokes of a spoof, but they work so well. With Nielson's deadpan delivery the six episodes of this show were better than the movies that were for some reason very successful (not that they were bad, but I just wonder why the show didn't work). I especially liked the opening in which the special guest star was killed during the credits and then the man would announce the name of the episode and it would be different from the title. Yes this show was a laugh a second great comedy. Some of the jokes from the series would even find their way to the movie versions.
  • ...a burlesque dancer to Det. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) as he approaches her in a dressing room...

    "Yes, that's very impressive, but that's not why were here"...(Det. Drebin's deadpan response)

    The best sight-gag comedy ever. But of course, it got crushed in the ratings and was yanked right away. Our loss.

    I recently purchased a VHS tape with three episodes for my dad and watched 'em again with him. I'm happy to report that if you like the Zucker's style of humor (first unleashed in "Airplane"), you'll have a blast.
  • To say that this is a good show is not to say anything at all. After all, this show is made by the same crew responsible for Airplane and other hilarious and brilliant movies. Writing is superb. Even though the show is built on one-liners, they don't become overbearing or annoying. Leslie Nielsen is flexing his comedy muscle to the full extent as if saying: You ain't seen nothing yet. The format was definitely polished to introduce Naked Gun. When watching these movies, notice how many schticks are taken from the TV show. The brilliant part is that they don't have to be changed too much. The show was truly a testing ground for bigger and better versions to come later.
  • What can be said about this show, one of the funniest if not the funniest comedy ever?

    Leslie Nielson played Frank Drebin who seemed to alternate each week between a Sergeant or a Lieutenant. He was joined by other detectives, particularly Al (only ever seen from the neck down).

    The plots-if you can call them that-were crazy. The show was crazy from the opening title to the end credits. There were some hilarious one-liners throughout the show. Also, the narrator for each episode used to read out the title of the episode which always differed from the title on-screen. A special guest star was also introduced on the credits but never starred in the show itself. As for the ending credits, well Drebin seemed to be moving whilst the credits rolled. It was crazy.

    Even though this series spawned three Naked Gun movies, it is the world's greatest mystery why this show only ran for six episodes. Where is the justice in the world where tripe such as Friends can run for years whilst a truly funny show like this can be cancelled after a mere six episodes?

    I strongly recommend checking the series out and will someone please release it onto DVD?
  • Perhaps the best comedy show ever and definitely the most misunderstood and underrated. I mean, just six episodes !? Of course, this means that the standard on all six episodes are the highest possible. There are some great stuff in the movies too but this is on another level. The plot are more or less the same in all episodes, this is more of a concept, but one episode that stands out a bit from the others are when Drebin are going undercover as a stand-up comedian. Extremely strange, extremely funny. This is just hilarious !
  • The creative team that brought us Police Squad - and the Naked Gun derived from it - said in interview that they were told by their network contact that the show would be canceled, after their delivery of the first episode. Basically, the show was never given any chance. Typical Hollywood. The contact apparently told the team that the problem with the show was that, for the show to be funny, the viewer would actually need to watch it; most shows are presented on TV with the understanding that the viewer needed to get up and miss a few minutes while getting food, or going to the toilet, etc.

    The humor of the show is extremely dry (it uses no laugh-track), and the universe the characters inhabit is one in which anything can happen, regardless of logic, as long as it was totally unbelievable; so, for instance in one episode a surgeon has to bribe an informant on the street in order to get a tip on heart surgery.

    Those familiar with the Naked Gun films should be warned that there are a number of interesting disjunctions between the show and the films. In the films, Nielsen developed a particular "take" approach - that is, eyes widened when confronted with the unexpected. This doesn't happen in the show, where Nielsen's Drebin is the center around which the rest of the universe revolves - nothing is unexpected to him. Also, there are no romances in the show, and no parodies of MTV. Finally, the show takes certain risks that the films avoid; in the first episode, Drebin, to "re-enact the crime", has a squad of homicide detectives shoot each other from a number of different angles - ballistics the hard way. This is actually a risky bit of humor, since we need to accept that it's perfectly normal for policemen to kill each other while investigating a crime, for no other reason than experimentation. This sort of thing rarely happens in the films.

    Taken individually, each of the episodes is actually funnier than any one of the Naked Gun films, since they are both more compact (more happens in a shorter time-frame), yet more leisurely paced (there's not the rush for a punch-line as sometimes happens in the films). There are some inconsistencies that happen in the films (primarily "2" and "3") that never occur in the show's shorter time-frame.

    Of course, there's no doubt that Naked Gun (the first film) is one of the great comedies of theatrical cinema. And if you watch the TV show episode after episode in one sitting, the dry quality of the humor might wear away one's tolerance.

    None the less, it would be useful to have a DVD of this, and watch an episode a day for a few weeks - If laughter has, as some claim, medicinal value, watching this show is good for one's health.
  • A Series so great it only lasted 6 episodes. But every episode was great and are well worth watching, so it finished with out ever producing a bad episode. Starring a very dead pan Leslie Neilson and created by ZAZ, it was an attempt to create their unique brand of humour on TV, and it didn't dissapoint. The opening titles with the special guest stars are hilarious and always look in the background and pay attention to the lines! Also check out the Naked Gun films.
  • If you'd never seen "Police Squad!" or heard of the movie "Airplane!" and you wanted to know what you were in for when tuning in to this show, you only needed to observe closely the opening sequence of any single episode. There you'd see the guest star get promptly knocked off, eliminating him from the rest of the episode; and you'd hear the announcer give a different episode title from the one shown on screen.

    In a nutshell, this show was hilarious and deserved more attention than the television audience afforded it. It's true, as I've heard a reviewer say, that you really needed to pay close attention to the TV screen at all times to catch all the sight gags, etc.

    Luckily, the "Naked Gun" films took us along for many more stupid adventures with idiot-cop Frank Drebin, perfectly portrayed by Leslie Nielsen. In a movie theatre, there's no refrigerator or spouse to draw your attention from the on-screen goofiness.

    Surely, you can't be serious....if you want to enjoy a wonderfully crazy show like this one. "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."
  • tbtw4 May 2000
    I watched this series after I had seen the Naked Gun films. I found it much better than the films, and I thought the films were great! This series literally glues you to the television set in anticipation of the next pun, sight gag, or funny situation (the all night wicker place, club flamingo). I don't think I've ever laughed as hard at a TV series in my life, even after seeing the movies first and thus knowing some of the jokes. I think its a shame that only six episodes were produced, but I agree that the writers would be very hard pressed to maintain this level of comedy for any more episodes. Overall, the series is a must see for those who like puns, bad jokes, and slapstick sight-gags.
  • How can I do this series justice? It's the funniest TV show I've ever seen, every bit as good as "Airplane!" (also produced by Abrams, Zucker, and Zucker). It's cheap humor, and plenty of it: wordplay, slapstick, parody, running gags (and gags about running: "Officers, run her into the station!" -- and the officers and the suspect line up at a starting line, and, "bang!", sprint off into the distance). There's no laugh track; no such crutch is needed. My only reservation: if you see the TV series first, your expectations for the "Naked Gun" movies will be much too high; the movies just did not live up to the same standard.
  • Police Squad shares with Fawlty Towers the very rare distinction of stopping before ever having a bad show. Television surely cannot get funnier than this (don't call me Shirley). Fawlty Towers may well have claim to the funniest six hours ever, but Police Squad is the best six episodes of ANYTHING ever to come out of the U.S. Not that that's saying much.
  • davidtav26 March 1999
    I finally found it on video!! I've been able to catch it on Comedy Central from time to time, but the copies off the TV weren't that great.

    I don't think you'll ever find anything funnier than this series.
  • This is probably the funniest TV show I have ever seen. It only lasted 6 episodes and every episode was tight and perfect. What more can you say about a show that has the funniest line in T.V. history..."Who are you and how did you get in here?" "I'm a locksmith. And...I'm a locksmith." or after Leslie Nielson arrived to investigate a murdered husband he says to the wife... "We would have been here sooner but he wasn't dead yet." I am sure the show could not have have maintained this level for a few seasons, but one would have been great, 6 was way to short, almost a crime it was canceled so quick! PLEASE bring it to DVD with hopefully some deleted scenes and commentary! I cannot die until I see something extra on this show and then share it with my great grandkids also!
  • ...but the rest of the cast is pretty funny, too. Still, seeing Lupus as the bone-hearded Nordberg (a far improvement on O.J. Simpson's movie portrayal) is great, whether he's trying to (badly) guess what a mime is spelling out for a ransom note, or getting the munchies and singing after sniffing the cocaine from a drug search. Police Squad burned briefly and bright: they couldn't have possibly kept up the pace of humor they had in the first and only six episodes. It's probably a good thing it failed as being "too intellectual" for the TV audience.
  • yle23 July 2003
    Extremely funny. More gags in each one of these episodes than in ten years of Friends. And with a good (ie. funny) Nordberg, not the fab-only-casted OJ Simpson in the movies. When will these episodes emerge on DVD?...
  • After reading over all these reviews I'm very surprised to see that no one has even once noted that this show was based on the 1957 to 1960 NBC cop show "M Squad" starring Lee Marvin, i read reviews comparing it to "Dragnet" and some of the Quinn Martin police shows, but if you watch M Squad you'll see it was based on it. In the late 1958 episodes of M Squad onwards, you'll see Lee Marvin who plays Lieutenant Detective Frank Ballinger get out of his car and then hes shot at,and he shoots back, the beginning of Police Squad is basically the same ( including the Jazz music) and then Lee Marvin narrates what goes on, (Im Lieutenant Detective Frank Ballinger,M Squad,a special department of the Chicago police) and in Police Squad Leslie Neilsen does the same (Im Detective Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Police Squad, a special division of the Police Department) and so on, in one of the M Squad episodes there's even the Johnny the shoeshine guy character and in a M Squad episode entitled " More Deadly" there's a Police Squad episode entitled "A Substantial Gift (The Broken Promise)" which is the same story!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This predecessor to the Naked Gun movies is some of the most intelligent stupid humor ever. There are no lengths that the Zuckers wouldn't go for a gag. I call the humor "stupid humor" not because it's actually stupid but it's not high brow enough to be sophisticated comedy but it's way too good for the masses who this sort of show will miss. So in lieu of a better name, I call it stupid or "spoof" comedy. Some of the routines in this short series were so good, you'd have to watch them two or three times to take in all the comedy. This series is considerably better than more recent "spoof" movies because the clich├ęs that this series is lampooning come from years of TV shows and movies from numerous genres rather than lampooning one other movie which if you haven't seen the one being parodied, those sorts of spoofs miss their mark. This show is dynamite and Leslie Nielson is a riot every episode.
  • I still count "Police Squad!" as the absolute funniest TV show of the 1980s. Somewhere, on BetaMax no less, I have all six episodes. I knew that a show this good wouldn't last and that I had to preserve it for myself. How stupid was ABC? They were quoted as saying that viewers didn't know that "Police Squad!" was a comedy because it had no laugh track! Right! When Drebin has a line like "You take chances just getting up in the morning, driving to work, or sticking your face in a fan.", how can THAT be comedy!?!? I've seen every episode at least ten times and still see something new I missed before. Even the deep backgrounds always have gags ongoing. Don't miss it if you have chance to see an episode, but if you're reading this then you probably already have copies squirreled away someplace as I do.
  • ShadeGrenade12 August 2006
    Two years after 'Airplane!' took off, Jim Abrahams, Jerry and David Zucker cast one of its stars - Leslie Nielsen - in this hilarious television series, a glorious take-off of old U.S. detective shows such as 'Dragnet'. Nielsen played Frank Drebin, America's answer to 'Inspector Clouseau'. It had the same style of humour as 'Airplane!'; clever visual gags in the background, unnoticed absurdities, and recurring characters such as Johnny the shoe-shine boy who seems to know everything about everything. Guest-stars ( including William Shatner! ) were killed off in the opening credits. 'Police Squad' was the first U.S. sitcom since 'Batman' to lack a laugh track. Many have lamented the fact that only six episodes were made, but I think it was about right. The concept could never have sustained a full 24-episode run. Five years later, 'Police Squad' made a successful transfer to the big screen, when the first of the 'Naked Gun' trilogy was released. Jim, Jerry, David, and Leslie had the last laugh.
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