49° Good Afternoon
49° Good Afternoon

Leslie Nielsen: 'Police Squad!'

 Briefly, back in 1982, there was a show on TV so funny that it was doomed.   Too funny. Too clever. Too odd. Too wonderful. I speak of course of "Police Squad" starring the late great Leslie Nielsen and the also funny Alan North. Produced by the same genius team behind 1980's "Airplane!" - Jim Abrahams,  David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker - "Police Squad" was stuffed with even more sight gags, puns, misplaced modifiers, and Nielsen malaprops.

  Alan North? For many years, he lived in Port Jefferson, where he died in 2000 at age 79. He was a character actor ("Love, Sidney") was the perfect foil to Nielsen's Frank Drebin; (George Kennedy, of course, later played the role of his boss in "Naked Gun," the brilliant movie series that sprang out of this. )

 "Police Squad!" lasted really just a few months, and it's instructional to note that primetime TV - or at least ABC, where it aired - was dominated by "Happy Days:" "Diif'rent Strokes," "The Jeffersons" and "M*A*S*H." "Squad!" was a round peg trying to fit into a square hole; never did but watch now and you tell me whether this isn't just a funny or smart as the day it aired so many years ago. Special bonus: A "Naked Gun" highlight reel...




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