This March will mark thirty years since the premiere of the brilliant short-lived series Police Squad. The six-episode run followed the satirical adventures of Detective Frank Drebin — a character played to straight-faced perfection by the late Leslie Nielsen — that would later spin-off into three Naked Gun films.
Each of the six episodes is loaded with farcical dialog, police banter, and visual gags. Here are a few memorable moments from the show.
1. Detective Drebin and his boss Ed Hocken interview Sally Decker discussing a shooting at the bank where she works:
2. Drebin delivers one of the most revered and oft-quoted lines amongst comedy nerds:
3. Drebin and Hocken barge into the dressing room of an exotic dancer:
Mimi Du Jour: Is this some kind of bust?
Frank Drebin: Yes it's very impressive, but we’d just like to ask you a few questions.
4. Sage advice from Frank Drebin:
"You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street or sticking your face in a fan."
5. Drebin apologizes for harassing a recently widowed woman in her moment of grief:
"We're sorry to bother you at such a time like this, Mrs. Twice. We would have come earlier, but your husband wasn't dead then."
6. Ted Olson from the Police Squad lab offers his scientific analysis of some forensic evidence:
"Well, we got the Coroner’s report on the depth of penetration of the bullet in Jim Johnson’s body. If the holdup man had been where Sally Decker said, the bullet should have penetrated deeper. Let me show you what we did. These guns are identical to the one that killed Jim Johnson. Watch carefully as I test-fire this gun into these videotapes of Barbara Walters interviews. As you can see, it completely destroys the Burt Reynolds interview, and everything from Bo Derek to Paul Newman. But only up to the point where Barbara asks him "Is it difficult to love?" Now, let me show you what happens when the gun is fired from 3-feet – which is the distance Sally claims the shots were fired from. Notice? Complete destruction, right up to the point where she asks Katherine Hepburn what kind of tree she'd like to be."
7. One of Drebin's many amazing pieces of narration:
"It took me two weeks to find Stella's apartment. She had neglected to give me her address."
8. Ed Hocken makes a sharp assessment as he looks at the geographic plotting of recent crimes on a city map:
“I have a hunch they’re concentrating right here.”
9. Drebin and Hocken discuss the evidence of a recent crime:
Frank Drebin: Is there a ransom note?
Ed Hocken: Yes, the butler found it. It was tied to this window and thrown into the rock garden. I sent the note to the lab. They're demanding one million dollars.
Frank Drebin: Why would the lab demand a million dollars?
10. Detective Drebin's tough talk gets to his Police Squad co-workers:
Frank Drebin: Now, we can't let these vermin infest our city. We'll have a rotten, scum-sucking cesspool.
Officer: (Gagging) Frank please, I'm trying to eat this tuna fish sandwich.
Frank Drebin: A rat-infested, worm-ridden festering boil.
Ed Hocken: Frank, cut it out would ya, I'm talking to my mother.
11. This sign: