Police Squad! was cancelled because the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it



I’ve heard this quote before about Police Squad, but it always sounded like some bullshit some exec thought up on the spot when he cancelled a show for basically no reason. We’ll probably never get the real reason why the show was cancelled, but I’d bet strongly suspect some internal politics were the real reason.

1 Like

My favourite moment is still tying a message to a window and throwing into a rock garden.

1 Like

[quote=“boingboing, post:1, topic:36345”]back to the big screen with The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, which was both both a critical and a box office success. It was followed by The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult.[/quote]I seem to recall that the sequels were thoroughly panned.

Surely you can’t be serious


Beat me to it

1 Like

Stop calling me “to it.”


Watch carefully as I test fire this gun into video tapes of Barbara Walters interviews.

1 Like

I enjoyed them thoroughly and so did the rest of the audience and that’s what counts. 33 1/3 grossed $51M domestically on a $30 M budget.


Look at it this way: these days, you get to watch it, pause it if you notice something funny, rewind if you think you missed something… Back then, most people didn’t even have VCRs. The show has such a high density of funny (just like the Airplane movies) with funny things sometimes happening on three layers simultaneously (funny dialogue and acting, sight gags with signs, papers, etc., and completely ridiculous background action, all at the same time) that it commands full attention, and repeat viewings to get everything out of it.

That was uncommon, back then, and people weren’t ready for that level of commitment.

These days, I’d say that more than half the TV I “watch” I only glance at part of the time (the rest of the time, I’m playing games on my Wii U GamePad, with the sound off, and I listen to the TV – and I miss surprisingly little.)

For a show that does the police spoof thing on a level that worked better for 80’s TV audiences, look for Sledge Hammer! (the exclamation mark is part of the title.) Police Squad is actually one of its influences (another big influence is Dirty Harry.)

And for a modern show that has similar density of funny (albeit with a different style) take a look at Arrested Development. That’s another show which often has up to three levels of concurrent funny: funny dialogue and acting by the main characters in a scene, underlying quid pro quo due to the characters’ crossed purposes and misunderstandings, and tons of funny background action that you often don’t notice upon first viewing.


Don’t call him Surly

1 Like

Watched a bit. Recognized the same jokes from Airplane.


I think you recognized the same type of humor from Airplane!, not the same exact jokes.

1 Like

I must strike you as an unrefined bumpkin, unable to distinguish the rich variety of Zemeckisian humor…

Scrattch that, Zazian humor.

And good old Sledge Hammer. Another one too smart/dumb to survive.


Um, Sledge Hammer had two seasons . . .

Plus I re-watched it quite recently, it does not at all stand up to the test of time.

1 Like

I <3ed that one. “Trust me, I know what I am doing.”


My wife used to roll her eyes as I made frequent use of the VCR’s “rewind 30 seconds” feature. If I was watching a show, I wanted to focus and catch every bit of dialogue.

Thanks for an interesting exploration of how different media styles relate to how audiences consume content.

Today, I listen to podcasts a lot, and show a bit of annoyance when I’m interrupted. My wife listens to radio, but seems OK with being interrupted, and will reconnect with the program when the interruptions are over.

Loved Arrested Development, but it was hard with Netflix.

“Do you have any last requests?”

“Can I… have the gun?”

I loved those movies, usually when I was hungover.


It only got the second season because the ‘last’ gloriously over the top episode (Sledge destroys the city with a nuke) got much better ratings than expected so ABC uncancelled the show - and then scheduled it against Cosby (doh).

Still, 40 eps is doing much better than 4. I also don’t think either hold up very well - I guess we were just simpler then. Or unruined.