Police Squad! The Complete Series
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Will all six episodes on one DVD, ZAZ fans can get reacquainted with a series that was arguably ahead of its time. In addition to the rib-tickling disparity between onscreen episode titles and narrated titles, and "special guest stars" (including William Shatner, Robert Goulet, Lorne Greene, and others) who get killed in the opening credits, loyal viewers could count on a weekly dose of hilarity from Nielsen, North, and their supporting players. Character actor William Duell appeared each week as shoeshine boy "Johnny the Snitch," capable of answering literally any question if you repeatedly greased his palm (a gag that led to info-seeking cameo appearances by Dick Clark, Dr. Joyce Brothers, baseball manager Tommy Lasorda, and others). And while original Mission: Impossible costar Peter Lupus poked fun at himself as the dim-witted Det. Norberg (later played by O.J. Simpson in the Naked Gun movies), Ed Williams--an actual high school science teacher--is hilarious as "Mr. Wizard"-like lab technician Ted Olson, who dispenses dubious science lessons to unsuspecting children. The fast-paced barrage of humor guaranteed that every episode would deliver as many hits as misses, and while some of the jokes have lost their punch, Police Squad! still delivers the belly-laughs... and always will, as long as humans have an appetite for shameless stupidity. --Jeff Shannon
On the DVD
Two episode commentaries by the Zucker brothers, Jim Abrahams, and producer Robert K. Weiss are good for a laugh, as the ZAZ team laughs at their own material and recalls the rigors of a 5-day shooting schedule, battles with network censors (also outlined in the revealing "Production Memo Highlights" feature), and the never-shown "celebrity guest death" of John Belushi, who actually died shortly after the gag was filmed. Comedian and writer Robert Wuhl's commentary is more autobiographical and somewhat perfunctory (he barely remembers the episode he wrote), but contains a few nuts-and-bolts details about the show's production. The 10-minute Leslie Nielsen interview shows the gracefully aging star in fine form as he recalls his affinity for the ZAZ brand of humor; the brief gag reel offers about a dozen on-set bloopers (several from crude workprint sources); "Behind the Freeze Frames" is an extended outtake to illustrate the elaborately faked "freeze frame" gag that ended each episode; and "Celebrity Death Shots" is a list of guest-star death gags proposed (and mostly used) for the series. Also included are casting tests for Alan North and Ed Williams, and an animated producers' photo gallery of Police Squad! sets, props, and scenery. --Jeff Shannon
- All 6 episodes from the 1982 season
- Brand-new interview with Leslie Nielsen
- Behind the Freeze Frames Featurette
- Gag reel
- Casting Test Alan North and Ed Williams
- Producers' Photo Gallery of Scenery, Sets & Props
- List Of Celebrity Death Shots
- Production Memo Highlights
Top Customer Reviews
But as fitfully funny and clever as it was, Police Squad!, for some reason, couldn't pull in the audiences that had flocked to see Zucker/Zucker/Abrahams' Airplane just two years earlier. The series suffered from low ratings from the start and never found its audience. One of the running gags on the show was the introduction of a "special guest star" who was immediately killed off in the some horrible fashion right after the introduction. Lorne Green, William Shatner, Georg Stanford Brown and Florence Henderson were among the guest stars who were shot, stabbed, machine-gunned and poisoned. Unfotunately, the guest star for the sixth episode was John Belushi who died right before the episode was to air. ABC had to pull the show until a new introduction could be filmed. Right after that, the series was cancelled after just six episodes, cutting short the run of one of the funniest series of all time.
Fortunately, the team of Zucker/Zucker/Abrahams resurrected the Police Squad! series in the form of the Naked Gun series in the late 1980's. The premise, and Leslie Nielsen, finally got the exposure it deserved and the result was three hilarious films that did very well at the box office. However, when the three films were released on DVD, there was no corresponding release of the original series on DVD.
Now, finally, the original series is coming to DVD on November the 7th. Hopefully many will buy the DVD and realize what a crime it was for ABC to cancel this hilarious series so soon.
I'm glad to finally have the chance to purchase this in a digital format. As much as I liked the Naked Gun films, they just weren't the same. For me, Police Squad will always be Leslie Nielsen and Alan North (with Rex Hamilton as Abraham Lincoln, of course!).
If you're a fan of any of the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker films (e.g. Airplane, Naked Gun, etc.) then you definitely should consider adding this to your collection. It's definitely some of their best work in my humble opinion.
Great fun for everybody with Det. Frank Drebin, Capt. Ed Hocken, Johnny the Snitch, Ted Olson, Scientist and what I though was the best later edition appearing in the last 4 episodes, Peter Lupus as Norberg. (He should have played Norberg in the movies). After all those years playing the serious character 'Willie' on Mission Impossible, he gets to display his comedic talents as well.
Returning soon to a television screen near you!
Rest In Peace Leslie Nielsen: You will be missed... 11.28.10
Then the producers of Airplane did a TV show with slapstick, satire and well treaded jokes entitled Police Squad. It last only six episodes. The jokes were fast and plentiful. However ABC did not have the time to give it a chance and pulled its plug quickly.
Foreshadowing The producers took to the concept to the movies and lo and behold the Naked Gun series of films were created. Neilson became a comic actor
So if you are a fan of Airplane, Top Secret or the Naked Gun films, this set is great. If you want to recapture the original lightening in a bottle which was Police Squad, get this. And If you are like me-like cute crude humor..GET THIS SET!
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
Nielsen plays Lt. Frank Drebin, a cop who's so dumb that he doesn't even know it, and what follows throughout the series run is a collection of clever wordplay, bad puns, silly names, hilariously stupid jokes, and visual gags going on in the background behind the main characters. Also it shows the characters taking it all so seriously with the actors (including Nielsen) playing it with deadpan faces. This is exactly the same approach that Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker used for "Airplane!" It worked for that movie, and it worked with "Police Squad!"
"Police Squad!" is one of the funniest TV shows ever made. The show debuted on ABC on March 4, 1982 to rave reviews, but unfortunately not many people watched it when it first aired. It only lasted six episodes and ABC eventually cancelled the series.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this series when it came out originally. I am glad it came out on DVD.Published 1 month ago by Tony Donlon
Nothing compares to the original series.
Dead Pan and No luagh track, that's good TV comedy.
The TV series was the template for the films. I'm glad I have this now, because I love to laugh.Published 1 month ago by rick hatfield
Great price, priceless comedy, comedic greatness!
For a six-episode show, I don't think I can get enough of it. I highly recommend both the series and this DVD.
This is a classic comedy skit show with the uncomparable Leslie Neilson! I purchased this DVD collection as a gift for a brother of mine for Christmas and it was a huge hit. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Friend Of Narnia
leslie was a great actor to bring cop humor to life. This started naked gun movies, but in early 80s flopped on tv. Audience wasn't ready at time.Published 1 month ago by B. tenser