Writers: Tom Reeder | Bob Underwood | Bob Stevens | Gary Murphy | Larry Strawther | Chris Cluess | Stu Kreisman | Nat Mauldin | Nancy Steen | Neil Thompson | Fred Rubin | Teresa O'Neill | Linwood Boomer | Elaine Aronson | Bill Fuller| Nancylee Myatt | Jim Pond | Dennis Koenig | Tom Straw | Harry Anderson | Bill Bryan | Kevin Kelton | Howard Ostroff | Ron Osborn | Jeff Reno Alison Rosenfeld Desmarais | Lee Maddux | Bob Colleary | Paul Raley | Rich Reinhart | James Gates | Mike Imfeld | Vince Cheung | Ben Montanio
Harry Anderson – Judge Harry T. Stone
Karen Austin – Court Clerk Lana Wagner (1984)
Selma Diamond – Selma Hacker (1984 – 1985)
Richard Moll – Bailiff Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon
John Larroquette – Asst. D. A. Dan Fielding
Paula Kelly – Liz Williams (1984)
Charlie Robinson – Court Clerk Mac Robinson (1984 – 1992)
This courtroom comedy revolved around Harry Stone, a boyish, blue-jeaned judge who had been appointed to New York’s Manhattan Night Court almost by accident. His unconventional, flippant style dismayed his staff, but often produced unexpectedly positive results with the loonies who paraded through his nocturnal court. Lana was the perky clerk, secretly in love with the cute judge; Selma the caustic, chain-smoking matron’ and Bull the bald, towering bailiff. Representing the state was nattily dressed, sex-starved Assistant D. A. Dan Fielding and the defense was legal-aid lawyer Liz Williams.
There was a good deal of turnover in the supporting cast, with Lana replaced by sensible Mac, Selma by Florence and then Roz, and Liz by Billie and then Christine (for whose sexy body Dan, and even Harry, lusted). A number of recurring characters were seen occasionally in the carnival-like courtroom, among them obnoxious newspaper reporter Al Craven, who snooped around for stories during the first season; runaway orphan Leon; and maintenance man Art. Quon Lee was seen a few times each season as Mac’s wife.
Others included Buddy, an eccentric former mental patient who turned out to be Harry’s father; Margaret, an attractive reporter who Harry dated a few times; Jack, a cynical, blind newsstand operator; and Lisette, a ditsy court stenographer. A recurring guest star was Harry’s musical idol, Mel Tormé.
In 1990 sexy Christine married undercover cop Tony Guiliano (Ray Abruzzo) and bore his child while he was off on a case, but they were divorced the following year. Shaken, she fell into Harry’s arms – however, they finally decided that they made better friends than lovers. Another continuing story in 1991 involved Dan’s lackey, Phil the derelict. When he died (crushed by a piano) he was revealed to be an eccentric Wall Street millionaire who left self-centered Dan in charge of his charitable “Phil Foundation”, worth ten million dollars. It proved to be nothing but trouble – Phil’s crooked twin brother Will showed up, stole the whole thing and almost landed Dan in prison.
The final episode found everyone going to a suitable reward. Christine was elected to Congress in a squeaker election; Dan saw the error of his sleezy ways and resigned to pursue his one true love – Christine; Mac dropped out of law school and became a film maker; and Bull departed with midget aliens from the planet Jupiter. As for Harry, he received a string of offers, one more incredible than the next - superior court judge, top law firm, university professor, talk-show host. Nike spokesperson, road manager on a Mel Tormé tour! In the end he elected to remain on the bench at night court.
Season 8 was to be the last. Harry and Christine were to marry, Dan becoming a priest, among other big cast shake-ups. At the last minute NBC renewed the show one more season, and the Harry/Christine romance never came to fruition, the Dan character going after Christine in the series finale instead.
The cast was offered more money to return for a 10th season, but the show would be put on a syndicated station as opposed to NBC. The cast declined.
After the taping of the final episode on a Friday, the cast were sent telegrams to have their dressing rooms vacated by the following Monday or their belongings would be thrown away.
The picture hanging on Harry's office wall is of Jean Harlow.
Mac Robinson: Bull has got himself a girlfriend.
Dan Fielding: Really? Animal, mineral or vegetable?
Buddy Ryan: ...but I'm feeling MUCH better now!
Dan Fielding: I have stood next to death, and people liked him better.
Phil Sanders: The Big Apple needs a worm like Fielding!