I'm a little surprised this thread didn't carry over from the new old board (you can find it here), but the other night I ran across one of my favorites: the episode of Hill Street Blues in which Officer Joe Coffey is killed.

I was a devoted fan of Hill Street Blues; from Day One, I never failed to watch it, even once, during its first six seasons on the air -- and that was without benefit of a VCR. I wasn't so lucky during the seventh and final season; I've seen most of those, but to this day, there's one I haven't seen, the one in which Henry Goldblume gets carjacked while on his way to a camping trip and begs for his life.

In any event, the one in which Joe Coffey is killed is, like all the other, full of day-in-the-life stuff; his partner, Sgt. Lucy Bates, has become the guardian of a teen named Fabian, but still has to contend with his junkie mother, who keeps demanding cash. Joe overhears Lucy borrowing money from desk Sgt. Stan Jablonski the day after she borrowed money from him, figures out what's going on, and insists they put an end to it. So they confront the mother and tell her this is truly the last time she's getting any more money out of Lucy. Later, Joe presses Lucy to go to City Hall, file the papers and finalize the guardianship. 

After the end of shift, all the guys plan to attend a poker night. While Lucy is shopping for potato chips and such at a neighborhood grocer, Joe tells her the store is out of Garcia y Vega cigars, so he's going to stop in at Al's Smoke Shop up the street. He opens the door, says, "Hey, how you doin'?" to the man behind the counter, and asks if they have any Garcia y Vegas. The man curtly says "No." Joe says, "I think you do -- I see them, in the back." And as he looks toward the back of the store, he sees a pair of feet on the ground, protruding behind the counter. He looks up at the nman behind the counter, looks down again, and before he can reach for his sidearm, the man behind the counter lifts his right arm and fires one shot into his stomach from a large-caliber revolver.

Joe stumbles backward, spins around, and presses his face into the window set in the door, and the man fires a second shot into his back. This shot forces him through the glass and onto the front stoop.

Lucy hears the shots and heads up the street, calling for Joe with her walkie-talkie. Some pedestrian tells her he heard something at the smoke shop. She calls in shots fired, officer down and catches a glimpse of the shooter just before he gets into a van and drives off.

Cut to: a while later, as the sun begins to go down and there's a touch of snow in the air. Detectives Neal Washington and J.D. LaRue are investigating, and Joe's still on the ground, and Lucy complains that he hasn't been covered. Captain Furillo -- who has been on disability because he got shot fairly recently -- comes by, and he and Lucy share a wordless embrace.

One thing about this episode was, at the time, there was a lot of hype and hoopla about Ed Marinaro leaving the show, so I never got to watch it with any surprise at what was going to happen; instead, I could only watch it waiting for it to go down. Which, I suppose, is a legitimate experience, but I might have liked to have been genuinely shocked.

Any how ... anybody have any favorite TV bits of their own to share?


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Well, the whole purpose of Avengers Forever was to be a history lesson disguised as a story, so I really can't fault it for that. I mostly liked it, but I thought it was about two or three issues too long.

(By the way, did anybody else spot the hidden figures of Superman and Batman in there?)
I enjoyed Avengers Forever, too as it featured Hank Pym in a leadership role and you have to love Hawkeye's attitude. The only part that made my head hurt was the splitting of the original Human Torch and the Vision into two seperate entities, a case of wanting your cake and eating it too.
It was West Coast Avengers #50 that did that; it was Avengers Forever that explained how the Vision could be both a floor wax and a dessert topping. The way I see it, everybody should be happy.* Due to the interferance of Imortus, the Vision can either be the Human Torch or made from the Human Torch's spare parts (of some "thirty years vintage").

*NOTE: I know, everyone is not happy. :)
That's like saying Data is just Lore, version 2.0!
Philip Portelli said:
That's like saying Data is just Lore, version 2.0!
Ah, but Lore is B4 version 2.0. That makes Data out to be B4 version 3.0...except that now B4 has Data loaded into him.
Avengers Forever was a huge disappointment to me. I signed on for a *story*, not a 12 issue continuity patch. It started so well. I was expecting the Kree-Skrull War II and I got Fanboy 101.

This was the point that I realised modern comics were seriously in danger of disappearing up their own ... fundament.
Not that wallowing in comics lore is a bad pastime, but, to bring this back around to favorite bits from TV shows, here's something to bridge the two: Batman.

Like many, I've gone from being immature enough to deplore the TV show as making fun of the oh-so-Serious Art that is four-color comics to being mature enough to appreciate it for its own charms. Batman, like Police Squad, was a wonderful lampoon of those stone-faced, rock-jawed, stalwart and dedicated do-gooders of the law.

One bit that always stuck with me was from an episode guest starring Cliff Robertson as Shame, a cowboy with a band of hooligans. The climax of the tale has he and Batman marching down a street toward each other in a showdown. Shane is talking smack, trying to get a rise out of Batman, the better to catch him off-guard in an ambush, but Batman is too clueless -- or too cool? -- to take the bait.

Shame: "Your mother wore Army shoes."

Batman: "Yes, she did. I recall she found them quite comfortable."

Can you imagine what would happen if someone said that to Frank Miller's Batman?
ClarkKent_DC said:
Not that wallowing in comics lore is a bad pastime, but, to bring this back around to favorite bits from TV shows, here's something to bridge the two: Batman.

Like many, I've gone from being immature enough to deplore the TV show as making fun of the oh-so-Serious Art that is four-color comics to being mature enough to appreciate it for its own charms. Batman, like Police Squad, was a wonderful lampoon of those stone-faced, rock-jawed, stalwart and dedicated do-gooders of the law.

One bit that always stuck with me was from an episode guest starring Cliff Robertson as Shame, a cowboy with a band of hooligans. The climax of the tale has he and Batman marching down a street toward each other in a showdown. Shane is talking smack, trying to get a rise out of Batman, the better to catch him off-guard in an ambush, but Batman is too clueless -- or too cool? -- to take the bait.

Shame: "Your mother wore Army shoes."

Batman: "Yes, she did. I recall she found them quite comfortable."

Can you imagine what would happen if someone said that to Frank Miller's Batman?

No, I cannot, because there was almost nothing fun about "The Dark Knight Returns", and absolutely nothing fun about "The Dark Knight Strikes Back!". That was right about the start of the "Glum and Gloomy" era of comics (although I think that TDKR was neither...)

The only way I could see a scene like that right now is if it were the Joker saying it, and it would be somehow twisted to be violent and unsavory.

I remember someone very clever used to say something like "modernizing comics" just means that they're taking all the fun out of them. This wasn't exactly that situation... but I find it close enough. Pity.

x<]:o){
This isn't exactly a favorite bit, but it was one of the most memorable (at least to me), from Hill Street Blues:

Lt. Norman Buntz is working undercover, trying to bring down a drug ring. A deal is brokered between the drug supplier and a financier named Mr. Falco, who fronts Buntz the money to acquire the drugs wholesale. The purchase of drugs goes without a hitch, and then after that, while Buntz and Falco's minion listen, Falco stipulates the terms of their agreement: Buntz is to return at 8 o'clock that night with twelve thousand, five hundred dollars. What happens between then and now is not my concern and of no interest to me; just be here at 8 o'clock with my twelve thousand, five hundred dollars. Do you understand me, Norman?

I understand, Buntz says.

Falco wants to be certain Buntz understands. You get hit by a bus, a bomb goes off, I don't care -- but be here at 8 o'clock with my twelve thousand, five hundred dollars. Buntz is fine with that, because he's planning on coming back at 8 o'clock not with any money but instead with a bunch of cops to arrest Falco, not that he says so.

Back at the station house, Buntz is double-checking the arrest warrants when Captain Furillo asks if he can put off the arrests a day; he needs to allocate manpower for some other thing. Buntz thinks out loud; yeah, I can tell Falco the other guy had a problem, sure, Captain, I can do it. Furillo asks, are you sure? How about if you just don't show? Buntz says no, then they'll hassle the other guy who set this up. But I can talk to Falco and make it convincing.

Falco is not convinced. He is angry. He is furious. He is livid. He goes on and on about how I thought you understood to be back here at 8 o'clock with my twelve thousand, five hundred dollars. Buntz says he's sorry. Falco doesn't want to hear it. Buntz shows him the drugs, as proof that he isn't out anything; Falco doesn't care -- your agreement with Tony is YOUR business, MY agreement with YOU is, be here at 8 o'clock with my twelve thousand, five hundred dollars!

Falco asks, how do I impress upon you the seriousness of this thing? Buntz says he's sorry again. Falco's minion says hey, these things happen. Falco tells him to shut up. Then he acts more forgiving and tells Buntz to shake hands. Buntz, relieved, does so -- and Falco's minion rabbit punches him in the kidney --

-- and then Falco opens the desk drawer, grabs a meat cleaver and chops off the little finger on Buntz's left hand!
On of my favorite bits from Friends was when Chandler and Joey bet Rachel and Monica that they knew the girls better than the girls knew them. The bet eventually escalated to if the guys won they got the girls' apartment, and if the the girls won then the guys had to get rid of their pet chicken and duck. Ross is the one who hosts the game show and creates all of the questions. Of course the game is really close, and the girls can only keep their apartment if they answer the last question right. That question was, What is Chandler's job? Naturally, they didn't know. The game was also a nice way to learn about the characters in a quick hit format.

Later, Rachel pleads with Mnica to talk to the boys into getting their apartment back. She comes back later just walks by Rachel and says,"I lost our beds."
Travis Herrick said:
On of my favorite bits from Friends was when Chandler and Joey bet Rachel and Monica that they knew the girls better than the girls knew them. The bet eventually escalated to if the guys won they got the girls' apartment, and if the the girls won then the guys had to get rid of their pet chicken and duck. Ross is the one who hosts the game show and creates all of the questions. Of course the game is really close, and the girls can only keep their apartment if they answer the last question right. That question was, What is Chandler's job? Naturally, they didn't know. The game was also a nice way to learn about the characters in a quick hit format.

Later, Rachel pleads with Mnica to talk to the boys into getting their apartment back. She comes back later just walks by Rachel and says,"I lost our beds."

So ... what is Chandler's job?
I just happened to catch another one of my favourite moments this morning.

All of you are familiar with The Honeymooners, with Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, Art Carney as Ed Norton, and Audrey Meadows as Alice Kramden. Less well known is that for only one season was The Honeymooners a stand-alone programme of its own---the classic "thirty-nine episodes". For most of its long run on television, it was a frequently seen skit on Jackie Gleason's variety show.

Besides the guest stars appearing on The Jackie Gleason Show, "the Great One" had a series of characters he portrayed in other skits---Joe the Bartender, Reginald van Gleason III, the Pour Soul, Fenwick Babbit, and Loudmouth Charlie Bratton, among others. In most of these skits, Gleason's long-time second banana, Art Carney, played foils for the various characters. For example, "Charlie Bratton" was a cloddish boor who constantly picked on mild-mannered Clem Finch, played by Carney.

This goes to one of the funnier episodes of The Honeymooners proper.

In the episode "Catch a Star", first airing on 15 December 1956, the situation is set up when Ralph reads that Jackie Gleason and his cast are in Manhattan rehearsing an episode of The Jackie Gleason Show. Ralph brags to his fellow members of the Raccoon Lodge that he is a good buddy of Gleason's, and that leads him into being pinned to ask "his good buddy" Gleason to perform at the Annual Raccoon Lodge Dance.

Stuck, Ralph and Norton go to the hotel where Gleason is staying, where Ralph will beg Gleason to appear at the dance.

This episode is chock-full of clever in-gags, too many to mention them all. But the topper occurs while Ralph and Norton are waiting for Gleason in the lobby . . . .

Norton: Hey, you know something, Ralph? Everybody's always talking about Jackie Gleason. If you ask me, that Art Carney's the whole show.

[Ralph does a double-take.]

Ralph: Are you kidding? Heh, that Carney hasn't got a chance when Gleason is around.

Norton: Well, that just happens to be your opinion. I mean, I happen to think that Art Carney is the funny one of the two. He's a riot!

Ralph: What do you know about it? How about when they do that scene in the lunch room---

Norton: I know.

Ralph: ---when Gleason plays that Charlie Bratton, or whatever his name is.

Norton: Yeah---

Ralph: And he slaps Carney on the back all the time. Ha ha! He's a riot when he does that!

Norton: Yeah? You wouldn't think it was a riot if you was the one who was getting hit!"

Ralph: Ehhh---

Norton: You know, that must hurt when that guy gets hit. You know, once I'd like to see Art Carney just give Gleason a belt! Just once I'd like to see that!

Ralph: Well, I don't think that will ever happen.

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