Wednesday, January 27, 2016

RIP Sgt Fish


Many old timers will tell you that "Barney Miller" was the closest Hollywood ever got to portraying a police department. Coming from a number of police families, we tend to agree.

Open post to discuss and compare Barney Miller to any other shows. Keesing Bandit will probably vote for "Cop Rock."

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94 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with Joseph Wambaugh's anthology series Police Story as the most accurate of all time.

1/27/2016 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down, one of the best true-to-life cop shows ever to grace tv screens.
RIP Fish!

1/27/2016 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Miller and the Wire were both good. One of my partners is Chano, I'm Fish.

1/27/2016 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was a good actor who could have crossed over and been the Police!!

RIP

1/27/2016 01:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was a great cop. Hill Street Blues.

1/27/2016 01:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Abe Vigoda. Thanks for the laughs.

1/27/2016 01:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hill Street Blues. Hands down. On another note their is a sung from Cop Rock called "In these streets we have the power." This certainly apply in today world of police hatred.

1/27/2016 01:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kept hoping he would just go on and on.

1/27/2016 01:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Barney Miller might have come close to portraying the floor in the "D", Dragnet gets my vote for working dicks and the public.

1/27/2016 01:21:00 AM  
Anonymous 29 and a day said...

when I started in 023 in 1977 there was a desk Sgt named Nelson who looked exactly like him and was nicknamed Fish

1/27/2016 01:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the first season of Crime Story?

I loved the cinematography and the music scores.

1/27/2016 01:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always preferred the Andy Griffith Show. Too bad Chicago isn't like that.

1/27/2016 01:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes me think about NYPD Blue. Obviously every episode depicted a high-intensity cop day that might happen twice, three times a year, but it was still accurate--the good guys didn't always win, and the primary stresses came from within the department, not the streets. Miss that show. Now we have "Chicago PD"...yawn.

1/27/2016 01:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not like police procedural shows - or any (lawyer, medical, etc) procedural shows on television. What I particularly dislike about police procedural shows are the crimes. Imagine that you write for one of these shows and every week you have to come up with a more "interesting" crime. Criminal Minds is terrible. These great FBI profilers fly in the corporate jet across America to quickly solve and heroically arrest some serial murderer who has some bizarre quirk. My question is what kind of warped mind comes up with these gruesome plots.

Almost all crime is stupid, brutal and in most ways mundane. Barney Miller got that in a funny way. In a dramatic way, credit has to go to Homicide: Life On the Streets.

1/27/2016 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Keesing Bandit said...

Though I adored Cop Rock, my heart belongs to NYPD Blue. I got a see many a fine butt on that show and one not so fine---Sypowitz (forgive the spelling). I forgave him for wearing a short sleeve shirt and a tie.

Now, kees me you fool!!!!

1/27/2016 05:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up on Adam 12, Dragnet and Barney Miller. I always knew I wanted to be a cop, but these fine shows cemented that notion. I am sure I have a lot of company here.

Those shows highlighted the values of the times. They were the product of the Greatest Generation from WW 2 and the "Ask not what your Country can do for you" crowd. Look how afar adrift we are from those days.

1/27/2016 05:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Abe...

I've used many lines from BARNEY MILLER. My favorite was when Fish was working over a table full of ca$h. Arrestee says, "I didn't know cops made that kind of money."

Fish replies, "We're very good cops."

BARNEY MILLER was in the days when cops were the good guys and the heroes. Now we get Chicago PD where the main character is a crooked and brutal cop and every show ends in a predictable shootout.

My favorite police shows for cops as human beings were: the show lived TURKS and HILL STREET BLUES.

For police procedure/drama POLICE STORY, some were used as training films.

For laughs POLICE SQUAD. Lt. Frank Drebin, "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."

Now we can't catch a break from Hollywood. I try to think of any TV show or movie that has come out in years where the bad guy isn't a cop. I heard that is the premise of the new series SHADES OF BLUE. Things need to change.

1/27/2016 05:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best shows! I watched it all the time! R.I.P. Fish, End of watch and job well done!

1/27/2016 05:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was surprised to learn he wasn't a cop.

1/27/2016 05:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hill street Blues

1/27/2016 05:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, it was realistic.

As I enter the sunset of my career, I think the CPD of 2016 is more like Reno 911.

1/27/2016 05:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Troll: Abe was good and it was a good show with a nice cast match. I will read what you folks think but I think the two best now are Homicide Hunter/Joe Kenda and First 48. It is nice to be able to see Barney Miller still on cable too. But Kenda provides some snarky stuff every once in a while and has a demeanor similar to Fish.

1/27/2016 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laugh just looking at the picture. RIP Abe. The writers on that show had to have some real police input or relations. Though set in New York, it easily could have been Chicago or any other big city dept. Inspector Luger? Officer "Levine"? Great ensemble cast. Roll out the reruns, METV.

1/27/2016 06:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homicide: Life on the Street

1/27/2016 06:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the intro music for that show as well as the show itself.

1/27/2016 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite was always "Hill Street Blues". Of course I was always looking at the background to see if I could find recognizable city shots.

1/27/2016 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's be honest, I'll agree about Barney Miller if you will agree that Reno 911 is a close second. Whaaaa haaaaa haaaa.

1/27/2016 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cop Rock - oh that's funny I forgot about that one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWwNTSj2Cy0

1/27/2016 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda predesescor to Hill Street Blues but they weren't a bunch of busy outs living in 350.00 a month apartments worthy of the Honeymooners.

1/27/2016 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul Drake said...

Starsky and Hutch get's my vote.

1/27/2016 07:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Lieu of flowers, I'm going to send his favorite charity a FIN.....!

1/27/2016 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old Shakespeare District had the Area5 Dicks on the second floor, they all
looked like cast member's of Barney Miller, B 4 all the new district's came out,
014 was the busiest station in the police dept. That's where u learned how 2 b
the police. The old Buck80 Tavern, right next store, after a watch, copper's
would go there, have a few pop's, and relate all the stories that happened on
the watch. A lot of Fun!

1/27/2016 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger MTS said...

Did they have a corrupt mayor on that show as we do in Chicago? I don't remember.

1/27/2016 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous cmeat said...

i'll never forget learning that woj was bald and wore a toupe. no biggie, but being a kid and envisioning him without a rug used to tweak my brain.
doesn't get much more dry bones than dietrich.

1/27/2016 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honestly thought he died 20 years ago.

1/27/2016 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought he died 30 years ago. My guess is Betty White is next.

1/27/2016 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most realistic cop show ever was the Joseph Wambaugh produced "Police Story". They addressed job and family stress, alcoholism, political animal bosses, guys fucking around, guys Getting beefs (my favorite was the traffic guy who put peanut butter on a guy's DL and ate it in front of the motorist who beefed)

"Hill Street Blues" for the same reasons

"the New Centurions" best cop film ever

1/27/2016 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to be a cop as long as I can remember. Watched every cop show as a kid. Dick Tracy cartoons hosted by Ray Raynor on ch. 9 after school. Drag Net, Adam 12, Naked City (disappointed there was no nudity). A lot more I can't recall just now. After a few years OTJ I can't watch most of them except for Barney and Andy and Fearless Fife.

1/27/2016 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote ADAM-12....all the way.

1/27/2016 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was only 53 years old in 1975 when the show started.. he looked at least 75 back then.

God Bless him.

1/27/2016 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP, Great show the closest you will get to working in the D unit.

1/27/2016 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I actually liked Cop Rock. Tell me how that concept was any different than Galavant is today--and it's a hit show! It was just too cool for the 80's I guess.

1/27/2016 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Barney Miller" realistic police show????????

NO WAY!!!!!!!

Checkout "Car 54 Where Are You".

Police kept ducking anything like crime fighting.
Bosses clueless
Crime solved by accident.

1/27/2016 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Billy D. Goat said...

Don't forget Sgt. Nick Yemana (actor Jack Soo) also on Barney Miller who made the worst coffee EVER!

1/27/2016 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Transmaster said...

Barney Miller (1974-1982)was a TV show I never missed. Det. Phil Fish was such an cicatrical part of the show. I'll bet there is somebody like him in most any precinct. Unlike so many shows today that are simply canceled Barney Miller when out on a high. Who can forget the final scene in "Landmark part 3" (20 May 1982) Hal Linden as Capt. Barney Miller was at the door of the precinct office and turns out the light for the last time, and closes the door. This was the best Police sitcom ever.

1/27/2016 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southland....

Not vintage but the series is over.

1/27/2016 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Miller was a very funny show to watch! Anybody remember the "laced" brownies episode? RIP Det. Fish.

1/27/2016 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Fish, they can finally take him off the list of live celebrities that people think are dead.

1/27/2016 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may catch hell for this preference, but - Cops????

--No Cop Here

1/27/2016 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Miller was the best police sitcom. For a police drama, i'd vote for Homicide - Life on the Streets or The Wire, both about the Baltimore PD long before the freddie gray debacle.

The best role Abe Vigoda played was in "The Godfather". Michael, can you get me off the hook?

1/27/2016 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hill Street Blues, Barney Miller, The Wire, Police Story, Dragnet, Homicide, Adam 12: A good book to read is "Night Beat by William Camp. It will take everyone back to there first year on the street. Working On The Street!!

1/27/2016 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hill Street Blues is intense to watch sometimes. The Wire is honest. Reno 911 is hilarious because I have worked with most of those characters and it's great to laugh at ourselves once in awhile. One movie I wished would have been a TV show, Joseph Wambaugh"s The New Centurions.

1/27/2016 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked HBO First season of "True Detective" - 2014 which I believe gave a real glimpse of partners at work and their ups and downs working a case.

1/27/2016 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southland was an awesome cop show that aired on TNT. If you haven't seen it, find it and watch it.

1/27/2016 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Police Story" was the best, but "Barney Miller" was the funniest. I miss both of those shows and wish they still made them like that today.

1/27/2016 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tom for old time sake"

1/27/2016 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Barney Miller" realistic police show????????

NO WAY!!!!!!!

Checkout "Car 54 Where Are You".

Police kept ducking anything like crime fighting.
Bosses clueless
Crime solved by accident.

------------------------

Ooh, ooh, ooh!

1/27/2016 09:31:00 AM

1/27/2016 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned his role in the Godfather as Salvatore Tessio.

His last scene was when he was getting into the car for "The Ride" after Tom Hagen turned down his request to be forgiven for "old times sake".

RIP

1/27/2016 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a good clean funny show we had many back in day cop shows first responded shows detective shows but showed police in a good light most of the time such as:
Baretta,Cannon,Columbo,Mod Squad,Charlie's Angels, Stasky&Hutch, Police woman, police story, Mannix,Andy Griffith,Kojak, Knight Rider, Emergency, Adam 12, Miami Vice, Green Hornet,Batman, Barnaby Jones, The FBI, Dragnet, and more!

1/27/2016 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger 30 pending and what said...

"Tell mike it was only business", what a line. Then he dies. Best movie ever.

1/27/2016 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger 30 pending and what said...

The rookies, was a great show too

1/27/2016 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Dick Tracy cartoons hosted by Ray Raynor on ch. 9 after school....

Still have the Crimestoppers Kit you receive from Channel 9 bacj there related to that Dick Tracy Show after school-Channel 9, Chicago's Very Own!
Before the baby mamma BS shows and Oh!!
OH!!!! Whatever you do, do not rent ChiRaq!
Returned it to Family Video and asked for my money back-first time in my life I've ever done so over a movie.
Told the clerk this was the WORST movie I've ever seen.
I was expecting drama and there is none.
Its a slam against blacks in general, a slam against women, and the blacks wonder why they don't get nominated...here living color proof of why not!
Just terrible!
(Out Of Compton was better)

1/27/2016 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Criminal Minds is terrible. These great FBI profilers fly in the corporate jet across America to quickly solve and heroically arrest some serial murderer who has some bizarre quirk. My question is what kind of warped mind comes up with these gruesome plots.



1/27/2016 02:30:00 AM

I'd be willing to bet most of those plots come from real life stories.

1/27/2016 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M squad with lee Marvin filmed chi town reminds be of dad rip, ret wheel gunners.blak fords 57

1/27/2016 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really liked "Life on Mars" too bad it only lasted one season. A N.Y.P.D. Detective gets run over in 2008 and wakes up in 1973. He tries to adapt to the "slapping whores and kicking doors" mentality of the time.

The series in on youtube.

1/27/2016 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 0142. You're dead on. It really jumped the shark in the 2nd season when it moved to Vegas. And there actually was an Orbit Room but it wasn't the swanky bar portrayed in the series.

1/27/2016 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

abe was a great actor and WWII vet too, im remember in the final scene of godfather part 1 when he got caught plotting to kill michael corleone " tom tell mike i alaways liked him it was never personal just business"

1/27/2016 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Miller was a great show - loved it.

RIP Fish!

1/27/2016 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Martin Milner (Adam 12) just recently pass away?

1/27/2016 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best line ever the pot brownie episode
fish i havent felt this good in 20 years and its illegal

1/27/2016 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out "The Job" by Denis Leary. Lasted only one season and was on cable,but somewhat realistic and very funny!

1/27/2016 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tell Michael it was just business"

1/27/2016 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hill Street. Closest I know of.

1/27/2016 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without a doubt the best cop show was Adam-12. Only question is why did Reed get stuck with all the paper while Malloy did all the driving?

1/27/2016 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Mean and dirty
Count Basie piano intro<

"M-SQUAD!
Starring Lee Marvin..."

VA-ROOOM!
Screech!

>Jumps out of a dark 4 door, 1957
Ford Custom sedan like a natural boss<

A shot from the shadows...
>Pop!<

Return fire for your ass...
>Pow! Pow! Pow!<

Chicago-style asskickery with a touch of:
"Don't gimme yer bullshit!"

1/27/2016 05:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old Shakespeare District had the Area5 Dicks on the second floor, they all
looked like cast member's of Barney Miller, B 4 all the new district's came out,
014 was the busiest station in the police dept. That's where u learned how 2 b
the police. The old Buck80 Tavern, right next store, after a watch, copper's
would go there, have a few pop's, and relate all the stories that happened on
the watch. A lot of Fun!


Don't forget the private key club that used to be an auto parts store for n 1977

1/27/2016 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cops were the good guys then and criminals were portrayed as criminals, because crime was out or control in America. It was out of control because of the 60s liberal "crime reforms" that the democrats put in place. Today, Inspector Harry Callahan would be portrayed as an out of control racist. This is all cyclical. Until then, don't try to be like Harry or Baretta or Starsky or Hutch. Be like Abe and be patient.

1/27/2016 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Southland, The Wire & Barney Miller are the most realistic police shows EVER!
RIP Fish/Tessio (Godfather)

1/27/2016 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What policing was back in the day, may he RIP thanks for all the laughs!

1/27/2016 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Lt sm said...

KOJAK who loves you baby !

1/27/2016 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Fish. Loved that show. One of the things I liked was it showed the "blue brotherhood". You had Fish, Yemana, Wo Jo, Washington, etc.. All spectrums of the world, and they got along, and busted each others chops having fun. Just like some of the best crews Ive been a part of, we never gave a crap where you were from or what sex you were. If you were a good cop, you were part of the crew and we had good times putting the bad guys away.. Thats the best part of this job, never forget that.

1/27/2016 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Miller , the wire and homicide all realistic. Rip fish and lt. Dietrich

1/27/2016 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up with Third Watch lol.. Really enjoyed Southland and the Wire.

1/27/2016 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a Sgt. In Mass Transit when I used to work Special, reminded of Barney Fife in every aspect possible. Can't remember his name. Always brought the memories every time I saw him.

1/27/2016 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not like police procedural shows.....What I particularly dislike about police procedural shows are the crimes.....My question is what kind of warped mind comes up with these gruesome plots.....

Old Timer Replies, If you were on the job you could relate to these situations, these are daily occurrences that we see all the time, bizarre, ugly, filthy, mind blowing and raw. That's why some of us drink, mess around, are brutal, etc., not all, but some do. We have black humor to avoid the terrible things we see every week and cannot bring home or tell our families. We deal with all the crap that is thrown our way, the stuff the citizens say "we are paying you salary b.s."! When we took the job nobody told us all the bad stuff was in the mix, so you do your best to get through it. You can't just quit a career in midlife, or at a middle age, nobody would hire you. Just try it. Don't hate us, we don't always have a good day and try to hide it as best we can.

Sorry we bore you with reality!

1/27/2016 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIP Fish (AKA Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather)

Anonymous said...
What about the first season of Crime Story?

I loved the cinematography and the music scores.

1/27/2016 01:42:00 AM

Crime Story was great until it moved out of Chicago. Some of the cases and the dialogue were very real, very Old School CPD.
I am still mad at Hollywood for snubbing Dennis Farina from the memorial reel at the Academy Awards when he died.

1/27/2016 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember Mc Cloud. The best show ever. Cop sent to NYPD on special assignment from Taos, NM. Now that's real!!!

1/27/2016 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped watching cop shows a long time ago. The show COPS included. When I'm off I don't want anything to do with cops or crime.

1/27/2016 11:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen here. DOG breath

1/27/2016 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current "Chicago PD" is EXACTLY true to life! lol

1/28/2016 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A2 Homicide. When ever civilians ask me to name a realistic police show I would tell them Barney Miller was pretty representative of the personalities of police. I always get strange looks I guess they expect Law and Order or CSI.

I was surprised to read his daughter saying what a dedicated fitness buff he was. He looked like the most exercise he got was getting dressed.

1/28/2016 01:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then there was CHIPS.

They never drove at night.
The glare off of Eric Estrada's teeth would blind oncoming traffic.

1/28/2016 05:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:16 hrs. - Yes sir, the funniest episode for Barney Miller was the pot laced brownies. Especially when Nick Yemana kept saying "mushy mushy" and then began singing. He finished with asking: Baney, Barney, is your mother from Killarney? Capt. Barmey Miller was Jewish.
The other great part of the show was it handled thorny issues such as race or homosexuality with humor (which could NEVER happen now")
One good episode was when an Army Sgt. kept berating Yemana until he finds out that Yemana was a WWII vet - in real life, Jack Soo fought in Italy with the Nessei Brigade (an all Asian unit of volunteers but were not sent to the Pacific theater.)

Retired .38 +P

1/28/2016 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the TV show 'Miami Vice' was a carbon copy of the Chicago police dept. LOL!

1/29/2016 10:34:00 PM  

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