Anyone remember the television program Night Court that ran from 1984 to 1992? If not, you’re probably too young!
I was watching an old episode (well, they’re all old) that I found interesting. And it’s something for us all to think about.
For those of you too young to know or those who don’t remember, the show centered around the night shift of a Manhattan municipal court. A bunch of misfits ruled this courtroom, which sometimes presented bizarre and wacky crimes.
Though a few of the characters changed in the beginning, the courtroom characters for most seasons were…
Judge Harry: a Mel Tormé fanatic (he was a popular jazz singer among other things), amateur magician, and juvenile prankster (Harry Anderson)
District Attorney Dan: a laidback, straight-laced snob character in the beginning, who morphed into a womanizing narcissist loaded with acid quips (John Larroquette)
Public Defender Christine: an attractive, naïve, honest, independent, and old-fashioned Pollyanna (Markie Post)
Court Clerk Mac: an easy-going and probably most normal of all characters, a Vietnam veteran, an accomplice to most of Judge Harry’s pranks, and his verbal foil and friend (Charles Robinson)
Bailiff Bull (male): a hulky, bocce-ball-head character, who was gentle, honest, and childlike, well, actually his bulb had never flipped on, and who was fiercely protective of Harry (Richard Moll)
Bailiff Roz (female): a snarky, dead-pan, tough, and no-nonsense character, who was antisocial and unfriendly to keep people from getting close, yet actually, a caring person who was inwardly shy and self-conscious (Marsha Warfield)
In this crazy episode, while Harry and some of the zany characters are running around the building trying to get a handle on a chaotic scenario, another one develops in the courtroom.
A man, whose name we find out is Mr. Sherman, stands on a table in the courtroom holding an original draft of the Constitution, which he stole from a van of a film production company getting ready to do a live television special based on the Constitution.
Holding a lit lighter close to the Constitution, the man pleads for someone to listen to him. But as all chaos is breaking lose with the other emergency, he gets put on hold, several times.
As the one emergency gets resolved, Harry finally gets to the demands of Constitution man.
Still standing on the table, the man yells, “All I want is 30 seconds to speak my mind and I’ll release this document completely unharmed.”
“Speak your mind, Mr. Sherman,” says Harry.
“I just wanted people to know that the Constitution says everyone is equal. And if we don’t agree with someone, we should just live and let live. But all I ever see is hatred and intolerance and bigotry and it’s not supposed to be like that. Everyone in our country is a child of this Constitution and that makes us a family. I just want us to treat each other that way.”
Mr. Sherman then hands the Constitution to Harry.
Harry says, “Mr. Sherman, I can’t condone your actions but you have given us something to think about. Maybe even something to read.”
“Take good care of it, Judge, will you? It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”
“Everyone in our country is a child of this Constitution and that makes us a family. I just want us to treat each other that way.”
Something for us to think about. Maybe even something to read.