How much do you remember of Barney Miller?

By: Julie Medina
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

Sensible, fair, warm-hearted Captain Barney Miller is the perfect straight man to the squad of crazy characters who make up the 12th Precinct. It’s time to remember Fish, Wojo, Dietrich, Barney and all the others that came, left and kept us laughing.

Who portrayed Captain Barney Miller?

It's Hal.

What happens in one of the most popular and hilarious episodes, “Hash”?

Everyone on the squad except Barney is stoned by hashish-laced brownies made by Wojo's new girlfriend. Seeing all the characters, out of character made this one of the funniest episodes. In fact, it earned a ranking of 57 on the Top 100 sitcom episodes of all time.

Abe Vigoda plays the senior detective on the squad, what do the detectives call him?

Sgt. Philip K. Fish or “Fish” is a very good detective and mentor to other members of his squad. Crotchety, world-weary, and near retirement, he always seems to be suffering through some physical ailment, but he just keeps swimming.

Who said this? [eating Chinese takeout with pencils] “Just call your insurance company. Yes. Don't mention it. [hangs up phone] Oh my God. I ate my eraser.”

In the episode, Nick Yemana is missing a chop stick and improvises with a pencil. But that situation is even more funny when he realizes he ate the eraser. Jack Soo portrays Nick Yemana as a wisecracking Japanese-American detective. He is noted for wry observations about life, as well as for his gambling habits, extraordinarily poor paperwork filing skills, and for making extremely bad coffee.

What precinct does Captain Barney Miller cover with his squad room of detectives?

Barney Miller takes place in the 12th Precinct of New York City's Greenwich Village. During its broadcast run, amid the many cop shows on television, many real-life police officers considered this the TV show that best depicted the reality of police life.

What was the name of Barney’s wife?

Elizabeth Miller was played by Barbara Barrie. She is Barney’s wife and also a dedicated social worker in the show. An accomplished actress, her film breakthrough came in 1964 with her performance as Julie in the landmark film One Potato, Two Potato, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. She is best known for her role as Evelyn Stoller in Breaking Away, which brought her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1979 and an Emmy Award nomination in 1981.

What is the name of the Sergeant who would rather be a published writer?

Sgt. Ron Nathan Harris, portrayed by Ron Glass, is an ambitious, intellectual African-American, who lives well beyond his means, and who frequently seems more preoccupied with his attire and his career as a writer than with his police work. He eventually does get a book published, his lurid memoir “Blood on the Badge”.

Who said this? [to Father Paul] “You know something, if you're not a priest, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. And if you are a priest, "Good morning, Father".

In the episode Doomsday (Season 2), Chano is making sure he is on the good side --whether it’s being a good cop or a good, church-going citizen. Chano is portrayed by Gregory Sierra, who plays the dauntless, beleaguered Puerto Rican detective.

What is the name of the intellectual detective with a calm, unflappable nature and a seemingly endless supply of knowledge on a wide array of subjects?

Detective Arthur Dietrich played by Steve Landesberg, is infuriatingly cerebral. He also has deadpan humor and an unflappable know-it-all persona. For instance, in an exchange with a psychiatrist on the condition of an elderly woman facing arrest, the psychologist condescendingly says, "I have a Ph.D. in Abnormal Psychology. Do you?" to which Dietrich deadpans, "Yes."

Some of the best lines came from the episode Hash, where the squad (except Barney) accidently eats brownies laced with hashish. Which one of the choices is NOT one of the lines in the episode?

The answer is D. There were so many favorite lines that came from that episode. For example, Fish is saddened by the knowledge: "first time in 20 years I felt really good, and it has to be illegal!" Nick has been dunking brownies in his coffee, making them soft and "mooshy mooshy mooshy!"

What is the name of this character? His main objective is to be a full-time detective, and he often ends up trying (usually unsuccessfully) to ingratiate himself with Captain Miller in an effort to secure a promotion.

Officer Carl Levitt was often pressed into duty as an acting detective to replace Detective Yemana, but he never obtained full-time detective status -- at least, not until the very last episode of the series.

Who said this? “Mine's the sashimi and cream cheese on a bagel.” Delivery Guy: “You mean lox?" “We had it first.”

Nick Yemana was so great at delivering his lines, that his death from cancer in season five changed the dynamic for the show. It was said that his last words to his co-star Hal Linden, (Barney Miller), while being wheeled into the operating room before his death were "It must have been the coffee,” referencing a running joke by his character from Barney Miller of having the reputation for making horrible coffee. At the end of the tribute, Soo’s cast members raised their coffee cups in a final toast to his memory.

What was the name of the morally-challenged (slimy) attorney who regularly dropped by the 12th Precinct?

The correct answer is Arnold Ripner, an ambulance-chasing attorney, who later sues Harris for Harris’s portrayal of him in his novel Blood on the Badge”. The other choices may sound familiar as they appeared on the show. Mr. Discoli is Marty's partner. Arthur Duncan is a small-time crook who is frequently arrested. And Paula Capshaw is frequently arrested for prostitution.

Do you remember the names of two characters who were among the earliest recurring gay characters on American television?

The series creator, Danny Arnold, worked closely with the Gay Media Task Force, an activist group that worked on LGBT representation in media, in developing the characters Marty and Darryl. Initially both characters were presented in a stereotypically effeminate manner but in later appearances Darryl began dressing and speaking in a more mainstream fashion

Besides the Marty and Darrell storyline, the show decided to have Officer Zitelli's coming out. Why was this significant?

This was the first gay story arc on American television, occurring across the series' sixth and seventh seasons. Uniformed officer Zatelli was only revealed to be a closeted homosexual after he'd already been a recurring character for some time; later episodes dealt with his fear of the effect being outed would have on his career, and his later coming out himself in support of other gays on the force.

What happened in the episode, “The Radical”?

A shoplifting suspect turns out to be a wanted 1960s-era radical, whose raging about the Vietnam War stirs up passions and polarizes the precinct. Some old editorials from the week The Radical first aired were interesting, too. Apparently ABC bleeped "Dupont" and "Dow" from Dodd's rants the first airing and columnists noticed.

What can really excite Wojo?

Detective Stanley Thaddeus "Wojo" Wojciehowicz is a gung-ho former marine who loves guns and explosives of all kinds. For example, Wojo: “Hey Barn! I got everything we need! I got 10-guage shotguns, 12-guage shotguns, tow phone, and [opens largest case] tear gas!” Captain Barney Miller:” If we don't use all this stuff, you're not going to feel bad, are you?” Wojo: [hangs head] “No.”

What happened in the episode the Werewolf (Season three)?

All of the above. Talented character actor Kenneth Tigar played Mr. Kopechne, a man who thought he was turning into a werewolf that night. He also starred in the episode “Ghost” where he had a ghost named Julius ruining his life.

A witty line that got a lot of laughs was when who says to Chano , "Boney diaz, Chano." And Chano answers, "Jose Feliciano."

The answer is Inspector Kelly. In his desire to buddy up to the squad and boost their morale, he tries to speak Spanish to Chano. Chano seeing right through it, answers with a popular Puerto Rican singer - with Inspector Kelly, none the wiser. James Gregory (Inspector Kelly) with his brash manner and gravely voice played the McCarthy-like Sen. John Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and the audacious General Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970).

Who said this to Captain Donnelly of Internal Affairs? “I'm not Chinese, you know.” Captain Donnelly: That doesn't matter, Detective. “Now it doesn't matter; but in 1942...”

Jack Soo, who portrayed Nick Yemana, was actually interred in a Japanese detainment camp during World War Two. The joke was very close to his reality.

What did a sign on the wall behind the holding cell say?

The correct answer is “Do not Spit on the floor” a very important instruction for the characters that came in and out of the squad room. However, there was also a chalk board that was used to show whether the policemen were on-duty or off-duty which also contained the names of the crew, especially the technicians.

Which of these jokes were in the episode “Discovery” when the precinct computers have recorded Fish as dead.

The answer is C. It’s a funny coincidence that after the series ended, Abe Vigoda (Fish) would star in a Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace as Jonathan Brewster, a part originally played by Karloff.

Weird coincidences! Which of these could be true about the second episode called “Experience” where a bomber is on the loose?

The answer is all of the above. But that is not the only coincidence. The "Experience" episode also had an actor who came back on the series to star in a different role -- getting more “experience” acting in the series. Episode two is the first of Ray Sharkey's two, unrelated appearances on Barney Miller. He can also be seen in season two's "Protection".

The distinctive opening notes of the bass line of Jack Elliot and Allyn Ferguson’s theme music is performed by studio musician Chuck Berghofer. What are we seeing as we hear the opening?

The answer is all of the above. The opening sets the tone and establishes the location. We see the New York City skyline, the barge being towed and the characters being introduced. The closing credits featured a different shot of the skyline with the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the United Nations Building in the foreground.

How were the early episodes recorded?

Early seasons were recorded before a live studio audience and used a laugh track for enhancing reactions during post-production. Creator and executive producer Danny Arnold would then rewrite and re-stage entire scenes after the audience departed, actively looking for quieter, subtler moments that would not play well before a crowd.

The set design on the series had a different look from other TV shows, why?

Production of Barney Miller deliberately resembled a theatrical play; scenes rarely strayed from the precinct station's squad room, with its prominent open-barred holding cell, and Miller's adjoining office. Characters came and went, but always within the confines of the set.

Who is the Producer and Writer for Barney Miller?

Two-time Emmy Award winner and the creative mind behind the hit TV series "Barney Miller" (1975 to 1982). His first Emmy was for "My World and Welcome To It" (1969-70) and his second for "Barney Miller" (1981-82). He was also wrote and produced for such shows as "Bewitched" and "That Girl".

Danny Arnold, the creator and executive producer of the show was notorious for his marathon taping sessions, why?

The answer is all of the above. The series was notorious for its Marathon taping session, usually a taping that began in the afternoon or early evening would then continue into the early morning hours. waiting for pages to be sent down. Writer, Tom Reeder, described how the cast would get pages— sometimes at 2 a.m. — and would have to learn new scenes. Ron Carey (Officer Levitt) would get his fairly quickly: "Here's your mail, Captain." On the other hand, poor Steve Landesberg (Dietrich) might have to memorize long speeches explaining how nuclear fission works.

When did the Barney Miller series air?

The series aired for seven seasons and tackled everything from the Vietnam War to gays coming out. It aired from January 23, 1975, to May 20, 1982, on ABC.

Was the show a hit immediately?

The series took a while to become a hit, but ABC supported it anyway. By the second season it hit #17 in Nielson Ratings and it was favorably received by critics.

If you’re taking this quiz, we know that you would rank Barney Miller in the top ten in the list of the 60 best series of all time. But at what number did TV Guide rank the series?

In 2013, more than 30 years after the show aired, TV Guide ranked Barney Miller at #46 on its list of the 60 best series of all time. Number one on the list is The Sopranos, and the last one on the list is Everybody Loves Raymond.

After the series ended, what award did it receive?

The series received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1982, after it ended. The series ended in May of 1982 and the Emmy Award came after that, on September 12, 1982. The series was finally and fully recognized for great program it was -- although it received six other nominations in that category, from 1976 to 1981.

Why did the show end?

Danny Arnold ended production of Barney Miller in 1982 after eight seasons for fear of repeating storylines; the show was not cancelled by the network. It did well in the Nielsen ratings, earning a spot in the top 20 in the second, third and fourth season. By the fifth season it was out of the top 20 but still had a loyal audience and great critical reviews. The series was nominated from 1976 to 1981 for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, although never winning.

Besides the Primetime Emmy Award, what other types of award did the Barney Miller win?

Barney Miller won a DGA Award from the Directors Guild of America in 1981. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Comedy or Musical Series in 1976 and 1977.

Speaking of recognition, how else was the series recognized by the Primetime Emmy Award?

The series won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 1980 in addition to nominations in 1976, 1977 and 1982). It also won Outstanding Directing in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series in 1979. In addition, the series earned the prestigious Peabody Award in 1978. It was well recognized as one of the best on TV.

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