Three decades ago audiences met a zany, Mel Tormé-loving judge and the cast of misfits who paraded through his New York City courtroom. With Jan. 4 marking 30 years since "Night Court" hit the TV airwaves, see what the show's stars are up to today.
Harry Anderson played Judge Harry T. Stone, a young unconventional judge and amateur magician with a fondness for zany antics and Mel Tormé.
Anderson also had a recurring guest role as con man "Harry the Hat" on "Cheers" and toured extensively as a magician. He also starred in the TV miniseries "Stephen King's It" in 1990 and followed up "Night Court" with the sitcom "Dave's World," based loosely on the life and columns of humor columnist Dave Barry. In November 2008, he played himself on an episode of "30 Rock" along with fellow "Night Court" co-stars Markie Post and Charles Robinson.
John Larroquette played Dan Fielding, a sex-obsessed narcissistic prosecutor. His lecherous lawyer became the breakout character of the show and Larroquette won a then-unprecedented four consecutive Emmy Awards for the role.
Although there was talk of spinning Larroquette's character off into his own sitcom when "Night Court" ended, he said no to the idea. Instead, he developed his own sitcom "The John Larroquette Show," which ran four seasons from September 1993 to October 1996. He won his fifth Emmy for a three-episode guest stint on "The Practice" in 1998 and has had cameos on "The West Wing," "House," "CSI: NY," "White Collar" and "Chuck." In 2007, he joined the cast of "Boston Legal" playing Carl Sack, a serious, ethical lawyer (more or less the polar opposite of his Dan Fielding.) He's most recently had roles on the TV series "Deception" and "Almost Human."
Richard Moll played the dim-witted, hulking bailiff Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon. Besides Anderson and Larroquette, he was the only actor to appear in all 193 episodes of the show.
Since "Night Court," Moll has had cameos on show such as "Highlander," "Babylon 5," "Married… with Children" and "Smallville" and in movies like "Sidekicks," "The Flintstones," "Jingle All the Way" and "But I'm a Cheerleader." He's also done extensive voice acting, voicing Two-Face in "Batman: The Animated Series" and "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" and other characters in shows like "Spider-Man: The Animated Series," "Justice League" and "Freakazoid!" His most recent credits include a cameo on Charlie Sheen's sitcom "Anger Management" and a role in Syfy channel's "Ghost Shark" (pictured).
Moll's Bull was paired up with a comically gruff female bailiff throughout the show's run, starting with Selma Diamond (left), who played elderly chain-smoking bailiff Selma Hacker. Diamond died of lung cancer at age 64 on May 13, 1985, shortly after the show's second season. Diamond's replacement was Florence Halop (right), who played bailiff Florence Kleiner during the show's third season. She too died of lung cancer, at age 63 on July 15, 1986.
When it came time to cast Halop's replacement, the producers of "Night Court" decided to go younger, this time turning to Marsha Warfield to play tough, no-nonsense bailiff Roz Russell. Warfield was 32 when she joined the cast during the show's fourth season and remained with the show through the end of its nine-season run.
Warfield went on to star in the "Golden Girls" spin-off "Empty Nest" from 1993 to 1995. She also had cameos on her former "Night Court" co-stars' sitcoms "Dave's World" and "The John Larroquette Show" and shows such as "Mad About You," "Moesha," "Living Single," "Clueless" and "Veronica's Closet." Her most recent credit was a 2003 appearance on the reality TV show "Star Dates."
Karen Austin played court clerk Lana Wagner during the show's first 10 episodes. Her character, who was originally intended as a potential love interest for Harry, disappeared one episode with a brief mention of her being out sick and was never seen again.
Austin went on to land recurring roles on TV shows such as "St. Elsewhere," "L.A. Law," "Murder One" and "Beverly Hills, 90210," and had starring roles in the movies "Summer Rental" and "Jagged Edge." More recently she's had minor roles on TV series such as "Desperate Housewives," "Battlestar Galactica," "CSI: Miami" and "The Closer" and the Johnny Depp movie "The Rum Diary" (pictured).
After Austin's departure, Charles Robinson (left) joined the show during its second season, playing new court clerk Mac Robinson, a cardigan-wearing Vietnam veteran. He stayed with the show through the rest of its nine-season run.
Robinson, who also directed three episodes of the series, went on to become a regular on the sitcom "Love & War" after "Night Court" ended. He also played the recurring character Bud Harper on the sitcom "Home Improvement," and has had cameos on shows such as "House," "The Bernie Mac Show," "My Wife and Kids," "Soul Food," "Charmed," "How I Met Your Mother" and "My Name Is Earl." He currently has a recurring role on The CW series "Hart of Dixie" (pictured).
Gail Strickland played public defender Sheila Gardner on the show's pilot episode. Strickland, who had featured roles in 1970s films such as "Bound for Glory," "The Drowning Pool" and "Norma Rae," went on to cameos in TV shows like "Dallas," "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," "JAG" and "Melrose Place," and roles in movies such as "How to Make an American Quilt" and "The American President." Her most recent credits include the short-lived 2002 series "First Monday" and the 2008 indie movie "My Apocalypse."
After the pilot episode, Paula Kelly (lower right) took over as public defender Liz Williams for the rest of the first season. The role earned her an Emmy nomination. She went on to earn another Emmy nomination for the 1989 TV movie "The Women of Brewster Place." Her most recent screen credit was a 1999 appearance in the TV drama "Any Day Now."
Ellen Foley took over in the second season, playing public defender Billie Young.
Foley left the show after one season. She first found fame singing the duet with Meat Loaf on the hit single "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" from the 1977 album "Bat out of Hell" and released three solo albums from the late 1970s into the early 1980s. She was the inspiration for The Clash's "Should I Stay, or Should I Go," and sang backup on records by Todd Rundgren, The Clash, and Joe Jackson. She has also acted on Broadway and had roles in movies like "Hair," "Tootsie," "Fatal Attraction," "Cocktail" and "Married to the Mob." Although she hasn't had a TV or movie role since the late 1980s, she released her fourth studio album, "About Time," in 2013.
The show finally settled on a permanent public defender with the introduction of Markie Post as Christine Sullivan. Although she made an initial appearance during an early second-season episode, Post, who was starring on "The Fall Guy" at the time, didn't join the series as a regular until the start of the third season. She quickly became a love interest for Harry Stone and a regular target for Dan Fielding's lecherous advances.
Post went onto a regular role on the John Ritter sitcom "Hearts Afire" and had recurring roles on the TV shows "The District" and "Scrubs." Her film credits include "There's Something About Mary," in which she played the mother of Cameron Diaz's title character. More recently, she joined her "Night Court" co-stars Harry Anderson and Charles Robinson to play themselves in a 2008 episode of "30 Rock" titled "The One with the Cast of Night Court." Her most recent credits include cameos on the TV series "Man Up" and "Back in the Game," roles in the 2010 Hallmark Channel movie "Backyard Wedding" (pictured) and the 2013 Lifetime Movie "Christmas on the Bayou," and voicing the character of June Darby for the animated series "Transformers: Prime."
William Utay played Phil Sanders, Dan's homeless lackey, appearing in 20 episodes between 1984 and 1989. He also played Phil's evil twin brother Will. Later in the series, the character was killed off in an accident shortly after it was revealed he was actually a wealthy former stockbroker who had chose to live on the street.
Utay has had cameos in a wide range of TV series, including alongside his former co-stars in "Dave's World" and "The John Larroquette Show" as well as "Murder, She Wrote," "Who's the Boss?," "L.A. Law," "Seinfeld," "Mad About You," "ER," "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Angel." He's also had minor movie roles in "Ali," "Species" and "Dark Blue." Besides "Night Court," though, he's probably best known for playing Dr. Wilhelm Rolf, an associate of the DiMera crime family on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives," a role he initially played between September 1997 and June 2003 and again from June 2007 to September 2008.
Denice Kumagai (left) played Quon Le Duc Robinson, Mac's wife, a refugee from Vietnam. She appeared in 18 episodes from the second season on. In a fourth season episode she gave birth to the couple's daughter, Renee Flicka Robinson, moments after being sworn in as an American citizen.
Kumagai has since had small roles in TV series such as "Murphy Brown," "Columbo," "Caroline in the City" and "The Pretender." Her most recent screen credit was a recurring role as "Aunt June" on the TV series "Gilmore Girls" (pictured) in 2004 and 2006.
John Astin, better known for playing Gomez Addams on "The Addams Family," played Buddy Ryan, Harry's eccentric stepfather and a former psychiatric hospital patient, appearing in 11 episodes starting in the third season. The character was later revealed to be Harry's biological father.
Astin has since had recurring roles in TV series such as "Eerie, Indiana," "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," "Murder, She Wrote" and "The Nanny." Astin is now an acting teacher at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Brent Spiner (right) appeared in seven episodes of the show as Bob Wheeler, a frequent defendant in Harry's courtroom who initially pretended to be a stereotypical hillbilly from West Virginia. It was later revealed Wheeler and his family were actually Yugoslavians.
Spiner went on to find greater fame playing the android Data in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He also has made cameos on TV series such as "Frasier, "Leverage," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Alphas," "Warehouse 13" and "The Big Bang Theory," and had roles in movies such as "The Aviator," "Dude, Where's My Car?," "I Am Sam," "Independence Day" and "Superhero Movie."
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff played Russian immigrant Yakov Korolenko, another frequent visitor to Harry's courtroom.
After his heyday in the 1980s, Smirnoff's career declined after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He opened his own theater in Branson, Mo., in 1992 has staged shows there since then. He earned a masters degree in positive psychology from the Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies in 2006 and has since taught classes at Drury University and Missouri State University.
Mel Tormé played himself in several appearances on the show. It was revealed in the pilot episode that Harry was a fanatic admirer of the singer, just as Harry Anderson is in real life. Harry's fandom popped up in many episodes over the series' run. Tormé died from a stroke at age 73 on June 5, 1999.
Gilbert Gottfried played Oscar Brown, an attorney who filled in for Dan Fielding when the character was missing during three episodes during the show's ninth and final season.
"Night Court" had its fair share of guest appearances by actors who would become much bigger down the road, including Michael J. Fox, who played runaway teen Eddie Simms in just the second episode of the series. Fox was starring on "Family Ties" at the time and was a year away from breaking out as a movie star thanks to "Back to the Future."
A 1987 episode saw Dan fending off advances by his boss's visiting niece, played by a young Teri Hatcher.
Before finding fame thanks to her roles on the TV series "Sisters," "Once and Again" and "CSI: NY," Sela Ward made an appearance in a 1987 "Night Court" episode as Christine's friend Heather, with both Harry and Dan competing for her attention.
A few years before he found fame playing Cosmo Kramer on "Seinfeld," Michael Richards appeared in a 1984 episode playing Eugene Sleighbough, playing a burglar who thinks he is invisible.
Toward the beginning of his career, future Oscar-nominee Don Cheadle made an appearance on a 1988 episode playing Jack, a scared teenager fleeing a failed armed robbery attempt who takes hostage an anger management group being attended by Roz.
Fran Drescher, the future star of "The Nanny," appeared in a 1986 episode playing Miriam Brody, a schizophrenic woman whose personality switches without warning from a prude to a sexpot, and back again.
James Cromwell, who earned an Oscar nomination in 1996 for "Babe," appeared in a 1985 episode playing Alan, who belongs to a group of mental patients running loose in the courthouse. Besides his Oscar nod, Cromwell's also racked up such screen credits as "L.A. Confidential," "The Green Mile," "Space Cowboys," "I, Robot," "The Queen," "Spider-Man 3," "Six Feet Under," "24," "W." (in which he played President George H.W. Bush), "Secretariat" and "The Artist."
A year after first portraying Freddy Krueger in "A Nightmare on Elm Street," Robert Englund made an appearance in a 1985 episode playing Arnold Preminger, a defendant who thinks the Earth is being invaded by aliens and they should fight back.
Lou Ferrigno, best known for playing the title character in TV's "The Incredible Hulk" from 1977 to 1982, appeared in a 1985 episode playing professional wrestler "The Klondike Butcher."
More water guzzling lawns may be replaced by drought tolerant plants throughout Santa Barbara because of the on going drought, and in some cases, homeowners will be getting a cash rebate for making the change.