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#1
Old 09-09-2012, 03:12 PM
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Barney Miller and Chano and Inspector Luger

Since I saw a great discussion in my earlier thread about "Hogan's Heroes" inconsistencies, I have to throw another similar one out regarding "Barney Miller." When Jack Soo died, he was written out of the show. However, at some point Gregory Sierra's character of Chano is no longer on the series and nothing is ever mentioned of him again. Why did Gregory Sierra leave the show and was Chano's disappearance from the 12th Precinct ever explained? Also, my own personal favorite character was Inspector Luger played by James Gregory. While James Gregory played Inspector Luger as a rather devoted but often clueless boob, I have to wonder: If Inspector Luger was such a boob, how would someone like that be promoted to the position of Inspector?
#2
Old 09-09-2012, 03:43 PM
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I don't remember what they did with the Sierra character. Did they bring in a woman detective to as an alternative Hispanic character for a while?

The inspector was supposed to the old days of the NYPD with restricted hiring and patronage policies. But he wasn't presented as a total boob, I think it was more of someone older and losing it from old age, though probably not the brightest bulb to start with.

Notably the show featured a gay character in a small role.
#3
Old 09-09-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
If Inspector Luger was such a boob, how would someone like that be promoted to the position of Inspector?
I take it you've never had a boss?

More seriously, another famous police show is The Wire. Lot's of incompetent/corrupt higher ups. But based on David Simon's real life experience as a police reporter in Baltimore. Luger looks like a genius compared to some of those people.

As to Sierra, he was an in-demand actor, even given a (short-lived) TV series a couple years later, A.E.S. Hudson Street. He apparently had eyes on bigger roles than what BM could give him. Plus rumors of friction on the set.

He was there at the end of Season 2 and not seen again. The only later references were regarding Barney Miller trying to find a replacement and such.
#4
Old 09-09-2012, 04:17 PM
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I always thought Luger was meant to be more of a fossil than a boob.
#5
Old 09-09-2012, 05:02 PM
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Chano was mentioned, briefly.

He had transferred downtown.

I got the Complete DVD set.
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#6
Old 09-09-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
Chano was mentioned, briefly.

He had transferred downtown.

I got the Complete DVD set.
Which episode was it mentioned that Chano had transferred to another precinct?
#7
Old 09-09-2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
Which episode was it mentioned that Chano had transferred to another precinct?
Don't recall.

The last season, though.
#8
Old 09-09-2012, 05:59 PM
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They blew him up in his car.
#9
Old 09-09-2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by outlierrn View Post
I always thought Luger was meant to be more of a fossil than a boob.
I always figured Luger was so close to retirement that the department just found the least demanding job they could for him (Fish was also ancient, but he hadn't worked his way that far up the promotion list.

However, I do remember one episode where Barney was being investigated by Internal Affairs or something. James Gregory's snapping off the line "I'll need your badge and your gun" was a perfect blending of weary regret and someone determined to do the rottenest part of their job with brutal efficiency.
#10
Old 09-09-2012, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
They blew him up in his car.
It says a lot about how much TV I watched in the seventies that I immediately got that joke.
#11
Old 09-09-2012, 06:57 PM
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If I remember correctly, Chano shot a suspect While he was in the right he had a hard time with his actions.
#12
Old 09-09-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
It says a lot about how much TV I watched in the seventies that I immediately got that joke.
Growing up in the seventies in Kansas City as the son of a cop, LOTS of people blew up in cars. In some neighborhoods, it was considered "natural causes".
#13
Old 09-09-2012, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
I always figured Luger was so close to retirement that the department just found the least demanding job they could for him (Fish was also ancient, but he hadn't worked his way that far up the promotion list.
Abe Vigoda was about fifty at the time - he just looked 90 years older than God.
#14
Old 09-09-2012, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Growing up in the seventies in Kansas City as the son of a cop, LOTS of people blew up in cars. In some neighborhoods, it was considered "natural causes".
In the Chicago area, too (big surprise). What I suppose is jarring to younger viewers of Barney Miller is how blase they are about terrorist bombings. IIRC, between the FALN and others there were stretches of the '70s where they were nearly daily in NYC.

Last edited by dropzone; 09-09-2012 at 07:45 PM.
#15
Old 09-09-2012, 08:23 PM
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I seem to recall an episode about a husband being accused of raping his wife, and their doubts about how that could be possible.

Sitcoms were different in the 70s.
#16
Old 09-09-2012, 10:27 PM
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There was also an early episode where they had a woman come in with obvious bruising on her face, accusing her husband of beating her. She waffled back and forth about pressing charges on him, and it was played all very lightly.

Disturbingly real job of makeup on the bruising too.

That's not to say real spousal beating victims don't waffle back and forth about turning their violent spouses in, but the whole scene was played for laughs.
#17
Old 09-09-2012, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Growing up in the seventies in Kansas City as the son of a cop, LOTS of people blew up in cars. In some neighborhoods, it was considered "natural causes".
I assume Loach was making a specific reference though. Gregory Sierra, who played Chano on Barney Miller, had been a guest star on All in the Family. He played a guy who got blown up in a car.
#18
Old 09-09-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
There was also an early episode where they had a woman come in with obvious bruising on her face, accusing her husband of beating her. She waffled back and forth about pressing charges on him, and it was played all very lightly.

Disturbingly real job of makeup on the bruising too.

That's not to say real spousal beating victims don't waffle back and forth about turning their violent spouses in, but the whole scene was played for laughs.
She signed the complaint at the end.
#19
Old 09-10-2012, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I assume Loach was making a specific reference though. Gregory Sierra, who played Chano on Barney Miller, had been a guest star on All in the Family. He played a guy who got blown up in a car.
Yes. An episode that has stuck with me all these years.
#20
Old 09-10-2012, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
If Inspector Luger was such a boob, how would someone like that be promoted to the position of Inspector?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle
#21
Old 09-10-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I assume Loach was making a specific reference though. Gregory Sierra, who played Chano on Barney Miller, had been a guest star on All in the Family. He played a guy who got blown up in a car.
A Jewish terrorist, IIRC.
#22
Old 09-10-2012, 02:06 PM
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This is just a semi-hijack to observe that an aged partner at this law firm is a dead ringer for Inspector Luger. He looks like him and his manner of speaking sounds like him. The only way he differs is that he delivers far more racist and sexist jokes, and chews gum constantly.

All attempts by the partnership to reform him have failed. He's close to retirement age anyway.
#23
Old 09-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hottius Maximus View Post
Since I saw a great discussion in my earlier thread about "Hogan's Heroes" inconsistencies, I have to throw another similar one out regarding "Barney Miller." When Jack Soo died, he was written out of the show. However, at some point Gregory Sierra's character of Chano is no longer on the series and nothing is ever mentioned of him again. Why did Gregory Sierra leave the show and was Chano's disappearance from the 12th Precinct ever explained? Also, my own personal favorite character was Inspector Luger played by James Gregory. While James Gregory played Inspector Luger as a rather devoted but often clueless boob, I have to wonder: If Inspector Luger was such a boob, how would someone like that be promoted to the position of Inspector?
It's not a stretch. It probably happens at someone's place of employment every week. The coworker that seems to screw everything up becomes a manager or director.

We did it back in 2000, when we elected Baby Bush.
#24
Old 09-10-2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
They blew him up in his car.
Before or after he was skewered on a bamboo booby trap?
#25
Old 09-10-2012, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Yes. An episode that has stuck with me all these years.
Was that the episode where the Bunkers had a swastika on their front door?
#26
Old 09-10-2012, 05:12 PM
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Yes, they had a swastika on their door because some terrorist group thought they were Jewish. Gregory Sierra was some commando with the ADL (or some such group) and hung out at the house to protect them. When he got word that the target had moved, he jumped in his car and got blown up.

(Yes, I watched A LOT of TV as a kid.)
#27
Old 09-10-2012, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by boozilu View Post
Gregory Sierra was some commando with the ADL (or some such group)
The Hebrew Defense Association - interestingly, that episode's plot is given in more detail in Sierra's wikipedia entry than a lot of actual 'plot' sections on actual movie and TV episode entries.
#28
Old 09-10-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
The Hebrew Defense Association - interestingly, that episode's plot is given in more detail in Sierra's wikipedia entry than a lot of actual 'plot' sections on actual movie and TV episode entries.
Youtube has the entire episode. Here is the last 7 minutes along with the chilling ending that has always stuck with me.
#29
Old 09-11-2012, 01:47 AM
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I've probably only seen that All in the Family episode once, nearly 40 years ago when it first aired! And yet I remember it well.

More than others that episode did an amazing job of blending serious drama with goofy comedy. Just the opening scene when the swastika on the door is revealed, the audience literally gasped. Then Archie covers it with an American flag but he hangs it slightly wrong so a Boy Scout knocks to tell him, Archive just tells him to fix it, then the kid casually yells, "Hey mister, you know there's a swastika on your door?" to which Archie just yells, "Get outta here!" to the kid.

And when über-liberal Mike surprisingly can't support the jewish guy for using terrorists tactics, but Archie can. And the ending was absolutely shocking. There was suddenly a big explosion sound, the family all run to the door, and Carrol O'Conner just says, "They blew him up in his car..." The End.

The fact that the show was shot on videotape in front of a live audience really added to the drama.
#30
Old 04-01-2013, 08:45 AM
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Barney Miller and Chano and Inspector Luger

Gregory Sierra left Barney Miller to star in another Danny Arnold sitcom AES Hudson Street. The show didn't last long. The only reference they made to Chano leaving was when they introduced the character of Roslayn Lacori, a detective that last only a few episodes. Barney was confused when Lacori first reported to duty. He then found out she was the replacement that he requested for Chano two years earlier.
#31
Old 04-01-2013, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Was that the episode where the Bunkers had a swastika on their front door?
Trivia: the Boy Scout who comes to the door in that episode was played by Jean Stapleton's real life son, John Putch (who did a lot of character work in the '70s and '80s).

I didn't realize that Sierra's Barney Miller episodes were all after his recurring role on Sanford & Son.a

Other short term detectives included Wentworth (played by Linda Lavin, who went on to fame and fortune as Alice), and Det. Dorsey (Paul Lieber, who's had a successful career of "that guy who was in that thing" appearances- frizzy haired younger guy when on Barney Miller- politely accuses them of taking bribes in his first appearance).

Last edited by Sampiro; 04-01-2013 at 09:34 AM.
#32
Old 04-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
Trivia: the Boy Scout who comes to the door in that episode was played by Jean Stapleton's real life son, John Putch (who did a lot of character work in the '70s and '80s).

Right- Jean Stapleton's married name was Jean Putch.

That's why, in one episode where she played Theodore Bikel's Italian girlfriend, she was listed in the cast as "Giovanna Pucci." Giovanna is the Italian equivalent of Jean, and "Pucci" sounds like an Italian version of "Putch."
#33
Old 04-01-2013, 09:59 AM
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I don't think Frank Luger was supposed to be a moron, though he usually came across as dim.

I think it's more likely that he was "kicked upstairs" because he was too old to be a productive detective but didn't want to retire. He was the type who'd been a cop his whole life, who didn't know how to do anything else and didn't really WANT to. The department couldn't fire him without cause, and couldn't force him to retire... so they "promoted" him to a job with no responsibilities, and he had nothing to do except hang around the precinct, "supervising" and making a nuisance of himself.

Last edited by astorian; 04-01-2013 at 10:00 AM.
#34
Old 04-01-2013, 10:08 AM
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I think that's called a sinecure
#35
Old 04-01-2013, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
That's why, in one episode where she played Theodore Bikel's Italian girlfriend, she was listed in the cast as "Giovanna Pucci." Giovanna is the Italian equivalent of Jean, and "Pucci" sounds like an Italian version of "Putch."
And the name Pandora Spocks was taken.
#36
Old 04-02-2013, 06:32 PM
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One of my local channels shows about 4 episodes a week. They just showed an episode some 3 years after Chano left in which HQ finally sent them a (female) replacement. Barney specifically mentions "Det. Chano" to his replacement and the fact that he left nearly three years ago!

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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
Abe Vigoda was about fifty at the time - he just looked 90 years older than God.
I just mentioned this in another post, but Vigoda outlived Yamana, Luger, Levitt and even Dietrich!

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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
I always figured Luger was so close to retirement that the department just found the least demanding job they could for him (Fish was also ancient, but he hadn't worked his way that far up the promotion list.

However, I do remember one episode where Barney was being investigated by Internal Affairs or something. James Gregory's snapping off the line "I'll need your badge and your gun" was a perfect blending of weary regret and someone determined to do the rottenest part of their job with brutal efficiency.
I just saw this episode, and it had one of the funniest moments in it. After Luger gets Barney's gun & badge he asks him who's next in the chain of command. Barney hesitates for a second and then says, "Nick" to which Yamana replies, "Oh my god!". It was just a nice little moment showing that Nick actually was the most senior (by way of time served anyway) but how ill-suited and not-wanting his character felt about the idea of that kind of responsibility!
#37
Old 04-02-2013, 08:30 PM
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That people cycled into and out of the precinct was a nice touch of realism.
#38
Old 04-03-2013, 02:46 PM
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I don't recall Luger being incompetent or even too old for the job. IIRC, he was just "quirky", there for comedic value. His age just gave him the excuse to be hanging around the precinct, rather than doing work.
I think the funniest one of his episodes is where he asks Barney to pick out a Vietnamese wife for him (Luger) from some mail order bride place. Barney says no, and Luger said "OK, Barney, just remember that when some VC broad slits my throat."

Last edited by handsomeharry; 04-03-2013 at 02:49 PM.
#39
Old 11-10-2017, 07:57 PM
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Chano was also briefly acknowledged in the series finale...in the last scene as Barney walks around to the various desks, we see clips of departed cast members who occupied them....Chano, Fish, Wentworth and Yemana are shown.

Last edited by dirwuf; 11-10-2017 at 07:58 PM.
#40
Old 11-10-2017, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I assume Loach was making a specific reference though. Gregory Sierra, who played Chano on Barney Miller, had been a guest star on All in the Family. He played a guy who got blown up in a car.
That's how I interpreted the remark too (I remember when Gregory Sierra' character was blown up on All in the Family too).
#41
Old 11-10-2017, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by outlierrn View Post
I always thought Luger was meant to be more of a fossil than a boob.
This is my take as well. He was of a different time.

Along with Foster, Kleiner, and Brownie, of course.


mmm
#42
Old 11-10-2017, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Growing up in the seventies in Kansas City as the son of a cop, LOTS of people blew up in cars. In some neighborhoods, it was considered "natural causes".
Try growing up in Cleveland.
#43
Old 11-10-2017, 10:42 PM
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Gregory Sierra got transferred to Miami Vice. He played Lt. Lou Rodriguez in the first four episodes before taking a bullet meant for Sonny.
#44
Old 11-10-2017, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Gregory Sierra got transferred to Miami Vice. He played Lt. Lou Rodriguez in the first four episodes before taking a bullet meant for Sonny.
No, Sonny got gunned down at the toll booth.
#45
Old 11-10-2017, 10:59 PM
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Didn't realize how much of a zombie thread this one was...
#46
Old 11-10-2017, 11:42 PM
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exploding zombies in cars
#47
Old 11-11-2017, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
Didn't realize how much of a zombie thread this one was...
Funny thing is I almost bumped this thread myself last week.

I had just finished watching the show from 1st to last episode over a 4 month period. I've always thought it was one of the best sitcoms but additionally it holds up great. All in the Family & MASH were the best in their day but neither has aged well for me at least.
#48
Old 11-11-2017, 12:50 PM
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Luger was more socially clueless and obnoxious than stupid. The character's purpose on the show was to get under Barney's skin. Barney was usually too polite and cautious to let Luger know what he really thought.

Who else remembers the episode where they had a psychic in the cage, and he was reading everyone's minds aloud? Luger walks in at one point, and the psychic (channeling Barney) shouts, "Do your own damn work!"
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#49
Old 11-11-2017, 02:04 PM
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I was under the impression that Inspector Luger's job was solely internal affairs, and that he was there precisely because he didn't have the favor of his colleagues. I recall hearing that internal affairs is uniformly hated by cops and that being assigned to it is not considered a vote of confidence.
#50
Old 11-11-2017, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I was under the impression that Inspector Luger's job was solely internal affairs, and that he was there precisely because he didn't have the favor of his colleagues. I recall hearing that internal affairs is uniformly hated by cops and that being assigned to it is not considered a vote of confidence.
Nope, he was an Inspector. Barney's boss pretty much. Lt. Scanlon was Internal Affairs and generally hated.
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