Classic TV Sitcoms: Barney Miller – Hash

Barney Miller was a brilliant, complex, highly literate, superbly written show with depth and high social commentary. The show was never in the top 10 in ratings but the show has held up well over the years. A few of the reasons the show was not in the top 10 was because of the intelligent writing and the humor wasn’t obvious…also the show was on ABC which at the time was the least popular major network.

The writers also made sure that for the most part, the show followed it’s own history very well. The show is about the Detectives at the 12th Precinct.

One very interesting part of Barney Miller is they had a bunch of good character actors pass through the show. They had a very good excuse because usually the guests were either witnesses or they committed some sort of small crime so it was a natural parade of people passing through.

The show was not all about humor. They had stories dealing with domestic abuse, social, and racial tensions and interaction close to real life.

Det. Phil Fish: First time in 20 years I felt this good and it has to be illegal!

Capt. Barney Miller: Stay home until you feel better.
Det. Ron Harris: Okay Barn, I’ll stay, but I ain’t never gonna feel no better.

Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana: [feeling the effects of the brownies] Barney, Barney, Barney… was your mother from Killarney?

Det. Sgt. Nick Yemana: [feeling the effects of the brownies] Hey Barney… let’s go down to the beach and shoot some clams!

Barney Miller: Hash

The Characters: Barney Miller, Stan ‘Wojo’ Wojciehowicz, Dietrich, Phil Fish, Ron Harris, Sgt. Nick Yemana, Carl Levitt, Zbigniew Psczola, Janusz Makowski, and Frank Slater.

Wojo innocently brings hashish-laced brownies his new girlfriend made to the 12th Precinct, getting the detective squad stoned, while an actor and a critic square off with dueling swords.

The Complete Episode


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Classic TV Sitcoms: Barney Miller – Hash”

  1. I love the part where Barney sends Wojo hone because on an arrest report he writes BURGLARY BURGLARY BURGLARY BURGLARY BURLARY and signs the report “Wojciehowicz, Chief of Police.” That was a funny episode…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is great…I also like when the crook said that Fish jumped to another building on the rooftop to get the guy. It really was a great episode. I binge watch it a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My boys and I were in Walmart last night and they were in the electronics aisle giving me ideas for Christmas. I walked over to the DVD section and the entire series is out on DVD. I think it was like $40. Looks like I may be back on Payday!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Barney Miller was a really good show with a great cast. For quite a long while it would show late evening on UK commercial channels, a great show to gently drift off to sleep to afterwards, the pace was so amiable.


    1. You are right…the only female detective they had was Linda Lavin who would leave to play Alice.
      I liked that the guests were crooks or just arrested. It was smartly written…probably too smart for some of the audience who wanted things dumbed down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been a long time since seeing Barney Miller. It’s one of the things I miss about having cable TV — the reruns. I don’t think I ever noticed that the guests were crooks or just arrested. Will pay attention if I get a chance to see it again.


    2. That’s what great about Barney Miller and tv back then. The diversity was natural and genuine not forced like these shows do now to try to make themselves look “woke” it’s set in New York so of course you’d have a precinct with so many different walks of life racially, culturally etc. And about women there was Barney’s wife and Linda Lavin as well as a temporary female cop that filled in for Jack Soo when he started getting sick. But Barney’s wife was dropped to occasional appearances because of the show becoming all about the precinct and Linda left to do Alice. Also many actresses as great character parts guesting every week. My opinion? That cast by season 3 to season 8 was so perfect there was no need to mess it up with a forced addition female or male. Those guys were a cast made in heaven.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The flow of people in that show was totally natural. Like you said nothing was forced at all like happens now at times. The show was built perfectly to have great character actors as criminals of the week so to speak…it was always fresh.
        I think the reason it didn’t have giant ratings is because it went over a lot of people’s heads. The comedy wasn’t obvious always…it was more subtle…but brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked it a lot back in the day , still remember the main characters but really can’t recall any specific episode. I’d probably tune in if I came across it on one of the “oldies” tv stations but haven’t seen it appear there. Could be ripe for a revival

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It aged very well I will say that. The writing is top notch. Because of the IT friends I have we all share so I have them all.


  5. Great show and cast– but I have never gotten any royalties from my book ‘Blood On The Badge!!” That was a memorable episode. One of these series where I had to go out and buy the complete series on DVD because I liked it so much.


    1. Very smartly written…the characters were so detailed that if they did something the slightest bit out of character you knew right off the bat…and they would play off of that.

      Liked by 1 person

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