Night Court revival: John Larroquette on his return as Dan Fielding

night court is back in session, and Dan Fielding is back on the case…although he’s on the other side now.

John Larroquette returns as the smug attorney in NBC’s new revival, reprising the role he played in the 1984-92 courtroom comedy. The actor admitted to reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that he was initially skeptical about “reviving something that we did 35 years ago, when we were young and agile and acrobatic and maybe funny. Trying to go back to that at the age of 75 seemed like a real miscalculation on my part if I had said yes.”

Night Court NBC John Larroquette Melissa RauchBut he was intrigued by the prospect of finding out how Dan Fielding had changed – and maybe even grown – since he’d last seen him: “How often does an actor get a chance to recreate a character he played three and a half decades ago has to visit again? And how long was this journey and what happened to him in his life? … So it became an exciting problem to solve.”

Times have changed, of course, and Larroquette concedes that “some of the humor that Dan Fielding presented in the 1980s may not be funny today.” (He was a notorious womanizer and chauvinist, for one.) “He still thinks he’s the smartest person in the room,” but “he doesn’t have the hunger that a young Dan Fielding had… Whatever fantasies he had about his life.” had 35 are all gone.” Dan is now a widower on the new series, adding, “He’s an old man who’s retired from life significantly… So it’s been a journey of finding the jokes again.”

The new look night court Dan also has a surprising new role: the former prosecutor is now the public defender for the night court. “He needs to shift gears, which gives him a little exercise to do intellectually to have sympathy and empathy for the people he’s defending.”

Night Court Original Harry Anderson John LarroquetteLarroquette also remembered his late co-star Harry Anderson, who appeared on the original series as judge Harry Stone and died in 2018. “He always performed for us,” he recalls. “Of course, when you’re doing a sitcom you’re sitting around a lot, so we often had time just to be friends and talk.” He noted that in the 1970s, Anderson worked as a busker in Larroquette’s hometown of New Orleans, appearing on on the street, even though they had never met at the time. “It was always fun on set, with all of us.”

Larroquette is the sole cast member of the original night court to return for the NBC revival. (Along with Anderson, co-stars Charles Robinson and Markie Post have both passed away in recent years.) The big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch stars as Judge Abby Stone, daughter of Judge Harry Stone from the original series, in the revival. In the new series, which premieres this Tuesday at 8:7c, “Judge Abby Stone follows in the footsteps of her late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes over the night shift at a Manhattan prosecutor,” reads the official description. Night Court revival: John Larroquette on his return as Dan Fielding

Lindsay Lowe

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