John Larroquette Had A Sad Sixth Sense Moment On The Set Of The Night Court Revival

The original "Night Court" ran for 193 episodes over nine seasons. It was part of a magical Thursday-night lineup of sitcoms — along with "Family Ties," "The Cosby Show," and "Cheers" — that dominated the popular consciousness throughout the 1980s. "Night Court" was considered "the weird one" of that lineup, but it was no less popular, earning star John Larroquette four Emmys before he intentionally withdrew himself from consideration. Since its cancelation in 1992, "Night Court" has remained beloved by the people who initially saw it, and subsequent reruns have grown a few new fans along the way. 

Sometime in 2019 or 2020, however, a revival of "Night Court" was floated to NBC, and they began developing the new series that debuted on their network in 2023. The "Night Court" revival saw the return of Larroquette as Dan Fielding, the once-lascivious-now-humbled prosecutor who served the night shifts at the Manhattan Criminal Court. Marsha Warfield also occasionally returned to play the role of Roz, the deadpan bailiff. 

Sadly, no other actors could return because, rather tragically, much of the original "Night Court" cast had passed away. Harry Anderson, who played Judge Stone, passed in 2018. Markie Post and Charlie Robinson both died in 2021, and Richard Moll died in October 2023. Larroquette, now 76, was one of the final "Night Court" regulars still alive and working. 

In a recent interview with Deadline, Larroquette talked about working on the revival of "Night Court," and how he felt the absence of so many old friends and crew members.

Losing friends

On the revival, actress Melissa Rauch plays Judge Abby Stone, the daughter of Harry Stone. The revival needed to replace Harry Stone as Harry Anderson had already died by the time development had begun, but as the development began to encounter more and more delays, more of the original "Night Court" cast also passed away. It was only line producer Pixie Wespiser and the script-and-continuity worker Susie Gunter who remained, and it was only them that Larroquette could reminisce with. The actor said: 

"When we first started this, it was only Harry who had passed away. During the process of this and shortly after this, both Charlie Robinson and Markie Post passed away. When Melissa and I began to meet, I couldn't look at her and go, 'Oh, you remember when?' because she hadn't been there. We did have a couple of people on the crew who were part of the original, so I could give a side glance to Susie or Pixie who could remember. But it was sort of like, 'I see dead people,' but not in a maudlin way or scary way."

Of course, the "I see dead people" line was a casual reference to M. Night Shyamalan's hit 1999 film "The Sixth Sense," a film about a young boy who can see ghosts. Larroquette clearly wasn't being flippant, though. He was simply reminded of his happy days on the original "Night Court" and sharply aware of how much time had passed since then. This will happen to all of us as we get older. Larroquette has also worked many notable jobs since "Night Court," having won an Emmy for "The Practice" and a Tony for the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." "Night Court" was a trip back to an earlier time. 

Markie Post's blessing

Larroquette's character, Dan Fielding, was a prosecutor on the original show, but now works as a public defender. This was the role previously filled by Christine Sullivan, the character played by Markie Post. It seems that filling Post's role made Larroquette wistful, as he and Post were, he revealed, in close contact throughout the development of the "Night Court" revival. He said: 

"I actually had some communication with Markie while in the process of thinking about doing this. She was a cheerleader the whole way about it. [...] She said, 'We've got to see what happened to Dan.' So she was a touchstone for me during those weeks and months. It was a long time we danced around this. First Covid stopped us, then I stopped while thinking about who's gonna want to see a 75-year-old guy in a sitcom. And so we did it and I think we did a very good job — better than good. And I tried to help as much as I could and be as present as I could with this new family." 

Larroquette was careful to point out that the new "Night Court" cast is amazing, and he name-checked Rauch, Kapil Talwalkar, India de Beaufort, and Lacretta as being a great new family that he's happy to be a part of. The new "Night Court" may be rooted in nostalgia, but it's not a nostalgic series. It's more about making a great new comedy show, and Larroquette feels they're doing a great job of it. 

"Night Court" is currently finishing up its second season, and there's every reason to believe that the series will continue. Even without a killer Thursday-night lineup to buoy it, the new "Night Court" seems capable of lasting another nine years.