If you haven’t watched the new Night Court yet, well, it’s a lot like the old Night Court, which is to say: It’s very broad, but John Laroquette almost single-handedly makes it worth watching in spite of the sometimes bad writing.
We were talking about the old Night Court on the podcast this week, and I think most of us remember one specific composition of the cast, which included Richard Moll and Marsha Warfield. I had completely forgotten that Warfield’s character was preceded by two other bailiffs played by Selma Diamond and Florence Halop, both of whom died of cancer after the second and third seasons, respectively. Likewise, Charles Robinson wasn’t cast as the court clerk until the second season, and Markie Post didn’t appear on Night Court until the third season (three actresses played public defenders before Post).
Do you know what never changed about the original Night Court through all nine seasons? The theme song. Do you know why? Because it was perfect. It needed to be because back then, people didn’t fast-forward through the theme song. We sat there and we listened to it, and we loved it, damn it.
Alas, the 2023 Night Court updated the theme song, and folks: It’s bad. It’s only 15 seconds long, for one, but also: I hate it. No thank you.
For this, we can blame nepotism. John Larroquette was on Late Night with Seth Meyers not too long ago discussing the new Night Court. He proudly mentioned that his son is responsible for that travesty. His son Ben came up with it, and Laroquette passed it along, and producers Melissa Rauch and Ben Rubin loved it for some reason. Not only did they choose his updated theme as the new one, but they made him the show’s music composer.
I find nepotism a little annoying sometimes, but criticism against it is mostly overblown (except when recipients of it downplay the role of nepotism in their success). Sometimes, however, nepotism does result in a clearly inferior product. I’m sure that Ben Larroquette is a very talented musician, but the new theme song isn’t indicative of that.