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from TV Guide October 21, 1961
"Car 54, Where Are You?", which debuted in 1961 and ran for 60 episodes during 2 seasons, revolved around Gunther Toody and Francis Muldoon, two loveable but mismatched Bronx policemen who usually seemed more concerned with their everyday problems than with the crime rate in their precinct. The bumbling Toody lived with his shrewish wife Lucille, and the morose Muldoon, with his overbearing mother. Inevitably, domestic situations often became embroiled with police work. Also on hand were Al Lewis as Leo Schnauzer, Nipsey Russell as Desk Clerk Anderson and Charlotte Rae as Schnauzer's wife Sylvia.

The series was the first situation comedy about cops and it set the pattern for many shows to come. 'Car 54' was distinguished by Hiken's use of broad-stroke comedy based on a keen eye for human foibles," writes media journalist David Everitt. "The series is also memorable for its distinctively New York ethnic flavor, such a striking contrast to the homogenized vision of American life presented in most sitcoms of its day." - From the Car 54 (The Movie) press kit -

Patrolman Francis Muldoon, badge#723...............Fred Gwynne
Patrolman Gunther Toody, badge#1432...............Joe E. Ross
Captain Paul Block...............Paul Reed
Patrolman Leo Schnauser...............Al Lewis
Lucille Toody (Gunther's wife)...............Beatrice Pons

There was also a Car 54 cartoon made by Hannah-Barbera in 1972. Only 8 episodes were made.

"Car 54, Where Are You?" the movie was filmed in late 1990 in Toronto and New York City. It was not released to theaters however until 1994, due to bankruptcy problems with Orion Pictures. Al Lewis and Nipsey Russell reprised their original roles in the film.

Al Lewis was interviewed about the movie and said, "Am I happy about the script? If I was unhappy, what could I do about it? If the laundry comes back with a stain on it, you send it back. If the script has stains, what can you do about it? Enjoy it. Every moment of it. I like the people here. This is the nicest, most respectful, most deserving bunch of untalented people I've ever worked with."

Needless to say, the movie wasn't a smash hit.

There's a hold-up in the Bronx,
Brooklyn's broken out in fights,
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a Scout troop short a child,
Khrushchev's due at Idlewyld,
Car 54, Where Are You?

Words: Nat Hiken
Music by: John Strauss