Did you catch this horror movie easter egg in Night Court?
Night Court was no stranger to pop culture references. Heck, just look at the episode where Wile E. Coyote was on trial for harassing the Road Runner. Or the court case where an argument between Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation fans ends with the TNG fans beaming out of the courtroom.
So it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to find that the show found a way to reference one of their lead's first acting role.
John Larroquette is known to Night Court fans as the lecherous lady killer prosecutor Dan Fielding, but his list of credits goes much beyond that. He's been nominated for Emmys, Golden Globes, and Tony Awards. However, before all of that, he did a favor for a friend.
That friend was Tobe Hooper.
Tobe Hooper, if the name doesn't ring any bells, has been called one of the most influential horror filmmakers of all time. He gave us Poltergeist, Salem's Lot, The Mangler, and perhaps most famously... The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Hooper was still an emerging filmmaker when he was working on TCM. The movie had an incredibly low budget of $140,000, which forced Hooper to use mostly unknown local actors and shoot long hours seven days a week to cut down on equipment rental costs.
When Hooper heard that Larroquette, who he'd been friends with for years, was in town, he asked Larroquette for an hour of his time as a favor. As a result, Larroquette's iconic rich voice can be heard giving the opening narration to the film.
Fourteen years later, Larroquette was on the sixth season of Night Court when the writers slipped in a little reference to his early horror role. In "Educating Rhoda", Dan has a dalliance with a woman (played by Star Trek's Nana Visitor) who acts out things she sees in movies. At one point, trying to calm her down, he turns on the TV only to find Texas Chain Saw Massacre playing, which he quickly turns off saying "seen that already."
In reality, Larroquette has said that he isn't much of a horror fan... and while he's continued to lend his voice to other TCM movies, he hasn't seen any of them.
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