Barney Miller, “Hash,” The 12th Gets Stoned, December 30, 1976

Written By: Greg Howell - Feb• 27•18

Barney Miller, Hash, pot browniesWritten by Tom Reeder and directed by Noam Pitlik, this third season Barney Miller episode titled “Hash” is one of the most beloved of all the sitcoms from the 1970’s. Reeder’s script brilliantly keeps the brownies’ ingredients secret for half of the episode, allowing for the viewer to grasp the details of the plot as it unfolds. Savvy viewers likely noticed Wojo’s suspicious behavior and squinty eyes, brilliantly played by Max Gail, from the very beginning; but, by the time Sgt. Nick Yemana is proclaiming that he can hear Harris’ eyes blink “Squish Squish” half way through the episode, all is very clear. Greenwich Village’s 12th precinct is stoned!

Even funnier, Harris, played by Ron Glass, grins his way through the show with a knowing daze, even as he grabs additional brownies like it is found money. Harris recognizes his condition long before Barney Miller does. It is Miller that breaks the news to Barney that the brownies are loaded with hashish and the culprit to the morning’s strange conduct by Fish, Yemana, Wojo, and possibly Officer Carl Levitt. Tom Reeder’s script hysterically indicates that anyone in the office but Barney and Officer Frank Slater maybe high as a kite, yet nutty Slater seems more stoned than anybody!

The brilliant script is filled with subtle political observations, and all ends with a promise for all to forget everything that happened. Wojo sincerely remembers nothing, but viewers will remember all about this episode for decades and decades to come.

1976 was Barney Miller‘s breakout year. After landing in the bottom ten for the first season, and struggling through its second year, the third season climbed into the national Top Twenty and secured 6 Emmy Award nominations.

 

Watch the entire episode on YouTube HERE:  https://youtu.be/9WdEoCLzzU4

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