Reinhold Weege, who created the popular Emmy-winning sitcom "Night Court" about an often-anarchic, after-hours New York courtroom and its cast of memorably loony characters, has died. He was 62.
Weege, who also wrote and co-produced the television series "
"Night Court," which aired on
Beneath the carnival-like atmosphere of Stone's courtroom, the show pushed the envelope for network television at the time, with occasionally edgy story lines and characters seemingly drawn from the streets of New York City.
Weege said the show was grounded in reality, insisting that he had seen actual courtrooms that were more bizarre.
But "Night Court" was best-known for its humor and assortment of lovable oddballs, including its jeans-wearing,
The series, which began as a midseason replacement, was among the most popular television shows of its era, part of a powerhouse Thursday-night lineup for NBC that included "The Cosby Show," "Family Ties" and "Cheers." It won seven
"We do great jokes," Larroquette said of "Night Court" in a 1988 Times interview. "The show may not be in any way intellectual and we don't make any pretense of dealing with issues that are impossible to address or solve in the sitcom format.... But if you just want to forget it all for a minute and laugh at pies in the face and pants around the ankles, that's what we do very well."
On Friday, Larroquette paid tribute to Weege in a Twitter post: "In life there are those who impact us with such force everything changes. Reinhold Weege was that in mine. May he truly rest in peace."
Weege received three Emmy nominations for "Night Court" and one for "Barney Miller," the long-running
Born in Chicago on Dec. 23, 1949, Weege grew up in the Chicago area and got a taste of theater in his senior year of high school in
Weege attended a number of colleges, including DePaul and
After that, "I sold our couch, the only asset my wife and I had, got in the car and headed toward Hollywood," he told the Tribune. His big break came in 1976, when he was hired to write for "Barney Miller."
He spoke of his craft in 1998 in the
Weege and his wife were divorced. His survivors include his daughters Tez and Alix and his granddaughter Zoe.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 16, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills.