Throwback Thursday: Remember when 'Reno 911!' was the funniest show on television?

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Image Credit: Dan Longmire/Comedy Central

Whenever I make new friends, I have a mental checklist of things I, as a television addict, feel compelled to at least introduce them to. Included on that list is The O.C., Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, The Vampire Diaries, and a number of other dramas. Comedies/sitcoms, on the other hand, aren’t as high on my list. I don’t really know why. I love them just as much. That being said, I’m not crazy. If they haven’t seen something like Friends or Will & Grace, I will obviously tie them to a chair and do what any sane person would do: Inject them with intravenous caffeine and make them watch the entire series. However, there is one comedy that I always feel compelled to show people, and that’s Reno 911!

When my brother first introduced me to the show, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was an unscripted comedy about horrible cops in Reno, and the humor was unlike anything I’d ever seen. There was Lt. Dangle, who always wore short shorts and had his bike stolen/messed with. Then there was my mother’s favorite, Trudy, who somehow managed to mess up every arrest she participated in. My favorite, however, was Junior, the quiet redneck whose mustache and sunglasses hid almost all expression. He rarely spoke, but when he did, it was genius. Here is where I reinforce the improv part of the show. Seriously, so impressive.

But more than I loved the cops, I fell for the perps. Terry worked at the local taco joint (on roller skates) and always got in trouble for giving sexual favors to customers. Then there was Craig, Trudy’s boyfriend and serial killer, whose final words before being lethally injected were “Seacrest out.” And let’s not forget Patton Oswalt’s recurring guest role, which speaks for itself:

Reno 911!, which premiered 10 years ago in July of 2003, is incredibly difficult to explain, which is why I simply make people watch it. It doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, I’m sure many people found it extremely offensive, but I will never stop being entertained by Crazy Mike, the resident meth addict, or just the overall stupidity of my favorite cops.

I’ll end this trip down memory lane with one of my favorite parts of the show. Its public service announcements:

Final note: Watch the show, not the movie.


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