Monday, April 13, 2009

Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here
January 15, 1980
Music: Jimmie Haskell
Writer: Stephen Miller
Director: James Sheldon

It's a dual role for actor Mills Watson in this MISADVENTURES OF SHERIFF LOBO episode. Undercover to bust a biker gang, Deputy Perkins (Watson) is bopped on the head, which has him believing he's actually a hard-drinkin' two-fisted motorcycle hoodlum named the Skull. Dr. Doom (Charles Dierkop) and his gang, the Marauders, take rooms at the Orly Hot Springs Hotel with the intention of pulling a bank heist. To find out what the bikers are planning, Sheriff Lobo (Claude Akins) sends Birdie (Brian Kerwin) undercover as the world's least credible biker. Feeling left out, Perkins sneaks undercover himself, which leads to his disastrous memory loss.

Watson, who spent years playing heavies, is up to the two-role task. He's well abetted by Dierkop (who, still remembered at NBC for his supporting role on POLICE WOMAN, nabs a Special Guest Star credit) and William Watson, a fine actor who played mostly menacing tough guys on television and rarely had the opportunity to do comedy, which "Hail! Hail!" demonstrates he was pretty good at.

Story editor Stephen Miller works into his plot a theme about technology working its way into the Orly police force. Police equipment salesman Cruickshank (Dick O'Neill) charges $10,000 for a quaint computer with a modem, and Lobo discovers a clue to the bikers' target while watching a videotape on a clunky machine.

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