Recently, actor John Larroquette donned full Klingon makeup for an episode of the Night Court revival, and this made Star Trek fans quite happy because the veteran actor once appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock as the Klingon Maltz. He never again appeared in Star Trek (with or without makeup), so it was doubly cool to see him in Star Trek cosplay on a recent episode of Night Court. If you’re a fan of both shows, we’ve got something you likely won’t “object” to: a breakdown of all the Star Trek actor cameos on Night Court as well as other connections between these two shows.
John Laroquette Goes Klingon
In the Night Court reboot, John Larroqutte once again donned Klingon makeup and costume for the episode “Wrath of Comic-Con.” The plot has his Dan Fielding character attending Comic-Con and donning a Klingon costume in order to effectively hide from a woman he once prosecuted. Fortunately for Star Trek fans, the episode has two callbacks to Larroquette’s Klingon character from The Search for Spock: first, he describes dressing as a Klingon to feel “oddly familiar,” and second, he introduces his disguised self as “Maltz,” the name of his previous onscreen Klingon.
Perhaps no Star Trek actor (other than Larroquette, of course) had a bigger impact on Night Court than Brent Spiner. The actor (famous for playing the android Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation) played the recurring role of Bob Wheeler, a poor man who (with his wife, June Wheeler) keeps ending up in front of Judge Stone. Later, they purchase a newsstand in the cafeteria of the criminal court building where most episodes take place, providing a nice narrative excuse to bring Spiner back (he appeared in seven episodes of Night Court).
In Star Trek: First Contact, James Cromwell played Zephram Cochran, one of the franchise’s most important characters. He is the human father of the warp drive, effectively changing the history of his planet forever. He’s reprised the role in Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Lower Decks, and played other parts in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The Star Trek regular, in Night Court, had a far more humble (but still quite memorable) role as a mental patient in the episode “Nuts About Harry.”
Beginning in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and continuing (briefly) in its sequel, Robin Curtis had the unenviable job of replacing fan-favorite actor Kirstie Alley as Saavik, a Vulcan protege of Mr. Spock. In Night Court, she appears in the episode “Mental Giant” as Dr. Judith Malloy, a relatively serious researcher. Inevitably, her serious nature, combined with her research into sexual arousal, led to some hilarious interactions with Larroquette’s horn dog character Dan Fielding.
On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nana Visitor played Kira Nerys, a Bajoran freedom fighter who later serves as the first officer aboard the titular space station. In the Night Court episode “Educating Rhoda,” she played Ms. Sanders, a crazy, film-obsessed person who keeps acting out movies. One look at her over-the-top performance is enough to make you think twice about constantly quoting your favorite films.
The Time Night Court Completely Skewered the Star Trek Fandom
While it’s cool to see Star Trek actors appear in Night Court, nothing is quite as funny as seeing the courtroom comedy completely mock this sci-fi fandom in the episode “Yet Another Day in the Life.” That ep doesn’t feature any Trek actors (unless you count John Larroquette), but it does involve bickering fans being brought to court after they began fighting at a Star Trek convention. Part of their disagreement was over whether The Original Series or The Next Generation was better, and part of it was about whether Kirk would have violated some made-up rule preventing androids from serving on the bridge.
We’re still not sure what the heck the android rule the “old Trekkies” are talking about in this episode is, but we can’t help but laugh at how well this Night Court episode understands the Trek fandom. Decades after the episode aired in 1989, fans are still debating which Star Trek shows are better and what William Shatner’s Captain Kirk would or would not do in various circumstances. That makes the episode title very “meta,” as the nerd debates we see onscreen represent just another day in the life of being a Trek fan.