One of my favorite shows as a kid was, "Dragnet." I always thought it was cool that the shows were based on a true event, although I wonder now how much they were embellished. If you're not familiar with the show, it was about two detectives in Los Angeles and the cases they were assigned to. The two detectives were Sgt. Joe Friday and his trusty sidekick, Officer Bill Gannon. (The show originated in the '50's, went off the air and it was revived in 1966 and ran till 1970.) If you've never seen the show, this one to me is a classic Dragnet show to familiarize yourself with the premise and the characters: The Blueboy LSD Episode. My favorite part of Dragnet was the infamous, Joe Friday speeches! These were classic and I have four of them below for your Thursday viewing pleasure!
This is kind of a dueling Dragnet speech with Sgt. Joe Friday sharing the spotlight with his partner Officer Bill Gannon. They’re preaching to some wannabe hippie kids who were caught stealing things because they wanted to start their own country. Jack Webb played the part of Joe Friday and he also produced and directed the show. An interesting Jack Webb trivia item is that he was asked to play the role of Dean Wormer in the movie Animal House and turned it down because he said: “The movie doesn’t make any damn sense.” Ha ha ha! Officer Joe Gannon went on to be a co-star in the popular TV series MASH playing the role of Colonel Sherman T. Potter.
Here’s a pure solo Joe Friday speech about being a cop and it’s a classic Joe Friday speech. I love the kids ramble: Beaten kids, homeless kids, sick kids molested kids, sick kids, dying kids, dead kids...kids, kids, kids! This scene also stars Kent McCord who would go on to star in another Jack Webb TV production, Adam-12.
I love this Joe Friday speech! It’s Joe Friday lecturing a Timothy Leary type character about the dangers of drugs and LSD. This has one of the best Joe Friday lines ever: “Marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb.” Ha ha ha! His closing line is fantastic Friday-speak as well: “I’m the expert here, you’re not!”
This is a classic Joe Friday/Jack Webb moment on TV. It’s from the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson was a host and Jack Webb was a guest. They did a spoof of a typical Dragnet scene and it’s hilarious in its own right, but what I love is that at the end of it, Jack Webb actually breaks character for a second and smiles, that’s one of the only times I’ve ever seen that! The story you have just seen is true, the names weren’t changed because no one here is really innocent any more.