Sledge Hammer!


Originally aired November 19, 1987. Kopell plays aging horror movie actor Vincent Lagarski, who is making a comeback film. (It's interesting to note that Kopell seems to have spent more years playing an older man than being one....)

The creator of this TV series, Alan Spencer, was a big Get Smart fan, and patterened the three lead characters after Max, 99, and The Chief -- the modern-day twist being that Sledge was more like Dirty Harry than James Bond. It's a very funny series, which has finally been released on DVD, so check it out!



As a woman lies sleeping, her window opens, and a vampire appears.



The legendary Vincent Lagarski strikes a classic vampire pose, preparing to claim another victim....



...But then his fake fangs fall out, and he watches in surprise as they drop to the floor.



The director goes ballistic, chewing out the "senile old man" for ruining yet another take.



Lagarski protests that he's not used to working with such props because, in his day, he did his scenes without fangs. The director screams at him again, saying that now he can do his scenes without a job. He orders Lagarski to be banished from the set.



Feeling sorry for the old man, the director's assistant tries to be as kind as possible under the circumstances, offering to see him to the door. But Lagarski proudly refuses, declaring that Vincent Lagarski always makes his exits alone.



As he slowly walks away, Lagarski pauses to touch his chair, before making a dramatic exit. Which turns out to be more dramatic than anyone would ever have suspected....



The next day, it's reported that Lagarski is dead. Not long afterward, though, police are called to follow up on reports that the dead actor has been spotted prowling the streets of Los Angeles at night. There have also been several unsolved murders involving people on the set of the movie -- and the victims all have fang marks on their necks.

Sledge Hammer and Dori Doreau, pursuing Hammer's theory that Lagarski is still alive and responsible for the murders, visit Lagarski's creepy mansion to question his surviving daughter. When they talk to her, though, Hammer suspects that Lagarski's daughter is the murderer, instead.



Turns out that Hammer's first theory is at least partially correct, when what appears to be a statue suddenly turns around and shouts, "Unhand my daughter!" Hammer freaks out, screaming hysterically at the sight of Lagarski, who is alive and well.



Lagarski declares that he can't let his beloved daughter take the blame for his actions ... which included perpetrating a huge hoax, but not murder.



He explains that he faked his death, to generate the kind of publicity that one can only receive posthumously. Then, he began roaming the streets, to snag more headlines in preparation for his biggest comeback ever: from the grave.



Hammer slaps handcuffs on the old man, arresting him and his daughter, because he's still convinced that Lagarski is responsible for the recent spate of murders. But Hammer is proven disastrously wrong when the real murderer shows up in his apartment that night....