These days when looking for new shows to watch, I tend to look for actors I like or show creators whose previous work I enjoyed. As a kid I was much simpler, when I saw commercials for Sledge Hammer! I thought to myself, I enjoy the Peter Gabriel song, maybe I should watch this show. And thank goodness for Peter Gabriel because Sledge Hammer! turned out to be one of the funniest half hours ever forged for television which it is why it is this month's induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.
The show followed Inspector Sledge Hammer of the San Francesco Police Department, who would typically solve cases violently without compassion, and usually by accident. Basically a dumber version of Dirty Harry who carried a .44 Smith & Wesson around with him at all times, even in the shower. Of course when you have amassed as many enemies as Hammer, on both sides of the law, you would be armed at all times too. His straight-(wo)man partner Detective Dori Doreau, was basically everything Sledge was not. Of course their Captain Trunk was your typically uptight boss who sole kelp Pepto-Bismol in business to help him deal with his inept inspector.
Sledge Hammer! was absurdist at its best. And the show saved the best for last. When the show looked like it was going to be canceled, the show decided to blow San Francisco up with a nuclear bomb, accidentally set off by Hammer when he tried to disarm it of course, and then still ended the episode with, “To Be Continued… Next Season?” Surprisingly the show actually did get renewed and the show took place “5 years before” despite numerous contiguity inconstancies which only enhanced the absurdist nature of the show. To this day it still weird to see David Rasche in new endeavors like Burn After Reading or most recently as a mysterious figure on Rubicon because whenever I see him I think to myself, why is Sledge Hammer acting serious? Then I have to go watch an episode or two of the funniest things ever to air.