Night Court Star Explains The 'Wicked Smart' Callback To A Classic Sitcom: 'If You Know, You Know'

Lacretta as Gurgs in Night Court
(Image credit: NBC)

A blood moon hung in the sky on the latest episode of NBC's Night Court, which meant that the zany shenanigans of Abby Stone's (Melissa Rauch) courtroom were even zanier than usual! Her mom Gina (played by guest star Faith Ford) picked that night to pay her daughter a visit, which led to some family drama, some court complications, a wronged werewolf, and – in the case of Gurgs, played by Lacretta – a memorable callback to a classic sitcom. Younger viewers might not have caught it, but when speaking with CinemaBlend, Lacretta explained the "wicked smart" moment for her character.

In the February 28 episode of Night Court – fittingly called "Blood Moon Binga" for the Bingo-style game that the Night Court team plays whenever they have to work on a blood moon – Gurgs was trying to use her "seventh sense" to figure out what was going on between Dan (returning original series star John Larroquette) and Gina. By the end, she accidentally made a discovery about Neil (Kapil Talwalkar), and all because of a callback to Happy Days

Neil had swapped out his sweater for a leather jacket, white t-shirt, and jeans, and seemed to be channeling The Fonz as best he could. Gurgs cracked a joke at his expense when he was looking glum in what could really pass for some Fonzie cosplay, and actress Lacretta shared with CinemaBlend why it was a "wicked smart" joke from her character:

What I say about Gurgs is that she responds the way that I wish I could in some moments, but I can't because I'm an adult. I just love how playful she is, but then also how wicked smart she is. Especially with this last episode, when she comes out and she says to Neil, 'What happened? Did you hit the jukebox and it didn't come on?' If you know, you know. You know that is calling back to Fonzie from Happy Days. If you don't know, you're just kind of like, 'Oh, haha, jukeboxes! Those are obsolete.' So wherever you are in what your knowledge base is, you can have a good time with her.

Sadly for Neil, he is no Arthur Fonzarelli, and there was no jukebox for him to hit, successfully or not. Night Court also had no guarantee that all viewers would catch the Happy Days shout-out, at that classic sitcom wrapped nearly four decades ago now. I definitely caught it as a millennial despite not yet being born in 1984, but I can't vouch for younger viewers who might be watching Night Court

As Lacretta said, the joke worked on multiple levels, whether or not you knew anything about Happy Days. And what's not to love about a crack that managed to make Neil's getup even sillier? Just take a look at the clerk embracing his inner Fonz: 

Kapil Talwalkar as Neil in Night Court

(Image credit: NBC)

Neil was back to his old self by the end of the episode, and sad that his streak of winning over moms had ended with Gina. In trying to figure out why he was so bummed, Gurgs gasped and asked if he had a crush on Gina, then gasped and asked if he had a crush on her. Neil outed his secret feelings by telling the bailiff that he'd be trying to impress her mom if he had a crush on her. Cue gasp #3, because Gurgs had figured it out: Neil has a crush on Abby!

Quite aside from Lacretta's performance making this one of my personal laugh-out-loud moments of "Blood Moon Binga," it was a fun character moment for Gurgs. When I noted that Gurgs was so happy to have figured it out, the actress responded:

Yes, she was! But that's the thing – she feels like she's got her finger on the pulse of the entire building, whether it's day court or night court. She knows everything that's going on. She's basically the mayor of the court system.

Gurgs certainly has had the connections to help out Abby since the new judge arrived at court, so "mayor of the court system" seems like a fair title for the bailiff! While Lacretta has been able to also explore a more serious storyline already in Season 1 when Gurgs decided to help her nephew protest the broken system, she definitely delivers laughs on a weekly basis.

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See more of Lacretta as Gurgs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET with new episodes of Night Court on NBC. If you've missed any so far, or just want to revisit Gurgs' Happy Days joke, you can find the full first season to date streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription

The show has already been renewed for Season 2 after becoming an immediate hit for NBC, so there's no need to worry that the show will be over and finished at the end of Season 1. After former Olympians Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir guest-starred, and were then followed by Faith Ford, who knows what other familiar faces might drop by?

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).