Star Trek made a cameo on this edition of Night Court.
Star Trek really launched itself to new heights in the 80s. With the original cast still going strong at the movie theaters and the premiere of The Next Generation long underway, Star Trek was a hot commodity. At the time, getting anything Trek on any other show was considered a big get for that brand. Enter Night Court.
In the episode “Yet Another Day in the Life” (S6 E22), a group of Star Trek fans are arrested and hauled in front of Judge Harry Stone (Harry Anderson) and are accused of starting a fight at a Star Trek convention. the fight was over which Star Trek was better, the original Kirk series or the newer Picard series. The argument gets so heated the group brawl and are soon arrested.
The fight, it turns out, was over a seminar topic involving the Role of Androids on Starfleet Command Vehicles. When the topic was once again mentioned at the hearing the group is prompted again to start bickering. The ‘Old Trekkie’ declares that Kirk wouldn’t let androids on the bridge because “rules are rules” before the ‘New Trekkie’ ends up mention Kirk’s complete and utter dismissal of the Prime Directive whenever he saw fit.
It captures the same issues Star Trek fans are dealing with still
The segment may not be the most “sensitive” thing that’s ever been made with Star Trek fans in mind, but it’s quite funny all these years later for more than one reason. One, the ending of the bit was wildly unexpected. Second, no one can say it’s “demeaning”, because Star Trek fans are still acting like this.
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Sure the crack about living with their parents was a thing of the time, but so many fans engage in this type of toxic behavior even today. The only difference is that it’s not confined to Star Trek Conventions or night courts but on social media.
To many, having a difference of opinion is grounds for mockery, ridicule, and insults. Over what? Fiction? It’s one of the more baffling things about the culture today; this need to be part of the “right” tribe and if you’re not a part of it, you’re somehow wrong.
It’s ok to have your preference, with a series that’s been around for nearly 60 years, this is going to happen. You don’t need to like what came before what’s coming next, but to get so worked up over it is just a folly.
I for one think this clip from Night Court is a perfect snapshot of how things never truly change.