#atozchallenge: Wojciehowicz

Max Gail as Det. Stan Wojciehowicz on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982). Source: sitcomsonline.com

One of my favorite TV sitcoms has to be Barney Miller, which ran on the ABC (US) Television Network from 1975 to 1982.

Barney Miller was set in the detective squad of the fictional 12th Precinct of the New York Police Department in Manhattan. The squad was led by Captain Miller, played by Hal Linden. He and his command dealt with the often strange problems that a police precinct can sometimes face. It showed the changing face of police work through the ’70’s, where the police spent as much time dealing with the victims of crime as the criminals themselves, and sometimes were the focus of the stories themselves.

One member of the cast that was constant through the years was Detective Stan Wojciehowicz, "Wojo" for short, played by Max Gail. Wojo isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but no one else shows the dedication to the job that he does.

Wojo joined the NYPD after a tour of duty in Vietnam with the US Marines. Over the course of the show, he takes (and fails) the sergeant’s exam four times. On one of those occasions, he is ordered to rejoin the uniform squad temporarily. Seeing it as a punishment for failing the exam, he quits, but after a "dark night of the soul" he appears, in uniform, at the end of the episode, when Barney reminds him that it’s only temporary. One especially good episode has him threatening an executive of Monsanto, manufacturers of Agent Orange, a defoliant used in Vietnam that proved to have caused harm to service members. He worries that he might have been affected by the chemical.

Were you a fan of Barney Miller? Do you still watch it in reruns?

That’s W — X tomorrow!

48 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Wojciehowicz

  1. Thank you for reminding me of Barney Miller. I loved that show. Wojo was one of my favorite characters. Heck, I think they were all my favorite characters!


  2. Barney Miller is one of our favorite shows. We bought the DVDs years ago. We watched those, but I’ll still watch it if I see it on the schedule. Wojo was a great character in an amazing cast.


    1. It came as close to perfection that you can imagine. It ranks with “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” and “The Odd Couple” in that regard. (There are others, i’m just not awake enough to think of them.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GREAT pic for “W”. And I loved the show, too. (and that name! I have a friend whose last name was similarly difficult: Wojtaszek. I thought she’d be thrilled to marry a “Healy” and thus end a lifetime of spelling out that name for people. Wrong… she simply hyphenated his name on to hers and proudly spelled on!)


    1. Mary has an Eastern European last name which, while not difficult to pronounce, the kids at school made fun of when she was a kid. She jokes that some women marry for love, some for money, she marries for a new last name…


  4. My dad loved Barney Miller so we watched it a lot. I really liked it, too. All the characters were great. My favorite episode is when they arrested the mom from Leave it To Beaver, Barbara Billingsley, where she says really sweetly, “I just wrapped my pantyhose around his neck–best night’s sleep I’ve had in I don’t know how long.” Hilarious. And I loved the guy who thought he could spontaneously light on fire. So many great episodes.


          1. No but I should have. I saw Dave Barry live in Traverse City and when I wrote some humor a couple times people compared me to him. Yep, Harry Anderson. Knew that didn’t sound right. He died pretty young. Funny show. He was on Cheers a couple times. Dave Barry live did this thing about how stupid dogs were that was just hilarious. Said he lived in Florida and had this lanai and his dogs hung out on it lot. One of the hurricanes blew it down all except for the door frame and door that were standing and his dogs would run out there and stand in front of the door to be let out. Of course, he told it so funny.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. I was just thinking about that. She was great. But still, the funniest ever was how sweetly she said that about tying the pantyhose in this little bow. And how nicely she slept. (Of course my husband snores). It just almost made me wet my pants she was so funny.


        1. p.s. I was just thinking how funny John Laroquette (sp) was in Night Court and how funny he and Bruce Willis were in Blind Date. Gosh that was a funny movie. I need to watch that again soon. Funny folks.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And that makes me think of The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis. Matthew Perry. Need to make a line up I guess. Put all this stuff on my watch list. We all need to laugh these days. Been watching reruns of Home Improvement and Frasier and Bob Newhart Show so I don’t melt down into a pile of tears. Ha. Ok, I should get to work here on my novel.


  5. That’s a doozy of a name. Nice going digging up that one. I’m not familiar with the character as I never watched that show. Don’t remember ever seeing as much as a part of an episode, but I knew it was out there for the viewing.



  6. Love this show…mush, mush, mush. Just a shout out to Jack Soo. I love that it always looked dirty. Today, ot would all ne sleek and polished. He was funny and the actor, Max Gail, was on my soap, General Hospital, playing the dad to Sonny Corinthos. He portrayed a man dying from dementia and he played it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw “Wojciehowicz” and instantly knew how to pronounce it. I’m still grinning about that. I haven’t watched Barney Miller in years, but I did love the show.


    1. I was in Saddle Brook, NJ for work, and one night I fell asleep with the TV on. I woke up at 2:30 and the local station was running “Barney Miller” reruns. I ended up watching until 4…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Great show and Max Gail was so funny. He was recently featured on General Hospital as the father of one of the main characters. In those episodes he portrayed an elderly gentleman with Alzheimers. What an incredible and touching performance he gave and still returns periodically for special moments. If I’m not wrong, I believe he won the Daytime Emmy for his portrayal of Mike Corbin in General Hospital.


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