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"Death of a Bailiff"
Season 5, Episode 3
#82 in series (193 episodes)
Series: Night Court
Network/Country: NBC-TV / United States
Air date October 15, 1987
Production code 186202
Written by: Bob Underwood
Directed by: Jeff Melman
Guest stars: Mike Finneran
Ron Fassler
Carol Swarbrick
Harry Frazier
Simmy Bow
Courtenay McWhinney
Wendy Wells-Gunkel
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Death of a Bailiff was the third episode of Season 5 of Night Court, also the 82nd overall series episode. Written by Bob Underwood, the episode was directed by Jeff Melman. The episode, which aired on NBC-TV, first aired on October 15, 1987. 

"Death of a Bailiff"
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Bull decides to give away all his worldly goods after hearing God's voice when he's struck by lightning on the roof of the courthouse.


Bull is struck by lightning, and is clinically dead for a few minutes. After recovering, he beleive's that God has told him to give away everything he owns to the poor.


The title is based on the play/movie Death of a Salesman (1951).



Harry acts as though there is nothing that can be done to stop Bull. However, Harry frequently holds individuals over for psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue because they exhibit signs of mental illness, and Bull's claims could easily be considered signs of psychosis.

Factual errors

Roz suggests getting an injunction to stop Bull before he gives everything away, which Harry shoots down, noting that giving away money isn't illegal. However, Harry should know that a conservator may be appointed to oversee the finances of a person deemed unable to do so for themselves.

Scene excepts


[Bull was just struck by lightning. He is found on the couch, his clothes still smoking]

  • Judge Stone: Bull!
  • Bull: Mind if I smoke?
  • Christine: Doctor, is he all right?
  • Doctor: Well, then he's fine. Spooky, but fine.
  • Judge Stone: Fine? Art said his heart stopped beating.
  • Doctor: Well yes, for a few minutes he was clinically deceased.
  • Bull: But I'm feeling much better now.
  • Dan: Really? You look dead on your feet.

[He laughs; glares from everyone]

  • Dan: Oh, come on. If we can't laugh at the walking dead, who can we laugh at?

[Mac is trying to figure out the new computer system]

  • Judge Stone: : What's the next case, Mac?
  • Mac: [staring at the computer, confused] Uh, People vs. Pac Man, sir.

  • Bull: [a city rep offers $25,000 to Bull so he doesn't sue the city after being struck by lightning. Looks to the courtroom ceiling] Thank yoooouuu.

[he exits the courtroom, then Mac enters and hears beeping on the computer]

  • Mac: [reads] "You're welcome. And sorry about the underwear."

Cast (in credits order)


Guest stars/Recurring characters/cast