It’s “Forgotten Friday!” Each Friday, I’ll profile someone or something (celebrity, movie, TV show, book, event, politician, etc.) that once held the spotlight but is now largely forgotten.

thThis week, it’s “Night Court.”

Part of NBC’s powerhouse Thursday night lineup in the 1980s (sandwiched between “Cheers” and “Hill Street Blues,” then “L.A. Law”), “Night Court” was a sitcom based in the night shift of a Manhattan court. It began as a mid-season replacement in January 1984 and went on for nine seasons, ending in 1992. While it started as a typical sitcom, it quickly ventured into more absurd, almost slapstick humor.

It proved to be a breakout hit for both Harry Anderson, who played Judge Harry T. Stone, and John Larroquette, who won four consecutive Emmys for playing prosecutor Dan Fielding. The majority of seasons included Markie Post as public defender Christine Sullivan, Charles Robinson as court clerk Mac Robinson, Richard Moll as bailiff Bull Shannon, and Marsha Warfield as bailiff Roz Russell.

The cast saw numerous changes in the first few seasons (Markie Post’s character was the FOURTH public defender on the show), including the death of Selma Diamond, who played bailiff Selma Hacker, shortly after the second season and the death of her replacement Florence Halop, who played bailiff Florence Kleiner, after season three. The  established cast in season four would last until the end of the show.

“Night Court” was a big hit, ranking in the top 30 shows for season two through season seven and was nominated for three Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Since its end in 1992, “Night Court” has been largely invisible. Although all seasons are available on home video, it hasn’t been seen on air for many years. “30 Rock” paid tribute to the show by featuring Harry Anderson, Markie Post, and John Larroquette on the episode “The One with the Cast of ‘Night Court.'”

Even though three decades have passed  since the peak of its popularity, “Night Court” remains one of the funniest comedies in the history of TV. And it’s still worth watching today.