‘Sledge' Star Smiles on Set6 Apr, 2005 By: Brendan Howard
The cop-show spoof “Sledge Hammer!” only survived two seasons on network TV, but star David Rasche said he has nothing but fond memories of it — even when the studio cut the budget in the second season, which streets April 12 from Anchor Bay Entertainment (DVD $39.98).
“I didn't really notice it,” Rasche said. “It makes a difference if you're producing.”
For Rasche — who played the show's title character, a detective who talked to his gun and got into constant trouble — the show's strength didn't lie in production values.
“There are certain comedies that are overproduced, too pretty,” Rasche said.
For Rasche, the joy was coming to work every day with talented writers and fellow cast members who milked every moment for maximum hilarity.
“Every day you'd look at the script, and there'd be a bedroom or an office with a bed or a dog,” Rasche said. “[We'd say,] ‘What're we gonna' do today? We'll trip over the dog and fall over the bed and spill the coffee.’
The direction helped, too.
“We had some really old-time TV guys, and they really knew what was funny. They knew if it was funnier to shoot behind you or over the shoulder or at the side,” Rasche said.
Rasche said Bill Bixby — most famous for his starring role in “The Incredible Hulk” and who filled in as director for many of the episodes in the second season — inspired everyone. A featurette, “Our Favorite Director: A Tribute to Bill Bixby,” appears on the set.
“[In one episode,] he'd say, ‘We have a coffin. We have David Rasche. David Rasche is going to do something with a coffin. Now, roll!,’ Rasche said.
“He came in and gave us a new breath of life we didn't know we didn't have,” Rasche said. “He was an extremely energetic and fun-loving person. He loved to do jokes, and he was always kidding with everybody.”