In New York City the courts are so busy during the day, that lesser crimes such as parking tickets, shoplifting, speeding etc., often are given court dates at night. When Warner Brothers were pitched an idea for a situation comedy based on the kind of characters that passed through the nocturnal court, producers could think of only one man to play the judge.

Warner Bros. Television - Harry Anderson Dead at 65

Harry Laverne Anderson the 6'4" tall magician-comedian who came to prominent notice as a drifting con man on episodes of Cheers was a natural for the goofy and big-hearted judge of Night Court. Along with John Larroquette, Richard Moll, Charles Robinson and Markie Post, Anderson held hilarious court for 8 years before the final gavel fell.

Sadly, news has come from his home in Asheville, N.C., that Anderson has passed away at the age of 65. No foul play is suspected, an investigation into the cause of death is underway.

Anderson is survived by his second wife Elizabeth, and two children Eva Fay and Dashiell Anderson.