Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Night Court’: How the 80s Sitcom Ties to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

‘Night Court’: How the 80s Sitcom Ties to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

The 80s sitcom hit Night Court and the 70s hallmark horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are forever linked. Of course, John Larroquette rose to fame as attorney Dan Fielding on Night Court, which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992. However, before Larroquette was a household name, he was a struggling actor.

It turns out that one of the Night Court star’s earlier gigs was lending his voice to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The then-struggling actor narrated the prologue of the 1974 horror movie.

The kicker? He wasn’t even paid traditionally but with a different sort of green. Larroquette finally spilled the beans, confirming the long-standing rumors that he was compensated by the late director Tobe Hooper with a “highly potent” form of currency: Marijuana.

“Totally true,” he told Parade back in 2023. “[Hooper] gave me some marijuana or a matchbox or whatever you called it in those days. I walked out of the [recording] studio and patted him on the back side and said, ‘Good luck to you!’” the Night Court star explained.

The ‘Night Court’ Star Forged a Friendship with ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Director in the ’60s

Larroquette revealed that he and Hooper forged a lasting friendship back in 1969, during the director’s time filming a project in Colorado. It was during this period that Larroquette was working as a bartender. They crossed paths again when Larroquette relocated to Los Angeles to embark on his acting journey.

“Tobe heard I was in town and asked for an hour of my time to narrate something for this movie he just did,” he recalled. “I said ‘Fine!’ It was a favor.”

At the time, it was just a low-budget thriller about a mask-wearing cannibal named Leatherface terrorizing a group of hippies. Little did he know, the movie would become a horror classic, spawning a series of slasher films.

The 1974 movie is loosely based on the real serial killer Ed Gein. It depicts a group of teenagers stranded in Texas and hunted down by Leatherface, a chainsaw-wielding killer with a human skin mask. The film’s jaw-dropping violence stirred up quite a controversy, earning a mix of reviews upon release and even inspiring bans in some European and South American countries.

Despite a cold reception initially, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series now includes nine films, comics, and video games. Hooper directed the first two films in the franchise and produced others before his passing in 2017. Larroquette has also remained involved, providing narration for four movies, including the most recent entry in 2022. Reportedly, the Night Court star was paid with real currency for the later Texas Chainsaw Massacre installments…