Throughout the show, the Al Lewis-played character is usually depicted, on the closing credits, as Officer Leo Schnauser.....the surname being spelt with a letter S and not a Z.......but on closer inspection of the police lockers we find that the surname does indeed have a Z!
For signing up to their parts, as Francis Muldoon and Gunther Toody,
Fred was paid $650 per episode (rising to $800 for season 2) and
Joe E. $1500 per episode. This was for a five day working week.
Paul Reed, for his five day working week, got paid $700 per show.
Al Lewis played Bruno the debt collector in the very last episode of
Nat Hiken's other tour-de-force comedy The Phil Silvers Show.
Beatrice Pons was a nightclub scream before she hit the TV world.....
She was part of an act called Your Face is So Familiar, here she
would give crackerjack impressions of the show biz stars of the time;
like the redoubtable, Helen Hayes, Gertrude Lawrence and the
celebrated British actress Lynn Fontanne.
Mickey Deems (Officer Charlie Fleischer) was married to Nat Hiken's
secretary, Gertrude Black. He had many strings to his bow...he was a
knockout when playing the drums and the piano!!
The New York police supplied great service for the filming.....Nat Hiken
said this about those terrific Big Apple law enforcers, "I marvel at the
police cooperation. What we do is get a three-day pass, leaving one
day leeway for rain. Then, when we arrive on location the no parking
signs are up, the area is blocked off and four cops are on the scene. One thing we have to be extremely careful about is not filming one of the boys in blue. The might be accused of moonlighting if they inadvertently showed up on the show. "
The show was filmed at the old Biograph Studios in East Bronx.....this studio was rented by Eupolis Productions for all the shooting of indoor scenes.....like the whole interior of the 53rd Precinct, the houses of Muldoon, Toody, Schnauser etc...in fact any abode!
Charlotte Lubotsky is the real name of Charlotte Rae (Sylvia Schnauser) she would go on to marry the Car 54 music guru, John Strauss
Scriptwriter Tony Webster was paid $3,500 for each show he wrote for season one.......and for season two the fee rose to $4,000.
The laughter in each show was actually real giggles.....an audience was set up in a cinema type studio, the films were shown and then the laugh-out-loud laughter recorded and edited onto the actual sound track.
Memorabilia spin-offs came in the form of comic books, colouring books, a board game, puppets, holster, badges and numerous other items
The Emmy Awards (for shows broadcast between April 1961 and April 1962): Nat Hiken won the famed statuette for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy for his work on Car 54...........he was presented, with his award, by America's Golden girl of comedy, the legendary Lucille Ball.
During 1962 the cast and crew were issued with flu jabs.......Paul Reed (Captain Block) had already had his done so he wasn't called to the M.O.
Al Lewis first appeared as a construction worker in the show called I Won't Go -- The way he delivered the immortal line "Arrivederci Mrs Bronson" was something that Nat Hiken loved. After this Nat was determined to get Al a regular part on the show.
In the show called Toody and Muldoon Crack Down, the little boy was none other than Robby Reed the son of Paul (Captain Block).
Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson made
a guest appearance in the show called, The Puncher and Judy.
Here he was disguised as a 70-year-old boxer........this was so he could take
down, a peg or two, another aspiring pugilist named Tony Kluzuski (played by
the ring legend that was Rocky Graziano).
Sugar Ray's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions
prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they
compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International
Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson was 85–0 as an amateur with 69 of those victories coming by way
of knockout, 40 in the first round. He turned professional in 1940 at the age
of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts.
Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the
world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back
two and a half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then
became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five
times, a feat he accomplished by defeating Carmen Basilio in 1958 to regain
the middleweight championship. Robinson was named "fighter of the year"
twice: first for his performances in 1942, then nine years and over 90 fights
later, for his efforts in 1951. He defeated other Hall of Fame fighters such as
Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fullmer, Randy Turpin, Carl 'Bobo' Olson,
Henry Armstrong, Rocky Graziano and Kid Gavilan. Robinson engaged in 200 pro bouts, and his professional career lasted nearly 26 years.
The final words, of the very last show, where fittingly provided by Captain Paul Block (Paul Reed)