Barney Miller coffee quotes

by JulieCraves on July 11, 2006

C&C is about great, sustainable coffee. Really crappy coffee, brewed daily by Det. Nick Yemana, played by Jack Soo (far right) was featured on the old TV show “Barney Miller.”  I was reminded of this during an email exchange with Counter Culture’s Mark Overbay, when I was remarking that I thought of this show whenever I poured a cup of hot coffee in my hot kitchen and went out to sit on my hot patio in the hot sun to drink it.  In one episode, Det. Fish wondered how Yemana could drink hot coffee during a heat wave.  I think Yemana justified it by saying something like, “It makes you sweat.”  This sent me on a search of coffee quotes from the show, and here are my favorites:

  • Yemana asks Barney if he would like some coffee, and a guy in the cell asks if he could have a cup, too. Barney: “This is a police station, not a coffee shop!” Yemana: “And we’ve got the coffee to prove it!”
  • Yemana offers coffee to a victim in distress. Woman: “Don’t you have anything stronger here?” Yemana: “There’s NOTHING stronger ANYWHERE!”
  • Yemana is taking a statement from a dignified older woman, and he gives her a cup of coffee. Yemana: “How’s the coffee?” Fancy woman: “It tastes like pencils.” Yemana: “That’s not the coffee…that’s the cup.”
  • Barney (holding “fresh” cup of coffee, with Yemana beside him holding the pot): “I would hesitate to call our coffee a crime. A shame, maybe. (Drinks) Oh…that’s a crime!”
  • A woman has just overdosed in the squadroom. Wojo gets off the phone with the paramedics and says, “They’ll be here in 10 minutes, but in the meantime we have to get her to empty her stomach. Yemana: “Yeah, I know. Give her some coffee”. Barney: “Just keep pouring it down her.” Wojo: “Two cups ought to do it.”
  • Yemana finally gets fed up with the comments about his coffee: “If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all.” The squad members each take a sip of their coffee, say nothing, and after a long period of silence, Yemana says, “Very funny!”
  • Somebody other than Yemana has made the coffee, and it tastes just as bad as it usually does. Yemana: “All these years…I thought it was me.”

Supposedly, Jack Soo’s last words to Hal Linden, who played Barney Miller, as he was being wheeled into the operating room before his death were, “It must have been the coffee.”

Revised on December 1, 2018

Posted in Coffee news and miscellany

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