A former high fashion model and a wisecracking detective partner to run the Blue Moon Detective Agency. Soon barbs are being lobbied and attraction is being denied as the two crack cases together. The popular series revived Shepherd’s career and launched Willis’s.The show ran on ABC from March 3, 1985 to May 14, 1989.
Why was the TV show Moonlighting Cancelled? Bruce Willis, fresh from his Die Hard success, wanted to make more films. Cybill Shepherd, having just given birth to twins, had grown tired of the long, grueling production days and was ready for the series to end. – Wikipedia.
So why am I doing a blog post on a show that went off the air decades ago?
I’m writing the sixth book in the Murder Blog Mysteries, and Katy is working as a temp employee at a detective agency. She’s doing boring stakeouts, so she loads her tablet with her mother’s all-time favorite private detective show, Moonlighting, that aired before Katy was born.
That led me to want to watch the show again—so I checked Netflix and Prime. No luck. I learned the show has never streamed because of contract issues with the popular music used on the show. A few minutes after I read that, I came across a tweet on Twitter that said the show would start streaming soon. What a coincidence!
And then I remembered a personal experience from way back
in the Moonlighting days that relates to the show.
I was living in Alaska with my husband, Mike, and two kids during the height of the show’s success. I needed a break from the weather and the long dark winter, so I flew to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my BFF, Nina, in Menlo Park—just a hop, skip, and a jump from where we both grew up.
From there, we drove down to Beverly Hills/Hollywood to spend a few days enjoying good food, window shopping, and visiting iconic Hollywood-Golden-Era establishments like Grauman’s Chinese Theatre*, and the Polo Lounge. Sadly, The Brown Derby (where the Cobb Salad was invented) had closed the year before.
The hotel that Nina booked us into was in the heart of Hollywood. Unfortunately, this was before Yelp, so she had no idea that it was a “hooker” No-Tell Hotel. Definitely not a place for two young mommies. So we checked out, did not get a refund, and hightailed it to The Beverly Hilton. At the time, it was owned by Merv Griffin. The manager took pity on us and gave us a charming room for a very reasonable rate.
But what does this have to do with Moonlighting?
One night, Nina and I went to the late show at The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. That’s when established, famous comedians would try out new material. Some had jokes written on a legal pad, and if it bombed, they tore it off, crumbled it, and tossed it aside. Plus, the earlier evening performers sat in the audience and gave advice and encouragement. And a few rude insults.
It was well past midnight when we left the club to walk back to our car. Picture this:
Two lovely young women are strolling along Sunset Boulevard in the wee hours of the morning. Laughing. Talking. A couple of idiot tourists not paying any attention to our surroundings.
A shiny black sporty car (can’t remember the make) pulls up along the curb and rolls down the window. The driver leans across the passenger seat and says, “Ladies. This is not a safe place to walk at this time of night.”
It was Bruce Willis.
I said, ‘We’re going to our car.”
Bruce continued, “Where’s your car?
Nina backed away, thinking he might be an axe murderer. I pointed in the direction where her car was parked—a few blocks away.
He said, “Let me give you a ride to your car.”
“No, thank you,” said Nina, backing further away.
I stepped close to her, whispering, “Nina! That’s Bruce Willis!”
“He stars in Moonlighting!”
“The show with Cybill Shepherd. You know! It’s really popular. Mike and I watch it all the time.”
Nina had no clue who Bruce Willis was because she and her husband (ex) only watched Star Trek shows back then.
Note: I double-checked this with her just now in case my memory was exaggerating the Star Trek thing. It was true. However, she was usually reading and not paying much attention.
So we didn’t get in Bruce’s car. And looking back, Nina was right not to get into a stranger’s car. So, guess what Bruce did?
He drove alongside us and ensured we got safely into our car.
After our Hollywood adventure, Nina started watching the show.
Side note: Nina and I have been best friends since 7th grade. And to this day, we have never gotten into a stranger’s car.
*Grauman’s Chinese Theatre: Years later, I was invited to a red carpet premier at the theater. And that’s a story for another day.