Todd wrote in an email, “Speaking of Fish, do you recall the short-lived Abe Vigoda series, ‘Fish,’ based on his Barney Miller character?”
He asks the same thing in a recent blog.
My reply: I certainly do remember the short-lived Vigoda series. Who can forget Detective Phil Fish?
HARRIS: Hey Fish, does it hurt when those stones come out?
FISH: It can't be too bad. The doctor says it's like giving birth.
Abe Vigoda was big in the seventies, doing a lot of TV besides playing Phil Fish on Barney Miller. He did a couple of episodes of The Rockford Files, playing a character named Phil the Dancer in one of them.
But there are some things that can never be forgiven, and some people whose deeds are so dark that they may never re-enter the light of day. Vigoda is one such person, and his deed was poison.
Yes, Abe, I remember.
You see, Vigoda was Tessio in The Godfather, and was trusted for many years by the family. But he became greedy and wanted his own family, and plotted with Barzini to betray and murder Michael.
“It was just business, Michael,” Tessio (Vigoda) said, “You understand. Just business.”
But Michael was too clever, and Vigoda ended up like Luca Brasi, sleeping with the fishes.