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Was Richard Moll on the New Night Court?
The actor played one of the OG show's bailiffs, Aristotle Nostradamus Shannon, otherwise referred to as “Bull.”
For each of the O.G. shows's nine seasons, Moll played deadpan court bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus Shannon, otherwise known as “Bull.” Bull's menacingly large stature combined with his magnetic charm gave him a “gentle giant” persona and he played his character as naïve yet protective. Throughout the show, he formed a close friendship with the court’s other bailiff, Roz Russell (Marsha Warfield). Bill married his girlfriend, Wanda, in the series' final season.
With the resurgence of Night Court, many have looked back on Moll's legendary part in the original series. Read on to learn more about the cherished fan-favorite character.
What happened to Bull Shannon on Night Court?
Boasting an I.Q. of 181 but always managing to seem dim-witted, Night Court's Bull Shannon instantly made an impression with his unique yet hilarious antics. Bull's charming naïveté was the source of dozens of running jokes, and his iconic catchphrase "Ohh-kay" was one of the most easily recognized quotes from the show.
Moll played Bull as the lovable yet unpredictable wild card, and his journey was one of the most beloved storylines of the sitcom — especially once he married Wanda Flinn in Season 9, Episode 10 ("Get Me to the Roof on Time").
Did Richard Moll appear on the new Night Court?
Though he appreciated getting the role of Bull in the original series, Moll did not have any plans to revive his character on the new Night Court.
“Auditioning for Night Court would be my first big break,” Moll said of his original role in a 2010 interview with MaximoTV. Moll detailed what happened when production asked if he'd be willing to keep shaving his head for the part.
“I said, ‘Are you kidding? I’ll shave my legs for the part. I’ll shave my armpits. I don’t care,’” Moll teased.
Richard Moll's Other Movies & T.V. Shows
Outside of his work in the 193 episodes of Night Court, Moll starred in several film and television projects.
He made his film debut in the 1977 biopic Brigham, playing murdered Mormon faith founder Joseph Smith in a picture dedicated to early Mormon leader Brigham Young. He then had a series of guest appearances on some of the most storied television shows of the 1970s and '80s, including Welcome Back Kotter, The Rockford Files, Happy Days, The Bad News Bears, Laverne & Shirley, Bret Maverick, Mork & Mindy, T.J. Hooker, Remington Steele, Fantasy Island, The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, and Santa Barbara. (He also played himself on The Facts of Life and reprised the role of Bull on My Two Dads after Night Court became a huge hit.)
Though he had a full head of hair, he shaved all off to play Hurok, the leader of a group of one-eyed nomads, in the B-movie Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983). Producers at his audition for Night Court liked the look so much that he got the part — and had to keep shaving his head for eight years.
After the show ended, Moll became well known for voicing Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. Moll also had memorable roles in the films But I’m a Cheerleader, Casper Meets Wendy, Scary Movie 2, and The Flintstones, to scratch the surface of his extensive film portfolio.
Some of Moll's other television credits include Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 7th Heaven, Cold Case, Anger Management, and Smallville. He also had a recurring role as bodyguard Norman in the 1993 animated series Mighty Max. He also had guest roles on Married with Children, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Baywatch, Babylon 5, and Anger Management.
Boasting a career that spanned decades, highlighted by memorable performances, Moll was a one-of-a-kind talent.
“I’m a character man. I like to play all different types of things,” Moll said on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1989.
His final role was as Officer Green in the Christmas-themed horror film Slay Belles (2018).
When did Richard Moll die?
Richard Mole died Thursday, October 26, 2023 at his Big Bear Lake residence in California, according to NBC News. Moll is survived by his children Chloe and Mason Moll; ex-wife Susan Moll and stepchildren Cassandra Card and Morgan Ostling. He was 80 years old.
“Charles Richard Moll 1943-2023 Larger than life and taller too,” Larroquette shared. “We first worked together on Mork & Mindy and then we spent nearly a decade helping Judge Harry Stone and the Night Court world come to life. My condolences and heart felt sympathy to his family and loved ones.”
Who is the new Night Court bailiff now?
Like its mythic predecessor, the new Night Court has several unforgettable characters. The current bailiff in the reimagined sitcom, Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, is played by the actress and comedian Lacretta. Similar to Bull, Gurgs cares deeply about her coworkers and has an eccentric personality.
While chatting with TheaterMania about stepping into the shoes of Moll's iconic bailiff, Lacretta said, “I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that we were heralding the legacy of what came before us because I think it was just a given — it was there already."
While Larroquette has reprised his role in the 2023 show, fans will never forget Moll's legendary bailiff, and his infectious humor remain one of the highlights of the O.G. series.
Originally published Jan 20, 2023.