After debuting to stellar ratings and rave reviews, NBC’s revival of Night Court instantly established itself as one of the most popular sitcoms in recent history. It’s already been renewed for a second season, which means the adventures of Judge Abby Stone, Public Defender Dan Fielding, and the rest of the gang will continue for the foreseeable future.
On this week’s episode of Night Court, “Train Court,” airing Tuesday, February 21, Judge Stone is delayed on her way to work, leading to entertaining subway shenanigans that should feel familiar to any New Yorker who’s ever been late due to the MTA and their inconsistent train schedules (maybe Abby should have taken the bus!). Meanwhile, Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, playing themselves, appear in the courtroom as witnesses in a case. It’s up to Dan Fielding (John Larroquette) to delay the proceedings long enough so Judge Stone can arrive in time to have a special celebrity encounter with the figure skating legends. Check out an exclusive clip below!
Johnny Weir & Tara Lipinski on Their Surprise Night Court Appearance
While promoting their appearance on Night Court, Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski spoke to Screen Rant about their iconic careers, going from world-class athletes to intelligent and insightful commentators who educate and entertain audiences with their world-class commentary. They discussed their hardcore work ethic, their reliance on each other as best friends and confidants, and how nerves are an essential part of the process for any worthwhile endeavor.
Screen Rant: Two legends visit Night Court. How did that happen?
Johnny Weir: We are so happy that Night Court is such a success for our home. NBC is our home network, and Peacock, and we live that life, you know, for the Olympics. Anytime that we have an opportunity to stretch our wings and play an elevated versions of ourselves, it’s so much fun, and to try different things. But to do it all with your best friend is just awesome.
We’ve been crazy busy with the skating season, and we have one more big event in March, and doing real life like everyone else is, and trying to find that balance. We’re doing so well, and this Night Court situation came up at an awesome time. We both had the weekend off, so we were like, “Let’s go and do some work!” I flew in from Philly, and it was such a fun memory from last Summer. I know we’re both so excited to finally see it on TV.
Screen Rant: Did you watch Night Court when you were kids?
Tara Lipinski: Johnny and I always like to joke that we didn’t have childhoods where we could watch TV or do the normal kid things. We actually didn’t. I’m speaking for Johnny, but I know this. We didn’t.
Johnny Weir: Yeah.
Tara Lipinski: But I will say, the moment we got this opportunity and I told friends and family, and of course we know of Night Court, so we knew it was going to be a special opportunity for us. Everyone was so excited, and my parents are just so pumped for Tuesday night!
Johnny Weir: And mine too! I was born in ’84, Tara, you were ’82, is that right?
Tara Lipinski: ’82, yup.
Johnny Weir: So Tara was two and I was just born when the series officially came out. We may have been a little bit young to get the fun of Night Court during its first run. But I’m definitely so excited to sit down and watch this, everything, in its entirety. I haven’t had a minute to sit down and breathe yet to watch it all, but I definitely need to do it this weekend before Tuesday so I’m all caught up!
Screen Rant: In the episode, you get to poke fun at your status as commentators. Was that a difficult transition, going from the sport to commentating on it? Was it a completely different set of skills? Was it difficult to establish yourselves in this new phase of your career?
Tara Lipinski: Johnny and I, obviously, we’re athletes and commentators. But we’ve done so many other quote-unquote “jobs” in our lives, and we both have acting experience, and we’ve been part of the business for a while. I think that, since our pairing in 2014, when we started to get opportunities outside of our day job of figure skating commentary, not only do we love showing up places and working together as best friends, but just different opportunities. Whether it’s hosting Wedding Cake Championship on Food Network, or showing up at the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby, or getting to do a guest-star role on Night Court, these are all incredible opportunities and they make for amazing memories and experiences for the both of us to have together.
Johnny Weir: Honestly, we’re so lucky to have had the amount of support and love from people at home who want to invite us into their living rooms. Any time we get to entertain people, make them happy, make them smile, make them hug their best friend, whatever the case may be, we love doing that. That’s what we were put on the Earth to do, to entertain people.
We’ve been doing it since we were teenagers on television, and we’ve been lucky to have careers for as long as we have. No matter where this crazy road takes us, we have a partner in crime. We have each other. That just makes it so much better. And, you know, being able to do things that make us laugh is definitely something that’s fun. On Night Court, we play elevated, crazy versions of ourselves, and we love seeing how people perceive us. Ultimately, that makes us able to do our jobs better!
Screen Rant: My job isn’t terribly high pressure, but it’s always nice to have a friend with me in the trenches, someone to lean on. I can’t even imagine how valuable you are to each other in your high-pressure lives.
Tara Lipinski: Yes. It’s definitely one of the things I cherish most. I feel so lucky and grateful when I think of my career. I feel like I’ve had many different versions of a career, starting out as a young teenager as an athlete. But my current career, I couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime, and to be able to do what I love with my best friend is a dream come true.
Screen Rant: You get to share the screen with Dan Fielding himself, John Larroquette. I imagine not much makes you nervous anymore, but was there anything intimidating about going toe-to-toe with all six-foot-four inches of that silver fox! I mean, he’s a man!
Johnny Weir: [Laughs] Here’s the thing: we’re very confident in who we are. We’re very authentic at all times. But when you walk into somebody else’s world, it does feel like you’re that kid going into the high school cafeteria for the first time. He’s an imposing character, but the entire set was just so kind, and so welcoming, and not to toot our own horns, but they were very excited we were there!
We immediately felt the love, felt the comfort to be able to perform, and to make a moment. You know what? I feel that if you aren’t nervous for something, then you don’t really care much about it and you probably shouldn’t be doing it. I get nervous for everything. I get nervous to skate, I get nervous for the Olympics, I get nervous to commentate, and I get nervous to act on Night Court!
Screen Rant: Well said. Last question: not to spoil anything in the episode, but is “Freezing Man” a real event? Because if it’s not, it absolutely should be.
Tara Lipinski: It is not. We should make one, J!
Johnny Weir: [Laughs] We can start that! I mean, let’s take everybody up to the North Pole!
Screen Rant: What’s going on in the world of figure skating right now? What’s coming up that we should be looking forward to?
Johnny Weir: It’s a very exciting time in figure skating because it’s a new Olympic cycle. It will soon be Milano Cortina 2026, and all of that preparation starts now for all the new faces. It’s a really exciting time, and we’re looking forward to the Summer Games in Paris in 2024, and then, of course, the Italian Winter Olympics in 2026!
About Night Court
From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a producer. “Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
Check out our previous Night Court interview with star Melissa Rauch.
Next: 10 Classic Night Court Characters That Can Still Return In The Revival
Night Court airs Tuesdays on NBC and can be streamed the next day on Peacock. The original Night Court is also free to stream on Amazon Freevee.