Under the Gun (Sledge Hammer!)
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Under the Gun Sledge Hammer!

Sledge Hammer! is a satirical American television series broadcast on ABC in the United States. The series was created by Alan Spencer and stars David Rasche as Inspector Sledge Hammer,[1] a preposterous caricature of the standard "cop on the edge" character. It was first broadcast on September 23, 1986 and ran until February 12, 1988, after just two seasons. The series has received generally favorable reviews from critics.

Many of the episode titles are parodies of film and TV show titles.

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122September 23, 1986 (1986-09-23)April 28, 1987 (1987-04-28)
219September 17, 1987 (1987-09-17)February 12, 1988 (1988-02-12)


Season 1 (1986-87)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Under the Gun"Martha CoolidgeAlan SpencerSeptember 23, 1986 (1986-09-23)
Violence-prone Sledge Hammer is assigned to head up the investigation when the mayor's daughter is abducted, but he predictably objects to a requirement that he work with female detective Dori Doreau.
22"Hammer Gets Nailed"Chuck BravermanMike Reiss & Al JeanSeptember 26, 1986 (1986-09-26)
A local TV newscaster creates bitter public feeling toward the police department when he reports and editorializes adversely on what he sees during a day-long ride with Sledge and Dori.
33"Witless"Jackie CooperAlan SpencerOctober 3, 1986 (1986-10-03)
When an organized crime boss puts a price on his head, Sledge is able to take refuge with a peace-loving "Maninote" farmer and his daughter.
44"They Shoot Hammers, Don't They?"David WechterDiana Ayers (s) & Susan Sebastian (s) & Mert Rich (s/t) & Brian Pollack (s/t) & Alan Spencer (s/t)October 17, 1986 (1986-10-17)
Prison escapee John Kogan commandeers a bus and launches a one-man wave of crime and violence, pledging to stop only if Sledge agrees to meet him in a one-on-one gunfight.
55"Dori Day Afternoon"James SheldonMert Rich & Brian PollackOctober 24, 1986 (1986-10-24)
Sledge and Dori find themselves in a hostage situation as a result of a foiled bank robbery.
66"To Sledge, with Love"David WechterJim Fisher & Jim StaahlOctober 31, 1986 (1986-10-31)
Sledge is assigned to bring order to a notoriously dangerous local high school that is dominated by four young toughs who supply stolen cars to a crime boss.
77"All Shook Up"Jackie CooperAlan SpencerNovember 6, 1986 (1986-11-06)
Sledge goes undercover to learn why Elvis impersonators are being systematically murdered with a gold microphone.
88"Over My Dead Bodyguard"Charles S. DubinMike Reiss & Al JeanNovember 13, 1986 (1986-11-13)
The commissioner personally assigns Sledge to guard Captain Trunk in order to ensure the Captain's safety until he is able to provide critical testimony before a grand jury.
99"Magnum Farce"Chuck BravermanJim Fisher & Jim StaahlNovember 22, 1986 (1986-11-22)
Sledge becomes even more violent than usual as part of an attempt to infiltrate a group of vigilante police officers who are executing recently acquitted criminal defendants.
1010"If I Had a Little Hammer"Kim MannersDeborah Raznick & Daniel BentonNovember 29, 1986 (1986-11-29)
Sledge and Dori pose as a well-to-do childless couple in an attempt to catch a pair of thieves who steal babies and sell them to prospective parents with ready cash.
1111"To Live and Die on TV"Daniel AttiasMert Rich & Brian PollackDecember 13, 1986 (1986-12-13)
Sledge becomes a contestant on "The Million Dollar Question" in an attempt to prove that the show's host (played by guest star Peter Marshall) was responsible for the murder of a successful contestant.
1212"Miss of the Spider Woman"Chuck BravermanMike Reiss & Al JeanDecember 20, 1986 (1986-12-20)
An exotic woman attempts to exact revenge on her ex-lover by poisoning him, but the near-sighted assassin gives the poison to Sledge instead.
1313"The Old Man and the Sledge"Chuck BravermanMert Rich & Brian PollackJanuary 3, 1987 (1987-01-03)
Sledge tries to provide help and guidance to Gil Yates, a retired trigger-happy police officer whom he idolized as a boy.
1414"State of Sledge"Dan AttiasAl Jean & Mike ReissJanuary 10, 1987 (1987-01-10)
After Sledge arrests the leader of a Satanic cult, the undermanned precinct soon finds itself under siege by a mob of the cult leader's bloodthirsty followers.
1515"Haven't Gun, Will Travel"David WechterGerald GardnerJanuary 17, 1987 (1987-01-17)
Sledge experiences a complete loss of confidence when his beloved .44 Magnum is stolen by a conniving gang of thieves.
1616"The Color of Hammer"Bruce BilsonMert Rich & Brian PollackJanuary 24, 1987 (1987-01-24)
When a hard-line judge is blackmailed and later murdered, Sledge and Dori's best available clue is that he was an inveterate pool player.
1717"Brother, Can You Spare a Crime?"Chuck BravermanGerald GardnerJanuary 31, 1987 (1987-01-31)
A man shows up claiming to be Hammer's brother. Everyone's taken with him including Doreau who goes out with him. But while on their date she catches him in a lie proving that he isn't Hammer's brother.
1818"Desperately Seeking Dori"Bob SweeneyMike Reiss & Al JeanFebruary 7, 1987 (1987-02-07)
Bad news for the city's scum suckers: a blow to the head results in Dori Doreau adopting the ultra-violent personality and mannerisms of her partner, Sledge Hammer.
1919"Sledgepoo"Thomas SchlammeAlan MandelFebruary 14, 1987 (1987-02-14)
The Earl of Curl beauty parlor is a front for a cat burglar ring targeting wealthy women. Sledge infiltrates the ring by going undercover as a second-story man.
2020"Comrade Hammer"Bruce BilsonDave Ketchum & Tony DiMarcoFebruary 21, 1987 (1987-02-21)
Sledge and Dori must safely escort a defecting Soviet scientist on a passenger train filled with Communist agents determined to take him back.
2121"Jagged Sledge"Reza BadiyiDoug Molitor (s) & Chris Ruppenthal (s/t)April 21, 1987 (1987-04-21)
Sledge is on trial for the cold-blooded murder of racketeer Hugo Victor (a clear word play with the author of 'Les Misérables' Victor Hugo). Serving as his own attorney, Sledge sets out to prove his innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence of his guilt.
2222"The Spa Who Loved Me"Jackie CooperTino Insana & Robert WuhlApril 28, 1987 (1987-04-28)
A bevy of bikini-clad "terrorettes" steal a nuclear warhead and threaten to blow up the city unless their billion dollar demand is met. Sledge and Dori trace the suspects to a health spa operated by aerobics video magnate Jill Taylor.

Season 2 (1987-88)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
231"A Clockwork Hammer"Reza BadiyiChris Ruppenthal (t) & Alan Spencer (s)September 17, 1987 (1987-09-17)
Sledge is abducted by a former television executive whose brainwashing operation reprograms its victim's minds through unrelenting and unmerciful exposure to television programming.
242"Big Nazi on Campus"Chuck BravermanMert Rich (t), Brian Pollack (t) & Alan Spencer (s)September 24, 1987 (1987-09-24)
Sledge and Dori investigate the murder of a history student who was studying Hitler's Third Reich. Suspects include her burly quarterback boyfriend and her kindly old history professor.
253"Play It Again, Sledge"Bill BixbyDavid Ketchum (t), Tony DiMarco (t) & Alan Spencer (s)October 1, 1987 (1987-10-01)
When Sledge gets suspended, he decides to try being a private investigator.
264"Wild About Hammer"Gary WalkowAlan SpencerOctober 8, 1987 (1987-10-08)
A female cop with a sadomasochistic fetish falls for and kidnaps Sledge.
275"Death of a Few Salesmen"Bill BixbyMark Curtiss (t), Rod Ash (t) & Brooke Kofford (s) & Bret Kofford (s)October 15, 1987 (1987-10-15)
Sledge poses as an Australian car magnate, Crocodile Bruce, to catch whoever has been killing used car dealers.
286"Vertical"Reza BadiyiDavid Ketchum & Tony DiMarcoOctober 29, 1987 (1987-10-29)
While suffering from vertigo, Sledge must protect the girlfriend of a mobster.
297"Dressed to Call"Jackie CooperMert Rich & Brian PollackNovember 5, 1987 (1987-11-05)
Sledge must discover who is making threatening calls to a radio psychologist.
308"Hammer Hits the Rock"Bill BixbyMark Curtiss & Rod AshNovember 12, 1987 (1987-11-12)
Sledge poses as an assassin to discover a mobster's secret hideout.
319"Last of the Red Hot Vampires"Bill BixbyAlan SpencerNovember 19, 1987 (1987-11-19)
An old-time actor who played vampires in the movies dies, but a vampire is then seen at two murders where the victims are drained of blood.
3210"Hammeroid"Gary WalkowRon FriedmanNovember 26, 1987 (1987-11-26)
After breaking nearly all his bones, Sledge encases himself in a robotic suit to stop a robot.
3311"Sledge in Toyland"Gary WalkowBrian Pollack & Mert RichDecember 3, 1987 (1987-12-03)
Sledge is sent to investigate when a toy manufacturer is attacked by one of his own toys.
3412"Icebreaker"Bill BixbyMark Curtiss (t), Rod Ash (t) & Chris Ruppenthal (s)December 10, 1987 (1987-12-10)
Sledge finds himself competing with a British cop who later turns out to be an international terrorist known as "The Pelican".
3513"They Call Me Mr. Trunk"Seymour RobbieMark Curtiss & Rod AshDecember 17, 1987 (1987-12-17)
Trunk must solve the puzzle of why the army has surrounded the entire precinct before the entire staff dies.
3614"Model Dearest"Dick MartinDavid Ketchum & Tony DiMarcoJanuary 7, 1988 (1988-01-07)
Dori poses as a model to get the dirt on a white slavery ring.
3715"Sledge, Rattle & Roll"Bill BixbyMert Rich & Brian PollackJanuary 15, 1988 (1988-01-15)
Hammer investigates the mysterious deaths of a heavy metal group and their manager.
3816"Suppose They Gave a War & Sledge Came?"Dick MartinChris RuppenthalJanuary 22, 1988 (1988-01-22)
To investigate the death of a prominent businessman, Sledge joins a weekend paintball tournament organization.
3917"The Secret of My Excess"Dick MartinAlicia Marie SchudtJanuary 29, 1988 (1988-01-29)
The governor assigns Sledge to find his missing daughter, but Sledge also has to keep the assignment a secret.
4018"It Happened What Night?"Bill BixbyMark Curtiss & Rod AshFebruary 5, 1988 (1988-02-05)
The precinct thinks that Sledge and Dori have slept together when all that appears on a surveillance tape is them drunk and in bed.
4119"Here's to You, Mrs. Hammer"Bill BixbyMert Rich & Brian PollackFebruary 12, 1988 (1988-02-12)
Sledge's ex-wife marries his best high school friend and forces Sledge to think about his lifestyle.


  1. ^ O'Connor, John. (Sept. 23, 1986) "2 New Series, 'Matlock' and 'Sledge Hammer'". The New York Times. Page C18

External links

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