My dad liked this show & I remember watching it in the early 60s. I wonder if seeing its homey NYC neighborhoods planted my desire to come here. The Bronx of Car 54 is much like the neighborhood I settled in, a shabby world of small buildings & neighbors.
The show is dumb but often funny, with some sophisticated themes & moments. A Ninotchka knockoff, for example. It's also somewhat topical, starting with the theme song ("Kruschev's due at Idlewild"). Naturally there's a lot of mugging, especially by Fred Gwynne, but he & Joe E. Ross have genuine affection.
Guest starts included Molly Picon, Maureen Stapleton, Heywood Hale Broun, Simon (Bullitt) Oakland, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano (or was it Rocky Graziano?), Hugh Downs, among others. Nipsey Russell is on the force, without much to do.