Remembering ‘Ally McBeal’s’ Creepy Dancing Baby

Twenty years ago, a quirky, hour-long dramedy about a young woman working at a law firm in Boston debuted and became a cultural phenomenon. The cast of that show, “Ally McBeal,” recently spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about how the show was developed, behind-the-scenes antics, and one very memorable dancing baby:

Gil Bellows (Billy Thomas): And then there was the Dancing Baby. I’m glad it brought attention to the show, but out of all the things that we explored, that was one of my least favorites.

Sandy Grushow (then-president, 20th Century Fox Television): I remember seeing a rough cut with the Dancing Baby when I was at home one night and I nearly fell out of bed. It was somewhere between creepy and charming.

David E. Kelley (executive producer/creator): The Dancing Baby scared and inspired us all! My assistant had come into my office one day and showed it to me on the computer. As soon as I saw it, I asked, “How do we get it into [the] show?” It may have been terrifying and hypnotic but it was also perfect for Ally. It tapped in to her internal war. She knew that on paper, a woman her age was supposed to be married with a child, but that wasn’t how she felt she wanted to be. The Dancing Baby represented that feeling.

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