"Call Me Kat," in which Mayim Bialik runs a cat cafe, is never as charming as the actor's previous sitcom, "The Big Bang Theory." But it's worth checking out for the final minute. During the closing credits, the entire cast shatters the fourth wall, taking exaggerated bows to fake applause.
It's a gag borrowed from the British sitcom "Miranda," which the new Fox sitcom, premiering Sunday, is not-so-loosely based on.
It's as much fun for the cast as it is for viewers.
"It just feels like a curtain call at the end of the show," said Kyla Pratt, who plays one of the cafe employees, during a virtual news conference last month. "When we do have that moment to wave and smile — and make sure you are not smiling too hard — it feels like, 'Oh, yeah, I did something good.' "
What makes the bit even goofier is that the cast is currently shooting the multicamera series without a live audience.
"You don't see people out there when you are waving and bowing and saying thank you," said Leslie Jordan, who also plays one of Kat's employees. "We are actually waving to the audience out in TV land."
"Miranda" and "Kat" are not the first sitcoms to fiddle around with the closing credits. Here are six more that delivered laughs when you least expected them.
'Police Squad!' (1982)
Each of these six classic episodes concluded with cast members pretending to freeze while chaos erupted around them. In one, Leslie Nielsen and his co-stars stayed motionless as the set literally collapsed around them. In another, a prisoner takes advantage of the situation by escaping, only to find himself boxed in by the TV screen.
'Roseanne' (1988-97; 2018)
Lots of sitcoms offer viewers a final gag during the closing credits, but no other series was more generous than this one. You never knew what you might get: a blooper, a spoof of "Cops" or maybe a cameo of Bob Hope in a police lineup.
'Strangers With Candy' (1999-2000)
Amy Sedaris' wicked satire on after-school specials ended each episode with dance parties that were just as ridiculous — and sublime — as the rest of the series. But the bits weren't always a group effort. Stephen Colbert, who played the high school history teacher, worked himself into a breathless mess doing a solo routine to the hymn "The King of Glory."
Chuck Lorre sitcoms
You need a freeze-frame option on your remote to fully appreciate the vanity cards the prolific producer posts at the end of some of his most popular shows, including "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory." These blink-and-you'll-miss-them messages have offered everything from his thoughts on the 2007 writers' strike to a dig at Charlie Sheen.
'Arrested Development' (2003-06; 2013-19)
Narrator Ron Howard always offered a teaser for the next episode, which almost always turned out to be completely made up. Too bad. Some of these promised scenes, which include Buster finding out about the death of Captain Kangaroo and Maeby rigging an election, are downright hilarious.
The "end tags" rarely had anything to do with the episode, giving show creator Dan Harmon and his talented cast free rein. The most memorable moments feature Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) bonding over Spanish rap lyrics, raising a baby and sneaking into an animated world.