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Joel, Dirk

Joel McKinnon Miller, left, and Dirk Blocker swap stories on the set of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

LOS ANGELES | When Dirk Blocker was a child, his dad – actor Dan Blocker – would bring him to the set of “Bonanza” where the two of them could spend  time together.

“He was so busy during those years it was about the only way we could be together,” Blocker said Wednesday on the set of his series, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

When the “Bonanza” wardrobe and makeup people weren’t busy, they’d put the boy in a chair and make him look like all sorts of Wild West characters. “And then I’d have my picture taken. Michael Landon was directing an episode one time and he saw me,” Blocker said. “He just picked me up and set me in a bar amongst all those girls dancing…and I was in the show.”

Not that long after, Blocker began his career in earnest. Appearing in episodes of “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” (where he was a series regular), he was convinced dad’s line of work was his.

“This year I celebrate 40 years in the business,” the 56-year-old said, “and it couldn’t be at a better place.” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is “the cream of the crop. It’s not just the quality of the show. It’s the quality of the people. The chemistry just builds up like the perfect storm."

On the Fox sitcom, Blocker plays Detective Michael Hitchcock, an offbeat member of the precinct. Partnered with Joel McKinnon Miller (as Detective Norm Scully) (both were upped to regular status) they’re like the show’s spice. “A little of what we do goes a long way. But a vignette here and there adds another element.”

Life on the second-year show doesn’t feel like work at all," Blocker said. "It’s play time.”

Just like it was on dad’s set.

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