As his Long Island fans remember the late Jimmy Buffett, a North Haven resident who died at home Friday at age 76 of a rare form of skin cancer, some will take solace in streaming an episode of “Blue Bloods” that featured the singer-songwriter and occasional actor in his final TV appearance.
Buffett, a longtime Long Islander who gave an annual Jones Beach concert most years through 2022, appears in the season 12 episode “On the Arm,” originally airing Jan. 14, 2022. He plays the dual roles of himself and a con artist, Dickie Delaney, who pretends to be the famous singer. NYPD Det. Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) — elder son of second-generation Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), who has strong ties to children and grandchildren on the force and in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office — voluntarily picks up the bill, unasked, for who he thinks is Jimmy Buffett at an upscale restaurant’s bar. When Danny discovers he’s been conned, he goes all out to get the guy.
This comedic subplot in the episode includes such exchanges as:
Danny, introducing himself to “Jimmy”: “… I’ve been to see you live three times. Jones Beach.”
Dickie: “Love Jones Beach.”
Danny: “That’s impossible. He couldn’t have been playing in Austin last night when he was sitting in the bar.”
Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez), his detective partner: “What he couldn’t have been was with you in New York City.”
Danny: “… I got scammed. I need to find and arrest this guy.”
Baez: “And charge him with what? Fraud of a fish dinner?”
Spoiler alert: The real Buffett eventually shows up, with Danny mistaking him for Dickie. Then it turns out the musician actually knows Dickie and isn’t all that upset, but just asks the guy to quit pretending to be him, at least for a while.
On Saturday, Wahlberg posted an Instagram photo of himself and Buffett during the episode’s production, writing, “There is a popular audio used for IG [Instagram] reels — ‘when you think you’re the coolest guy in the parking lot, and then this guy shows up’. Jimmy Buffett was that guy! The coolest, and one of the absolute nicest, guys I ever knew. I was so looking forward to seeing you, and working with you, again Jimmy. Now, I’ll look forward to catching a most heavenly sunset with you some day, instead. My eternal respect and gratitude to you, my friend.”
The “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Come Monday” singer-songwriter, who created an empire of laid-back lifestyle themed tequila, clothing, food items, cruises, restaurants and other businesses, also took on occasional TV and film roles. Many were bit parts — the 727 airliner pilot in “Congo” (1995), one of several journalists in the 1998 TV miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” — but he also played the substantial recurring role of helicopter pilot Frank Bama in seven scattered episodes of the 2011-20 reboot of “Hawaii Five-0.” The character had come from Buffett’s own 1992 novel, “Where is Joe Merchant?”
“Blue Bloods” streams on Paramount+, and season 12 is among those available for per-episode or per-season purchase on Amazon, Google Play and Vudu.