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Blog: TV Watchers
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BOOMER WATCH: ALL-TIME GREATS
Posted by willy22 at 03:20:36 PM on February 13, 2007
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Another in an occasional series on the all-time greatest television shows.

GET SMART

The skinny: Spy parody created by comic geniuses Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Key figure was Secret Agent 86 Maxwell Smart (played by Don Adams), who was supported by sidekick Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon). They were agents for CONTROL, which battled evil KAOS to ensure the preservation of the American way and the free world. Every week, Agent 86 stumbled and bumbled his way into luckily defeating KAOS and Maxwellsmart maintaining world peace. Catch-phrases included “Sorry about that chief,” while gadgets included the “cone of silence” and a shoe that doubled as a phone. (The shoe is at right, along with a photo of Don Adams as Maxwell Smart.)

Background: Ran from 1965 to 1970, four years on NBC and the fifth and final year on CBS. Reunion movie aired in 1989 on ABC. The comedy returned as a series for six episodes on FOX network in 1995. (That makes four networks and counting, by the way.) Also was a 1980 feature movie, “The Nude Bomb,” which, sorry to say, was indeed a bomb.

Why it’s a great show: Get Smart was the forerunner of Naked Gun and Police Squad. Nonsensical Smart got his man despite his incompetence and even though his methods exasperated his boss, the chief of CONTROL, played by Edward Platt. Gags, silliness and even physical comedy were fast and furious and often out of left field. Smart’s foes, especially Siegfried, were eccentric and funny in their own right. CONTROL agent Larrabee was possibly the stupidest person in the history of American television – with the exception, of course, being Eb from “Green Acres.”

Trivia: A) Don Adams was the voice of what two TV cartoon characters? B) Siegfried was played by what future star of ”Love Boat?”

Update: It’s difficult to find Get Smart on regular cable TV anymore. TV Land ran it for a bit earlier this decade. Before then, Nick at Nite had it on its schedule but also dropped it. … DVDs of the original series are available for purchase by doing an online search. … Next year, we should see the release of a Get Smart feature movie starring Steve Carrell (of “The Office”). That might spur some cable networks to air reruns.

For more info: Check out these Web sites, which also are sources for this blog: ilovegetsmart, wouldyoubelieve, Pete's Get Smart Page and The Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Trivia answers: A) Tennessee Tuxedo and Inspector Gadget. B) Bernie Kopell played Siegfried and, on “Love Boat,” played the ship’s doctor. (Kopell also had a recurring role as a neighbor on “That Girl,” which ran in the 1960s and starred Marlo Thomas.)

Would you believe? Agent 99 never disclosed her real name. She did give a name of Susan Hilton in one show, but at the end of that episode she said it was just a fake name.

-- Bill Kline

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Posted By: ben | Jun 20, 2007 4:09:48 AM
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