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Classic Television Memories: Get Smart! 1965-1970
Ah, come in. I’m just doing a little control tweaking. Welcome to this installment of my Classic Television Memories hub. For the newbies, we take a trip back in time to revisit classic TV shows from the decade of the 1960’s. The reason I chose this decade is because I consider this era the most important in television history, and some of the greatest shows came from this time period. On a personal level, these television shows provided me with hours of fine entertainment as well as fond childhood memories. Now, having said that, let’s strap in and as in the words of the immortal Jackie Gleason, And awaaaaay we go!
Get Smart Opening
The Cold War provided the world with more than threats of annihilation, but have provided the world of entertainment with a plethora of spy-themed TV shows and movies. Beginning with the James Bond flick To Russia With Love (1962), spy and secret agent entertainment took off and running, and ran through the era of the 1960’s. Television shows like I Spy, Man From U.N.C.L.E, and its spin-off, Girl From U.N.C.L.E, Code Name: Blue Light, Mission:Impossible, as well as British imports The Avengers, Danger Man (Secret Agent in the U.S.), The Prisioner, The Champions, and others ruled the airwaves.
Most of these shows were serious in nature, but the show we’re focusing on in our trip, played the Cold War theme strickly for laughs. The show is Get Smart! Starring Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, and Ed Platt. Adams was also the voice of the cartoon character Tennessee Tuxedo (1963-1966), for us classic cartoon buffs.
We’ll get to Smart in a moment, but first, a word from our sponsor.
Welcome back. The series was the brainchild of zany comedian, writer, director, producer Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein), and Buck Henry. The show was a send up of the Man From U.N.C.L.E. series with Robert Vaughn, and David McCallum (1964-1968).
Get Smart premiered on NBC on September 18, 1965. The series follows the further adventures or mis-adventures of bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 (Adams), and his more seasoned partner Agent 99 (Feldon). The duo are employed by CONTROL, a secret government counter-intelligence agency based in Washington, D.C. Smart’s and 99’s missions is supervised by the often frustrated leader of CONTROL known simply as Chief (Platt).
CONTROL’S nemesis on the series is KAOS, an organization founded according to Smart in 1957, of evil whose chief objective is - you guessed it, world domination. Many famous guest stars have played KAOS agents, but the chief of the organization is Conrad Seigfried played by comedian Bernie Kopell, later of The Love Boat. He is aided by his overzealous henchman Sharkter, played by King Moody. Other character of note is Hymie The Robot, played by the late Dick Gautier.
In his fight against evil, Smart employs many secret weapons ala James Bond. His car has the famous ejector seat and weapons. The shoe phone. His apartment is loaded with many booby traps, in which he accidentally deploys while giving a tour.Most notable of his gadgets are the Shoe Phone, and my personal favorite, the Cone Of Silence.
Cone Of Silence
Chief is always reluctant to assign Smart to missions because of his ineptness. However, the job gets completed in spite of his bungling.
Smart and 99 (real name unknown), find time while saving the world to fall in love and eventually get married and have children by Season Five.
Get Smart ran on NBC from 1965-1969, and moved to CBS for the last season 1969-1970.
The last episode of the original series aired on May 15, 1970. Since then the show has enjoyed syndication success and revivals, including a theatrical film starring Steve Carell.
Gone But Not Forgotten
Don Adams (Maxwell Smart, Agent 86) April 13, 1923 - September 25, 2005
Ed Platt (Chief) February 14, 1916 - March 19, 1974
Well that’s it for this hub. See you for the next trip. Same time, Same channel.
Zany Cold-War Spy send-up stars Don Adams, as Maxwell Smart Agent 86, Barbara Felton as Agent 99, and Ed Platt as The Chief.