Sgt. Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas US Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. Bilko ... See full summary »


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4   3   2   1  
1959   1958   1957   1956   1955  
Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 MSgt. Ernest G. Bilko / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Cpl. Rocco Barbella / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Col. John T. Hall / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Cpl. Steve Henshaw / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Pvt. Dino Papparelli (139 episodes, 1955-1959)
Maurice Gosfield ...
 Pvt. Duane Doberman / ... (139 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Cpl. Sam Fender / ... (139 episodes, 1955-1959)
Bernard Fein ...
 Pvt. Gomez / ... (137 episodes, 1955-1959)
Jack Healy ...
 Pvt. Mullen (134 episodes, 1955-1959)
 Pvt. Fielding Zimmerman (133 episodes, 1955-1959)
Maurice Brenner ...
 Pvt. Irving Fleischman / ... (132 episodes, 1955-1959)
Karl Lukas ...
 Pvt. Stash Kadowski (97 episodes, 1955-1958)
 Pvt. Sugie Sugarman / ... (92 episodes, 1955-1959)
Jimmy Little ...
 MSgt. Francis Grover (61 episodes, 1955-1959)
P. Jay Sidney ...
 Pvt. Palmer (57 episodes, 1955-1959)


Sgt. Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas US Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. Bilko runs every money making scheme that he thinks he can pull off. Midnight cruises on Landing Craft, Tank Rides, Poker games, and an interesting deal with local service stations for spare parts for jeep tires. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

20 September 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

You'll Never Get Rich  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(143 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Phil Silvers and Maurice Gosfield did not get along. In real life, Gosfield was very much the slob that he portrayed as Doberman. He also had constant trouble remembering his lines which frustrated the cast and crew. Despite this, Gosfield became the most popular cast member and received more fan mail than Silvers which Silvers resented. According to Silvers, the adulation went to Gosfield's head and he became very demanding on the set. Silvers wrote in his autobiography, "Dobie thought of himself as Cary Grant playing a short, plump man". See more »


MSgt. Ernest G. Bilko: You said "but". I've put the finger on the whole problem. You're a "but" man. Don't say "but". That little word "but" is the difference between success and failure.
See more »


Referenced in 500 Questions: Episode #2.3 (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

From What I've Seen, A Brilliant Sitcom-Why Isn't It on DVD?
8 January 2004 | by (Murray Hill, NJ) – See all my reviews

I regret that I have only seen a fraction of the episodes of THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW. But those that I have seen confirms the show's reputation as an authentic television classic. Consider the star, Phil Silvers as Sgt. Ernie Bilko. Was there a more lovable conniver? His joy in his scheming was so droll and endearing one couldn't help but root for him. Yet Bilko never wanted to hurt anyone and whenever he learned any plan could hurt someone, he wouldn't go through with it. Silvers' ruefulness at such moments was as delightful as his ecstasy.

Silvers was backed by a delightful supporting cast. Particularly memorable were Maurice Gosfeld as the innocent Private Duane Doberman and Paul Ford as Bilko's flustered superior Colonel John Hall. Joe E. Ross got his big break as the gruff but lovable Sgt. Rupert Ritzik. Producer Nat Hiken would later team up Ross with Fred Gwynne in the police sitcom CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU? And what hilarious, inventive scripts that so deftly served those performers. I'm no prude but I consider such riotous episodes like "The Trial of Harry Speakup" and "The Face on the Recruiting Poster" proof that writers don't have to stoop to raunchiness to generate laughs. The problem with today's television sitcoms is that they often indulge in gratuitous filth.

With so many old sitcoms coming out on DVD today, isn't it about time for DVD episode guides of THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW? Why should DVD users be denied access to, from what episodes I've seen, a wonderful show? Such a treasure does not deserve oblivion.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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