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 ...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Originally, the series was filmed like a play. The cast had to memorize the entire script and the scenes were filmed in one take, in sequence, in front of a studio audience. When Michael Todd made a guest appearance in the second season, he insisted on the episode being filmed like a movie, out of sequence, multiple takes, with no audience. Silvers and the crew found Todd's way was faster, cheaper and less demanding for the actors, so the series changed over to this new policy. The episodes were screened for audiences of military servicemen, whose responses were recorded and added to the shows. 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.
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This is listed as one of the 50 funniest sitcom episodes, and it should be. Unfortunately, there seems to be one scene missing from the current version.
The premise of the show is that there will be an attempt to set a record for inducting civilians into the army. A monkey gets mixed up in the proceedings and is sworn in a Private Harry Speakup, so named when one of the cadre says, "Name," without looking up and another say, "Hurry, speakup!"
The missing scene is a podiatrist, looking at feet of the inductees behind a screen on a raised platform. Seeing the monkey's feet, he rubs his eyes and says something about eyestrain and, "Next!" This scene was deleted, probably because it's over-the-top, but the podiatrist reappears in the final scenes and says, "I knew something was wrong" and that makes no sense without the cut scene.
What makes it such a good comedy is that it is non-stop surprises and twists including the court-martial where Bilko as Harry's defender shoots down all of the army's reasons for discharging Harry.
It's up there with "Who's on first?" and Curly Howard's "Take your hat off." Neither of which runs anywhere near as long as the Court-Martial Of Harry Speakup.
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