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"The Phil Silvers Show"
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"The Phil Silvers Show" (1955) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1955-1959

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Release Date:
20 September 1955 (USA) See more »
Sgt. Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas US Army Camp. Colonel Hall... See more »
Plot Keywords:
Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
This Show Will Always Be Rich See more (22 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 14 of 146)

Phil Silvers ... MSgt. Ernest G. Bilko / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)

Paul Ford ... Col. John T. Hall / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)

Harvey Lembeck ... Cpl. Rocco Barbella / ... (141 episodes, 1955-1959)

Allan Melvin ... Cpl. Steve Henshaw / ... (141 episodes, 1955-1959)

Billy Sands ... Pvt. Dino Papparelli (138 episodes, 1955-1959)
Maurice Gosfield ... Pvt. Duane Doberman / ... (137 episodes, 1955-1959)
Herbie Faye ... Cpl. Sam Fender / ... (137 episodes, 1955-1959)
Bernard Fein ... Pvt. Gomez / ... (136 episodes, 1955-1959)

Mickey Freeman ... Pvt. Fielding Zimmerman (131 episodes, 1955-1959)
Jack Healy ... Pvt. Mullen (131 episodes, 1955-1959)
Maurice Brenner ... Pvt. Irving Fleischman / ... (130 episodes, 1955-1959)
Karl Lukas ... Pvt. Stash Kadowski (94 episodes, 1955-1958)

Terry Carter ... Pvt. Sugie Sugarman / ... (90 episodes, 1955-1959)
Jimmy Little ... MSgt. Francis Grover (60 episodes, 1955-1959)

Series Directed by
Al De Caprio (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
Aaron Ruben (31 episodes, 1958-1959)
Series Writing credits
Nat Hiken (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
Terry Ryan (61 episodes, 1955-1959)
Billy Friedberg (42 episodes, 1956-1959)
Arnie Rosen (42 episodes, 1956-1959)
Coleman Jacoby (41 episodes, 1956-1959)
Tony Webster (21 episodes, 1956-1957)
Neil Simon (20 episodes, 1958-1959)
Phil Sharp (18 episodes, 1956-1958)
Barry E. Blitzer (17 episodes, 1955-1956)
Leonard Stern (9 episodes, 1956)
A.J. Russell (8 episodes, 1957-1958)
Sydney Zelinka (8 episodes, 1957-1958)
Arnold M. Auerbach (5 episodes, 1955-1956)
Harvey Orkin (4 episodes, 1956)
Vin Bogert (2 episodes, 1956-1958)
Aaron Ruben (2 episodes, 1956-1957)

Series Produced by
Edward Montagne .... producer (67 episodes, 1956-1959)
Nat Hiken .... producer (61 episodes, 1955-1957)
Series Original Music by
Hank Sylvern (2 episodes, 1955)
Series Cinematography by
William Miller (123 episodes, 1955-1959)
Series Film Editing by
Ray Sandiford (103 episodes, 1956-1959)
Sy Singer (10 episodes, 1955-1956)
Series Art Direction by
Richard Jackson (97 episodes, 1956-1959)
Don Gilman (18 episodes, 1955-1956)
Albert Brenner (3 episodes, 1955)
Robert Rowe Paddock (2 episodes, 1956)
Series Set Decoration by
Jack Landau (2 episodes, 1955-1956)
Series Makeup Department
Bob Kelly .... makeup artist (31 episodes, 1958-1959)
Series Production Management
M. Clay Adams .... production manager (56 episodes, 1955-1957)
Edward Montagne .... production supervisor / unit manager (43 episodes, 1955-1957)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter R. Scoppa .... assistant director (31 episodes, 1958-1959)
Series Art Department
Jack Landau .... settings (1 episode, 1955)
Series Sound Department
Jim Shields .... recording engineer (120 episodes, 1955-1959)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bill Griffin .... wardrobe (31 episodes, 1958-1959)
Series Editorial Department
Ray Sandiford .... film editor (4 episodes, 1956-1958)
Sy Singer .... film editor (2 episodes, 1955)
Series Music Department
John Strauss .... composer: theme music / music supervisor / ... (142 episodes, 1955-1959)
Carlo Savina .... composer: stock music (79 episodes, 1955-1958)
Umberto Gelassi .... composer: stock music (58 episodes, 1955-1958)
Jack Shaindlin .... composer: stock music (42 episodes, 1955-1958)
Earl Rogers .... vocal music conductor / composer: stock music (3 episodes, 1956)
Hank Sylvern .... composer: stock music (2 episodes, 1957-1958)
Alec Templeton .... composer: stock music (2 episodes, 1957-1958)
Series Other crew
Kevin Pynes .... assistant to producer / production coordinator / ... (120 episodes, 1955-1959)
Billy Friedberg .... writing supervisor (65 episodes, 1956-1959)
George Kennedy .... technical advisor (52 episodes, 1956-1959)
Nat Hiken .... staged by (48 episodes, 1955-1957)
Aaron Ruben .... staged by (24 episodes, 1956-1958)
Charles Friedman .... staged by (8 episodes, 1957)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"You'll Never Get Rich" - USA (first episodes title)
See more »
30 min (143 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The first three seasons were filmed in New York City at creator-producer Nat Hiken's insistence. When Hiken left the show, the production was moved to Los Angeles.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 »
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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
This Show Will Always Be Rich, 24 March 2005
Author: dencar_1 from United States

It is my opinion that THE PHILS SILVERS SHOW (aka YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH) remains the single most underrated sitcom in television history and that Phil Silvers remains the most underrated comedian in that medium. This is really saying something because the series has indeed received great acclaim over the years. Even so, Silvers is just not given his proper due for creating the Bilko character. As for the jewels in the supporting cast--they are simply terrific in this Nat Hiken creation that surely stands shoulder to shoulder with Jackie Gleason's THE HONEYMOONERS as perhaps the greatest sitcom ever on television.

Silvers did not just play Ernie Bilko--he WAS Ernie Bilko! The character of the scheme-driven, gambling-addicted army sergeant forever duping the lovable Col. Hall (Paul Ford) while manipulating his platoon for his personal aggrandizement, is so fast-paced, fresh, and funny that one wonders if BILKO ought not be a stage play.

The supporting cast--can you name a greater one? Buried among Sgt. Bilko's seemingly nondescript platoon lackeys is Herbie Faye. Faye was a friend of Silvers and a walking encyclopedia of burlesque gags and sketches years before BILKO was an idea; he knew every trick of the comedy trade and taught many of them to Silvers. And Doberman (Maurice Gosselton), the baby-faced, childlike man who is a classic as Bilko's all-around simpleton and dupe, is in a category all his own.

Harvey Lembeck and Allan Melvin play Bilko's two platoon confidantes; there is Joey Ross (CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?) as Sgt. Ritzik, a fine comedian in his own right who just cannot seem to ever get one over on Bilko; and Elizabeth Frazer pops up now and then as Ernie's girlfriend. As for Paul Ford? Was there ever a better foil for the top banana than Colonel Hall? One has to consider Ralph Cramden's Ed Norton (Art Carney) or Eve Arden's Mr. Conklin (Gale Gordon), to come up with one that works as well. Hall is just perfect as the base commander who unwittingly plays into Sgt. Bilko's hands time and time again. What a riot to watch the colonel melt under Bilko's patronizing devotion for Hall only to see the colonel walk straight into Ernie Bilko's net.

But it is Phil Silvers, his facial expressions, his bugle-call barking of orders, his complete manipulation of everyone on the base, and his wild schemes to make money that never seem to get old no matter how much you watch the episodes on video.

Why isn't THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW on TV LAND or the other nostalgia stations? Even the younger set who never saw the show will undoubtedly like it. And those of us who grew up in the 1950's watching it will love it all over again.

Trivia: Phil Silvers appeared in a number of films, including musicals such as COVER GIRL and SUMMER STOCK starring Gene Kelly...He did a lot of work after BILKO (probably best known for his role in THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and for his work in IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD), but he never even remotely approached the greatness of BILKO...Silvers was an addictive gambler and found himself in the midst of a Beverly Hills Fryer's Club card scandal in the 1960's...Silvers appeared in the film version of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON MY WAY TO THE FORUM in the 1960's with Zero Mostel, though severely bothered by cataracts...He was also hydrophobic and his daughter Laurie tells the touching story of her dad fighting his terror of water in the backyard pool at night trying to overcome his fears so he could swim in the pool with his four young girls...

Dennis Caracciolo

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That CANNOT Be Barbara Barrie, Can It? emjee-1
DVD msc1954
Complete series DVD out in the UK in September DSNFan
I Think It Was Always Filmed in New York tgibbs279
Great show, worst theme song (music) ever gbthecoach
Why didn't they always list the female actresses in the credits lookslikehowie
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