|Index||9 reviews in total|
For some reason, this short-lived show really imprinted on my psyche. I
was only seven when it premiered, but I have always remembered it
fondly. I don't remember many specifics, but the whole ambiance remains
clear to me.
The one plot I do remember is one where the Colonel decides to keep McKeever out of trouble by making him a Military Policeman. The MP gig does not work out the way the Colonel expected, of course.
Jackie Coogan was great as the sympathetic sarge.
I think the show influenced my whole life; I went to a military school, became an army officer, and am now retired from the service.
I was 10 years old when I saw this show. We were stationed in Pensacola, Florida at the time. I remembered bits and pieces of it. It was like Dennis The Mennace in a military school. McKeever had 2 fellow students with him. One was named "Monk" and the other was the chubby kid who played the bugle. I remember that the sergeant was good old "Uncle Fester" from the Adam's Family, Jackie Coogan. There was a lady in the show as well. I think she was a nurse for the boys at the academy. Of course the antagonist "Mr. Wilson" if you will, was the colonel. All the kids watched the program. Soon I would be off to Iceland at a new duty station with the family and we didn't have much TV there. I still remembered this show. It made an impact on me and I really liked it. Wow, that was 43 years ago! It didn't seem like only 1 season!
I recall wishing it was me in one of the key roles . . . of course I was 9 at the time. And whenever it was McKeever time every kid in the neighborhood raced off to the TV to watch. It was a show that placed a lot of emphasis on the importance of kids. In the show the young cadets had responsibilities, unlike in real life the responsibilities of a young child didn't seem as noble. It was also the first time I recall being really impressed with the cleverness of a youth (as I was then) to prevail over an adult. Of course there were other shows where youths prevailed over adults but those shows lacked roles a child could identify with. I never lost my love of the show and have searched for episodes available for purchase. Maybe someday someone someplace may have some for sale.
I was very small when this show was on, and only remember bits and pieces of plots. I do remember that McKeever was in military school-- he was not a bad kid. However, the boy stayed in trouble because of plans he made that went wrong. One of the military personnel who worked at the school was sympathetic to McKeever. The other old soldier who ran the school was not, and that's where the comedy came out of. It was a pleasant show.
*McKeever and the Colonel* almost certainly got greenlighted in 1961 as
the result of a favorable reception for the television broadcast of
Charlton Heston's *The Private War of Major Benson* (1955).
The antics of McKeever, his allies and his enemies among the military school student body, made for harmless entertainment even by the standards of the early '60s. I came to think of it as a boys' version of *The Phil Silvers Show* (1955-1959), made memorable by the rapscallion character of MSgt. Earnie Bilco, then pounding away in re-runs on NBC.
Those who are only familiar with the absolutely godawful 1995 Damon Wayans knock-off of Heston's movie (*Major Payne*) owe themselves a look at the much, much better original, and would certainly enjoy seeing *McKeever* if someone had the sense to issue the series in re-runs or on DVD. --
i used to love this show, maybe it had something to do with the fact that i wanted to go to a military acadamy just like mckeever, so it was a way for me to live the fantasy. i was only 8 when the show was on, so i was not old enough to go. i always hoped that TV land would begin to show reruns. and no, i never did make it to a military academy!
Back in 1962, I would have been 5 years old. We only had 2 TV stations in town, the CBS affiliate and the NBC affiliate. But, the NBC affiliate would often preempt NBC shows and show an ABC show instead. Which is why we never got the first season of ST:TOS. I think this is what happened to McKeever, but someone gave me the the Milton-Bradley board game based on the show, and I played it constantly with my friends. All I remember about the game was there were multiple plastic pillars that you would hide the characters behind and the other side had to find them, similar to Battleship. I always wished that they would air this show in syndication but I never got a chance to see even one episode. Does anyone know if it's available for viewing somewhere?
I was surprised to read Scott's review, because it echoes my feelings, and life, exactly. I remembered the show fondly, but vaguely, but it formed my first impression of the Military Schools that I saw advertised in Boys Life. I asked my parents if we could investigate them, and coupled with my impressions of Westfield from the TV show, I ultimately attended New York Military Academy. This led to ROTC (with a full scholarship) and 20 years in the US Army Reserve. The effects of this short lived show made a major change in my life. I have to admit that I turned into the personification of McKeever and his antics and learned a great many life lessons as a result.
I was maybe four years old when this was shown in syndication. It was
broadcast after a local daily cartoon show for a few months. The only
thing I remember was the intro, which was done with stop-motion
animation. It seemed odd to me as a tot, because it involved a gag in
which two boys accidentally "kiss" by bumping heads.
This show made no sense to me. Nothing made sense to me then. I was four! The animation stuck in my head, though.
For years I thought this was called "Calvin and the Colonel", which caused much confusion. "Calvin" was a prime-time cartoon, with Amos'n'Andy voices. The characters were animals, though, not Negro gentlemen. Negroes are noble!
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