Harry Grafton is a supervisor at Osborne Industries which produces ever changing items according to plotline premise. Harry schemes to do as little as possible while still receiving maximum benefits. His efforts usually end in disaster.
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1964   1963  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Harry Grafton (30 episodes, 1963-1964)
...
 Waluska (25 episodes, 1963-1964)
Jim Shane ...
 Lester (19 episodes, 1963-1964)
...
 Brink (17 episodes, 1963-1964)
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Harry Grafton is a supervisor at Osborne Industries which produces ever changing items according to plotline premise. Harry schemes to do as little as possible while still receiving maximum benefits. His efforts usually end in disaster.

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Comedy

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28 September 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

A promotional trailer for this series is included as an extra feature on the 50th Anniversary Edition DVD release of The Phil Silvers Show (1955). Sadly, although Silvers introduces his character and the basic premise of the show in a specially-filmed segment, no actual footage from the episodes themselves are included. See more »

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Counterfit Bilko-like character transfered to Civilian Life just didn't pass muster. (No, Schultz! We didn't mean "Pass the Mustard!")
7 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ANY OF us who have even a marginal interest in the history of the programming in the Television medium are fully aware of the weekly airings of a con-man's con-man in YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH (aka THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW. Each episode was funny, fresh and a cut above most sitcom quality. The manipulation of what was often obvious and otherwise ordinary was executed with such care as to rocket the series to the upper regions of the Nielsen's ratings stratosphere.

AS A FURTHER consequence of the show's unqualified success in that period of 1955-59, its star, Mr. Phil Silvers, became very highly typecast; if not as Sgt. Ernie Bilko, at least as a fast talking grifter-charlatan. The role was such a close fit for the talents and brand of humor radiated by the machine gun-like,rapid fire Silvers delivery, that the public expected the same always.*

APPARENTLY BEING tired of the pigeon-holing, in spite of its success, Phil went on the record after BILKO was a series wrap, stating that he wouldn't choose to do another con-man character for the TV networks sitcom stables. We well recall his being quoted thus in either TV Guide or one of the weekly Television supplements in our great, metropolitan Chicago newspapers, and we had four of them at that time, circa 1959-62.

WELL, RATHER THAN calling Mr. Silvers a liar,for to lie one must have the intent of deceiving someone with statements known to the offender to be untrue. Let us just say that the veteran Burlesque Comic was mistaken in his evaluation of his future projects.

THE RESULTING series, THE NEW PHIL SILVERS SHOW (United Artists TV/CBS Television Network, 1963-64), turned out to be what could be accurately described as a transplantation of the SGT.BILKO saga into a situation and setting in the civilian world. Changing the characters name did nothing for its compatibility with the TV viewing audience. They loved him as Sgt. Ernie Bilko; but apparently suffered a sort of pop culture shock with this Bilko-like newcomer's pretending to the Comedy Throne.

SITUATIONS in the show, including an on going war of wits with plant superintendent (Stafford Repp in his pre Chief O'Hara portrayal on BATMAN (Greenway/20th Century-Fox/ABC Television Network,1966-68).) This was obviously patterned on Bilko's chronic struggle with his Commanding Officer, Colonel Hall (Paul Ford); but it never quite generated the comic energy of the classic, earlier series.

AFTER A FULL season of tinkering with the premise, the humor and the setting, THE NEW PHIL SILVERS SHOW breathed its last; being the victim of the network's bottom line.

AT LAST, the lead, Phil Silvers (alias Sgt. Bilko, alias Harry Grafton, was able to keep his word never to another Con-man character on a television series. As a matter of fact, he didn't have another starring series of any sort.

NOTE: * The phenomenal success of Mr. Silvers' character in YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH rocketed him to the greatest heights of pop-culture prominence. After less than four years he was viewed as an equal to even one so well known as Groucho Marx. As evidence, even a summer issue in 1959 of MAD MAGAZINE published an article of satire entitled "What if CBS played NBC a Game of Baseball." In it at the very beginning, the teams' managers were introduced as Marx and Silvers. Lawrence Welk, from ABC, was given the chores of the Home Plate Umpire.


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