A historical television series that focuses on the impact of the Underground Railroad during the 19th century, "Underground" offers viewers a message of social progress that's just as relevant in 2017.
Dick Shawn who was a rising up and coming comedian at the time is the Checkmate client in this episode. He plays a comedian/commentator who has taken a particular interest in retired gangster Robert Emhardt who married a socialite. Seems as though the wife killed a couple of people while driving drunk and Shawn is publicizing the case to the umpteenth degree.
Shawn's character is clearly based on humorist Mort Sahl who was in vogue during the early Sixties. Since Sahl is pretty much forgotten these days audiences today would not get the reference. But those who watched in 1961 knew very well who this was based on.
One of the more straightforward Checkmate stories since this was clearly a case of guarding the body and anticipating Emhardt's moves. Shawn's a bit more serious here than in his well known film roles in It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. But he does fine with the part.
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