Review of Get Smart

Get Smart (1965–1970)
Groundbreaking comedy series that premiered at the height of the espionage craze of the 1960's. Commemorating "Get Smart" on it's 50th anniversary
28 January 2016
Created by the team of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry,and produced by Leonard Stern(who served as executive producer)along with Burt Nodella, Jay Sandrich, Arnie Rosen,Chris Hayward,and David Davis, the television series "Get Smart" premiered on NBC's Saturday night prime time schedule on September 18,1965 and remained for four seasons producing 112 episodes(which also includes the pilot episode of the series which was in black and white)until March 29, 1969. Then after it was canceled by NBC in 1969,the series in it's final season went to CBS where it ended up on it's Friday night prime time schedule for 26 episodes on September 26,1969 until the final episode of the series on May 15,1970. "Get Smart" in all produced 138 episodes in total where it ran on two major television networks first on NBC and then over at CBS in it's final season from 1965 to 1970 spanning five seasons. Only the pilot episode of the series was in black and white. Episodes 2 thru 137 were in color.

"Get Smart" upon it's premiere in 1965 was truly a product of it's era. Creators Mel Brooks along with Buck Henry developed a comedy spoof about a bumbling secret agent that was cross between James Bond and Inspector Clouseau. This series came at the height of the "James Bond/007", "The Pink Panther" craze of the 1960's when espionage shows and comedies were the norm. "Get Smart" premiered on NBC after the success of "The Man From UNCLE" the previous year and had it's television debut one day after CBS aired "The Wild,Wild West",and aired three days after the first episode of the Sheldon Leonard produced espionage series "I Spy" (which was on the same network as part of NBC's prime-time schedule). "Get Smart" was a satirical parody of James Bond and the espionage business in general that was mixed in as a satirical parody of Inspector Clouseau of "The Pink Panther" films. Where James Bond was the smart and suave secret agent,Maxwell Smart was incompetent and clumsy,where in just about any episode was lucky in spite of his screw-ups.

Mel Brooks and Buck Henry centered this show as a spoof on "The Man From UNCLE" where Maxwell Smart(Don Adams)was an agent who worked for the underground secret agency known as CONTROL based somewhere in Washington,D.C.,who were battling the forces behind a sinister organization known as KAOS with the help of Max's assistant,Secret Agent 99,a female counterpart(Barbara Feldon)to whom both agents answer to the head man of CONTROL known as "The Chief"(Edward Platt)who basically had to put up with Max's bumbling incompetency in every aspect. And this is where they got their assignments from "The Chief" since they were the only two agents they had to dispatch. In just about every episode details with an agent or agents of KAOS doing something maleviolent during their dangerous but sometimes hilarious missions. The other CONTROL agents were usually messengers,informants,or worthless counterparts who always seem to get themselves killed. It just about every other episode opens with a CONTROL agent getting killed and it is up to Max and 99 to find out why with Max fouling up one mission after another with hilarious but funny as hell results. CONTROL's arch-nemesis was the diabolical Siegfried(the head of KAOS) played by Bernie Kopell.

"Get Smart" was known for it's very creative gadgets, settings,and often times,characters. Not to mention Max's clever catchphrases always spout out in just about every episode. This is what set the show apart from all the others when it premiered in 1965. The comedical writing and funny lines that what made this stand out was one of the biggest hits of the mid-1960's. The result of "Get Smart" spawned a total of winning 7 Prime-Time Emmys for Best Actor(Don Adams), Best Outstanding Continue Performance,and Best Comedy Writing in a Prime-Time Series(during it's four-year run on NBC) along with 2 Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedy Series in Prime Time. Top name directors ranging from Gary Nelson to Bruce Bilson, James Komack, Earl Bellamy, Jay Sandrich,and Alan Rafkin and top writers from Mel Brooks, Buck Henry, Arne Sultan, Chris Hayward, Leonard Stern, Stan Burns, Allan Burns, Mike Marmer and Dee Caruso contribute to some of the hilarious episodes of the series.

The big time guest stars that appeared on "Get Smart" ranged from Robert Culp, Leonard Nimoy, Victor French, William Schallart, Jonathan Harris, Barbara Bain, Vic Tayback, Larry Storch, Ted Knight, Ernest Borgnine, Vito Scotti, Michael Dunn, Bill Dana, Don Rickles, Carol Burnett, Stu Gilliam, Julie Sommars, Cesar Romero, Jamie Farr, Marj Dusay, Edward G. Robinson, Regis Philbin, Simon Oakland, Vincent Price, to Antoinette Bower, Julie Newmar, John Dehner, Broderick Crawford, to walk on cameos from Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Steve Allen, Buddy Hackett, to Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, and Sid Caesar. Even walk on cameos from other celebrities made appearances on the show mostly playing extras in various episodes.

The astounding success of "Get Smart" spawned the 1980 theatrical film "The Nude Bomb"(with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon reprising their original roles from the television series),and in 1989 ABC aired the two hour movie "Get Smart Again!"(again with Don Adams and Barbara Feldon in the original roles of Max and 99),and in 1995,the FOX Television Network brought back "Get Smart" as a weekly series with Don Adams in charge of CONTROL and his son fighting the forces of KAOS. A 2009 theatrical feature based on "Get Smart" starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway did big business and a sequel to the 2009 theatrical feature in expected to come out in 2018.
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