Master Sergeant Bilko, regularly helped by the soldiers at Fort Baxter's motor pool, spends little time performing his duties by constantly trying to obtain money through various get-rich-quick scams and promotions.
Sergeant Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas U.S. Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base, tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. Bilko runs every money making scheme that he thinks he can pull off. Midnight cruises on landing craft, tank rides, poker games, and an interesting deal with local service stations for spare parts for Jeep tires.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
In 2003, "The Radio Times" named this as the top television sitcom, above other classic shows such as Fawlty Towers (1975) and Seinfeld (1989). See more »
Sgt. Bilko routinely wore his decorations incorrectly, and differently from one show to the next. He nearly always wore his Combat Infantryman Badge with the lower wreath overlapping the top row of ribbons; the lower edge of the CIB should always be about 1/4" above the top edge of the top row of ribbons. Also, he nearly always wore a unit commendation ribbon centered below his other ribbons, just below the top edge of his left breast pocket flap; unit commendation ribbons on Army uniforms were worn just above the top edge of the right breast pocket flap (although that style of "Class A" uniform is now long obsolete). Also, Bilko sometimes wore a unit commendation ribbon above the pocket flap of his right breast pocket, and sometimes wore the same ribbon below that same pocket flap; all unit commendation ribbons on Army uniforms were worn together, just above the right breast pocket flap. 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.
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From What I've Seen, A Brilliant Sitcom-Why Isn't It on DVD?
I regret that I have only seen a fraction of the episodes of THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW. But those that I have seen confirms the show's reputation as an authentic television classic. Consider the star, Phil Silvers as Sgt. Ernie Bilko. Was there a more lovable conniver? His joy in his scheming was so droll and endearing one couldn't help but root for him. Yet Bilko never wanted to hurt anyone and whenever he learned any plan could hurt someone, he wouldn't go through with it. Silvers' ruefulness at such moments was as delightful as his ecstasy.
Silvers was backed by a delightful supporting cast. Particularly memorable were Maurice Gosfeld as the innocent Private Duane Doberman and Paul Ford as Bilko's flustered superior Colonel John Hall. Joe E. Ross got his big break as the gruff but lovable Sgt. Rupert Ritzik. Producer Nat Hiken would later team up Ross with Fred Gwynne in the police sitcom CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU? And what hilarious, inventive scripts that so deftly served those performers. I'm no prude but I consider such riotous episodes like "The Trial of Harry Speakup" and "The Face on the Recruiting Poster" proof that writers don't have to stoop to raunchiness to generate laughs. The problem with today's television sitcoms is that they often indulge in gratuitous filth.
With so many old sitcoms coming out on DVD today, isn't it about time for DVD episode guides of THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW? Why should DVD users be denied access to, from what episodes I've seen, a wonderful show? Such a treasure does not deserve oblivion.
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