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. ... See full summary »

Creator:

Nat Hiken
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4   3   2   1  
1959   1958   1957   1956   1955  
Won 8 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Phil Silvers ...  MSgt. Ernest G. Bilko / ... 143 episodes, 1955-1959
Harvey Lembeck ...  Cpl. Rocco Barbella / ... 143 episodes, 1955-1959
Paul Ford ...  Col. John T. Hall / ... 143 episodes, 1955-1959
Allan Melvin ...  Cpl. Steve Henshaw / ... 143 episodes, 1955-1959
Billy Sands ...  Pvt. Dino Papparelli 139 episodes, 1955-1959
Maurice Gosfield Maurice Gosfield ...  Pvt. Duane Doberman / ... 139 episodes, 1955-1959
Herbie Faye ...  Cpl. Sam Fender / ... 139 episodes, 1955-1959
Bernard Fein Bernard Fein ...  Pvt. Gomez / ... 137 episodes, 1955-1959
Jack Healy Jack Healy ...  Pvt. Mullen 134 episodes, 1955-1959
Mickey Freeman ...  Pvt. Fielding Zimmerman 133 episodes, 1955-1959
Maurice Brenner Maurice Brenner ...  Pvt. Irving Fleischman / ... 132 episodes, 1955-1959
Karl Lukas Karl Lukas ...  Pvt. Stash Kadowski 97 episodes, 1955-1958
Terry Carter ...  Pvt. Sugie Sugarman / ... 92 episodes, 1955-1959
Jimmy Little Jimmy Little ...  MSgt. Francis Grover 61 episodes, 1955-1959
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Family

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

You'll Never Get Rich See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(143 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Episode #1.7 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Still worth watching!
25 January 2003 | by micnelsonSee all my reviews

A great testament to the talents of Phil Silvers. With its complex plotlines and quickfire dialogue it's still a treat to watch Silvers's monumental character when you can find it somewhere in the BBC schedules. The most said line in the whole series must be "but, Sarge!" as Bilko launches into another diabolical and, ultimately, flawed scheme to make money and dodge work. And Col Hall's stunned looks, "what is he up to?" are a joy.

It must also contain the best adlib in TV history. Bilko has to hide a chimp in camp (don't ask!)and the chimp accidently gets enlisted. To avoid even further embarrassment, the US Army decides to court martial the chimp to get him discharged. Bilko defends him. In the middle of a monologue from Silvers, the chimp, obviously impossible to rehearse, gets off a chair and picks up a nearby phone. After a pause, Silvers says, "he's calling for another lawyer".


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