Friday, October 15, 2010

Hogans Heroes

This  must see TV comedy series set in an German prison camp during world war two, seems a strange place to have a memorable comedy, but it worked. The series had 168 episodes and finished in 1971.

The prison camp was called Stalag 17, and the comedy came from the interaction of the POWs and the German prison staff, and  Colonel Hogan, who was shot down over Hamburg, and now is the camp POW head always in contact with the Allies, and creating schemes to confuse the Germans.

The pilot was in black and white but the series was in colour.
The programme was made by Bing Crosby productions who were unsuccessfully sued by the makers of a 1953 prisoner of war film "Stalag 17" for copy right. This must see TV classic  was several times nominated for an Emmy, but all these years later is hardly ever seen on the TV networks around the world.

The main cast

Bob Crane played Colonel Hogan, Crane was born in 1928 and died in 1978, he was also a radio DJ.
Crane was murdered in what appears to be an argument about sex tapes he appeared in, although nobody was ever charged. Crane also starred in "Love Boat".

Ivan Dickson played "Kinch" the radio operator,Ivan died in 2008. In the 70s he also appeared in "Starsky and Hutch","The Waltons" and "The Rockford Files".

Richard Dawson played  British POW Peter Newkirk the conman, forger and cheeky British chappy. He also appeared on "Family Feud".

Werner Klemperer played the German officer Klink,  who died in 2000. He aslo starred in "Macmillan and Wife" and "The Doris Day Show".

John Banner played the heavy set German office Sergeant Shultz. John died in 1973, the year before he appeared in an episode of "The Partridge Family".

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