Get Smart

Get Smart
Get Smart
Get Smart.gif
Title card from Seasons 1 and 2 of the original NBC run
Genre Sitcom
Created by Mel Brooks
Buck Henry
Starring Don Adams
Barbara Feldon
Edward Platt
Theme music composer Irving Szathmary
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 138 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Leonard B. Stern (1965–68)
Arne Sultan (1968–70)

Jay Sandrich (1965–66)
Arnie Rosen (1966–67)
Jess Oppenheimer (1967)
Burt Nodella (1967–69)
Chris Hayward (1969–70)

Directed by
Gary Nelson
Bruce Bilson
Don Adams
James Komack
Earl Bellamy
Camera setup single-camera
Running time c. 25 minutes
Production company(s) Talent Associates
CBS Productions (final season only)
Original channel NBC (1965–1969)
CBS (1969–1970)
Original run September 18, 1965 – September 11, 1970
Followed by The Nude Bomb (film)

Get Smart is an American comedy television series that satirizes the secret agent genre. Created by Mel Brooks with Buck Henry,[1] the show starred Don Adams (as Maxwell Smart, Agent 86), Barbara Feldon (as Agent 99), and Edward Platt (as Chief). Henry said the creation of this show came from a request by Daniel Melnick, who was a partner, along with Leonard Stern and David Susskind, of the show's production company, Talent Associates, to capitalize on "the two biggest things in the entertainment world today"—James Bond and Inspector Clouseau.[2] Brooks said: "It's an insane combination of James Bond and Mel Brooks comedy."[3]

The series was broadcast on NBC-TV from September 18, 1965, to April 12, 1969, after which it moved to the CBS network for its final season, running from September 26, 1969, to September 11, 1970, with 138 total episodes produced. During its five-season run, it was ranked in the top 30 Nielsen ratings twice: No. 12 in 1965–1966, and No. 22 in 1966–1967. The series won seven Emmy Awards, and it was nominated for another 14 Emmys, as well as two Golden Globe Awards. In 1995, the series was briefly resurrected, starring Adams and Feldon, with Andy Dick as Max's and 99's son.

Four feature-length movie versions of the "Get Smart" idea have been produced: first, with part of the original cast in 1980's The Nude Bomb, which was also called The Return Of Maxwell Smart, then in the 1989 ABC TV Movie Get Smart, Again!, and most recently, in a 2008 film adaptation starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson and Alan Arkin, which also spawned a spin-off film, Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control.

In 2010, TV Guide ranked Get Smart’s opening title sequence at No. 2 on its list of TV's Top 10 Credits Sequences, as selected by readers.[4]



The series centered on bungling secret agent Maxwell Smart, also known as Agent 86. His experienced female partner is Agent 99 (whose real name is never revealed in the series).[5] Agents 86 and 99 work for CONTROL, a secret U.S. government counter-intelligence agency based in Washington, D.C. The pair investigates and thwarts various threats to the world, though Smart's incompetence invariably causes complications. However, Smart never fails to save the day, typically thanks to his own dumb luck and often by 99's skills. Looking on is the long-suffering head of CONTROL, who is addressed simply as "Chief."

The nemesis of CONTROL is KAOS, described as "an international organization of evil." KAOS was supposedly formed in Bucharest, Romania, in 1904.[6] Neither CONTROL nor KAOS is actually an acronym. Many actors appeared as KAOS agents, including Tom Bosley, John Byner, Victor French, Alice Ghostly, Ted Knight, Pat Paulsen, Tom Poston, Robert Middleton, Barry Newman, Julie Newmar, Vincent Price, William Schallert (who also had a recurring role as The Admiral, the first Chief of Control), Larry Storch. King Moody (originally as a generic KAOS killer) as the dim-witted but burly Shtarker, and Bernie Kopell as Conrad Siegfried, his superior, became the most often-seen recurring KAOS agents, both supposedly of German descent.

The enemies, world-takeover plots and gadgets seen in Get Smart parodied the James Bond movies. "Do what they did except just stretch it half an inch," Mel Brooks said of the methods of this TV series.[7]

Devices such as a shoe phone, The Cone Of Silence and inner apartment booby traps were a regular part of most episodes. (See also: Gadgets section)

Max and 99 married in season four. They had twins in season five. Agent 99 became the first woman on a hit sitcom to keep her job after marriage and motherhood. Even "99's mother" never referred to her daughter by name. Her name wasn't even mentioned in her wedding.



The show was inspired by the success of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Talent Associates commissioned Mel Brooks and Buck Henry to write a script about a bungling James Bond-like hero.[8] Brooks and Henry took the show in a different direction. Brooks described the premise for the show they created in an October 1965 Time magazine article:

"I was sick of looking at all those nice sensible situation comedies. They were such distortions of life. If a maid ever took over my house like Hazel, I'd set her hair on fire. I wanted to do a crazy, unreal comic-strip kind of thing about something besides a family. No one had ever done a show about an idiot before. I decided to be the first."[8]

Brooks and Henry proposed the show to ABC, where network officials called their show "un-American" and demanded a "lovable dog to give the show more heart" and scenes showing Maxwell Smart's mother.[8] Brooks strongly objected to their latter suggestion:

"They wanted to put a print housecoat on the show. Max was to come home to his mother and explain everything. I hate mothers on shows. Max has no mother. He never had one."[8]

Although the cast and crew—especially Adams—contributed joke and gadget ideas, dialogue was rarely ad-libbed. An exception is the third season episode, "The Little Black Book." Don Rickles encouraged Adams to misbehave, and ad-libbed. The result was so successful that the single episode was turned into a two-part episode.[9]

Production personnel

Brooks had little involvement with the series after the pilot, but Buck Henry served as story editor through 1967.[10] The crew of the show included:

  • Leonard B. Stern – executive producer for the entire run of the show
  • Irving Szathmary – music and theme composer and conductor for the entire run of the show
  • Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso – frequent writers
  • Gary Nelson – director of the most episodes
  • Bruce Bilson – director of the second most episodes
  • Allan Burns and Chris Hayward – frequent writers and producers
  • Arne Sultan – frequent writer and producer
  • Stan Burns and Mike Marmer – frequent writers
  • Lloyd Turner and Whitey Mitchell – frequent writers and producers of season 5
  • Don Adams – director of 13 episodes and writer of two episodes
  • James Komack – writer and director
  • Reza Badiyi – occasional director
  • Richard Donner – occasional director
  • David Davis – associate producer



Don Adams, as Maxwell Smart, holding the famous shoe phone.

CONTROL is a spy agency which Harold Harmon Hargrade, who was an officer in the United States Navy's N-2 (Intelligence) Branch for his entire career, founded and became the first Chief of just after the turn of the twentieth century. "CONTROL" is not an acronym.

Maxwell Smart, code number Agent 86, D.O.B. 1930 (Don Adams) is the central character. Despite being a top secret government agent, he is absurdly clumsy, very naive and has occasional lapses of attention. Due to his frequent verbal gaffes and physical miscues, most of the people Smart encounters believe he is grossly incompetent. Despite these faults, Smart is also resourceful, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, a proficient marksman, and incredibly lucky. These assets have led to him having a phenomenal record of success in times of crisis which means his only punishment in CONTROL for his mistakes is that he is the only agent without three weeks annual vacation time. Smart uses multiple cover identities, but the one used most often is as a greeting card salesman/executive. Owing to multiple assassination attempts, he tells his landlord he is in the insurance business, and on one occasion, that he works for the Internal Revenue Service. Agent 86 is known for his use of the shoe phone, a secret communication device. Adams appeared in every episode, though only briefly in the episode "Ice Station Siegfried" (due to Don Adams' objections to the script). Smart served in the US Army during the Korean War and is an ensign in the US Navy Reserve.

In 1999 TV Guide ranked Maxwell Smart number 19 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.[11]

Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) is the tall, beautiful female agent whose appearance is useful in undercover operations. Generally, Agent 99 is much more competent than Smart, but Smart saves her life in several episodes. In "Snoopy Smart vs the Red Baron" is the introduction of 99's mother (Jane Dulo), who is thoroughly convinced by her daughter and Smart's cover stories that not even seeing them in combat while a prisoner of KAOS convinces her otherwise; it is hinted that 99's father was also a spy. Creator Buck Henry pointed out to actress Barbara Feldon on the DVD commentary for Season 3 that when he tried to add funny lines for Agent 99, "They didn't want you to be 'joke funny.' They wanted you to be glamorous and interesting."[12] Her name was intentionally never revealed.[5] She appeared in all but seven episodes. She can typically be seen slouching, leaning, or sitting in scenes with Adams owing to the fact that she was slightly taller (5'9" or 1.75m) than Adams (5'8.5" or 1.74 m), and that Adams was sensitive to the height difference.[citation needed]

The Chief (Edward Platt) is the head of CONTROL. Although sarcastic and grouchy, the Chief is intelligent, serious, and sensible. He began his career at CONTROL as "Agent Q." He is supportive of Agents 86 and 99, but he is frustrated with Smart for his frequent failures and foul-ups. As revealed in the season-one episode "The Day Smart Turned Chicken," his first name is Thaddeus, but it is rarely used. His cover identity (used primarily with 99's mom) is "Harold Clark." Another time, when KAOS arranges for the Chief to be recalled to active duty in the US Navy (as a common seaman with Smart as his commanding officer), his official name is John Doe.

Hymie the Robot (Richard "Dick" Gautier) is a humanoid robot built by Dr. Ratton to serve KAOS, but in his first mission, Smart manages to turn him to the side of CONTROL. Hymie has numerous superhuman abilities, such as being physically stronger and faster than any human and being able to swallow poisons and register their name, type, and quantity, though his design does not include superhuman mental processing, most significantly characterized by an overly literal interpretation of commands. (For example, when Smart tells Hymie to "get a hold of yourself," he grasps each arm with the other.) Hymie also has emotions and is "programmed for neatness."

Agent 8 (Burt Mustin) is a retired Control Agent, who appeared in episode three.

Agent 13 (Dave Ketchum) is an agent who is usually stationed inside unlikely, or unlucky places, such as a cigarette machine, washing machines, lockers, trash cans, or fire hydrants. He tends to resent his assignments. Agent 13 featured in several season-two episodes. (Agent 13—played by a different actor—also appears in The Nude Bomb, and in the 2008 film—played by Bill Murray—forced to spend his day disguised as a tree.)

Agent 44 (Victor French) is Agent 13's predecessor and is also stationed in tight corners. Agent 44 sometimes falls into bouts of self-pity and complaining, and he would sometimes try to keep Max chatting for the company. Agent 44 appeared in several episodes in the second half of the season one. In the final season, there was a new Agent 44, (played by Al Molinaro) in two episodes. (Prior to starting as 44, Victor French had a brief guest role in the season-one episode "Too Many Chiefs" as Smart's Mutual Insurance agent.) In the 2008 film, his trait of self-pity and attempts at small talk are incorporated into Agent 13, hiding in a tree.

Agent Larabee (Robert Karvelas) is the Chief's slow-witted assistant. In a season five episode, it is reported that if anything happens to Smart, Larabee will take his place. Given Larabee's stupidity, that is partly why the Chief does not dismiss Smart.[citation needed] (Actor Robert Karvelas was Don Adams's cousin. Larabee also appears in The Nude Bomb.)

Admiral Harold Harmon Hargrade or The Admiral (William Schallert) is the former chief. He founded CONTROL as a spy agency just after the turn of the 20th century. The admiral has a poor memory, believing the current US President is still Herbert Hoover. As a 91-year-old, he has bad balance and often falls over.

Charlie Watkins or Agent 38 (Angelique Pettyjohn) is an undercover male agent and master of disguise. Agent 38 appears as a scantily clad glamorous woman in two season 2 episodes. He also appears once in season 4 as a different actress (Karen Authur). He can also switch to a feminine voice as part of the disguise.

Fang or Agent K-13 is a poorly trained CONTROL dog, who is seen during seasons one and two. He had a brief role in the 2008 film, being a pet-store dog that Max was in the habit of complaining to. At the end of the film, 99 bought him as a pet for her and Max.

Carlson (Stacy Keach, Sr.) is CONTROL's gadget man during season two. While inspecting the gadgets, Max usually creates minor mayhem. Carlson followed several CONTROL scientists who had fulfilled the same function in season one. They were the similarly named Carleton (Frank DeVol)—who appeared in the pilot and one other episode, the egotistical Windish (Robert O. Cornthwaite), and Parker (Milton Selzer).

Dr. Steele (Ellen Weston) is a CONTROL scientist who makes three appearances in season three. Dr. Steele is an intelligent, extremely attractive woman whose cover is a chorus dancer at a high-class burlesque theatre. The entrance to her laboratory is through a large courier box sidestage. Dr Steele often performs complex scientific procedures while wearing her revealing performance costumes. She is often seen explaining her findings while warming up for her next dance, and then suddenly departing for her performance. Dr. Steele was replaced with the similar Dr. Simon (Ann Elder), who appeared in two episodes of season four, is mentioned once in season five.

Harry Hoo (Joey Forman) is a Hawaiian detective from Honolulu, who is depicted as a send-up of the fictional detective Charlie Chan. Hoo is not a member of CONTROL, but they work together on murder cases. Hoo's introduction usually creates confusion in the manner of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine. Hoo always analyzes a mystery by presenting "two possibilities," of which the latter (if not both) is absurd. Max likes to upstage Hoo by jumping in with "two possibilities" of his own, which are even crazier than Hoo's. Hoo responds with "Amazing!", spoken in a tone of disbelief rather than approval, but Max is oblivious to this.


The KAOS logo

KAOS is a (fictional) "international organization of evil" formed in Bucharest, Romania, in 1904; like "CONTROL," "KAOS" is not an acronym. In an episode of the series, after making a series of demands in a recording, the speaker mentions the demands are from "KAOS, a Delaware Corporation." When Smart asks the chief about this, he mentions they did it for tax reasons.

Mr. Big (Michael Dunn) is the presumed head of KAOS and a little person. He only appears in the black-and-white pilot episode, and is killed by his own doomsday death ray. A successor is chosen in another episode but is arrested by CONTROL. A few nameless KAOS chiefs appeared in subsequent episodes.

Konrad Siegfried (or simply Siegfried) (Bernie Kopell) is a recurring villain, and the Vice President in charge of Public Relations and Terror at KAOS.[13] Siegfried is Maxwell Smart's "opposite number" and nemesis, even though the two characters share similar traits and often speak fondly of one another—even in the midst of attempting to assassinate each other. Speaking English with an exaggerated German accent, the gray-haired, mustachioed, and dueling-scarred Siegfried's catchphrase is, "Zis is KAOS! Ve don't [some action] here!" (In the 2008 film Get Smart, Kopell had a cameo driving one of the three classic vehicles [an Opel] used in the original show.)

Shtarker (King Moody) is Siegfried's chief henchman. Shtarker is an overzealous lackey whose most notable trait is his abrupt personality change from sadistic villain to presumptuous child, interrupting conversations to helpfully elaborate, using silly vocal noises to imitate things such as engines or guns. This prompts Siegfried to utter his catch phrase, "Shtarker...Nein! Zis is KAOS! Ve don't [weakly imitates Shtarker's sound effect] here!" (In the DVD commentary for the first episode in which the character appears, in season two, Bernie Kopell notes that "shtark" is a real Yiddish word meaning a person of great strength.)

The Claw (Leonard Strong) is a Dr. Julius No-type Asian villain representing the east-Asian branch of KAOS. In place of the Claw's left hand is a powerful mechanical prosthesis with immobile fingers and an occasional attachment, hence his name. Sometimes the Claw would accidentally nab something with it, creating confusion. He is unable to pronounce the letter L and mispronounces his name as "Craw," with Smart repeatedly referring to him as "The Craw," much to his annoyance. Like Siegfried, he has a huge, dimwitted assistant, named Bobo. (The Claw presumably inspired the villain Dr. Claw in the animated cartoon Inspector Gadget, the voice of whose title character Don Adams provided.)

Natz (Ted de Corsia) is a villain who appears in some of the Hymie episodes, including the one in which Hymie is stolen from KAOS. He also appeared in the episode where a robot called 'Groppo' is built to kill Hymie.

Simon the Likeable (Jack Gilford), who appeared in "And Baby Makes 4" Parts 1 & 2 is a KAOS killer whose nice face mesmerizes everyone into liking him—except 99's mother (played by Jane Dulo), who knocks him out with a right cross, because Simon resembles her late, much-hated, and unlamented husband. (99's father never appeared in any episode.)

Production notes


A recurring gag was Smart's phone built into his shoe (an idea from Brooks). To use or answer his shoe phone, he had to take off his shoe. The shoe converted into a gun by dialing the number 117. Telephones were concealed in over 50 other objects including a necktie, comb, watch, clock, handkerchief, magazine, a garden hose, a car cigarette lighter (the cigarette lighter was hidden in the car phone), belt, wallet, a bottle of perfume, (to use it you had to push down on the top, and Max complained of smelling like a woman) the steering wheel of a car (where Max complained that if he made a right turn, he dialed the operator), a painting of a telephone, the headboard of his bed, a sandwich, and of all places, as a tiny phone inside of another full-sized working phone! Smart's shoes sometimes contained other devices. Housed in his heels were an explosive pellet, a smoke bomb, and a suicide pill (but he doesn't know how to get the enemy to take it).

Other gadgets included a bullet-proof invisible wall in Smart's apartment that lowered from the ceiling, a camera hidden in a bowl of soup that took a picture (with a conspicuous flash) of the person eating the soup with each spoonful, and a powerful miniature laser weapon in the button of a sports jacket (the "laser blazer").

On February 17, 2002, the prop shoe phone used by agent Maxwell Smart was included in a display entitled "Spies: Secrets from the CIA, KGB, and Hollywood," a collection of real and fictional spy gear that exhibited at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Flinders University in South Australia are currently researching medical applications for 'Shoe Phone' technology after being inspired by the show.[14]

Another of the show's recurring gags was the "Cone of Silence," an idea from Henry, though actually preceded by the syndicated TV show Science Fiction Theatre in an episode titled "Barrier of Silence" written by Lou Huston and first airing September 3, 1955, 10 years ahead of the NBC comedy.[15] Smart would pedantically insist on following CONTROL's security protocols; when in the Chief's office he would insist on speaking under the Cone of Silence-—two transparent plastic hemispheres which were electrically lowered on top of Smart and the Chief—which invariably malfunctioned, requiring the characters to shout loudly to even have a chance of being understood by each other. Bystanders in the room could often hear them better, and sometimes relayed messages back and forth.

Get Smart cars

The car Smart is seen driving most frequently in the show for seasons 1-4 is a red 1965 Sunbeam Tiger two seat roadster.

Due to the various custom features of this car, like the machine gun and ejection seat, the Sunbeam Alpine was the picture car actually used by customizer Gene Winfield, because a 4 cylinder afforded more room under the hood than the V8 Tiger.[16][17] AMT, Winfield's employer, made a model kit of the Tiger, complete with hidden weapons, it is the only kit of the Tiger and has been reissued multiple times as a stock Tiger. The picture car cannot be located, but the personal car of Don Adams (also a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger) was restored in 2005 and still exists [18] and the Alpine/Tiger was also recreated, in 2002.[19]

In the black & white pilot episode (only), Smart drives a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet.[20]

In the opening credits (only) of seasons three and four, Smart drives a light blue Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, as Volkswagen became a sponsor of the show.[5]

In season four (1968–1969), Adams uses a yellow Citroën 2CV in the wedding episode "With Love and Twitches" (Episode 4.09), and a blue 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 convertible with a tan interior and four seats (as required by the plot) in the episodes "A Tale of Two Tails" (Episode 4.07) and "The Laser Blazer" (Episode 4.10).

In season five (1969–1970), Buick became a show sponsor,[5] so the Tiger was replaced with a gold 1969 Opel GT, which appears in every episode.

In the short-lived 1995 TV series, 'Smart' is trying to sell the Karmann Ghia through the classified ads.

In Get Smart, Again!, Smart is seen driving a red 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce.

The Sunbeam Tiger, the Karmann Ghia, and the Opel GT make brief appearances in the 2008 film. Both are first seen in the CONTROL Museum, along with the original shoe phone, which 'Smart' also briefly uses.

Spies at work

CONTROL and KAOS did not seem to be above everyday bureaucracy and business quirks. KAOS is a Delaware corporation for tax purposes. CONTROL's union is the Guild of Surviving Control Agents, and Max is their negotiator; when a captured KAOS agent tells him about their survivors' benefits, the Chief is within earshot, and Max promptly uses the information for his labor talks.

In one episode, where Max infiltrates a KAOS-run garden shop, Max refuses to arrest the manager until after 5 p.m., so he can collect a full day's pay. The Chief threatens to fire him, but Max is not afraid; according to CONTROL's seniority policy, "If I get fired from CONTROL, Larrabee moves up!" The Chief gives in and lets Max stay on the job, rather than risk having the (even more) inept Larrabee take Max's place.

In another episode, Siegfried and Max casually discuss the various flavors of cyanide pills they have been issued. It is raspberry that month at CONTROL, and Max offers Siegfried a taste. In the same episode, Max and Siegfried have a show and tell of various weapons they have; Max boasts of having a deadly non-regulation pistol from a Chicago Mail Order House. (The prop used is actually an 1893 Borchardt C-93 pistol.)

Cover names were common. In "The Man Called Smart, Part 1," a phone call is announced for an alias, and Max identifies himself as the person in question. Second and third calls come in, each with its own alias, the last of which is his own real name of Maxwell Smart, which he initially does not answer. Smart tells the skeptical gallery owner that those are his names as well, making it obvious to any spy that he is taking calls from fellow agents and informants. Smart then makes himself even more visible by tangling the handset cords of the three phones.

CONTROL has a policy of burning pertinent documents after cases are closed; the reasons were detailed in their Rules and Regulations book, but nobody can read them, since they burned the only copy.

In the interest of company morale, both CONTROL and KAOS have their own bowling teams. In one episode where Smart takes over as Chief, it is noted in a conversation between Smart and Larabee that CONTROL has a delicatessen.

Guest stars

Get Smart used several familiar character actors and celebrities, and some future stars, in guest roles, including:

Both Bill Dana and Jonathan Harris, who Adams appeared with on The Bill Dana Show, also appeared, as did Adams's father, William Yarmy, brother, Dick Yarmy, and daughter, Caroline Adams.

The series featured several cameo appearances by famous actors and comedians, sometimes uncredited and often comedian friends of Adams. Johnny Carson appeared, credited as "special guest conductor," in "Aboard the Orient Express." Carson returned for an uncredited cameo as a royal footman in the third season episode "The King Lives?" Other performers to make cameo appearances included Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Ernest Borgnine, Wally Cox, Robert Culp (as a waiter in an episode sending up Culp's I Spy), Phyllis Diller, Buddy Hackett, Bob Hope, and Martin Landau.

Emmy awards

Year Category Recipient
1967 Outstanding Continued Performance By An Actor In a Comedy Don Adams
1967 Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy Buck Henry, Leonard Stern
1968 Outstanding Comedy Series Burt Nodella, producer
1968 Outstanding Continued Performance By An Actor In a Comedy Don Adams
1968 Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Comedy Bruce Bilson
1969 Outstanding Comedy Series Burt Nodella
1969 Outstanding Continued Performance By An Actor In a Comedy Don Adams

Adaptations in various media

Four movies were produced years after the end of the NBC/CBS run of the TV series:

  • The theatrically released The Nude Bomb (1980) (also known as The Return of Maxwell Smart or Maxwell Smart and the Nude Bomb)—which was (ironically) a box-office bomb
  • The made-for-TV Get Smart, Again! (1989) on ABC
  • The 2008 film Get Smart starring Steve Carell, alongside Anne Hathaway, from Warner Brothers Pictures
  • A direct-to-DVD spin-off of the 2008 film, titled "Get Smart's" Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control

Get Smart, Again! eventually prompted the development of a short-lived 1995 weekly series on FOX, also titled Get Smart, with Adams and Feldon reprising their characters, with Maxwell Smart now being the Chief of CONTROL, as their bungling son, Zach (Andy Dick), becomes CONTROL's star agent. A late episode of the 1995 series shows that just as Siegfried is leaving a room, Maxwell Smart accidentally activates an atomic bomb just before the end of the show. (The teaser for the episode shows an atomic bomb going off.) This ending is similar to a device used by the Get Smart-inspired series Sledge Hammer! at the end of its first season. Hopes for the series were not high, as Andy Dick had already moved on to NewsRadio, which premiered weeks later in 1995.

With the revival series on FOX, Get Smart became the first television franchise to air new episodes on each of the aforementioned current four major American television networks, although several TV shows in the 1940s and 1950s aired on NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont. The different versions of Get Smart did not all feature the original lead cast.

The "Get Smart" episode "The Reluctant Redhead" connects "Get Smart" to "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." by having Gruvnik, the Spoiler, being a THRUSH agent now working for KAOS.

Get Smart was parodied on a sketch in the Mexican comedy show De Nuez en Cuando called ["Super Agente 3.1486"],[21] making fun of the Spanish title of the series (Super Agente 86) and the way the series is dubbed.

An early MadTV sketch titled "Get Smarty" placed the Maxwell Smart character in situations from the film Get Shorty.

An episode of F Troop called "Spy, Counterspy, Counter-counterspy" featured Pat Harrington Jr. imitating Don Adams as secret agent "B. Wise."

The Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Lisa vs. The Third Grade" parodies the opening of Get Smart in the couch gag. Homer goes through many futuristic doors and passageways until he reaches the phone booth, falls through the floor, and lands on the couch—with the rest of the family already seated.

In the cartoon The X's one episode with Mr. X was a parody of both Get Smart, in that his shoe was a phone, and Mission Impossible, in that his shoe blew up after delivering a message. Similarly, an episode of Green Acres spoofed Get Smart with a shoe phone and Mission Impossible with a self-destructing note.

Adams in similar roles

In the 1960s, Adams had a supporting role on the sitcom The Bill Dana Show (1963–1965) as the hopelessly inept hotel detective Byron Glick. His speech mannerisms, catch phrases ("Would you believe...?"), and other comedy bits were adapted for his "Maxwell Smart" role on Get Smart.

When WCGV/Milwaukee, Wisconsin signed on the air in 1980, Adams did in-house promos as Agent 86 to let viewers know when the reruns of Get Smart aired on the station by using his shoephone.

In one of Adams' five appearances as a guest passenger on the series The Love Boat, his character, even when he thought he had been shot, makes no attempt to visit the ship's doctor. The role of the doctor on Love Boat was played by Bernie Kopell, who played Sigfried on Get Smart.

In 1982, Adams starred in a series of local commercials for New York City electronics chain Savemart as Maxwell Smart. The slogan was "Get Smart. Get SaveMart Smart."[22] In addition, Adams starred in a series of commercials for White Castle in 1992, paying homage to his Get Smart character with his catch phrase "Would you believe...?"[23]

In the 1980s, Adams provided the (similar) voice of a bungling cyborg secret agent in the animated series Inspector Gadget. This later became a feature film starring Matthew Broderick in the title role of Inspector John Brown Gadget (in which Adams had a cameo), and its prequel series Gadget Boy and Heather. Neither were directly related to Get Smart.

In the late 1980s Adams portrayed Smart in a series of TV commercials for Toyota New Zealand, for the 1990 model Toyota Starlet. While it is customary for the actor to go to the foreign location for shooting, Adams's apparent intense dislike of long-distance flying meant that the New Zealand specification car had to be shipped to the US for filming. He also appeared in another series of Canadian commercials in the late 1990s for a dial-around long distance carrier.

In the movie Back to the Beach (1987), Adams played the Harbor Master, who used several of Maxwell Smart's catch phrases (including an exchange in which Frankie Avalon's character did a vague impression of Siegfried).

Adams played Smart in a 1989 TV commercial for Kmart. He was seen talking on his trademark shoe phone, telling the Chief about the great selection of electronics available at Kmart. An exact replica of himself approaches him, and Smart says, "Don't tell me you're a double agent." (This was a reference to a running gag on the original series, in which Max detected some sort of setback or danger, and would say to 99, "Don't tell me..." and then 99 replied by stating a confirmation of whatever Max was afraid to hear, to which Max would always respond, "I asked you not to tell me that!")

Books and comics

A series of novels based on characters and dialog of the series were written by William Johnston and published by Tempo Books in the late 1960s. Dell Comics published a comic book for eight issues during 1966 and 1967, drawn in part by Steve Ditko.

Proposed movie

The 1966 Batman movie, made during that TV show's original run, was hugely successful and prompted other television shows to propose similar films in order to cash in on the phenomenon. The only one completed was Munster Go Home (1966), which was a huge box office flop, causing the cancellation of other projects, including the Get Smart movie. The script for that movie was turned into the three-part episode, "A Man Called Smart," airing April 8, 15, and 22, 1967.[citation needed]


In 1967, Christopher Sergel adapted a play Get Smart based on Brooks's and Henry's pilot episode.[24]

2008 Get Smart movie

A big-screen version of Get Smart was released in 2008, directed by Peter Segal and starring Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart (Agent 86), Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, Alan Arkin as The Chief (his first name, Thaddeus, is never mentioned in the film), Terence Stamp as Ludwig Van Siegfried, Masi Oka as Bruce, and Dwayne Johnson as new character Agent 23. Bernie Kopell, Konrad Siegfried from the television show, makes a cameo appearance, Bill Murray makes an uncredited appearance as Agent 13, and James Caan, who guest-starred in the original series, also appears, but playing the President. The film includes a dedication to Adams and Platt, who had died in 2005 and 1974 respectively; Feldon reportedly declined an invitation to appear.[citation needed]

In its opening weekend, Get Smart topped the box office with $39.2 Million.[25]

Shooting began March 2007 and the film was released June 20, 2008. A made-for-DVD spin-off revolving around minor characters, Bruce and Lloyd, the masterminds behind the high-tech gadgets that are often used by Smart, was released on July 1, 2008 as "Get Smart's" Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control.[26]

On October 7, 2008, it was reported that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, Mosaic Media Group are producing a sequel. Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway are set to return, but the status of other cast members has not yet been announced.[27][28]

DVD releases and rights

All five seasons are available as box sets in region 1 (USA, Canada, and others) and Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, and others). The region 1 discs are published by HBO Home Video, and region 4 by Time Life Video. Each region 1 box contains 4 discs, while region 4 editions have a 5th disc with bonus material. Region 4 editions are also available as individual discs with four to five episodes per disc. The season 1 set was released in both regions in 2008. Seasons 2 and 3 box sets were released in region 4 on July 23, 2008.[29] Seasons 4 and 5 were released in region 4 on November 5, 2008.[30] Seasons 2, 3, 4 and 5 in region 1 were released throughout 2009.

Another box set of the complete series is available in both regions, first published in 2006 by Time Life Video. In 2009 the region 1 edition was replaced by an HBO edition, and became more widely available. All editions contain a 5th disc for each season, with bonus material. The set has 25 discs altogether.

The first four seasons were produced for NBC by Talent Associates. When it moved to CBS at the start of season five, it became an in-house production, with Talent Associates as silent partner. The series was sold to NBC Films for syndication.

Over decades, US distribution has changed from National Telefilm Associates to Republic Pictures, to Worldvision Enterprises, to Paramount Domestic Television, to CBS Paramount Domestic Television, to the current distributor, CBS Television Distribution. For decades, the syndication rights of all but a handful of the fifth season episodes were encumbered with restrictions and reporting requirements;[specify] as a result, most of that season was rarely seen in syndication (though they were shown with more regularity on Nick at Nite and TV Land). The distribution changes (including the loosening of restrictions on the fifth season) were the result of corporate changes, especially the 2006 split of Viacom (owners of Paramount Pictures) into two companies.

HBO currently owns the copyrights to the series itself, due to Time-Life Films' 1977 acquisition of Talent Associates. Home videos are distributed by HBO Home Video, For a time the DVD release was only available through Time-Life (a former Time Warner division). Warner Bros. Television owns international distribution rights.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Get Smart Buck Henry Season 1 commentary
  3. ^ "Q&A with Mel Brooks". Los Angeles Times. May 19, 2008.,0,4126646.story. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ Tomashoff, Craig. "Credits Check" TV Guide, October 18, 2010, Pages 16-17
  5. ^ a b c d Buck Henry and Barbara Feldon, Season 3 DVD commentary
  6. ^ Get Smart episode "Hoo Done It" (season 2)
  7. ^ "How Maxwell Smart and His Shoe-Phone Changed TV –". [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d "Smart Money". Time. October 15, 1965.,8816,834525,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  9. ^ Don Rickles, Get Smart Series 3 DVD commentary
  10. ^ IMDb
  11. ^ TV Guide Guide to TV. Barnes and Noble. 2003. pp. 651. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1. 
  12. ^ Buck Henry, Season 3 DVD commentary
  13. ^ Season 3, Episode 6
  14. ^ ABC News Adelaide -See this report
  15. ^ "Cone of Silence". Technovelgy. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Grant, David (2008). The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield. Motorbooks. ISBN 978-0-7803-2778-4. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ YouTube - Broadcast Yourself
  22. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. "Don Adams Gets Smart For Savemart Spots"The New York Times January 20, 1982
  23. ^ Don Adams (I) – Biography
  24. ^ Get Smart By Mel Brooks, Christopher Sergel, Buck Henry ISBN 0871292602, 9780871292605
  25. ^ Get Smart Tops the Box Office In Opening Weekend (June 22, 2008)
  26. ^ "Get Smart: DVD Sequel to Star Heroes' Oka". TV Series Finale. April 23, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  27. ^ Get Smart-2 October 6th, 2008 by Peter Sciretta – /Film
  28. ^ "Get Smart: Steve Carell to Return as Agent 86 in Movie Sequel". Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  29. ^ EzyDVD – Coming Soon
  30. ^ EzyDVD - Coming Soon

External links

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