Hogan's Heroes

Hogan's Heroes

1965 - United States

Based on the more serious Billy Wilder film Stalag 17, Hogans Heroes featured the goings on at a prisoner-of-war camp run by the inept Colonel "no one ever escapes from Stalag 13" Klink (Werner Klemperer) and his overweight, chocolate loving Sgt Hans "I know nothing" Schultz (John Banner). But in reality it was the prisoners, led by the dashing Colonel Robert Hogan (Bob Crane), who really ran things here, ably supported by French chef Louis LeBeau (Robert Clary, who had actually been imprisoned by the German's as a child), Sgt Carter (Larry Hovis), Corporal Andrew Klinchoe (Ivan Dixon), and Cockney inmate Corporal Peter Newkirk (Richard Dawson, who went on to host the popular US game show Family Feud), Hogan used the camp as a base for resistance activities that included passing on intelligence information, the printing of counterfeit money and helping others to escape. 

The series actually courted a lot of criticism for it's flippant portrayal of the war from people who had been forced to fight between 1939 and 1945-for them 20 years passage of time wasn't long enough to begin to treat such a serious matter with such disregard and frivolity, and making the German's the butt of the joke by having them appear as buffoons trivialized the evil of the Nazis and the war. However, like the British sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo many years later, which was set in occupied France, the audience made the series a huge hit. Hogan's Heroes ran for six years until 1971 but made front-page news again in 1978, when its leading actor was found beaten to death in his Arizona home.

Published on December 21st, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

F Troop

A broadly played slapstick comedy, F Troop was set in the post-Civil War era at a Union camp known as Fort Courage (somewhere west of the Missouri River).

Also released in 1965

Police Squad

A nutty satire of police dramas from the creators of the `Airplane!' films, with a nonstop barrage of sight gags, puns and silly jokes.

Also tagged Us Comedy

Court Martial

Court Martial was a British made production co-funded by ITC (in the UK) and Roncom Productions (in the USA) which aired on ITV in 1965 and on ABC in 1966.

Also released in 1965

The Monkees

The day to day life of four madcap pop group members with songs by (amongst others) Neil Diamond.

Also tagged Us Comedy

M*A*S*H

Doctors cope with casualties and the horrors of war in Korea by employing anarchic behaviour at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

Also tagged Wartime Comedy

The FBI

Allegedly based on the case-files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The F.B.I. was endorsed by none other than the Bureau's real-life chief of operations, J. Edgar Hoover.

Also released in 1965