Number one on the list of my all-time favorite sitcoms is Hogan’s Heroes. The comedic brilliance of the writing and the superb acting by Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Bob Crane, Richard Dawson and the others is what recommends this series. I’ve watched it all on DVD and can attest to the fact that in six seasons and one hundred sixty-eight episodes the series never grows stale.
The prisoners of Stalag 13, led by Col. Hogan (Crane), live the good life; they enjoy such luxuries as the finest French cuisine and trips to the local beer hall to fraternize with the frauleins, and then get to do some super cool secret spy stuff like blow up bridges, smuggle prisoners, and steal secret plans for the latest Nazi super weapon. All this happens right under the noses of bumbling Col. Klink (Klemperer) and Sgt. Schultz (Banner); Klink is easily manipulated due to his inexplicable vanity, Schultz on the other hand just looks the other way, one might say he wants to “know nothing” about the prisoner’s clandestine activities.
In all, the program is well worth taking a look at; the good news is that Hogan’s Heroes plays Monday through Thursday at 9:00 PM on Me TV (check your channel guide), there are also some full episodes on YouTube. Oh, and if you noticed the video above lacks color, never fear, only the pilot (which shows the tunnel system below the camp much more extensively than any other episode) was shot that way, a common practice for television pilots of that era.
- John Morton