TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Don Adams Passing; "Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86"

Don Adams Passing; "Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86"
27 Sep 2005 07:22:18 -0700

Actor Don Adams passed away at age 82. He was most famous for his role
of a bungling secret agent on the TV show "Get Smart".

The show's basic premise was a satire of the many secret agent movies
and TV shows popular at the time. It was a very funny, well made
show, poking fun at lots of aspects of everyday life, not just the spy
business. For example, they had a scene where the spies from opposing
sides went on strike and were comparing fringe benefits.

Max had a bevy of lines that became part of the national lexicon, just
as Seinfeld's did more recently. These included "Sorry about that
chief", "Would you believe...", "facing constant danger...and loving

As readers of this newsgroup know, the show was heavy into telephone
and telephone company satire. Max had his famous shoe phone. We take
our tiny cell phones for granted these days, but in the 1960s it was
pretty impressive. Max once refused to give his shoephone to the
enemy because "I still have 13 message units left!". He often argued
with telephone operators: "Operator, I'm going to give you a top
secret number, you are to forget the minute you connect me! \ Oh, you
mean Control".

Max's lab always came up with imaginative secret agent devices, which
Max always managed to set off at the wrong time.

Bernie Koppel, who played his enemy Siegfried, later played the doctor
on Love Boat. When greeting Smart, he always clicked his heels
together in the German style salute. Smart responded in kind, and
always you heard jangle of him hurting his shoe phone.

TV Land used to run reruns of the show, perhaps in honor of Adams'
memory it will do so again. I realize some of the humor and certainly
the technology will be dated for our younger readers, but it is
certainly worth a look.

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