A prisoner of war camp is not the normal setting for a comedy. Likewise, war is not a typical backdrop for a sitcom. "Hogan's Heroes" was, in that regard, a trendsetter. Few comedies ever tried to be funny during war. Most failed (remember "Rollout"?). The two most notable exceptions were "M*A*S*H" and "Hogan's Heroes". What made both of these shows successful was the fact that they knew when to run the laugh track -- and when NOT to.
“Hogan’s Heroes” was not without controversy. For instance, the producers of the William Holden movie "Stalag 17" considered suing the creators of "Hogan", alleging that the plot for the series was lifted from the movie. More troubling, however, was some people thought (and still think) that the show was in a CONCENTRATION camp, NOT a P.O.W. camp. There is a vast difference between the two. Prisoners of war were covered by the Geneva Convention and no slaughter of the prisoners occurred, unlike what happened in the concentration camps. The show definitely did NOT make fun of the atrocities of World War II. In fact, Robert Clary (LeBeau) was a concentration camp survivor. Other cast members (including Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin, and Howard Caine) were Jewish; and, Klemperer, Askin, and John Banner (Schultz) had to flee when the Nazi invasions began.
Colonel Robert Hogan and his men were not prisoners of war as the Germans thought. They were ASSIGNED to Stalag 13 as an espionage and sabotage unit, working behind enemy lines. Their base of operation was a prisoner of war camp, beneath which they had more tunnels than a gopher convention. Colonel Wilhelm Klink, a 20-year colonel (who spent longer in rank than any colonel in the German army), ran the camp. His problem was that he was so vain and hungry for promotion that a simple stoke of his ego blinded him to what was happening in the camp. The guard, Sergeant Schultz, would “see nothing” after a candy bar was waved in his face.
The plots, in general, were predictable. Some (such as "Flight of the Valkyrie") were almost too unbelievable and therefore not enjoyable. Others, however, showed considerable imagination. "Will the Real Adolf Please Stand Up?", for instance, featured Carter impersonating Hitler in order to get information out of the camp; or, "Hogan's Double Life," where Hogan shows up at a party attended by a Gestapo officer who suspects him in order to make the man think there is a man in the German army who looks just like him. Even though the formula was the same (they had to outwit the Germans in order to accomplish their assignment), there was enough variety and comedy to keep the show enjoyable.
Some of the best moments of the series were saved for the recurring characters. At the top of the list was Howard Caine's fabulous portrayal of Major Hochstetter. He stormed in like a black tornado, threatening people with torture left and right, and shouting his trademark "WHO IS THIS MAN????" every time Hogan made a comment. (Interestingly, Caine's first appearance on "Hogan" was NOT as Major Hochstetter but as Major Keitel in "Happy Birthday, Adolf.")
The viewer knew Hogan was going to win every time. Part of the fun of watching the show was to see how they were going to defeat the Germans. It was predictable, but still enjoyable.
It was a very bold move (in light of the build-up in Vietnam that began as the series started) to set a comedy in the midst of a war and blend comedy with drama. Without “Hogan’s Heroes” paving the way for seriocomic situations, we might never have enjoyed the comedy-dramas (especially “M*A*S*H”) that came after it.
Brenda Scott Royce wrote an excellent, detailed book about the show ("Hogan's Heroes: Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13") that is recommended reading for any fan of the show.
Its amazing a series like this ever made it off the drawing boards. It was funny as long as you totally disconnected what you knew about the real Nazis.
The series just sort of ended - no VON RYAN'S EXPRESS-like ending where Hogan is gunned down on the railroad tracks by Sargeant Shultz who finally turned into a German War Hero while the rest of the men escape.
In real life Colonel Hogan would have ended up strung up along with his friends at the gallows in the center of the camp.
Its sort of like Surf Nazis Must Die---- yeah, thats the ticket.
I'm serious. It's hilarious. Its like MASH except funnier and during WW2. Schultz is a bigger oaf than Homer Simpson. Hogan is genius, and sabotages everything the Nazis throw at him. They make good shows like this anymore. These shows are classics, but most people hate them, and hate this show. But i like this show and if you don't; Screw You. It's about how funny war can be when you blow stuff up. Like missles, and tanks, and bridges and tanks. What a wonderful show. CBS has some of the best show. Some ridicoulosly funny like this one. For Example.
If you haven't watched in a long time, give it a shot. The Allied plans for sabotage under the direction of Col. Hogan are really well done. Until recently, I hadn't realized that Hogan and his crew were actually more or less on assignment from the Underground to remain POWs for the purposes of sabotage and supplying information. Watching with this in mind, it makes more sense as to why no one escaped when they actually all had the means and could. I understand the criticism from the standpoint of minimizing Nazi cruelty and actual prison camp conditions, but this criticism isn't applied to movies (like Stalag 17 or The Great Escape), so it shouldn't be applied here. Hogan and his team take their job and their mission seriously. In the long run, it is an enjoyable show with lots of familiar guest stars, Jews portraying the lead Nazi roles (so they must have been OK with it!) and even Gene Reynolds (one of the creators of "M*A*S*H") directing many episodes.
Only in America can you produce and air a program about a POW camp in WWII and make it a popular comedy! And, I love it! Unfortunately, the industry today is run by pre-pubic IDIOTS. Contestants on modern-day game shows (many called "reality" shows) are called "reality STARS". Come on...STARS are people like Bogart and Clooney, NOT Kim Kardasian or talentless Kate Gosselin.
We need to bring back MORE great shows (and writers) like we had in the 60's (and parts of the 70's and 80's). What's wrong with the networks these days? All they have to do is WATCH Hogan's Heroes" and the other popular shows from that era for a guide. And, what's going on with TV LAND? They seem to have forgotten what they're all about! Write them a letter and protest! And, if they don't go back to shows like Hogan's, call your cable company and tell them to DUMP TV LAND! The market is wide open for a NEW network to run the old programs that we like! Who's going to do it?
As we later came to find out, this show was based on ACTUAL events in WWII that were only declassified in the late 90's! Maybe Hollywood WAS emulating real life all the time!
My FAVORITE show from that era, I was old enough to see it in it
This is a great show that has held up over the last 35+ years. It is pretty classic comedy and appropriate for most every age. At times campy, at times innovative, this is one of my regular shows. I really appreciate the fact that HDNet did a remaster to High Definition as well.
This is what good TV looks like. This show has the ability to have key characters be naive and possibly quite stupid but do it in a way were it makes you love them even more for it. The character chemistry works so well with Holgan and his fellow prisoners operating a covert operation under their dim witted, ignorant but most of all lovable Sgt. Scholttz and theiroverconfident, stubborn, and foolish Kommandant, Colonel Klink. These characters are like a banana, a bowl of ice cream, and chocolate. All good alone but together it turns into an amazing concoction that is delicious, fabulous and hilarious! OK well a banana split might not be hilarious but its still the same idea. Bottom line is that this is a classic show and has all the elements of what makes a comedy great so if you feel like changing up your flavor of comedy put this in your queue and in 3 episodes you'll be hooked.
Hogan's Heroes is something totally unique, with a formula that can never be duplicated. A comedy set in a POW camp? It sounds completely nonsensical, and it is many times, but it also has some great acting and terrific verbal word play and characterizations. The characters are all believable, and a perfect cast was selected, but sometimes the scenarios are totally absurd. The Nazis are portrayed as stereotypically stupid, and never manage to catch on to the Allies wit. Although none of the events that take place on the television show could even have the remotest possibility of happening in reality, the show proves itself to be great, harmless fun.
Hogan's Heroes on DVD. Since many of my favorite shows are on hiatus, I have been enjoying watching classic TV shows on DVD. I am in the middle of watching the third season of Hogan's Heroes. I enjoy watching the show. One reason is that I am a big fan of WWII comedies. I collect movies like Operation Petticoat, Stalag 17, and Father Goose. I enjoy seeing Bugs Bunny, Popeye, and the Three Stooges fight the enemy. And I would like to add television shows like McHale's Navy, and Operation Petticoat to my collection.
Hogan’s Heroes has suffered much more criticism than most sitcoms from that time period (i.e. Gilligan's Island or Get Smart). I would like to address this criticism with the help of Hogan's Heroes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and the article
Hogan’s Heroes and the Holocaust: by Leslie Campbell Rampey, Ph.D.
Some people dismiss Hogan’s Heroes as stupid because the German characters spoke English to each other (This was addressed in the Pilot on the Season One DVD). When Martians speak English to each other, the audience suspends their disbelief, so why not with Germans. The bigger criticism was the depiction of the Germans as funny, incompetent or stupid, and trivializing the evil of the Nazis or the Holocaust. We can’t credibly judge a forty plus year old TV show by modern standards of good taste and political correctness. I also have never heard these critics mention the stars of the show or the characters they played.
Werner Klemperer (Colonel Wilhelm Klink) and his family fled Germany to Austria and then to the United States in order to escape the Nazi regime. He served during World War II in the U.S. Army. His TV Character, Col. Klink was a Luftwaffe officer (historically they were not Nazis). Klink was never mentioned as a formal member of the Nazi Party, and was portrayed as a bumbling bureaucrat, not as a bad guy. It is important to note that historically the Luftwaffe stalags provided the best treatment of Allied prisoners of war. Klemperer was once asked how could he play a Nazi His answer was, "I am an actor by profession. If you can play Richard the Third, you can play a Nazi (On the season two DVD Klemperer discussed this in an interview on The Pat Sajak Show)
John Banner (Sergeant Hans Schultz) was in a concentration camp, then fled to the United States. His TV Character, Sergeant Schultz, is a basically good-hearted man who would rather not report the prisoner’s activities, saying, "I see nothing! Nothing!" When Banner was asked how could he play a Nazi He answered "Who can play Nazis better than us Jews?"
Leon Askin (General Albert Burkhalter) was beaten by the Gestapo and sent to a French internment camp before escaping to the U.S. via France. When the U.S. entered WWII, Askin joined the U.S. Army. While serving he learned that his parents had been killed at an extermination camp. I believe that Col. Klink and Sergeant Schultz were ignorant to what was happening in the death camps, but Gen. Burkhalter and Major Hochstetter (Howard Caine) had to have known.
Robert Clary (Corporal Louis LeBeau) was taken from his Paris home at the age of 16 and spent the next three years in various concentration camps, finally being liberated from Buchenwald. It wasn’t until 1980 that Clary decided to speak of his experiences at the Simon Wiesenthal Center because of the increased incidences of anti-Semitism and the rise of the "revisionist" historians who deny that the Holocaust took place. Of course, the first thing they want to know is, "’How could you have done Hogan’s Heroes, which dealt with Nazism?’" Clary’s answer is that is, that he’s an actor who played a character who never existed in real life. Clary is careful, however, to make some additional distinctions. Despite the hardships he acknowledges that POWs experienced, "They were not killed, they were not sent to gas chambers".
These actors proved that comedy is truly tragedy plus time and their characters were more than just funny Nazis. Let’s not forget that the show has had a long life in syndication. Fans love the show, and like Star Trek, Hogan’s Heroes have spawned a peculiar literary genre known as fan fiction (Stories or sometimes whole novels produced by fans who borrow the characters, setting, and basic premise of a TV series as a taking-off point and create entirely new plots). Hogan's Heroes Fan Fiction. Some of this Fan Fiction involves the Holocaust in their story lines. The show had talented actors, writers and directors. I guess I like WWII comedies, like Hogan’s Heroes, because it proves that we can find humor anywhere even in the middle of the worst of what humanity has to offer. If you like the show go check out the DVD if not read a book. These Hogan’s Heroes critics who confuse of the POW camps with a concentration/death camps speaks more about the quality of the general public’s level of historical awareness than the quality of what William Shatner would call, "Just a TV show!" Sadly I fear that many of those who confuse a POW camp with a concentration/death camp may think that all Germans are Nazis too. There were many German characters on Hogan’s Heroes who were good guys.
To quote John Banner, "I see Schultz as the representative of some kind of good in any generation".
This unlikely family favorite had the kids talking around the schoolyard. The antics of Nazi prisoners kept us laughing week in and week out. In this version of the war the Nazis were bumbling idiots, making the Allies look better than ever. Oh, occasionally the Gestapo showed up and things would get tense, but the wiley American and his gang always saved the day. Hogan, played by Bob Crane was a smart mouthed Colonel who was always in charge, even as he made the Commandant believe he held the power. Klink and Schultz were perfect foils for Hogan's tricks. We loved them all, knowing that in the end, the good guys always win.
I like how they use humor and war in the same pretext. I would love to see more antics coming from Stalag 13 When I was younger, but I just started to love the series. Personally, my Favourite character would be Col. Klink, because he was the most clueless of the Nazis of Stalag 13. Anyway, Great series.
I loooove this show. I saw it again on fox not long ago and realised how funny it is! I wish they'd play it on free to air again. Good quality tv and so very funny. Brilliant , brilliant stuff. Makes me laugh every time and if it doesn't air again soon I'll buy the videos.
Glad I got every episode before they were pulled from Youtube! Still today, one of my most favorite shows. So, unbelievable, and yet funny. Listen, sometimes, when Kinch has the shortwave on. You can sometimes hear real phrases when they are using morse code. Truly a show that was about, what TV was about!
this show is the most clever show I have ever seen. Imagine if real prisoners were like that. It would be funny. I think that before you see this show's dating. watch and episode and then say that it is not funny, exciting, and good for the whole family. Just try not to judge the show by its age. This show shows the tactics that Hogan is smart enough to get out of prison one million times over, and that seargent klink is truly the dumbest man on earth. Watch this show and I know you will definately love it!!!
This show is amazing, and I wasn't even born when this show was on the air. I'm only 14 and yet I love every minute of this show. I am currently renting the DVD's of this show on NetFlix. The storyline is based off of the Movie " The Great Escape " and the movie " stalag 17 ". A group of US soldier are held captive in the prison camp Stalag 13, Or so you'd think. In reality the soldiers have created a underground operation commanded by COL.Hogan, and the Germans are completely un-aware of it. Except for a German guard named Schultz who is afraid of ending up in the russian front. So to prevent whenever he notices something going on in the operation he often closes his eyes and says " I see NOTHINNNG ". Its incredibly funny and very entertaining to watch. I suggest this show if you want some good ol' comedy which isn't to old.
Yes the premise of an Army Air Corps Colonel who assembles a team of sabotage operatives inside a Prisoner of War camp in the heart of Germany is a little far-fetched. And the part that the producers played with the Gestapo and the Luftwaffe were stretches at best. The fact is that facts play a very small role in the whole of the program. Many times continuity is not what it should be and people change names and jobs from week to week.
All of those things aside you will find this a hilorious show. Bob Crane was a funny guy and casting him in the part of Hogan gave it a much more natural feel. Werner Klemperer and John Banner did incredible jobs as the bumbling stalag Kommandant and the hapless sergeant of the guard respectively. The other bit actors who rounded out the cast did an incredible job of solidifying the thin beleivablility of the show. Some of my favorite episodes from season one were:Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13 ,The Gold Rush ,The Prince from the Phone Company, The Safecracker Suite. I loved the chemistry that they developed in their six seasons and I was sorry to see Ivan Dixon leave the show in the last season.
Hogan's Hero's is one of the funniest shows that i have ever watched. This is despite the fact that it is set during one of the most destructive wars in History. The show focuses on the antics of Col. Hogan and his crew who despite being POWs, manage to do all sorts of things to Hurt the German war effort. It is these antics and the dealing with the bumbling commandant of the camp Col. Klink that create the halarious amtomsphere that surronds this show.
Also who can forget Srgt. Schult and his many funny moments over the course of the show. So if you want something thats funny this is for you, Fans of realistic war movies and shows this is not for you though.
You know life as it is today is so busy and noisy and filled with issues that it is just nice to be able to sit down and watch Hogans Heros. Show is funny, down to earth and for us peeps like me who were born in the 60ies brings back some simpler times filled with less stress.
Im 42 yrs old.My dad watched it while i played on the carpet with my toys in front of the T.V. Thought the series was stupid.
Then I grew up turned on TVLAND and now im hooked!
The show is great humor. Shultz is the best..I like to think he is saying "IM NO NAZI" every time he says " I KNOW NOTHING". Im a WW2 fan and like to pride myself on knowing most things about WW2, land sea and air. And I get a kick out of many of the insults directed towards Himmler ,Goering and Hitler Funny stuff.
The single most influential show on my life. I am a career Soldier in the U.S. Army, a military historian, and a volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum - in large part because of this show's impact on my life.
I remembered by accident today why I started studying World War II when I was so young...Hogan's Heroes. It was on from 1965-1971, so I was almost 2 until I was almost 8. It was on CBS Friday nights, I think from 1900-1930. I loved that show. Also why POW/Concentration Camps are my second favorite thing to study, after European Theater Airborne operations. There is a Hogan's Heroes marathon on today. I just watched the episode that gave me my favorite, most-quoted, TV line, "Another day, another munitions dump." Very exciting - I have wanted to find that exact episode for years. (And yes, I own boxed sets of all six seasons). I usually hate watching old shows - not smart, savvy enough - but no problems with old episodes of Hogan's Heroes. I understand that it is not historically accurate, but it began 20 years after the end of World War II and helped keep interest in fore...sort of like what "M*A*S*H" did for the Korean War.
One of my favourite shows from the 60's. This show was well written and well acted by all of its main characters. Too bad the politically correct have butchered this show or else it would have alot more fans than it already has. Still with all its negative reviews by TV guide and others its DVD seasons sell very well. The show was consistently good throughout its six year run but it drops a little by season five. The DVD releases are all excellent with lots of extra's and beautifully remastered and very reasonably priced. My advice is to burn your TV guide and turn on Hogan's Heroes.
This could have been a British Comedy series for all you know!! The level of comedy in this series was much higher than most of the American comedies of the time. This was a genuinely funny and at the same time very controlled in its use of the setup (a touchy subject to joke about).
The sophistication of writing for this series can be compared with "Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister". The performance of all the actors was always better than average and specially the performance of Werner Klemperer was spot on. There can never be another Commander Klink. I was also a big fan of the performance of John Banner. Bob Crane has become immortal due to just this series and we can safely say that even its reruns are a treat to watch.
It's too bad that Bob Crane's demise messed things up. They were about to end the war & go home. I heard that Klink & Burkhalter were to be shown to have been double agents that even Hogan didn't know about. Every time I watch this show, any episode, it makes me laugh. It's too bad that the kind of chemistry that is shown in the show isn't repeatable. It ranks in line with M*A*S*H as the type of show that easily could have gone on for many many seasons. Definitely a timeless classic that can be enjoyed over and over again.
A great show. In my opinion the best characters are the one from col. Hogan and sgt.Schulz. The best way to see the show is in german, it wins a lot. In the german version there is an extra character added to the show, which how ever never appears in scene. It is the Frau Kalinke, which is supposed to be Klinks maid, with who he has fluid exanges from time to time. The accents of the doubles is also quiet funny, sgt. Schulz for example speaks an bavarisch accent. All in all even if quite unrealistic it is in my opinion the best show ever.
In order to make the best of their ordeal as prisoners of war, Allied soldiers (led by Col. Hogan) find creative ways to amuse themselves, and at the same time, tie up the Nazi war machine. Their main opposition is the stammslager (POW Camp) commandant, Col. Klink, a Luftwaffe officer who would rather be anywhere but at the camp. However, Klink, being ever the good German, tries to do his best at keeping the prisoners in line (and in the camp). Klink's chief subordinate is Sgt. Schultz, who being even more ignorant than Klink, is the prisoners' unwitting accomplice in many of their schemes. The show plays delightfully off of flaws in the German character, such as perfectionism and efficiency. Of note: many people often think that the camp portrayed in "Hogan's Heroes" is a concentration camp. It is not. The conditions for concentration camp inmates were far more horrible than those for prisoners of war. The show does not make light of the Holocaust, or other wartime atrocities.
Hogan's Heroes is the kind of situation comedy that could or would never be produced or sold to a network today, and that's a shame. Set in a Nazi prisoner of war camp during the height of WWII —not a "concentration camp" as many of the show's detractors have stated over the years—Hogan's Heroes follows the exploits of Col. Robert Hogan and his band of saboteurs as they take on the Germans without their knowing. Week after week the luftstalag's commandant, Col. Wilhelm Klink, is befuddled, besmirched, and beleaguered by Hogan as local airbases, factories, munitions trains, and bridges fell under the bomb making skills of Sgt. Andrew Carter and the myriad talents of the "Heroes." The Germans never win, and Hogan and the allies always triumph—all while embarrassing the hapless Klink in the process.
For all its silliness and unbelievability, the show featured some excellent writing by some of the best scribes in Hollywood. Most of the shows were directed by Gene Reynolds, who would go on to direct M*A*S*H, or were directed by the great Edward S. Feldman, who also served as the show's producer for its entire run. Other technical greats like cameraman Gordon Avil (M*A*S*H), Editor Michael Kahn (Spielberg's editor) and writers Laurence Marks and Albert S. Ruddy brought a professional chemistry to the show that, coupled with the top-notch cast, could actually make one suspend the disbelief.
Small moments were plentiful, and the characters were extremely well-defined for what was a lower-budgeted sitcom. There was a respect—even a friendship of sorts¬—between Hogan and Klink, and the affable Sgt. Hans Shultz ("I know NOOOTTTHHHIIING,") was both an unwitting and "witting" co-conspirator. It's clear to everyone that the kindly Shultz saw the war and the Nazis as a bunch of foolishness, wishing instead to be back home in Heidelberg at the helm of his gigantic toy company, Schatzi Toys. A major spark came in the form of the great Leon Askin who played Klink's boss, General Albert Burkhalter, who simply stole every scene in which he appeared. His nasally German accent, and his expressive face which turned the Burkhalter character into a living cartoon were at once classic examples of the actor's craft. When one considers Askin, who was Jewish, and who escaped from Germany as Hitler turned up the heat on the Jewish population, would ever agree to play a part as heinous as a Nazi General in a television comedy demonstrates the professionalism he brought to the role. Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink), Robert Clary (Cpl. LeBeau), John Banner (Shultz) and Askin, each Jewish, agreed the best way they could affect revenge on their former tormentors was to expose them as complete and total buffoons through the honesty of satire. In fact, Klemperer included a clause in his contract specifying that the Nazis would always lose by episode's end.
An interesting fact for fans of the show is that the producers intended to end the show upon the conclusion of its seventh season, much as the popular "The Fugitive" had done to incredibly high ratings. In fact, Hogan's Heroes was still a very popular and high-rated program in its last year, but was summarily canceled along with a number of similar sitcoms when some new, younger CBS executives decided to usher in the social comedies of Norman Lear. So the final episode, "Lay Down Your Arms" never went past the outline stage. (Remember, when the show completed sixth season production, everyone assumed, based on the ratings, they would be back for another year...)
According to a source on the writing staff, the episode would have included Hogan and the gang shepherding Klink and Shultz to safety. During the show Klink would have been given a tour of the tunnel as they were whisked to safety and a waiting submarine.
In fact, it is of interest that in the final season six show, "Rockets or Romance," the conclusion of the episode is a bit open-ended. This is because the storyline was to pick up again at the beginning of season seven.
Many fans wonder about Ivan Dixon's (Sgt. Kinchloe) departure from the show, and his replacement by Kenneth Washington. Dixon fulfilled the five years his contract required, and left to pursue directing opportunities. In fact, Dixon is considered one of the best television directors ever, and his success helped many African-Americans enter the business in production and executive capacities. Rather than recasting the same role, the producers and writers respected the audience enough to create a new character, Sgt. Baker, as Kinchloe's replacement. We assume Kinch "escaped," but this is never said, as to do so would ruin Klink's perfect record of there never having been an escape from Stalag 13! Washington did an admirable job as Baker, and the show wound up after 168 Episodes (Including the pilot, which was the only episode shot in black and white).
Hogan's Heroes left the broadcast air in 1971, but has been viewed nonstop worldwide in reruns ever since. Here's to Hogan (played by the late, and very missed Bob Crane), the Heroes, and the Nazi villains (such as they were!) who gave us smiles—albeit guilty ones—for so many years!
Oh Man! This was one heck of a Show back in the day! I Loved watching Re-Runs of this show with my dad It's Simple a Classic Show from The 60's Hogan was my Favorite character along with Colonel Klink.
It's sad though Because They don't make shows like this anymore, if they did There'd be alot of Contraversy about it and It wouldnt last long. But This show will always remain a classic!
Please read the following before uploading
Do not upload anything which you do not own or are fully licensed to upload. The images should not contain any sexually explicit content, race hatred material or other offensive symbols or images. Remember: Abuse of the TV.com image system may result in you being banned from uploading images or from the entire site – so, play nice and respect the rules!