Early Television Memories
The Phil Silvers Show
Issue Date: August 11, 2009
City: North Hollywood, CA
“After two major wars in the previous decade, watching a comedy about the Army was a bit refreshing. A lot of people could relate to the silliness of Ernie Bilko’s antics, because they had their own Army stories; I know my dad did! My favorite character was Private Doberman, the sad-sack, lovable slob.” – Edward S.
It’s hard to be a con man with a heart of gold. That was one theme of this early military comedy. Stationed on a Midwest army base with not enough to do, one Master Sergeant was the resident con artist who constantly cooked up get-rich-quick schemes or plans for promotion. But his main enemy was his own conscience, and often he ended up saving his friends from his own cons. The show lasted from 1955-1959 before being canceled while still popular, and its light-hearted view of the military inspired a host of similar shows.