The Rocking Horse Winner Reviews
I've also dug out my collection of The Phil Silvers Show to finish watching and it's fun to watch how that show evolved. In the early episodes it's just Sgt. Bilko as the archetypal con man fleecing everyone with impunity but later episodes get weirder and weirder starting I guess with the famous one where a monkey gets enlisted into the Army and has to be court-martialed to get him out. From there it's out to shows about Doberman being hypnotized to think he's in love with Colonel Hall's wife and Bilko trying to get some phenom pitcher a tryout with the Yankees. The supporting cast is fascinating to watch historically. This set includes appearances from Joe E. Ross, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis alll of whom, of course, were important parts of Nat Hiken's next show, Car 54, Where Are You? There are also very early TV appearances by Dick Van Dyke and Alan Alda.
The funniest thing is the makeup of the platoon. To the the credit of the producers Bilko's platoon always seemed to include one black soldier but for "Doberman's Sister", where the plot called for the soldiers to all take each other's sisters on dates, a secomd black soldier mysteriously showed up because no way back then could the black soldier have dated one of his white buddies' sisters. Then again they simply could have had no black actors on that episode, so it was cool they did it that way.