Synopsis of TV Show
"May I remind you that Col. Hogan is a PRISONER in this camp? I know he doesn't act like one!"
With a comedic fool like Colonel Wilhelm Klink at the helm of your POW camp, things couldn’t be all that bad. Monocled and forever-duped, Klink, along with right hand man and fellow incompetent Sgt. Schultz, were really just pawns in Col. Robert Hogan’s American resistance effort. Make no mistake: it was the sarcastic and wisecracking Hogan, the camp’s most decorated American soldier-prisoner, who really ran the show.
Americans at this camp had it better than any POW’s ever did. They gerry-rigged the barbed-wire fence so that they could open and close it at their discretion. There was a tunnel system under the camp, called Stalag 13 (erected, in real life, in Culver City, California), which they had the run of. They fed classified information to the Allied forces on the outside, they printed counterfeit money, blasted bridges, kidnapped German generals and helped fugitives escape out of Germany. They had a French chef, a steam room, and a barbershop. The tacit understanding was: nobody “escapes” (though they could have at any time), because this way, Klink’s officers didn’t get into trouble with their Nazi superiors, and Hogan’s rescue and sabotage operations could continue with no interference.
Bernard Fein and Albert Ruddy (producer of the Godfather movies) created the series, and Ed Feldman produced it for Bing Crosby Productions. Richard Dawson, later of Family Feud host fame, played Peter Newkirk—perhaps his penchant for smooching female Feud guests came out of all that time locked up in the (albeit fictional) prison camp. Not all the cast members lacked female companionship though: Bob Crane (Hogan) and Sigrid Valadis (Hilda) got married off-screen. And then there was the show trivia not nearly as fun as the aformentioned...Robert Clary, who played the imprisoned LeBeau, had been interned at World War II Nazi concentration camps as a child.
Hogan’s Heroes was televised in Germany for a time, called "Ein Kaefig Voller Helden,” or “A Cage Full of Heroes.” Ratings in Germany never soared, however, thanks in part to notoriously bad dubbing. Even though synchron-voices of the German series were the same as those used in M*A*S*H (Hogan had the same voice as "Hawkeye" Pierce), a good voice is only as good as its moving lip synchronization. Schuuuultz!!!
Release History of Prime Time Show9/17/65 - 7/14/71 CBS
TV Sub Categoriescomedy
TV CastCol. Robert Hogan Bob Crane
Col. Wilhelm Klink Werner Klemperer
Sgt. Hans Schultz John Banner
Louis LeBeau Robert Clary
Peter Newkirk Richard Dawson
Sgt. Andrew Carter Larry Hovis
Gen. Albert Burkhalter Leon Askin
Sgt. James Kinchloe (1965-70) Ivan Dixon
Helga (1965-66) Cynthia Lynn
Hilda (1966-70) Sigrid Valdis
Maj. Wolfgang Hochstetter (1967-71) Howard Caine
Sgt. Richard Baker (1970-71) Kenneth Washington