Since the big-screen adaptation of Get Smart hits theaters on Friday, I decided to devote this week's T13 to the original series (which ran from 1965-1970). Ever since I was introduced to the spy spoof in reruns as a pre-teen, I have been a huge fan of the misadventures of bumbling CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart as he fights on behalf of the forces of goodness and niceness.
Although I enjoyed the supporting cast (which included Barbara Feldon as the stylish and resourceful Agent 99, Edward Platt as harried The Chief, and Bernie Kopell as KAOS Vice President Siegfried), the main attraction of Get Smart was the hilarious work of the late Don Adams. His portrayal of Maxwell Smart (which earned him 3 consecutive Emmy Awards from 1967-1969), still stands as one of TV's most memorable. Steve Carell has some big shoes (one equipped with a phone) to fill. In addition to the three that Adams won, Get Smart was also awarded Emmys for writing (1967), directing (1968) and Outstanding Comedy Series (1968 and 1969).
Below are 13 of my favorite quotes from Get Smart. I could have done a list consisting solely of the numerous catchphrases from the show, but decided to go the quote route instead. Although it was hard to narrow down the list, I really enjoyed putting it together. For one thing, it gave me an excuse to pull out the episodes I recorded on VHS back in the early 90s.
1. Mary "Jack" Armstrong (a female KAOS spy with superhuman strength): Now Mr. Smart, you will telephone your Chief and you will give him some information as to where you are. Information that of course will be totally false.
Maxwell Smart: And what if I refuse?
Mary "Jack": Then I shall make you do it.
Maxwell Smart: You and who else?
Mary "Jack" proceeds to karate chop a table to pieces
Maxwell Smart: Got an answer for everything haven't you?
2. KAOS Agent: Look, I'm a sportsman. I'll let you pick the way you want to die.
Maxwell Smart: Oh, OK. Uh, how about old age?
3. Maxwell Smart: I'm getting complaints from the landlord about the gun battles in the hall, and the bombs in the lobby, and the knife fights in the elevator.
Chief: Well, when you rent an apartment to a secret agent, you've got to expect those things.
Maxwell Smart: But he doesn't know I'm a secret agent.
Chief: Well, how do you explain people attacking you and shooting at you?
Maxwell Smart: Well, I told him I work for the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
4. Agent 99: Oh, Max, how terrible.
Maxwell Smart: He desereved it, 99. He was a KAOS killer.
Agent 99: Sometimes I wonder if we're any better, Max.
Maxwell Smart: What are you talking about, 99? We have to shoot and kill and destroy. We represent everything that's wholesome and good in the world.
5. After Hymie the Robot almost kills the Chief
Agent 99: Well what are we gonna do?
Chief: We'll have to destroy him
Maxwell Smart: Destroy him?! You can't destroy Hymie. Hymie's my friend.
Chief: Max, this friend just broke through my office door, smashed my desk to pieces, and almost strangled me with his bare hands. How do you explain that?!
Maxwell Smart: I said he was my friend, not yours.
6. Chief: How can we believe a man who would sell out his friends?
Siegfried: Dumkopf! Who else are you supposed to sell out? You can't betray enemies!
7. KAOS Agent: Tell you what, we'll finish the game. If you win, I'll release you.
Maxwell Smart: Well that sounds fair enough.
KAOS Agent: If you lose, I kill you.
Maxwell Smart: And just to make it interesting, how about five dollars on the side?
8. Maxwell Smart: All right Hondo. I'm used to dealing with big ugly apes like you.
Max proceeds to hit Hondo with a series of punches and karate chops, none of which faze Hondo.
Maxwell Smart: Uh, listen Hondo. I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about the ape.
9. Agent 99: What about me Hunter?
Hunter: I have other plans for you my dear. I hope that you will stay on here as my permanent... guest.
Agent 99: I'd rather take my chances in the jungle with Max.
Hunter: Very loyal my dear and very stupid!
Maxwell Smart: We're CONTROL agents Hunter. We're trained to be very loyal and very stupid.
10. Maxwell Smart: Tisha, there's an organization of shrewd determined men who've been trying to get control of this country for a number of years. Perhaps you've heard of them.
Tisha: Oh, you mean the Republicans.
11. Naomi Farkas (holding a gun on Agent 99): Keep your voice down honey and don't yell for your husband. You might as well know, we're KAOS.
Emil Farkas: You're holding a gun on her and I'm taking pictures of secret documents. Who else would she think we were, Sonny and Cher?!
Note: Naomi and Emil Farkas were played by Alice Ghostley and Tom Bosley
12. Siegfried holds Max and 99 at gunpoint and takes their guns for the second time.
Siegfried: All is not lost for KAOS. Guns please! Come on 99, your gun... quickly!
Maxwell Smart (hands a card to Siegfried): Here
Siegfried: What is this?
Maxwell Smart: My permit, you might as well take it. You use my guns more than I do.
13. Maxwell Smart: You're very clever my charming little friend, but not clever enough. You see the moment I suspected there was something wrong with this old scow, I immediately telephoned headquarters. And I happen to know that at this very minute, seven Coast Guard cutters are converging on this boat. Would you believe it, seven?
Mr. Big: I find that pretty hard to believe.
Maxwell Smart: Would you believe six?
Mr. Big: I don't think so.
Maxwell Smart: How about two cops and a rowboat?
Below is a clip from the 1967 episode One of Our Olives Is Missing, with special guest star Carol Burnett
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