Saturday, May 2, 2020

In praise of Sgt. Schultz

Thanks to our antenna we now have MeTV.

Thanks to MeTV we now have one episode of Hogan's Heroes each night. (Some areas get two, but we have local news from 10-10:30.

Tom and I rarely miss it.

Which makes me wonder why:

It's not for the plot. Well, except for the episode where the Germans have something that could turn the war and they are storing it close to Stalag 13, and it will take some kind of elaborate ruse for Hogan and the gang to blow it up... and someone gets threatened with the Russian front.

It's not for the realism. I mean - was Germany the size of Rhode Island? Hogan is always popping over to Paris or London for a quick visit with someone. Really?

It's not exactly for the humor. It's funny, but so were Wings, Threes Company and Friends. And I don't watch reruns of those shows. (Except for the Threes Company episode where Jack fell...)

Best I can figure: It's for Schultz. And some of the other characters. But mostly John Banner. His facial expressions, his voice, his comedic timing.

Hochstetter also is good, but he's not a regular. So it's mostly Schultz.

The other characters are good - but so were the Friends characters. The show needs an anchor to bring me back for reruns.

Like Fez and Red in That 70s Show.
Or Kramer, George and Newman on Seinfeld.
Or Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory.
Or - the most obvious example - Charlie on Two and a Half Men.

(Remember that episode of Two and a Half Men where Charlie got drunk and picked up a woman? Good times).

Two and a Half Men is the most obvious example. Berta was great. Other cast members were really funny. But without Charlie, it sucked.

I'm not sure Hogan's Heroes would suck without Schultz but it wouldn't be as good. And thankfully we never had to find out.

Then again, I could be wrong... it's very possible "I know nothing!"

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