On this date in 1985, the great Phil Silvers passed away in his sleep at age 74.
SGT. BILKO, a.k.a. THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW (or, if you prefer, the original title, YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH) was arguably the greatest sitcom of the 1950's and why this classic has fallen by the wayside while you can still see I LOVE LUCY and LEAVE IT TO BEAVER on dozens of channels daily is beyond me.
Since embedding was disabled, I couldn't make the handy-dandy YouTube link at the top of this one. So instead, you'll have to click on this to see what I'm talking about below:
The YouTube link is a series of clips from THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES (1977), which was reviewed here in May. It was the umpteenth variation on Bilko that the typecast Silvers played following the show's cancellation in 1959: this time, he was "Dirty Old Sergeant Bilko". A little jarring to see the good Sergeant talking to the beautiful young Kutee about 'nookie', but in Silvers' hands, this only adds to the humor. He provides the chief sparkle in an otherwise mediocre film.
Speaking of Kutee: Anyone know what happened to her or see her in anything else? Yowza!
YouTube user mickclews has numerous other clips of Silvers' career on the site, including many from SGT. BILKO and this priceless one from HAPPY DAYS in 1981, one of his last TV appearances.
It's the only time he performed with his daughter, Cathy (who played Jenny Piccolo on the sitcoms later years) and, as usual, Phil stole the show. R.I.P. Sergeant! More reviews to come.