is an American television sitcom
for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to July 4, 1971, on the
network. Starring Bob
as Colonel Robert
, the show was
set in a German prisoner of war camp
during the Second World War
. The program featured
as Colonel Wilhelm Klink
, the commandant of the
camp; John Banner
as the portly inept
and a crew of Allied prisoners who assisted Hogan in running a
group from the
was produced by Bing
setting was a fictional version of Stalag 13,
a POW camp for captured airmen located near the town of Hammelburg and run by the Luftwaffe;
its location was 106 kilometers from Heidelberg.
It bore no
resemblance to its real-life counterparts, Oflag XIII-B and Stalag
The show's premise was that the POWs
were actually active war participants, using the camp as a base of
operations for Allied espionage
against the Nazis
. The prisoners could leave and return almost at
will via a secret network of tunnels
and had radio
contact with Allied
command. They were aided by the incompetence
of the camp commandant
, Colonel Klink
, and the Sergeant Of The Guard
, Sergeant Schultz
. Hogan would routinely
manipulate the incompetent Klink and get Schultz to look the other
way while his men conducted secret operations. Klink and Schultz
were in constant terror of being transferred to the Russian Front
, and Hogan took
pains to keep the hapless German duo firmly in place. Klink had a
perfect record of no escapes while he commanded the POW camp. Hogan
actually assisted in maintaining this record, and made sure any
prisoners who needed to be spirited away had been transferred to
someone else's authority before their escape was enacted. The
program for a sitcom was unique as it combined elements of surrealism
and dynamic action/adventure
examples of programs of the era that combined genres while
reflecting general social tensions are Mission: Impossible
The Wild Wild
American Army Air
Corps Colonel Robert E. Hogan
), senior ranking POW officer,
is the leader of the group. He is from Bridgeport, Connecticut and born in Cleveland, Ohio.
shot down while on a raid on Hamburg in an
operation masterminded by Colonel Biedenbender, who was promoted to
general for this achievement.
In contrast to Colonel Klink,
Hogan graduated third in his military class. The character was
named by series creator Bernard Fein
after his friend, the American soap opera and character actor
Robert J. Hogan
, who appeared in two episodes of
episode "Two Nazis for the Price of One", it is revealed by Major
Hochstetter of the Gestapo that Colonel
Hogan was the commander of the 504th bomb group that had been
reassigned to the "Manhattan Project".
In real life, the
509th Bombardment Group
in the group that dropped the atomic bombs (that were created under
the code name "Manhattan Project
on Japan in August, 1945
Staff Sergeant James (aka
Ivan) "Kinch" Kinchloe
) is primarily responsible for radio
, and other forms of electronic
communications. In the series pilot, Kinchloe is introduced as
Hogan's 'Chief Of Staff', and, in addition to his communications
expertise, is observed speaking fluent French to LeBeau. This was a
large step for a 1960s TV show, to have a black actor identified in
such a manner. In a later episode, when it looks like Colonel
Crittenden (Bernard Fox) was going to be the new Senior Prisoner Of
War officer, Hogan introduces his men, with Kinchloe cited as
'Chief Of Operations'. A talented mimic, Kinchloe easily imitates
German officers speaking over the radio or telephone. When Hogan
needed a strictly audio impression of Adolf Hitler, the men
generally agreed that Kinchloe was the better choice for the job
over Sergeant Carter.
Kinch was from Detroit and had worked for the telephone company. In
one episode, he mentions that before the war he was a Golden Gloves
boxing champion. In an episode
that had General Burkhalter (Leon Askin) making reference to the
victories during the
and Adolf Hitler
not being happy that a Negro won events over German athletes,
Kinchloe knocks out the heavyweight champ of Stalag 13 (Battling
Bruno) while Burkhalter was in the camp. Kinchloe wound up fighting
Bruno again, drawing out the fight in a delaying action while Hogan
and the others accomplish their usual sabotage. Upon completion of
the mission, Hogan yells to Kinch to end the fight, and Kinch laid
the German out with one punch whereupon Hogan throws in the towel
and surrenders the fight to prevent the obvious disaster of a black
POW defeating the 'master race's finest boxer'. At the end of the
episode, Hogan reminds Klink to tell 'Battling Bruno' that he is
the winner, "when he wakes up".
As Kinchloe is black, his ability to participate in some undercover
activities outside of the camp is limited. In one operation,
Kinchloe plays the role of a doorman at a nightclub in Paris in
order to get close to the owner. He also impersonated an African
prince (also played by Ivan Dixon).
Following Dixon's departure from the show, the producers replaced
his character in the sixth season with another black
). The tasks assigned
to Sergeant Baker are identical to those of Staff Sergeant
Kinchloe. However, Newkirk was elevated to the 'Chief Of
Operations' role. The details of Kinch's departure were never
explained on the show.
Like Kinchloe, Baker's ability to work outside the camp is limited
but he is able to assisted the group on sabotage missions as well
Sergeant Andrew J. Carter
in the pilot episode] (Larry Hovis
in charge of ordnance and bomb
-making. He also
shows talent in chemistry
and can produce
formulas as needed. Carter is often called on to impersonate German
officers and, most convincingly, Adolf
. Carter, as Hitler, responds to a group of German
officers saying "Heil Hitler" with "Heil Me." While bright and
enthusiastic at his specialties, Carter often shows a lack of
common sense otherwise. He formerly worked at a drug store in
Indiana; in one episode, he bragged that he had won a
snowman-building contest in Bullfrog, North Dakota.
His awards include the Silver Star
, Purple Heart
, Commendation Medal
and Good Conduct Medal
. Carter is a Native
American; his Sioux name is Little Deer Who Goes Swift And Sure
. Hovis was married, and refused to remove his
wedding ring while filming the show as the single Sergeant Carter.
Thus, Carter is usually shown wearing gloves, and his left hand is
rarely shown in the show.
French Air Force Corporal
. LeBeau is also a master of covert operations
, and has taken the
precaution of befriending the camp's guard
. As a result, he is able to enter their compound through a
secret entrance under a doghouse without the dogs raising the
alarm. He also is able to hide in small spaces, such as the safe in
Colonel Klink's office and crates. In many episodes, LeBeau bribes
Schultz with food, especially LeBeau's apple strudel
. Schultz and Klink (but mainly
Schultz) refer to Le Beau as "Cockroach". In the first two seasons,
LeBeau made the uniforms and suits, although this job increasingly
went to Newkirk. In fact, by the fifth season episode "Gowns by
Yvette", it is suggested that LeBeau cannot even sew a stitch,
though he claims creative responsibility for the dress Newkirk
eventually sews. LeBeau suffers from hemophobia
Royal Air Force Corporal
[Lieutenant in the pilot episode](British
actor Richard Dawson
) is the group's
, lock picker
of German officers (and on one
occasion, Winston Churchill
British Prime Minister during the war). He also is in charge of
making uniforms and assisting in distracting the Germans to perform
other sabotage. This series marked Dawson's second appearance on
American TV (he had earlier appeared on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show
Dawson auditioned for the role of Hogan, but was told he didn't
sound American enough. In the version translated for broadcast in
Germany, Newkirk's pronounced British accent was replaced by a
simulation of stuttering. Newkirk is also a skilled tailor, often
called upon to make or alter uniforms and other disguises. Newkirk
was also teamed with Carter and his irritation at Carter's bumbling
antics and lack of common sense was often used for comedic
Kommandant Oberst (Colonel) Wilhelm Klink
) is an old-line Luftwaffe
officer of aristocratic (Junker
a social climber. He was born in Leipzig, though he refers to
Düsseldorf, where he attended the Gymnasium
, as his home town. After
failing exams to study law and medicine, he received an appointment
from Kaiser Wilhelm II
military academy, through the influence of his uncle, the
, and graduated 95th in his
class-the only one who has not risen to the rank of General. He has
fencing armor in his dining room and wears a monocle. One episode
has a brief shot of his office showing that Klink has a pompous
coat of Arms
on his wall. In another
episode when he thinks he is going to be rich, he claims his
500-year-old name will actually have some money as well. A veteran
aviator of the First World War, Klink happily lives out the end of
his military career in the relative comfort and safety of a prison
camp commandant's billet-although in one episode he wished he was
piloting a Heinkel again. He has been a colonel for 20 years with
an efficiency rating a few points above "Miserable". In one
episode, he tried to flatter Schultz so as to be a bookkeeper with
Schultz's Toy company after the war. He is portrayed as a vain,
bumbling, self-serving bureaucrat, rather than an evil person.
Hogan is able to easily manipulate Klink through a combination of
appealing to his vanity through excessive flattery and playing on
his fears of being sent to the Eastern Front (which Klink doesn't
In one episode, Klink is told by General Burkhalter that to climb
higher socially, he would need to marry into an important family;
Burkhalter then tells him that his widowed sister and niece would
be arriving. Klink initially thinks the beautiful niece is the one
to which Burkhalter is referring, but finds out that it is actually
Burkhalter's sister, Frau Linkmeyer, who is looking to get
married-which is Klink's worst nightmare. Klink narrowly escapes
with the help of Hogan. In a later episode, we find that the two
other commandants under General Burkhalter also narrowly escaped
marriage to the general's sister.
Colonel Klink received the Citation of Merit-Second
(fictitious) from General Stauffen. The general had
visited Stalag 13 to get a briefcase from Hogan filled with
explosives and a thirty-minute timer in order to kill Adolf Hitler
, all under the unsuspecting eyes
of Klink. This is typical of the scenarios in which Hogan would
entangle Colonel Klink, where Klink's ego is used against himself.
A running gag
in the series is that
Klink gets doused in the face with water at four times for comedic
effect. Another running gag
Klink is a terrible violinist and is only able to play The U.S. Air Force
song (in real life,
Klemperer was a trained violinist and son of conductor Otto
). Another gag is that of Klink saving his most
treasured possession-a World War I
helmet he keeps on
his desk. Yet another gag involved Hogan stealing Klink's cigars
from his desk during their (often brief) meetings, and inquiring as
to whether Klink would like one too.
Sergeant) Hans Georg Schultz
, serial number 23781
) is Klink's bumbling,
highly unmilitary 295-pound Sergeant Of
. Schultz is a basically good-hearted man who, when
confronted by evidence of the prisoners' covert activities, will
simply look the other way, repeating "I hear nothing, I see
nothing, I know nothing!" (or, more commonly as the series went on,
simply "I know nothing–NOTHING!") in order to avoid being blamed
for allowing things to have gotten as far as they already had-which
might see him given a one-way trip to the Eastern Front. This
eventually became a catch phrase
series. Though generally shown as being borderline incompetent, he
has (on occasion) proven his mettle, as can be seen in episodes
such as "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to London", where he
catches Hogan 'assisting' another man attempting to escape; he even
goes so far as to stand up to Hogan, moving him along at gunpoint.
Schultz, in the sixth season, receives a temporary promotion to
Kommandant of Stalag 13. In the episode "Kommandant Schultz",
Burkhalter brings an order from Berlin to all Luft Stalags to begin
Officer training for their most senior non-commissioned officers.
Schultz does so well in the job that Hogan AND Klink have to join
forces to discredit Schultz and get him reduced back to
Like Klink, he is a veteran of World War
hometown is Heidelberg, and in civilian life he is the owner of Germany's
biggest and most successful toy manufacturing company, The Schatzi
With the onset of war, Schultz was
involuntarily recalled to military duty and lost control of his toy
factory as it was converted to military use. He has a wife,
Gretchen (played by Barbara Morrison in Season 2, Episode 24) and
five children whom he sees only on infrequent leave. LeBeau once
refers to Schultz as a Social Democrat
, a party
the Nazis banned in 1933
, and Shultz on several occasions is
shown to be very disgusted by Hitler in particular and the Nazis in
general. Schultz carries a Krag-Jørgensen
rifle, which he never
keeps loaded and tends to misplace or even hand to the POWs when he
needs to use both hands. He wears a fictitious version of the
(4th Grade) awarded by General
Kammler, a friend from World War I, who addresses Schultz by first
name, and whom Schultz addresses as Lieutenant
Kammler. Schultz needs glasses to read
and is described by Klink as being "in his forties." In reality,
Banner was in his late fifties.
Helga and Hilda
, 1965 to 1966) and Hilda
to 1971) served as secretaries to Colonel Klink. Both were
portrayed as having an ongoing romantic relationship with Colonel
Hogan. Both also assisted Hogan and his men in various ways,
including providing tidbits of information or access to papers or
Sigrid Valdis and Bob Crane
- General der Infanterie Albert Hans "Hansy"
Askin) is Klink's superior officer who frequently
tires of Klink's babbling and his incompetence, telling him to
"shut up" and threatening to send him to the Russian Front. Burkhalter was mystified
by Stalag 13's perfect record, as no prisoners ever escaped under
Klink's watch, and this helped assuage his taking further actions
against Klink. Burkhalter affected to live a Spartan existence like
a good German officer, but in reality, he loved the good life, even
in war. He was scared to death of Mrs. Burkhalter, testifying to
this several times during the series and after Hogan managed to get
a few photos of the general with very attractive women. As the
series progressed, he suspected Hogan's greater role at Stalag 13;
however, in the end, Burkhalter, like the others, came to depend
upon Hogan to get them out of trouble with the High Command when
one scheme or the other ran off the tracks. Burkhalter is promoted
from colonel to general by the High Command between the first and
second episodes. His rank is equivalent to being at least a
two-star general in the American forces.
- Major Wolfgang Hochstetter
(Howard Caine) of the
Gestapo. Hochstetter is an ardent Nazi who never
understands why Hogan is often allowed to barge into Klink's office
at will. Hochstetter frequently demands of Klink "Who is this man?"
or "What is this man doing here?!" with increasing stridency. Klink
is justifiably afraid of him, but Burkhalter, who despises
Hochstetter just as Klink does, is certainly not. In "War Takes a
Holiday", Hogan tricks Hochstetter into lending his car to several
underground leaders (presented by Hogan as potential captains of
industry), who use it to escape just as Hochstetter's superiors
arrive. Howard Caine played several other German officers in the
show including Gestapo Colonel Feldkamp before becoming Major
Hochstetter. Throughout the series, the rank insignia on
Hochstetter's collar is that of a Standartenführer which translates to
Oberst (colonel) in the Wehrmacht-a Major in the SS would be a
- Group Captain (Colonel) Rodney Crittendon
DSO, CBE, MC and Bar, DFC, AFC an RAF Group Captain
(inaccurately addressed as "Colonel" in the show - the UK has no
"Colonel" rank). Crittendon is a British officer who crosses paths
several times with Hogan and his crew. Crittendon believes that a
POW's only focus should be escape. When first transferred to Stalag
13 from Stalag 18, Hogan poses a hypothetical question to
Crittenden asking what he would do if he were aware the POWs were
engaged in spying and sabotage. Crittenden replies that he would
report them to the German authorities (possibly a reference when
Hogan is ordered to return to England, His replacement is
Crittendon who decides to try to get Hogan out by talking Klink
into the idea to transfer Hogan to another camp in which on the way
Hogan can return to England but Hogan decides to stay at Stalag 13
so he has to get rid of Crittendon so when he returns and says he
is coming in not out Klink transfers him to another stalag.), thus
preventing himself from being included in the official mission of
the Stalag 13 POWs. In an early episode, Klink has him transferred
from another camp because he is senior to Hogan, putting him in
charge of the POWs. When H Crittendon was also known for developing
and attempting to execute various forms of prison camp escapes that
never worked, and for coming up with the secret
"Crittendon Plan", which turned out to consist of planting geraniums along the sides of runways to cheer up
returning British pilots. The rank "colonel" is inaccurate since,
although the pay grades are equivalent, a group captain is never
addressed as "colonel".
- Marya (Nita
Talbot) is a Soviet spy who works occasionally with
Hogan, but whom he doesn't entirely trust. She often appears as the
trusted paramour of some high-ranking
German officer or scientist. She, Hogan, and LeBeau met in Paris
during the second season "A Tiger Hunt In Paris, Parts 1 and 2"
where she learns of his Stalag 13 activities. Her mission is to
either discredit or destroy her paramours, as she notes that
"...Hitler can't be expected to kill all of his generals...." Her
schemes often come into conflict with Hogan's plans, but she
nevertheless always proves faithful to the Allied cause.
described as a "White Russian", but it
is unclear whether this refers to her possible ethnicity as a
Belarusian or her possible political
allegiance to the Russian
anti-communist White Movement.
She is constantly flirting with Hogan, to his discomfort, and also
flirts with LeBeau, who believes her to be an innocent, decent
woman who won't sell out the Heroes. Her trademark line, said with
an exaggerated Russian accent, is
- Tiger (Arlene
Martel), is a beautiful female French Underground contact, who has a
running romance with Hogan. Hogan has noted that Tiger has saved
his life at least once. Hogan describes Tiger as 'the' leader of
the French Underground. He has freed her from the Gestapo twice:
once on the way to Berlin via train, and once springing her from
Gestapo headquarters in Paris, France.
- Captain Fritz Gruber (Dick Wilson) is Klink's deputy. He is
in charge of the camp when Klink is not available or on vacation.
In one episode, he even became the "Kommandant", when Burkhalter
put him in charge of the camp instead of Klink. To ensure Klink is
reinstated as Kommandant, Hogan orders three prisoners to escape
and hide from Gruber's search parties. Gruber is unable to
recapture them so Burkhalter turns to Klink to recapture the
prisoners, which he does with the help of Hogan. General Burkhalter
sees that he had made a mistake and gives Klink his old job back,
and Gruber remains deputy.
- Corporal Karl Langenscheidt (John Cedar), one of Shultz's guards.
Langenscheidt often informs the distraught Colonel Klink when an
important guest arrives, much to Klink's displeasure. Langenscheidt
often arrives at the worst of times. In one episode, Langenscheidt
gets involved in one of Hogan's schemes to forge a priceless
painting which General Burkhalter intends to give to Hermann
Göring. Klink sends Schultz and Langenscheidt to keep Hogan from
escaping while they are in Paris.
- Frau Gertrude (Burkhalter) Linkmeyer (Kathleen Freeman) is General Burkhalter's
sister. She is usually in a one-sided relationship with Klink (who
is scared to death of her), but Hogan manages to split the two one
way or another. A running gag in several episodes with her is that
Klink can run away with her M.I.A.
husband Otto (in one episode Hogan commented "You two can start a
club"); another running gag is Klink threatening to have Hogan shot
for even suggesting Klink will marry Linkmeyer. She only appears in
episodes with General Burkhalter.
- Maurice Dubay (Felice Orlandi), is a French Underground contact who appeared in
several episodes. (Orlandi's real-life wife, Alice Ghostley, appeared in two episodes, one
time assuming the role of Frau Linkmeyer.)
episode, "The Informer",
was produced in black-and-white
with many pilot episodes, there are several differences from the
series proper, such as Burkhalter being introduced as a colonel,
instead of a general. There were many changes to Larry Hovis's
character of Carter. In the pilot, he was credited as a guest star
and is shown as a lieutenant, rather than a sergeant. "Lt. Carter"
had recently escaped from another camp and at the end of the
episode, is en route to England.
Leonid Kinskey appeared in the pilot episode
as Vladimir Minsk, a Soviet POW who
specializes in tailoring.
ultimately turned down his contract, contending that the subject
matter was being treated too lightly.
In the pilot, Klink's secretary is actually part of Hogan's team
and had access to the tunnels. In the series, she is merely willing
to look the other way in exchange for a kiss from Hogan or some
other form of affectionate gesture. Eventually, during the series'
run, it is implied that she and Hogan have a running romance,
especially when she hints at getting a diamond engagement ring in
exchange for her help.
The theme music
for Hogan's Heroes was
composed by Jerry Fielding
, the drums
being played by Bob Crane
. The title of
the theme music is "March" or "Hogan's Heroes March". There are
to the title music. While they were
never sung in the show, they were performed on an album titled
"Hogan's Heroes Sing The Best of World War II". On the album, the
performed lyrics are as follows:
Heroes, heroes, husky men of war,
Sons of all the heroes, of the war before.
We're all heroes up to our ear o's,
You ask the questions,
We make suggestions,
That's what we're heroes for.
All good heroes love a nifty fight,
Open up the bomb bays, brighten up the night.
We earn laurels solving your quarrels,
You throw the roses,
We punch the noses,
That's what we're heroes for.
What's a hero do?
We're never gonna tell ya
Cause we wish we knew.
That's why we heroes are so few.
We've got a slogan,
From Colonel Hogan,
And Colonel Hogan's a hero too.
Never flinch, boys, never be afraid,
Heroes are not born, boys, heroes all are made.
Ask not why, boys, never say die, boys,
Answer the call, remember we'll all be heroes forever more.
Note: The lyrics printed in various publications of TV Theme music
are slightly different than the performed lyrics.
The exact chronology of the series was never established, but
references are made in certain episodes.
- The pilot gives the year as February 1942.
the "The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery" episode (Season 2, Episode 18),
Colonel Klink tunes in to a live BBC news broadcast which describes
Battle of El Alamein which took place from 23 October to 5 November
- In another episode, Hogan says to Klink, "But you know, sir,
you can't believe all the rumors you hear around here. We even
heard the Russians won at Stalingrad." The Battle of
Stalingrad lasted from July 1942 to February 1943.
- One episode shows Hogan holding up a sign that reads, "Colonel
Klink and his magic violin presents: "Great Escapes of 1943."
- The episode "Go Light on the Heavy Water" appears to be set in
the period following the bombing of the Norwegian heavy water plant in November 1943.
- One episode is set on the eve of D-Day, 6
- Another episode involves Hogan providing a German with a
briefcase equipped with a time bomb
intended to kill Hitler, referencing Claus von Stauffenberg's failed
assassination plot of 20 July
- In one case, Hogan makes reference to a kamikaze, whose operations began in mid-to-late
- Another episode has Kinchloe receiving vital news that "The St.
Louis Browns lead the Yankees...", which would be around September,
1944. (That was the only season the Browns would ever win the
American League pennant.)
- In the episode "Monkey Business", a sign outside the barracks
reads December 13, 1944.
- In the second season episode, "General Swap", Sgt. Kinchloe
mentions that the Heroes have been in Stalag 13 for two years.
- In the "Klinks Rocket", a.k.a. "rocket gun" episode, Klink
remarks that the Allied Forces will be "stopped" before they get to
Munich, which was captured on April 30, 1945.
- In the final episode "Rockets of Romance", Hogan states that he
has been a POW for three years.
As with some other war-related series such as M*A*S*H
, the program lasted longer
than the actual events. While the series ran for six seasons, U.S.
direct involvement in the Second World War was less than four years
(7 December 1941 - 2 September 1945). The War in Europe ended May
Under the end credits, a World War I Imperial German Spiked
Helmet has a World War II
United States Army Air Force Officers cap hanging on the
Although the entire series appears to have taken place during the
harsh German winters (with patches of fake snow on the ground,
frost on the windows, etc.) many shots show deciduous trees with
all of their foliage in the background.
The producers of the 1953 feature film
, a World War II
prisoner of war film released by
owns the DVD rights to Hogan's Heroes
sued Bing Crosby productions for infringement. In his book, My
, Andy Rooney
, who was a friend
of Don Bevan and Ed Trzcinski-the authors of the original
play-relates that "...someone at CBS apparently
ripped off their idea and made a television series called
of it. The television program had too many
similarities in character and plot to be coincidental, and when Don
and Ed sued the network they won a huge award."
In 2002, TV Guide
the fifth worst TV show of all time. The
listing for Hogan's Heroes
in particular accuses the show
of trivializing the suffering of real life POWs and the victims of
the Holocaust with its comedic take on prison camps in the Third
Reich. However, the Luftwaffe, who had jurisdiction over captured
enemy aviators and air crews (irrespective of whether they be of
their respective nation's army, air force, navy or other service)
is generally agreed to have provided noticeably more comfortable
and gentlemanly accommodations than the Wehrmacht or SS, stemming
from their First War philosophy that aviators were "knights of the
air" and to be treated with chivalry.
Comedian Tony Figueroa
has offered a
possible explanation for the disparate views of the program by
modern audiences. He believes that some viewers look badly upon the
show because they think it trivializes the atrocities of war or
because they have fundamentally misapprehended the setting of the
These Hogan's Heroes critics who confuse the
POW camps with the concentration/death camps speaks more about the
quality of the general public's level of historical awareness than
the quality of what William Shatner
would call, "Just a TV show!"
During the original run of the program, Hogan's Heroes
three times nominated for the Emmy
Best Comedy Series. The television academy's faith in the show
seems to be generally, if unscientifically, confirmed by some
modern viewers. , online participants overwhelmingly deemed it a
show that "never jumped the shark
Likewise, about 93% of respondents at tv.com
rated the show as "good" or better, as of 2008. As with all polls,
however, these conclusions may or may not be representative of the
general public's views.
The actors who played the four major German roles-Werner Klemperer
(Klink), John Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter) and Howard
Caine (Hochstetter)--were Jewish. Furthermore, Klemperer, Banner,
Askin and Robert Clary (LeBeau) were Jews
had fled the Nazis during World War II. Clary says in the recorded
commentary on the DVD version of episode "Art for Hogan's Sake"
that he spent three years in a concentration camp
, that his parents and
other family members were killed there, and that he has an identity
tattoo from the camp on his arm. Likewise John Banner had been held
in a (pre-war) concentration camp
and his family was exterminated during the war. Leon Askin was also
in a pre-war French internment camp
and his parents were killed at Treblinka. Howard Caine
(Hochstetter), who was also Jewish (his birth name was Cohen), was
American, and Jewish actors Harold
and Harold J. Stone
played German generals.
As a teenager, Werner Klemperer (Klink) (son of the great conductor
) fled Hitler's Germany
with his family in 1933. During the show's production, he insisted
that Hogan always win over his Nazi captors. He defended his
playing a Luftwaffe Officer by claiming, "I am an actor. If I can
play Richard III, I can play a Nazi." Banner attempted to sum up
the paradox of his role by saying, "Who can play Nazis better than
us Jews?" Ironically, although Klemperer, Banner, Caine, Gould and
Askin play typecast World War II German types, all had actually
served in the US Armed Forces during World War II – Banner and
Askin in the US Army Air Corps, Caine in the US Navy, Gould with
the US Army, and Klemperer in a US Army Entertainment Unit.
The show was not broadcast in Germany over German TV until 1992.
The original dubbed version was titled Stacheldraht und
(Barbed Wire and Turning Tail); it was then
re-dubbed and released in 1994 as Ein Käfig voller Helden
(A Cage of Heroes), which gained considerable popularity (the show
was broadcast over US Armed Forces
in 1974 for about one week, but the German government
strongly requested its removal, which was acted upon by the
management of Armed Forces TV).
In the newer German version, the Germans speak in various different
accents, which make it funnier to a German audience than Standard
German would. It amplifies the contrast between Klink (who portrays
the Prussian stereotype but has a Saxony accent) and Schultz (who
portrays the Urbayern
Bavarian stereotype). Furthermore
Klink's choice of vocabulary and memorable quotes add jokes which
would not be present in a direct translation of the English language
original. Another major
change is that Newkirk, who speaks with a British accent in the
original, is changed to an exaggerated stutterer in the German
version. Yet another character change is Schultz's first name,
which is Hans in the English version, is changed to Georg. Apart
from that, there are numerous deviations from the original plot,
introducing elements which were not present in the original.
Amongst other things it introduces a new character, Kalinke, who is
Klink's cleaning lady and permanent mistress. She is referred to, but never seen
describes her as performing her cleaning duties in the nude.
Hogan's Heroes in HD
broadcasts Hogan's Heroes
in High Definition.
CBS Home Entertainment
(distributed by Paramount
released all six seasons of Hogan's Heroes
on DVD in
Region 1 as full season sets. The series was previously released by
as individual discs,
each with five or six consecutive episodes.
|The Complete First Season
||March 15, 2005
|The Complete Second Season
||September 27, 2005
|The Complete Third Season
||March 7, 2006
|The Complete Fourth Season
||August 15, 2006
|The Complete Fifth Season
||December 19, 2006
|The Sixth & Final Season
||June 5, 2007
|The Complete Series
||November 10, 2009
In popular culture
In a scene from the film Turistas
a character is seen watching the show on television.
magazine #108 (January
1967) parodied the show as "Hokum's Heroes". An additional
one-page parody called "Hochman's Heroes" took the show's premise
to the next level by setting it in Buchenwald concentration camp.
In the Batman
"It's the Way You Play
", Colonel Klink appears in one of the show's trademark
window cameos as Batman scales the side of a building.
In 1974 the Stalag 13 buildings were used for the notorious
concentration camp Nazi
She-Wolf of the SS
Colonel Klink (voiced by Klemperer himself) appears on The Simpsons
in the episode "The Last Temptation of Homer
as a guardian angel who shows Homer what his life would be like
episode "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken
features a parody of the song "Kids" from the musical Bye Bye Birdie
. One of the lines is
"Adults! You run our lives like you're Col Klink!/Adults! You strut
around like your farts don't stink!"
Furthermore, one of the Germans that buy Burns's power plant in
episode "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk
alludes to the show: "The new owners have elected me to speak with
you because I am the most non-threatening. Perhaps I remind you of
the lovable Sergeant Schultz on Hogan's Heroes
Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz appear in the Robot Chicken
episode "Metal Militia",
voiced by Seth Green
. In a segment that
parodies this show, Hulk Hogan
wrestlers were in the place of Colonel Hogan and his inmates as
they plan to make their escape at the time when Adolf Hitler pays a
visit to Colonel Klink's Stalag 13 camp.
aside from the
opening theme that musically resembles Hogan's theme, the general
set of the story lines are derivative of Hogan's Heroes. In one
episode, "The Old Folks Home
when a retiree, Logan, tells T. J. of his past in the war and a
small flashback shows that the retiree's past clearly resembles
Hogan's Heroes. Logan stands with his group in front of a barracks
with the number 13 on it, and the commandant wears a monocle and
carries Klink's military crop.
running back Correll Buckhalter
has been nicknamed
"The General" by ESPN
's Chris Berman
after the General Burkhalter
character. Berman will usually say his name followed by something
like "Klink! You are an idiot!"
The Family Guy
episode "Emission Impossible
" sees character
famous "I SEE NOTHING, NOTHING!" as he sees Stewie
exit the body of a robot built to
The Decepticon Blitzwing in Transformers Animated
speaks in a
German accent, and the face of his "Icy" persona has one optical
sensor shaped like a monocle.
In an episode of Alf
, Brian Tanner and
Alf are reviewing Brian's World War II quiz. The question is "What
German leader was responsible for the start of World War II?" When
told that it wasn't Col. Klink, Alf replies that it must have been
Sgt. Schultz, although he "didn't think he had it in him."
In the "Pop Art" episode of Good
concerning homemade popcorn, host Alton Brown is
having trouble finding a name for the unpopped pieces. When he
calls them 'old maids', an Old Lady appears and hits him with an
umbrella. When he calls them 'little orphans' a Charles Dickens
style orphan appears and kicks him in the shins. When he
hesitatingly calls them 'bad kernels', a monocle wearing actor
(actually camera operator Ramon Engle) portraying Col. Klink
appears and says "Maybe you need to spend some time in the cooler,
Mr Brown!" Alton offers him some popcorn to which he says
In the "Wings over Hooterville" episode of Green Acres
, Lisa tells the locals how she
and Mr Douglas met during WWII when he was shot down. During the
flashback, we see him shot down and as he radios to his commander
his situation, his Commander suggests "If the Krauts capture you,
demand to be sent to Stalag 13. Ask for a chap named Hogan."
In the "It's Gerald's Way or the Highway" episode of The Goode Family
, Gerald is sure his
tough but tender talk and vegetarian stew will be enough to calm
down some Nazi Skinheads. His daughter Bliss suggests to be on the
safe side "...we should have Hogan's Heroes playing in the
background so they can see the lighter, zanier side of
2002 pilot for a remake
of The Time Tunnel the team
goes back to World War II at the
When the team is almost captured, two of
them have switched to German uniforms and pretend to be Colonel Klink
, complete with fake
In 1965, Fleer
produced a 66 trading card
set for the series.
Between 1966 and 1969, Dell Comics
produced 9 issues
based on the series, all
with photo covers.
In 1968, Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon, and Larry Hovis
cut an LP record
, Hogan's Heroes Sing
the Best of World War II
, which included lyrics for the theme
song. The record did not sell well and as a result is today
considered a collector's item.
In 1968, MPC (Model Products by Craft Master, Model Products Corp.)
released a model jeep in 1/25th scale with spurious markings
labeled as "Hogan's Heroes World War II Jeep". In 2003 another
model (from the same mold, but with slightly different–though still
spurious–decals) was released by AMT/ERTL. It cannot be built as a
correct WW2 military jeep, regardless of markings, without body
work due to the fact it has a tailgate
opening; but it includes alternate parts to build a correct
- "The Rise and Fall of Sergeant Schultz"
- "To the Gestapo With Love"
- "Killer Klink"
- Rooney, Andy. My War. New York: Random House, 1995. p.
The Worst TV Shows Ever*, CBS News, July 12, 2002.
- Figueroa, Tony. "Reflections on Hogan's
Heroes". BlogCritics Magazine. 9 June 2006.
- http://www.hogansheroesfanclub.com/awards.php Hogan's Heroes
Fan Club - Awards
- jumptheshark.com rating for Hogan's
- tv.com poll on Hogan's Heroes
- Axis History Forum
- http://www.universalhd.com/app/Schedule/?keyword=HEROES Hogan's
Heroes in HD