Route 66 is an
American TV series in which two young men traveled across
The show ran weekly on CBS
1960 to 1964. It starred Martin Milner
as Tod Stiles
and, for two and a half
seasons, George Maharis
as Buz Murdock
. Maharis was ill for much of the
third season, during which time Tod was shown traveling on his own.
Tod met Lincoln Case
, played by
, late in the third
season, and traveled with him until the end of the fourth and final
The series is best remembered for its iconic Corvette
convertible and its instrumental
theme song (composed and performed by Nelson Riddle
), which became a major pop
Format and characters
was a hybrid between episodic television drama,
which has continuing characters and situations, and the anthology
format (e.g., The Twilight Zone
in which each week's show has a completely different cast and
story. Route 66
had just three continuing characters, no
more than two of whom appeared in the same episode. Like Richard
Kimble from The
, the wanderers would move from place to place and
get caught up in the struggles of the people there. Unlike Kimble,
nothing was forcing them to stay on the move except their own sense
of adventure, thus making it thematically closer to Run for Your Life
Then Came Bronson
examples of this traveling protagonist format are programs such as
, Quantum Leap
, The Incredible Hulk
, and Supernatural
This semi-anthology concept, where the drama is centered on the
guest stars rather than the regular cast, was carried over from
series creator Stirling
's previous drama Naked City
shows were recognized for their literate scripts and rich
characterizations. The open-ended format, featuring two roaming
observers/facilitators, gave Silliphant and the other writers an
almost unlimited landscape for presenting a wide variety of
dramatic (or comedic) storylines. Virtually any tale could be
adapted to the series. The two regulars merely had to be worked in
and the setting tailored to fit the location. So, from toiling in a
California vineyard to manning a Maine lobster
boat, the two men took odd jobs along their journey which brought
them into contact with dysfunctional families or troubled
individuals in need of their help.
Tod and Buz (and later, Linc) symbolized restless youth searching
for meaning in the early 1960s
, but they were
essentially non-characters. We learn almost nothing about them over
the course of the series. All we are told is that, after the death
of his father, Tod Stiles inherits a new Corvette and decides to
drive across America with his friend Buz. Tod, portrayed by
clean-cut Martin Milner, is the epitome of the decent, honest,
all-American type. He is the moral anchor of the series. By
contrast, the working-class Buz (George Maharis) is looser, hipper,
more Beat Generation
His third-season replacement, Lincoln Case (Glenn Corbett), is a
darker character, an army
haunted by his past. He's more introspective with a sometimes
explosive temper, but is nonetheless a reliable companion on this
The series concluded in Tampa with the two-part episode "Where
There's a Will, There's a Way", in which Tod Stiles got married,
and he and Linc finally settled down. This made the series one of
the earliest prime-time television dramas to have a planned series
finale resolving the fate of its main characters.
The show was filmed and presented in black and white throughout its
run. This was not unusual for early 1960s episodic TV.
is well-remembered for its cinematography and
location filming. Writer-producer Stirling Silliphant traveled the
country with a location manager (Sam Manners), scouting a wide
range of locales and writing scripts to match the settings. The
actors and film crew would arrive a few months later. Memorable locations
include a logging camp, shrimp boats, an offshore oil rig, and
Dam, the latter while still under construction.
It is one of very few series in the history of television to be
filmed entirely on the road. This was done at a time when the United States was much less homogeneous than it is now.
People, their accents, livelihoods, ethnic backgrounds and
attitudes varied widely from one location to the next. Scripted
characters reflected a far less mobile society, in which people
were more apt to spend their entire lives in one small part of the
country. Similarly, the places themselves were very different from
one another visually, environmentally, architecturally, in goods
and services available, etc. Stars Martin Milner and George Maharis
both mentioned this in 1980s interviews. "Now you can go wherever
you want," Maharis added by way of contrast, "and it's a Denny's
The roster of guest stars on Route 66
includes quite a few
actors who later went on to fame and fortune, as well as major
stars on the downward side of their careers. One of the most
historically significant episodes of the series in this respect was
"Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing." It featured Lon Chaney, Jr.
, Peter Lorre
as themselves, with Karloff donning his famous Frankenstein monster
make-up for the
first time in 25 years and Chaney reprising his role as the
Wolfman. The show was filmed at the O'Hare Inn, near
Airport, Chicago, Illinois.
Dutch singer Ronnie Tober had a small guest
role with Sharon Russo, Junior Miss America.
Other notable guest stars from the series included James Brown
, Robert Duvall
, George KennedyWalter Matthau
, David Janssen
, Lee Marvin
, Tina Louise
, Suzanne Pleshette
, Robert Redford
, Martin Sheen
, and Rod
. Julie Newmar
memorable as a motorcycle-riding free-spirit—a role she reprised in
a later episode. William Shatner
also guest starred,
in separate episodes. Lee Marvin and DeForest Kelley were among the
many actors and actresses to appear in more than one role over the
course of the series.
In a 1986 interview, Martin Milner reported that Lee Marvin
credited him with helping his career by breaking Marvin's nose
"just enough" to improve his look. This happened in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania during a scripted fistfight for "Mon Petit Chou",
the second of two episodes in which Marvin appeared.
Two late third-season episodes, which aired one week apart, each
featured a guest star in a bit part playing a character with a
profession with which they would later become associated as stars
of their own respective mega-hit television series. In "Shadows of
an Afternoon", Michael Conrad
seen as a uniformed policeman, many years before he became famous
in his regular role as Police Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues
. And in "Soda Pop and
Paper Flags", Alan Alda
guested as a
surgeon, a precursor to his career-defining role as Dr. Benjamin
Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce on M*A*S*H
. Also in the first season
episode The Strengthening Angels
that aired November 4,
1960 Hal Smith
, who played town
drunk Otis Campbell in The
Andy Griffith Show
, also plays a drunk named Howard and is
listed in the credits as "Drunk".
The episode "Is It True There Are Poxies at the Bottom of Landfair
Lake?" featured guest stars Geoffrey
and Collin Wilcox
In the episode's storyline, Wilcox's character pretended to get
married to Horne's, although it turned out to be a practical joke.
A few years after appearing in this episode, Horne and Wilcox would
in real life be briefly married to each other.
A noteworthy in-joke
occurs during the
episode "Where Are the Sounds of Celli Brahams?" In this segment,
Horace McMahon guests as a Minneapolis,
Minnesota festival promoter.
At one point, his
character confesses to Linc his failed ambition to be a policeman.
remarks that he looks like a policeman Linc once knew in New York City.
McMahon had starred as Lt. Mike Parker on
the New York-based police drama Naked City
from 1958-63, another
television series overseen by the creative team of Stirling Silliphant
and Herbert B. Leonard
- The original working title of the series was The
Searchers, according to George Maharis. That title was also
the title of the 1956 film The
Searchers directed by John
Ford and starring John Wayne, so the
series was renamed.
- The show actually had very little real connection with the
US Highway providing its name. Most of
the locations visited throughout the series were far afield from
the territory covered by "The Mother Road." U.S. Route 66 the
highway was briefly referred to in just three early episodes of the
series ("Black November", "Play It Glissando", and "An Absence of
Tears") and is shown only rarely, as in the early first season
episode "The Strengthening Angels".
- The episode "I'm Here to Kill a King", which was originally
scheduled to air on November 29, 1963, was removed from the
schedule because of President John F.
Kennedy's assassination one week earlier. It was eventually
rescheduled for March 1964. This episode, and "A Long Way from St.
Louie," are the only ones filmed outside the United States.
filmed in Canada, the latter
- Sam Peckinpah directed an episode in 1960.
was devised by Stirling Silliphant
, who wrote the
majority of the episodes. It was notable for its dark storylines
and exceptional realism. Tod and Buz would frequently become
involved with individuals whose almost nihilistic
worldview made for occasionally
frightening television. Some forty-six years after its premiere,
is still one of the few television series to
offer such a range of socially-conscious stories, including
, the threat of nuclear
annihilation, terrorism, runaways and orphans. Other episodes dealt
with the mentally ill, drug addiction or gang violence.
some stories were congenially lighthearted, such as a memorable
episode featuring Richard Basehart
as a folklorist trying to record the local music of an isolated
Appalachian community, and a Halloween episode called "Lizard's
Leg and Owlet's Wing".
Even more unusual is the way it served up a kind of soaring dialog
that has been referred to as "Shakespearean
" and free-verse poetry. For
instance, the boys encounter a Nazi
named Bartlett on the offshore oil drilling rig where they work.
Bartlett describes the horrors of World War
and the Holocaust
thus: "Tod, I
hope you live a long life and never know the blistering forces
which sear and destroy, turn men into enemies and sweep past the
last frontiers of compassion" and "once you've seen that dark,
unceasing tide of faces... of the victims...the last spark of
dignity so obliterated that not one face is lifted to heaven, not
one voice is raised in protest even as they died..." (from episode
#4, "The Man on the Monkey Board").
The quirky, textured writing extended even to episode titles, which
included such oddities as "How Much a Pound is Albatross?" and
"Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma?". Other episode titles were drawn
from a wide range of literary sources, such as Shakespeare ("A
Lance of Straw") or Alfred Tennyson
("A Fury-Slinging Flame").
Many of the stories were character studies, like the
above-mentioned one featuring RichardBasehart as a man who uses
people then tosses them away, as if they are plastic spoons.
episode titled "You Can't Pick Cotton in Tahiti" refers to
small-town America as both a far-away, exotic Tahiti and the
"real America" compared to "phony-baloney" Hollywood, and still
offers food for thought.
Many episodes offer moving
soliloquies, into which future Academy-Award
-winning writer Stirling
Silliphant (In the
Heat of the Night
) poured his deepest thoughts.
Despite all the adventure, travelogue, drama and poetry, the real
subject of the series was the human condition, with Tod and Buz
often cast as a kind of roving Greek
, observers and mentors to broken-down prizefighters and
rodeo clowns, sadists and iron-willed matrons, surfers and
heiresses, runaway kids and people from all walks of life, forced
by circumstances to confront their demons.
One hallmark of the show was the way it introduced viewers, however
briefly, to newways of life and new cultures. For instance, we get
a glimpse of a shrimper's life in episode 2 of season 1, "A Lance
of Straw", and a look at Cleveland, Ohio's Polish community in
episode 35, "First Class Mouliak".
Here the young are pushed
by their parents into careers and even marriages they may not want,
in an effort to hold community and family together, albeit at the
expense of the happiness and well-being of the kids. This story
featured Robert Redford, Martin
, Nehemiah Persoff
Nancy Malone as guest stars.
One of the legacies Route 66
left behind is a dramatic and
photographic portrait of early-1960s America as a less crowded and
less complicated era--if not a less violent one--in which altruism
and optimism still had a place. That place was filled by two young
men who seemed to represent the best in us, the willingness to
stand up for the weak, and who espoused old-fashioned values like
honesty and the physical courage necessary to fight in their own
and others' defense. In their role of wanderers, they appeared to
be peaceful rebels who seemed to reject, at least for a time,
material possessions and the American dream of owning a home. The
boys were de facto
orphans adrift in American society; as
such, they embodied facets of Jack
's Beat Generation
little bit of Marlon Brando
side from The Wild One
's inability to settle down and
fit in from Rebel Without a
, and the wanderlust of the above-mentioned Jim
Bronson, the traveling writer and loner who toured the USA on a
motorcycle in the 1969-1970 series Then Came Bronson
. The use of the
Corvette on Route 66
, not only as the boys' transportation
but as their marquee and symbol of their wandering spirit, created
a link between America's Sports Car and America's highways that
endures to this day.
Given the unusual tenor of the show and the cost of keeping some 50
people on the road filming for most of the year, it seems highly
unlikely that anything like Route 66
will ever be
was commissioned to
write the instrumental theme when CBS decided to have a new song,
rather than pay royalties for the Bobby
song " Route 66
theme, however, offers an unmistakable homage to the latter's piano
solo (as originally recorded by Nat King
) throughout the number. Riddle's Route 66
instrumental was one of the first television themes to make
's Top 30,
following Henry Mancini's "Mr. Lucky Theme" in 1960. The song
earned two Grammy nominations in 1962.
George Maharis reported in a 1986 Nick
interview that people often ask him about "the red
Corvette." According to Maharis, the Corvette was never red. It was
light blue the first season, and fawn beige for the second and
third seasons. Both colors were chosen to photograph well in black
and white, but the show's cinematographer complained that the
powder blue car reflected too much light. The Corvette was replaced
with a newer model annually by the series' sponsor, General Motors
, but the show itself never
mentioned or explained this technicality.
Awards and nominations
- In 1962, guest star Ethel Waters
was nominated for an Emmy Award in the
category "Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Series"
for her performance in the episode "Good Night, Sweet Blues". It
was the first-ever Emmy nomination for an African-American actress.
- Also in 1962, George Maharis was nominated for "Outstanding
Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series" (Best Actor) for his
role as Buz.
First season (1960-1961)
||October 7, 1960
||Car trouble strands Tod and Buz near a lumber-camp town with a
||"A Lance of Straw"
||October 14, 1960
||Tod and Buz sign on to crew a Louisiana shrimp boat, despite
the objections of the female captain's (Janice Rule) jealous boyfriend.
||"The Swan Bed"
||October 21, 1960
||Tod and Buz meet a girl in New Orleans during a parrot fever
||"The Man on the Monkey Board"
||October 28, 1960
||Tod and Buz meet a Nazi-hunter (Lew
Ayres) and his quarry on an offshore oil rig.
||"The Strengthening Angels"
||November 4, 1960
||Tod and Buz try to help a migrant worker (Suzanne Pleshette) who is in trouble with
the local sheriff.
||"Ten Drops of Water"
||November 11, 1960
||Devastated by drought, three orphaned ranchers need Tod, Buz
and the Corvette.
||"Three Sides" (aka Three Sides of a Coin)
||November 18, 1960
||Tod and Buz get involved in family strife while working for an
Oregon hop farmer.
||"Legacy for Lucia"
||November 25, 1960
||Stirling Silliphant, Melvin Levy
||While working at a logging camp, Tod and Buz meet a girl from
Italy, who insists she has inherited the state of Oregon from a
||"Layout at Glen Canyon"
||December 2, 1960
||Tod and Buz act as bodyguards to fashion models at the Glen
Canyon Dam construction site.
||"The Beryllium Eater"
||December 9, 1960
||Tod and Buz help an old prospector (Edgar Buchanan) stake his claim after he
finds beryllium ore.
||"A Fury Slinging Flame"
||December 30, 1960
and Buz meet a scientist (Leslie
Nielsen) who intends to hide in Carlsbad Caverns with friends until an expected nuclear holocaust is over.
||January 6, 1961
||Tod and Buz work as cowboys for Woody Biggs (Lee Marvin), who isn’t done with the woman he
sent to prison.
||"The Quick and the Dead"
||January 13, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Charles Beaumont and Jerry Sohl
||Tod becomes a race car driver as he and Buz get involved in a
family controversy over whether an aging driver should retire.
||"Play It Glissando"
||January 20, 1961
||Tod and Buz try to protect a woman from her jazz musician
||"The Clover Throne"
||January 27, 1961
||Tod and Buz work for a date farmer (Jack
Warden) who fights the highway department while he "waits out"
his sexy ward, hoping she will marry him.
||"Fly Away Home (Part 1)"
||February 10, 1961
||Tod becomes a crop duster for a struggling company.
||"Fly Away Home (Part 2)"
||February 17, 1961
||Tod and Buz get involved in a quandary over an extra-dangerous
crop dusting contract.
||"Sleep on Four Pillows"
||February 24, 1961
||Tod and Buz meet a teenage girl who claims to be on the run
from gangsters – but her family thinks she has been kidnapped.
||"An Absence of Tears"
||March 3, 1961
||Tod and Buz try to protect a blind widow from her husband’s
||"Like a Motherless Child"
||March 17, 1961
||Howard Rodman, Betty Andrews
||Buz and Tod split up over whether to return a runaway boy to an
||"Effigy in Snow"
||March 24, 1961
||Tod and Buz try to stop a murderer who has left his latest
victim in the snow at Squaw Valley.
||"Eleven, the Hard Way"
||April 7, 1961
||George Clayton Johnson
||Tod and Buz meet a gambler (Walter
Matthau), whom the people of Broken Knee have asked to save
||"Most Vanquished, Most Victorious"
||April 14, 1961
||At the request of his aunt, Tod traces the life of his saintly
cousin through the Los Angeles slums.
||"Don't Count Stars"
||April 28, 1961
||Tod and Buz get involved in a custody case over a 9-year-old
heiress and her drunken, gambling "uncle."
||May 5, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Herb Purdum
||Tod and Buz protect a Native American girl and her newborn from
their employer, who rules the land like a feudal baron.
||"A Skill for Hunting"
||May 12, 1961
||Jack Turley, Martin Gelman
||Tod and Buz are framed as poachers after Tod interferes with a
real poacher’s hunting.
||"Trap at Cordova"
||May 26, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Joseph Vogel
||Tod and Buz are coerced into teaching school children in rural
||June 2, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Leonard Freeman
||Buz visits and inspires his boyhood hero, a former boxing great
(Darren McGavin) who is now on the
||"Welcome to Amity"
||June 9, 1961
||Tod and Buz meet a woman (Susan
Oliver), who wants to bury her mother in a nearby cemetery. The
people of Amity want to stop her.
||"Incident on a Bridge"
||June 16, 1961
||Tod and Buz board in a home with an abused, mute girl and her
two jealous - and violent - suitors.
Second season (1961-1962)
||"A Month of Sundays"
||September 22, 1961
||Buz falls for starlet Arlene Sims (Anne
Francis), unaware that she has a terminal illness.
||September 29, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Wilbur Daniel Steele
||Tod and Buz attempt to recapture a wild horse which has
apparently killed its new owner.
||"Good Night, Sweet Blues"
||October 6, 1961
||Will Lorin, Leonard Freeman
||A dying jazz singer (Ethel Waters)
enlists Tod and Buz to search out and reunite her old combo.
||"Birdcage on My Foot"
||October 13, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Elliot Silverstein
||Tod and Buz try to help a heroin junkie (Robert Duvall) kick the habit.
||"First Class Mouliak"
||October 20, 1961
||When a young woman is found dead, the chief suspect (Robert Redford) is the son of Tod and Buz's
employer (Nehemiah Persoff).
||"Once to Every Man"
||October 27, 1961
||Frank L. Moss
||Tod seems ready to finally settle down and tie the knot with
the daughter of a Gloucester, Massachusetts shipyard owner
||"The Mud Nest"
||November 10, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Leonard Freeman
||After discovering a family that resembles him in a small
Maryland town, Buz goes to Baltimore to search for the woman who
may be his mother (Betty Field).
||"A Bridge Across Five Days"
||November 17, 1961
||The boys try to help a woman (Nina
Foch) recently released from a Catonsville, Maryland mental
hospital adjust to life in the outside world.
||"Mon Petit Chou"
||November 24, 1961
||Tod becomes enamored of a lounge singer, but finds an obstacle
in her intensely jealous manager (Lee
||"Some of the People, Some of the Time"
||December 1, 1961
||Tod and Buz work for a fraudulent beauty contest promoter
(Keenan Wynn) and become hucksters in
||"The Thin White Line"
||December 8, 1961
||Leonard Freeman, Jordan Brotman, Bill Stine
||Tod goes on a one-man rampage through Philadelphia after
inadvertently drinking a beer spiked with a powerful hallucinogenic
||"And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon"
||December 15, 1961
||Stirling Silliphant, Frank L. Moss
||A social worker (Milt Kamen) who is a
former mentor of Buz is killed playing a dare game with a gang
leader (Martin Sheen).
||"Burning for Burning"
||December 29, 1961
||Tod and Buz work for a wealthy family with a dead son. When
their daughter-in-law pays a visit with their grandchild, the
family treats her with open hostility.
||"To Walk with the Serpent"
||January 5, 1962
||The F.B.I. wants Tod and Buz to infiltrate a Neo-Nazi group
which is planning terrorism.
||"A Long Piece of Mischief"
||January 19, 1962
||Stirling Silliphant, Richard Shapiro and Esther Mayesh
||A rodeo clown nurses a love for a trick rider while fending off
||"1800 Days to Justice"
||January 26, 1962
||An ex-con (John Ericson)
who was framed takes over a small Texas town and holds a kangaroo
court to pass judgment on the real culprit (DeForest Kelly).
||"A City of Wheels"
||February 2, 1962
||Working in a veterans hospital brings Tod and Buz into the life
of an embittered invalid (Steven
||"How Much a Pound Is Albatross?"
||February 9, 1962
||Free-spirited motorcycle rider Vicki Russell (Julie Newmar) arrives in Tucson and turns it -
and the lives of Tod and Buz - upside down.
||"Aren't You Surprised to See Me?"
||February 16, 1962
||A religious fanatic with a biological weapon kidnaps Buz and
threatens to kill him - unless the entire city of Dallas abstains
from sin for 24 hours.
||"You Never Had It So Good"
||February 23, 1962
||Stirling Silliphant, Frank L. Moss
||As part of a power play, a female executive promotes
day-laborer Buz to a high administrative position.
||"Shoulder the Sky, My Lad"
||March 2, 1962
||Tod and Buz come to the aid of a young Jewish boy, who has a
crisis of faith after his father is killed in a mugging.
||"Blues for the Left Foot"
||March 9, 1962
||Tod helps a dancer - his first love - get a tryout with a major
||"Go Read the River"
||March 16, 1962
||Tod finds that his new employer, a designer of speedboat
engines, is an exceptionally driven and desolate man.
||"Even Stones Have Eyes"
||March 30, 1962
||Buz contemplates taking his own life after a construction
accident leaves him without his sight.
||"Love is a Skinny Kid"
||April 6, 1962
||A young woman (Tuesday Weld) stirs
up a small Texas community by arriving in town wearing a frightful
mask, which she refuses to remove.
||"Kiss the Maiden, All Forlorn"
||April 13, 1962
||An international fugitive (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) risks
recapture by returning to the U.S. to visit his daughter.
||"Two on the House"
||April 20, 1962
||A young boy pretends to be the target of kidnappers in order to
get attention from his business-obsessed father.
||"There I Am - There I Always Am"
||May 4, 1962
||Buz attempts to rescue a young woman who gets her foot stuck in
the rocks of a Southern California beach, with the high tide coming
||"Between Hello and Goodbye"
||May 11, 1962
||Tod becomes involved with a reckless blonde and her reserved
||"A Feat of Strength"
||May 18, 1962
||Howard Rodman, Joseph Petracca and Everett De Baun
||Tod helps introduce a legitimate Hungarian wrestler (Jack Warden) to the American version of the
||"Hell is Empty, All the Devils Are Here"
||May 25, 1962
||Tod's employer (Peter
Graves) is an animal trainer plotting revenge against the man
he believes responsible for his wife's death.
||"From an Enchantress Fleeing"
||June 1, 1962
||Stirling Silliphant, Abram S. Ginnes
||Tod goes in search of a henpecked runaway husband.
Third season (1962-1963)
||"One Tiger to a Hill"
||September 21, 1962
||Tod and Buz cross paths with an Oregon fisherman (David Janssen) whose war experiences have
turned him into a bitter, vicious misanthrope.
||"Journey to Ninevah"
||September 28, 1962
||William R. Cox
||Tod and Buz suffer a series of odd misfortunes after they give
a ride to a local jinx (Buster
||"Man Out of Time"
||October 5, 1962
||Tod's cab fare is a former prohibition-era gangster who
believes someone from his past wants to kill him.
||"Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma?"
||October 12, 1962
||Stirling Silliphant, Borden Chase and Frank Chase
||At California's famous Huntington Beach, Buz challenges the
local surfing champ to avenge the death of a former
||"Voice at the End of the Line"
||October 19, 1962
||A co-worker of Buz carries on a telephone romance with a woman
he has never seen.
||"Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing"
||October 26, 1962
||Old-time horror-movie icons Lon
Chaney, Jr., Boris Karloff, and
Peter Lorre reunite at a Chicago hotel
to plan a horror TV show for a new generation.
||"Across Walnuts and Wine"
||November 2, 1962
||Tod and Buz board at an Oregon house with a strangely
||"Welcome to the Wedding"
||November 9, 1962
||A cold-blooded killer (Rod Steiger)
escapes from police custody and takes Tod captive.
||"Every Father's Daughter" (a.k.a. "Every Father's Daughter Must
Weave Her Own")
||November 16, 1962
||Buz's employer tries to set him up with his troubled
||"Poor Little Kangaroo Rat"
||November 23, 1962
||Tod and Buz work for a shark-hunting scientist (Leslie Nielsen) who is so obsessed with his
cholesterol research he ignores his own family.
||"Hey Moth, Come Eat the Flame"
||November 30, 1962
||Tod and Buz try to help a young boy cope with his father's
||"Only by Cunning Glimpses"
||December 7, 1962
||Stirling Silliphant, Preston Wood
||A traveling medium displays an uncanny ability to predict the
future, and her next prediction is for Buz's death!
||"Where is Chick Lorimer? Where Has She Gone?"
||December 14, 1962
||Larry Marcus, Bert Lambert
||Tod unwittingly helps a young woman (Vera
Miles) escape from her bail bondsman.
||"Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse"
||December 21, 1962
||Tod once again encounters Vicki Russell (Julie Newmar) in Tennessee, where she is being
courted by a cotton baron.
||"A Bunch of Lonely Pagliaccis"
||January 4, 1963
||Tod's idyllic new existence working for a prize-winning,
William Faulkner-ish novelist in rural Mississippi is shattered by
||"You Can't Pick Cotton in Tahiti"
||January 11, 1963
||A runaway groom (Richard
Basehart) in a tiny Tennessee community pretends to study local
folk songs as he uses the town, its people and Tod for his own
||"A Gift for a Warrior"
||January 18, 1963
||Larry Marcus and Harlan Ellison
||Tod and Buz try to help a German youth find his American
father, unaware that the youth plans to kill the man.
||"Suppose I Said I Was the Queen of Spain"
||February 8, 1963
||Stirling Silliphant, Jerome B. Thomas
||Tod becomes romantically involved with a woman (Lois Nettleton) who gives the term "role
playing" a whole new meaning.
||"Somehow It Gets to Be Tomorrow"
||February 15, 1963
||Tod tries to help a pair of runaway orphans.
||"Shall Forfeit His Dog and Ten Shillings to the King"
||February 22, 1963
||Tod joins a posse hunting a pair of killers near Arizona's
||"In the Closing of a Trunk"
||March 8, 1963
||A woman returning from a long prison stay believes Tod to be
||"The Cage Around Maria"
||March 15, 1963
||Tod comes to the rescue of a young woman who jumps into the
bear pit of the Houston zoo.
||"Fifty Miles from Home"
||March 22, 1963
||Tod meets his new traveling partner, one Lincoln Case (Glenn
Corbett) - Army Ranger and war hero, just returned from
||"Narcissus on an Old Red Fire Engine
||March 29, 1963
||Linc becomes involved with a troubled, self-obsessed young
||"The Cruelest Sea of All"
||April 5, 1963
||Tod works at Florida's famous Weekee Watchee aquatic park when
he meets a young woman (Diane Baker) who
may be a real mermaid.
||"Peace, Pity, Pardon"
||April 12, 1963
||In Tampa, Tod and Linc aid Jai-Lai players in a dangerous
attempt to smuggle a little girl out of Cuba.
||"What a Shining Young Man Was Our Gallant Lieutenant"
||April 26, 1963
||After the guys are shortchanged on the docks in Tampa, Linc
pays a visit to his former commanding officer (Dick York) only to find that head wounds suffered
in combat have regressed him back into an 8-year-old boy.
||"But What Do You Do In March?"
||May 3, 1963
||Tod and Linc race speedboats as they get caught up in the
rivalry between two spoiled heiresses. Guy
Lombardo and Carmen Lombardo
||"Who Will Cheer My Bonnie Bride?"
||May 10, 1963
||Linc is shanghaied by holdup men who are on their way to a
||"Shadows of an Afternoon"
||May 17, 1963
||Leonard Freeman, Alvin Sargent and Eric Scott
||Linc is jailed after an old woman accuses him of cruelly
injuring a dog.
||"Soda Pop and Paper Flags"
||May 31, 1963
||A hobo befriended by Tod and Linc is suspected of bringing a
rare and deadly virus into a Missouri town.
Fourth season (1963-1964)
||"Two Strangers and an Old Enemy"
||September 27, 1963
||Tod and Linc search for a missing war hero (Jack Warden) in the Everglades.
||"Same Picture, Different Frame"
||October 4, 1963
||A matron (Joan Crawford) fears her
ex-husband means to kill her.
||"Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are"
||October 11, 1963
||Linc falls for the capricious daughter of a sawmill owner.
||"Where Are the Sounds of Celli Brahams?"
||October 18, 1963
||Tod gets a job working with a female acoustical engineer and
finds her difficult to keep up with.
||"Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea"
||October 25, 1963
||Frank L. Pierson
||Tod and Linc observe the grim conflict between a Maine lobster
fisherman and his prodigal son (William
||"And Make Thunder His Tribute"
||November 1, 1963
||Lewis John Carlino
||Tod and Linc go to work for a raspberry farmer and find
themselves in yet another father-son conflict.
||"The Stone Guest"
||November 8, 1963
||A cave-in at a Colorado mine traps the town ne'er-do-well
underground with a spinster, while Mozart's Don Giovanni plays in the town and
parallels the mine tragedy.
||"I Wouldn't Start From Here"
||November 15, 1963
||Tod and Linc help an old Vermont farmer try to stave off
||"I'm Here to Kill a King"
||Originally intended for November 29, 1963, canceled by CBS because of
the John F.
Kennedy assassination and never broadcast during series' original
||Coincidence brings Tod together with a political assassin (also
played by Martin Milner) who is his
identical double. Filmed in Canada.
||"A Cage in Search of a Bird"
||November 29, 1963
||A moll (Stefanie Powers) steals
six hundred dollars from her boyfriend's poker game and then hides
the money in the hubcap of Tod and Linc's car.
||"A Long Way From St. Louie"
||December 6, 1963
||Linc takes it upon himself to help out a quintet of girl
musicians (two were played by Lynda
Day and Jessica Walter) stranded
in Toronto, Canada.
||"Come Home, Greta Inger Gruenshaffen"
||December 13, 1963
||Tod and Linc vie for the affections of a German physical
culturalist who is on a sabbatical.
||"93 Percent in Smiling"
||December 20, 1963
||Tired of their parents' bickering, two young children kidnap
their baby brother and set up their own "family."
||"Child of a Night"
||January 3, 1964
||Tod and Linc try to fulfill a dying man's wish to find the
child he never knew and give her his life's savings.
||"Is it True There Are Poxies at the Bottom of Landfair
||January 10, 1964
||A young man in rural Georgia seeks to publicly humiliate a
woman who was the instrument of a cruel practical joke perpetrated
on him in the Army.
||"Like This It Means Father --- Like This - Bitter --- Like This
||January 17, 1964
||Linc runs into a former member of his Vietnam outfit - the man
who got his men killed in combat.
||"Kiss the Monster, Make Him Sleep"
||January 24, 1964 (originally intended
for November 22, 1963)
||Stanley R. Greenberg
||Linc has a full plate as he carries on a relationship with a
troubled young woman while reconciling with his mother and
||"Cries of Persons Close to One"
||January 31, 1964
||William Kelley and Howard Rodman
||Linc must take the place of an alcoholic boxer who is unable to
participate in a fight.
||"Who in His Right Mind Needs a Nice Girl?"
||February 7, 1964
||A shy and naive young librarian becomes infatuated with a
dashing stranger, unaware he is a murderer being sought by the
||"This is Going to Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You"
||February 14, 1964
||A former classmate of Tod's (Soupy
Sales), who is now a millionaire, wants Tod and his
"manservant" Linc to take his place.
||"Follow the White Dove With the Broken Wing"
||February 21, 1964
||After accidentally killing a policeman, a troubled teenager
takes Tod and Linc hostage.
||"Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Part One)
||March 6, 1964
||The bizarre terms of a tycoon's will mandate that Tod marry his
daughter (Barbara Eden). Filmed in
||"Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Part Two)
||March 13, 1964
||After surviving an attempt on his life by inheritance-seekers,
Tod plans a Monte Cristo-esque revenge. Filmed in Tampa.
releasing Route 66
on DVD in Region 1 for the very first
time. To date, they have released the first two seasons. Season 3
is being released in volumes; volume 1 was released on July 21,
2009 and volume 2 will be released on October 20, 2009. A complete
season 3 boxset will also be released on January 12, 2010. 
|Complete First Season
||August 5, 2008
|Complete Second Season
||October 21, 2008
|Season Three, Volume One
||July 21, 2009
|Season Three, Volume Two
||October 20, 2009
|Complete Third Season
||January 12, 2010
- The series was lampooned in the April 1962 issue of
Mad magazine. The parody,
entitled "Route 67", followed the publication's established
practice of irreverently satirizing current popular programs and
motion pictures in comic strip format.
The send-up features an appearance by the character Mary Worth, who chides the boys for
trying to usurp her role as the nation's chief do-gooder.
- According to biographer Dennis McNally (Desolate Angel: Jack
Kerouac, The Beat Generation, and America), Jack Kerouac tried to
sue the show's producer Stirling Silliphant, claiming that it
plagiarized his novel On the Road, which also featured two
buddies traveling America's byways in search of adventure. McNally
said Kerouac was "appalled by the show's violence," but the lawyers
he contacted convinced him that he could never win a lawsuit. (page
272, Desolate Angel, McNally)
- Route 66 was featured on the cover of TV Guide four times.
- In a
1963 episode of the popular situation comedy Leave It to Beaver, the character
Eddie Haskell obtains a summer job on
an Alaskan fishing boat and likens himself to "the guys on
Route 66." Beaver was at the time airing
on the rival ABC
- In the Alien Nation
episode "Gimmee, Gimmee", Albert gives Matt a vintage Corvette,
whereupon the series theme by Nelson
Riddle is heard.
- Actor Martin Milner toured the real Route 66 for the 2002 video
production Route 66: Return to the Road with Martin
- In the February 5, 2009 episode of Supernatural, Sam and Dean
pose as FBI agents named "Murdock" and "Stiles". This episode was
directed by the late Kim Manners, son of
Route 66 production manager Sam Manners.
In 1993, Route 66
was resurrected, albeit briefly. The
"sequel" series followed the adventures of two friends, Nick Lewis
(played by James Wilder) and Arthur Clark (Dan Cortese
), one of whom (Lewis) had inherited
a classic Corvette from his father, Buz Murdock. The new series
lasted a total of four episodes on NBC
- Rosin, James. Route 66: The Television Series
1960-1964. The Autumn Road Company, Philadelphia. ISBN
0-9728684-2-9, ISBN 13: 978-0-9728684-2-6
- Actor interviews, aired on Nick at
- Steinberg, Cobbit S. TV Facts. New York: Facts on File, 1980.