Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday Funnies: F-Troop (1965)

The introduction of cable television in my area in the 70's meant fresh viewing options. Many a Sunday morning was spent watching reruns of the 1965-67 sitcom, F-Troop, which aired ahead of the weekly Abbott & Costello feature film du jour on WPIX. SpudTV uploaded the open & close from the 1st season.

F-Troop aspired to be Sgt. Bilko, relocated to the Old West, and embodied by Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker), who negotiated more than just peace treaties with the local Native American tribe, the Hekawis. In fact, the Hekawis were often business partners with O'Rourke and his sidekick, Corporal Agarn (Larry Storch), unbeknownst to their clueless commanding officer, Colonel Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), who was a regular Inspector Cleuseau next to O'Rourke's Bilko-esque con man.

I barely remember seeing F-Troop during its network run on ABC, so in the 70's, it was rather new to me. Guest stars included Paul Lynde as a duplicitous singing Mountie, Harvey Korman (by this time the voice of the Great Gazoo on The Flintstones) as a German balloonist, and Vincent Price. Good, escapist fun.

Rating: A-.


magicdog said...

Ahh, a fellow WPIX viewer!! That channel had so many great shows back in the day!!

I was watching back then too! My dad loved this show during its first run and still laughs when the water tower comes down!!

I haven't seen the show in ages, but it and shows like it were great time capsules due to the enormous talent that came on screen. It wasn't until years later that I learned about Buffalo Bob Steele, who played "Duffy" on the show, was once a movie cowboy on par with other stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

I remember Storch and Tucker teamed up for other work, like "Ghostbusters" in the 70s.

Did you ever hear the story behind how the Heckawis got their name?? It was originally something very different but censors wouldn't allow it!

hobbyfan said...

Those were the days!

I, too, would later learn of Bob Steele's past as a Western star, and in fact, at one point, WOR ran some of his films, IIRC!

I didn't want to beat the point home any further than I already have, previously referencing Ghost Busters as the reunion of Tucker & Storch. At last check, that incarnation of the series is running on Retro in place of the sequel on Saturdays.

When you connect the dots, you begin to realize that Storch was under contract to WB not just for F-Troop at the time, but he also did some cartoons for them, particularly Merlin the Magic Mouse, before moving his tack to Filmation for a time.