Several years ago I bought the Complete Sgt. Bilko Show DVD, and added it to my Plex library. That show, which aired in the late 1950s, was also known as You’ll Never Get Rich and The Phil Silvers Show. It was set in an Army installation and Sgt. Bilko (Phil Silvers, a comic from the vaudeville days) was continually trying to bilk others out of their money and generally coming up short. It was hilarious in its day, and I think at least some of the episodes still hold up very well.
As it happens, the full episodes are now available on Youtube, and the other day Mark Evanier linked to one of the all time great ones,“The Court Martial”. Completely silly, but I was laughing in spite of myself.
Which got me to thinking, I ought to take a look at some of the other episodes again.
Like the one from the fourth and final season (it was cancelled either because Silvers got tired to it or because CBS made a stupid decision, I’ve heard it both ways; it still was getting good ratings) where Bilko gets a godson.
It’s called “Bilko’s Godson”, episode 26 of the fourth season, and I link to it not because it’s one of the best episodes but because it features an extra, who had no lines, but who would go on to have a long career in TV.
If you don’t want to watch the full episode, the person I’m referring to appears in the scenes starting at around 18:20. Bilko, for reasons, is trying to pass a college entrance exam that will have three parts: history, math, and science, so he has to smuggle in three different people to take the three different parts. The extra that I want you to see is sitting in the first row.
Can you name him?