Sunday, October 02, 2005

In Memoriam

After reading all the articles and epitaphs in various publications recounting Don Adams' life and career, what he will inevitably be remembered for is his depiction of Maxwell Smart. I could not help but fondly remember what drew me to this TV spoof of the "secret agent" genre (ie. popularized at the time by Ian Fleming's creation). It was not the fact that it was written and conceived by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, or that it won seven Emmys and two Golden Globe awards. What did draw me ( even as a child) back to this show time after time was the on-going gags and quips. Some of the most memorable:

  • Max: (After causing yet another disaster for the Chief) "Sorry about that, Chief."
  • Chief: "Now listen carefully ... [long list of directions to a secret rendezvous or some such] ... did you get that?" Max: "Not all of it." Chief: "Which part didn't you get?" Max: "The part after 'Now listen carefully'."
  • Max: (Used when his enemies call his bluffs and he ineffectually resorts to more desperate ones) "Would you believe..."
  • Max: "Missed it by that much."
  • Max: "Don't tell me [he made yet another mistake and when his compatriot confirms it, he responds...] I asked you not to tell me that."
  • Max: "The old...[complicated explanation]...trick" (often followed by "that's the second time this month")
  • Chief/99/somebody else: "Max, you'll be in extreme danger every minute!" Max: "...and loving it!"
  • Max: "That's the second biggest ...(whatever)... I've ever seen."
  • Siegfried: (usually to silence his sidekick, Shtarker who is doing something silly) "Shtarker! Zis is KAOS, Ve don't... [whatever it was he was doing]... here!"
  • Max: "Good thinking, 99." [Used by Max to congratulate 99 on a statement of the obvious as if she was learning deduction and logic from him. The implication was that she was just catching up to his thought processes, when in fact the expression on his face showed that he was embarrassed that he hadn't worked it out himself already.]
  • "Hymie, kill the lights": Hymie the Robot (Dick Gauthier), a powerful android who tended to take orders too literally.


Peter said...

Thanks for this. If only "Hymie Kill The Lights" could be on his tombstone. ~grin~

Nick said...

Re: "If only "Hymie Kill The Lights" could be on his tombstone."

Indeed! :-)