We Interrupt This Program to Bring You a Special Sitcom Rarity (II)

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! As discussed, my schedule this week prevents me from doing any work with this blog at all, including the necessary copyediting I run through before every post goes live. For that reason, I had to preempt both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s intended entries in favor of something simpler — sharing two rare sitcom episodes (for your critical and noncommercial pleasure). Yesterday I offered a bit of The Bill Dana Show… 

Today, I’ve got another ’60s show affiliated with Get Smart. It’s my beloved He & She (1967-1968, CBS), which I talk about all the time — like last week in honor of the late Allan Burns, and most notably, in a lengthy critical study, where I positioned this series as a liminal work in the low-concept Barefoot In The Park vein, caught between the escapist ’60s and the realistic ’70sThe offering I’m sharing now is proof of this thesis and happens to be one of the show’s finest — its final original outing, “What’s In The Kitty?,” which guest stars Harold Gould and Alice Ghostley (who both also appeared on Get Smart — as did He & She regulars Kenneth Mars and Jack Cassidy). It beautifully illustrates how the series came to cultivate an ensemble-based character-led style of writing, very reminiscent of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (a frequent point of comparison), while remaining attached to some of the delightfully silly comic interests of the ’60s. In fact, the creative links between He & She and Get Smart, another Talent Associates classic, are obvious — in addition to executive producer Leonard Stern, they shared key scribes in Arne Sultan and Allan Burns & Chris Hayward. Indeed, the entry below boasts a script credited to both Stern and Sultan (with Milt Rosen, from a story by Paul Mason), and was directed by Jay Sandrich — Get Smart’s first season producer, also later of Mary Tyler Moore. First broadcast on March 13, 1968, this episode is one of my ’60s favorites — enjoy!



Come back soon for more Get Smart! And stay tuned Monday for a musical rarity!