Article from: "Television 'Smart' Gets Update; '60s Cult Stars Return for New Series"  By Harvey Solomon; Boston Herald; January 7, 1995  


When the original "Get Smart" aired in the late '60s, its timing could not have been better. Developed by comic masters Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, the spy spoof ran alongside popular secret agent dramas like "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," "The Avengers", "The Wild, Wild West," "The F.B.I." and many more.
Twenty-five years later, a retooled "Burke's Law" has resurfaced on CBS, but is the time right for a rejiggered "Get Smart?"
"That's a difficult question," said Don Adams, whose oafish, yet endearing Maxwell Smart is now Chief of CONTROL.
"The '60s were a special kind of decade, a lot of innovate things were happening then and 'Get Smart' was a part of that. It became a cult classic."
"This a '90s version," Adams continued, "a different kind of show. I'm more of a '60s person than I am a '90s person. We have to adjust, don't we?"
In the contemporary version, Smart reunites with Agent 99(Barbara Feldon), who is now a congresswoman in charge of CONTROL's budget. Doing the legwork is their son Zachary(Andy Dick),an eager but, like his dear old dad, an inept spy. He teams with the beautiful Agent 66(Elaine Hendrix) to battle the archenemies at KAOS.
One aspect that hasn't changed through the decades is the work itself.
"I've done 12 years of series," said Adams. "It's a job. You go to work, you learn your lines, you do your thing."
But "Get Smart" differs from the standard situation comedy in its form and style.
"I find it hard to apply the word 'sitcom' to 'Get Smart'. although that's what it is," Adams said. "Sitcoms are shows done historically in a studio with a live audience with four tape cameras.
'Get Smart' is done with one film camera, on location, in sets. It is scored musically, like a movie. There's no situation comedy like that, never has been. I didn't do half-hour television shows, I did 139 mini-movies. That's a few more than John Wayne."
Like Hondo, Smart is always trying to beat the bad guys, and he and his offspring now have assorted high-tech gadgetry at their fumbling fingertips. The original "Get Smart" utilized innovations like the shoe phone and the charm bracelet. Now the Cone of Silence may be inoperable, but CONTROL has a host of new-fangled devices, including a speaker phone, a bullet bra, and a Swiss Army knife that comes complete with ladle and crowbar.
But, as the boss, Maxwell doesn't get to mishandle these tools in the field. Instead, he's mostly back at headquarters, unleashing his son and partner on the unsuspecting enemy.
Not to be confused with the late Ed Platt, who played the patient Chief in the original, Maxwell is learning his new position as he goes.
"It splits my personality," he said. "Maxwell Smart is what he is, and the Chief is another thing entirely, the authority figure. When you become that authority figure, you can't be as stupid.
"I'm not so sure how it should be played, if the show is picked up and time goes on, I'll find out who the character is and how to get the most out of it."
"Get Smart" premiers Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on FOX. 


Note from the Webmaster:  For some reason, Don Adams is quoted as saying that there were 139 episodes of Get Smart.  Odd... at last count everyone else was watching only 138 episodes!  Is this a mystery episode that fell to the wayside on the cutting room floor, or did this author misquote Adams with a big fat boo-boo? A Big Tip O' The Hat to Ryan Schroer for sending me this!  Thanks, Ryan! J

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