Article from: "Inspector Gadget Takes a New World
View" by Harvey Solomon Boston
Herald May 8, 1996
The History Channel has come up with inventive way
for geography and history to come alive for kids. And they don't even have to
leave the living room.
That's because the producer of "Inspector Gadget's
Field Trip" have sent their cameras around the globe to some of the world's most
famous spots. Commenting on this on-location footage is the colorful Inspector
Gadget, voiced by the inimitable Don Adams.
Whether it's the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Leaning
Tower in Pisa, London's Big Ben, the Great Wall of China or a local stop in
Plymouth Rock, Inspector Gadget pops up on the screen to narrate the sites in a
kid-friendly, pun-filled style.
"Every kid goes on field trips, but not like
these," said Charlie Maday, vice president of programming for the History
Channel. "With Inspector Gadget as a friendly guide, kids can see even more of
the world's wonders."
Older kids might remember Inspector Gadget from his
TV series, which still runs weekday afternoons on Nickelodeon. Adults will
recognize the unmistakable voice of bumbling secret agent Maxwell
"I made a very good living out of being an idiot,"
Adams said. "First it was 'Get Smart, then Tennessee Tuxedo, then Inspector
Gadget..all idiots. So it's typecasting."
Yet, this time around, Adams' befuddled character
still manages to impart a lot of information in an appealing, off-hand way. He
pops up in some rather extreme situations, like in the midst of the running of
the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, bullfighting in Madrid and checking out the
Changing of the Guard in Buckingham Palace or aborigine in Australia's
"From volcanoes in Hawaii to dinosaur bones at the
Smithsonian, 'Inspector Gadget's Field Trip' covers a lot of ground, not to
mention a lot of history," said Abbe Raven, senior vice president of programming
and production for the History Channel. "Kids of any age can enjoy this guided
tour around the globe."
Through it all, viewers learn a raft of
little-known facts and lively lore from the traveling Inspector. And if you feel
at times like imitating the host, you're not alone. People have been trying it
ever since the 70-year-old actor began his television career in 1963 ,as a dim
detective on "The Bill Dana Show."
"Everybody that came on that show started to talk
like me because it was contagious," recalled Adams. "Everybody was talking like
that, and I couldn't remember what the original was. I was doing impressions of
other people doing impressions of me."
Asked about the ill-fated revival of "Get Smart"
that lasted for only a couple episodes last year on Fox, Adams couldn't resist
getting in a few barbs.
"Well, I don't want to get into personalities, but
I will," he said, with obvious relish. "In my opinion, Andy Dick was wrong for
the part of the young Maxwell Smart. I didn't think he could carry the
But Don Adams carries, or maybe he gets carried
along, in grand style on these worldwide adventures. The question is: In this
cellular age, does he still carry that shoe phone?
I'd like to give a big thanks to Ryan Schroer who
provided this article!!! J