The Smartian Controversies
to what is known as the Twilight Zone of this site. The following are
resolved and unresolved issues involving minor trivial details of Get
Smart. The controversies that are unresolved are branded with a *
kids, this is a "fun page" so don't take it all too seriously.
We call her Ninety-nine
Does 99 have a name? Does this question even need to
be asked? The answer to both questions is a resounding NO! Agent 99
went through several cover names, but her real name was never
revealed. One of her cover names, Susan Hilton, has brought a strong
stench of controversy, confusion and error to numerous uninformed publications
on Get Smart.
In the episode 99 Loses Control, 99 reveals to Max
that she is going to be married to casino kingpin Victor Royal. Max
discovers that not only is 99's fiancé a Kaos hood, but 99's name is also
Susan Hilton. By the end of the episode, however, 99 reveals that Susan
Hilton was only a cover name.
When asked, creator Buck Henry (who originally wanted 99
to be 69) and Barbara Feldon denied that 99 ever had a name. Buck Henry
claims that he "fought a battle with someone somewhere to keep her
nameless. . . And no Susan Hilton was definitely never her name" (McCrohan
68). Barbara Feldon's views on the subject are similar. She states
that "Once they said her name was Susan Hilton, but that was a cover
name. They never said her name. So 99 never had a name" (Green
42). Even if 99 ever did have a name somewhere it was a well kept
secret. After all, 99 has publicly denied that her name is not Ernestine
and Admiral Harold Harmon Hargrade took the great liberty to snore at the exact
moment when the minister announced her name during her wedding. With
security precautions of that caliber, it is certain the true identity of one
Agent 99 for Control will not be revealed anytime soon.
For those out there that still wish to debate this, avid GS Fan Frankie has pointed out to me that in Rebecca of Funny Folk Farm, one of the characters asks Max, "Why do you call her Ninety-nine?" Max responds, "I don't know her name." Folks, if 99 hasn't told her darling Max what her name is, then I guess she just doesn't have one!
Just for fun, here's a list of other names
that 99 assumed but was not baptized as: Melissa Westbrook, Mrs. Stanley
Maxwell, Miss Evans, Mrs. Livingston, Greta Braun, Conchata. Miss Primrose,
Legs, Connie Barker, Bonnie Vain, Rosita Delgado, Miss Norris, Helen Blake,
Two: What do
you mean it's not the Code of Silence?
Actually, this question is so insignificant
that it's only being included in the controversies to irritate the few people
that read this stuff.
The not-so-silent Cone of Silence (C.O.S.) was
Control's method of keeping discussions of the clandestine nature under
Unfortunately the Cone was about as useful as Control's top
agent. Most of the time Max and the Chief wound up in a shouting match
under the contraption and had to force it back up into its stationary position
above the Chief's desk.
The name "Cone of Silence" has
been confused for a 1985 Chuck Norris action flick with a similar title:
The Code of Silence.
One question does come to mind through all this
confusion: If the Cone of Silence had a code, what would it be? Talk
softly and carry a big stick?
did your daddy do in
he became a full-fledged, card carrying, spy, Max had a stint in the
military. According to the Little Black Book, Max was an army
corporal in Korea along side his sergeant buddy Sid Krimm. The exact date
Max served in Korea has been up for debate however. In the Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, 1968
episodes of Get Smart, Max alludes to the fact that ten years earlier he and Sid
were in Korea. The two also make a references to Pusan Killers (some sort
of a drink Sid concocts). Pusan, a pivotal city at the tip of South Korea, would put them
in the right location for the war, but the timing is out of kilter. One, the Korean
war lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. Secondly, Max and Sid
were supposed to have been in the Army 10 years prior to 1968. The math in
this little equation is off by five years. Were Max and Sid attempting a
backhanded method of lying about their age -or is this a product of a conspiracy
theory? Were Max and Sid left in Korea on a post-war military intelligence
mission -or were they a product of North Korea's brainwashing and
refused to go home immediately after the war?
you spell that?
Is it Siegfried or Seigfried? Starker or Shtarker? Larabee or
Larrabee? Who or Hoo? The final answer is
ALL of the above. The closing credits, according to the Life
and Times of Maxwell Smart, actually spelled the names of the
aforementioned characters differently from episode to episode. Apparently
the writers were neither concerned with spelling consistency or the correct
German spelling of Siegfried and Shtarker. Starker's moniker
could have come from the German adjective stark meaning
"strong" or as The Get Smart
Handbook suggests, Shtarker
is Yiddish for a tough guy. Siegfried (in this spelling) was a character
of several Norse legends (in those the character was actually called Sigurd) which Richard Wagner emulated in operas like Siegfried and Die
Götterdämmerung-those infamous operas that feature the lady wearing
the Viking costume.
To add to
confusion (or trivia hopefully) over the namesake of Kaos's Siegfried, the
favorite of the Kaos baddies was given an interchangeable first name.
Siegfried claims in one episode that his first name is Ludwig while in other
episodes he is referred to as Conrad (or is that Konrad?). At any rate, no
mater the spelling, Siegfried is Seigfried, Starker is Shtarker, and Larabee is
Larrabee even though the inconsistencies appear to be
Kaos -er chaos.
Update 5-31-02: I've been informed by Chief Carl, after a chat he had with Herr
"Siegfried" is spelled S-i-e-g-f-r-i-e-d. Remember that for next
year's spelling bee!
literature can brown eyes be made blue
Geepers Creepers, what color are Mr.
This seemingly simple question has been brought up due to the Get
Smart literary endeavors and personal debates between avid Get Smart watchers
(just ask the Friday night chatters)
During the series, Adams at one
point was described as having beady eyes (Don't Look Back). In the
paperback William Johnston series of Get Smart books, Maxwell Smart is given two
"very blue eyes." Also, the close up shot of Adams as he watches
a tarantula climb his arm in To Sire With Love features two very shocked
but semi-clouded eyes.
This opens the door to question what exactly is Mr. Adams' eye color? Blue, green, or just plain
precise answer to this peeper-oriented trivia is that Don Adams possesses two
wonderful dark brown eyes that are the same eye shade of that of the author of this
The voice of
and why it doesn't sound like that
Adams really talk like.... that?
Only as far as
Byron Glick, Maxwell Smart, and Inspector Gadget were concerned.
notorious nasal squeak was originally part of his stand-up years where he would
impersonate numerous movie stars. His William Powell (at
left with Myrna Loy) impersonation,
in which he used the clipped and sharp intonations later used for the voice of
Max, was so well received that he built entire acts around it. The
"Voice", which Adams later came to hate, was entirely a put-on.
How does Don Adams talk?** Aside from very clearly, the later years
of Get Smart where he drifted away from the Powell impersonation are an OK sample. Better
yet, hop over to YouTube and check out his early stand up.
Would the real Get Smart Handbook
PLEASE stand up?
Which handbook in this picture is the real deal -or are they
both legit? If so, why was the Get Smart Handbook published with two
The Handbook on the left is a scan of the one I bought in Pennsylvania
and the Handbook on the right is an enlarged shot out of the promo
article in the reference guide. A closer look at these two volumes reveals
several striking differences. Here they are in no particular sequence:
Different fonts: Handbook number two has a B I G boldface
font while Handbook number one's font is quite Romanesque.
The white boarder around the picture of 86 and 99 is present
in Handbook one, but not in Handbook two.
The broken security seal: Obviously
the creators of
Handbook two were the moral pillars of society that don't clip mattress tags or
break security seals. Handbook one's seal, however, is busted wide open.
The morphing of 'Top Secret': In Handbook one, The words
"Top Secret" are stamped in red to the left of the picture of Max and
99. In Handbook two, "Top Secret" was made B I G G E R,
surrounded by a white square of sorts, and put up beside the right upper corner
of the picture.
The paper clip: Handbook one features a paper clip on it's
cover, while Handbook two's paper clip is either missing or covered by the Ultra
big "Top Secret" sign.
What does any of this silliness mean? That Kaos has been
Handbook laundering? My theory (or outrageous excuse rather) is that
Handbook two was either A) a cover design bound for the scrap heap, but was
later put to work for the purpose of promotion. B) The result of a very talented
layout editor at USA Today Weekend. The basis for these two hypothesis is
that Handbook two, although not as cool looking as Handbook one, is easier to
read when shrunk and stuck in an ad.
Out of curiosity, if there are any owners of Handbook Number
Two, would they please step forward before I use another poorly placed
The truth, as Fox Mulder says, is out there.... and it's staying
**Be it noted, Adams has the distinct accent of a
New Yorker. The author, who had been living on the east cost region of the
U.S. where this accent is common, was not aware of this accent until after a year
of living in the Midwest and having her own speech patterns laughed at.
I would like to thank (as well as
accuse) the members of the Get Smart Mailing list and the regular Friday night
chatters for the many inspiring controversies on this page. The content of
this page is entirely my own creation except where cited. See my horrible
attempt at MLA Works Cited.
If you have a controversy you would like to see addressed, then
COPYRIGHT © 1999-2021 BY AMANDA HAVERSTICK.