Sunday, September 25, 2022

Rhoda's Dad as a Nazi?

Harold Gould as General von Schlomm
on Hogan's Heroes.
While flipping channels the other night, I landed on MeTV's 10-11pm Hogan's Heroes block. I turned there to wait for the Carol Burnett Show at 11pm. I did watch HH every week when I was a kid during its six-year run from 1965 to 1971. But I had absolutely no interest in watching any of the reruns in the 50 intervening years. The premise of the show was always a bit strange. Set in a German POW camp during WWII, the plot centers on a band of merry misfits who outwit their buffoonish Nazi captors. Their leader, charismatic, attractive Robert Hogan wormed his way into the office of idiotic commandant Col. Klink. In reality, the Allied prisoners would have been beaten and tortured, not treated like lovable pets. John Banner played nazi guard Sgt. Schultz like a sweet grandfather. 

Anyway, the episode I turned to featured Harold Gould, Rhoda's dad and Rose Nylund's boyfriend, as General von Schlomm, the personal envoy from Der Fuhrer. I had totally forgotten he was on this show in this recurring role. I remembered General Berkholder (the heavyset Leon Askin) and General Hofstatter (the screeching Harold Caine), but it turns out Gould was on dozens of TV shows before his best-remembered roles on Rhoda and Golden Girls. He turned up as Harvey's boss on the Carol Burnett Show a few times. I probably didn't recall any of them because he didn't have his moustache in many of these roles.

Bernard Fox with Elizabeth Montgomery 
and Agnes Moorehead on Bewitched
(just because this looks like a fun picture)
It was a bizarre episode called Lady Chitterly's Lover featuring Bernard Fox (Dr. Bombay from Bewitched) in a dual role as a traitorous British Lord and a bumbling spy impersonating him. There was something about Lord Chitterly and his wife negotiating the surrender of Britain. Lady Chitterly apparently is a double agent and she has the hots for Hogan, flirting with him and kissing him right in front of her husband and the astonished Nazis. Like such a scene would every really happen. Anyway, thanks to the machinations of Hogan and crew, the German navy is sunk and Britain is saved. 

Gould was Jewish and many of the Nazis on the show were ironically played by Jews. 

Five Degrees of TV Separation in this blog post: Hogan's Heroes, Bewitched, Rhoda, Golden Girls, The Carol Burnett Show.

No comments:

Post a Comment