Saturday, June 10, 2006

Would You Believe...?

I would have run this when Don Adams died last year but it was so small I couldn’t find it but now I have so here it is. WOULD YOU BELIEVE…? was CONTROL Agent Maxwell Smart’s catchphrase on GET SMART and thus, the title of this 1966 tie-in book. More of a booklet, actually, it’s one of those gifty things that always seem to sell despite little actual content. The entire book consists of mostly only vaguely amusing variations on the catchphrase itself, illustrated with photos of the actor from his show and from publicity releases as well as just plain totally unrelated clip art. You start out with some grandiose statement, bring it down to an acceptable but still exaggerated level, then finish up with a belittling ending. That’s it. Simple really and not in and of itself an amusing joke structure. What made it work was Adams’ exaggerated delivery, first as Byron Glick on THE BILL DANA SHOW and then as Smart, essentially the same character taken to the Nth degree. The thing is, Adams didn’t write either of those shows so I question whether or not Don Adams actually had anything to do with this book other than taking a check for the use of his name and image. Still, an interesting TV tidbit from the golden age of spy-TV.

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