I have just read in the English newspapers of the sad death of actress Elisabeth Fraser, who played Bilko's long-suffering girl-friend Joan Hogan
May she rest in peace. Thanks for the memories, but your name and talent will live on.
As a young boy, I also enjoyed the Phil
Silvers show, as well as
many of his other television and film appearances.
However, the reason I
dropped in on your web site is because I have been
involved in some business
dealings with the wife of an old colleague of
Phil's. Erno Czako was a
singer in the original production of High Button
Shoes. He has since passed
away, but his wife has shown me many items of
memorabilia he has from his
early days in show business, including momentos from
his work with Phil. He
was very proud to have worked with Phil. As others
have already shared with
you, Erno would attest as well that he was a lovely
man to work with. He
clearly has a loyal fan base, but the real test of a
man is how well he is
loved by those he works with.
Phil Silvers has to be the greatest tv comedian ever on either side of the Atlantic - what other tv show is being aired nearly 50 years after it was made and still looks and sounds so fresh and funny?
The sheer amount of dialogue that Phil Silvers learned and read in each programme was staggering.
I have just read a tribute to Nat Hiken called King Of The Half Hour and can recommend it to any Bilko fan.
Does anyone know if there are any biographies of Phil Silvers available?
Incidentally I am glad that Jonathan Lynn, producer of the ill-fated Bilko film starring Steve Martin has apologised publically for making it.
We can now forgive him this moment of madness, and just rejoice in the real thing, Phil and his motley crew in those unmissable re-run.
May they run and run...
Hi, my Dad (Freddy) was a huge fan of the Sgt Bilko show which seems to have been running on the BBC in the UK as long as I've been alive.
One summer in the 1960's we were on a family holiday in the seaside resort town Bournemouth.
Dad was thrilled to see that Phil Silvers was appearing at one of the theatres in 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum'. He immediately bought a pair of tickets and took me along to see the great man.
Now all this happened when I was very young boy but it made a huge impression on me and I can still picture images that are etched into my memory. After the show, my Dad managed to talk his way backstage and Mr Silvers took the trouble to come out and meet us wearing a dressing gown.
It wasn't a long conversation. Dad said that he thought Sgt Bilko would prove to be one of the all time great tv shows ( 100% right) and he was delighted his son had got the chance to see one of the world's great comedians.
Phil Silvers was very gracious, thanked him and reached down to shake my hand.
Well, I guess when you're just a kid you take these things in your stride. As I got older I've grown to fully appreciate his genius and also realise how fortunate I was to spend a few moments in his presence.
I met Phil Silvers at his apt. my uncle got him 262 central park west
n.y.c., when he was filming his
t. v. show. It was 1959 and he was the nicest sweetest friendlyest man
ever met. He was the first celebrity I ever met. He told me to come down
the show anytime I wanted. Bill Shurr
Phil Silvers was my great-uncle (my grandfather's
youngest brother) on my
mother's side. I only met him a few times because
he lived in California
and my family lived in Maryland. Whenever he was
performing in the
Washington, DC area he would send a limo to pick us
up for the show. He
brought us backstage to meet the other actors and
then we went out to eat
Throughout the years I met people who would always
say how much they loved
"Sergeant Bilko" and that they couldn't believe he
was my uncle. One time a
co-worker of mine thought I was pulling his leg.
So, I sent a letter to
Uncle Phil asking for an autographed photo and as
always, he sent one
straight away. I plopped the photo down on my
co-worker's desk and he was
flabbergasted. Uncle Phil always came through with
the goods and would
always ask about me, my family, and especially my
sister-in-law). He was a very kind and funny soul.
I wish I had gotten to
know him better.
Hi, I noticed on your website that fans are looking to complete their collection of the Sgt. Bilko show. I have, I think, 136 of the 138 episodes on 10 vhs tapes, taped off the TV with the quality being pretty good. If anyone is interested in any of them they can contact me. Perhaps I'll find someone with the 2 episodes I'm missing. Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thought you might like to know that The Phil Silvers
Show has just been named
the top TV sitcom in the 'Radio Times Guide to TV
Comedy' here in the UK -
ahead of Fawlty Towers - and quite rightly so.
It is still shown on BBC 2, indeed I just watched an
episode this afternoon.
As always, absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious! The
compiler of the guide
has noted that while the show is still revered here
in Britain, it's somewhat
overlooked in the US. Strange that!
If you'd like to read all about it just go to
'www.bbc.com' main page and
click on it's entertainment page.
Thanks for letting us know. We just put a link on top of our home page:
I think it's not recognized as much in the US because most channels don't carry it. If they did people would watch and appreciate the show.
syed spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought you should see it. ------- Note from syed: I think Bilko was the greatest comedy. Today Bilko named best ever comedy. see article -------
My uncle used to tell me stories about Phil. My Uncle Danny Brooks was partners with him in Vaudeville. Did you remember him? My Uncle used to tell me stories of Phil's mother who used to sell kanishes on Livonia Avenue. I remember when my mom and dad would take me shopping there, (fortunoffs) when I was a little girl. I too inherited the personality for theatrics. Please see my page. ( I am the blonde and also the one in the "COFFIN"):
**GRANDMA SYLVIA'S FUNERAL** NOW AT THE SOHO PLAYHOUSE - 212-691-1555
Here is a picture of the Brooks Brothers,
It's kinda old though, my father Hyman Francis in uniform and my Uncle Danny .
I worked selling printing machinery in the NYC area for almost 30 years.
Most of my time was spent in lower Mahattan where most of the printers were located.
A number of time I would bump into a fellow who sold printers supplies............altho' we never
knew each others last names we always had good conversations exchanging information beneficial to each other.
One day for some unkown reason our conversation drifted to TV.............we started discussing Gleason, Carney and others, while we were chatting and really having a good time I mentioned Phil Silvers, and I told my friend "you know you look like him". Sid replied, "Many people say that..........maybe it is because I am his nephew !" I thought he was kidding, but he takes out one of his buisness cards and it turns out his last name is Silvers.................Sid Silvers, and the more I look at him the more he looks like Phil Silvers...............I wanted to jump or do something crazy, because I always loved Phil's comedy.
I'm very happy that BBc uk some times rerun sgt Bilko. There's no better comedian these days than Phil. Especially SGT Bilko is my favorite. Even when i'm half dead, when i see Phil on tv he can bring me back to life again. I want to thank him for bringning me so much fun. Many greetings...Gino
I was around when Sgt. Bilko was still on Prime Time, though it's a pretty faint memory now (I'm 50 now so I was only 6 - 8 then).
Dad, who had been discharged from the Army in 1946 with the rest of the "Duration" group, was a somewhat serious guy. However, when Phil Silvers was on the screen, he would laugh pretty good!
Phil has always been a favorite of mine, it's because he stands out from all the
others, very much an Icon. That face and voice, the great comedic timing and just amazing presence.
I'll guess that because of the time span between today and Phil's days in the limelight, he's somewhat forgotten and under appreciated. A shame too, because young folks today should know about the talent that came before the offerings out there today.
Rodney Dangerfield is for me a close replacement for Phil. Because Rodney has great presence and some of the other elements that made Phil stand out in his day.
Phil was a great, great talent. He was in a class by himself!
For all the comedy amidst life's pain and
that helped me struggle through,;thank you Mr.Silvers.
I sent him a card,on behalf of me and my family a few
years back when he was in the hospital.After that he
continued on and his strength became my strength.
God bless him and all who remember him.
Michael (A long time fan).
Ernie Bilko is one of the all time comedy greats. I have been watching
reruns of the the shows on BBC since 1973. I enjoy your tribute page to
both Phil and Ernie!
Belfast, N Ireland.
To The Owners and Supervisors of This Phil Silvers website,I agree with Ms.Laurie Silvers.In that I don't believe that her father was a depressed or an unhappy man.If Mr.Silvers gave so much joy to people and he loved working with and meet people like Mr.Brando and Ms.Rose Marie? Then Why would he be unhappy? That's nonsense! I wished that people would stop making up these lies about Poor Mr.SIlvers and we would all remember him as the funny and loveable conniver that he played on stage and screen.I grew up watching Mr.Silvers on ""The Sgt.Bilko Show"/"The Phil Silvers Show"on CBS TV back in the late 1950's.And I can still recall the crazy scheames that he cooked up during the character's stint at that army base in Kansas.He tried to pull off some scame behind "Col.Hall's"(Mr.Ford's)back.But "Sgt,Ernie Bilko's"own soft heart or some other unforeseen situation loused up his scams.No matter what he did? "Bilko"could be forgiven for any of his scams.Because underneath it all.he was a real nice guy.I was lucky enough to see Mr.Silvers in his Tony Award Winning performance in The First Broadway Revival of:"A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Foreum".I Saw the show with my parents at The Lunt/Fontaine Theater back in May of 1970.He was just hilarious as "Pseudolius".As he tried to pair up his master"Hero"with "Philia"the Cortesan(The roman Hooker).And tried to prevent "Hero's"Parents"Domina"and "Senex"(Mort Marshall) from finding out about their matchmaking and keep "Philia"from marrying"Capt.Glorioius".Mr.Silvers did a wonderful job with the part and with the songs"Comedy Tonight"and"Everybody Ought To Have A Maid!".Both Mr.Silvers and his fellow performer in the show:Mr.Larry Blyden were worthy of their Tonys.I still miss Mr.Silvers and Mr.Blyden.(Crying)When they passed away.(Crying)Oh God! The thought that we lost them still brings tears to my eyes! But Thank God For Film ,for videotape and for Records! We still have them.Thanks For Remembering:Mr.Phil Silvers! Yours Truly,Kevin
I have just been to the Phil Silvers tribute site.
It is my understanding that the great PHIL SILVERS, one of the funniest men who was ever born, was originally discovered by my great-uncle,
Gus Edwards (1879-1945)
Man alive ive been trying to suss out the cast with pictures,
But ive been through all the bilko sites and not one of them has a section of pictures with cast names so can you do that at all. And more to the point which one had the shaved head except right at the front a small point a bit like the hair cut of pee wee herman .
I need to know because i have the same haircut styled on this bilko character.
Im in london england and we get bilko on about at least half the year at odd times of the day and night, and it`s still a riot of fun. All the best
sergeant bilko, my all time favorite comedian. am 60 years old and
saw the originals. as a young married we moved from Phoenix, Arizona
to Boston and were on a thin budget. found out the phil silvers show
was being run on tv, so we went out and bought a tv. it is easy, as
well, to recall doberman saying 'gee sarge'. sergeant bilko taught
me that life was a lot more fun with comedy.
When Phil Silvers and Steve Allen left the air waves, so did entertainment. I stopped watching the TV at age 13 when Top Cat came and went - 1963- Top Cat was a fitting image of Silvers and the people he chose to call his friends.
American commercial TV programming began a long slow slide into the cesspool after that; I think commercial TV is so deeply immersed in crud it can never return to entertainment. The reasons for its demise are not clear. I wish an unbiased sociologist would give us a clear picture of this.
Hi As you probably are aware the PHIL SILVERS SHOW has been running fairly constantly on BBC Television since the 50s - it still runs today. However, I have never seen his second main sitcom THE NEW PHIL SILVERS SHOW set in the factory. Is this ever likely to get a video/DVD release in the US ???. You may also be interested to know that the UK DVD of CARRY ON FOLLOW THAT CAMEL offers a gorgeous print of the film (none of the CARRY ON DVDs carry any extras). Best wishes
Bilko is my favourite programme hands down; me and my dad have now got 139 of the 144 episodes on tape. Impressive, huh? If there's anyone who shares my...love, if thats not too gay, for Phil Silvers, then id like to hear from ya.James
I`ve watched and enjoyed "Sgt Bilko" longer than I can remember ( I`m 52 years old ) and what I find amazing is that I`ve very rarely seen the same show twice. How many episodes of "Sgt Bilko" were made in all ?? ,
I could watch them all again. ,
My mother in law was a dancer in a stage show in NYC that included an act by Phil Silvers. It was filmed as a short subject in the mid 30's. I am trying to locate a copy of the short and wonder if you could help. Thanks!
I guess I'm in like-minded company.Being a new PC owner "Phil Silvers"
one of the first phrases I entered in the search engine. Just the
the man makes me smile.
I remember the Phil Silvers (Sgt. Bilko) show from when I was a little kid. My memories were refreshed in the late '90's when I saw some episodes on TV Land.
I especially like the "Birdman" episode, beautifully done with Fred Gwynne. Gwynne managed to memorize all the bird species in the world when he was stuck on a lonely military outpost with nothing but a bird book to read. Bilko enters him on a TV quiz show as a bird expert. When Gwynne suddenly develops amnesia on the show, all heck breaks loose!
The other episode I love is the one where Bilko has sold tickets to a Bing Crosby appearence. Learning that Bing won't make it after all, he coaches a Western Union employee to impersonate Bing to save the show (and the "dough"). All's well when Bing shows up after all.
Added comment: Is there much material on Mr. Silver's WWII USO Tour? I've seen only one photo of him at that time. He's in the back of a boat with another celeb (who, I don't remember).
please can you tell me sgt bilko's service number
What was the make and model car Phil Silvers drove in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" ? Gotta find out somehow !
Congratulations on your site.
I'm writing from London England, I have a collections of around 118 Phil Silvers shows thanks to the BBC that we started recording in 1980 when I was ten. Has anyone ever seen the episode entitled show segments, it has never been shown in the UK (To my knowledge). Also I'd like to know if anyone knows what ever happened to the memorabilia, such as bilkos hat, his eye shades, his sleeping shades etc, were they ever auctioned?
You know my brother used to play one of our 3 hour Bilko tapes late at night and try to fall asleep - he says in this way he could dream he was in the episodes as he could hear them subconsciously in the background (Creepy or fun - you decide).
Firstly, may I congratulate you on a fantastic web site!
My name is Stephen Mc Glade, and I have always been a big fan of The Phil Silvers Show. Since the early 1980's I have been colecting the series on tape. Todate I have in total 138 epidodes, including the documentary narrated by Keith Williams (Bilko on Parade).
I was wondering whether you were aware of the availability of any of the following episodes, as I would love to collect them all:
Epidode 70 Show Segments
Episode 89 Bilko Presents Kay Kendall
Episode 117 Bilko Presents The McGuire Sisters
Episode 119 Bilko And The Crosbys
Would you happen to have any of these for trade?
I look forward to hearing from you.
The trouble with the BBC is they use the shows as "fillers" at all sorts of odd times.
The answer, I bought a "TIVO" a few months ago. Set it up to record a "seasons pass" for Phil Silvers Show". I dont miss an episode now, and I can update my curent library of recordings.
I am in my fifties, my son is thirty & my grand son is eleven, Bilko is loved by us all. Truely one of the greats!!!
Hi .... I spent some time in the late 70's with Phil's Daughters, Laury, Cathy, Candy, Nancey and Tracey. I Lived in Orlando a few house's down from his wife Evelyn Silver's Mother...Mrs. Cherry. I got a chance to meet him personally only once, he was sick then...recovering from his stroke...but I walked into the house and he put his arm around me and said "welcome to the family". He was very weak but still very nice and friendly . Tracey was working at a childrens theater as a director and myself and Laury were the leads in a play she directed called , Poor little Rich girl. It was a wonderful experience and a great time playing in the back yard making movies ,they were regular kids and Phil was a regular guy. But very Funny! Thanks for the memories.
I'd just like to say how much I enjoy the site,
dedicated to, in my humble opinion, the greatest
comedian who ever lived. As a young child I used to
watch Bilko with my Dad, who was a fanatic, but it
wasn't until the early 90's,(I'm 47 now), when I
caught a few episodes on UK TV, that I fully
realised the extent of his genius. I am a collector
of British comedy, particularly good sit-coms, and
Bilko is the only American one I bother with. I
never thought I'd consider any sit-com funnier than
Only Fools & Horses but there is no doubt in my mind
that Phil Silvers even out-funnies David Jason. The
indication of a good sit-com is one that never gets
any less funny, no matter how many times you watch
it. Bilko gets funnier! Class, pure class!
I met Maurice Gosfield in Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island in the Summer of 1955. He was just one of a hundred or so of us including Publishing, Advertising, modeling and other careerist, mostly young and unimportant. He was indeed a character, just like in the Sgt, Bilko series. We had no idea that he was an actor, nor would be in the wonderful series to come. He was and he was great. But to us he was simply Maurice. Thanks
His character, Sgt. bilko, was the strongest ever,
in the history of
The funniest thing I ever read was a collection of scripts from the Phil Silvers Show "You'll Never Get Rich". I've typed and formatted one of them to a web page at http://www.orderformcity.com/shortStories/PhilSilvers/uranium.html
The genius of Nat Hiken is astounding and Phil Silvers portrayal of Sergeant Bilko is amazing. After reading the script I realize what a difficult roll this must have been to play. Your site pays a marvelous tribute.
Great Site, Its about time Phil Silvers received credit for what is,
the best comedy creation the U.S. has ever produced.
Just happened by your Phil Silvers site and had to make a comment.
When I was stationed at Miesau, Germany, 1963-1965, my First Sergeant was a guy named Crowley. He was a really decent guy and a spitting image of Phil Silvers, demeanor and all. I remember a day when I was urgently called back to my Company from a distant TDY assignment and First Sergeant Crowley called loudly to me from down the hall as soon as I ran into the barracks lobby, "Young man, I need to talk to you." I have to tell you, for a young trooper to be personally driven 100 miles back to the Company while on TDY was definitely unusual and I was quite worried. "What the hell did I do now," I wondered?
As he caught up to me he said, "Come on, let's go sit in the mess hall" which was straight down the hall. He usually was fatherly with the troops unless you were in hot water about something and then he could be down right disturbing.
We sat down at a table across from one another and after a while he said "Wray, I'm sorry to have to tell you your father died." He was being very fatherly at this point. I've always regretted telling him, perhaps rather abruptly at the time, that I didn't know my father (I really didn't) and I probably seemed pretty non-pulsed about it all. And I remember this hurt look that came over his face and it always reminded me of the kind of a hurt look that Phil Silvers could conjure up in a similar situation. Here he was trying to a decent, fatherly kind of a guy and I of stepped on it for him. I sure hope we're all allowed some room for the dumb things we do sometimes.
Anyway, I agreed to emergency leave to the States and First Sergeant Crowley and the U.S. Army sent me home immediately. They really can do something in a hurry when they want to.
Just thought you might like to know how Phil Silvers is remembered from his TV days as Sergeant Bilko.
I was first introduced to 'Bilko' when i was 6 or 7, and i'm still
enthralled by it now (I'm 33 at the mo) I think the great thing about
the show was how timeless it was, The comedy hasn't aged at all, No
matter how many times we get the same show re-run on BBC2 it's still a
I just wish they wouldn't hide it away at odd times or use it as a
schedule filler, It should be shown at a regular early evening slot,
maybe then it would have a chance of gaining more of a following here
My wife thinks I'm nuts, I regularly sit down on the weekend and watch
10 or 12
hours of Bilko recordings, and still laugh at the same jokes each time,
many TV shows can you say that about? Maybe Dad's Army (another all
I just wish the writers of the modern sit-coms were made to sit and
shows, maybe then they'd understand why no show has touched them for
I'm just glad there are other people out there who feel the same way,
only so I can
prove to my wife I'm not bonkers!
Hello my name is Graham and I live in England, I have just come across
you website and think it is wonderful that someone is keeping the memory of
Phil Silvers alive, in my opinion, Bilko was as great a character as Laurel
and hardy and just as funny, it is a shame that young people who have never
seen Bilko will appreciate a genius of comedy, thanks for the info and keep
up the good work, I watch Bilko whenever the BBC show it which is pretty rare
but every time it never fails to have me in stitches.
On the 7th of july we will be holding our annual 4th of july Party. This
year's theme is Benedict Arnold - died June 1801. Arnold features in two
Bilko programmes -Series 1 - Revolutionary War and series 2 - Tax Troubles.
In Tax Trouble Bilko asks the IRS if they will give him a deduction for his
Benedict Arnold reconciliation party. We shall be holding it.
143 Constitution Street, edinburgh, Scotland UK.
I am 48 and remember Phil Silvers in Mad Mad World and Buono Serra Ms Campbell. I always knew of the Sgt Bilko series but had never seen it. Over the last few months it has been broadcast in Australia, although very late at night, and I have started a habit of waiting up until 1:30am or 2:0am in order to catch it. The show is funny, original and clever. It has never dated. It moves, it has slapstick, the dialog is witty but of course the whole thing is Phil Silvers. What a genius! I just wish that the younger generation would pause for two minutes to watch a show whose like may never return.
Thank you for this site. It is great to see that Phil is so lovingly remembered.
The second broadway show I ever saw as a youngster was Do Re Mi and
as Hubie Kramm -a wonderful performance by a wonderful performer! Even
convinced my dad to take me to see it again - I loved it so!
We waited at the stage door for the performers to come out and when
appeared he saw me waving excitedly and came over and patted my head
inquired as to how I liked the show - all I could do was stammer and
squealed "ah, take a job for heaven's sake, hubie!" to which he cracked
With that, he shook my hand and turned to leave and called back - "see
'round kid!" Several years later, I made sure to see him in the revival
funny thing...." in the role he passed up to take DRM. And you know
though his fortunes might have been greater had he taken A Funny Thing
instead, I am so glad he did DRM, one of the great unsung Bway musicals
and a performance to be treasured always as the lovable Runyonesque
just a brief note from this side of the atlantic! Phil silvers' comedy
much loved by my father and also by me throughout my life to
one of the few truly great T V shows of all time and I'm sure most of
have a certain nostalgia for that style and for that time.It was nice
read the letter by his daughter.Unfortunately journalists almost
try to report bad news cause it sells better.Here's to another
enjoying this great series! Ps is it possible to purchase video copies
anywhere? kind regards
johnny, southampton england.
Being a young 66, I didn't know the early career, but began to notice him in small parts in musical comedies. The greatest impact was of course later in Bilko and it was a great tribute to him that we used to feel so sorry for Col. Hall because we always knew he would be at the end of one of Bilko's tricks. Thanks for this website; it has brought back many happy memories.
I am writing to tell you how much I have enjoyed bilko in the last say
plus years!,I am 47 now and know that his memory will be a thing I will
all my life,On my recent visit from UK to florida after the visit of
studio's and places I asked many people where was the tribute to bilko!
was of course the greatest world wide watched person I think ever to
from the USA! They all agreed there should be one but did not know of
say if lucille ball has one then so should bilko.
David Rowe and Daughters.
Many years ago, a then young lady with whom I was acquainted, and who had been one of the better dancers in "TOP BANANA" told me of an incident regarding, I believe one of the directors. It seems this individual was constantly trying to hit on my friend and was even being somewhat professionally threatening in the process. My friend, a very moral and devoutly religeous person very nearly gave up her profession (I believe she eventually did) because of the prreviewence of this kind of pressure throughout the business. In any case, when Phil Silvers heard of this going on he had a very stern talk with the offending individual, and most definitely set him straight, saying the director (?) would leave the show and show business before that dancer would.
My friends recollections of Phil Silvers, among other laudible characteristics, was that he would get to know every member of his cast and would fully respect each one for what and who they were. She worked with him both on Broadway, the US tour and the Movie version of TOP BANANA. She came to appreciate Phil Silvers not only as a great comedian, but as one of the most decent and kind individuals she knew.
I will not divulge her name in a letter like this, but would if I were assured it would be kept totally confidential. If you are interested, you may e-mail me back at email@example.com .
Good to see your Phil Silvers web site it is very good .
We still see Sgt Bilko Episodes regularly on daytime B.B.C 2 in
without doubt they are still the funniest and most entertaining
The man was a comic genius and its good to see he will not be forgotten
ten year old son is a fan and we look forward to each episode (even
have seen most of them many times before).
We occasionally see Phil Silvers in films etc and find him entertaining
All the best
I am a huge Bilko fan, I think his work is timeless. Over here in England is show is slotted in at the most unusual times and very irregularly. I am always scanning the weekly guides to see the genius at work. I would love to find a fan club somewhere where like minded hip people can talk about Phil S. I would love to get my hands on memorabilia its impossible to find this side of the Atlantic. Some one save me please and send some info to The Gav, Bilko fan for Life!
I suppose you don't get many emails from 20 year olds
asking for more info on Phil Silvers.
It was about 2 years ago I first watched the Phil Silvers show
and was truely awed about it. I have never laughed as hard
as i did that day. It was at a time that I was really sick and it
had made me feel so great (the best i had felt for 3 1/2
months). And as a result of this, it made me recover (i feel)
The reason I am emailing you, is to ask you or anyone for
that matter, if there is a Phil Silvers/Sgt Bilko fan club in
I would be greatful if you could email me back and let me
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon
My name is Paul and I was and am a HUGE Phil Silvers fan. My father, mother and I would watch the show in the 50's and sort of repeat some of the lines "Glad to see ya", Doberman, Platoon Harch! during the week (and at school).
I came to California in the late 60's to obtain my masters. After floundering for awhile I re-entered graduate school and did obtain an MPA ( Phil would have probably called it a Masters Practically Anything- and he would be right). I also co-wrote a screenplay about a psychotic podiatrist who volunteers at a Free Clinic where everyone believes they have come down with VD. The part ( of Dr. Frisbee the psychotic podiatrist- a take off of many schools of psychology) would have been wonderful for Phil. Somehow I contacted him at the Friar's club and somehow I got his address ( I believe he was living in an upscale high rise in the Beverly Hills area).
After sending him my script and waiting what seemed like an eternity, I called Phil to see what he thought of playing the part. Phil was sick at the time (approximately 1981 or 1982) but his voice and speech pattern brought me back to the 1950's when he was King of TV. "Kid I know the people love me, everyone loves me ... but who's gonna fund this cock a mamy production?".
At the time I was deflated and disappointed. At a minimum I wanted to meet and touch Phil and let him know that I was one of those fans who loved him. Unfortunately that never happened. But in hindsight I recognize that the brief encounter I had with Phil was valuable and I cherish it.
I still love the old Bilko show and it transports me back to when I was 10 and the world was a much simpler place.
One last note. I did try to reach Phil again, regarding another cock a mamy idea I had ( regarding High Button Shoes ...."Nobody Ever Died for Dear Ol Rutgers"). But he had passed away. I spoke to Nanette Fabrette(?) in the early 90's to try and get a copy of a TV production that she and Phil had done in the early 50's but to no avail. By the way I did graduate from Rutgers in 1968 (BA Psychology) and if I'm not mistaken Phil's wife had a Ph.d. in clinical psychology. I would have liked to sponsor some type of for profit / fund raiser using this play and honoring Phil as someone "Who Didn't Die for Dear Ol Rutgers"!
Gone but never forgotten...
In 1950's Scotland (when the USA influenced all of
our street culture
and Davy Crockett was an innovation!) I remember my
rolling around on the floor laughing at the Phil
Silver's show - at the
age of 10 I did not understand it.
Now as a 50+ wrinkly I can appreciate how classic
the show was
PS - this evening I was literally rolling around on
the floor laughing
at Frazier - my son did not understand it!!
I am only 14 years old and i think The Phil Silvers show is the funniest program ever made! Every time i watch it it makes me laugh. In England it is on on BBC 2 at 9.00am and my mum records it for me every morning and i watch it when i get home from schools. Apart from Bilko my next favorite character is Doberman. He loves Bilko and he always has to do something out of the ordinary. The show has come off BBC 2 to at the moment and i hope it comes on back soon. BILKO IS THE BEST!!!
You will be leased to hear that the BBC here in England are showing two episodes of Bilko every morning on BBC2 at the moment.
Keep up the good work!
Sergeant Bilko is a great show, I love it, and Phil Silvers is an excellent actor. But let's not forget that the stories make or break the show. Therefore I am also interested in Nat Hiken who wrote many stories. Does anyone have any info on him? I don't think there is a website devoted to him.
It was my Dad that started me off on Sgt. Bilko - he
always watched it when it was shown, and I loved it
as well, even before I reached a double-figure age.
The thing that got me initially was the fact that he
seemed to have no lenses in his glasses - and the
confusion between "The Phil Silvers Show" and "Sgt.
But the show just gets better as you get older.
Fortunately, the show is repeated regularly in the
UK, and I still see episodes I missed. My favourite
quote is from the back wall of the room outside Col.
Halls office - "The difficult we do immediately -
the impossible takes a little time".
And I thought the movie with Steve Martin stank like
a sewer. I couldn't watch more than ten minutes of
The only other thing I ever say Phil Silvers in was
what call in the UK a "Carry On Follow That Camel"
film; I think it was released in the US as "Follow
that camel" (At least thats what IMDB says)
I have recently been watching the Sgt Bilko shows currently being run on BBC2.The comedy is genius and enjoyed by my father and I. One of the few American comedy stars I really enjoy watching.
Great site. Phil Silvers put more life and laughs into 30 minutes than
other show before or since. He will live forever in the hearts of his
What can you say about Phil Silvers !
He is one of the great comic geniuses that will never go out of fashion.
Just a note to say well done with the pages to
Bilko, I have always admired the show greatly, when
I first watched it at 14 (in 1984) and have been
hooked ever since. A programme that in five minutes
produces more comic genius, than most shows manage
in a series.
Keep up the good work
Mark G Byrne
In England, BBC 2 shows repeats of Bilko ALL the
time, which is
fantastic. I'm only 20 and I think that show was so
funny, strange given
the period it was made in.
To me he was one of the greatest all round
entertainers ever, absolutely
irreplaceable All I can say is thank you for many
years past present and
future of great entertainment.
Hi there, just checked out your great Phil Silvers website. Just felt
like adding my two cents. I grew up in NYC (born 1958) and lived in the same apartment building as Paul Ford. I'd see him from time to time, and spoke to him on occasion. I even received Halloween candy from him when I was little as us kids would go Trick Or Treating by knocking on all the apartments (didn't have to leave the building!). Nice guy from what I knew. Wish
he, and Phil were still with us.
Greetings from England!
In response to Kelly's question, The British Phil Silvers Appreciation
Society has just received confirmation that Phil will be considered for
a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this June. If anyone would like to
pledge their support they can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or
call 01203 337559/0441 198043 anytime! We are, at the moment in the
process of setting up our own web site devoted to Phil
Silvers.......watch this space!
Steve and Mick
co-founders: The British Phil Silvers Appreciation Society. Est. 1985
As I grew older I began to appreciate his unique humor.
My first memory however, was as a kid watching him being interviewed
shortly after making the "Chicken Cronicles" He was quite bitter at
being given proper credit and I felt sorry for him
When Mr. Silvers died, my wife and I purchased a copy of "A Funny Thing
Happened on the Way to the Forum" more or less as a small tribute to his
memory. That was in 1985 or early 1986. Our younger daughter is
and the older daughter almost 18 and we still enjoy watching Lycus ("I
that sound and I love it!"). Just watched it last week during the
(it's now March 1999). He was a great talent and is much missed.
Thanks for the website where his many fans can share their thoughts.
Phil Silvers and W.C. Fields are the two greatest American comedians.
brilliant American comedians -- Lord Buckley, Rodney Dangerfield, Lenny
Mel Brooks, Harry Ritz, Irwin Corey, Richard Pryor, and Mae West.
all very,very good, But with the possible exception of Ms. West, I
reaches the sublimity of Phil Silvers and W. C. Fields. I also think
Company that made the movies were wonderful comedians and also Harry
quite brilliant, although I don't like him personally.
and W. C.
me laugh so hard that I am drained after even twenty mintues of
one of them.
I would give my life savings to be able to see the three hour inteviews
Phil Silvers made in late-'81 early '82
with Dick Cavett.
I just want to say that, although I am only 19 years old, I have grown
up with the Phil Silvers Show, and count Sgt. Bilko as one of my
favourite comedy characters of all time. I have over 100 episodes on
video tape (although I've still never managed to get the episode with
the monkey!) and I know and love each of these episodes as well as an
old friend. Oh, and I once had a crush on Harvey Lembeck, but that
wasn't the reason I watched the show!!! Phil Silvers brought a
wonderful character to life and made me laugh through many otherwise
boring summer holidays from school.
Thank you for creating this web site. Phil Silvers deserves to be
remembered always, and I, for one, always will remember him.
Just a note to say its a shame that Bilko isn't given the respect it
deserves. It was the funniest of all the old shows by far, much
I LOVE LUCY or any of the other more popular shows of the time. I enjoy
watching it today as much as I did in the good OLE days.
Just a quick note to let you know that I've been running the British Phil Silvers Appreciation Society over here in England for the last 15 years. I've only just gone online and would love to hear from any Phil Silvers fans out there. Looking forward to hearing from you meatballs!
I have just returned from London, UK and at 1200AM on BBC1 TV station,
was shown an old "Sgt. Bilko" Black and white film . I didn't think they
still existed. I havent seen a show since I was a kid in the 1950s.
The show is why I looked up Phil Silvers on the Yahoo!! Actors list and
am writing this note. He was funny 540 years ago and he still is.
thx for the Phil Silvers site ! keep it up !
hi, i'm a big fan of gene kelly and just yesterday i got done watching
summer stock. i think phil was so funny in it! he's great and his part
in the movie really stands out. i'm 18 years old and i brought the
movie over to my friend's house today so she could see it too, she
thought phil was really funny as well. just wanted to tell you that!
Hi, I'm from Belgium in my 30-ties and know "Phil Silvers".
Too bad not many Belgians will know the name but I'm sure they know the
face and maybe the name Bilko...but they have to be older I guess...
Anyway, I found Phil Silvers pages on the Internet.
Since I visited the States several times in the past and got in contact
with Tony Sandler, he was the person who introduced me to the humor of
Mr. Silvers. And now, every time when I see Mr.Silvers on a European TV
station, I watch his show. He's so funny!
Mr. Silvers was not only a great talent, but he also had a nose for
talent, because he is the one who made it possible for the talentful duo
"Sandler & Young" to break through in the late '60's .
The first bookings of "Sandler & Young" were in the hotel lounges of
Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. Headliners from the big show rooms would drop
by to catch their performances and it was indeed the enthusiastic Phil
Silvers who convinced Polly Bergen to use them in her show. In six
months they became the hottest act in show business, headlining at the
Persian room in New York and other top spots throughout the country.
They would appear on nearly every TV variety show, every talk show and
most of the concert stages of the U.S. and Canada. In London they spent
an entire summer headlining the Kraft Music Hall for 13 straight weeks.
An exclusive recording contract from Capitol records produced a huge
output of classic Sandler and Young albums, insuring their position as
the countries number one singing duo.
Tony Sandler will not forget this, because in every interview I have
read, he is mentioning Phil Silvers!
Do you know where I can get pics of Phil? I am 23 and I believe he is
the Greatist Comedian to ever live he is my idol! I love this guy! I
have TV land for dorpping his show! Also, do you know where I can get
Video Discs or Laser Discs of some of his shows?
To whom it may concern,
It's Memorial Day and I wanted to remember the true meaning of
Memorial Day by visiting a web site of one of my favorite comedians. I
truly think the Bilko series was the best series of the 1950s. I am 44
years old (born in '53), and some of my earliest memories are of Sgt.
Bilko. I have since seen the series in repeats when I was older when I
could appreciate the full humor of the program. It was far funnier and
more fun than watching reruns of Lucy or Dick Van Dyke. Silvers and Paul
Ford were great together.
His death saddened me very much, much more than almost any other
star (including Sinatra). Of course Sinatra wasn't really funny.
Anyway, I wish to pay my deepest respects to his memory, give
genuine thanks for his great genius, and thank the authors of this web
site that make this possible. Wouldn't Phil really have loved the 90s?
When I die I hope to have a web site rather than a tombstone,
hyperlinks, java applets, maybe even some dancing raisin graphics than a
coffin. Those aren't essential.
I have a copy of a British edition of Phil Silvers' autobiography. It
was called 'The Man Who Was Bilko' over there & published by W H Allen
in 1974. Ditto on the out of print comments
Did you know that he appeared in 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To
The Forum' at Billingham near Stockton-on-Tees, England, some time
around 1973? He was also interviewed on the local Tyne-Tees TV station.
Just thought I'd tell you that I was glad to see this site. It helps to
immortalize possibly the greatest comedian ever. I am new to watching the
show as I am only 24. Thank goodness for TV Land or I might have never
experienced the genius of Phil Silvers. I watch it every day. He was truly
Just a quick note to say how nice it is that in this day and age the
greats are still remembered so fondly. They just don't do it as good
My strongest memory of Phil is his role in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad
World!". He was
as funny as ever in his role. I have a copy of the movie and it always
brings a smile
to my face everytime he drives his car into the river. The look on his
face is priceless!
Keep up the good work!
Here are some of the e-mail messages we have received at this,
our Phil Silvers web site
I just wanted to type a quick mail about the one and only Phil Silvers.
I am not the type of person that would usually like this sort of 1950's
show as I tend to like "alternative" comedy; usually new and topical.
However, I never tire of seeing Sgt Bilko. It is the only program that I
can watch again and again even having seen the same episode only days
before. He was a master of comedy and a king of timing. Unfortunately in
the UK there are only 18 episodes available on video tape. I am
DESPERATE for more. Nothing would make me happier than to own the entire
144 (or thereabouts) episodes on videotape. I might not see much of my
family or friends but that seems a small price to pay. I would just love
to sit down each evening and hear Bilko woo Mrs Hall with another of his
brilliant delivered lines.
See you at the bingo game
Thanks to Phil's daughter Laurie for setting the record straight. Growing
up with Sgt Bilko, it would seem as it did when I saw the A & E special on
Phil that the things they were saying would have to be off center, since
this wonderful man made a small boy laugh uncontrollably and I can credit a
large part of my sense of humor to him.
My son -age 12- and I try not to miss any of Phil Silver's shows. We think he deserves the funniest actor lable, period. Thanks for all the info. I didn't know he was such a sad person though. Too bad, he deserved a better deal from life.
I have loved Phil Silvers and his show ever since I was 11 years old. His
comedy is perhaps the best ever and has been un-paralleled ever since. When
I saw his biography on A&E, it really made me cry to hear how tough his life
was. At least at the end of his life, I think he knew that everyone loved
him and that he certainly had made major contributions to the world of
comedy. He is the funniest man I have ever seen in my whole life and as long as his televsion show is still being syndicated on cable, he will live
forever. God bless his dear soul.
Al and Kelly: Please click on this line to read a letter from Phil Silvers' daughter. A&E's program was overly negative.
After watching A&E's "Biography" on Phil Silvers, and reading the
"filmography" link your page provides, I became interested in seeing the
1953 film version of the play "Top Banana" . I was already a "fan" of
Phil Silvers from his performances in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way
to the Forum" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". After some
searching on the internet, I found that cdnow.com sells copies of the
Phil Silvers' movies "Top Banana" and "All Through the Night" (1942)
with Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Jackie Gleason. I haven't seen
either of these movies yet, but the opportunity to see them was good
news for me and I thought it might be of interest to you or some of your
I hope you continue to enjoy building this website.