Phil Silvers Email

Phil Silvers was my mothers aunts son.
As far as i know, his real last name was Silverman.
I only met him once when i was around five years old.
My mothers maiden name was Hirshorn.
Any other relatives please contact me
My cousin and i lived and played in a village called Edwinstowe in the centre of Sherwood forest Nottinghamshirein our early teens. Although it has changed with tourism, in those early days exploring the forest was an exciting game . One day we were riding our bikes down a gulley to the Major Oak (the tree Robin Hood is said to have hidden in) leaping off rocks and tree roots at speed down hill. On our way back up we were met by a group of people mostly men, they wore long dark macs and brimmed hats and some wore shades. One stepped forward and said in a yankee voice" that looked fun son can i try it with my cousins bike. Pete gave him his bike another guy asked the same of me of which i obliged.They took off down the hill with everyone chasing after them..On reaching the bottom they came to a stop and jumped off the bikes laughing their heads off.When we reached them they gave us our bikes back the tallest of the two said "that was the best laugh they`d had in ages by the way my name is Phil, Phi silvers or Bilko to you, see ya" and off they went. We actually thought it was maybe some yanks just messing around .But now after all this time finding out he was actually in England around that time(the mid 60`s) Ifirmly believe we did meet the great man his self
Hi! I saw Phil Silvers in his British tour of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", at the aptly named Billingham Forum Theatre, back in, I think, 1973. It remains one of the great events in my life - to see the great man live, on stage, was thrilling. Colin
Just happen to see your website. I thought Phil Silvers was well forgotten, but it was nice to see so many appreciated his show and comedy. I wish it were on in the United States. Also, I happen to like Steve Martin, but he had no business playing Bilko. He should have turned the part down. I would have much appreciated a no name actor who studied Phil Silvers and put his heart and soul into the part. Martin was just going through the motions. Thanks, Andy
One of my favourite episodes:-Bilko and the Platoon going on maneouvres-unheard of! Colonel Hall going around muttering " What's he up to?" all day,then in the early hours Col.Hall springing up in bed and shouting "LAS VEGAS" which of course is the area of the war games!! Great stuff. I am 78yrs old and have watched Bilko uncountable times and each time as if new,great cast,I feel they are all old dear friends.Well worth the accolade as best comedy show ever!!!I I'm in the Scottish Borders so Phil Silvers gets around,a great talent to make people laugh and feel better. John
i have just watched "again" phil starring in (carry on follow that camel) fabulous, it always makes me happy to watch this comedy classic. british sense of humour, with phil and his american humour. no one could have been sgt. knocker, it could only have been him. i didnt see him in much else, its a mad mad world and some BILKO. but i thank him for this carry on appearance. superb.
My first recollection of Phil Silvers was as a kid, about 10. I'd seen a TV trail for A Funny Thing... , back when we had just 3 Chanels. I had to have the TV on the channel ready when my Dad got home from work, or I wouldn't get a chance to see it. I thought it was great, especially when I realised that "Dr Who" (Jon Pertwee) was in it as well, albeit in cameo.

Then 4 or 5 years later, a school friend of mine got me to watch Bilko. I was hooked from there on, and look for his techniques being used by other comedians e.g. Eric Morecambe and Vic Reeves. Now when I watch Forum on DVD Phil is the highlight for me.

12 years later, I went to that same friend's house. He was to be my best man. Rather than have a Stag I happily watched Bilko videos with him for a weekend! 13 years on, my son is almost 8 and is a real Laurel & Hardy fan. I have decided it is time to introduce him to Bilko.

Thanks for the email. I usually put new emails on the site only when I update it. However, I put yours up as soon as I got it since anyone who gives up a stag party for Bilko videos is a real, true fan!
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.
Best wishes,
Mark Haley

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 I ever met. He was the first celebrity I ever met. He told me to come down to 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 afterward.

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 grandmother (his sister-in-law). He was a very kind and funny soul. I wish I had gotten to know him better.

Juliet Greer

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.
Hi There
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 '' main page and click on it's entertainment page.
Best regards


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 .

Eileen Brooks

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.

R. Mahany

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 tribulations, 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)
Thank you.
Evan Edwards
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

private Armstrong

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. Joe.
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, 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. ,

Regards ,


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" was one of the first phrases I entered in the search engine. Just the thought of the man makes me smile.
Tennnnnn-HUT !
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).

-Bruce 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).



Hi, 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.
Kind Regards

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.
Lori 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!

Steve Ray

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 television.


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
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, without doubt 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 must see.

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 in the U.K.

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, now how many TV shows can you say that about? Maybe Dad's Army (another all time great) I just wish the writers of the modern sit-coms were made to sit and watch these shows, maybe then they'd understand why no show has touched them for greatness.

I'm just glad there are other people out there who feel the same way, If 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.

With thanks


The second broadway show I ever saw as a youngster was Do Re Mi and adored PS 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 Phil appeared he saw me waving excitedly and came over and patted my head and inquired as to how I liked the show - all I could do was stammer and finally squealed "ah, take a job for heaven's sake, hubie!" to which he cracked up. With that, he shook my hand and turned to leave and called back - "see ya 'round kid!" Several years later, I made sure to see him in the revival of "A funny thing...." in the role he passed up to take DRM. And you know what, 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 ever and a performance to be treasured always as the lovable Runyonesque character. Bilko lives!!!!!!!
just a brief note from this side of the atlantic! Phil silvers' comedy was much loved by my father and also by me throughout my life to date(47).It is one of the few truly great T V shows of all time and I'm sure most of us have a certain nostalgia for that style and for that time.It was nice to read the letter by his daughter.Unfortunately journalists almost inevitably try to report bad news cause it sells better.Here's to another generation 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 forty plus years!,I am 47 now and know that his memory will be a thing I will keep all my life,On my recent visit from UK to florida after the visit of all the studio's and places I asked many people where was the tribute to bilko! Who was of course the greatest world wide watched person I think ever to come from the USA! They all agreed there should be one but did not know of one? I say if lucille ball has one then so should bilko.
Kind Regards To all
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 .


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 England and without doubt they are still the funniest and most entertaining programmes on T.Vi. The man was a comic genius and its good to see he will not be forgotten . my ten year old son is a fan and we look forward to each episode (even though we have seen most of them many times before). We occasionally see Phil Silvers in films etc and find him entertaining every time .

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!

Hi there

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) quicker.

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 Scotland/U.K

I would be greatful if you could email me back and let me know.

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 father literally 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 (and is).

great stuff

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!!!

Paul(Liverpool, England)

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. Bilko".!? 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 it. 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)

T. T.

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 any other show before or since. He will live forever in the hearts of his fans.
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.

Sincerely David

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 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 this space!
Kind regards
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 not 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 almost 13, and the older daughter almost 18 and we still enjoy watching Lycus ("I know that sound and I love it!"). Just watched it last week during the snowstorm (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.

There are other brilliant American comedians -- Lord Buckley, Rodney Dangerfield, Lenny Bruce, Mel Brooks, Harry Ritz, Irwin Corey, Richard Pryor, and Mae West. Those people are all very,very good, But with the possible exception of Ms. West, I don't think any body reaches the sublimity of Phil Silvers and W. C. Fields. I also think that the Warhol Company that made the movies were wonderful comedians and also Harry Sherer is quite brilliant, although I don't like him personally.

Phil Silvers and W. C. Fields make me laugh so hard that I am drained after even twenty mintues of watching either one of them. I would give my life savings to be able to see the three hour inteviews that 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 funnier than 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. Ron

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!

love, amy

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! greetings, Tom

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.

Sincerely Yours,

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 the greatest. Barry

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 these days.

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. God Bless

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 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 readers.
I hope you continue to enjoy building this website.


I'm only 14 but I'm ahuge fan of the Phil Silvers Show ever since I saw it around half past one some Thursday night last year. Understandably, I havn't got to seee many episodes as there is only one on about every two months (this is the UK by the way). Do you know anywhere where I can get videos?


has anyone got a copy of the audition show,or show segments? I have lots of recordings for anyone interested. John
Hello fellow Bilko fans, I have just found this site, and it has made my day! I must agree with some of the E-mail comments which praise Bilko as one of the great comic inventions. I was born in 1949 in Melbourne Australia, and Bilko was my favorite TV show, and still is; my memories of it are however dim, since we don't have repeats over here. I notice a lot of the Bilko show in Seinfeld particularly. I have a question however, which someone may be able to answer: how much of Bilko was Phil Silvers, and how much was Nat Hiken (the writer)? Maybe the same as Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Also, can anyone tell me the best place to get videos of the show? I haven't seen them for 40 odd years! Are all the episodes available?
Warm Regards

I'm a television journalist working on a documentary for the local Public TV station in Memphis, Tennessee, about an army hospital that used to be located here. Someone I interviewed told me that Phil Silvers actually worked as an army supply sargeant at the hospital, before he became famous. I wonder if you, or any of your web page readers, could provide me with any information to confirm whether that bit of trivia is true is not?

Thanks, Rod

I have extra copies of Phil's Autobiography..."The Laugh is on Me"...If anyone needs one. please e-mail me RJC722@AOL.COM. seeking a small paperback of the Sgt. Bilko series where Phil is holding a pool cue. Anybody know where i can get one? Will trade one of my books for it.

I'm wanting to find some info about Phil's daughter, Cathy. I know about Happy Days & such & here appearance in the Bilko movie, but does anyone know anything more recent? Have a mail address etc?

Anyway, even in Australia Phil is King


Has Phil Silvers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Also, has he put his handprints or footprints in cement at Graumann's Chinese Theater? I'm planning to visit Hollywood sometime in the future and if he has received any of these honors, I'd sure love to visit them, as well as other fans I'm sure.


Click on this line to read about the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2000

I would like to know if anyone has any information about Phil Silvers' comedy work in the Catskills at the Evans Hotel in the 30's.

Click here to return to the Phil Silvers Home Page

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