In fall 1965, NBC debuted a new comedy series, Get Smart, at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review is below:
Here’s a spoof on Herbert Rawlinson’s The Black Box and such heirs as U.N.C.L.E., 007 and Goldfinger. Don Adams gives it everything with that wry humor of his to produce plenty of laughs for the pseudo-scientific and Rube Goldberg crowd.
Assisting him is Barbara Feldon as Agent 99 (he is Agent 86, an inside joke with waiters and waitresses). For this series, Miss Feldon drops that sultry, sexy cosmetic commercial voice to play it straight as a perfect foil for Don.
Gags run high, with Vito Scotti playing Prof. Dante who invents an inthermo, a doomsday machine sought by Mr. Big (Michael Dunn). For a while Mr. Big latches on to the machine, but the hero and his sidekick destroy it before any damage is done.
This first chapter was in back-and-white; future segments will be in color.
It’s all a lot of tomfoolery not to be taken seriously. How can you, when you get a talent like Howard Morris directing, Mel Brooks and Buck Henry delivering the script, Jay Sandrich as producer and Leonard Stern as executive producer. It’s a fun show for those who want to forget the problems of the day. — Bill Ornstein