Thursday, August 18, 2016


's funny, but although I can remember BURKE'S LAW being blasted on our tee-vee during them good ol' turdler years in no way do I recall  this 1965 version of the series which was obviously a failed if noble attempt to rescue it from a swift cancellation! I guess most people out there don't remember this 17-episode swan song in which Gene Barry's millionaire cop vamped into a secret agent because I sure ain't heard any of the old tee-vee fans I grew up with gabbin' about this 'un the way they did TWILIGHT ZONE and other firmly etched into the suburban slob mindset shows that continue to resonate even this far down the long creaky line.

And judging from these two episodes courtesy of who else but Bill Shute. we now know what we were all missing because way too many tee-vee viewers were undoubtedly tuning into CBS instead of ABC and watching...THE DANNY KAYE SHOW??!?!?!?!?!?!? As you'd expect it's all pretty much down pat secret agent fare closer to MATT HELM than THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., complete with the Mister Big character running the show as well as the whacked out badskis and of course some hotcha femme to kiss and maybe even turn in per episode. Not that many transistorized gadgets to be seen other'n some Dick Tracy-type watch but let's be thankful this one wasn't too spy gimmick obvious.

First episode has Burke heading off to a Polynesian island in order to find and drag back an AWOL scientist but coming up against this Midget of Indian heritage called Dr. Sin who seems to have a strong psychological grasp on the guests at his resort-styled HQ. The second one is even battier what with this world peace advocate's plans to end war by spreading LSD via gas exhaust fumes pumped into the air turning everybody into carefree clutzes who don't even mind when they see someone murdered! Probably one of the better critiques of the early anti-war moo-ment seen in quite awhile, even if they hadda cop out and give a slight thumbs up to the protest generation inna last scene.

And yeah, this is GOOD STUFF that could be as ridiculous as U.N.C.L.E. but again in a fun camp way, with loads of hotcha gals to ogle, evil badboys to hiss and of course Gene Barry as a guy who isn't fazed by anything even when staring down the barrel of a gun! Loads of cheap scares, hideous torture and enough fights that would have made the Concerned Mothers of Ameriga faint because their adolescent boys were watching this instead of LITTLE WOMEN and with all those horrible murders out wonder they went after Bugs Bunny with a vengeance!

'n well, you'd probably wanna spend your times watching DANNY KAYE, right? Sheesh, wotta buncha pantywaists I have for readers!!!


top_cat_james said...

BURKE'S LAW was parodied by that pop-culture sponge of the Sixties, THE FLINTSTONES ("The Rolls Rock Caper",1965). Not a particularly good episode, but it made for a nice change of pace from the MUNSTERS and BEVERLY HILLBILLIES appropriations.

Bill S. said...

Amos Burke, Secret Agent has what's for me one of the all-time great intro credit sequences. The character struts across the screen, stops to elegantly light a cigarette, takes a drag, and then turns toward the audience and uses the cigarette lighter-gun to blow someone away! That is COOL taken into the stratosphere. Only a few people could get away with such a scene--Gene Barry is one of them.