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Old 12-29-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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Question Was It A Bad Idea To Make Nazis Likeable On 'Hogan's Heroes?'

Was it a bad idea to make the Nazis actually funny likeable characters? Do you think that has hurt its longevity in syndication and dvd sales?


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Old 12-29-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
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Klink was certainly funny (usually unintentionally), but Schultz is the only one
that I would describe as likeable.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:43 PM   #3
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When the show was on the air, WWII was only a few years in the past and it was still a very "sore" point for many people. Given that fact, unless the show was mostly a comedy and didn't touch on the Holocaust at all...it wouldn't have even been made.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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They didn't make the Nazi's likeable so much as they made them idiots. That allowed us as viewers to feel oh so superior to them and able to laugh at them and at how Hogan and the other POW's outsmarted them week after week. And that was what made this series work. It clearly defined Hogan and company as the good guys and the Nazi's as the bad guys. It told us who to cheer for and who to jeer. I think it was a very smart choice by the producers to depict the Nazi's that way.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tv star collector
(...) but Schultz is the only one that I would describe as likeable.
And Schultz wasn't a Nazi...



The PC Brigade over at TV Guide now attack this Emmy winning sitcom.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocytus
When the show was on the air, WWII was only a few years in the past and it was still a very "sore" point for many people. Given that fact, unless the show was mostly a comedy and didn't touch on the Holocaust at all...it wouldn't have even been made.
A FEW YEARS???

Try 20 years!
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treky
A FEW YEARS???

Try 20 years!
Yes, it was 20 years. However, while that may seem a long time for you, there were cities in Europe that still had bombed out buildings from the war and there were people for whom the war seemed like only yesterday.

If they hadn't made the Nazi's somewhat "inept" and "comical" it's doubtful w/ WWII being such a recent event that this show would have succeeded.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:28 AM   #8
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Mel Brooks said once that if you want to insult your enemy, slap him in the face. But if you want to vanquish him, turn him into a buffoon.
Certainly "The Producers" did that to the Nazis as did Hogan's Heroes. HH was a spoof on the various WW2 POW/commando movies and TV shows that were popular at the time.
What I find interesting is nobody (in the US anyway) fusses over the Britcom "Allo Allo", which went much farther than HH in humanizing the Germans. I have both shows on DVD and love them. Watch them side to side sometime. You will see the difference, and I don't mean the sex humor. Nazis on HH got KILLED. Allo Allo was far kinder to them.
Interestingly Allo Allo was also a spoof of a dramatic WW2 series "Secret Army".
BTW, the first to spoof the Nazi regime was the Three Stooges, pre-dating Charlie Chaplin's Great Dictator by six months.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:01 AM   #9
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Exactly right-----the use of farce to make the Nazis buffoons was the key element. Remember that the real-life Germans in the cast were Jewish and had to flee the Third Reich.

Robert Clary was in a concentration camp---something he now does speaking engagements about to raise awareness. (Check out his multi-part video "Robert Clary and the Holocaust" on Youtube)

The fact that they felt comfortable doing the show speaks volumes.

Besides, it could be easily argued that Klink and Schultz were not ideological nazis at all. Klink was just a spineless idiotic career officer and brown-noser------and Schultz was about as apolitical as one could get. The actual dedicated nazi characters were neither likeable nor sympathetic.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
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When I watched this as a young kid, I had no concept of WWII or the Nazis. So I just watched and enjoyed it. However, as an adult, it is kind of tasteless to do a sitcom about POWs at a Nazi concentration camp.

But on the other hand, they did make the Nazis into cartoonish buffoons.

It is what it is. I'm still on the fence about the tastelessness factor, though.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:24 PM   #11
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Just to clarify------Hogan's Heroes was NOT set in a concentration camp. It was set in a P.O.W. camp.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:36 AM   #12
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...was basically a satire of "Stalag 17" (which the original authors later sued Bing Crosby Productions and CBS for being too close to the original play and movie; a settlement was eventually reached out of court). In that sense, the only "bad Nazis" were the military officers and Gestapo agents unfortunate enough to be pitted against Col. Hogan- they were either captured by Allied forces, or dispatched off-screen by explosions and the like. Obviously, Col. Klink and Sgt. Schultz were "nice people" who were "caught up" in World War II, and forced into military service....

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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in, I think 1973,Paramount-the studio that made "STALAG 17-brought suit against CBS and Bing Crosby productions, because in-I think-1961 Paramount offered them a scrift for a pilot based on "STALAG 17" but CBS refused it; then in 1965 they came out with "HOGANS HEROES".

Like "TV knowledge fan" said; the suit was settled out of court though.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #14
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I just realized, some people here may not know what "STALAG 17" was. It was a comedy/drama about a group of american officers in a German prison camp during world war 2. It's a good movie!
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treky
I just realized, some people here may not know what "STALAG 17" was. It was a comedy/drama about a group of american officers in a German prison camp during world war 2. It's a good movie!
Stalag 17 was a straight drama with a few funny scenes. Bill Holden, who won an Oscar for that role is unforgettable. It was far more realistic and rougher than HH. The final scene in which they throw the German spy (Peter Graves) out into the compound, with cans attatched to him, to get gunned down by his own fellow Germans is powerful.
In HH all the Germans were killed offscreen.
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