F-Troop aired from September 1965 until August 1967 on ABC.
The stars of this military farce were the gallant incompetents of F-Troop at Ft. Courage somewhere west of the Missouri in post--civil war days. The co. was the wide-eyed Capt. Parmenter ( Ken Berry), who had been promoted from private during the closing days of the war when he accidentally led a charge in the wrong direction-toward the enemy. Unbeknownst to the captain, Sgt. O'Rourke ( Forrest Tucker), had already negotiated a secret-and highly profitable-treaty with the Hawkawi Indians from which he also had an exclusive franchise to sell their souvenirs to tourists. There was no peace treaty with the Shugs, however and they sometimes caused trouble. Cpl. Agarn ( Larry Storch), was O'Rorke's chief aid and assistant schemer and Wrangler Jane ( Melody Patterson), the hardridding , fast-shooting cowgirl who was out to marry Parmenter. A lot of colorful Indians passed through this series in one time special appearances, including Roaring Chicken ( Edward Everett Horton); 147 year old Flaming Arrow ( Phil Harris); Bald Eagle ( Don Rickles); Wiseowl ( Milton Berle), an Indian detective; Sgt. Ramsden ( Paul Lynde), a singing mountie; and Wrongo Starr (Henry Gibson), a jinxed calvary trooper.
F-Troop's storylines not only lampooned western genre conventions, but took on other genres as well. Horror films were satirized in " Vis for Vampire" an episode with guest star Vincent Price and " Spy Counterspy , Counter Counterspy" parodied James Bond films via a character known as Agent B. Wise. Even Rock 'n' Roll itself was sent up in an episode called " That's Showbiz" in which Cpl. Agarn temporarily quit the army to manage a band called " The Redbugs." The constant mixing of genres and incorporation of anachronism's gave the show a surreal quality that kept the viewer off balance and feeling like anything could happen at anytime. However the storylines were kept grounded by the unique characters and their many running gags. For instance, whenever Wranger Jane would come on to Parmenter , he always said " Please Jane, not in front of the men." Whenever any character gave directions to Fort Courage , the directions inevitably began with the line " Make a left at the rock that looks like a bear, then a right at the bear that looks like a rock." The most beloved running joke among the show's fans came when O'Rourke would say to Agarn " I don't know why everybody says you're so dumb." After several minutes Agarn would inevitable ask " Who says I'm dumb?" in an unrelated moment.
With it's physical comedy and one-liners F-Troop appealed to kids and yound adults . In premiered in gorgeous black and white in the fall of 1965 and did ok when paired with another military comedy McHale's Navy. But when F-Troop returned for a second season ( in color) the show was moved to another night and lost in the ratings to NBC's frontier drama Daniel Boone. Thus F-Troop was a relatively short-lived show, ending it's run in August 1967 after two seasons on ABC. However it quickly became a much-loved cult favorite in syndication. The warped style and the sheer ambition it drew up to get laughs guaranteed that F-Troop would be remembered as one of television's most unusual amd innovative sitcoms.
Here's Don Diamond's Obituary from The New York Times
Don Diamond, Character Actor, Is Dead at 90
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK
Published: June 25, 2011
Don Diamond, a character actor on radio, television and film who was best known for playing supporting roles on TV westerns, died on Sunday en route to a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 90.
The cause was heart failure, his wife, Louisa, said.
Mr. Diamond, a New Yorker of Russian Jewish heritage, often played ethnic minorities because he had mastered several accents. During his nearly 40-year career he played El Toro, a Mexican sidekick, on The Adventures of Kit Carson ; Corporal Reyes on Zorro ; and Crazy Cat, Chief Wild Eagle's inept subordinate, on the comedy F Troop.
Donald Alan Diamond was born on June 4, 1921, in New York City. He received a degree in drama and studied Spanish at the University of Michigan before he enlisted during World War II. He served stateside in the Army Air Corps because his myopia had made him unfit for combat.
While awaiting induction in New York, Mr. Diamond began developing his accents on radio shows like The March of Time. He continued studying Spanish while stationed in the Southwest, and acted on the radio after the war.
Mr. Diamond also appeared on nonwestern shows like Get Smart and Mission: Impossible and in several movies, including the crime drama Borderline (1950), the Elvis Presley vehicle Fun in Acapulco (1963) and The Carpetbaggers (1964). He also did voice-over work in commercials and in cartoons like the Tijuana Toads shorts.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Diamond is survived by a brother, Neil (not the singer); a sister, Muriel Krems; a daughter, Maxine Roxanne Diamond; two stepdaughters, Emily and Fortuna Israel; two step-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandchildren.
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