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Al Dente

Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971) - American Sitcom Taking Place in a German WWII POW Camp - Created by Bernard Fein and Albert S. Ruddy

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What in the world was the pitch for this TV series? "Hey dude, we have this hilarious script about a loveable ragtag bunch of captured Allied soldiers in a Nazi internment camp. Whadaya think? It'll be a hoot!"

Anyway, say what you will about the unfortunate premise and the uh... peculiarities of Bob Crane, but I didn't know the stories behind the cast. Many of them were not only Jewish, but actually spent time in concentration camps.

Hogan's Heroes

The story behind Robert Clary is especially interesting.

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"Hogan's Heroes" was very loosely based on the Billy Wilder picture Stalag 17 (1953), which even had a Sgt. Schulz, played by Sig Ruman, whom you may remember as the impresario in A Night at the Opera. A somewhat similar TV series called 'Allo 'Allo ran on the BBC from 1982 to 1992. Instead of a POW camp, it was set in a French village under German occupation. The biggest difference between "'Allo 'Allo" and "Hogan's Heroes" is that the former was actually very funny and the latter was not. "'Allo 'Allo" was created and written by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, the team that also gave us "Are You Being Served?".

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