101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1965-1970

Not having seen Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or Woody Allen in What's Up, Tiger Lily?, for that matter I didn't read Get Smart as a take-off on Cold War-esque, mutually assured destruction; I'm just now realizing the CONTROL vs. KAOS dichotomy. Discovering it in syndication, I more intuited the show as the B-side to the comic book machismo of superheroes, and I liked the old Jewish humor that lurked behind the show's Bond-like exterior. Buck Henry, who wrote the pilot with Mel Brooks, told the Los Angeles Times that it was executive producer Leonard Stern who came up with the opening title sequence in which Maxwell Smart so memorably arrives at the office, passing through a series of automatic doors before finally dropping through the bottom of a telephone booth. Rare, too, is the sitcom that can claim to have given guest starring roles to both Johnny Carson and Second City founder Del Close.

Credited Writers

Don Adams
Clarke F.L. Amoreaux
Ronald Axe
Art Baer
Earl Barret
Gary Belkin
Frank Red Benson
Barry E. Blitzer
Sam Bobrick
Ray Brenner
Mel Brooks
Stan Burns
Allan Burns
Gloria Burton
Dee Caruso
Joseph C. Cavella
Carol Cavella
Les Colodny
Robert C. Dennis
Bob Devinney
Stan Dreben
Keith Fowler
Ron Friedman
Gerald Gardner
Lila Garrett
Hal Goldman
Al Gordon
Budd Grossman
Ed Haas
Phil Hahn
Jack Hanrahan
Chris Hayward
Buck Henry
Bill Idelson
Ben Joelson
Bernie Kahn
David Ketchum
James Komack
Phil Leslie
Mike Marmer
Pat McCormick
Dale McRaven
Howard Merrill
Whitey Mitchell
Rick Mittleman
Nate Monaster
Burt Nodella
Jess Oppenheimer
Norman Paul
Ronny Pearlman
Martin Ragaway
William Raynor
Arnie Rosen
Elroy Schwartz
Bruce Shelly
Leonard Stern
Arne Sultan
Lloyd Turner
Myles Wilder
Marvin Worth
Sydney Zelinka