1965: Maxwell Smart tells advertisers about NBC’s lineup

NBC wanted to get advertisers excited about its 1965-66 program lineup. What would be the best way to do it? Would you believe the network hired Don Adams, in character as Maxwell Smart, to tell the advertisers what programs would be on that year? It begins with a clip from the Get Smart pilot in which Max was stuck in a closet. The presentation picks up from there:

Max makes these comments about his own show, starting around the 21:09 mark: “People who have caught advanced screenings of Get Smart have called this series the most hilarious satire on espionage they’ve ever seen. Now one couldn’t attribute all of the show’s brilliance to the genius of its star, Don Adams. On the other hand, one could.” We also see Maxwell Smart going through the doors at Control headquarters without any titles.

There are clips not only from Get Smart but I Spy, the serious Robert Culp-Bill Cosby spy drama and The Incredible World of James Bond special. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is mentioned near the end as a returning hit show.

There are also some interesting non-spy aspects about the presentation. It hypes the start of Joe Namath’s pro football career with the New York Jets (NBC carried American Football League games, “the league that tries harder,” as Max tells us) and talks about NBC News documentaries, including a long one about American foreign policy.

Danny Biederman’s spy fi collection

Danny Biederman has an impressive collection of spy fiction props, covering James Bond, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart and much more. Biederman has uploaded a YouTube video of highlights of news reports when parts of his collection were displayed at the CIA and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

During clips of the movies and shows in question, there’s music from a Gerald Fried tune originally composed for U.N.C.L.E. and part of Jerry Goldsmith’s score for Our Man Flint.

Take a look:

Almost 30 years ago, Biederman and Robert Short attempted to put together a movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (CLICK HERE and scroll to the second entry). They had gotten Bond veteran production designer Ken Adam interested in the project but it was not to be. There’s also a clip of Robert Conrad wishing he had kept James West’s sleeve gun that’s part of Biederman’s collection.