The sitcom 'Hogan's Heroes'

R. Doran of Silverton, Ore., asks, 'Whatever happened to...?'

Hogan's heroes" proved that a TV show about life inside a World War II prisoner-of-war camp in Nazi Germany could be played for laughs.

The show aired from 1965 to 1971 on CBS. It featured an oddball group of British, American, and French POWs who covertly helped the Allied cause from inside Stalag 13, which was run by inept Nazis.

The show continues in syndication throughout the United States, South America, Asia, Australia, and ... Germany. Ironically, the show is especially popular with young Germans.

To ensure that German viewers don't take it seriously, the dubbed dialogue is reworked to make the Nazis even more ridiculous. For instance, the monocled Col. Wilhelm Klink and bumbling Sgt. Hans Schultz speak with regional dialects that play on stereotypes and make whatever they say sound even funnier.

More "Hogan's Heroes" irony: John Banner, who played Sergeant Schultz, was Jewish. And Robert Clary, who played POW Louis LeBeau, had actually been interned in Nazi concentration camps as a child.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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