Season Two - September 1956 to June 1957


Production Credits


Filmed at the DuMont Studios, NY by Kenco Films, Inc. for CBS Television


Produced and staged by Nat Hiken

Additional Staging by Charles Friedman

Directed by Al De Caprio

Photographed by William J. Miller

Supervised by Edward J.Montagne

Edited by Ray Sandiford

Art Direction by Richard Jackson

Additional Art Direction by Robert Rowe Paddock


Production Manager - M. Clay Adams

Music by John Strauss

Additional Music by Hank Sylvern

Recording Engineer - James Shields

Assistant to producer - Kevin Pynes

Settings by Jack Landau


Writers - Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Terry Ryan, Phil Sharp, Coleman Jacoby, Tony Webster, AJ Russell, Sidney Zelinka, Aaron Ruben, Phil Meltzer, Arnie Rosen


Credits Announcer: Bern Bennett




Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernie Bilko

Paul Ford as Colonel John Hall

Nick Saunders as Captain Barker

Harvey Lembeck as Corporal Rocco Barbella

Allan Melvin as Corporal Steve Henshaw

Joe E Ross as Sergeant Ritzik

Jimmy Little as Sergeant Grover

Elizabeth Fraser as Sergeant Joan Hogan

Herbie Faye as Corporal Sam Fender

Maurice Gosfield as Private Duane Doberman

Mickey Freeman as Private Fielding Zimmerman

Karl Lukas as Private Stash Kadowski

Tige Andrews as Private Gander

Jack Healy as Private Mullen

Maurice Brenner as Private Irving Fleischman

Bernie Fein as Private Gomez

P J Sydney as Private Palmer

Terry Carter as Private 'Sugie' Sugarman

Walter Cartier as Private Claude Dillingham

John Gibson as The Chaplain


Season Two Episode Guide



Platoon In The Movies (Air Date - 18 Sep 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Ralph Stantley, Ed Cooper, Matt Crowley, Alice Yourman,Virginia DeLuce & James Mischler

When the Motor Pool at Fort Baxter is chosen as the location to shoot an army training film about the care and maintenance of the humble spark plug, Sgt.Bilko cooks up a scheme to shoot his own film.


It's For The Birds (Air Date - 25 Sep 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Fred Gwynne, Gene Peterson, Lynn Dollar & Joe Verdi

When Bilko discovers one of his platoon has an expert knowledge of all things ornitholgical he signs Pvt. Honnergan up as a contestant on the '$64000 Question' TV show. Honnergan is a smash hit on his specialised subject of birds, until he is struck by an unexpected case of amnesia.


Bilko Goes To College (Air Date - 2 Oct 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Leonard Stern, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Robert Strauss, Bern Hoffman, Harry Holcombe, MacLean Savage, George McIver, Joseph Walsh & Robert Morse

Bilko tries to get even with a crooked bookie by placing a 1000-1 bet on Schmill College football team to beat  the championship team from rival college Notre Dame. Using reverse psychology Bilko brings his devious scheme into play!


The Girl From Italy (Air Date - 9 Oct 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken)

Also starring - Jessie Pacheco, Salvatore Dano, Anna Roselli, Louis Badolati, Dino Tarranova and Augusta Merighi 

After a visit to see My Fair Lady Bilko finds himself embroiled in a scheme to transform an Italian peasant girl into an object of desire and in the process ends up falling for her himself.


The Face On The Recruiting Poster (Air Date - 16 Oct 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Tony Webster, Leonard Stern & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Eric Fleming, John Boruff, Nelson Olmsted, Tom Post and Jim White 

When the handsome Pvt.Mike McCluskey is assigned to Bilko's platoon, Bilko has hopes of putting McCluskey's good looks to use in Hollywood. Ernie comes up with a scheme to get McCluskey's face on the new Army recruiting poster, but disaster strikes when Doberman unwittingly winds up being picked as Fort Baxter's best-looking soldier!


Bilko's War Against Culture (Air Date - 23 Oct 1956 - Written by Aaron Ruben, Phil Sharp & Nat Hiken)

Also starring - Dina Merrill, Mara McAfee and Aaron Ruben

When Colonel Hall introduces a new cultural program at Fort Baxter, Bilko's men are lured away from his gambling ventures. It's not long before Bilko finds a way to incorporate gambling into the cultural classes.


The Song Of The Motor Pool (Air Date - 30 Oct 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Tony Webster & Leonard Stern)

Also starring - David White, Fay Morley and Midge Ware 

When Bilko overhears Pvt.Paparelli singing a song in the shower blocks he's convinced that he's found a new song for the motor pool and enters the platoon into an army song contest.  But it soon becomes apparent that perhaps Pvt.Paparelli's song might not be a new find after all.


Bilko's Engagement (Air Date - 6 Nov 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Leonard Stern, Billy Friedberg & Tony Webster)

Also starring - Philippa Bevans, Virginia DeLuce, Harry Stanton and Doreen McLean 

When Bilko and Pvt.Kadowski send gift to their girlfriends, Ernie asks Duane Doberman to deliver the packages. Duane mixes the packages up and Joan Hogan ends up with an engagement ring meant for Kadowski's girlfriend. With the prospect of marriage looming large Bilko has to resort to underhand methods to escape the impending doom!


A Mess Sergeant Can't Win (Air Date - 13 Nov 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Tony Webster, Billy Friedberg & Leonard Stern)

Also starring - Ned Glass and Harry Gresham

When Bilko learns that Rupert Ritzik is leaving the army he offers money to help set  him up in civilian life. Thinking it's just another Bilko ruse, Rupert refuses to take the money. Bilko offers Rupert a series of bets all designed to let him win the money, but no matter what he does he just can't lose!


Doberman's Sister (Air Date - 20 Nov 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Tony Webster & Leonard Stern)

It's Fort Baxter Day in Roseville and the camp is open to GI relatives. It's become tradition for the platoon to date each other's sisters. Only Doberman's sister is left without a date. Despite all his efforts Bilko can't find anyone to date Duane's sister, that is until Ernie invents the mythical Musselman's Law!


Where There's A Will (Air Date - 27 Nov 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Leonard Stern, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Bruce Kirby, Ben Lackland, Abby Lewis, Martha Greenhouse, Harry Bannister and Bert Thorn 

When Bilko's pal Greg Chickering is cheated out of his inheritance by his devious relatives, Bilko cooks up a scheme involving a parrot, a treasure map and a whole host of nefarious characters, to help Pvt.Chickering regain his fortune!


Bilko's Tax Trouble (Air Date - 4 Dec 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Leonard Stern, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Alan Hewitt and Dan Frazer 

When the IRS mistakenly select Bilko for an audit, Bilko is worried that they have found out about his numerous schemes. He sets about overwhelming them with a trail of paperwork and swamps their offices with receipts and records for his activities during 1953.


Mink Incorporated (Air Date - 11 Dec 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken & Leonard Stern)

Also starring - John Drake 

When Bilko loses $100 of the platoon's money on a horse race he sets up a mink farm at Fort Baxter. All he has to do is get the mink to breed. When all attempts fail he enlists Doberman's help. Duane imitates the symptoms displayed by the mink to a doctor and Bilko soon realises he's been conned.


Sergeant Bilko Presents Ed Sullivan (Air Date - 18 Dec 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Terry Ryan)

Also starring - Ed Sullivan, Ray Bloch, Marlo Lewis and John Wray 

When TV mogul Ed Sullivan puts on an Army talent spot on his television show, he decides he wants someone to represent a camp from the Kansas area. Chaos ensues when Bilko is convinced he's been personally chosen to star in a big production number on the show and it's not long before Bilko has all of the production team ganging up on Ed Sullivan.


Bilko Gets Some Sleep (Air Date - 25 Dec 1956 - Written by Nat Hiken, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Stanley Simmonds, Robert Webber and Nelson Olmsted 

When he believes the whole camp is against him Bilko starts having trouble sleeping. The camp psychiatrist advises Bilko to reform his ways and stop his scams and schemes. Finally, Bilko starts to sleep again. However, it's not long before the whole camp becomes unsettled as they believe Bilko is simply cooking up a new set of schemes.


The Blue Blood Of Bilko - (Air Date - 08 Jan 1957- Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Tony Webster)

Also starring - Fred Herrick, Stephen Douglas, MacLean Savage, Ann Flood and Marjorie Gateson 

When Bilko hears that his friend Sgt.Bensonhurst has not been invited to his own son's wedding, Ernie sets out to convince the Wingate family that Sgt.Bensonhurst is much more than just a humble sergeant in the US Army!


Love That Guardhouse (Air Date - 15 Jan 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Arnie Rosen & Coleman Jacoby)

Also starring - Tom Poston 

When Sgt. Rupert Ritzik heads to Las Vegas using what he thinks is a genuine money-spinning tip he ends up winning $1500. Emma Ritzik persuades Colonel Hall to lock Rupert in the guardhouse as she know this is the only place to keep Ritzik out of Bilko's greedy clutches. Eager to get his hands on the money, Bilko tries everything he can to get himself thrown into the guardhouse.


Sergeant Bilko Presents Bing Crosby (Air Date - 22 Jan 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Arnie Rosen & Coleman Jacoby)

Also starring - Bing Crosby, Everett Crosby and Johnny Doran 

Bilko reads that Hollywood star Bing Crosby is on a road trip from Hollywood to New York and figures he may pass through Kansas. Bilko hoodwinks Bing's brother and manager into agreeing to have Bing drop by at Fort Baxter. Ernie stages a Bing Crosby concert but gets word that Bing won't be able to visit after all so he tries to pass off a lookalike as the real thing.


Bilko Goes To Monte Carlo (Air Date - 29 Jan 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring Marcel Hillaire and Bern Hofman 

When Bilko invents a system that beats the roulette wheel the personnel of Fort Baxter set him up with a large bankroll. When word spreads about Bilko's system, aided by the air force Bilko heads for Monte Carlo armed with a bankroll and a weekend pass!


Bilko Enters Politics (Air Date - 5 Feb 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Coleman Jacoby & Arnie Rosen)

Also starring - Margaret Hamilton, Harry Gresham and Humphrey Davis 

When Mayor Burke refuses to build a service centre for the men at Fort Baxter, Bilko persuades Duane Doberman to run against him for Mayor of Roseville, in the hopes that if elected Mayor Doberman will use his influence to approve the service centre.


Bilko's Television Idea (Air Date - 12 Feb 57 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Danny Dayton, Howard Petrie, Dagma and Cameron Andrews 

When Bilko learns that popular television comedian Buddy Bickford is coming to Fort Baxter, he thinks it's to buy one of Pvt.Whitley's ideas for a new show for Bickford. But Bickford is looking to make a comedy about the army and he's coming to the camp for research purposes. It's up to Bilko to try and convince Buddy Bickford that the army comedy is old hat and that Pvt.Whitley's script -  Andrew Armstrong, Tree Surgeon - is the vehicle he's been looking for!


The Son Of Bilko (Air Date - 26 Feb 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Arnie Rosen & Coleman Jacoby) 

Also starring - Bob Kilgallen, Collette Lyons and Joe Silver 

When Pvt.Perkins is assigned to Bilko's platoon Bilko becomes a father-figure to him. Perkins is a practical joker and it's not long before his antics upset the whole platoon. Bilko decides it's time to turn the tables on Perkins and puts his own elaborate practical joke into action.


Rock'n'Roll Rookie (Air Date - 5 Mar 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Tom Gilson, Dan Frazer and Sam Schwartz 

When Rock 'n' Roll star Elvin Pelvin is drafted into the army, the top brass decide it's best to send him to a quiet, backwater army base. They choose Fort Baxter and Bilko spots the chance to make some serious money when he is offered $10,000 for a new Elvin Pelvin recording!


Bilko's Black Magic (Air Date - 19 Mar 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Tony Webster & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Gerald Hiken and Dan Frazer 

When Pvt. Lester Mendelsohn is rescued from a Pacific island he's assigned to Bilko's platoon. Lester was stranded on the island for several years and it turns out he's due over $7,000 in back-pay. When he loses the money to Grover and Ritzik, Bilko sets out to win back Lester's cash. 


Bilko Goes South (26 Mar 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Lou Meltzer)

Also starring - John Griggs, Nelson Olmsted, John Boruff, Jay Barney, Tina Louise and Bob Lieb 

Roseville is in the midst of freezing sub-zero temperatures. When Bilko spots a chance to enter the platoon into a singing contest, it looks like they might be in with a chance of winning a first prize trip to sunny Florida. When the platoon arrive in Miami they are treated like royalty. Could it be that the singing contest is what they have really signed up for?


Bilko Goes Around The World (Air Date - 2 Apr 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Tony Webster)

Also starring - Mike Todd, Bob Hastings and John Studer 

Bilko convinces movie mogul Mike Todd to run a competition to promote the film 'Around The World In 80 Days' - with a prize of $20,000 to the first person to go around the world in 80 hours. Bilko calls in favours from his air force buddies and seems destined to win the money. That is until a kid at the airport is mistakenly taken in Bilko's place!


The Mess Hall Mess (Air Date - 9 Apr 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Tony Webster)

Also starring - John Silo, Susan Hovey and Sandy Kenyon 

A magazine runs a contest for the best original American recipe with a $50,000 prize. Believing he's found an undiscovered recipe Bilko purloins a French chef's secret casserole recipe in order to enter it in the contest. But it turns out the so-called secret recipe was actually in the Army cookbook all along.


The Secret Life Of Sergeant Bilko (Air Date - 16 Apr 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Terry Ryan)

Also starring - Philip Coolidge, Henry Lasko and Otto Hulett 

When sleazy journalist Ray Parker arrives in Roseville hoping to expose security leaks in the army, Bilko figures there's money to be made. With the promise of a top-dollar payday Bilko scams Parker by showing him hundreds of supposed 'top-secret' documents and Parker is convinced he has a major story on his hands. But is Parker about to find out that the security leaks are just the tip of the iceberg?


Radio Station B.I.L.K.O. (Air Date - 23 Apr 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Terry Ryan)

Also starring - Charles Mendick, Tomi Romer and Frank M Thomas 

When Roseville's local radio station closes down, Bilko highjacks the radio station frequency and sets up his own radio show. The talents include Pvt.Doberman as the news anchor, Sgt.Grover as the Irish tenor and even Sgt.Ritzik has his own cooking show. But the station's most popular show comes about by accident when a microphone is left switched on in Colonel Hall's house. Soon all of Roseville are hooked on the antics of 'John's Original Wife'.


Bilko, The Marriage Broker (Air Date - 30 Apr 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg, Coleman Jacoby, Arnie Rosen & Terry Ryan)

Also starring - Biff McGuire, Constance Ford, Janet Fox, Virginia De Louse and Jason Evers 

When Lt.Wallace takes over as commander of Company B he makes the lives of Bilko and his men a nightmare with his strict army policies. Bilko decides things might ease up if the Lieutenant has a woman in his life. It's not long before the real reason behind Lt.Wallace's behaviour is revealed.


Bilko Acres (Air Date - 7 May 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Harry Gresham, Stephen Chase and Janet Fox 

Bilko mistakenly believes that the army is about to expand Fort Baxter. He buys up the adjacent swampland with the Platoon Welfare Fund hoping to sell it on to the army for a huge profit. When the army announces it actually plans to downsize the camp Bilko tries to sell the newly-named Bilko Acres to local property developers. That is until he thinks he's discovered oil on the property.


The Big Scandal (Air Date - 14 May 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Tony Webster)

Also starring - Heywwod Hale Broun, Julie Newmar and Lee Papell 

After a hypnotist entertains the troops at Fort Baxter, Bilko teaches himself the art of hypnosis and bets Rupert Ritzik that he can hypnotise him. However whilst trying to hypnotise Ritzik it's Pvt.Doberman who falls under his spell and is now convinced that he is in love with Nell Hall.


Bilko's Perfect Day (Air Date - 21 May 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken, Billy Friedberg & Terry Ryan)

Also starring - Paul Lipson, Parker Fennelly, Bert Thorn and Ben Lackland 

It's finally happened, the fates have aligned and it's the one day in his life when nothing can go wrong for Sgt.Bilko...but will the Old Sarge realise in time and get the chance to place that one big bet?


The Colonel Breaks Par (Air Date - 28 May 1957 - Written by Sidney Zelinka, Andrew Russell, Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Sam Snead and Bob Hastings 

When Colonel Hall decides not to go on vacation Bilko's gambling plans are thrown into jeopardy. Eager to get the Colonel off the base Ernie talks him into entering the army golfing tournament in Palm Springs. The only problem is that the Colonel is a terrible golfer. Bilko enlists the help of champion golfer Sam Snead....with some surprising results.


Show Segments (Air Date - 4 Jun 1957 - Written by Nat Hiken & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Sammy Smith and Charles Cooper 

Several of the cast of The Phil Silvers Show meet in Lindy's restaurant on Broadway to watch various scenes that were edited out of previous shows. Series head Nat Hiken felt that these outtakes were simply too good to end up on the cutting room floor and compiled them into what is possibly television's first 'clip show' - pretty much a standard practice on television these days.


His Highness, Doberman (Air Date - 11 Jun 1957 - Written by A.J. Russell, Sidney Zelinka & Billy Friedberg)

Also starring - Martha Greenhouse, Philippa Bevans, Ben Lackland, Bruce Kirby and Godfrey Cambridge 

Doberman is in love but the young lady's parents disapprove of the romance. When Duane is thrown out of their house Bilko decides it's time the parents see the real Duane Doberman and cooks up a scheme that sees Doberman being passed off as a member of royalty.


The Phil Silvers Show - Season Two Gallery



Platoon In The Movies                It's For The Birds                      Bilko Goes To College


The Girl From Italy                     Face On The Recruiting Poster     Bilko's War Against Culture


Song Of The Motor Pool             Bilko's Engagement                    A Mess Sergeant Can't Win


Doberman's Sister                     Where There's A Will                   Bilko's Tax Trouble


Mink Incorporated                     Sgt.Bilko Presents Ed Sullivan      Bilko Gets Some Sleep


The Blue Blood Of Bilko              Love That Guardhouse               Sgt.Bilko Presents Bing Crosby


Bilko Goes To Monte Carlo         Bilko Enters Politics                    Bilko's Television Idea


The Son Of Bilko                        Rock 'N' Roll Rookie                   Bilko's Black Magic


Bilko Goes South                       Bilko Goes Around The World      The Mess Hall Mess


The Secret Life Of Sgt.Bilko        Radio Station BILKO                   Bilko The Marriage Broker 


Bilko Acres                                The Big Scandal                      Bilko's Perfect Day


The Colonel Breaks Par              Show Segments                         His Highness, Doberman