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F Troop

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F Troop




F Troop

Format: Comedy

Created by: Richard Bluel, Seaman Jacobs, Ed James, Jim Barnett

Starring: Ken Berry, Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Melody Patterson, James Hampton, Frank Dekova, Bob Steele, Joe Brooks

Country of origin: United States

No. of episodes: 65


Executive producer(s): William T. Orr

Running time: Approx. 22 minutes


Original channel: ABC

Original run: September 14, 1965 – April 6, 1967

F Troop was a satirical American television sitcom that originally aired from 1965-1967 on ABC. It premiered in the United States on September 14, 1965, ran for two seasons and finished its first run on April 6, 1967, for a total of 65 thirty-minute episodes. It originally began as a black and white series. It premiered on the ITV network in the United Kingdom on October 29, 1968, and was repeatedly screened until July 16, 1974. The series was also broadcast nationally in Australia on ABC-TV and in Ireland on Telefís Éireann.







F Troop



F Troop was set at Fort Courage, Kansas, a fictional United States Army outpost in the West, in 1865, the year the American Civil War ended. There was a town next door to the fort of the same name. The commanding officer at Fort Courage is the gallant but chronically clumsy and accident-prone Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), the descendant of a long line of military leaders. He is awarded the Medal of Honor after accidentally instigating the final charge at the Battle of Appomattox. As a private, he is ordered to fetch his commanding officer's laundry. When he rides away on horseback to accomplish the errand, the pollen in the air causes him to sneeze repeatedly. He sneezes loudly just as he passes a group of soldiers, and they mistake this sneeze for the order "Charge!" His superiors, wishing to reward his action, promote him to captain and give him command of remote Fort Courage, a dumping ground for the least useful or trustworthy soldiers.

Much of the humor on the show was derived from the schemes of Captain Parmenter's non-commissioned officers, Sergeant O'Rourke, and Corporal Agarn, and the local Indian tribe, the Hekawis, alternately seeking to expand and conceal their illicit business, O'Rourke Enterprises, as well as the struggles of Parmenter to exert his authority and escape the matrimonial plans of his girlfriend, shopkeeper/postmaster Jane Angelica Thrift, "Wrangler Jane."







F Troop

Opening theme music

The circumstances of the F Troop story line are illustrated in the show's opening theme (taken from the first episode):

The end of the Civil War was near, When quite accidentally, A hero who sneezed, abruptly seized Retreat and reversed it to victory. His medal of honor pleased and thrilled His proud little family group. While pinning it on, some blood was spilled, And so it was planned he'd command...F-Troop! Where Indian fights are colorful sights And nobody takes a lickin', Where paleface and redskin Both turn chicken. When drilling and fighting get them down, They know their morale can't droop, As long as they all relax in town Before they resume, with a bang and a boom...F-Troop!






F Troop

Regular characters

F Troop officer & enlisted men

Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), the "Scourge of the West" - is credited with keeping the peace, which is in fact really kept by O'Rourke's secret treaty with the Hekawi. When the need to keep up appearances arises, the troopers and the Hekawi stage mock battles for the benefit of outsiders.

Sergeant Morgan Sylvester O'Rourke (Forrest Tucker) - the Sgt. Bilko of his day. O'Rourke's business dealings involve illegally running the local saloon and an exclusive-rights treaty with the local Indian tribe (the Hekawi) to sell their "authentic" souvenirs to tourists. He calls his dealings "O'Rourke Enterprises". (Doubly ironic is that Tucker had actually served in the US Cavalry prior to World War II and played a similar "O'Rourke" Cavalry Sergeant on Gunsmoke!)

Corporal Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch) - O'Rourke's dimwitted sidekick and business partner in the illegal O'Rourke Enterprises scheme. His name is a play on both Randolph Scott and John Agar. The episode El Diabolo features his Mexican bandit cousin who, like other members of his family, we see all look exactly like him.

Private Hannibal Shirley Dobbs (James Hampton) - F Troop's inept bugler, who can only play "Yankee Doodle and "Dixie" with regularity. Standard Army tunes like "Reveille," "Assembly." and "Retreat," are only occasionally played well. He is also the fort's artillery crew. (This usually results in the cannon misfiring, and knocking over the lookout tower. The scene from the first episode was reused most times).

Private Vanderbilt (Joe Brooks) - a legally-blind lookout (20/900 in each eye, according to Agarn) who also answers questions in the lookout tower with responses like, "No thank you Corporal, I just had my coffee". He once allowed two Native Americans wearing large, feathered head dresses to gain entry to the fort. When asked why he let them in he answered "I thought they were turkeys". A running gag has Agarn kicking the fort's cannon in frustration after it misfires, only to see one of its wheels come off, setting it off, sending a cannonball into one of the tower's support legs, causing the tower to collapse and sending Vanderbilt crashing to the ground. In one episode he shoots his pistol in a crowded barracks and misses everyone.

Trooper Duffy (Bob Steele) - an elderly cavalryman with a limp. Duffy is the lone survivor of the siege of the Alamo in 1836, even though the historical record states that there were no survivors. However, Duffy loves to recount his exploits alongside the heroes of the Alamo, "shoulder to shoulder and backs to the wall." The way Duffy tells it, he was killed in action. Steele was a former 1930s Western movie and serial star.






F Troop


"Wrangler" Jane Angelica Thrift (Melody Patterson) - Captain Parmenter's beautiful but tomboyish girlfriend, who runs the local general store and post office. She is determined to marry the naive Parmenter and is often obliged to rescue him from his various predicaments. Patterson was only 16 years old when the series began.

Charlie, the town drunk (veteran stuntman Harvey Parry), who usually took his leave of the saloon through the plate-glass window. Fort Courage got Charlie from Dodge City. "We were lucky to get him — Dodge had a spare." —Capt. Parmenter






F Troop

The Hekawi tribe and tribal members

The Hekawi tribe supposedly derived their name from an incident in which the tribe became lost, exclaiming "Where the heck are we?", which then became "We're the Hekawi". They are partners in O'Rourke Enterprises and produce most of the company's products. They are a peace-loving tribe — Agarn has to teach them a war dance. They have a 50/50 deal with O'Rourke and have a still which produces the whiskey for the saloon. As a sly jest off the notion that Native Americans are the 13th tribe of Israel, many of the Hewaki Indians were played by veteran Yiddish comedians using classic Yiddish shtick, particularly Chief Wild Eagle and Medicine Man Roaring Chicken. The regular "Indian" characters (none of whom were played by Native American actors) include:

Chief Wild Eagle (Frank Dekova) — leader of the Hekawi tribe and business partner in the illegal O'Rourke Enterprises scheme. Often O'Rourke, Parmenter, and Jane come to him for advice when they have a problem. Wild Eagle has an old Indian saying for every occasion which even he sometimes admits he does not know the meaning of.

Crazy Cat (Don Diamond) — Chief Wild Eagle's assistant and heir apparent. He often acts as chief and is rebuked by Chief Wild Eagle.







Recurring characters

In order of number of appearances:

Private Duddleson (Ivan Bell) — a sleepy, obese soldier who is hit on the head repeatedly by Agarn for having his body in line but not his belly, or sleeping when he's supposed to be at attention.

Private Hoffenmueller (John Mitchum) — trooper who only speaks in his native German. According to the fort's personnel records (doctored by O'Rourke to inflate the payroll) Hoffenmueller can speak Cherokee, Sioux, Apache, and Hekawi. "We can use you as an interpreter ...just as soon as you learn to speak English" —Capt. Parmenter.

Roaring Chicken (Edward Everett Horton) — aged medicine man (veteran actor Horton appeared as Roaring Chicken in the first season only, and only in certain episodes).

Private Leonard "Wrongo" Starr (Henry Gibson) — a jinxed soldier. He appears in "Wrongo Starr and the Lady in Black" and in "The Return of Wrongo Starr". Alternative explanations are given for the jinx. The name is a play on Ringo Starr.

Pete — bartender for O' Rourke's saloon. He is only seen in the first season but is mentioned several times in the second.







Notable guest stars

The program featured guest-starring roles and/or cameo appearances by:

Sterling Holloway (the voice of Disney's Winnie the Pooh) as myopic lawman Pat Lawton

Don Rickles as Chief Wild Eagle's belligerent son Bald Eagle

Milton Berle as a crooked Indian detective Wise Owl

Paul Lynde as Sgt. Ramsden, "The Singing Mountie" of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Cliff Arquette, better known as Charley Weaver from Hollywood Squares, as General Sam Courage, the Fort's namesake

Veteran Hollywood character actor Jack Elam as outlaw Sam Urp

Jamie Farr (best known as Klinger from M*A*S*H) as "Standup Bull" an Indian entertainer

Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman in the 1960s television series Batman

Lee Meriwether who played Catwoman in the 1960s television spinoff movie Batman (1966 film)

Radio and TV veteran Parley Baer

Mike Mazurki as Geronimo

Zsa Zsa Gabor as a traveling gypsy

Vincent Price as Count Sforza, a suspected vampire

Phil Harris as 147-year-old Flaming Arrow, determined to take back Indian land

Harvey Korman as Heinrich Von Zeppel, a Prussian balloonist Little Feat guitarist Lowell George and drummer Richie Hayward as members of the anachronistic Beatlesque band, the Bedbugs.

Pat Harrington, Jr. as secret agent B Wise — a spoof of Maxwell Smart of Get Smart.







Double Roles

In several episodes, one of the stars plays a double role:

Larry Storch as Agarn's Canadian fur-trapper cousin, "Lucky Pierre," Agarn's Mexican bandit cousin "El Diablo," and Agarn's Russian soldier cousin, "Col. Dimitri Agarnoff"

Ken Berry as an outlaw, "Kid Vicious" Forrest Tucker as O'Rourke's father








Season One (Black and White)

Scourge of the West Introduction

Don't Look Now, One of Our Cannons Is Missing

The Phantom Major

Corporal Agarn's Farewell to the Troops

The Return of Bald Eagle

Dirge for the Scourge

The Girl from Philadelphia

Old Ironpants

Me Heap Big Injun

She's Only a Build in an Girdled Cage

A Gift From the Chief

Honest Injun

O'Rourke vs. O'Reilly

The 86 Proof Spring

Here Comes the Tribe

Iron Horse Go Home

Our Hero, What's His Name?

Wrongo Starr and the Lady in Black

El Diablo

Go for Broke

The New I. G.

Spy, Counterspy, Counter Counterspy

The Courtship of Wrangler Jane

Play, Gypsy, Play

Reunion for O'Rourke

Captain Parmenter, One Man Army

Don't Ever Speak to Me Again

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Troop

Indian Fever

Johnny Eagle Eye

A Fort's Best Friend is Not a Mother

Lieutenant O'Rourke, Front and Center

The Day the Indians Won

Will the Real Captain Try to Stand Up?




Click here to see a great F Troop video clip




Season Two (Color)



The Singing Mountie

How to Be F Troop Without Really Trying

Bye, Bye, Balloon

Reach for the Sky, Pardner

The Great Troop Robbery

The West Goes Ghost

Yellow Bird

The Ballot of Corporal Agarn

Did Your Father Come from Ireland?

For Whom the Bugle Tolls

Miss Parmenter

La Dolce Courage

Wilton the Kid

The Return of Wrongo Starr

Survival of the Fittest

Bring on the Dancing Girls

The Loco Brothers

From Karate with Love

The Sergeant and the Kid

What Are You Doing After the Massacre?

A Horse of Another Color

V is for Vampire

That's Show Biz

The Day They Shot Agarn

Only One Russian Is Coming! Only One Russian Is Coming!

Guns, Guns, Who's Got the Guns?

Marriage, Fort Courage Style

Carpetbagging, Anyone?

The Majority of Wilton

Our Brave in F Troop

Is This Fort Really Necessary?








Creation and production

Although the show's opening credits claim F Troop was created by Richard Bluel, a final arbitration by the Writers Guild of America eventually gave Seaman Jacobs, Ed James, and Jim Barnett credit.

Episode writers included Arthur Julian (who, alone, wrote 29 of the 65 episodes), Stan Dreben (Green Acres), Seaman Jacobs, Howard Merrill (The Dick van Dyke Show), Ed James, Austin and Irma Kalish, and the highly successful comedy writing duo of Tom Adair and James B. Allardice, who collaborated on some of the most successful American TV sitcoms of the 1960s, including The Munsters, My Three Sons, Gomer Pyle, USMC and Hogan's Heroes.

The series was directed by Charles Rondeau and Leslie Goodwins among many others, and produced by William T. Orr and Hy Averback.

The story is in some ways a comedy derivative of the John Wayne film, Fort Apache (a running joke in the film is the number of soldiers at the fort named O'Rourke). Actually, it bears more than a slight resemblance to a 1964 Glenn Ford film called Advance to the Rear, which appeared just one year before F Troop aired. Coincidentally, WB now owns the Region 1/4 rights to Fort Apache.

The entire series was shot on the Warner Bros. backlot in Southern California.

The show's ratings were still healthy after the second year, but according to Tucker, Warner Bros.' new owners, Seven Arts, discontinued production because they thought it was wasteful for so much of the Warner Ranch being taken up by a single half-hour TV show. Producer William Orr says the studio was unhappy with the added costs of producing the show in color during its second season.







Syndication and afterlife

Although only two seasons were produced, F Troop enjoyed a very healthy second life in syndication, much like fellow two-year run entries The Munsters, The Monkees, and The Addams Family, from the same era. The show was a particular favorite on Nick at Nite in the 1990s, running from 1991 to 1995 despite the fact that there were only 65 episodes to run.

On September 27, 2005, Warner Home Video released the first F Troop DVD compilation as part of its "Television Favorites" series. The six-episode DVD included three black-and-white episodes and three color episodes. Previously, the series had been digitally remastered and released on ten VHS tapes by Columbia House in 1998, with 30 of the 65 episodes represented in that series.

Following the successful sales from the "Television Favorites" release, Warner Home Video released F Troop: The Complete First Season, with all 34 black-and-white episodes included.

The Complete Second Season of F Troop was released on DVD May 29, 2007. The DVD features interviews with original F Troop cast members, writers and other production personnel, as well as behind-the-scenes information.







Feature film

F Troop is currently being developed into a feature film by writer/director, Bobby Logan (Repossessed, Meatballs 4, Up Your Alley).








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If you can't handle spicy food tell them when you order.

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one.


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Car Repair 

For the best car repair service 
go to Don's Auto Clinic at 

1950 Ellesmere Rd #21 
Scarborough ON, M1H 2V8 

Phone: 416-438-9575 

Make an appointment 
and don't worry about                     what kind of service
you'll get because it's the best.
I've been going there for at least 5 years.
(Zane Ladhani---owner of Zane's Mall of Comedy

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 


Chinese Food 

Kim Kims Hakka Chinese

 Restaurant www.kimkim.ca 

Chinese Food is great and there are a lot of restaurants
but if you want to go to one of the best chinese food
restaurants in Toronto then go to Kim Kims at 

Kim Kim Hakka Chinese Restaurant 1188 Kennedy Road
Scarborough, ON M1P 2L1 416-757-8300
(Near Kennedy and Lawrence) 

I ususally have the Curry Chicken on Rice
but you'll be happy with whatever you order. 

If you can't handle spicy food tell them when you order. 

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 

Real Estate Services 

One of Toronto's Best Real Estate teams is
the Wright Sisters.

They are the right choice 
whether you're buying or selling property. 

Lindsay & Melanie Wright Sales Representatives 

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., 
Brokerage 2237 Queen Street East Toronto ON M4E 1G2 

Office: (416) 699-9292 
Toll Free: 1-866-921-9292 Fax: (416) 699-8576

Tell them Zane sent you.