Hogan's Heroes was a popular sitcom which ran for 168 episodes, lasting from 1965 to 1971. Its setting was a Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Germany and featured an engaging, dynamic, and talented cast. Audiences still enjoy the series today and it remains a favorite with World War II buffs.
Filled with action and laughter, many fans still remember some of its funnier scenes. Still, there are things which escaped even the most ardent of fans' attention. Here are 10 hidden details from Hogan’s Heroes which viewers might have missed – even those who watched the same episode more than once.
10 Success without limit
Fans know the show is good. It’s why they love it so much. Still, most viewers don’t know just how many awards Hogan’s Heroes has received since its launch in the '60s. The sitcom was nominated for a staggering 12 Emmy Awards.
In addition, Werner Klemperer was awarded Best Supporting Actor in 1968 and 1969 for his portrayal of Colonel Klink. The popular series ran from 1965 to 1971, in a run which included 168 episodes. That’s a phenomenal feat and definitely a feather in the team’s cap!
9 Hogan's work in the Pentagon
Dates can be tricky when writers work on a narrative. This is why homework is essential for scriptwriters. The occasional glitch does slip in. Colonel Hogan speaks about having been assigned to the Pentagon in 1942. Thing is, the construction of the building only ended in 1943.
He either worked as a construction worker for the monumental site, or he is mistaken. Viewers probably didn’t even notice the mistake – unless they were history buffs. Still, this detail went for the most part undetected.
8 A change of setting
Fans might not know that the show’s co-creator Albert S. Ruddy initially chose an American jail as his setting of preference for the humorous, entertaining series. It was only changed to a World War II setting after Ruddy learned that NBC had plans to do a show which would be set in an Italian World War II prison camp.
The show, Campo 44, made him rethink his own series’ strategy. He claimed that he took just a single day to rework the script and give it a distinct World War II edge! Furthermore, Hogan's Heroes based its setting on Stalag 13, a real German POW camp.
7 From green to red
In Season 2 of the show, there is a glitch in the wardrobe malfunction when a red hat changes to a green hat in a moment's viewing. Audiences might have blinked during this moment and not noticed this minor detail.
What happened was that LeBeau was originally given a green hat for the first scene of this particular episode. His signature red hat is then returned to his head in the second run of filming. One has to wonder why the actor didn't say anything when he was given a different hat, but maybe LeBeau had bigger concerns with - you know - the war going on.
6 Casting Of The Nazi Officers
Viewers would more than likely not be aware that four of the Nazis in the show were in fact Jewish: Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin, John Banner, and Howard Caine. Interestingly, all of these, with the exception of Howard Caine, managed to escape the persecution of the Nazis in Nazi Germany during World War II.
Caine grew up in Nashville and served the US Navy during the war. Hogan's Heroes went with an interesting chose of actors for the Nazi crew. Revealing these hidden details about the cast's identity makes the show all the more fascinating.
5 'Top Secret'
When an important document arrives, and it is for the officials' eyes only, it would make perfect sense to write 'Top Secret' at the top of such a document. However, not if the said document was German in origin. This is exactly what happens in the third season episode "How to Win Friends and Influence Nazis."
The document is presented to Col. Klink by General Burkhalter. Problem is, General Burkhalter is a German, who more than likely would not have stamped these words in English onto the document. Such a mistake would have attracted even more attention to the highly volatile document.
4 Secret lyrics
Viewers who watched the series religiously will know the theme music off-by-heart.
Heroes, heroes, husky men of war,Sons of all the heroes of the war before.We're all heroes up to our ear-o'sYou ask the questionsWe make suggestionsThat's what we're heroes for.
This chirpy, upbeat musical interlude, which was played at the opening and close of each episode, was more than just an ordinary battle march and actually had secret lyrics. The lyrics sang of the heroism of those who went to war for their country.
3 Speedy Gonzales makes his debut
The show is set in the 1940s (the World War II era). Still, the characters discuss Speedy Gonzales and on more than one occasion, make reference to the speedy Mexican mouse who they should (technically) not have yet been introduced to – since it will be a full 10 years until the mouse makes his debut, in the 1950s.
"The Fastest Mouse of Mexico" first appeared in the cartoon Cat-Tails For Two, in 1953. This detail would probably not have been noticed by viewers who more than likely wouldn’t know the exact date of the famous mouse’s first appearance.
2 A rare find
Hogan’s Heroes fans will no doubt be familiar with the Mercedes-Benz W31 vehicle which is very much a part of the narrative. This car was used by General Burkhalter, Klink's boss, to do his business and exercise his might and formidable presence.
What viewers probably don’t know is that the car was one of three such models remaining after the war. Only 57 of these grey and black Mercedes convertibles were ever produced – with just the three remaining in the post-war period. Hogan’s Heroes used one of these three!
1 The mystery jacket
Carter loves his jacket – the brown one with sheep fleece lining. It’s pretty much a part of his character. In every single scene, the jacket has that look of a much-loved clothing item – dirty and crumpled in places, and well-worn. There is an exception, however, and a fascinating detail which might be of interest to fans.
In an episode of Season 6, the jacket looks absolutely new! Bright and clean and shiny. It’s a small detail but one has to wonder – did directors take it to the dry cleaners? Was the jacket lost and subsequently replaced?