Kisses for Kaos: The old jealous spy trick

On the job: 99 has a date night with a Kaos agent. Max offers his assistance - and disapproval.

On the job: 99 has a date night with a Kaos agent. Max offers his assistance – and disapproval.

Episode 17
Kisses for KAOS (original air date: 1-15-66)
Cast:  Savage — Michael Dante, Mondo — John Abbot, Parker — Milton Selzer, Policeman —  Ray Kellogg, Gallery Patron —  Rose Michtom
Director:  Gary Nelson
Writers:  Stan Burns and Mike Marmer
Producer:  Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis:
99 masquerades as a socialite and Max as her chauffeur in order to stop creepy Kaos art dealer/chemist Rex Savage from hanging his exploding paintings in the Pentagon.

This Kaos agent's gloves? They won't be coming off.

This Kaos agent’s gloves? They won’t be coming off.

My Thoughts:
The episode opens with Max posing as a gardener and 99 as a nurse watching a fake

Exploding consulates? That may require extra paperwork.

Exploding consulates? That may require extra paperwork.

baby. Max busies himself recording the activities of a foreign consulate when said consulate blows up. He manages to turn up one piece of evidence from the scene of the explosion – a portion of a painting from a gallery owned by Rex Savage. The Chief reveals that pieces of paintings from Savage’s gallery have been found at previous explosions – an embassy and a police station.

The problem is, Savage is a ghost to Control’s records – no photo or finger prints. 99, using the alias Melissa Westbrook, is tasked with posing as a wealthy society girl in order to make contact with Savage. Max tags along as her chauffeur.

In the meantime, Savage, a chemist, and his artist partner Mondo have been mulling their plan to add an exploding painting to the Pentagon.

99 manages to charm Savage during her visit to the gallery, but the gadgets she and Max are outfitted with fail. She’s supposed to gather his fingerprints with a special pencil – but Savage always wears gloves. She then decides to met with Savage alone in the local lover’s lane in hopes he will eventually take his gloves off. Max, whose jealousy is prominently on display in this episode, wholeheartedly disapproves.

The night out, however, proves unsuccessful. While cuddling, 99 complains about Savage’s gloves – his response is to put a softer glove over the other glove. Max, in the meantime gets thrown in the clink for violating 387B of the penal code – sitting in a chauffeur’s uniform next to a rubber dummy. The rubber dummy lobby, by the way, has been trying to get this law repealed.

Cop: What kind of weirdo are you?
Max: I don’t know, just a plain, normal everyday weirdo.

Forget the fax machine - Control sends memos by hurling a rock through a window.

Forget the fax machine – Control sends memos by hurling a rock through a window.

99, however, manages to score an intimate supper with Savage after finding out that he only takes his gloves off when eating or bathing. Carlson supplies Max and 99 with a few devices for the dinner: The Soup Bowl Camera, Bread Roll Print and Fruit Recorder.

With the exception of Max’s jealousy (and his use of a gong) dinner and the devices work out smoothly – until Mondo barges in the apartment and reveals to Savage that he’s been courting a Control agent.

Max and 99 are hauled off to Savage’s gallery where 99 is instructed to paint a shirtless Max (yes, shirtless) to death with exploding paint. 99, however, stops Savage and Mondo in their tracks by dumping a can of explosive paint on the floor. Of course, this also stops Max and 99 from escaping.

The episode closes with Max having repainted his apartment – only he used Savage’s paint. Well, at least he covered the furniture.

The episode is a veritable gadget toy box. Here’s a run down of some of the gadgets and other fun items:

• Inter office top secret relay – forget those pneumatic tubes of the good old days, those

Outgoing rocks from Control's Inter office top secret relay. Did one come crashing through your picture window? No worries - just plunk it in a mailbox. Control's address is on it.

Outgoing rocks from Control’s Inter office top secret relay. Did one come crashing through your picture window? No worries – just plunk it in a mailbox. Control’s address is on it.

office instant messaging systems of the last decade or two or even texting – Control sends inter office memos via a rock through the window. If you find one, don’t worry – just return it by plunking it in any mailbox. Control’s address is printed on the rock.
• Pencil Painter – A pencil scientifically treated to obtain a suspect’s finger prints – as long as that person isn’t a smooth talking man that likes wearing gloves.
• Chauffeur’s Cap Camera – Best used for still photography.
• Steering Wheel Phone – Installed in Max’s car and in need of adjustments – every time a driver turns the corner, the phone dials the operator.
• Soup Bowl Camera – A camera in the bowl takes selfies while the person eats. The flash is absorbed by the soup.
• Bread Roll Print – The rolls gather fingerprints.
• Fruit Recorder – This bowl of fruit records conversations – just don’t eat the banana.
• Inflato Girl – It’s exactly what it says it is. How they got away with it in this episode is beyond me.
• Even Kaos has its own ammunition: A painting of a camera that is actually a camera and Savage’s collection of paints that go boom.

For those that have the TimeLife DVDs, there is an audio commentary by Barbara Feldon for this episode. She talks at length about being taller than Don Adams as discusses a conflict that occurred early on with the show’s advertiser.

This episode is fine, though for some reason it never particularly wowed me. However, watching this one via the DVDs provides the opportunity to pick up on minute details that would be overlooked otherwise – specifically the facial expressions coming from Don Adams and Barbara Feldon.

There are some things you can't explain. The Inflato Girl is one of them.

There are some things you can’t explain. The Inflato Girl is one of them.

Watch for:
Aunt Rose makes an appearance.

Footnotes:
• A former pro-baseball player, Michael Dante appeared in numerous TV westerns including Cheyenne, Maverick, Bonanza and Death Valley Days. He appeared as Maab in the Star Trek episode “Friday’s Child.”

• John Abbott’s career in TV and film spanned all the way back to the 30s, with his most notable roles being in The Jungle Book and Gigi. He had an uncredited role as Mason in Jane Eyre, staring Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine. He also appeared in The Partners and Star Trek.

• Ray Kellogg appeared in a number of TV series including Perry Mason, The Real McCoys and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He was usually seen playing a bartender or a law enforcement official.

Glick meter: Max gives us a Would You Believe for our troubles in this one: 25 Control agents quickly turns into a vicious street cleaner and a toothless police dog.

Oh Max meter: When 99 suggests setting up a date to get Savage’s photo and finger prints, she’s noticeably surprised (and delighted) to detect Max’s jealousy.

99: If I could just get him alone
Max (offended): What do you mean alone? …I don’t think you should be alone with him.
99 (smiling): Max, you sound like you’re jealous.
Max: Jealous. Now that’s ridiculous 99. It’s just that, that man might turn out to be a dangerous kisser -er killer.

Control Agents: Professor Parker returns.

Kaos Agents: Savage and Mondo.

Gadgets: Secret Message Leaves, Pencil Painter, Cap Camera, Camera Painting, Steering Wheel Phone, Soup Bowl Camera, Bread Roll Print, Fruit Recorder, Explosive Paint, Vibration Explosive Paint and Nitro-Floor Paint. It’s up to you whether you consider the Inflato-Girl a gadget. *eye roll*

Episode Locations: Max’s apartment and Rex Savage’s Art Gallery. I could include that consulate, although that’s not much of a location anymore.

When you repurpose paint from a Kaos agent, make sure it's not the exploding kind before you paint your apartment.

When you repurpose paint from a Kaos agent, make sure it’s not the exploding kind before you paint your apartment.

Double Agent: Going to seed for the spy business

Max goes to the dark side. 99 tries to talk him out of it.

Max goes to the dark side. 99 tries to talk him out of it.

Episode 16
Double Agent (original air date: 1-8-66)
Cast:  Alex- Robert Ellenstein, Kaos Agent 1 – Arthur Batanides, Parker – Milton Selzer, Texan – Gregg Palmer, Kaos Agent 2 – Dave Barry, Kaos Agent 3 – Clay Tanner, bartender – Fabian Dean, drunk – Jack Orrison, Fang – Red, casino dealer – Robert Karvelas, gambler – Rose Michtom
Director:  Frank McDonald
Writers:  Joseph C. Cavella and Carol Cavella
Producer: Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis:
A group of Kaos agents plan to attack the Pentagon and need to recruit someone that has access to it. They decide on Maxwell Smart. Max has to convince them that he’s the man for the job by going bad — as in blowing his money, becoming a drunk and killing 99.

Nano technology: Parker shows off his new fly transmitter.

Nano technology: Parker shows off his new fly transmitter.

My Thoughts:
The episode opens and concludes with Professor Parker’s super small spy devices, so let’s get that out of the way first.

Max and 99 are first seen listening to the Kaos boys via an ice cube transmitter. The device is soon discovered and destroyed when a Kaos agent realizes the “ice cube” hasn’t melted. Parker apparently spent six months testing the ice cube transmitter in every known fluid — which is how he got his reputation as a drunk.

Meanwhile back at Control, Parker is presenting his latest minuscule device to the Chief — a fly transmitter. According to Parker, it took two and a half years of nerve wracking micro miniature fabrication and $400,000 worth of research and equipment to make the fly. The fly’s antennae are each a transmitter and receiver and the eye is the world’s smallest radar tracking dish.

Sadly, the fly would never make its spying debut. All the time, labor and tax payer dollars put into the fly met the end of a newspaper lobbed by Agent 86.

By the end of the episode Parker has managed to work through his grief over the loss of the fly. He replaces it with a new device that is again destroyed by Max — a light bulb. Perhaps he should have gone to work for Apple.

With no way to mechanically spy on Kaos, the Chief assigns Max to do it the hard way. Since the Kaos boys already had their eye on Max as a potential weak link, Max is given instructions to tarnish his reputation.

Max has a bad day at the casino - because he's too lucky.

Max has a bad day at the casino – because he’s too lucky.

Phase one of the effort involves Max gambling away his six-month’s salary at an illegal gambling den — conveniently frequented by Kaos agents and apparently Aunt Rose. The idea sounds good on paper. After all, the house always wins, right? Wrong.

Upon walking into the casino, Max turns out to be a “bonafide angel of luck” for an over-zealous cowboy playing the roulette wheel. After giving the cowboy the brush off, Max hopes for bad luck at a table game with the Kaos guys. Again, he fails — even a nearby slot machine likes him.

It’s unknown what happened to Max’s winnings, but after returning to Control, he voices his frustrations to the Chief.

Max: No one from Kaos is going to approach me. I’ve got too good a reputation to live down.

Never mind that — it’s on to phase two. Max is less than pleased that phase two – physical degradation – involves him becoming an alcoholic. Thanks to a bottle of Absorbo pills and ratty coat that resembles something from Kanye West’s clothing line, all he has to do is act the part.

With orders to go to seed, Max first has to blow off 99 — starting with their plans to attend a concert. The Chief has left 99 out of the loop on this mission, which appears to be a sore spot with Max.

Chief: Until your mission is a success, she’ll learn to live without you.
Max: Yeah Chief, but what if my mission is a failure?
Chief: Then we’ll all learn to live without you.

Max makes for a particularly gnarly bar-fly. Dirty, unshaven and surly, everything is going according to plan — until the bartender chews him out for letting a dog in the place. Max attempts to send Fang on his way with a weak insult about doggy breath. 99, however, arrives and tries to stage an intervention with Max.

Max’s response is to tell 99 that he doesn’t like her because she’s too statuesque. At this rate, he’d better hope Kaos isn’t grading him on his insults.

Part of me feels that if this episode had occurred later in the series, Don Adams would have pulled out his Bogart impression.

With 99 out of the way, Max moved on to phase three, which involved the Chief coming into the bar and Max cracking him over the head with a bottle of booze. This is the episode’s big slapstick moment and includes Max busting up the bar. After he and the Chief complete their pantomime, Max manages to swallow his Absorbo pill and pass out.
Max wakes up in a Kaos office where he’s given his first assignment: He must kill 99. Max first attempts to stall and then convinces the Kaos agents to leave the room so he can work.

After the bad guys leave, 99 declares that she knew Max’s behavior was an act. They then work on an escape plan and we get to see the best gadgets of the episode. Max uses his Phonowatch along with 99’s charm bracelet record as a distraction. One side of the record produces a woman’s laughter and the other a woman’s screams.

In something of a classically confusing conclusion, we learn that the group of Kaos agents are actually double agents with the CIA, FBI, Naval Intelligence and Scotland Yard. This discovery is made, unfortunately, after Max wounds each of them. It’s later revealed that the real Kaos agent who started the group died several years prior and was never replaced.

Busted equipment, wounded agents … this episode gives us a nice little life lesson: Don’t keep people out of the loop.

In other matters, there are some issues with this episode:

• 99’s not so good with the maths. She offers to help pay off the $400,000 fly that Max swatted with a $10 a-week loan, which she determines would take 900 years. Would you believe it would just take 769 years… unless she was factoring in interest.
•While in the bar, Max makes a phone call to the Chief. After he hangs up, the phone rings in the phone booth, but that comes off as a bit that goes nowhere.
•For this episode, Absorbo pills were supposed to “absorb” all the alcohol Max was drinking. That’s a cute idea – unless you swallow the pill like Max did. So my question is, after that, how did he not wind up with alcohol poisoning or at least with his head on the toilet seat?

Max is less than pleased with his wardrobe for this assignment. He should know Control paid a lot of money to have all those nice holes ripped into that coat.

Max is less than pleased with his wardrobe for this assignment. He should know Control paid a lot of money to have all those nice holes ripped into that coat.

Watch for: Look for cameo appearances by both Robert Karvelas and Aunt Rose. Robert Karvelas is wheeling and dealing and Aunt Rose can be seen playing cards.

Footnotes:

IPod - the Cold War version. Max's Phonowatch plays 99's Charm Bracelet Record.

IPod – the Cold War version. Max’s Phonowatch plays 99’s Charm Bracelet Record.

• Early on in his acting career, Robert Ellenstein was featured as one of James Mason’s henchmen in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. He made multiple appearances in various TV series including Perry Mason, Ironside, The Wild Wild West and Mission Impossible. He also played the Federation President in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
• Arthur Batanides appeared in four of the Police Academy films as Mr. Kirkland. He made multiple appearances in Happy Days, Lou Grant, The Odd Couple, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., The Wild Wild West, I Spy and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He appeared in six Mission Impossible episodes and the Star Trek episode, “That Which Survives.”
• Gregg Palmer was known for his roles in TV westerns including Gunsmoke, The Virginian, Death Valley Days, Bonanza, The Wild Wild West, Have Gun – Will Travel and Wagon Train. He made another Get Smart appearance in the first season episode, “I’m Only Human.” He appeared in The Rebel Set along side Ed Platt and, you guessed it, Star Trek and Mission Impossible.
• Stand-up comedian and voice over artist Dave Barry provided the opening act for Wayne Newton for eight years.
•Fellow Hoosier Clay Tanner appeared in multiple episodes of Bonanza, McHale’s Navy, The Virginian and had an uncredited role as the devil in Rosemary’s Baby. He also appeared in an episode of Mr. Terrific, which co-starred Dick Gautier a.k.a. Hymie the Robot.
• Fabian Dean appeared in two other Get Smart episodes, the second season episode “Island of the Darned” and the fifth season episode, “Witness for the Execution.” Also, he too appeared in an episode of Mr. Terrific.
• Jack Orrison appeared in a variety of 1960s TV series, including Petticoat Junction, The Wild Wild West and Gunsmoke.

Glick meter: We get an “And Loving it” out of this episode.

Oh Max meter: So… neatly tucked into this episode is the fact that Max and 99 have a date lined up. It’s not so neat to see poor 99’s disappointment when Max tells her he’s not going.

Control Agents: Fang, Professor Parker

Kaos Agents: That’s debatable. See above.

Gadgets: Ice Cube transmitter, Fly transmitter, Absorbo Pills, Phonowatch, Charm Bracelet Record, Light Bulb transmitter

Episode Locations: Seedy illegal casino Kaos agents frequent and Chez Charles, a skid row bar

Nothing to see here - just a meeting between Kaos agents that are not really Kaos agents.

Nothing to see here – just a meeting between Kaos agents that are not really Kaos agents.

Survival of the Fattest: A weighty mission

Boy versus girls: Max has a little trouble with the ladies in this episode.

Episode 15
Survival of the Fattest (original air date: 12-25-65)
Cast: Mary Jack Armstrong- Karen Steele, Parker – Milton Selzer, The Prince – Dan Seymour, Carla – Tanya Lemani (credited as Tania Lemoni), Rhonda – Patti Gilbert, Control Agent 1 – Arthur Adams, Control Agent 2 – Ned Romero, Control Agent – Robert Karvelas
Director:  Frank McDonald
Writers: Mel Brooks and Ronny Pearlman
Producer: Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: Max has to rescue the prince of a Middle Eastern country from a trio of athletic Kaos agents bent on making the ruler lose weight. If Max fails and the prince doesn’t make his 300 pound goal, he loses his throne and the U.S. loses an oil supplier.

Cocktails for two: Max tries to slip Mary a Mickey.

My Thoughts:
Max is charged with keeping tabs on the well-fed Prince Sully of Ramat. The prince’s main concern is eating up because if he doesn’t make it to 300 lbs., another faction will take over his country – one that has already demonstrated that it’s unfriendly to the U.S. And, yep, Ramat’s oil supply to the U.S. will be cut off.

The episode opens with Max checking up on the prince, using the alias of a bespectacled oil exec named Bill Banford. There’s just one problem – the prince is abducted while Max is on the phone telling the Chief not to worry about how the mission is going.

Max is left with 48 hours to find the prince so he can be fattened up – only he can’t remember anything significant about the abduction.

Out of desperation – and probably because only he would think of this — Max submits himself to Control’s Grill Team. Apparently Control has two agents charged with slapping enemy spies until they talk. After taking enough of a beating that one the agents complains of his hand hurting, Max finally recalls how the maid was able to carry a refrigerator.

The Chief concludes that they are dealing with Mary Jack Armstrong – the world’s strongest female counterspy. The Chief goes on to warn Max about how dangerous Mary Jack is -only he leaves a detail or so out.

Parker shows Max some new gadgets. Max, however, is more concerned about being knocked off the best dressed spies list.

After a visit with Professor Parker, Max is outfitted with a handy homing device sewn into the shoulder of his jacket. He also gets a tie that serves as a flask and includes a spigot in the clasp. However, he’s not pleased that the pairing of a gray suit and an avocado tie will drop him out of the top 10 best dressed spy rankings. Picky, picky.

The episode’s humorous banter continues when Max goes back to the hotel to face off with Mary – she’s been expecting him.

Initially he introduces himself as Bill Banford, president of the Ramid American Oil Company. The prince may have bought that, but Mary was not going to be played. Other used and mostly rejected aliases included: Fred Lamister, munitions supplier; Harry Schlerts, toy manufacturer and Mervin Gribbs, calling card manufacturer.

After his attempt to get Mary to take truth serum backfires, Max wakes up shackled to a wall in Mary’s massage parlor and reducing salon on the top floor of the hotel. He finds he’s not alone: The prince is tied to an exercise bike and Mary’s assistants Rhonda and Carla have joined her.

Max tries to signal Control via the homing device built into his jacket, however, Rhonda seems to find his shoulder slapping habit odd.

Rhonda: There must be some reason why you keep doing this.
Max: To tell you the truth, it’s kind of a nervous habit with me.
Max slaps his shoulder, followed by Rhonda, again, slapping his shoulder.
Max: Look, it’s my nervous habit, not yours.

Rhonda tattles and Mary, having enough of Max’s behavior, instructs the girls to lock Max in the steam room. In a deft maneuver, Max manages to lock up the ladies instead. He then gets the upper-hand with Mary, thanks to the Old Finger in the Gun Trick. Mary joins her pals in the steam room, leaving Max a window to free the prince.

Steam and steal doors, however, don’t hold super strong spies. Mary breaks free, gives a classic bad-guy speech and then attempts to chuck Max out the window. Thankfully, the Chief interrupts the proceedings. It’s then revealed that the Chief and Mary Jack once had… well.. a thing.

Chief: How did a nice girl like you ever get involved in this rotten business?
Mary: Well Thaddeus, it’s a living.
Prince: They know each other?
Max: That’s the wonderful thing about the espionage business. You make friendships that last forever.

Prince Sully falls short of his goal, but it’s all good in the end. His citizens are happy with his weight loss and treat him as a matinee idol. For Max’s efforts on this mission, the prince sends him a belly dancer as a present. Due to Control’s no gift policy, the dancer was to be returned to Ramat.

There is no 99 in this episode, but we get by. Survival of the Fattest is actually a nice recovery from the previous insipid episode. This episode offers a good example of Don Adams’ storied timing skills. Thanks to that, what we end up with is something of a Christmas stocking of great comedic bits. Added bonus: We get a glimpse into the Chief’s past.

Max really takes a beating in this episode.

Watch for: The Grill Team scene, Max and Mary playing the old “drug the drink” game, the shoulder slapping bit and that nice little reunion between the Chief and Mary. This is the first episode featuring Professor Parker.

Footnotes: 

Land of a thousand aliases: Max tries the old "They Won't Guess it's Me if I Wear Glasses Trick."

• The episode title is a reference to “Survival of the Fittest,” a phrase coined by English philosopher Herbert Spencer after reading Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
• Appearing in a number of TV series throughout the 50s and 60s, Karen Steele was one of Mudd’s Women in the Star Trek episode of the same name.
• In addition to a regular part on Get Smart, Milton Selzer had quite the TV and film resume. It would probably be easier to list what TV shows he didn’t appear in.
I will note that he appeared in a handful of Mission Impossible episodes, including one, “Cocaine,” which Get Smart alum King Moody also had a part in. For what it’s worth, this episode was directed by Reza Badiyi, who directed a good number of GS episodes. This particular episode’s main guest star was William Shatner. But I digress.
• Dan Seymour appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including Key Largo and Casablanca.
• Tanya Lemani primarily played belly dancers in TV and film. She appeared in an episode of Star Trek and I Dream of Jeannie.
• Patti Gilbert will get an encore appearance in Get Smart as Miss Magruder in the third season episode, “Operation Ridiculous.”
• Arthur Adams made repeat appearances on TV shows such as Cannon, Bewitched and Ironside
• Ned Romero mostly portrayed American Indians, most notably in Hang ‘Em High. He also played Krell in the Star Trek episode “A Private Little War.”

Glick meter: Save Max’s apologetics in the opening scene, this episode largely dispenses with nasal catchphrases. Instead we get something better: Don Adams’ excellent comedic timing.

Oh Max meter: No 99 in this one, folks. However, she need not worry about Mary Jack and her cohorts – Max didn’t seem too impressed with them. The belly dancer that appeared at the end of the episode, however, would have earned him a solid eye roll and possibly the stink eye.

Control Agents: Professor Parker, Agent 1, Agent 2 and Larabee who appears in the mop up crew, although he’s not credited.

Kaos Agents: Mary Jack Armstrong, Carla, Rhonda

Gadgets: Homing Coat, truth serum, Necktie Pipette, .22-caliber Finger Gun

Episode Locations: Control HQ, the hotel where the prince is staying and where Mary Jack has her massage parlor and reducing salon.

Love and war: The Chief and Mary Jack share a moment.