Tales from inside the bass drum

Max, 99 and this episode's special guest star, The Bass Drum.

Episode 10
Our Man In Leotards (original air date:11-20-65)
Cast: Emilio Naharana – Michael Pate, Windish – Robert Cornthwaite, Julio – Robert Carricart, Doorman – Nestor Paiva, Parkerson – John Stephenson, Don Hernando – Edward Colmans, Dancer – Fernando Roca, Haskell (credited as Guard) – Robert J. Stevenson, Saunders – Robert Karvelas
Director:  Richard Donner
Writers: Mel Brooks and Gary Belkin
Producer:  Jay Sandrich
Filming Location: Paramount Studios, Hollywood

Synopsis: After ballet troupe leader Emilio Naharana (the last of the world’s great leapers) steals Control’s new paralyzing drug Immobilo, Max and 99 attempt to retrieve it by infiltrating the Pinerovian embassy.

Max sticks it to evil ballet dancer Emilio Naharana.

My Thoughts:
This episode “kind of” starts where the previous episode, “Satan Place,” left off. The Chief is showing Max his “new” car, the ZFB600. Yes, this is the second appearance of the storied “Z the Zebra Car.” If you recall, at the end of “Satan Place,” it was revealed Max won the car in a raffle of all the Chief’s stuff.

Now, if you’ve watched this episode during a heavily edited syndication cycle that shuffled Get Smart into a different order, *coughNickatNitecough* then you would just assume the Chief is assigning Max a new car for the heck of it.

Z the Zebra Car makes a cameo appearance in "Our Man in Leotards."

Max, by the way, would have preferred “Z the Zebra Car” had come in the color tan. Special to this episode, the car’s horn mechanism operates two 52-caliber machine guns mounted in the radiator. It’s also equipped with a radar tracking device and can transmit an emergency signal. Sticker price: $32,000.

We observe two other details at the beginning of this episode after the Immobilo is stolen from Control’s lab. One, Robert Karvelas appears and is given a line and a name – Saunders. Later in season one he’ll have a new identity: Larabee. Secondly, we get to watch Max try to leap Control’s security fence in a single bound. He claims to have been the three-time winner of the spy school gold medal for high jumping.

In the process of foiling Naharana’s plot to stop the Pinerovian and U.S. ambassadors from signing a trade pact, this episode provides multiple comedic bits:

• The lab scene. Max makes a few messes – one was picking up the wrong test tubes when the Chief’s test tube phone rang and the other involved injecting the Chief with Immobilo

Always concerned with keeping conversations secure, Max advises they have their discussion in a foreign language. After rejecting French and arguing over Swahili, they settle on English.

Chief: How about English?
Max: OK, but don’t go too fast.

The discussion is finally held in a firing range.

• The bass drum. Naharana and Julio go into the instrument room to have a private chat while Max slices open the back of a bass drum and hides in it. What results is Naharana detailing his motives – not that we’re paying attention to that. I mean, how can we when Max is making all those ridiculous faces. As mentioned in a past blog, Don Adams has been described as a facial actor. He takes this to the next level in this scene.

99: Max, what did you find out?
Max: I found out something very important, 99. A human being can’t live in a bass drum.

• That is a dancer! Max jabs a member of Naharana’s troupe with Immobilo and swipes his clothes. Unfortunately he fails to perform when tested. He finds himself crashing into into a door and blows his cover.

In the end Max saves the day during Naharana’s temper tantrum about “decadent democracies” by sticking him with the Immobilo laced pen meant for Don Hernando. For his good work he’s awarded the “Legion of Honor” — well, at least temporarily. Somehow he manages to inject everyone in the room with Immobilo — including 99.

Yes, now we get to that scene!

Seeing that 99’s paralyzed with Immobilo, Max plants a kiss on her check, but it really doesn’t count since she not conscious and can’t feel it. He then takes it one step further. He tilts her head, kisses her again and jabs himself with Immobilo. All that’s left is speculation on what happened next.

Watch for: Max’s bit in the bass drum and the infamous Immobilo kiss.

Max plants a kiss on 99. She's not moved - because she can't move.

Footnotes:
• Aside from the pilot episode, this is the only other episode written by Get Smart creator Mel Brooks.
• Australian actor Michael Pate played many a villain. His credits include Hondo with John Wayne, a number of TV westerns and an episode of Mission Impossible.
• French-born character actor Robert Carricart played Pepe Cordoza in the TV series T.H.E. Cat. He appeared in many other TV shows including in an episode of Mission Impossible.
• Nestor Paiva’s acting career goes back to the late 1930s. He was best known for his role as innkeeper Teo Gonzales in Disney’s Zorro series.
• John Stephenson’s voice is probably familiar to many a child of the 1970s and 1980s. He may be most well-known as the voice of Mr. Slate on The Flintstones. His other credits include: Scooby-Doo, The Transformers, The Jetsons, InHumanoids, G.I. Joe and The Littles. And he was in an episode of Mission Impossible.
• Edward Colmans appeared in all kinds of TV westerns. He made another appearance in Get Smart in the second season episode “Viva Smart.” He also appeared in Mission Impossible.
• Robert J. Stevenson made repeated appearances on Have Gun-Will Travel, Bonanza and Rawhide.
• There may be an inconsistency. Naharana calls the pact a mutual trade pact and later in the episode Don Hernando calls it mutual aid pact.

Glick meter: When 99 suggests a hiding place in the bass drum, Max insists on handling the matter himself.

Oh Max meter: After a handful of episodes with pursed lips and purrs, 99 finally gets a kiss from Max. Too bad she probably didn’t remember it.

Control Agents: Windish, Saunders and Hodgkins is referred to

Kaos Agents: The episode doesn’t really indicate that Emilio Naharana and Julio are Kaos guys. Instead they represent a faction that is not favorable to the U.S. government. Naharana reveals his goal is to overthrow the Pinerovian government by keeping the people poor, tired and hungry.

Gadgets: Test Tube Phone, Hypodermic Ring (contains a few doses of Immobilo), Immobilo, Thermos Phone, Mustache Kit, Compact Phone and the ZFB600

Episode Locations: Pinerovian Embassy

Don Adams shows us why human beings can't live in bass drums.