11 Facts About ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ That May Surprise You

source: Forbes via Getty Images

How many of you remember the ’60s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes? Premiering in 1965, the show was set in a Nazi German Prisoner of War camp during World War II and followed the daily lives of the US forces who were trapped there. The show was extremely popular and ran for six seasons – this was almost unheard of during this time period. If you remember this show well, check out these 11 interesting facts about Hogan’s Heroes that you may not have heard before!

1. The show didn’t air in Germany until 1992.

Though the original show first aired in 1965, the (slightly revised) version finally made its way to German television in 1992 and was called Barbed Wire and Heels.

2. Every episode was set in winter deliberately.

source: IMDb

If you watched the show, you may have noticed that in every single episode, it was always winter. This was a deliberate decision in order to highlight how bleak and depressing prisoner camps were, and also allow for continuity of the show, with episodes that could be shown in essentially any order.

3. Only two actors appeared in all 168 episodes.

Bob Crane (who played Colonel Robert Hogan) and Werner Klemperer (who played Colonel Wilhelm Klink) are the only two actors to have appeared in every single episode of the show.

4. Some characters actually served in WWII.

Harold Gould (who played General Von Schlomm, General von Scheider, General Von Lintzer) was Jewish in real life and actually served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II.

5. Werner Klemperer had famous family ties.

The actor was the son of famous orchestral conductor, Otto Klemperer.

6. Multiple characters were Jewish.

source: MeTV/The Everett Collection

Interestingly enough, the actors who played the four main German roles were all Jewish: Klemperer (Klink), Banner (Schultz), Leon Askin (Burkhalter), and Howard Caine (Hochstetter).

7. The tagline that stuck was never meant to.

You may remember the show’s tagline, “If you liked World War II, you’ll love Hogan’s Heroes!” This tagline was accidental, and originated from when comedian Stan Freberg sarcastically said in a 1965 interview with Bob Crane, “Shall we say, ‘If you liked World War II…you’ll love Hogan’s Heroes?'” to which Crane replied, “No, let’s not say that, no.”

8. The cars appearing in the show were a big deal.

source: IMCDb

In the opening credits of the show, as well as occasionally throughout episodes, you can see a Mercedes Model G4 Parade Car. This swanky vehicle had been popular in real life among the elite of the German military.

9. Things changed after the pilot.

In the original black and white pilot, General Burkhalter was actually a Colonel. Carter was a Lieutanant, and was only supposed to appear in the pilot.

10. Klemperer had far better violin skills than his character did.

You may remember that in the show, Klink (played by Klemperer) was often showed as being a horrible violinist. However, Klemperer was actually a very talented violinist (and pianist) in real life, thanks to having a father who was a famous musician.

11. A ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ album of songs was released.

source: Rate Your Music

With how quickly the show became a hit, some of the show’s actors including Clary, Dawson, and costars Larry Hovis (Carter) and Ivan Dixon (Kinchloe) used the momentum to release an album of them singing popular war songs from the 1940s.

If you remember Hogan’s Heroes, hopefully you enjoyed hearing these interesting facts about the show and its cast! Thank you to IMDb and MeTV for sharing these fascinating facts. Will you be rewatching some of the old episodes now?