Agent 86 - Code
name for bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart
(Don Adams) on the spy spoof GET
Max's worked for Control, a super secret spy
agency (which everyone knew about) and operated
under the guise of a greeting card salesman for
the Potomac Greeting Card Company.
Max was born
in 1930 (delivered by a Dr. Linquist) under the
zodiac sign of Scorpio and raised in Washington,
DC. He models himself after another klutzy
Control agent No. 4 (a.k.a. "Herbert Gaffer").
Max is so devoted to his career that he
embroiders his bathrobe and pajamas with his
secret agent number 86.
Max's Class A Control Identification card reads:
Max's skills included speaking French, Spanish,
German, Chinese, Swahili, and a rare East
Himalayan dialect and being an expert in
||Agent 86 (Maxwell Smart)
|Spy of the
||1965, 1966, 1967.
When asked about his martial arts
skills he remarked, "I happen to be an expert in
karate, Judo and tempura. Would you believe that
I can brake eight boards with one karate chop?
No? Would you believe three boards? Would you
believe a loaf of bread?"
On the topic of
cowardice, Max said "Just remember this 'A
coward is a frightened man who's scared to be
brave; but a brave man is only a coward who
isn't scared to be frightened'."
Despite Max's abilities, (he failed Torture 101
three years in a row, however) he was in
constant trouble with his superior called The
Chief (Ed Platt). A typical conversation between
them might go like this:
Max, I don't know what I'm going to do
about you. You bungle assignment after
I resent that, Chief
Do you deny it?
No, but I resent it.
Max, you realize you'll be facing every
kind of danger imaginable.
And loving it
According to "The Get Smart Handbook" by Joey
Green (Collier Books, 1993) Don Adam's Agent 86
character was a combination of two earlier
- a pompous but very confused
detective who gathered all the suspects in a
room to find the murderer (a character Adams
created in 1954); and
- the sophisticated vocal
mannerisms of William Powell from the Thin Man
movies which Adams exaggerated just a bit to
create such classic lines as "Sorry about that
Chief," "Would you believe?," "The old (so & so)
Trick," and "Missed it by that much."
Other agents in the employ of Control were:
99 (Barbara Feldon), Max's attractive
female partner and later wife.
- Agent 13 (Dave Ketchum) famous for hiding in
strange objects. like mail boxes, trash cans,
grandfather clocks and vending machines.
While on assignment, Agent 86 assumed the aliases of
many individuals including:
- The Scar (an explosives expert)
- The Masked Marvel (a table tennis champion)
- Major Fritz Kessler (a former SS officer knows as the Beast of Buenos Aires)
- Running Creek (an American Indian)
- Yakimoto (a Japanese gardener)
- Conchita (a flamenco dancer)
Maxwell Smart reappeared in the 1980
motion picture The Nude Bomb (a.k.a. The Return
of Maxwell Smart) wherein he worked for the spy
agency PITS (Provisional Intelligence Tactical
TRIVIA NOTE: Writer David Melnick gave Maxwell
Smart the operative number 86 (a la the 007
signature of James Bond). The term referred to
the slang expression "to eighty-six someone"
meaning "to refuse credit, to stop serving a
drunk any more liquor, to oust an obnoxious
Mel Brooks, the series co-creator derived
Smart's first name from his relatives (both his
father and his own son's were called Max).
Don Adams was born Donald James Yarmy in
1927 in New York City to a Hungarian Jewish
father and an Irish Catholic mother.
Steve Carrel (of THE OFFICE fame) assumed the
mantel of the bumbling secret agent Maxwell
Smart in the remake Get Smart: The Movie (2008).
Anne Hathaway played Agent 99.
Anne Hathaway and
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