Question: What was the name and number of the agent who used to hide in the mailbox on Get Smart? Sandra Corey
Televisionary: Would you believe there's no simple answer to that query, Sandra? Truth is, it was three different men playing two different numbers.
In the show's first season, Victor French (Carter Country, Little House on the Prairie, Highway to Heaven) was agent 44 to star Don Adams's agent 86 and Barbara Feldon's agent 99. Dave Ketchum took over the hiding-in-the-strangest-places duties as agent 13 before Al Molinaro (Happy Days, The Odd Couple) stepped in and revived ol' 44.
Get Smart is on my long, long list of old shows that deserve to be running again somewhere in this age of old-is-new cable networks. It's a classic of the corny-humor form, which comes as no surprise given that most of its gags leapt from the minds of Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, When Things Were Rotten) and Buck Henry (The Graduate, Captain Nice). The humor is that of a previous generation, true, and doesn't boast the potty-humor quotient of a South Park (not that there's anything wrong with that) but it worked and is worth seeing again.