Sunday, July 8, 2018

TV Guide Cover Photo Shoot | November 19, 1966

Hogan's Heroes fans know this TV Guide cover well. 

The November 19-25, 1966, issue of TV Guide included an article by Dick Hobson entitled, "The Strange History of A-5714." This article details Robert Clary's experiences during the Holocaust and how he felt about working on the set of Hogan's Heroes as a survivor of Nazi concentration camps.

Clary enjoyed working on the set of Hogan's Heroes, and to him, it was an acting job. He makes it very clear that there is no comparison between Hogan's Heroes and concentration camps. As he states in the article: "Stalag 13 is not a concentration camp. It's a POW camp, and that's a world of difference. You never heard of a prisoner of war being gassed or hanged. Whereas we were not even human beings. When we got to Buchenwald, the SS shoved us into a shower room to spend the night. I had heard the rumors about the dummy shower heads that were gas jets. I thought, this is it. But no, it was just a place to sleep. The first eight days there, the Germans kept us without even a crumb to eat. We were hanging on to life by pure guts, sleeping on top of each other, every morning waking up to find a new corpse next to you."

Bob Crane was sensitive to Clary's ordeal in concentration camps and the Holocaust, just as he was to war veterans, prisoners of war, and active duty forces. Before signing his contract to play the leading role of Colonel Hogan, Bob insisted that a trailer of the series be sent to veterans in the midwest for them to screen. Once they approved the show, claiming without humor, they never would have survived the war, Bob agreed to the role. Bob also spent a great deal of time defending Hogan's Heroes to critics and a wary public, and when reporter Stan Freberg joked, "If you liked World War II, you'll love Hogan's Heroes," he was outwardly disgusted. You can hear it in his voice in the interview below. Bob detested that line, stating repeatedly in interviews that it was in poor taste. 

It doesn't surprise me that Bob Crane shared the TV Guide cover with his Hogan's Heroes co-star Robert Clary. I don't know the details of how this cover originated. I doubt either of the two actors were paid. Typically, promotional photos and interviews were just that—done to promote the show, not as a money-making venture for the actors. In fact, all of the studio Hogan's Heroes promo photographs used in the media and on the trading cards were unpaid photo sessions. 

I'm a nut when it comes to photography, and I'm an avid photographer. I have always loved collecting photos from the set of Hogan's Heroes and of Bob Crane.* Imagine my delight when I stumbled on to the photo session from the 1966 TV Guide cover featuring Bob Crane and Robert Clary!

Bob looked after people. He genuinely cared about his family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. He always went out of his way to help whenever and wherever he could, often at his own expense, and he didn't seek repayment or recognition. He did it simply because he wanted to—even for people who didn't like him. He would think nothing of lending money or helping people advance in their careers. So however his involvement in Clary's photo shoot for TV Guide came about, whether it was Bob's idea or Clary's or the studio's, it is evident these two had a blast during it.

Below are a few photographs from this session for you to enjoy. All eighteen of these slides— along with prints—will be donated to the Liberty Aviation Museum for inclusion with the Hogan's Heroes display.