Saturday, May 30, 2020

'Hogan's Heroes' 1988 Reunion Interview | WZFM

In the summer of 1988, several members of the cast of Hogan's Heroes reunited for an hour-long interview at the WZFM studio in New York City. Cast participants included Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin, Larry Hovis, and Robert Clary. They shared memories of working on Hogan's Heroes and with the show's cast and crew, as well as discussed their current projects. Werner Klemperer conducted his portion of the interview in the WZFM studio, and host Paul Cavalconte surprised him by having the other three Hogan's Heroes cast members call in. Toward the end of the interview, Werner states that he wished Bob Crane and John Banner were there with them, as the interview didn't seem complete or right without them there. His castmates agreed. He also grew sentimental and a little emotional at the end. 

There is no question that this cast was indeed a family, which is exactly what we learned from countless Hogan's Heroes cast and crew as we researched Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography. This is a refreshing, first-hand account of how much this cast really enjoyed working on Hogan's Heroes and with each other. 

We are grateful to producer Stuart Hersh and radio host Paul Cavalconte for granting us permission to post this interview on our YouTube channel, so we can make this delightful interview available to Hogan's Heroes fans everywhere.

The recording is shared here in its entirety, including opening WZFM theme song and commercials. The actual Interview starts around the 7:00-minute mark.

The blooper reel they discuss is featured on the Hogan's Heroes Season Two DVD set as an "extra" and was made available for the DVD set by Bob Crane's widow, Patricia Olson (Sigrid Valdis). 

The TV Guide cover is used in the photo because they discuss this cover in the interview (and it also maintains Bob Crane's presence). 

© 2020 Stuart Hersh All rights reserved. Used with permission. 

Produced by: Stuart Hersh 
Hosted by: Paul Cavalconte 
Featuring Leon Askin, Robert Clary, Larry Hovis, and Werner Klemperer

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Checking In and Updating During COVID-19

As Linda and I prepare to record our next podcast episode, I realized it has been quite awhile since I last wrote a blog post. We are all doing well—as well as can be expected during a global crisis. We have been extremely busy, though, with work and caring for our families. We are taking everything just one day at a time, and staying positive is key.

But we are still here! As you no doubt are aware, Linda Groundwater, Dee Young, and I are just a little bit passionate about telling Bob Crane's life story. This is because we worked so very hard to learn it. And in order to learn it, we had to work just as hard, if not harder, to earn trust from people who knew him, worked with him, cared about him, and loved him. It was not an easy thing to do because so many were protective of Bob, and they were tired of seeing his name dragged through the mud and hated Auto Focus. They did not know us, and they did not know what our intentions were when we said we were writing Bob's biography. But once they did understand our mission, they trusted us completely. They opened up to us. In so many instances, we became very dear friends. They became just as passionate as we were, and they would say things to us like, "We are in this with you!" and "Write the book!" Sadly, many did not live long enough to see Bob's biography published. One beautiful person who passed away prior to the book's publication is Charlie Zito, Bob's best friend from high school, who I will always adore like family, and to whom the book is dedicated. 

We know Bob wasn't perfect, and we don't paint him as such. We are balanced in our telling of his life story in Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography (book) and Flipside: The True Story of Bob Crane (podcast). But the good side of Bob Crane far outweighs the bad. One of my best friends said to me once, "Bob Crane wasn't perfect, but he was perfectly human." Human beings are complicated. Each human being deserves more than just sweeping surface statements with no perspective and outward ridicule. I am proud of the work that Linda, Dee, and I have done and continue to do on Bob Crane's behalf. I am honored that we are his official biographers. And we will always climb up on that soap box to defend him.

To do that, we will continue to produce our podcast, do interviews, and go to book signings (once the world opens back up again). So sit tight! We have a lot in the works!

Right now, the world is upside down and backwards, and it is a bit scary outside. Let's keep focused on the good and stay positive. That is exactly what Bob Crane would want us to do! 

Virtual hugs to all. Stay safe and healthy!