Original U.S. Army Visor Hat Worn by Phil Silvers as Sergeant Bilko 1955-1959

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Many of us old boys remember the "original" sergeant Bilko from the days of President Eisenhower. What a riot he was with his exceptional crew! Now from an extensive private collection built up since WW2 we can offer this fabulous one-of-a-kind collectible.

This an original U.S. Army Visor Hat of the period bearing old printed and typed label under the interior clear window that reads:


Phil Silvers Show

SGT Bilko

You’ll Never get rich

The program was first entitled "You'll never get rich" but was later retitled "The Phil Silver's Show"

The leather hatband very clearly stamped in gold:


Size 7 ¼ hat shows wear but is in overall very good condition having sat in a private collection for nearly 50 years the owner of which has only recently died and the collection disbanded.

Accompanied by a plastic folder containing research and photographs from the Phil Silver's Show and detailed photographs of this hat. What a piece of nostalgia from on old man’s childhood and maybe also from yours? They just don't make TV shows like that any more…

History of the Phil Silvers Show:

The Phil Silvers Show, originally titled You'll Never Get Rich, was a sitcom which ran on CBS from 1955 to 1959 for 142 episodes, plus a 1959 special. The series starred Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army.

The series was created and largely written by Nat Hiken, and won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series. The show is sometimes titled Sergeant Bilko or simply Bilko in reruns, and is very often referred to by these names, both on-screen and by viewers. The show's success transformed Silvers from a journeyman comedian into a star, and writer-producer Hiken from a highly regarded behind-the-scenes comedy writer into a publicly recognized creator.

By 1955, the American television business was already moving westward to Los Angeles, but Nat Hiken insisted on filming the series in New York City, believing it to be more conducive to the creativity and humor. Early episodes were filmed at Dumont's television center in New York City – now home to WNYW-TV – with later episodes shot at the CBS "Hi Brown" Studios in Chelsea, Manhattan.

Most of the series was filmed to simulate a live performance. The actors memorized their lines, and performed the scenes in sequence before a studio audience. Thus, there are occasional flubs and awkward pauses. Actor Paul Ford, playing Bilko's commanding officer, was notorious for forgetting his lines; when he would get a blank expression on his face, Silvers and the rest of the cast would improvise something to save the scene, like "Oh, you remember, Colonel, the top brass is coming..." At that point, Ford would pick up where he left off.

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