Bob Crane

Funny Side of TV

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The complete title of this 1966 comedy album would read something like Bob Crane (Colonel Hogan) His Drums & Orchestra Play the Funny Side of TV Themes from Television's Great Comedy Shows. Crane made two albums as a result of his affiliation with the television series Hogan's Heroes: The Funny Side of TV in 1966 and the cast album Hogan's Heroes Sing the Best of WWII in 1967. The Funny Side of TV is a crazy mixture of instrumental big-band renditions of television themes with Crane's drum kit high in the mix, plus brief skits, one-liners, and Crane's comedy monologues. Some of the jokes are pretty funny, from Crane's improbable reading of cast members on "Theme from 'Thursday Night at the Movies'" to his ridiculous sendup of Candid Camera. As you might expect, Crane performs the theme from Hogan's Heroes along with themes from F Troop, My Three Sons, Get Smart, and other shows of the day. Crane received assistance from big-name arrangers such as Sid Feller, Ernie Freeman, and Stu Phillips (who also produced), and some of his Hogan's Heroes co-stars posed for the cover photo even though they do not appear on the album. A TV Guide writer once suggested that the networks adopt a new rating system that includes the rating NF -- "never funny" -- for shows like Hogan's Heroes, but Crane's album has some great bits and shows that he could write funny material if given the opportunity.