According to the AP, actor and comedian Don Adams — famous for starring as the bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart — is dead at age 82.

His television series, “Get Smart”, debuted in September 1965. A spoof on the wildly popular James Bond films of the same era, the show won two Emmys for best comedy series and three Emmys for Adams as comedy actor.

As the inept Agent 86 of the super-secret federal agency CONTROL, Adams captured TV viewers with his antics in combatting the evil agents of KAOS. When his explanations failed to convince the villains or his boss, he tried another tack: “Would you believe … ?”

In doing a little searching, I found that his famous Shoe Phone is in the CIA’s museum along with this priceless bit of dialogue:

Operator: “What number are you calling?”
Smart: “I’m calling Control, Operator!”
Operator: “You have dialed incorrectly. Give me your name and address and your dime will be refunded.”
Smart: “Operator, I’m calling from my shoe!”
Operator: “What is the number of your shoe?”
Smart: “It’s an unlisted shoe, Operator!”

And for a privacy guy like me, who can forget the Cone of Silence… where you could hear everything on the outside perfectly, but couldn’t hear each other. :)

Cone of Silence

The Washington Post also had a wonderful appreciation of Maxwell Smart’s impact on American language… including “Would you believe…?”, “Sorry about that,chief!”, and “… and loving it!”

RIP, Agent 86!