29 June 2002 | plarkin
Wonderful comedic characters, with echoes of Nero Wolfe
Does television seem to get worse all the time? Then imagine what it must have been like almost 50 years ago! This wonderful comedy still resounds in my memory. Mowbray's delightful Col. Flack and his hard-bitten but game sidekick "Patsy" Garvey were con men, but with a twist: they preyed on other con artists, and usually saved the bacon of the innocent unsuspecting marks in the process.
One of the running gags was the Colonel's quoting something in Latin or some other language, to which Patsy would respond, "Which means?" Then the Colonel would deliver a pithy, often idiomatic (slang) translation. The one heard most often, usually when they were about to be found out, was "Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit!"
Alan Mowbray was _the_ quintessential English Gentleman (of dubious means), and Frank Jenks was the perfect flat-voiced, squinty American foil. The relationship between these two has definite echoes of the interplay between Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin in the Rex Stout stories.
I don't know if any episodes survive anywhere, but if any do, and you have a chance to see any of them, do so -- you won't regret it.