Saturday, March 9, 2013

"The Fur Burglary" or "Henry Corden pointing up at things."

This is the city.

OK, not really.

But it is captured from the intro to Season 1, episode 9, The Fur Burglary.

Fur burglary. Fur burglary. Almost sounds like a 70's euphemism for sex. 

Um, ew.

OK, let's catch some fur burglars.

Just kidding, LAX.

Above image, 2012, Google maps.  

The same architect that designed the PAB helped design the Theme Building, which opened in 1961.

(Just in time for Don Draper to visit!)

Back to the show:

The LA County Art Museum is shown probably five more times in the series.
This sequence pans down to the fountain at the base of the statue.

It was also opened in 1961, but seems to constantly get the living crap remodeled out of it. 

Hey, hey, what are you going to do? Tastes change!

Joe's next top on the monologue is Skid Row. 

He calls it "the home address for dreams that never came true" but we can call it East Fifth.

That camera car drove through awfully quick!

It's the red area:

Who is the Number One single use character in season one? 
Henry Corden's Emile Hartman!

Sigh. I'm a security guard, but the store got robbed of $100,000 worth of fur articles.

That would ring up to about $685,000 in today's money.

Friday reports that 5,000 people move to LA each month.
That spreads Police Officers thinly and makes the city crowded.

Yay! The records and information sequence with the giant card file:



"Lovely with your titian hair!"

Next, he teaches Gannon how to pretend to know a lot about furs.

Hold the phone!


The following set represents a classy Bel Air hotel where Joe and Bill will set up the fur purchase, I mean, catch the fur burglars.

Up to the suite:

That armoire dressed the set where Blue Boy was found dead in S1e1:

This exterior is where the skin flick actress lives in S2e20, I think.

It also looks like it was used in S2e4 and S1e14.

We'll see! Let's head back to the backlot house where all of the suspects and baddies live!

Ok, replace the yellow and blue cars with a red cadillac convertible & change the lighting:

Instant S1e5!

Joe gets a lot of weird and clever retorts and zingers in this episode.

HEYA! Here is the best season one character back to say thanks & bye:

Emile Hartman! Number one! Forever pointing to the ceiling!

She can't accept the stole, Emile. She didn't even work your case!

Police can't accept goodies. That's fair, though. They are public servants.

Thanks, just the same!

Policewoman Dorothy Miller is so pretty. I would be considered a "shipper" 46 years ago.

Oh yeah - the quartet of fur burglars:

Floyd Sinclair - Albert Marks
Norman Landon - Robert Glasgow

Now serving their sentences in the state prison, San Quentin, California.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Merry Anders as Policewoman Dorothy Miller
Clark Howat as Captain Henry O. Mack
Henry Corden as Emile Hartman
Herb Ellis as Norm Landon
John Nolan as Floyd Sinclair
Frank Gerstle as Albert Marks
Jody Gilbert as Mrs. Hilliard
Joanne Medley as Miss Janice Hilliard
John McCann as Lieutenant Danny Bowser
Robert Cleaves as Roger Brucker
Renny McEvoy as John Cartwright
Alfred Shelly as Detective

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & Ralph Sylos
Written by David H. Vowell

Aired 16 March 1967.


  1. Hilarious and yet loving. Thanks!

    1. Thank you. I do love Dragnet. It's got a comforting structure, I think, because this series is twice removed from the radio serial where Dragnet was born.
      Radio production has to have a particular structure. NPR's entertainment shows (such as This American Life) also have strong structure from episode to episode. Alfred Hitchcock Presents is another strong example of a rigid structure; Twilight Zone to a lesser degree.
      Modern TV still can wrap everything up in a prescribed amount of time, but there are a lot more departures with respect to structure (Arrested Development). A show's particular visual signature (Ren & Stimpy, Mad Men) is the strongest draw for me.

    2. Dragnet. My favorite show EVER! I think the rigid structure might be part of the reason I love it so much. Same with Blues music. The structure is similar but it's what can be done by "riffing" within the same context that makes it interesting.

      Another thing that is noticeable once it's pointed out is that Jack Webb purposely set up both series so that they can be followed by just listening to the audio. The idea being that the shows were the same as the radio series, just with visuals to go along with the story. Makes it different than other shows.

      Great blog! I'm really enjoying the breakdowns. I'm binging the series on Hulu and coming back here to read your entries as I finish each. GREAT STUFF!!!

  2. "Fur burglary. Fur burglary. Almost sounds like a 70's euphemism for sex." I think what you're thinking of is "fur burger," a 1960's euphemism for female genitals. At least, that's how I understood it in the schoolyard c. 1966 when I first heard the term. As I was only eleven, it profoundly confused me.

  3. Hartman is a riot, but, this is one of my top favorite Bill Gannon spotlight episodes,.. and the classic line: "Mmmmm,.. not stagey at all,..." LOL!!

    As a kid, I didn't pay much attention to Bill, it was all about Sgt. Friday and his 'helper'; but now I enjoy Bill more and more, when he is being funny, tough, kind, or trying to straighten Joe out on everything from Vegetable, Church, or Isometric Exercises. LOL!

  4. Joe’s tough-guy routine when he meets the fur buyer!

    “Listen, I didn’t come here to listen to some punk who ate a big breakfast!”

    “That’s a flag and I ain’t wavin’ it.”

    “Yeah, well, you play it any closer, it’s gonna be behind you.”


  5. Also, my brother and I first watched this on Nick at Nite in the ‘80s.

    For the past 30 years, any time someone remarks on a piece of clothing, piece of furniture, etc., one of us will stroke it and say “stagey.”

    No one ever knows wtf we are talking about.

    I’ve found my people!