F Troop [TV Series] (1965)

Run Time - 30 min.  |  
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Debuting September 14, 1965, on ABC, the weekly, half-hour Western spoof F Troop was set at Fort Courage, a far-flung frontier cavalry outpost manned by a motley crew of misfits and screw-ups. Forrest Tucker headed the cast as Sgt. Morgan O'Rourke, a 19th century "Sergeant Bilko" who oversaw a variety of scams and get-rich-quick schemes with the help of his partner in crime, Cpl. Randolph Agarn (Larry Storch). The two sharpsters were able to operate their many underhanded business enterprises -- ranging from the local gambling emporium to a thriving traffic in phony souvenirs crafted by the local Hekawi Indian tribe -- right under the nose of Fort Courage's bumbling, stumbling commanding officer, Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), who had received his commission as the result of an inadvertent act of valor during the Civil War. Parmenter was also the unwitting object of affection for curvaceous Jane Angelica Thrift (Melody Patterson), aka Wrangler Jane, the rootin', shootin' cowgirl who managed the local post store. (Unbeknownst to anyone in the cast, Patterson was only 15 years old when she joined the series!) Other regulars included Frank DeKova as Wild Eagle, enterprising chief of the Hekawis, a peace-loving soul who was forced to pose as a fierce warrior in order to keep Parmenter from glomming onto the fact that the Hekawis and O'Rourke were business partners; Don Diamond as Wild Eagle's doleful aide Crazy Cat; James Hampton as Fort Courage's off-key bugler, Hannibal Dobbs; onetime movie cowboy Bob Steele as grizzled Trooper Duffy, who always bragged about being at the Alamo with Davy Crockett (never mind that there were no American survivors at that battle!); and Joe Brooks as the hopelessly nearsighted Trooper Vanderbilt. Produced by Hy Averback, F Troop was seen for two seasons, ending its ABC run on August 31, 1967.