Hogan’s Heroes: Season 1 Ep 19, “Hello Zolle”

LOGLINE: While Hogan detains a German general during an Allied offensive, a Gestapo officer looks into Stalag 13’s perfect escape record.

The POW’s are herded into the barracks and told to stay there with no further explanation. LeBeau checks what’s going on via the periscope in the rain barrel, and sees that a German general has arrived, and that Klink seems very happy to see him. It’s General Hans Stofle of the Afrika Korps (Klink calls him "Hansi," he calls Klink "Putzi") who arrived unannounced. In listening to the conversation, Hogan hears that no one is to know that Stofle is there. Naturally, he tells Kinch to radio London and tell them about the guest.

London tells Hogan that the Allies plan on mounting an offensive against the Afrika Korps early the next morning, and that it would help if Stofle asn’t there to command them. He tells Hogan to detain the general, and that the "how" is basically his problem.

Hogan notices action in the back seat of Stofle’s car and believe he’s sleeping back there, so Carter and Newkirk keep Schultz busy (by having a "how much does Schultz weigh" contest – it’s 295 lb.) while Hogan and LeBeau go out to grab the general. Only, when they open the door, it’s the general’s girlfriend, Ingeborg, in the back seat. They would stay and talk, but a car with a siren pulls up to the gate. Hogan and LeBeau go through the back seat and out the opposite door, the girl gets out of the back seat and goes into Klink’s office, and she and Stofle hide in Klink’s quarters.

The car that pulls up top the gate is full of Gestapo men in full uniform along with a person in plain clothes, who we soon learn is Major Zolle. Zolle orders the men to "unload the equipment," and struts around outside Klink’s office until Hogan pops up and introduces himself and strikes up a conversation. Klink emerges from his office and welcomes the major. Zolle trusts no one, not Hogan, not Klink, not the people in Berlin, not General Burkhalter, not even his own mother. Despite Klink’s protests, Zolle is bound and determined to find something wrong at Stalag 13.

Major Zolle (Gavin MacLeod) threatens Klinks “no escapes” record. Source: IMDb

In Klink’s office, Zolle shows off some of "the equipment," including a listening device that can allegedly hear prisoners underground digging tunnels, and a flashlight that can cast a beam over 1000 yards and can crack a man’s skull when needed. Klink’s protestations of having strict discipline don’t impress Zolle, and he and his men take the equipment and walk out.

Hogan arrives as the Gestapo are leaving and insinuates that they’re looking for the girl, who he says is a paramour of Himmler. He tells Klink that it would be best if Stofle and the girl stay in his quarters, and offers LeBeau’s culinary skills as a way to entertain the general. Klink is in full panic mode, and Hogan assures him that the best way to keep Zolle from finding them is to keep him occupied elsewhere.

Outside, Zolle sends two of his men off to check the warehouse while he and Schultz go off looking for tunnels using his listening device. He finds a spot where the machine makes more noise, and he and Schultz start digging in that spot. Around the corner of one of the barracks, Kinch and another man watch this, and knowing Zolle has hit a water pipe, turn the water on full blast. Zolle and Schultz get soaked, and Kinch and his friend get a huge kick out of it.

In Klink’s quarters, Stofle and Ingeborg are making out as LeBeau uncorks a bottle of champagne. He pours two glasses and drops a couple of sleeping pills into the glass he gives the general. The general and girl toast each other… then drink out of each other’s glasses.

The two men sent to check the warehouse see something that requires they climb on boxes to reach. Carter and Newkirk offer to help, and walk off with all the equipment as well as the flashlights. The boxes then tip over and dump both men on the floor.

Meanwhile, Schultz and Zolle are on the lower level of the warehouse. Zolle interprets the sounds as activity in the level above, and Zolle climbs a ladder with a crowbar to pry the floor of the level above and have a look at what is going on. When the two Gestapo men see the crowbar coming out from the floor, they grab a 2×4 and, when Zolle sticks his head through, hit him over the head with the board. They look through the hole and see Zolle lying on the floor below…

Back in Klink’s quarters, the general is walking around while Ingeborg sleeps. Hogan comes in and sees that things are not the way he wanted them to work, and LeBeau pantomimes what happened. Hogan tells the general that Ingeborg is Himmler’s girlfriend, and Stofle panics, thinking that the Gestapo is there looking for her. He tells the general that, if he were dressed as an American POW, he’d be pretty much invisible, and they could sneak him out in Klink’s car. The general agrees and they go to get him a uniform.

Outside, the POW’s are standing in roll call formation and Zolle, tired and with a bandage on his head, demands that someone explain what’s going on. When no one volunteers, Zolle says he’ll question each man individually. As he starts doing that. Stofle, in an American uniform, climbs into the back sear of Klink’s car. Hogan brings this to Schultz’s attention, and Schultz runs over and opens the back door, exposing Stofle. Stofle tells Zolle to ask Klink who he is, and Klink, knowing that to be caught abetting a defector will land him in hot water, says while he looks like the man, he can’t be sure. Stofle then demands that Hogan explain how he got the uniform, and Hogan swears he never saw the man before in his life. Zolle and his men lead Stofle to their car. Klink, realizing all that’s gone on, tells Hogan that there’s something diabolical about him, to which Hogan agrees.

In Klink’s office, the kommandant threatens Hogan with time in the cooler, but Hogan convinces him that if he hadn’t turned Stofle in, eventually the general would have talked Klink into going into combat, and that because Zolle arrested him, he was able to get the Gestapo off his back. At the end, Klink is lighting a cigar for Hogan.

One thing that doesn’t get settled: what happened to Ingeborg? Last we saw her she was sleeping in Klink’s quarters. For that matter, why was Stofle stopping at Stalag 13 if he had a major offensive the next day in Africa? Was he trying to defect? Still, the amount of slapstick in this episode make it worth seeing.

CAST:

  • Bob Crane as Hogan
  • Werner Klemperer as Klink
  • John Banner as Schultz
  • Robert Clary as LeBeau
  • Richard Dawson as Newkirk
  • Ivan Dixon as Kinchloe
  • Larry Hovis as Carter
  • Gilbert Green as Stofle
  • Gavin MacLeod as Zolle
  • Britt Nilsson as Ingeborg
  • Ramon Bieri as Steiner and Horst Ebersberg as Gunther (Gestapo men)

Richard Dawson was the voice of London.

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