Donald James Yarmy was born in New York City on the 13th of April 1923. He first became known as an impressionist in Miami Beach in the early 1950's then came to New York where his career took off with his appearances on television. Although he has played many different characters in TV comedy and drama he is fondly remembered throughout the world as the actor who played Maxwell Smart in the TV series Get Smart.
This page is an attempt to document the television, film and recorded career of this brilliant, talented and.... NICE funny man.
THE EARLY YEARS Glick, Tennessee Tuxdeo, Smart and... loving it!
Ted Mack's Amateur Hour (1954) New York
Possibily Don's first television appearance. Not verified.
Aurthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (1954) CBS New York
Don's major television debut where a 'discoverer' (a noted celebrity) introduced each talent and the winner was selected by an applause meter.
The Garry Moore Show (195?) CBS New York
The Ed Sullivan Show (195?) CBS New York
The Steve Allen Show (8th July 1956) NBC New York
Steve introduced Don on his first appearance on the show as the "best of a new crop of comedians...a young fellow here, who always breaks all of us up...I promise you will like Don Adams!", Don did a routine playing a Police detective, other guests on the show were Sammy Davis Jnr, Vic Damone, Margaret Truman and Jack Palance.
(The Don Adams segment is available for public viewing at the Museum of Television & Radio Library in New York City)
The Steve Allen Show (28th April 1957) NBC New York
Don's stand up monoloque in his best William Powell voice featured the character Mr Leon Baseball an umpire. Other guest were Sammy Davis Jnr, Abbe Lane and Xavier Cugat.
The Steve Allen Show (15th Sept 1957) NBC New York
Don played the role of Irving Glick in a stand up routine, also on the show were Frankie Lane and Audrey Meadows.
The Steve Allen Show (16th Feb 1958) NBC New York
From Hollywood Don did stand up reading from a book by Irving Glick. Don Knotts, Jerry Lewis and Red Skelton appear in skits.
The Steve Allen Show (29th June 1958) NBC New York
In his stand up routine Don played the roles from a British in India movie with Colonel Carruthers, Lieutenant Forsythe and the villian Mohammed Khan. Sharing the show with Don were Tony Bennett, Don Knotts and Sandra McCorkle.
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1960) NBC New York
Along with Bobby Rydell and Catherina Valente, Don came out singing "It's a Grand Day For Singing" from State Fair, played a Customs Official in a sketch with Perry Como, a stand up routine with the British in India movie voice impersonations and ended the show with some snappy dancing.
Don Adams - Meets The Roving Reporter (1963) Crescendo Records GNP 91 (35 mins) Live in New York
- Finkston Trio - Movie Star - Hitler - News Round Round Up - Big Mouthpiece - Airline - Bank Robber - Mt. Everest - Killer - P.T. Boat - Columbus - Football - Prison Break
Danny Thomas Hour - Instant Money (1960?)
One hour black & white comedy With Danny Thomas, Sid Caesar and Don.
The Jimmy Dean Show ABC (1962)
The Jack Paar Program (1962)
*More Information not available
The Bill Dana Show NBC (1963 to 1965)
Bill Dana played the bellman Jose Jimenez along with friend Byron Glick (Don Adams) the hotel inspector.
Big Shot Jose(Pilot) - Glick Defends Jose In Court - Jose and The IRS - Foreign Guests - Jose Digs Sally - Chambermaid Charade - Jose and Glick Afraid Of Shots - Glick's War Surplus - Diamond Thieves - Danny Thomas Visits - Jose Needs A Raise - The Four Amigo's - Glick In Disguise - Glick's Last Chance - The Crystal Room - The Poker Game - Tonsils For Two - The Essay - Blood For Two Turnips - What Elephant? - Jose On The Ledge - The Hypnotist - The Bank Holdup - A Tip For Uncle Sam
Don Adams - The Detective (1963) Roulette Records R-25317 (31 mins)
- Introduction - Discussion of sick humour - Television ideas - The Detective - Movies - The Bengal Lancers - Football Coach
Incognito Mosquito, Private Insective (196?)
The Mysterious Case of the Unsafe Safe - Whatever Happened to Mickey Mantis - The Case of the Vanishing Magician - The Waterbug Scandal
7" single, date, source not verified
Right: The Colgate-Palmolive Soaky
Tennessee Tuxedo CBS First aired (28th September 1963)
Don did the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo, the bowtie and hat wearing penguin alongside Chumley the walrus (Bradley Bolke) and Phineas J. Whoopie (Larry Storch). The cartoon series was later aired as part of The Underdog Show and Jay Ward's The Adventures of Hoppity Hooper. Tennessee also appeared in some TV commercials for Frosty O's and Soakys.
(Some pics and more info can be found at Toon Tracker)
Texaco Television Commercial (1964)
Don appeared as a Gas Station attendant with a chimp!
(An audio segment and still from can be seen at TV Land Retromercial)
Get Smart - Mr. Big (July 1965 B&W 25min) Pilot Episode
A Secret Agent's Dilemma, or a Clear Case of Mind Over Mati Hari NBC Fall Preview (September 1965 Colour/B&W 25min)
Don hosted this network preview in his first public appearance as Maxwell Smart, introducing clips from some new shows like- I Dream of Jeannie, I Spy and My Mother the Car, along with Get Smart, narrating "People who caught advance screenings of Get Smart called this series the most hilarious satire on espionage they have ever seen. Now one couldn't attribute all the shows brilliance to the genius of it's star Don Adams..... on the other hand, one could!"
The Tonight Show(Sept 1965) NBC New York
Johnny Carson hosted the show with Don as special guest promoting "Get Smart".
Above: At home in the Hollywood Hills with wife Dorothy and daughter Stacey during the Get Smart TV series in 1967 at the height of his career
Get Smart NBC TV Series (1965 to 1969) 117 color episodes
Lever Brothers New Bright White Pepsodent Get Smart sponsors commercial for toothpaste (1965)
Max appeared in a drugstore with Agent 13 (David Ketchum).
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Salem? Get Smart sponsors commercial for cigarettes (1965)
You can tell it's the 1960's when a TV show is sponsored by safe, legal, no hidden effects government subsidised products! Cigarettes and flouride toothpaste!
The Andy Williams Show (6th December 1965)
Get Smart- Don Adams 1966
United Artists/Raven Records release now available on CD with bonus tracks
Washington 4 Indians 3 - School Days - Satan Place - Cone of Silence - Too Many Chiefs/Countersign - The lastest Devices - All In The Mind - The Incredible Harry Hoo - I'm Only Human - Kisses For Kaos - Plane Sequence - Too Many Chiefs/Hotel Sequence - Weekend Vampire - Sorry 'Bout That - BONUS TRACKS: 99 & Max (Barbara Feldon single 1966) - Get Smart (Theme)
The Andy Williams Show (11th April 1966)
Don Adams - Live? (1967) United Artists UAS 6604 (32 mins)
Recorded at the Sands, Las Vegas
Don Adams - Non-Scheduled Airline/ Golfers Are All Crazy 1960?
A radiostation Promo 7" single was released taken from the 'Live?' LP
Hollywood Palace ABC Los Angeles (1965/66)
A short blooper and a skit about playing golf with his wife was aired on a 'Hollywood Palace' TV special hosted by Bing Crosby in 1970
Don Adams (1966?) Signature Records SM 1010
A re-release of 'The Detective' LP with a different color photo sleeve and liner notes.
The Andy Williams Show (4th November 1966)
CBS Studio Center Party Film (1967) Los Angeles
Some bloopers exist with Don, Barbara Feldon, Don Rickles and Johnny Carson from Get Smart episodes 'The King Lives?', 'The Groovy Guru' and 'The Little Black Book', some were also aired on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show with Don (Max) and Don (Sid) Rickles.
Murder At NBC NBC (1967)
Spy spoof TV special with Don Adams, Don Rickles, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Bill Dana.
The Hollywood Squares NBC (1966) Los Angeles
The Carol Burnett Show CBS (27th November 1967) Los Angeles
Carol introduced Don on her show and he fielded questions from the studio audience. A woman asked if Don has any children, Don replied no! his wife laughs at 'everything' he says and does. He later confesses to having a 2 year old girl (Stacey). He also appears on some skits, one where he plays a TV host Donny Bishop. Lesley-Anne Warren was also a guest on the show.
Rowan and Martin's Laugh In NBC (1968)
Along with guest Pamela Austin, Don appeared in skits in the Emmy Award winning variety show, including a tank salesman Harvey Blunt. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were the musical guest.
Noel Harrison Is Where The Girls Are! ABC (23rd April 1968)
Dazzling TV special with sketches with Don and Cher, with musical guests the Byrds and the Association.
Hef brings TV into his loungeroom with Playboy After Dark
Playboy After Dark (23rd October 1968)
Guests Don, David Hemmings, Gayle Hunnicut and Deep Purple.
Hollywood Palace ABC Los Angeles (26th October 1968)
Don hosted the show with guests Arte Johnson, Barbara Eden and Janis Joplin.
(Available for public viewing at the Museum of Television & Radio Library in New York City)
Avis? Car Rentals TV Advertisement(1968?)
Don (as the car-salesman) and Don Rickles (as the customer) car ad "205 Don 205"
Playboy After Dark (11th November 1968)
Guests Don, Tommy Smothers, Joan Baez and Avant-Garde.
Playboy After Dark (7th February 1969)
Guests Don, Bill Dana, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate.
(Available for public viewing at the Museum of Television & Radio Library in New York City)
Get Smart CBS TV Series (1969 to 1970) 20 episodes
Kraft Music Hall NBC (1969)
Don Adams and Don Rickles send up California, campus unrest and old movies.
Playboy After Dark (5th November 1969)
Host Hugh M. Hefner, Guests Don, Bill Dana, The Amazing Kreskin, Carla Thomas and the Checkmates. Don hung out with Hef and played slot car racing with Bill Dana.
Playboy After Dark (8th Jan 1970)
Guests Don, Lesley Gore, Fleetwood Mac and Arte Johnson.
Aurora Skittle Game (1971) TV Advertisement
Don appeared in a series of TV Commercials produced by his advertising agency Adams, Dana, Silverstein that he formed in 1966 and even won two Clio awards for his efforts.
The Andy Williams Show (30th January 1971)
The Partners (1971) NBC/Universal
Don (as Detective Lennie Crooke) and Rupert Crosse play cops in this memorable even ‘wackier than Get Smart’ TV series which tallied up only 20 episodes and sadly hasn’t been aired anywhere since the late 1970’s.
Confessions of a Top Crimebuster (1971) NBC/Univeral
Episodes from the TV Series The Partners were compiled to create a TV Movie.
Carl Reiner Show? (1971)
With a panel of 'experts' Mel Brooks, Albert Brooks, Tony Randall and Phil Silvers, Don discusses contemporary social issues.
Flip Wilson Show (1972) NBC
Don appeared some episodes acting in comedy skits with Flip.
Wait Til Your Father Gets Home (1972) NBC
Don appeared in cartoon form in this Hanna-Barbera produced animated series.
(More info can be found at the Toon Tracker)
The Scooby Doo Movies (1973) CBS/Hanna-Barbera
Don appears in cartoon form as himself in the episode "The Exterminator".
Match Game 74 (1974)
Playboy Bunny Pageant (23rd March 1974)
Don hosted this TV presentation of the 1974 Playboy Bunny Pageant with 23 finalists that were presented trophies by Hugh "Playboy’ Hefner. Very Seventy’s!!
Milton Berle's Mad World of Comedy (1974) US TV Special
Milton interviewed Don and played some clips from his career.
Don Adams Screen Test (1975) Universal
Don as host persuaded celebrities and members of the audience to act out scenes from movies in this short lived series.
(Some bloopers with Don and Milton Berle have aired in syndicated ‘blooper’ specials)
Buy This Tape You Hockey Puck (1975 Color 51mins) Director: Barry Shear
Don Rickles comedy video-release with Don, James Caan, Jose Ferrer, Jack Klugman, Elliot Gould & Arthur Godfrey.
THE LATER YEARS