Would You Believe...?

Sunday, March 24, 1996
| John 11:1-45

It is time we started believing what we believe.

Either television writers have finally run out of ideas for bad situation comedies or the baby boomers' nostalgic longing for their 60s youth is simply in control of the airwaves. Whatever. In our retro-chic craziness, there is now a resurgence of some of the corniest and kitsch-iest of 1960s programming.

One of the biggest new/old hits is that silly spy-spoof, "Get Smart." Perhaps no other show except "Laugh-In" coined so many catch phrases that worked their way into 60s conversations. "Sorry about that, Chief"; " ... And loving it"; "Missed it by that much ... "; and most famously, "Would you believe ...?"

In the TV show, secret agent Maxwell Smart would inevitably come up against some brick wall of a bad guy from whom he had to escape. Smart would try to intimidate his foe by scaring him off with some hopelessly transparent exaggeration: "Right now, there are 50 armed police officers surrounding this place." When the adversary doubted him, Smart would counter with: "Would you...

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