Get Maxwell Don Adams Smart, or Get Smart, as it was called for short, celebrated the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency. It starred Maxwell Don Adams Smart, an actual CIA agent who loved numbers, particularly 99. The series was designed to showcase the efficiency and sophistication of U. S. federal bureaucracies and to make Americans feel safe and happy to part with the millions of dollars in taxes that they pay each day to finance shoe 'phones, domes of silence, trash can hideaways, and other high-tech equipment.
It is thanks to agents such as Maxwell Don Adams Smart that U. S. citizens remain safe and secure after 9/11 and that such second-class countries as England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and other European nations must replace their versions of Maxwell Don Adams Smart with multiple editions of 007 agents (e. g., Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Timothy Dalton).
A favorite gag in the writers' barrel of tricks was the dome of silence. Placed over the heads of those who would whisper state secrets or sweet nothings, as the case might be, to one another, the dome deafened everyone but the speakers and the television audience.
Another favorite gag was to have Maxwell Don Adams Smart ask, "would you believe . . ." followed by one maxim or proverb after another. For example, he might ask, "Would you believe that it is better to give than to receive?" When his listener responded in a skeptical fashion, Maxwell Don Adams Smart would then ask, "Would you believe that a penny saved is a penny earned?" Unfortunately, he seldom asked his riddles with the dome of silence in place. The audience knew that these gags were humorous because (1) Get Smart was a sitcom (short for "stupid idiots tune in comedies") and (2) a hyena-like laugh track played at all times except during commercial breaks.
Maxwell Don Adams Smart worked for Kontrol, against the forces of Kaos. These were the actual names of the organizations, not acronyms, and resulted from the inability of their creators-government bureaucrats-to spell. One of Maxwell Don Adams Smart's fellow Kontrol agents, 666, was in love with him, although not even she realized it. (Agent 666 had a shoe fetish.)
A beautiful brunette, 666 entered the espionage business so she could keep an eye on Maxwell Don Adams Smart and because she wanted to "save the world." She was a runner-up in the World's Most Beautiful Transsexual Pageant, although, as far as anyone knows, she was, and remained, a "she" throughout the series. Her pet nickname for Maxwell Don Adams Smart was "Max!" and she was always calling him this, especially when the superb secret agent pretended to be but a bumbling buffoon.
The series was known for its witty repartee, with each episode featuring a variation, always slight, of the following dialogue:
Maxwell Don Adams Smart: "Would you believe that a stitch in time makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?"
Maxwell Don Adams Smart: "Would you believe no man is an island, but it is better to have loved and lost?"
Kontrol agents were always shown to be innovative and resourceful, like their real-life CIA counterparts. For example, if Maxwell Don Adams Smart was unable to get his shoe 'phone to work, he would use a public telephone, provided he had an extra dime among the rabbits' feet, marbles, frogs, garter snakes, pebbles, tinfoil, bubblegum, and many gadgets he carried in his omnipresent trench coat.
Get Smart featured guest stars from other, failed shows. Among these celebrities were Kaptain Kangaroo, Ed Sullivan, Tom Terrific, Mr. Ed, Francis the Talking Mule, Captain Marvel, Dick Tracy, and Boris and Natasha from The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.
Usually, these guest stars appeared as villains for Maxwell Don Adams Smart and Agent 666 to thwart, although Liberace once joined the show for a few episodes as a rival for Maxwell Don Adams Smart's affections, 666 killing him for his rhinestones and scarves.
Although Maxwell Don Adams Smart and Agent 666 never married, they had four children together:
- Rosemary's Baby
- Harriet the Spy
- Inspector Gadget
- Napoleon Solo or Illya Kuryakin
Nick Fury and Alexander Scott are rumored to be Maxwell Don Adams Smart's children by transvestite FBI director J. Edgar Hoover via artificial insemination. All of his offspring have enjoyed careers in motion pictures, television series, or comic books, and one, Inspector Gadget, was once on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Criminals" list.