Nat Hiken

Show Count: 31
Series Count: 2
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: June 30, 1914, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 7, 1968 , United States

Nat Hiken (June 13, 1914 – December 7, 1968) was an American radio and television writer, producer, and songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1950s.


Born in Chicago, Illinois, Hiken worked for Warner Bros. as a screenwriter beginning in 1940 for the studio's short-subject films. Hiken is best known for a number of popular TV series during the 1950s and 1960s, including Car 54, Where Are You? and The Phil Silvers Show, a situation comedy set on a US Army post in which Silvers played Sergeant Ernest G. "Ernie" Bilko; the show was also often referred to as Sgt. Bilko, but Hiken originally titled it You'll Never Get Rich.

Hiken was one of TV's first writer-producers, and he had begun originally in radio by writing for Fred Allen's hit radio show and as the head writer for NBC's Four Star Revue. He moved from radio to TV as a writer for Milton Berle's radio show, which preceded his legendary TV variety show Texaco Star Theater. As a writer for Car 54, Where Are You? and the The Phil Silvers Show, he exhibited a comic flair, and his capacity for spoofing such entities as the United States Army, the U.S. government, and police forces was exceptional. TV historians attest to Hiken's talent to create zany but lovable characters and also to his ability to draw strong comedic performances from such unlikely celebrities as boxer Rocky Graziano on NBC's The Martha Raye Show.

As a producer, Hiken also had an eye for spotting new talent. He is credited with discovering, and advancing the TV careers of, such future stars as Fred Gwynne (1955), Alan Alda (1958) (both made their TV debuts on The Phil Silvers Show), and Dick Van Dyke (1958). A television pioneer, Hiken worked with Mel Brooks and Woody Allen throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. Hiken won eight Emmy Awards and wrote material for Milton Berle, Bette Davis, Carol Burnett, and Lucille Ball. Larry David, in DVD extras to season 1 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, has spoken about his love of the Bilko series.

Hiken also displayed his musical talent by working with composers George Bassman and Gordon Jenkins on music and theme songs for TV series, and among the songs Hiken himself wrote and composed are "Close to Me," "Irving," and "Fugitive from Fifth Avenue." He also wrote and composed the theme song and music for the TV series, Car 54, Where Are You?

Hiken's career, talents, and contributions to the early years of commercial radio and TV are documented in the book King of the Half Hour: Nat Hiken and the Golden Age of TV Comedy, written by David Everitt and published by Syracuse University Press in 2001.

Hiken's career was cut short when he died of a heart attack on December 7, 1968 in Brentwood, California at the age of 54. His last project was the Don Knotts comedy The Love God?, released the year following Hiken's death.

Source: Wikipedia

Fred Allen Show, TheFred Allen Show, The
Show Count: 89
Broadcast History: 23 October 1932 to 16 April 1933, 4 August 1933 to 1 December 1933, 3 January 1934 to 26 June 1940, 2 October 1940 to 25 June 1944, 7 October 1945 to 28 December 1947, and 4 january 1948 to 26 June 1949
Cast: Fred Allen, Portland Hoffa, Helen Morgan, Sheila berrtt, Roy Atwell, Charlie Carlisle, Jack Smart, Minerva Pious, Lionel Stander, Eileen Douglas, Town Hall Quartet, Merry Macs, Alan Reed, John Brown, Charlie Cantor, Peter Donald, Parker Fennelly, Kenny Delmar
Producer: Roger White, Sylvester Weaver, Vick Knight, Howard Reilly
Milton Berle ShowMilton Berle Show
Show Count: 2
Broadcast History: 3 March 1943 to 15 June 1949
Cast: Arthur Q. Bryan, Milton Berle, Charles Irving, Ed Begley, Mary Shipp, Arnold Stang, Pert Kelton, Jack Albertson, Kay Armen, Al Kelly
Director: Cy Howard
Producer: Cy Howard
Broadcast: February 9, 1951
Added: Mar 04 2017
Broadcast: August 11, 1951
Added: Jul 23 2017
Broadcast: December 8, 1950
Added: Jan 14 2017
Broadcast: May 12, 1951
Added: May 07 2017
Broadcast: May 19, 1951
Added: May 14 2017
Broadcast: December 22, 1950
Added: Dec 22 2017
Broadcast: June 23, 1951
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Broadcast: March 18, 1951
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Broadcast: June 16, 1951
Added: Jun 18 2017
Broadcast: August 4, 1951
Added: Jul 16 2017
Broadcast: April 6, 1951
Added: Apr 01 2017
Broadcast: March 9, 1951
Added: Mar 18 2017
Broadcast: July 28, 1951
Added: Jul 09 2017
Broadcast: June 30, 1951
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Broadcast: January 19, 1951
Added: Feb 12 2017
Broadcast: February 23, 1951
Added: Mar 11 2017
Broadcast: January 5, 1951
Added: Jan 29 2017
Broadcast: January 12, 1951
Added: Feb 05 2017
Broadcast: December 15, 1950
Added: Jan 22 2017
Broadcast: April 13, 1951
Added: Apr 08 2017
Broadcast: June 2, 1951
Added: May 28 2017
Broadcast: January 26, 1951
Added: Feb 19 2017
Broadcast: April 20, 1951
Added: Apr 15 2017
Broadcast: February 2, 1951
Added: Feb 26 2017
Broadcast: May 4, 1951
Added: Apr 30 2017
Broadcast: November 10, 1950
Added: Jan 07 2017
Broadcast: April 27, 1951
Added: Apr 22 2017