My Ten Favorite TV Characters: Amos Burke (#9)

@FourWalls (13738)
United States
September 11, 2016 6:39pm CST
I'm back with yet another one of my all-time favorite TV characters. I guess when I start at the top there's nowhere to go but down, huh? Watch the readership drop off dramatically here. Here's the next character, and brother, was he a character. #9: Amos Burke This is the absolutely, positively, unquestionably most outlandish and fictional character ever created in the history of TV: a millionaire police captain who's driven to the crime scene in a chauffeured Rolls Royce. You can probably find a real Klingon before you find a real cop that fits that description!!! But oh, what a guy. Suave, the consummate playboy (on the job and off), Captain Amos Burke got the job done, unraveling the mystery of "Who Killed...." (every episode title began with those words) on the delightful series Burke's Law. NO, I do not remember it when it originally aired (1963-65), but thanks for asking. I saw this in reruns and fell in love with it. The first creation of Aaron Spelling (who'd later give us all of those classic TV shows like Charlie's Angels and Dynasty [and remember, Prince told us, "You don't have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude"! ]), Burke's Law was a fabulous mix of police detective series and laugh-out-loud comedy. At the helm was Amos Burke, played deliciously by Gene Barry. He was smooth, hilarious (always telling his two detectives, when it came to interrogating a beautiful female suspect, "Why don't you let your old captain handle this one?"), and always spouting off wisdom that he called "Burke's law" (one of my favorites: "Where there's a will, there's a relative. Burke's law."). Then there were the guest stars. The list of people who made cameos or guest starred on this show reads like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (My all-time favorite cameo was Edd "Kookie" Byrnes playing a tour bus driver telling the passengers they were passing Byrnes' house and he'd do his "Kookie" impersonation. One of the women on the bus complained that he didn't sound anything like Kookie. ) From Sammy Davis Jr. tap dancing on the captain's desk to Paul Lynde playing the murderer -- twice (he was in two different episodes, and his character was the guilty party both times) -- the now-legendary people who appeared in the show were numerous. The show was turned into a spy series in the last year (Amos Burke, Secret Agent) and remade in the 1990s (where Barry again starred), but there was nothing like the original, especially thanks to those guest stars. Amos Burke Portrayed by Gene Barry From Burke's Law ABC, 1963-1965 Here's a clip of Amos pulling rank on his two detectives to chat with a lovely woman:
10/4/1963: Who Killed Cable Roberts? Clip also includes Gary Conway & Regis Toomey
4 people like this
4 responses
@JohnRoberts (56910)
• Los Angeles, California
27 Sep 16
I barely remember watching this as a kid. You really pulled one out of the hat here.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118231)
• Boise, Idaho
12 Sep 16
I do recall the series and Gene Barry from that and other things. Also Paul Lynde who was on Bewitched. He was great!
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41178)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
12 Sep 16
I don't remember ever seeing this. But you can't go wrong with Paul Lynne.
1 person likes this
@MattMeng (3261)
• Hangzhou, China
12 Sep 16
Thanks for your sharing, I just watch news on TV.