A Poetic Obituary for Don Adams

April 13, 1923 - September 27, 2005

A comic actor that we all loved and hoped would never leave,
He gave the world catchphrases like “…would you believe?”
A bumbling secret agent with abnormally clumsy motif
He’d spill on the boss’s desk and say, “Sorry about that, Chief.”

His wry voice a trademark, hard work his lifelong credo,
He was Maxwell Smart, Inspector Gadget and Tennessee Tuxedo.
At eighty-two he passed away, from a dire lung infection,
No more comic lines would be delivered with that unique inflection.

He gave us the Cone of Silence, rubber lips and the famous shoe phone,
A drivable desk, a robot best man, and hypnotizing cologne.
At Guadalcanal he served in the Marines, not the U.S. Army,
He was born a Hungarian Jew as Donald James Yarmy.

He painted, studied history, was a lot smarter than Agent 86.
He did not want to do a spy spoof, serious acting gave him kicks.
He wanted to be a matinee idol, revered for his dashing good looks,
Until he was offered the chance to perform on TV for Mel Brooks

Along with Barbara Feldon, who played his wife Agent 99,
He battled for truth and justice against vile KAOS swine.
He won three Emmy awards for TV’s best comic actor,
But never grew beyond the role: typecasting was a factor.

He will always be remembered as agent Maxwell Smart.
Although a recent movie of the show found another to play the part.
Don Adams is gone but not forgotten, a true comic master
Of turning even the simplest task into pratfalls and disaster.

©2005 Christopher Reilley

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