The battle of the sexes is not an evenly balanced match

"The WAC"

Elizabeth Fraser as Sgt Joan Hogan, Bilko's girlfriend in The Phil Silvers Show

April 2011

This was the third episode of The Phil Silvers Show, and introduces Elizabeth Fraser as Sgt. Joan Hogan, who would be Bilko's girlfriend throughout the series.  She was in conflict with Bilko before she ever showed up, having also volunteered for an assignment that includes getting a jeep.  Bilko didn't even know it was a girl till she showed up at her welcoming party that he was throwing to undermine her.

Sgt. Hogan like likes Bilko

But she'd been hearing about Bilko for years at Camp Collins, his old prep school, and was just dying to meet him.  She tells him this openly from the first, which might have been a clue to Bilko that she came in knowing something of his ways.  But she's so sweet and charming and admiring. Notice her defending Bilko to the WACs in the office even as Bilko buries them, ie her, in paperwork and they're all going crazy.  "You've got Sgt. Bilko all wrong."

Sgt. Ernest Bilko on The Phil Silvers Show

She proceeds to beat Bilko soundly at every turn.  He wants to screw with her with regulatory paperwork based on regulations from the Spanish War era, she'll stick it back up in him with a regulation dating from the Civil War.  He can't even cut cards with her but what she gives them the Bilko shuffle first - which she learned from his old girlfriend back at Camp Collins. I don't recall anyone else in the series that could do the patented Bilko shuffle.  Finally, on their first date Bilko lays out his sad rap (the "Bilko Blitz" against which there is "no known defense") about how "bleak and lonely" it is being a sargeant, which she counters with the much stronger bit about how being a woman soldier alienates you from all your tender womanly feelings.

poor Sgt Hogan (Elizabeth Fraser)

Only on a couple of viewings did I get how far out maneuvered Bilko was here.  It's not just that she out did him at his own tactics, but that he didn't even know what they were fighting about.  He thought he was trying to get a jeep.  But she was in love with Bilko, or at least the idea of him, before they ever met.  The first thing she does is purposely go up against the legendary Bilko whose techniques she's obviously been studying for years.  She was after more than a damned jeep, and Bilko walks right into the tender trap, the poor bastard.

Sgt. Joan Hogan, Bilko's girlfriend


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