You are now entering the Jewish Currents archive.

December 7: Nat Hiken, the Sit-Com King

December 7, 2014
nat-hiken-02Nat Hiken, the man who brought us Car 54, Where Are You? and The Phil Silvers Show and served as one of the first writer-producers in the television industry, died at 54 on this date in 1968. Hiken wrote for television and radio for Fred Allen and Milton Berle, discovered future stars such as Fred Gwynne, Alan Alda, and Dick Van Dyke, wrote material for Milton Berle, Carol Burnett, and Lucille Ball, and won eight Emmy Awards. He also composed theme songs for shows, including the theme for Car 54: “There’s a hold-up in the Bronx; Brooklyn’s broken out in fights; there’s a traffic jam in Harlem that’s backed up to Jackson Heights; there’s a scout troop short a child; Khrushchev’s due at Idewild! Car 54, where are you?” To see an episode, look below. “All I’ve ever wanted is an honest week’s pay for an honest day’s work.” —Nat Hiken, in the mouth of Phil Silvers