Comedian Phil Silvers was forever linked to the name of “Bilko” when he starred as the hustler/con artist Sergeant Ernie Bilko on the military comedy THE PHIL SILVER SHOW/CBS/1955-59 based at Fort Baxter in Roseville, Kansas.


The Bilko character name was inspired by the name of a minor-league baseball player named Steve Bilko, whose batting streak of some fifty-five home runs caught the attention of Phil Silvers and Nat Hiken while they were developing the series.

The choice of Bilko for a last name was perfect scripting, considering that his character constantly tried to cheat (“bilk”) people out of their money.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Military, Sitcoms, Uncategorized

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