Garrison's Gorillas was an American TV series broadcast from 1967 to 1968; a total of 26 hour-long episodes were produced.
The Garrison's Gorillas pilot episode, entitled "The Big Con", was filmed as an episode of Combat! which it replaced, but never aired. It was instead broadcast as the first episode of Garrison's Gorillas when it was aired.
The series focused on a motley group of commandos recruited from stateside prisons to use their special skills against the Germans in World War II. They had been promised a parole at the end of the war if they worked out—and if they lived. The alternative was an immediate return to prison. If they ran, they could expect execution for desertion. The four were: Actor (Cesare Danova), a handsome, resonant-voiced Con Man; Casino (Rudy Solari), a tough, wiry safe-cracker and mechanic; Goniff (Christopher Cary), a slender, likable Cockney cat burglar; and Chief (Brendon Boone), a rugged, somber American Indian who handled a switchblade like he was born to it.
Led by West Pointer First Lt. Craig Garrison (Ron Harper) and headquartered in a secluded mansion in England, this slippery group ranged all over Europe in exploits that often took them behind enemy lines. Other recruits were sometimes brought in where special skills were required.
- Appropriated Appellation: Lt. Hanley from Combat! referred to Lt. Garrison's team as "Gorillas" in the pilot episode. The team adopts this as their unofficial title.
- Back Door Pilot/Poorly Disguised Pilot: The pilot was made an episode of Combat!, although it ended up not being shown as part of that series, turning it into a Spinoff Sendoff instead.
- Boxed Crook: If the cons join the Gorillas, they'll be pardoned for their crimes after the war. If they don't join, they go back to prison. If they try to desert, they'll be killed. No wonder they go along with Garrison.
- Clear My Name: The team goes to great lengths to do this for Garrison in "The Death Sentence".
- Only Known by Their Nickname: All four cons.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Because the cons have unique skills that can be used against the Nazis.
- Spiritual Successor: To Jericho (1966), another short-lived series from The '60s in which the heroes go on covert missions against the Nazis.
- The Squad: The Gorillas are a five-member Badass Crew who stomp Nazis on a regular basis.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: The Gorillas.
- Trading Bars for Stripes