This unofficial fan site is devoted both to the career of Jack
Webb and to all things Dragnet.
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This page lists our "Frequently Asked Questions" as well
some factoids about the show.
Who was the voice that intoned "The story you are about to see is true. Only the
names have been changed to protect the innocent" at the start of each
episode?George Fenneman (from Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life" fame) on
the early episodes, and Hal Gibney on the later episodes.
When was Dragnet on the air?
Jan. 1952 - Dec. 1955, NBC, Thursdays, 9:00-9:30 PM
Jan. 1956 - Sept. 1958, NBC, Thursdays, 8:30-9:00
Sept. 1958 - June 1959, NBC, Tuesdays, 7:30-8:00
July 1959 - Sept. 1959, NBC, Sundays, 8:30-9:00
January 1967 - Sept. 1970, NBC, Thursdays, 9:30-10:00
During its first season, Dragnet alternated with
There was a syndicated revival of Dragnet in 1989 and
1990. Fifty-two episodes were made.
Who were the primary cast members?
Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday
Barton Yarborough as Friday's partner, Sgt. Ben Romero
Barney Phillips as Sgt. Ed Jacobs (1952)
Herb Ellis as Friday's partner, Officer Frank Smith (1952)
Ben Alexander as Friday's partner, Officer Frank Smith
Harry Morgan as Friday's partner, Officer Bill Gannon
Barton Yarborough, who had been on the radio series, died of a heart attack
a few days after the broadcast of Dragnet's Dec. 1951 TV preview on "Chesterfield Sound
The cast on the 1989-1990 syndicated revival was as follows: Jeff Osterhage as Vic
Daniels; Bernard White as Carl Molina; Thalmus Rasulala as Capt. Boltz; Don Stroud as
What is the significance of the number 714, as in Badge 714?There
are multiple explanations for the use of this number. Jack Webb was a big Babe Ruth
fan, and Ruth hit 714 home runs in his baseball career. The number is also said to be
from Jack's mother's birthday (July 14th).
However, Laurie (Dragnet advisor and LAPD Sergeant Dan Cooke's daughter)
also writes: Although plausible, these are not quite right. Sgt. Dan Cooke was
closely associated with Jack Webb. He originated some of the script concepts and was
the technical director for a number of the Dragnet episodes. Badge 714 was Sgt. Cooke's
badge and was retired from the LAPD when Sgt. Cooke arranged for the use of his badge
for the series. Sgt. Cooke has since passed away and the badge was donated by Cooke's
widow to the LAPD Police Academy's Museum. You can see it there now—and the
plaque next to the badge will validate this information.
Where can I get a sound bite of Jack Webb saying "Just the facts,
ma'am"?Contrary to popular legend, that exact phrase was never spoken on
the show in either of its incarnations. For more details, see the Urban Legends Reference Pages.
Who wrote the "Dragnet" theme?Walter Schumann.
It's also known as "Dragnet March" and "Danger Ahead." There were two Dragnet-related
hit records in 1953: the theme music, recorded by Ray Anthony and His Orchestra; and a
Dragnet takeoff by Stan Freberg, called "St. George and the Dragonet" (it sold over a
million copies). Click here to hear a brief clip of the
opening of the Dragnet theme.
Where can I get the new version of the Dragnet theme by Mike
Post?Unfortunately, this is not currently available.
Weren't there some Dragnet movies?Yes. The first was in 1954.
In 1966, a Dragnet TV movie was made, but it was not
shown until 1969. The successful execution of the movie prompted studio executives to
bring Dragnet back as a weekly half-hour series, starting in 1967.
How can I find the Dragnet 1966 TV movie on video?AMC's
schedule lists the movie on its schedule for dates in March and April 2003. It is
How can I get videotapes of Dragnet episodes?We just added a new page about
the available Dragnet episodes on video, written by Michael Hayde, author of "My Name's Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and the
Films of Jack Webb".
Only a few of the 1950s episodes are available on DVD, and the 1967-1970 episodes
are not yet available on DVD, although there have been rumors that they will be
What were the badge numbers on the show?Joe's number was #714 (as seen on the
opening graphics) and Bill's number was #4848. Frank Smith's was #613.
Where are Jack Webb's stars located on the Hollywood Boulevard "Walk of
Fame"?Jack has two stars: one for his radio accomplishments, at 7040 Hollywood
Blvd., and one for TV at 6278 Hollywood Blvd.
Ben Alexander (who played Friday's partner in the 1950's series) has a star at 6433
Hollywood Blvd. (Alas, Harry Morgan has no star... yet.)
To check locations of other stars, visit the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Official Walk of
Fame web page.
What kind of car did they drive on the 1960's series?1966 Ford Fairlane
What was Jack Webb's full name?John Randolph Webb
What other TV shows did Jack Webb produce?Adam-12 (1968-1975); The D.A.
(1971-1972); O'Hara, U.S. Treasury (1971-1972); Emergency (1972-1977); Project UFO
Where is Jack Webb buried?He is buried in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills.
Here's a link describing where to find his grave. He's in plot #1999, up a
hill to the right, not far inside the main entrance. Do not ask any of the staff
for help in finding the grave. They will not tell you, and they will probably ask you
to leave immediately. (Star hunters are not welcome.)
Wasn't Jack Webb on The Johnny Carson Show once?Yes, he was, doing the famous
"Copper Clapper Caper" tongue-twister. Rick Dias has just sent us a transcript of this
famous skit that Jack Webb did on The Johnny Carson Show in 1968. You can find
it in Dragnet Quotes. The clip itself has appeared on a
"Best of Johnny Carson" video collection.
Some Random Dragnet Facts...
Raymond Burr played Joe Friday's boss in the 1951
Joe Friday lived with his mother in the early episodes
of the 1950's series.
People used to stop at Los Angeles Police Dept. HQ to
ask for Joe Friday. The response was "Sorry, it's Joe's day off."
Joe Friday's rank was Lieutenant at the end of the
1950's series, but he was a Sergeant in the 1960's series.
Dragnet episodes were based on actual L.A.P.D. cases
which were provided to Jack Webb by a panel of three officers. Webb would then alter
details so that the cases were barely recognizable.
The name of Jack Webb's production company, "MARK VII,"
had no meaning. It was made up over coffee one day.
MCA paid $5 million for the syndication rights to the
1950's episodes, in 1954.
Jack Webb changed the famous opening tag line "I'm a
cop" to "I carry a badge" in the late 1950's after some police departments objected to
the use of the word "cop."
Jack Webb was a mentor to "Wizard of Id" cartoonist
Brant Parker. Webb was cartoonist for the school paper when they were attending the
same high school.
Television's "100 Greatest Episodes
of All Time"
TV Guide and
Nick at Nite's TV Land voted Dragnet's
famous "Blue Boy" episode the 85th-best TV episode of all time in the June 28th issue
of TV Guide:
"When Dragnet returned to prime time after an eight-year absence, Jack Webb's
hard-boiled cop show had clearly left the '50's behind. The story we were about to see
was not only true, it was ripped from the headlines: Sergeant Friday and his new
sidekick, Officer Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan), must investigate the spread of a new
hallucinogenic drug among L.A. teens. The episode plays like a more subdued version of
"Reefer Madness," highlighted by director Webb's version of a "psychedelic" party and
Friday's hip lingo. "You're pretty high and far out. What kind of kick are you on,
son?" he grills his prisoner, Benjie "Blue Boy" Carver (Michael Burns), an 18-year-old
who paints half his face blue and the other half yellow. Do we have to tell you how
"The LSD Story" ends up when the final dum-de-dum-dum is heard?"
Did you know... that Service Merchandise and
ad agency SLP&CO. created an ad campaign using digital imaging to make it look as
if characters from old TV shows such as Dragnet and The Munsters were shopping at
Service Merchandise stores?
The campaign was designed for the 1996 holiday
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