- This article refers to the best-known Chief of Control as portrayed by Edward Platt in the original TV series. For other chiefs see the Chief (disambiguation) page.
Thaddeus, Chief of CONTROL
|First Get Smart Appearance||Mr. Big|
|Additional Episodes||Almost all episodes|
Possible Wife (In "With Love and Twitches" the Chief says that he was 'never married', contradicting references from earlier episodes)
The Chief is the head of the Washington branch of CONTROL. Not much is known about his personal history or even his full name due to that being top secret classified information. The only part of his name that was revealed, was that his first name was Thaddeus [Episode #8: "The Day Smart Turned Chicken"]. His cover identity is "Harold Clark", head of the "Potomac Greeting Card Company"; a third name is used when KAOS arranges for Smart and the Chief to be called back to active military duty, the Chief's cover name then was "Johndoe" (John Doe) [Episode #98: "Temporarily Out of CONTROL".].
In 1970 the Chief tells his assistant Larabee that he is only 42 years old [Episode #135: "What's It All About, Algie?"]. However, this does not jibe well with other details of his biography and it seems likely that he was exaggerating to make a rhetorical point (which went right over Larabee's head). A more reasonable age can be calculated from his 1968 statement that he had three years to retirement [Episode #76: "The Little Black Book, Part 1"]. Assuming a retirement age of 65, this gives a birth year of 1906 - which would also mean that the birthday he is seen celebrating [in Episode #33: "A Spy for a Spy"] is his sixtieth. Of course, if the retirement age is older then his birth year would be earlier. Larabee, for his part, guesses in the 1970 episode that the Chief is in his early 60s [Edward Platt, in reality, turned 54 in 1970].
The Chief lives in a government-financed apartment and also gets a company car [Episode #9: "Satan Place"]. We don't see much of his apartment, but we know that when at home relaxing, he likes to smoke a pipe [Episode #32: "Strike While the Agent is Hot"]. The Chief also loves sweets and expects a dessert with each meal. His favorite is chocolate mousse, or it was until he tried 99's (which was really made by KAOS agent Naomi Farkas). [Episode #97: "The Farkas Fracas"].
One of the places he likes to go and relax is The Regency Club, where he also plays chess [Episode #22: "Smart the Assassin"]. Pool is another hobby of The Chief's [Episode #18: The Dead Spy Scrawls"]; he's much better at both than is Max. He's also an excellent singer and was the soloist in the glee club at college [Episode #84: "The Hot Line"].
His health is not great, but it probably would be better if Max weren't around. After two weeks of working with Max, the Chief lost most of his hair [Episode #60: A Man Called Smart, Part 3"]. His frequent headaches are also caused by Max, and the ulcer probably is as well [Episode #11: "Too Many Chiefs"]. One ailment that isn't caused by Max is acrophobia, which rarely surfaces [Episode #98: "Temporarily Out of CONTROL"].
There is a great deal of debate over his marital status. In the early seasons, his wife is mentioned several times [Episodes #11: "Too Many Chiefs", #51: "The Man from YENTA" and #71: "The Mild Ones"]. You can also see him wearing a ring throughout the series [Remarked in Episode #63: The Spy Who Met Himself"]. It's worth noting, however, that the Chief himself never mentions a wife; it is always Max or 99 who says "your wife". When left to speak on his own behalf the Chief clearly says that he "never married" [Episode #95: "With Love and Twitches"]. 99 even tries to play matchmaker between him and her mother [Episode #105: Absorb the Greek"]. Exactly who Max and 99 had been talking about earlier and what happened to her is a mystery. [The reality of course is that the writers just used whatever status would work best with a joke.] We do know that he dated KAOS Agent Mary "Jack" Armstrong, but that was years before he became the Chief [Episode #15: Survival of the Fattest"]. He also has (or had) a sibling, as we meet his niece Phoebe [Episode #31: "Anatomy of a Lover"], but no other family members are ever mentioned.
He began his career as an agent in the 1930s, being assigned "Q" as a code name in the days before CONTROL switched to numbers [Episode #84: "The Hot Line"]. Admiral Hargrade was his boss and mentor [Episode #59: "A Man Called Smart, Part 2"]. He was an instructor at the CONTROL training school at the same time that Max was a student and coached the school's baseball team [Episode #130: "The Mess of Adrian Listenger"]. He worked his way up to Chief of the Washington, D.C. branch of CONTROL but he is not the top man in the organization [Episode #48: "Cutback at CONTROL"].
Among his many skills are foreign languages, as he speaks Swahili, French [Episode #10: "Our Man in Leotards"], and the CONTROL Coughing Code [Episode #49: "The Mummy"]. He also is an excellent marksman.
His best friend is Agent 8, who is stationed at the Spy City Retirement Home [Episode #21: Dear Diary"]. After 8, the Chief's closest friends are Max and 99. In fact, he's really a father figure to both of them. One of his proudest moments is giving away 99 at her wedding [Episode #95: "With Love and Twitches"]. No other friends are ever mentioned, though he does ask Hymie to create a robot woman for him at one point [Episode #46: "It Takes One to Know One"].