(8/6/2005) The following statement is currently on the
From U.N.C.L.E." page of the Wikipedia (later note: link is to the archived
"Fans have noted numerous references to Tulsa, Oklahoma, leading to
such jocular assertions as 'The real U.N.C.L.E. headquarters was located
under a corn field, between Tulsa and Oklahoma City'."
I searched the internet for evidence supporting this, but found nothing except
on this very site, where the above sound bites from "The Indian Affairs Affair"
(actually set in Oklahoma) have been featured for the last five years.
I recently discovered a couple of Oklahoma references myself, watching the
U.N.C.L.E. pilot, titled "Solo" (later retooled into the first televised
episode, "The Vulcan Affair"). The Patricia Crowley character's cover identity
was to be from the fictitious "Northridge, Oklahoma", and Solo told
her that her plane ticket showed departure from Oklahoma City.
"I'm not aware of any conscious plan to use Oklahoma
for in-jokes, although there are the two mentions you listed and a third,
I believe, in Alexander the Greater Affair/One Spy Too Many when Dorothy
Provine's character talks to Illya, who is posing as the owner of some radio
stations in Oklahoma, I think. She says something like 'my friends there
tell me they get remarkably good radio reception'.
"It could just be that the L.A. writers, when called upon to think of a
non-urban, non-coastal fly-over state, frequently used Oklahoma, just like
Solo's aunt in Kansas, or the setting for Iowa Scuba Affair (I live in Iowa).
We are all just part of the hinterland to them."
A few days later, Jon said:
"On further thought, two of the UNCLE episodes with references to Oklahoma,
Alexander the Greater and Indian Affairs, were written by Dean Hargrove.
Don't know if he's from there, I know he went to University of Wichita at
one point, so that doesn't help solve the mystery. But the fact the same
writer wrote both OK references I thought was interesting."
I then found at the IMDb that
Dean Hargrove is originally from Iola, Kansas, just 120 miles straight
north of Tulsa on I-169.
His father, Maurice, was a long-time northeast Oklahoma resident.
Maurice D. Hargrove, 92, passed away on June 20, 2001 at the Good Samaritan
Center in Olathe. Mr. Hargrove was born on May 6, 1909 in Neosho, Mo., but
spent a number of years in old Bernice, Okla., as a child. After his
retirement from the Keebler Company, he was a long time resident of both
Grove and Miami, Okla., until 1998. He was a WWII veteran of the U.S.
Navy and active in the Masonic Lodge in Grove.
He is survived by his two sons, Dean Hargrove of Los Angeles, Calif., and
Phil Hargrove of Olathe, Kan.; four grandchildren, John, Joanne, Matthew,
and Caitlin Hargrove; and two great-grandchildren, Kyle and Brynna Hargrove.
"Thanks for the info on Dean Hargrove's dad; I think you've cleared up the
mystery as to why Oklahoma was mentioned in his scripts.
"('The Iowa Scuba Affair') was originally called 'The Silo Affair', and later,
'The Kansas Scuba Affair', but I've never found out why it was changed to
Iowa Scuba Affair. They forgot to change the script to refer to corn instead
of wheat; there is almost no wheat grown in Iowa, yet the episode refers
to wheat. And by the way, no one in Iowa speaks like Slim Pickens did in
that episode. I'm not sure anyone anywhere does."
Possible reason for the change: "Iowa Scuba" rolls off the tongue more easily
than "Kansas Scuba". Indeed, any vowel-ended state name (except "A-state"
Nebraska and "O-state" Idaho) sounds better with "scuba".
Like "Kansas", "Iowa" immediately suggests "land-locked", as a paradoxical
contrast to the inescapably water-linked "scuba". But as the shortest vowel-ended
Midwest state name, Iowa visually defers to the more adventurous word, as
well as maintaining the vowel-ended parallellism.
Returning to the Wikipedia "jocular assertion"
that "The real U.N.C.L.E. headquarters was located under a corn field,
between Tulsa and Oklahoma City"
As Jon noted, corn is closely associated with Iowa, not Oklahoma. And, Midwestern
"A-states" tend to be lumped together in the minds of non-Midwesterners.
Conjecture: the quipster posited in Wikipedia is a non-Midwesterner
who conflated series references to A-states Iowa and Oklahoma.
Attention, card-carrying U.N.C.L.E. field
agents!Report intelligence relating to "The T-Town Affair" via
2/11/2006: This just in on Channel E from Agent
On the subject of U.N.C.L.E., I can stir the pot with one more conspiracy
theory: that the Iowa Scuba Affair was actually the IOLA Scuba Affair, a
tribute to Dean Hargrove's home town in Kansas.
(Further intelligence must be developed if "Iowa Scuba" writer Harold
Jack Bloom is to be linked with theorized conspiracy...W)
Misplaced consonants being what they are, the "L" was relocated to the Hollywood
sign, as a precursor to the witness protection program. (Iola was also a
1976 Bob and Ray radio bit, where they pitched the Allen County seat as "The
Bicentennial City." One of the selling points in the B&R pitch, as I
recall was Iola's proximity to Yates Center.)
Alternative reality theory--U.N.C.L.E. HQ was somehow connected to Bob Cummings's
motel empire in Joplin.
Bob Cummings, Ann B. Davis & glamour model (1958 print
3/17/2006: This just in on Channel E from Agent Troy:
I read the e-mails concerning the origin of the Oklahoma U.N.C.L.E. headquarters
idea. I don't know much about Oklahoma but I thought this link
(Iowa: Spy Central)
would be of interest. It sheds a little light on the Iowa connection
and the origin of Mr. Solo's surname.
For the first season (1964-65), NBC slotted "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." at
7:30 Tuesday evening. But it was seen in Tulsa at 10:30 pm Sundays on KVOO,
Channel 2. With what show did KVOO replace it on Tuesday?
A local program, The Joe Krieger Sportsman
Show, came on at 10:15 after the news and led directly into the visually
and musically exciting opening to U.N.C.L.E.