Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Get Smart!

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.:  This is the most requested blog post subject to cover.  I get millions of e-mails a day? Would you believe it? Millions.
TVCU Crew:  I find that pretty hard to believe.
Robert E. Wronski, Jr.:  Would you believe 100?
TVCU Crew:  I don't think so.
Robert E. Wronski, Jr.:  How about one request from Robert E. Wronski, Jr.?

So, this blog post.  This post will be about Get Smart.  I've already covered the Man from UNCLE, the Avengers, I Spy, Mission Impossible and the Prisoner.  I think I've covered all the major spy stuff.  I'm still unsure if I want to cover James Bond since the literary version trumps the film version in the TVCU, and I hate writing about literary stuff, because it means I have to read.

There is plenty of silliness in the TVCU naturally. Austin Powers exists in the TVCU. The Muppets exist in the TVCU. Jay and Silent Bob, Wayne's World, Scary Movie, the Pink Panther, Get Smart, ect. They are just sort of cartoonish because the TVCU isn't the real world. 

1800s--F-TROOP--"Spy, Counterspy, Counter Counterspy"--An episode of F Troop called "Spy, Counterspy, Counter–counterspy" featured Pat Harrington Jr. imitating Don Adams as secret agent "B. Wise."  This could be an ancestor of Maxwell Smart.  I know this is a stretch, but this was my very first opportunity to link F-Troop, another of my favorites, to the TVCU.

Beginning of the 20th Century--CONTROL is a spy agency founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Harold Harmon Hargrade, a career officer in the United States Navy's N-2 (Intelligence) Branch. Hargrade served as the first Chief of CONTROL. "CONTROL" is not an acronym, but it is always shown in all capital letters as if it were.  Admiral Harold Harmon Hargrade or The Admiral (William Schallert) is the former chief. He founded CONTROL as a spy agency just after the turn of the 20th century. The admiral has a poor memory, believing the current U.S. President is still Herbert Hoover. As a 91-year-old, he has bad balance and often falls over.

1904--KAOS is a (fictional) "international organization of evil" formed in Bucharest, Romania, in 1904; like "CONTROL", "KAOS" is not an acronym. They were supposed to be, but Brooks and Henry were so busy, they forgot to have the names stand for anything. In an episode of the series, after making a series of demands in a recording, the speaker mentions the demands are from "KAOS, a Delaware Corporation". When Smart asks the chief about this, he mentions they did it for tax reasons.

Release Date: 2009 (Setting is Spring 1905)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Animated Series Crosses: The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Other Crosses: Rouletabille; Sherlock Holmes; Fiddler on the Roof; Assassination Bureau, Ltd.; Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Michael Strogoff: The Courier of the Czar; Angel of the Revolution; Nyctalope; Get Smart; Nat Pinkerton, the King of Detectives; Erast Petrovich Fandorin, the Russian Sherlock Holmes; Yentl; The Steppe; Barney Miller; NYPD Blue
The Story: Rouletabille is on a mission in Russia.
Notes: The author uses the settings of Russia and the Ukraine as a great excuse to throw in numerous crossovers with Russian and Eastern European characters and series, as well as, due to the time period, ancestors of other famous Russian and Eastern European characters. This can be set within the Cartoon Universe due to the inclusion of Boris and Natasha, the infamous foes of Moose and Squirrel. The other listed crossovers must also take place in the Cartoon Universe, even if they are from novels and live action film and television.

Release Date: 2006 (Setting is 1912)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: Sar Dubnotal
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes; The Prisoner; Danger Man; L’Amerique des dollars et du crime; James Bond; Get Smart; Callan; The First Men in the Moon; Arsene Lupin; Fu Manchu
The Story: Sherlock Holmes finds himself a temporary captive of “the Village”.

Notes: Some crossoverists would discount the validity of this story for inclusion within their shared crossover universe because some details of Holmes’ history would invalidate this story. And for my Television Crossover Universe, I would agree. However, because Holmes is a non-horror character, only his original stories from Doyle and his horror crosses are valid canon, and so this story works easily for the canon of the Horror Universe version of Holmes.

1930--The exact date of CONTROL's founding is unknown but an approximate date of 1930 (the same year as Maxwell Smart's birthdate) can be inferred from the reference to the president by Admiral Hargrade, CONTROL's first chief, as "Herbert", suggesting that he had been used to working with President Herbert Hoover. [Episode #59: "A Man Called Smart, Part 2.]  This seems to contradict other references that CONTROL was started at "the turn of the century", implying around 1900.  Perhaps it began in 1900, but was redirected to the single purpose of opposing KAOS in 1930.

Fall 1930--GET SMART--"The Mess of Adrian Listenger"--Max was born in 1930 [Episode #130: "The Mess of Adrian Listenger"] and delivered by a Dr. Linquist. The exact date is unclear, but since his Zodiac sign is Scorpio, it must be between October 22nd and November 22nd. Max says he was "raised in the city" [Episode #88: "Snoopy Smart Vs. The Red Baron"] but which city is uncertain; he considers Washington, D.C. his home town [Episode #57: "Pussycats Galore"] but claims to be from Minnesota - although he gets the state motto wrong; the "show-me" state is Missouri [Episode #5: "Now You See Him, Now You Don't"] (To complicate matters further, in the first Get Smart novel he claims to be a "native New Yorker").

99 gun

1940--Agent 99 has an even more mysterious past than Agent 86. Her exact birthdate is unknown but Max says he has "known 99 since she was 24" [Episode #89: "Closely Watched Planes"]. Calculating from a first meeting in 1965 gives a birth year of 1941. However, since the apparent Christmastime case at Bower's Department Store [Episode #4: "Our Man in Toyland"] cannot logically have taken place later than December 1964, it is likely that both events occurred at least a year earlier than usually thought. This theory is also consistent with Max' 1968 statement that they have worked together for five years [Episode #79: "99 Loses CONTROL"].  99 tells Max that she was "raised in the country", presumably on hermother's property forty miles north of Twin Falls, Idaho. Her father is dead, but when alive he claimed to be a greeting card salesman, although he was really a spy [Episode #88: "Snoopy Smart Vs. The Red Baron"]. He also looked exactly like the KAOS Agent Simon the Likeable [Episode #120: "And Baby Makes Four, conclusion"].  Before becoming a spy, 99 worked as a high fashion model [Episode #29: "Shipment to Beirut"].

1950--DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID--Ivan Ronald Schablotski: The character played by clips of Bogart is Philip Marlow, so it is a crossover, as Andrew Brook pointed out. This movie establishes that Marlow, however briefly, had an assistant named Rigby Reardon. Placement of the movie is tough though, based on a newspaper clipping that suggests the Dodgers are already in LA. One of the first stories I planned to write specifically for the WNU was a crossover between Reardon and GET SMART's Agent Q (the Chief, back when he was a field agent), with the hint that one of them was Maxwell Smart's real father.

1950 to 1953--Smart served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and is an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve

Likely after the war, but just less than a decade before season 1 of GET SMART--Fang/Agent K-13 (played by Red) is a poorly trained CONTROL dog, who is seen during seasons one and two. He was a very successful CONTROL agent for quite a few years. He was trained by Max, which probably explains why he does not always follow directions properly. Their relationship began in Spy School, where they were members of the same graduating class. He sometimes uses the cover name Morris and his favorite toys are a turtleneck sweater, a rubber ducky and one of Max's slippers. Fang's career ends in the second season, as he is no longer showing energy in solving his cases. In honor of his outstanding service to CONTROL, the Chief retires Fang to a desk job, burying evidence. Fang was written out of the series in season two. He appears in six season-one episodes and two season-two episodes. He appears first in the pilot, "Mr. Big", and his last one was the season-two episode "Perils in a Pet Shop". Shots that involved Fang ended up running long and costing the production a lot of money in overtime and wasted time. After a few episodes of this, he was written out of the series. He was handled by Bill Weatherwax.

1963--99 joined CONTROL just two weeks after Max, by which time Max had driven the Chief bald [Episode #60: "A Man Called Smart, Part 3"]. Her mentor in these early days was Agent 12 [TV Movie: "Get Smart, Again!"].

1963 to 1965--THE BILL DANA SHOW--Don Adams played Byron Glick, a hotel detective, on this show featuring the legendary crossover character Jose Jiminez. I feel that Adams was playing Smart, who was undercover at the time. (Or it could be Byron Glick was his real name and this was his real job before CONTROL. Perhaps Maxwell Smart is a false identity assigned by CONTROL.) Glick uses the famous "Would you believe..." joke that would later be a staple of Get Smart.


Get Smart.gif

1965 to 1970--GET SMART--Click here for some of Toby O'Brien's connections regarding Get Smart. Also click here for Toby's take on Mr. Big.  The Wikipedia page for the series has a surprisingly large amount of information about the agents of CONTROL and KAOS, which you can find here.

1965 to 1971--GREEN ACRES--An episode of Green Acres spoofed Get Smart with a shoe phone and Mission Impossible with a self-destructing note.

November 1965--GET SMART--"The Day Smart Turned Chicken"--The Chief (Edward Platt) is the head of CONTROL. Although sarcastic and grouchy, the Chief is intelligent, serious, and sensible. He began his career at CONTROL as "Agent Q." (He joined the organization back when they assigned letters rather than numbers.) He is supportive of Agents 86 and 99, but he is frustrated with Smart for his frequent failures and foul-ups. As revealed in the season-one episode "The Day Smart Turned Chicken", his first name is Thaddeus, but it is rarely used. His cover identity (used primarily with 99's mom) is "Harold Clark". Another time, when KAOS arranges for the Chief to be recalled to active duty in the U.S. Navy (as a common seaman with Smart as his commanding officer), his official name is John Doe

1966 to 1967--DELL COMICS--Dell Comics published a comic book for eight issues during 1966 and 1967, drawn in part by Steve Ditko.

February 1966--GET SMART--"I'm Only Human"--Agent 8 (Burt Mustin) is a retired CONTROL agent who appears in episode twenty three. He is revealed to be the Chief's best friend from his days at CONTROL.

April 1966--GET SMART--"The Reluctant Redhead"--Grobnik the KAOS killer formerly worked for THRUSH, UNCLE's arch enemy.

April 1967--THE MONKEES--"Monkees Get Out More Dirt"--Mike uses a shoephone like Maxwell Smart's

November 1967--GET SMART--"Dr. Yes"--Doctor Yes (Donald Davis), who appears in "Dr. Yes," is a parody of James Bond's Doctor No. He asks questions to his four assistants and they each respond with "yes," individually in their language of origin. They answer mainly in the order of "Jawohl, Oui, Da, Si." He captures Max and 99 in this episode and accidentally inflicts suicide upon himself. When stung by an "electronic mosquito," he is killed by the poison "spoiler," his poisonous fingernail, when he scratches his face.

1968--This is the year Max proposes to and marries 99.

January 1968--THE PRISONER--"The Girl Who Was Death"--shoe brush phone

February 1968--GET SMART--"99 Loses Control"--99 tells Victor that her name is "Susan Hilton". When Max asks why she never told him what her real name was, she replies, "You never asked," to which Max says he prefers 99. Then, at the end of the episode, she says it is not her real name. Her name is in fact intentionally never revealed, even at their own wedding in season four. 

1968--GET SMART--"Run, Robot, Run"--Two evil British agents are posing as Steed and Peel.

September 1968--GET SMART--"Snoopy Smart vs the Red Baron"--"Snoopy Smart vs the Red Baron" is the introduction of 99's mother (Jane Dulo), who appears so thoroughly fooled by her daughter and Smart's cover stories that not even seeing them in combat while a prisoner of KAOS convinces her otherwise. However, at one point her mother indicates that 99's father was also a spy. 

October 1968--ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN--"Episode # 2.5"--graffiti visible on men's room wall: Agent 99 is only 26

1969--This is the year the twins are born, Zachary and an unnamed daughter.  

November 1969--GET SMART--"And Baby Makes Four"--Simon the Likeable (Jack Gilford), who appears in "And Baby Makes 4" Parts 1 & 2 is a KAOS killer whose nice face mesmerizes everyone into liking him—except 99's mother (played by Jane Dulo), who knocks him out with a right cross, because Simon resembles her late, much-hated, and unlamented husband. (99's father never appears in any episode.)

Late 1960s--NOVELS--A series of novels based on characters and dialog of the series was written by William Johnston and published by Tempo Books in the late 1960s. 

1974--GET SMART, AGAIN!--After the deactivation of CONTROL in 1974 ["15 years ago" in Get Smart, Again!], Max is next seen working for PITS - the Provisional Intelligence Tactical Service.

1977 to 1987--THE LOVE BOAT--In one of Adams' five appearances as a guest passenger on the series The Love Boat, his character, even when he thought he had been shot, makes no attempt to visit the ship's doctor. The role of the doctor on Love Boat was played by Bernie Kopell, who played Siegfried on Get Smart.

1980--MURDER CAN HURT YOU!--Don Adams narrates in the manner of his character, Maxwell Smart

1980--WCGV--When WCGV/Milwaukee, Wisconsin signed on the air in 1980, Adams did in-house promos as Agent 86 to let viewers know when the reruns of Get Smart aired on the station by using his shoephone.

1980--THE NUDE BOMB--The theatrically released The Nude Bomb—also known as The Return of Maxwell Smart or Maxwell Smart and the Nude Bomb

1982--SAVEMART--In 1982, Adams starred in a series of local commercials for New York City electronics chain Savemart as Maxwell Smart. The slogan was "Get Smart. Get SaveMart Smart."

1983--GO FOR IT--David Huddleston uses a shoe phone like Maxwell Smart


1985--DEAD END--zombie playing with shoe phone

Mid-1980s--SAVELINE--In the mid-1980s, Adams reprised his role of Maxwell Smart for a series of telephone banking commercials for Empire of America Federal Savings Bank in Buffalo, New York. The telephone banking service was called SmartLine, and Sherwin Greenberg Productions (a video production company and bank subsidiary) produced radio and television ads, as well as a series of still photos for use in promotional flyers that featured Don Adams' Maxwell Smart character wearing the familiar trenchcoat and holding a shoe phone to his ear. The television commercials were videotaped in Sherwin Greenberg Productions' studio on a set that resembled an old alleyway which utilized fog-making machinery for special effect. The production company even secured a lookalike of the red Alpine that Adams used in the television series, making it a memorable promotion for those familiar with the series of nearly 20 years earlier.

1987--BACK TO THE BEACH--Adams played the Harbor Master, who used several of Maxwell Smart's catch phrases (including an exchange in which Frankie Avalon's character did a vague impression of Siegfried).

1989--GET SMART--By 1989 Max and 99 are reunited, living in a house in the suburbs, and the twins are in college. Max has taken a job as a protocol officer with the State Department filling in for dignitaries who are unable or unwilling to attend ceremonial functions. But he never gives up wearing his shoephone and one day the call he had been hoping for finally comes: he is being recalled to active duty. KAOS is back and Maxwell Smart is the only one left with enough experience to combat their latest dastardly scheme.  Rounding up as many of his old colleagues as he can muster, Max is able to reactivate CONTROL - at first on an ad hoc basis [TV Movie: "Get Smart, Again!"] and later more permanently as chief ["Get Smart 1995 series"].

February 1989--GET SMART, AGAIN!--99 mentions THRUSH in connection with Gruvnik the Spoiler

1989--MCDONALD'S--A whole bunch of characters show up at the fast food restaurant, including Grandpa Munster, Ed Clampett (Beverly Hillbillies), Maxwell Smart (Get Smart), Eddie Haskell and June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver), and Gilligan (Gilligan's Island).

1989--KMART--Adams played Smart in a 1989 TV commercial for Kmart. He was seen talking on his trademark shoe phone, telling the Chief about the great selection of electronics available at Kmart. An exact replica of himself approaches him, and Smart says, "Don't tell me you're a double agent." (This was a reference to a running gag on the original series, in which Max detected some sort of setback or danger, and would say to 99, "Don't tell me..." and then 99 replied by stating a confirmation of whatever Max was afraid to hear, to which Max would always respond, "I asked you not to tell me that!")

Sounds Familiar by Crash2014

Late 1980s--TOYOTA--In the late 1980s Adams portrayed Smart in a series of TV commercials for Toyota New Zealand, for the 1990 model Toyota Starlet. While it is customary for the actor to go to the foreign location for shooting, Adams' apparent intense dislike of long-distance flying meant that the New Zealand specification car had to be shipped to the US for filming. 

1990s--As time passes, KAOS organises itself in a more business-like fashion, even making a profit on its operations [Episode #54: "The Expendable Agent"], and eventually becomes a takeover target; first by mogul Ironhand[Episode #114: "Ironhand"] and later by publisher Nicholas Dimente [TV Movie "Get Smart, Again!"].  In the nineties, the mysterious KAOS Chairwoman takes this to its logical conclusion and acknowledges the end of the Cold War by refocussing KAOS's goal of world domination on economic rather than political means ["Get Smart (1995 series)"], going so far as to rebrand the organization "Kaos Incorporated".

1991 to 1992--HI HONEY, I'M HOME!--From Lady Aleena:  Many series have been linked because of the series Hi Honey, I'm Home!. Hi Honey, I'm Home! takes the characters out of their original continuities and places them into another. Since they are outside their original continuity, they are not the same characters. So the following do not cross with each other or anything above.

1992--WHITE CASTLE--Adams starred in a series of commercials for White Castle in 1992, paying homage to his Get Smart character with his catch phrase "Would you believe...?"

1999--AUSTIN POWERS:  THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME--"Spyography:  The Doctor Evil Story"--One of the interviewees of this documentary is none other than "Konrad Siegfried, KAOS Operative, Retired." The presence of Siegfried in this biography of Austin Powers' nemesis, Doctor Evil, establishes that the events of the spy comedy, Get Smart, take place in the Television Crossover Universe. The "Spyography" can be found on the DVD release of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.  For what it's worth, Madonna's music video for "Beautiful Stranger" features Austin Powers being briefed by his boss, Basil Exposition, on a mission to locate a beautiful seductress. Exposition warns Austin not to fall in love, and that British Intelligence has already lost 007 and 008. This connects Austin Powers to James Bond although of course the "loss" of 007 cannot be a permanent one.

Late 1990s--CANADA--Don Adams also appeared in another series of Canadian commercials in the late 1990s for a dial-around long distance carrier

2008--GET SMART--In the Get Smart movie, during the opening scene, there is a wanted poster on Maxwell Smart's fridge that looks like Dr. Miguelito Loveless, or more importantly, Mr. Big, the head of CHAOS in the original series, more evidence that the remake is really a sequel.  The three vehicles used in the original TV series opening are all in Max's escape scene. They are 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mark I, Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible, and 1969 Opel GT. Also, driving the Open GT is Bernie Kopell, who played Siegfried in the series.  My theory:  Yes, Get Smart (2008) could be in the TVCU-2, but there is a lot of implication in the film that the original series happened.  I would like to say that this Max Smart is Max Smart Junior, but there's no evidence to support that.  Max and 99 had twins, a boy and a girl, born in 1969.  The boy was named Zachary, and was seen in the 1995 revival, and he just can't be the Max Smart seen here.  Using a recent James Bond theory, though, perhaps Max Smart is an assigned name.  The problem is that Max in this film is not yet an agent when the film starts. So that left me to look at the original Max's family tree.  Max had an Uncle Abner and Aunt Bertha, and cousin Harvey.  Their last name is not given, so it's possible that it is Smart.  And it's possible that Harvey Smart had a son who he named after his cousin, who is the Maxwell Smart seen in this film.  Of course, this doesn't account for all the other characters and such.  I get that.  But in this film, there are references to the original CONTROL of the 1960s, having been shut down following the end of the Cold War.  (CONTROL did end in 1974, but was revived secretly in the 1990s.)  And the original Sigfried also appears in the film, and lots of the old technology and vehicles from the original show.  So I think it fits in the main timeline.  But I can see the argument that it should be in the TVCU-2 instead.  

2008--GET SMART'S BRUCE AND LLOYD OUT OF CONTROL--A spin-off of the Get Smart movie, centered on Bruce, a techie at CONTROL, and his nerdy analyst cohort, Lloyd.

Release Date: December 30, 2008 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Nightside
Horror Crosses: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; War of the Worlds (novel); Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde; Elvira; Doctor Strange; Doctor Druid; The Wicker Man; The Addams Family; The Mummy (Universal)
Non-Horror Crosses: 2001: A Space Odyssey; Lassie; Doctor Who; Get Smart; James Bond; The Avengers (TV); Shadows Fall; Maltese Falcon; Star Trek
The Story: A man claims to have proof of the afterlife on DVD, and the Nightside’s top rag hires John Taylor to find him and the DVD.
Notes: It’s not unusual for the Nightside stories to have Lovecraft references, and this one has at least five that my Nightside researcher John D. Lindsey Jr. has found. The character Harry Fabulous has access to the drug Martian Red Weed from War of the Worlds. He also has a version of the Hyde formula. This wouldn’t be the first story to see the Hyde formula as a street drug. In an old issue of the Inquirer is a story of Jacqueline Hyde, one of Henry’s descendants, who was in love with her male alter ego of Mister Hyde. In an interesting twist, the film Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde features a male descendant of Jekyll who transforms into a beautiful but evil female Hyde. A personal ad in the Inquirer reads “Desperately Seeking Elvira”. Seen gathered in conference are the Travelling Doctor (Doctor Who), the Strange Doctor (Doctor Strange) and the Druid Doctor (Doctor Druid). “The Collector” has “the Wicker Man” with dead police officer inside. At the bar is a living active disembodied hand, most likely Thing from the Addams Family. A drink at the bar is Mummy’s Favorite, with tanna leaves as the main ingredient. Another old Inquirer article mentions the monoliths on the moon (from 2001: A Space Odyssey). The newspaper has a personal ad that reads “Lassie come home, or the kid gets it”. At a bar, Taylor compares a jukebox to the TARDIS. Three secret agents matching the descriptions of Maxwell Smart (Get Smart), James Bond, and John Steed (The Avengers) are seen comparing gadgets. There is a train that goes to Shadows Fall. Reporter Betty Devine wonders if “the Collector” has the Maltese Falcon. Also at the bar is what appears to be a tribble from Star Trek.

May 2013--WAREHOUSE 13--The Warehouse has CONTROL'S Cone of Silence.

2015--KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE--When Galahad is demonstrating the shoe knife to Eggsy he mentioned they used to have a phone in the heel, as a reference to the original 'Get Smart' TV series.

somewhere in time--SPACE QUEST IV:  ROGER WILCO AND THE TIME RIPPERS--When using the Talk icon on the wastebasket in the Arcade store, it says "Max, is that you? Agent 99?".

31st Century--FUTURAMA--"In-A-Gadda Da-Leela"--the "Chamber of Understanding" is a parody of the "Cone of Silence"


CARTOON UNIVERSE: The Simpsons episode "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade" parodies the opening of Get Smart in the couch gag. Homer goes through many futuristic doors and passageways until he reaches the phone booth, falls through the floor, and lands on the couch—with the rest of the family already seated.  In the cartoon The X's one episode with Mr. X was a parody of both Get Smart, in that his shoe was a phone, and Mission Impossible, in that his shoe blew up after delivering a message. 

EARTH-69 (AKA THE RULE 34 UNIVERSE)--I couldn't believe how many Get Smart parody porns were out there.  Lickity Pink (1989) (Video)--Porn take-off of 1960's TV series spoofing spy shows.  Get Lucky (2004) (Video)--Adult spoof.  Get Luckier (2005) (Video)--Adult spoof.  Get Smartass (2008) (Video)--Adult Spoof

NOT ANOTHER SPOOF MOVIE UNIVERSE--Disaster Movie (2008)--The theme plays as Calvin answers the shoe phone.

SKITLANDIA: Get Smart was parodied on a sketch in the Mexican comedy show De Nuez en Cuando called ["Super Agente 3.1486"], making fun of the Spanish title of the series (Super Agente 86) and the way the series is dubbed.  An early MadTV sketch titled "Get Smarty" placed the Maxwell Smart character in situations from the film Get Shorty.

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