The UNCLE Files
The identity of Solo and Illya was so strongly tied to the actors during the 60' they at times would appear on shows as these characters as opposed to themselves. Here is an example from the TV series "HULLABALOO".
makes a brief appearance in the televison series NCIS
because of co-star David McCallum's presence in the cast.
Let's face it, in 1966 you just were not cool unless you were part of U.N.C.L.E..At least according to one magazine poll at the time.
The reviews for the TV series version of "Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D." TV series continually cross references it’s link to it’s U.N.C.L.E. origins.
To this day U.N.C.L.E. continues to influence popular culture with the addition of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Feature Film.
The video game Team Fortress 2 has an achievement referencing the show, named "The Man From P.U.N.C.T.U.R.E.".
In the 2010 HBO bio pic about Temple Grandin in 1965 we learn that, like many fans at the time, she was obsessed with "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and imagined herself as an U.N.C.L.E. agent when venturing out on her own.
Though audiences were never treated to the results, U.N.C.L.E. fan Steven Spielberg submitted a script to the U.N.C.L.E. series but it was never produced.
At one time the stars of U.N.C.L.E. graced the covers of almost every popular magazine available. Visit DavidMcCallumfansonline at this link for an extensive collection of articles on U.N.C.L.E. from the 60's until now.
The TV show My Favorite Martian also used CRUSH as the name of the evil spy organization, spoofing THRUSH in two episodes. In the season two episode "006 3/4" Tim finds a distress note from Agent 006 of Top Secret, who is being tracked by CRUSH.
"The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E." was a Man From U.N.C.L.E. parody in 1960s Archie Comics. The comic portrayed Archie and the gang as a group of high-tech spies, as part of world-defence organization P.O.P. (an acronym for Protect our Planet). Their chief enemy was a counter-group known as C.R.U.S.H..
Megatron of “Transformers”fame sometimes takes on the guise of U.N.C.L.E.’s most famous prop, The U.N.C.L.E. Special.
Since 2003 McCallum has starred in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr Donald "Ducky"Mallard, the Medical Examiner and one of the key characters. In an inside joke, NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is asked, "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" Gibbs responds, "Illya Kuryakin".
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Promenade directory lists "Del Floria's Tailor Shop" as a location, courtesy of Doug Drexler and in the episode "Improbable Cause" a spy works out of a tailor shop as a direct reference to U.N.C.L.E.. On "The Fugitve" TV series the titular character Richard Kimball gives a nod to U.N.C.L.E. by sauntering past "Del Floria's Tailor Shop" in one of the series epilogs. In 1997 the TV series "Spy Games" featured "UNCLE SOLO'S TAILOR SHOP" which served as a hidden entrance.
Marvel Comic's creator Stan Lee stated in the introduction notes of "Son of Origins" that the Marvel Universe spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. was inspired by the Man From U.N.C.L.E. television program. DC comic’s Superman also flirted with U.N.C.L.E. when Jimmy Olsen became a secret Agent as well as SPIDERMAN occasionally referencing U.N.C.L.E. as well.
Mr. Waverly appears in the Anno Dracula novel trilogy series, by Kim Newman, as one of the leaders of the secret organization battling Dracula's vampire hordes. Also set in Victorian times is the graphic novel "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", in which Mr. Waverly also appears in and obtusely references U.N.C.L.E..
In 2000 Barry Sonnenfeld, a big fan of U.N.C.L.E., created his own U.N.C.L.E. inspired show called "Secret Agent Man" about a team of agents working for a worldwide agency, whose front was FedEx, fighting an international conspiracy.
The 60's musical variety show "Hullabaloo" featured both Vaughn and McCallum as hosts with the later appearing as "Illya Kuryakin" throughout the episode.
During the credit sequence of "SKYFALL" 007 appears in a bullet riddled mirror, much like Solo in the opening credits to U.N.C.L.E.. Daniel Kleinman, the designer, admits that the opening credits to U.N.C.L.E. are among his favorite titles and the homage is more than coincidental.
"As a child I loved the opening to The Man From Uncle. The way Napoleon Solo stands behind the bulletproof glass being shot at perhaps subliminally influenced my mirror scene in Skyfall". artofthetitle - Daniel Kleinman.
U.N.CL.E. was parodied by the great Mort Drucker in the ultimate barometer of popularity, MAD Magazine.
Musical examples include Elvis Costello's 1980album Get Happy!!, and an Argentinian Funk duo who took the name Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas honoring the fictitious spy. Alma Cogan paid a similar tribute to the Russian agent in her single "Love Ya Illya," released in 1966 under the pseudonym "Angela and the Fans". In the 1980s, Cleaners From Venus penned "IIlya Kuryakin Looked at Me"; the song was later covered by The Jennifers. The English 2 Tone band The Specials made an instrumental song called "Napoleon Solo". It was also the name of a Danish 2 Tone band. Space–surf band Man or Astro-man? covered the theme song for their 1994 EP Astro Launch. The British trip-hop group U.N.K.L.E. derive their name from the show.
It was also referenced in Glad commercials in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which starred the "Man from GLAD", a trench coat wearing agent who flew around in his combination boat/helicopter demonstrating Glad products to suburban housewives and saving the day.
In 1986 David McCallum reunited with then The A-Team series regular Robert Vaughn in an episode of the show entitled "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair" in an homage to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., complete with "chapter titles", the word "affair" in the title, the phrase "Open Channel D", and similar scene transitions.
Illya's Black turtleneck and hairstyle became fashion icons as seen in the extensive coverage by magazines like GLAMOUR. Clairol HAIR PRODUCTS, not be left in the dust, repackaged their hair straightener as Clairol's U.N.C.U.R.L..
References to the show in popular culture began during its original broadcast when it was parodied in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, fittingly titled "The Man from My Uncle", References in other television shows have continued over the years, including a 2011 episode of Mad Men, "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword". It has also been referenced in other television shows including Get Smart (a parody of the entire U.N.C.L.E. series format), Angry Beavers (The MOM from U.N.C.L.E.), Please Don't Eat the Daisies (guest starring Vaughn, McCallum and Powers with only Solo, Illya, April and the U.N.C.L.E. getting screen credit) and Laugh-In (featuring Mr. Waverly). An episode of Tom & Jerry from the Chuck Jones era entitled "The Mouse from H.U.N.G.E.R." paid homage to the show, with Jerry as a secret agent tasked with the mission of retrieving a sizable stash of cheese from the villainous Tom Thrush (portrayed by Tom). The Avengers TV series in 1966 referenced it in the episode entitled “The Girl from AUNTIE”, which featured a party called the MFU.
Contemporary music still references The Man from U.N.C.L.E. occasionally in tunes like "I Wish A Gun Like Napoleon Solo" by George Zehn or the Surf / Spy track "Napoleon Solo" and La Coka Nostra's "38. Revolver" rap song that features Napoleon Solo in the lyrics.
From: Wikipedia / Don Frankmano