Comedian Phil Silvers played Sergeant Bilko
In this 1955 episode of the classic half-hour TV comedy The Phil Silvers Show, wheeler-dealer con man Sergeant Bilko schemes to get back into the poker game he’s been shut out of by using his "empty store scam." As one character trying to invest says:
"When the smartest operator in the whole United States Army suddenly decides to rent a store, we don’t ask no questions. We just want to be cut in."
And for once, he’s telling the complete truth – it’s just an empty store.
The Phil Silvers Show: The Empty Store, part 1
The Phil Silvers Show: The Empty Store, part 2
The Phil Silvers Show: The Empty Store, part2