Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) was an average teen living in America between 1959 and 1963. This was right before so much started to change in 1964. Like other red-blooded American teenage boys of his time, Dobie thought about money, cars and girls. He wished he had more of all three which led to funny schemes that never seemed to work right. Dobie’s best friend was Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), a beatnik who shuttered at the word “work.“ They both questioned the authority of adults – particularly parents and teachers. They were also quite likeable and never meant to cause any real harm.
Like millions of others, I watched it every week between the ages of 8 to 12. In fact, my earliest role model was Maynard – played so well by the late Bob Denver who next starred on Gilligan’s Island. Their views on life shaped the attitudes and behaviors of many kids who grew to be hippies a few years later. This article includes just about everything there is to know about this wonderful comedy series. Included are show summaries and tributes – along with insights directly from Dobie (Dwayne) and Maynard (Bob). I have also located and crafted some cool pix for your enjoyment. CLICK to “Get Hip” to the Legacy and Lessons of Dobie and Maynard!
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is a classic sitcom of the late 1950s. If on the surface the show seems unassuming and standard early sitcom fare, just below the surface is a show that breaks new ground in television. Two significant aspects set it apart from the other shows of that era and make it watchable and influential well into the 1990s. First is the show’s focus on teenagers. Second is the addition of a new type of character in the form of Maynard G. Krebs, the outsider.
Dobie Gillis is a teenager in small-town America; the plot revolves around Dobie’s life and thoughts. In the course of the show Dobie graduates from high school, briefly joins the army, and returns to the same town to attend college. The show was adapted from Max Shulman’s short stories of the 1930s and was updated for the teenagers of the 1950s. It premiered in September of 1959 and ran until 1963. The main characters were Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), the forever-girl-chasing and money-short lead; his best friend and side-kick Maynard (Bob Denver) the cool jazz beatnik; Dobie’s hard-working father Herbert T. Gillis (Frank Faylen); and Zelda Gilroy (Sheila James), who was determined to marry Dobie one day. …
Dobie’s world includes several recurring characters who provide the basic themes for the show. His father runs the Gillis Grocery Store and cannot understand his son (he continually tries to instill in him the need for hard work), while his mother (Florida Friebus) attempts to mediate between father and son. In the beginning of the series Tuesday Weld plays Thalia Meninger, Dobie’s dream girl whom he hesitates to pursue because he does not have money. As one might expect, there are several rivals who do have money–Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty), followed by Chatsworth Osborne Jr. (Stephen Franken). It is their presence that generates many of the show’s conflicts.
As the series unfolds a more striking character also takes form, that of Maynard. Maynard is the classical beatnik: he has the goatee, the ripped sweatshirt, the love of jazz, and the “like” vocabulary. He seems out of place in this little town, and that is the point. Maynard (played by Bob Denver, later of Gilligan’s Island) is Dobie’s “good buddy” and he is loyal to him to the end. While Dobie dreams of money so that he can get the girls, Maynard has no need for either. His mannerisms and clothes make him stand out from everyone, and his simple ways and shuddering at the thought of work seem to hold him apart from the suburban dream. Maynard sets a standard for every other outsider with a message in shows to come.
Despite the concentration on themes of money and dating, or perhaps because of it, the show occasionally slides into uncharted areas. Dobie tends to think and speak about life in terms of big questions or, more accurately, he tends to make whatever he is thinking about seem big. Dobie, like many teenagers, is in search of many things, including an understanding of himself and the world in which he lives.
The impact of this show extends far beyond the 1950s. Shows that centered on teens and tried to gather the baby-boomer-market would be a staple from the 1960s on. The outsider beatnik character could easily metamorphose into to the hippie of the 1960s or even to “The Fonz” of Happy Days. Dobie has since resurfaced in two sequels; a 30-minute pilot for a revival of the show in 1977 named What Ever happened to Dobie Gillis?, and a reunion movie in 1988 called Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis.
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was a situation comedy which ran on CBS from 1959 to 1963. The television series and some episode scripts were adapted from a 1951 collection of short stories with the same name, written by Max Shulman, that also inspired the 1953 film The Affairs of Dobie Gillis with Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse, and Bobby Van as Dobie Gillis. This program was from Martin Manulis Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television; creator Shulman also wrote the theme song.
Although not in every episode, Dobie often gave his weekly monologue sitting in front of a replica of Rodin’s statue “The Thinker.” Dobie would occasionally be seen sitting in the same pose as the statue, with head and shoulders bent over and with his chin resting on the back of his right hand with the elbow of that arm resting on the top of his left leg while his left hand rests on his left knee.
The TV movie that aired on May 10, 1977, fifteen years after this series ended, and was titled, “Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis?” Most viewers probably believed that it was just intended as a reunion movie but it was actually meant to be a pilot for a new series. Zelda had eventually snared Dobie and they had a teenage son! Dobie had become a partner in his family’s grocery store. Maynard was still anti-social even though he was now well into middle age. By the way, Maynard was played by actor Stephen Paul in this pilot rather than by Bob Denver.
This show served as one of the influences in the development of the Hannah-Barbara cartoon “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!” (1969). In Scooby-Doo, the character of Fred Jones was based on Dobie Gillis; Velma Dinkley on Zelda Gilroy; Daphne Blake on Thalia Menninger, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers on Maynard G. Krebs.
- Dwayne Hickman as Dobie Gillis
- Frank Faylen as Herbert T. Gillis
- Florida Friebus as Winnifred “Winnie” Gillis
- Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs
- Tuesday Weld as Thalia Menninger
- Warren Beatty as Milton Armitage
- Sheila James Kuehl as Zelda Gilroy
- Steven Franken as Chatsworth Osborne, Jr.
- Doris Packer as Mrs. Armitage and Mrs. Chatsworth Osborne, Sr.
- William Schallert as Professor Leander Pomfritt
- Joyce Van Patten as Mrs. Pomfritt
- Jean Byron as Dr. Imogene Burkhart and Mrs. Ruth Adams
- Bobby Diamond as cousin Duncan “Dunky” Gillis
- Darryl Hickman as brother Davey Gillis
- Michael J. Pollard as cousin Jerome Krebs
- Marjorie Bennett as Mrs. Kenny
- Raymond Bailey as Dean Magruder
- Clinton Sundberg as Trembley, the Armitage butler
- Dabbs Greer as Zelda’s father
- Willis Bouchey as Maynard’s father
(Dwayne Hickman as Dobie Gillis sitting with his elbow on his knee and his chin resting on his fist, looking exactly like the statue of Rodin’s “The Thinker” which was directly behind him. The camera zoomed on him and he told the audience what he had been thinking about. This varied from episode-to-episode. The following is from the very first one:)
“My name is Dobie Gillis and I like girls. What am I saying? I love girls! Love ‘em! Beautiful, gorgeous, soft, round, creamy girls. Now, I’m not a wolf, mind you. No, you see a wolf wants lots of girls, but me? Well, I just want one. One beautiful, gorgeous, soft, round, creamy girl for my very own. That’s all I want! One lousy girl! But I’ll tell you a sad, hard fact. I’m never gonna get a girl. Never. Why? Because to get a girl you need money. And standing between me and money is a powerful obstacle: a Powerful obstacle!”
(Then the scene changed to the stern face of Dobie’s father, Herbert T. Gillis.)
Theme Song: “Dobie” By: “Max Shulman & Lionel Newman”
The theme song “Dobie” was written by 20th Century-Fox Musical Director Lionel Newman, with lyrics by Max Shulman. The theme was sung by Judd Conlon’s Rhythmaires, with music conducted by Lionel Newman.
Oh Dobie, wants a girl who is dreamy,
Dobie, wants a girl who’s creamy,
Dobie, wants a girl to call his own.
Is she blond, is she tall, is she dark, is she small,
Is she any kinda dreamboat at all
No matter, he’s hers and hers alone.
Dobie, wants a little cutie,
Dobie, wants a little beauty,
Dobie want a gal to call his own
Any size, any style, any eyes, any smile, any Jean, any Jane, nay Joan.
SHOW TRIVIA AND TIDBITS (From Various Sources)
- Maynard called Dobie “Good Buddy.”
- Zelda knew Dobie loved her because she wrinkled up her nose and Dobie involuntarily did it back in spite of himself.
- Manyard can never say the word “work” in a normal tone of voice, or with out getting upset.
- What did the middle initial in Maynard G. Krebbs, stand for? In one episode, and one only, someone asked this question, Maynard stated that the “G” stood for Walter. His explanation was that his mother “didn’t spell too good”.
- The occupation of Dobie’s father was different in each of the short stories upon which the series was based. In the series his job was “locked in” as a grocer.
- The character of Dr. Imogene Burkhart was played by Jean Byron, who was born Imogene Burkhart.
- In multiple episodes, characters mention they have seen or are going to see a movie entitled “The Monster That Devoured Cleveland”.
- The Gillis Family’s home address was 285 Norwood Street; Central City. They also operated a grocery store at the same address.
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was not Dwayne Hickman’s first major role on a TV series. He appeared for several seasons on “Love That Bob” before landing the lead role on this series.
- Dobie Gillis, like most teenage boys, adored the best-looking girl in town even though her looks were about the only thing she had going for her. She was greedy and self-centered and constantly pushed Dobie into finding a career where he would earn tons of money.
- Halfway through the second season of the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Maynard and Dobie become privates in the Army and get into just as much trouble there as they did at home. They were discharged from the Army by the beginning of the third season and enrolled in St. Peter Prior Junior College, still no closer to deciding what they might do with their lives and still getting into one jam after another.
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis had to compete for viewers with some pretty decent shows in its time slot including “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”, “The Virginian”, and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” but, luckily, all of those were serious series and didn’t compete for the sitcom audience.
- The business location and residence of the Gillis family was 285 Norwood Street in Central City.
- Dobie’s father was a grocer, an honorable profession, but Dobie always felt that the “rich guys” got the girls. First it was Milton Armitage played by a young Warren Beatty. Later it was Chatsworth Osborne Jr. (Steve Franken) who struttted his stuff.
- Doris Packer died in 1979, Frank Faylen in 1985 of respiratory ailment and pneumonia, and Florida Friebus in 1985 of cancer. Bob Denver died in 2005.
- After working with Dwayne “Dobie Gillis” Hickman on 142 episodes of the CBS sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which spanned four years, Bob and his wife, Dreama, remained close friends with Hickman and his wife, Joan.
- In 1998, Bob was arrested when he signed for a FedEx delivery of 30 grams of marijuana. Police spent more than two hours searching his home and reportedly confiscated two marijuana pipes and several more grams of pot. Reports at the time suggested that Denver’s Gilligan’s Island co-star, Dawn Wells, had arranged the shipment, his checkbook included several suspicious payments to Wells, and prosecutors were pressuring him to name Wells as his supplier. Instead, Bob testified that “some crazy fan must have sent it.” He was given six months probation.
- When the Twentieth Century-Fox producers of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis approached Bob, offering him an audition opportunity for the role of Maynard G. Krebs, he was more excited about receiving a drive-on studio pass that would allow him to explore the various sets erected on the back lots, than the possibility of securing acting employment.
- As an active participant against the Russian invasion of Hungary, Bob marched in protest around City Hall in Los Angeles, California during the years he attended college.
- Bob got his start in television when his studio-employed sister, Helen, tacked his name onto a list of actors a Twentieth Century-Fox producer was interviewing for a possible part in a pilot. After having screened nearly a thousand Maynard G. Krebs wannabes, the producer hired Denver, the last actor to audition for the role to be portrayed on the 1959-1963 sitcom, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
- Ray Summers, the wardrobe master who cut the holes in Bob’s sweatshirt when outfitting him as beatnik Maynard G. Krebs in 1959-1963 sitcom, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, would six years later shop an entire day with Denver to come up with his costume for his role as Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island.
- When Bob was very young, he attended a day camp where he was cast in the role of Dopey in a skit about Snow White. It was a non-speaking part that required him to wear a yellow raincoat and a dwarf hat and march in a circle. Denver jokingly claimed the performance to be a solid basis for Maynard G. Krebs, his beatnik character on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and especially inspired his Gilligan’s Island role as Gilligan.
- In his early twenties, when Bob wasn’t acting or going to school, he had a stringer of odd jobs, that of which included being a cashier in a grocery store in Yellowstone Park across from Old Faithful. Tired of customers constantly asking when the geyser was going to spout, a frustrated Denver once replied, “I’ll go and ask the park ranger when he’s going to turn it on.”
- In April 2005, Bob underwent cancer surgery to remove his voice box, leaving him speechless. At the time, he also was diagnosed with artery blockage and underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in May. The heart condition did not contribute to his cancer-related death that same year.
- Bob and actor Dwayne Hickman shared a nodding acquaintance when they met on the set of the television comedy series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, during Denver’s audition for the role of Maynard G. Krebs. They had attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California at the same time.
- Bob was Woody Allen’s understudy in Allen’s renowned Broadway play, Play It Again, Sam. In 1970, Denver replaced Woody Allen on stage, later taking the show on the road to perform in a dinner theater capacity.
- While trying to break into professional acting in 1957, Bob worked for the U.S. Postal Service, and as a seventh and eighth grade coach and part-time teacher at Corpus Christi in Pacific Palisades, a parochial school in Los Angeles, California.
- Bob graduated with a political science degree in 1957 from Loyola Marymount University, a comprehensive co-educational private Roman Catholic Jesuit college in Los Angeles, California.
- Maynard G. Krebs (the G. stood for Walter) was the “beatnik” sidekick of the title character in the U.S. television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963). The Krebs character, portrayed by actor Bob Denver, began as a stereotypical beatnik, with a goatee, “hip” (slang) usage, and a generally unkempt, bohemian appearance, studiously avoiding anything resembling work, which he seemed to regard as the ultimate four-letter word. Whenever the word was mentioned, even in a line like “That would work,” he would jump with fear, yelping, “Work?!
- He served as a foil to the well-groomed, well-dressed, straitlaced Dobie, and the contrast between the two friends provided much of the humor of the series. Gradually, he became less of the stereotypical beatnik and more a free soul who did his own thing – including collecting tinfoil or petrified frogs. Maynard might be described as the prototype of the late-1960s hippie. Many of the later episodes centered around Maynard, with Dobie more of an observer, but always as narrator.
(regarding his role on ‘The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis’)Playing a character like Maynard was an actor’s dream come true. He was mine to create. Sounds a bit like Frankenstein, but it was true. There was no stereotype to base the character on, like the “boy next door” or “typical teenager.”
(regarding the sitcom ‘The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis’in which he was a cast member)I always thought that the series was a burlesque of American family: a son whose whole life was chasing girls, a father who was going to kill him one day, a mother who was too sweet and good to be true, and a best friend who was the only beatnik in a ten-state area.
(talking about the stereotypes of the characters he normally plays)No, no. They were leaning toward nebbish. They weren’t terribly dumb, but they weren’t terribly bright.
(when asked why such a big sitcom star like himself is living quietly in West Virginia)Well, my wife was from here. We came back out, I guess three or four years ago. I looked around and said it was really a gorgeous state and would you mind moving back home and she said, “No”. So you know, it was just…..our preference would be to live in Hawaii, but when we go there we don’t do anything. We just kind of quit. So I know I wanted to keep working and fooling around. And this is really easy for me to get in and out of….well sometimes it is.
I want to share a few thoughts about my dear friend, Bob Denver, who passed away on Friday, September 2, 2005. Bob and I have been friends for over fifty years. We both attended Loyola University in Los Angeles. I knew him briefly from his work with the Del Rey Players, the college theatre group. In 1958 he came in to audition for the role of Maynard G. Krebs opposite my character, Dobie Gillis. I had already been cast and the producers asked me to test on film with all the actors they were interested in for the role of Maynard.
I must have tested with twenty actors, some good, most not. It was the end of the day and as I was leaving the studio the producer called me back to test with one more actor. It was a favor to a secretary on the lot – it was her brother. When I returned to the set I was amazed to see that the secretary’s brother was Bob Denver. From the moment we began to read the lines all the other actors who had auditioned for the role just evaporated. Bob and I had a rhythm and timing that was instant and a new comedy duo was born.
For the next four seasons, I had the privilege to be Bob’s straight man. My favorite line? “Maynard, go home and feed your iguana.” Maynard’s reply? “He don’t need me, Dobe, he can open the refrigerator door himself.” After Dobie Gillis ended its run, the next season Bob landed the title role of “Gilligan” and for the rest of his life, he and that character would become one. Bob was a gentle comedian and wonderful with physical comedy. Everyone loved Maynard and Gilligan; they were both characters that you could identify with and root for.
We worked together on two Dobie Gillis reunion Movies of the Week in the 1970’s and 80’s and several years ago I joined him in the “Surviving Gilligan’s Island” movie. We had always hoped to work together again as Dobie and Maynard. In fifty years we never had a harsh word.
You did such a good job portraying this character Dobie Gillis, that I thought you were Dobie Gillis.
Well, a lot of people felt that. It was a great part; the teen from the teen’s point of view. I did my monologues and told all my problems. Really a good role. A role that a lot of young actors wanted. Michael Landon for example wanted the part. It was a good role and well written by Max Schulman who created Dobie Gillis. I did my best with it and tried to do it honestly. It worked out very well and became a big success.
How long did that show stay on the air?
It was on four years, from ’59 to ’63.
How long of a day did you have to put in to make that half hour show work?
Well, it was a 2-3 day show. You either rehearsed one day or two days I think, depending on how big the script was. I mean how much work. Then they’d shoot like all day Tuesday or Wednesday. In other words for a big script they’d rehearse Monday and Tuesday and shoot Wednesday, or rehearse Monday and shoot Tuesday. It was long hours, very long hours and of course I had a large part and I did a lot of work. It went on into the evenings. It was a hard job, but enjoyable.
When you’d leave the set and walk down the street, would people say, “Hi Dobie!”?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. They always did. They have for years. My whole life. Not so much anymore.
What did you think of that?
Well, it was kind of strange, but I understood why. You become identified with the character you play. The public begins to know you as that character.
I almost forgot to ask you about Bob Denver.
Bob was a good friend. We knew each other at Loyola University where we went to school. Then he came into test for the part of Maynard in Dobie Gillis. I was thrilled to see him. He was really good and got the part. Then we worked together for the 4 years of the show, and stayed in touch over the years. We were always friends. We never had any disagreements. We got along very well. I liked Bob. He was wonderfully talented. He was very funny. Very clever. I really enjoyed his comedy. I used to have all the straight lines and I used to kid about that. I really did. ‘What is that Maynard’? ‘Why would you say that Maynard’? I had all those kinds of lines. He had all the jokes. He was so funny. He used to crack me up. I felt very bad that he passed away.
Is Dobie Gillis in syndication these days?
No. It’s not being run. It’s owned by Fox and they haven’t sold it into syndication. It ran forever. It ran for years and years. Then lately, in the last few years, it hasn’t run. I don’t know why really because it seems to me it would play very well.
A park bench. A cute teenager in a check shirt emulating Rodin’s Thinker, pondering how to get a girl — just one beautiful, gorgeous, soft, round, creamy girl. Rapping with his good buddy Maynard G. Krebs. Chasing the unattainable Thalia. Dodging Zelda Gilroy.
Dobie … wants a gal who’s dreamy …
Dobie … wants a gal who’s creamy …
Dobie … wants a gal to call his own …
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, with Dwayne as its star, rose to cult status amongst teenagers during the early 1960s. But Dwayne says he had little clue he was making classic TV at the time. He even threw away his scripts, never dreaming they would become prized collector’s items. Now he sees Dobie as a trailblazer not only in terms of situation comedy, but in television generally. And he should know. For 10 years from 1980, during one of his various non-acting incarnations, Dwayne was executive-in-charge-of-comedy at CBS working on hits such as M*A*S*H and Designing Women. “Dobie was so well written and so ahead of its time,” he explains. “The spinning frames, the short clipped scenes, the rapid-fire delivery – it was the MTV of its time. Breaking the fourth wall and having Dobie talk to the audience was ground-breaking.”
And so too were the show’s innovative characters, especially Dobie’s best friend Maynard G. Krebs, the disheveled pre-hippie beatnik with an aversion to work (“WORK!?!!”) who challenged the status quo and prefaced most phrases with the word “like”, unconsciously previewing 1990s hip lingo. Maynard was even responsible for promoting the talents of the extraordinary but unfashionable Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk on ’60s television through frequent reverential mention of their names. A jazz fanatic who played bongos and sang scat and bebop, he was part inspiration for Dobie’s funky jazz score written by Lionel Newman.
The Krebs character developed such a strong cult following that, to this day, a legend persists that he recorded an album called Like What?, a mixture of scat, jazz and poetry now worth thousands of dollars on the collectors’ market. Comments by folk icon Bob Dylan about his own recording, If Dogs Run Free, only served to perpetuate the myth. “I wanted to get that Krebs sound,” he told Rolling Stone magazine some time back. “You know, with the girls in the back, like what?” …
Dwayne has fond memories of Tuesday Weld, who played Dobie’s gorgeous but money-grubbing love-interest, Thalia Menninger. “Tuesday was 15 going on 30 and she felt that I acted like an old man — or, as she used to say, ‘You’re such a farmer’,” he recalls affectionately of the co-star he first met when they teamed for Rally ‘Round the Flag Boys in 1958. “My background with Cummings was rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, but Tuesday liked to walk in and do the scene. I must say that she was really wonderful. Aggravating, but wonderful.” …
These days he still acts occasionally, but perhaps his unrequited childhood need for solitude fostered what Dwayne refers to as his “true love” — painting. A successful artist, whose works now hang in The Americana Gallery in Carmel and The Charles Hecht Gallery in La Jolla, he spends a considerable amount of time creating colorful artworks on canvas. And how does he market his art? http://www.dwaynehickman.com of course. The internet has revolutionized Dwayne’s business activities, enabling him to sell his paintings worldwide, along with memorabilia from his TV days and his autobiography Forever Dobie: The Many Lives of Dwayne Hickman.
The net also puts him in close contact with his fans — not only middle-aged Dobie devotees, but also an uncanny band of Generation Xers hooked on reruns. “You were the boy of my dreams,” writes one smitten 25-year-old in Dwayne’s cyber guestbook. “I still to this day do not remember ever seeing anyone as gorgeous as you.” And from another young convert who catches Dobie on cable: “I think your show was/is the greatest!”
The coolest cat in the history of primetime, Maynard G. Krebs was Bob’s first breakthrough TV role as the beatnik/best friend of Dobie Gillis on the TV series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”. Maynard still remains the most famous beatnik in history. Just ask TV Guide, who recently voted Maynard one of the 50 best TV characters ever! Bob was a school teacher and working part-time at the post office when he got to audition for the pilot for the series in 1958. After the pilot sold, the series started shooting in February 1959.
Max Shulman created Maynard’s character specifically for the TV show. When Bob Denver asked Max why Maynard wasn’t in either of the Dobie books, Shulman would only reply, “Because I wanted to sell a few copies!” But it was Bob himself who actually fleshed out the character, mainly because the writers had no idea what beatniks were really like. Bob researched Maynard by hanging out at college coffee houses, studying the beatniks there. He had also played a beatnik in a college production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. (You might wonder how beatniks got into Gilbert and Sullivan. They had changed the two opposing factions to advertising men in suits against the beatniks.) He has been accused many times of starting the whole hippy movement in the ’60′s.
Maynard lived in his own world with its own twisted logic. His name was also illogical, the “G” stood for Walter. According to the show’s creator, Maynard was named after his Aunt Walter who was married to his Uncle Edith. His speech was full of colorful phrases such as “You rang?” and “Like, I’m getting all misty”. But Maynard G. Krebs will always be best remembered for his response whenever anyone mentioned the subject of work. He would instantaneously shudder, and let out a plaintive cry of “WORK!?!?” Like Maynard, Bob Denver also loved jazz — he “dug” Thelonius Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. On the show, Maynard played bongos, ocarina and anything else he could find that made sounds. If there were no instruments available, he just sang scat.
Bob Denver played Maynard G. Krebs on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” starring Dwayne Hickman. Dobie was the quintessential cleancut all-American teenager of small town America, but always in some predicament or another with his two girlfriends, Zelda (Sheila James Kuehl) or Thalia (Tuesday Weld). Maynard was Dobie’s beatnik buddy.
The show aired from 1959 to 1963. At that time the Beatniks – or more properly, the Beat Generation – was one of the two youth counterculture movements in America. The other was the “Rebel Without a Cause” / “Wild One” hot-rod crowd of James Dean and Marlon Brando. Maynard’s character was crafted on beatnik stereotypes – goatee, sweatshirt, bongos – and avoided any hint of the drugs and cross-gender acceptance of the real Beats, topics that remained totally verboten as television comedy until the mid-1970′s rolled in.
With Maynard’s counterculture philosophy and lifestyle and the frequent clashes between Dobie and his dad, the show was oddly – and possibly profoundly – prescient given that in a few years the hippie movement would roll in and leave its effects (both good and bad things) that still shake people up today.
Episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
This is a list of episodes for the 1959-1963 CBS-TV series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis starring Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver. Because of preemptions and postponements, the episodes were not originally broadcast in the order in which they were filmed and episodes were sometimes filmed intentionally out of sequence. The following list follows the order of scripts as they were logged by the show’s producer, Rod Amateau, which most accurately chronicles the development of the characters and the comings and goings of cast members. (From Wikipedia)
First Season (1959 – 1960)
- 001 (1-1) Caper at The Bijou After meeting Thalia Menninger, Dobie schemes with Maynard to fix a jackpot drawing. Guests: Herbert Anderson, Stanley Adams, Jason Wingreen.
- 002 (1-2) It Takes Two Dobie’s new girl fears that his father’s personality traits will be passed on to their children.
- 003 (1-3) The Best Dressed Man Dobie’s arrangement with a clothing store allows him to compete with rich Milton Armitage for Thalia’s attention. Guest: Mel Blanc.
- 004 (1-4) The Big Sandwich Dobie and Thalia prepare 400 sandwiches for a school picnic that is rained out. Guest: Gordon Jones.
- 005 (1-5) Maynard’s Farewell to the Troops Maynard enlists in the army. Michael J. Pollard’s first appearance.
- 006 (1-6) Love Is a Science Dobie meets Zelda Gilroy in Biology. Guest: Charles Lane. Sheila James’ first appearance as Zelda.
- 007 (1-7) Couchville, U.S.A. Herbert thinks that Dobie harbors a deep-seated hostility toward him. Maynard does not appear in this episode.
- 008 (1-8) The Sweet Singer of Central High A tonsillectomy leaves Dobie with a beautiful new singing voice. Michael J. Pollard’s last appearance.
- 009 (1-9) Dobie Gillis – Boy Actor Dobie vies with Milton for the lead in the Civil War drama, Magnolias at Manassas.
- 010 (1-10) Dobie’s Birthday Party Dobie tells his parents not to make a fuss about his birthday and resents it when they seem to take him seriously.
- 011 (1-11) Greater Love Hath No Man Maynard returns and falls for pretty Pearl Arnold, not realizing that Dobie is already in love with her.
- 012 (1-12) The Unregistered Nurse To win the sympathy of a pretty nurse, Dobie pretends to be deathly ill. Guest: Herb Vigran.
- 013 (1-13) The Gaucho The Gillises’ new boarder is an Argentine charmer named Carlos.
- 014 (1-14) The Old Goat Dobie and Maynard steal the mascot of a rival school’s football team.
- 015 (1-15) The Right Triangle Dobie tells a girl that he is involved with an older woman. Darryl Hickman appears as Dobie’s older brother, Davey.
- 016 (1-16) Deck The Halls Herbert seems content to spend Christmas in jail. Guests: Jack Albertson, Darryl Hickman.
- 017 (1-17) The Flying Millicans Dobie’s newest love is Aphrodite Millican, a health fanatic whose father eagerly welcomes Dobie into his family of acrobats. Guests: Francis X. Bushman, Yvonne Craig.
- 018 (1-18) A Taste for Lobster Dobie finally finds a girl who likes him and hates money.
- 019 (1-19) The Fist Fighter Dobie enlists the help of a former athletic legend and develops a reputation as “Top Fist.”
- 020 (1-20) The Smoke-Filled Room Thalia campaigns for Dobie when he runs against Milton for Junior Class President. Guest: John Rockwell.
- 021 (1-21) The Power of Positive Thinking Dobie utilizes “magnetic power” to win Thalia away from the more dominant Chatsworth. Guest: John Abbott.
- 022 (1-22) Room at the Bottom Dobie must earn 100 on the next math test or be shipped off to an exclusive prep school. Guest: Ronny Howard.
- 023 (1-23) Hunger Strike To woo Thalia away from Chatsworth Osborne, Jr., Dobie goes on a hunger strike. Guests: Ryan O’Neal and Margaret (Marlo) Thomas.
- 024 (1-24) Taken to the Cleaners Dobie and Thalia become involved with a pair of crooked dry cleaners.
- 025 (1-25) Love Is a Fallacy While Thalia attempts to teach Dobie logic, a wealthy, but insecure, newcomer named Whitney offers to take Dobie as he is. Guest (uncredited): Ronnie Haran.
- 026 (1-26) Dobie Spreads a Rumor Dobie invents a story about a rich Uncle Max who leaves Zelda’s family a fortune.
- 027 (1-27) Rock-A-Bye Dobie When Dobie starts a baby-sitting business, Herbert concludes that Dobie is married – and a father. Originally filmed as Almost A Father, this episode was pulled from the schedule because of affiliate complaints. This revised version was shown later in the season. Guests: Denise Alexander, Don Knotts, Kathleen Freeman.
- 028 (1-28) The Chicken From Outer Space Dobie, Zelda and Maynard are lab partners in an experiment involving a chicken and an extra large dose of male hormones.
- 029 (1-29) Dobie’s Navy Blues Myrna Lomax’s father is an ex-chief petty officer who thinks Dobie is planning to enlist in the Navy. Guests: Yvonne Craig, Harry Von Zell.
- 030 (1-30) That’s Show Biz Dobie’s parents participate in the school talent show, the CHSSPBL Capers. Guests: Reta Shaw, Richard Deacon, Roberta Shore.
- 031 (1-31) Live Alone and Like It Dobie and Maynard move into their own apartment – briefly.
- 032 (1-32) The Prettiest Collateral in Town (Working title: “He Who Gets Slapped”) To secure a bank loan for his father, Dobie agrees to date the banker’s self-possessed daughter, even if it means losing adorable Melissa Frome. Guests: Sherry Jackson, Rose Marie.
- 033 (1-33) Soup and Fish Invited to a formal party by wealthy Sabrina Armitage, Dobie and Maynard talk her cousin Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. into sharing his tuxedo with them.
- 034 (1-34) Where There’s a Will Herbert is superstitious about signing his newly created will. Guests: Darryl Hickman, Robert Nichols, Ronny Howard.
- 035 (1-35) Put Your Feet In Our Hands To impress ambitious Daphne Root, Dobie and Chatsworth go to work in her father’s shoe store.
- 036 (1-36) Competition Is the Life of Trade Dobie and Chatsworth compete for the daughter of a rival grocer. Guest: Jack Albertson.
- 037 (1-37) The French They Are a Funny Race A lovely French girl latches on to Maynard as her protector.
- 038 (1-38) The Long Arm of the Law After making a bad impression on a new policeman, Dobie learns that the officer is the father of pretty Arabella Parmalee.
- 039 (1-39) Here Comes the Groom Dobie proposes to Zelda. Guests: Dabs Greer, Burt Mustin
Second Season (1960- 1961)
- 040 (2-1) Who Needs Elvis? Zelda helps Dobie win a jazz competition, even though it may mean losing him to six-foot Esme Lauterback.
- 041 (2-2) You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Houn’ Dog Maynard alters Dobie’s essay about his dog and enters it in a “Why My Dad is My Pal” contest. Guest: Jack Albertson.
- 042 (2-3) Take Me to Your Leader Dobie and Maynard tell their sergeant about the dark and stormy night the Martians invaded Central City. This episode, which takes place during the time Dobie and Maynard are in the army, would be broadcast later in the season.
- 043 (2-4) Dobie Goes Beatnik Dobie makes a bad first impression on a visiting bigwig from Herbert’s lodge, so Maynard shaves his beard and pretends to be Dobie and vice versa.
- 044 (2-5) Baby Talk Maynard discovers an abandoned baby in the park. Guest: Jo Anne Worley.
- 045 (2-6) The Mystic Powers of Maynard G. Krebs Maynard’s newly discovered powers of ESP catapult him to instant fame. This rarely seen episode was taken out of syndication after John F. Kennedy’s assassination because it concerned the Kennedy-Nixon election of 1960.
- 046 (2-7) Around My Room in 80 Days Dobie and Maynard try to convince a brilliant, but bitter friend not to drop out of school.
- 047 (2-8) Maynard G. Krebs – Boy Millionaire The money Maynard found in the park is all his – if no one claims it.
- 048 (2-9) Drag Strip Dobie In order to compete with Chatsworth for the attention of speed-lover, Charlotte Lamarr, Dobie dupes Zelda into helping him build a sporty hot-rod.
- 049 (2-10) What’s My Lion? Maynard captures a runaway lion, the gift of an oil-rich Eastern potentate.
- 050 (2-11) The Day the Teachers Disappeared A flu epidemic among the teachers forces Mr. Pomfritt to recruit parents as substitute teachers.
- 051 (2-12) The Face That Stopped the Clock Encouraged by Dobie to go to work, Maynard takes a job selling job-lot clocks in a surplus store.
- 052 (2-13) Jangle Bells Dobie passes up an invitation to Maynard’s Christmas party in favor of a ritzy affair at Osborne Manor.
- 053 (2-14) Parlez-Vous English? Winifred’s plan to introduce Dobie to culture falters when the bohemian daughter of a visiting French artist makes a play for Herbert.
- 054 (2-15) Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife? Dobie talks Herbert into renewing his courtship of Winnie.
- 055 (2-16) Zelda, Get off My Back To improve his grades, Chatsworth woos the brainy Zelda Gilroy.
- 056 (2-17) The Big Question About to graduate from high school, Dobie and Maynard must consider the question, “Whither are we drifting?”
- 057 (2-18) The Bitter Feud of Dobie and Maynard Maynard fears that he is holding his good buddy back, so he masterminds a feud to break up their friendship.
- 058 (2-19) Will Success Spoil Dobie’s Mother? Winifred enters a contest using Dobie’s name and wins him a much-publicized date with a blonde starlet.
- 059 (2-20) I Was a High School Scrooge Dobie campaigns to raise money to help an ex-football hero, unaware that the old grad is a rich industrialist who plans to sue for defamation of character. Guest: Douglas Dumbrille.
- 060 (2-21) The Second Childhood of Herbert T. Gillis Ashamed because he never graduated from high school, Herbert takes a night class from the same professor who teaches Dobie during the day.
- 061 (2-22) Baby Shoes Dobie is about to leave for the Army.
- 062 (2-23) Dobie Vs. the Machine Dobie and Maynard seek advice about their future from a variety of sources, including a computer.
- 063 (2-24) I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier, Sailor or Marine When Maynard misses the bus to boot camp, Dobie convinces Chatsworth to stand-in for his missing buddy. Guest: John Fiedler.
- 064 (2-25) The Chicken Corporal To keep a double-date, Dobie must help Maynard pass an Army fitness test.
- 065 (2-26) This Ain’t the Way We Used To Do It Herbert shows Dobie’s platoon what a real soldier should be.
- 066 (2-27) The Solid Gold Dog-Tag Chatsworth enlists.
- 067 (2-28) Spaceville Dobie, Maynard, and a chimpanzee participate in the ground testing of a space capsule.
- 068 (2-29) The Battle of Maynard’s Beard Dobie defends Maynard’s right to keep his beard while in the Army.
- 069 (2-30) Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Wow Winnie learns that the mother of Dobie’s latest girl is one of Herbert’s old flames. Guest: Yvonne Craig.
- 070 (2-31) Dobie Plays Cupid Dobie tries to bolster Maynard’s confidence with women, but his timid buddy becomes an eyebrow-twitching Casanova.
- 071 (2-32) Like Father, Like Son, Like Trouble Starring in a play about a gallant war hero, Dobie continues his role offstage in order to impress the pretty daughter of an Army Colonel.
- 072 (2-33) Be It Ever So Humble When Dobie thinks Maynard is AWOL, he secures a pass by claiming his father is deathly ill – just as Herbert is facing an insurance physical.
- 073 (2-34) Everything But the Truth Zelda brags that she and Dobie are having a wild affair.
- 074 (2-35) Ah! Yer Fadder Wears Army Shoes Dobie tells a pretty WAC that his war-hero father was “missing in action.”
- 075 (2-36) Goodbye, Mr. Pomfritt – Hello, Mr. Chips Hoping to prevent Mr. Pomfritt from quitting teaching, Dobie and Maynard plan a reunion of his former students.
Third Season (1961- 1962)
- 076 (3-1) The Ruptured Duck Dobie and Maynard receive their discharges and enroll in S. Peter Pryor Junior College.
- 077 (3-2) Move Over, Perry Mason After getting his hand caught in a gum machine, Maynard sues Herbert’s insurance company. Guest: Douglas Dumbrille.
- 078 (3-3) The Frat’s in the Fire Herbert bribes the snobbish Silver Spoons Club into inviting Dobie to join their group.
- 079 (3-4) Dobie, Dobie, Who’s Got the Dobie? A beautiful girl decides that if Zelda wants Dobie, there must be more to him than meets the eye.
- 080 (3-5) The Fast, White Mouse An experiment in heredity convinces Zelda that Chatsworth is a more suitable mate.
- 081 (3-6) The Gigolo To remain true to her absent fiancee, a pretty co-ed bribes Maynard into being her regular escort. Guest: Bill Bixby.
- 082 (3-7) Dig, Dig, Dig Herbert suspects that Dobie’s real interest in Egyptology is his attractive professor.
- 083 (3-8) Eat, Drink and Be Merry – For Tomorrow Ker-Boom Maynard is convinced that there is no hope for the future.
- 084 (3-9) The Richest Squirrel in Town Mr. Pomfritt has $41.37 stolen from his desk.
- 085 (3-10) The Second Most Beautiful Girl in The World Dobie competes with Chatsworth for the sympathy of a tender-hearted beauty.
- 086 (3-11) This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Me and Robert Browning Inspired by a poem, Dobie goes after an unattainable girl.
- 087 (3-12) The Blue-Tail Fly Dobie’s issue-oriented campaign for Student Council can’t compete against Chatsworth’s show biz glitter.
- 088 (3-13) Have Reindeer, Will Travel Soft-hearted Maynard gives the Christmas Party Fund to a poor Mexican boy.
- 089 (3-14) Crazylegs Gillis Dobie helps out a campus football star who has a wife and five sons.
- 090 (3-15) The Magnificent Failure When Herbert decides to sell his grocery store, he discovers that it isn’t worth a fraction of what he had expected.
- 091 (3-16) Happiness Can’t Buy Money Chatsworth hopes that Herbert T. Gillis can make a man out of him.
- 092 (3-17) I Do Not Choose To Run Herbert runs for City Planning Commissioner.
- 093 (3-18) For Whom The Wedding Bell Tolls Dobie and Maynard stow away on a cargo ship, unaware that Zelda is a passenger. Guest: Betty Rollin.
- 094 (3-19) Girls Will Be Boys Maynard meets a kooky tomboy named Eddie. Guest: Lynn Loring.
- 095 (3-20) Like Low Noon Butch Baumgartner, a former rival, is returning to town to get even with Dobie.
- 096 (3-21) The Marriage Counselor After Dobie agrees to marry Zelda, Maynard convinces them to postpone the nuptials indefinitely.
- 097 (3-22) Like, Oh, Brother! Dobie and Maynard volunteer at a neighborhood settlement house.
- 098 (3-23) Names My Mother Called Me Dobie is invited to meet the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who inspired his unusual first name.
- 099 (3-24) Dobie Gillis: Wanted Dead or Alive While babysitting for Professor Pomfritt, Dobie and Maynard find a copy of their final exam in Poetry.
- 100 (3-25) How To Cheat an Honest Man Dobie falls for a girl who is a stickler for honesty.
- 101 (3-26) Birth of a Salesman Traveling saleswoman Thalia Menninger tries to recruit Dobie and Professor Pomfritt for her company. Guest: Tuesday Weld.
- 102 (3-27) I Was a Boy Sorority Girl Working as waiters at a Sorority Open House, the boys must don dresses to avoid being recognized by Dobie’s ultra-snobbish new girlfriend.
- 103 (3-28) An American Strategy Dobie must choose between a poor but loving girl and the daughter of his new employer.
- 104 (3-29) Sweet Success of Smell To take advantage of Maynard’s uncanny sense of smell, Dobie and Maynard become private eyes. Guest: Yvonne Craig.
- 105 (3-30) The Big Blunder and Egg Man When Dobie invests in the commodities market, he inadvertently ends up owning fifteen thousand dozen eggs.
- 106 (3-31) The Truth Session Maynard’s excessive honesty antagonizes everyone he knows.
- 107 (3-32) I Remember Muu Muu Maynard writes a provocative newspaper article about anthropology professor, Dr. Burkhardt.
- 108 (3-33) When Other Friendships Have Been Forgot Maynard comes to live with the Gillises.
- 109 (3-34) It Takes a Heap o’ Livin’ To Make a Cave a Home Maynard discovers a Stone Age Indian living in a local cave. Guest: Mike Mazurki.
- 110 (3-35) Back-To-Nature Boy Maynard runs into an old tomboy friend, Eddie, who has grown into a wealthy society debutante. Guest: Lynn Loring.
- 111 (3-36) Bachelor Father…and Son Winifred visits her sister, leaving Dobie and Herbert to fend for themselves.
Fourth Season (1962 - 1963)
- 112 (4-1) What’s a Little Murder Between Friends Dobie thinks Thalia and Maynard are planning to kill him.
- 113 (4-2) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Funny Thing Maynard prevents a man from jumping off a window ledge.
- 114 (4-3) Northern Comfort Dobie’s conniving cousin Virgil manipulates the Gillises into promoting his singing career.
- 115 (4-4) The Ugliest American Dobie finds himself on an expedition in the Amazon jungle.
- 116 (4-5) What Makes the Varsity Drag? Dobie joins the football team, but runs up against a jealous rival.
- 117 (4-6) Where is Thy Sting? Dobie pretends to be suffering from a fatal illness.
- 118 (4-7) A Splinter Off the Old Block Herbert’s 16-year-old nephew, Duncan, comes to live with the family. Guest: Ellen Burstyn.
- 119 (4-8) Like Hi, Explosives The weed killer Maynard and Duncan think they are delivering is actually a can of nitroglycerin.
- 120 (4-9) Flow Gently, Sweet Money Duncan becomes a ruthless businessman. Guest: Yvonne Craig.
- 121 (4-10) Will the Real Santa Claus Please Come Down the Chimney The Gillises try to shock Maynard out of his belief in Santa.
- 122 (4-11) The Iceman Goeth Duncan and Maynard think they have killed Herbert.
- 123 (4-12) Strictly for the Birds Dobie and Maynard train a mynah bird to help them pass a test. Mel Blanc provides the bird’s voice. Guest: Julie Parrish.
- 124 (4-13) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Gillis Maynard drinks a chemistry mixture which turns him into a genius.
- 125 (4-14) The Beast With Twenty Fingers Maynard and Herbert lock their fingers together in a Gypsy “love-link” just as Herbert is leaving for a Grocer’s Convention.
- 126 (4-15) Too Many Kooks Spoil The Broth Cousin Virgil schemes to steal Dobie’s girl, an heiress to a kitchenware fortune.
- 127 (4-16) Vocal Boy Makes Good Dobie is asked to fill in for one of the Lettermen.
- 128 (4-17) Who Did William Tell? Duncan becomes infatuated with the star of a visiting opera company.
- 129 (4-18) And Now a Word from Our Sponsor As a campus disc jockey, Dobie innocently accepts payola from ex-con Eddie Baker. Guests: Alice Pearce, Carole Cook.
- 130 (4-19) Three Million Coins in the Fountain Finding his family fortune gone, Chatsworth tricks Maynard into helping him raise funds.
- 131 (4-20) Two for the Whipsaw Mistakenly thinking that Dobie is Chatsworth, a gold-digger tries to trick him into marriage.
- 132 (4-21) Thanks for the Memory While Zelda tries to improve Dobie’s memory, a rich kook named Claypool prefers Dobie as he is.
- 133 (4-22) All Right, Dobie, Drop The Gun An escaped convict holds the Gillises captive.
- 134 (4-23) The Moon and No Pence Dobie falls for a ballerina who loves to dance, Isadora-like, in open moonlit fields.
- 135 (4-24) Beethoven, Presley and Me An electrical shock provides Maynard with the ability to predict hit songs. Guest: Charles Lane.
- 136 (4-25) The Little Chimp That Couldn’t Maynard befriends a dumb, but loveable chimp, who may be sacrificed to medical science.
- 137 (4-26) There’s Always Room for One Less Chatsworth comes to live with the Gillises.
- 138 (4-27) The General Cried at Dawn On vacation in Latin America, Maynard substitutes for his look-alike, General Ramon Rubero.
- 139 (4-28) Now I Lay Me Down To Steal While staying at Osborne Manor, sleepwalker Maynard becomes a suspected jewel thief.
- 140 (4-29) Lassie, Get Lost Starlet Valentine Van Loon offers a $500 reward for the return of her dog, Boo-Boo. Guest: Joyce Van Patten.
- 141 (4-30) The Rice-and-Old-Shoes Caper Zelda convinces Maynard to marry her.
- 142 (4-31) Requiem for an Underweight Heavyweight After swallowing an experimental drug, Maynard becomes a champion boxer.
- 143 (4-32) I Was a Spy for the F.O.B. Two spies mistake Maynard for a rocket fuel scientist. Guest: Barbara Bain.
- 144 (4-33) There’s a Broken Light for Every Heart on Broadway Maynard becomes the manager of a beautiful pop singer.
- 145 (4-34) Beauty is Only Kin Deep Dobie must find a mate for his girlfriend’s spinster sister, Dr. Imogene Burkhardt. Guests: Susan Watson, Peter Lupus.
- 146 (4-35) The Call of the Like Wild Maynard becomes irresistible to women when he accidentally switches his hair tonic with an experimental bottle of simulated fragrance of musk. Guest: Sally Kellerman.
- 147 (4-36) The Devil and Dobie Gillis Chatsworth convinces Dobie to help him rig the Charity Bazaar raffle. This is actually a rewrite of the first episode, Caper at The Bijou. Guest: Barbara Babcock.
Dobie Gillis holds the distinction of being the first television show to treat teens as anything other than complete dolts, and probably the last to do so until ‘Square Pegs’ in 1982. Dwayne Hickman starred as the title character – Dobie Gillis (“That’s Dobie with a ‘b’”), perpetual daydreamer with a lust for life and the beautiful girls who ignored him.
Bob Denver, played his best friend, beatnick Maynard G. Krebs (“Work?!?”), an abvious prototype of today’s teenage slacker. (Which would make sense, since ‘Dobie Gillis’ was running on Nick at Nite ten years ago!) Maynard G. Krebs looks like he stepped right out of a modern Abecrombie and Fitch ad! …
Warren Beatty (‘Bugsy’, ‘Ishtar’) was a regular on the first few episodes, playing rich kid Milton Armitage. Today, Beatty denies ever being on a television series – maybe it’s because he wasn’t nearly as good at playing a spoiled preppy as the actor who replaced him, Steve Franken. Ironically, today Beatty plays the role in real life.
Franken slipped into the role of spoiled schoolboy Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. from 1960-63, bringing to life one of the most memorable TV characters of all time. Doris Packer (another wonderful character actor) played his socially obsessed mother. Dobie’s parents Herbert and Winnie Gillis were played by Frank Faylen (‘It’s A Wonderful Life’) and Florida Friebus. Friebus went on to play Mrs. Bakerman, one of the patients on ‘The Bob Newhart Show’.
Tuesday Weld played Thalia Menninger, the golddigging girl that Dobie couldn’t get. But the producers couldn’t keep her either, Weld quit after the first season to do movies, returning occasionally in later seasons to boost Dobie’s libido (and ratings). It was not an amicable split. “She just wasn’t a pro” Dwayne Hickman told the press after Weld left the show, “Late to work, late getting back from lunch, no sense of responsibility to the show.”
Sheila James (previously seen on ‘Broadside’), played Zelda Gilroy, the girl who could only get Dobie’s attention by wrinkling her nose at him. James was more serious about her education than she was about persuing an acting career, Dobie Gillis studying law (graduating first in her class at Harvard Law School) and now running for the California State Senate. She was the first TV star that I know of to admit being gay, and that was in the early Eighties.
The series revolved around teenager Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), who aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls. He didn’t have any of these qualities in abundance, and the tiny crises surrounding Dobie’s lack of success made the story in each weekly episode. His partner-in-crime was American television’s first beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver).
Krebs had a deep aversion to work; Maynard was convinced life is for enjoying. Dobie’s father, Herbert T. Gillis (Frank Faylen), who owned a grocery store, was only happy when Dobie was behind a broom. Dobie’s father was often caught up in various elaborate get-rich-quick schemes, or situational bail-outs à la Ralph Kramden, with Dobie getting ensnared along with him; by the end both came around grudgingly to Maynard’s point of view.
As a high school student, Dobie lived at home with his parents in the show’s early years, and his interaction with his parents was a source of much of the humor. His mother Winnie (Florida Friebus) was very caring and perhaps tended to baby her son. His father Herbert was a very proud, hard-working child of the Great Depression and veteran of World War II. He was often heard to declare “I’ve gotta kill that boy; I’ve just gotta!” but deep down a good and decent man.
Dobie’s two main antagonists were rich kids, Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty) and, after his departure, Milton’s cousin, Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. (Steven Franken), both representing the wealth and popularity to which Dobie aspired. They both shared the same actress, Doris Packer, as their mother.
Dobie was hopelessly attracted to the money-hungry blonde Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld), who frequently entangled Dobie in her money-making schemes. However Weld soon left the series but was replaced by a seemingly endless stream of young women equally hard for Dobie to obtain. Most, however, were not as money-obsessed as Thailia. Thalia’s catchphrase was that the money was not for her but for her family; she would talk about ailments her family had that only money could cure. Thalia claimed her looks were all her family had to lift them out of their bad situation in life.
Zelda Gilroy (Sheila James Kuehl) was a brilliant and eager young girl who was hopelessly in love with Dobie, much to his annoyance. Despite his protests, Dobie was clearly fond of Zelda and would be married to her in the proposed 1977 series pilot, Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis? Zelda claimed Dobie loved her too but just hadn’t realized it yet. To prove this she’d wiggle her nose (like a rabbit) at Dobie who would do the same back to Zelda, though Dobie said it was only a reflex and not love that made him do that.
During the second season, Dobie and Maynard (along with Chatsworth) did a brief stint in the peacetime U.S. Army. Conscription in the United States was in effect at the time, and the Vietnam War was not yet a concern to most Americans when the series ended.
Beginning with the third season, Dobie moved from high school to S. Peter Pryor Junior College, surrounded by many of the same people. William Schallert played Leander Pomfritt, the English teacher at both the high school and the junior college; and the late Jean Byron (with whom Schallert would later co-star on The Patty Duke Show) played mathematics teachers Ruth Adams and Professor Imogene Burkhart (which was actually Jean Byron’s real name).
The actresses that played Dobie’s love interests include Cheryl Holdridge, Michele Lee, Susan Watson, Marlo Thomas, Sally Kellerman, Ellen Burstyn (billed as Ellen McRae), Barbara Babcock, Sherry Jackson, Diana Millay and Barbara Bain. Yvonne Craig appeared in the opening credits and the closing sequence of the pilot film used to sell the series to CBS. She would eventually play five different girl friends on the show, more than any other actress.
DC Comics published a Many Loves of Dobie Gillis comic that ran for twenty-six issues in the early 1960s, featuring work by Bob Oksner. Stories from this comic would later be revamped as Windy and Willy.
AMAZON REVIEWER COMMENTS
“The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” was a ground breaking satire on teenage life in the late 50s. Like many TV situation comedies of the period, it benefited from a superb ensemble cast including experienced actors like Frank Faylen who had a long and prolific career in supporting parts in films for years before hitting the big time here.
For writing that is fifty years old, they seem as if they were produced yesterday. Tuesday Weld is remarkable – funny, nuanced, peppery, intelligent and stunning. The entire cast is perfection. To my knowledge, this is one of the first TV shows where characters addressed the camera in Shakespearean asides or soliloquies. Very effective and very fresh. The pacing is fast, the jokes dead on and droll and of course Bob Denver, as the beatnick Maynard, is the looney but eerily, culturally presaging Maynard. The prints are not restored, but they are completely watchable and look exactly like I recall them on our black and white TV.
HE STILL WANTS A GAL WHO’S DREAMY – October 8, 2005
It’s no exaggeration to say that Schulman’s brainchild, through Dobie, brought campus humor into the forefront of postwar American life and humor. Two years later the book came out again, just in time for a lackluster MGM musical, THE AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS, with Bobby Van playing the eternal teen and Debbie Reynolds as one of his many dreamboats (Bob Fosse, who also had a role in the 1953 movie, joked that it was the only black-and-white musical out of Metro since 1938, and he wasn’t far from the truth.) Order the VHS if you want, but don’t say I told you.
In 1959, CBS-TV turned THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS into a situation comedy starring Dwayne Hickman as Dobie, Frank Faylen as his irascible father and introduced Bob Denver to the world as beatnik “Maynard G. Krebs.” The show’s four-year run attests to its popularity and excellence, but please don’t confuse it with the book, which, once again, seized on a marketing hook and was reissued in this format in 1960. On TV, most of Dobie’s foils are adult or male, while in the book–again fortuitously released in this version during 1960–a glamorous if highly idiosyncratic parade of “dreamboats” populates Dobie’s social and fantasy life. (Thalia Menninger, played by Tuesday Weld, was the main holdover.)
But the book, which is not a novel but a set of witty narratives, casts Dobie in any number of lights. He is by turns a high-school senior, college freshman, sophomore, senior and law school student with majors in English, Journalism, Engineering, and more, with a father who is by turns an irascible grocery-store owner (which survived into Frank Faylen’s role on TV), but also a teacher, small-town Minnesota newspaper editor, and more. Dobie’s encounters (or perhaps better-said, clashes with) the opposite sex extend beyond the high-maintenance Thalia Menninger to even less euphonious belles.
In fact, the almost Dickensian relish with names that Shulman bestows on Dobie’s belles is part and parcel of this book’s fun, including Pansy Hammer, Poppy Herring, Chlotilde Ellingboe, and Lola Pfefferkorn. Situations include such horrors as an impossible-to-complete chemistry assignment, an attempt to secure a thousand-dollar dance band with $[...], a round of innocent plagiarism that threatens to turn deadly, and (shades of Seinfeld) – Dobie meets yet another wonderful girl but doesn’t know her name!
BACK WHEN COLLEGE WAS AN ADVENTURE – March 6, 2006
Dobie Gillis would NEVER fit into the modern university. Today’s college kids are highly-disciplined, rigorously prepared, wildly ambitious. They pursue their training in highly-remunerative professions with single-minded dedication, and if they fall short of the grade needed to guarantee a Fortune 500 placement interview, their equally-determined parents raise Holy Hell until the poor professors (those who don’t just pass everyone with an “A” so they can get on with writing books and articles while their TA’s actually teach the class) cry uncle. Mind you, such students’ idea of blowing off steam seems to consist of becoming poisonously drunk and either wrapping their vehicles around trees or becoming the perpetrator or victim of a date rape . . . Ah, Golden College Days.
Poor Dobie Gillis would just like to figure out what he’s going to do when he grows up. At various times, he’s studying literature, law, even Egyptology. His real major, of course, is girls. And like him, they’re not quite sure what the future holds, but they’re going to have fun getting there.
Beneath the surface silliness of these stories, which is often quite charming, lies a gentle portrait of kids becoming adults, and the many possibilities of making a complete idiot of yourself along the path. And a reminder that at one time colleges were not just expensive technical schools, but places where students went to learn about life and the wider world, and, of course, each other. The junior Mr. Gillis may wind up a grocer (or a newpaper editor, or a banker) like his dad, but he’ll be a really lively one for his college experiences.
This article suggests some ways in which we may look at the “hip outsider” as a continuing character in post World War Two youth culture. It describes in what ways The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was a program that aimed directly at the new “teenage” generation of the late 1950s. It draws some parallels between the costarring character of Maynard G. Krebs (played by Bob Denver) and the character of the hip outsider that appeared in several other television series of the time, especially Edward Kookie Burns on 77 Sunset Strip. The importance of this lies in the fact that if we can expose the structural strategy of juxtaposing the hip outsider and the mainstream family we may begin to notice some of the ways in which the 1950s sitcom succeeds or fails in deflecting challenges to the family ideal that were brought forth by the cohort born shortly after World War Two. …
The episodes were often little morality tales, (situations) in which Dobie and his friends would solve a problem in a “typical” All-American fashion. The programs were not political, or even socially conscious, they did seem to hue to the straight and narrow of mid-1950s, middle class, middle of the road social codes. Not with any sense of a crusade, but simply because that is the way things were done. There was something different about the show, not unique, but different from most shows of the time. It was aimed at the young audience, it had consciously taken the step toward “youth appeal.”
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was both aimed at the teen audience and had an oddball, bohemian, character who was totally out of step with the parental generation. Although most of the programs in the series strongly reinforced the status quo, and preached a typical fifties morality, Maynard G. Krebs was not included in the typical morality of the “straight” world that Dobie and his friends inhabited. For those interested in the Dobie Gillis phenomenon, both Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver have written popular accounts of their lives in television, and Barry Putterman has taken a more scholarly approach to the way Dobie Gillis synthesized the disparate styles of Jack Benny and George Burns.
Maynard is Dobie’s “carefree beatnik friend, television’s primordial hippie” (McNeil 202). But Maynard G. Krebs was not a hippie, there were no hippies in 1959, we would have to wait until the Spring of 1967 for Time magazine to do a cover story on “Hippies” thereby naming and identifying the group and legitimizing it as a fit subject for television representation; and cooption. Maynard was a beatnik. He wore a goatee, a loose fitting sweat shirt and said things like “like” to introduce a phrase; “Like your Dad’s a grouch, Dobie.” …
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is an early example of the baby boom oriented shows that were presented on television in the late fifties and sixties. And Maynard G. Krebs is an example of the out-of-sync bohemian, speaking the language of youth and eschewing the values of the parental generation in favor of a teenage subculture which seemed to spring up by itself, and to be understood without explanation by a certain segment of the population. That youth segment of the population seemed to have a huge supply of discretionary funds, and it became more and more important that advertisers be able to reach that market. …
By 1959 the baby boomers were moving through the population and were beginning to develop a taste and style of their own, a style or culture that was not merely a children’s version of their parent generation’s culture. Disneyland on ABC in 1954 and The Mickey Mouse Club in 1955, were both aimed squarely at the, as yet, pre teen baby boomers. But I don’t think we can say that they were old enough to have developed a world view that would stand out as distinct from their parents’. But by 1959 the hormones were kicking in and teenagers had begun to realize that they had a culture of their own. They could look back to the recent past at Marlon Brando in the Wild One, 1953, and James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause in 1955. These actors had set the examples of young people estranged from their society and facing the angst of a world that for them was no longer post-war, but had yet to become psychedelicized. …
Maynard has both the outward accouterments of a beatnik, goatee, baggy sweat shirt, bop lingo, and slouching walk; and the inner qualities of a gone cat, he is out of step, questions the work ethic of Dobie’s parents (an ethic shared by the parents of most of the audience members); and is attached to his friend Dobie, with much the same dedication that Allen Ginsberg is dedicated to Jack Kerouac, the author of On The Road, or Peter Orlowsky is dedicated to his friend Allen Gingberg. In a popular book about his acting career Bob Denver tells us about the character Maynard:
He was also a bona fide beatnik and jazz fanatic. This was the late fifties and beatniks were the funkiest things around. I had been to coffeehouses in L.A. where beatniks hung out, and they fascinated me. I listened to their best poetry and jargon. I even tried to wade my way through the beats’ bible, On the Road by Jack Kerouac. During the first year of playing Maynard, I was allowed to make up my character. Not too many of the writers knew what a beatnik was like (Denver 15). …
Author Max Shulman did not see a political side to his characters. He tells us that, “As for the differences between rich and poor, that’s always existed. I don’t think you’re going to find much sociological content in Dobie Gillis.” (Shulman 158) The French Situationalist Guy Deboard offers an insight into why the sociological, one might even say ideological, content of Dobie Gillis remained transparent to its creator: “Even the role of specifically ideological labor in the service of the system comes to be considered nothing more than the recognition of an ‘epistemological base’ that pretends to be beyond all ideological phenomena.” (Debord 213)
Those responsible for the show may not have intended the character of Maynard to become a locus for resistant readings of the sweet love stories of Max Shulman’s domestic comedy, but indeed he did. The character somehow found a resonance with the teenage viewers that far exceeded the expectations of the author. “I shudder to think of it-Maynard wasn’t even in the original pilot script. But then I saw that I had to have someone for Dobie to talk to. Of course, the beats were very much in the news and in the forefront of things. So I wrote Maynard in very late…When the mail started coming in, it was so heavy for Maynard that we kept building the part. And by the time the series was in its second, third, fourth years, of course, he was a co-star, really. Although he didn’t get the billing or the money.” (Shulman in Hamamoto 159)
Corporate economies and the sociology of the generation gap conspired to keep Bob Denver’s part a minor one, but as authors have discovered since Shakespeare’s Falstaff, characters’ resonance with the audience sometimes causes them to take on a life of their own. While the author saw Maynard as a narratological device, viewers saw him as an example of the transgressive alienated drop out. “Back in the 1950s I thought I knew what was happening, I thought that these kids—I called them “The new delinquents”-I thought that they were just trying to devil their parents. I didn’t realize that they were going to get into drugs and politics and serious business. I didn’t think they would. But they did.” (Shulman in Hamamoto 165)
The tonsorial and sartorial style of these youth shows was different from what had previously been on television, but more important than that was the age of the characters. They were young, practically teenagers. These people had not been in World War II, they were part of the post war baby boom and were at least reflecting the ethos of their generation, and probably helping to shape, the ethos of the 1960s and 70s. The big hair heroes of these shows spoke to the largest population group in the nation, they drew that group to the screen and held it until the sponsor arrived.
Perhaps the earliest of these shows was 77 Sunset Strip. It was first telecast on October 10th, 1958 on ABC. Other shows that developed the new look included, Hawaiian Eye and Bourbon Street, both of which premiered in the same year as Dobie Gillis. 77 Sunset Strip was aimed directly at the “hip” young audience, and developed a prototype for the cool private detective in what McLuhan would call a relatively cool medium. It revolved around the adventures of two suave private eyes that worked out of their offices on Sunset Strip.
Among the regulars on this series was Ed Kookie Burns who played the part of a parking lot attendant in the restaurant next door to the detectives’ offices, and who we might see as a role model for both Maynard G. Kregs and, much later, the Fonz on Happy Days. Kookie was always combing his hair, and making up a jive lingo that somehow caught the spirit of the times. Foe example: “the grinchiest” (the greatest); “piling up the Z’s” (sleeping); “keep the eyeballs rolling” (be on the lookout); “play like a pigeon” (deliver a message); “a dark seven” (a depressing week); and “headache grapplers” (aspirin).
Kookie Burns and Maynard G. Krebs were initially thought of as comic relief. But as character actors have occasionally done throughout the history of the theater, they were able to steal the show, Kookie was not slated to be a regular character but the audience response was so strong that he was given a bigger part. The lines we remember are the colorful neologisms that seemed to confound the “old folks” and which the “kids” seemed to intuitively understand.
Maynard also had a series of “couch words” or “running gags”, that the audience would wait for and hen repeat the next day at school; (it was school, not work, for most of Dobie and Maynard’s followers). Maynard would suddenly appear when his name was mentioned and say “you rang”; whenever the word “work” was mentioned he would shudder and shout “Work?”, his voice dripping with fear and anxiety. When things were going well Maynard would turn to his friend Dobie and say, “That’s right good buddy”. He would often say “like” or “like wow”. “like wow” was not a phrase made up for the show by the writers, but one taken from the common parlance of the beats. …
In 1963 Dobie had troubles, enough to drive the show off the air. The sea change was coming. The teenagers were becoming young adults, and losing the innocence that had characterized the earlier youth oriented shows. They discovered that Presidents could be assassinated, wars could be immoral, and most undercover investigators work for the government, not as freelance super heroes. …
The 1959 television program The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was an early, (although not the earliest) program aimed at the baby boom audience, and how we can begin to locate that program in the larger culture of the time. We have also seen how Maynard G. Krebs might fit into the role of the alienated teenager, existential soul, hippie, beatnik, outsider that had run through American popular culture since World War Two. We have considered how the structural strategy of juxtaposing the hip outsider and the mainstream family can support readings of the domestic comedy as a cautionary tale, teaching the rules of the dominant culture, or on the other hand, the world of the comedy can be read as a locus of resistance. …
Whether or not the recurring character of the hip teenage outsider became a locus of resistance and provided youth culture of the fifties and sixties with a rallying point for rebellion, or if the character served as a safety valve, deflecting political energy into manageable forms of rebellious posturing remains a moot question. But we can say for certain that such a character exists and that study of that particular character type will offer perspectives on societal expectations of teenagers, outsiders, wives, husbands, families and friendships in mid-century American life.
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Denver, Bob. Gilligan, Maynard & Me. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.
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Ginsberg, Allen. Howl and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1956.
Hamamoto, Darrell Y. “Max Shulman Television Author.” Journal of Popular Film and Television. 16.4 (1989): 156-166.
Hickman, Dwayne, and Joan Roberts Hickman. Forever Dobie: The Many Lives of Dwayne Hickman. Seacaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group, 1994.
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Leibman, Nina C. Living Room Lectures: The Fifties Family in Film and Television. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1995.
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_______ “The Family Spree of Film Noir.” Journal of Popular Film & Television. 16.4 (1989): 168-184.
_______ “Sexual Misdemeanor/Psychoanalytic Felony.” Cinema Journal. 26.2 (1987) 26-38.
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O’Connor, John J. Rev. “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” New York Times. 3 Feb. 1974: Sec.2.19.
Putterman, Barry. On Television and Comedy: Essays on Style, Theme, Performer and Writer. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1995.
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SELECTED SCENES WITH DIALOGUE
The Call of the, Like, Wild – Season 4 / Episode 35
Amelia: [Dobie and Amelia are sitting on a bench flirting when suddenly Amelia is distracted] Dobie, do you smell something strong?
Dobie Gillis: Yeah, like someone set fire to an old innertube.
Amelia: [Jumping to her feet, looking enraptured] Oh, no. It’s the call of the wild. Glorioski, it makes me feel tingly all over. Rrrruff!
Dobie Gillis: [Dobie stands and swaggers over to her] Yes, I often have that effect on girls. It’s a dangerous power, but some of us must live with it.
Amelia: [Ignoring Dobie, glancing about her] He’s coming closer. It’s so wild, savage and primitive!
Maynard G. Krebs: You rang?
What Makes the Varsity Drag? – Season 4 / Episode 6: – What Makes the Varsity Drag?
Maynard G. Krebs: [while impersonating Dobie in the football huddle] “Homerun Gillis is ready to sink that basket!”
The Ugliest American – Season 4 / Episode 4
Dr. Imogene Burkhart: Mr. Gillis, have you seen Mr. Krebs today?
Dobie Gillis: No, but he must be around someplace. He does a lot of wandering; it goes with his mind.
Dobie Gillis: Dr. Burkhart had no reason to worry about Maynard – he always shows up. That’s what his family’s been complaining about.
The Frat’s in the Fire – Season 3 / Episode 36
Tyler Cruickshank: We welcome you, Gillis, as a fellow gentleman, connoisseur and bon vivant.
Dobie Gillis: Me? Oh, come now.
Maynard G. Krebs: Him? Oh, come now.
Dobie Gillis: Maynard! You’re supposed to be on my side.
The Truth Session – Season 3 / Episode 26
Winnie Gillis: [Sternly addressing Maynard] We went home and had a little talk about you.
Maynard G. Krebs: Yeah? What about me?
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Well, numerous suggestions were put forward; unfortunately, none of them legal.
Herbert T. Gillis: Yeah, tar and feathers are hard to get now.
An American Strategy – Season 3 / Episode 25
Maynard G. Krebs: Man, Dobe, you sure are getting forgetful. You left your lunch right on the table. Your mom sent me over with it.
Dobie Gillis: Oh, thanks a lot, Maynard. I’m awful hungry.
Maynard G. Krebs: I’m not.
Dobie Gillis: [Puzzled] You’re not hungry? How come?
Maynard G. Krebs: I just ate your lunch.
Dobie Gillis: Maynard!
Like, Oh Brother – Season 3 / Episode 22
Hawley: Helping these kids is very important to us. I want to stop every one of them from growing up to be a crummy, shaggy, no-good bum.
Maynard G. Krebs: You rang?
Marriage Counselor – Season 3 / Episode 19
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: And now, can anyone in this class give me a concise definition of marriage? How about you, Mr. Krebs? I would like a definition that is well-reasoned and thoughtful and I withdraw the question.
Maynard G. Krebs: That ain’t kind, your diplomaship. You’re all the time saying I don’t know the answer without giving me a chance.
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: You’re absolutely right, Mr. Krebs. Forgive me.
Maynard G. Krebs: You’re like forgiven.
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Like thank you.
Maynard G. Krebs: Like you’re welcome.
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Can you answer the question?
Maynard G. Krebs: Like no.
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Like that’s what I figured! And now to return from this voyage to a lost continent.
Blue Tail Fly – Season 3 / Episode 13
Dobie Gillis: [singing at his campaign rally, to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey"] “So if you like singing / And yodeling too / Then vote for ol’ Dobie / A square buckaroo!”
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: [Exasperated, closing classroom windows to quiet the folksinging drifting in from outside] You’ll forgive the interruption, my young scholars, and I use the term with my usual devil-may-care abandon, but despite appearances to the contrary, this is still a class in political science, not a jam session featuring the Kingston Trio.
Maynard G. Krebs: [Suddenly roused from his slumber and jumping from his seat] Like where? Like where? Like where, where, where?
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Mr. Krebs…
Maynard G. Krebs: Ooh, ooh, my people have landed! Some cat said so; I heard him!
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: I’m the cat who mentioned them, Mr. Krebs.
Maynard G. Krebs: Oh, like thank you, your cap and gownship, sir. I mean, sir, you’re like a real human being.
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: Mr. Krebs…
Maynard G. Krebs: And that ain’t easy, considering you’re a teacher.
Dobie Gillis: Mr. Pomfritt, no offense, but what’s wrong with folks singing folk songs?
Mr. Leander Pomfritt: There’s nothing wrong with it, Mr. Gillis, provided the right folks are doing the singing. These tunes were created by honest working people who sang them to make their work go easier. There’s a vast difference between that and some crew-cut baritone wearing a pair of custom-made blue jeans and a hand-tailored neckerchief singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” That’s the way I feel about it and you can call me an old fogey.
Maynard G. Krebs: You’re an old fogey.
Have Reindeer, Will Travel – Season 3 / Episode 11
Maynard G. Krebs: [Brainstorming ways to get money] Hey, Dobe, what if I wrote to the president and asked him for a government loan?
Dobie Gillis: The president in Washington?
Maynard G. Krebs: Yeah! I’d say, Dear Mr. Truman…
Dobie Gillis: Oh, Maynard, his name is Kennedy now.
Maynard G. Krebs: Truman’s name is Kennedy?
Dig, Dig, Dig – Season 3 / Episode 6
Dobie Gillis: Dad, I want to go on a dig over my summer vacation.
Herbert T. Gillis: A what?
Dobie Gillis: A dig.
Herbert T. Gillis: A dig?
Winifred Gillis: A dig?
Maynard G. Krebs: Dig? I hear my people talkin’!
Herbert T. Gillis: Doctor, just what kind of a doctor are you? A surgeon; eye, ear, nose and throat, what?
Dr. Imogene Burkhart: Oh, I’m a Ph.D. That’s a doctor in philosophy.
Herbert T. Gillis: Oh, yeah, the kind of doctor who don’t do nobody no good.
The Fast, White Mouse – Season 3 / Episode 4
Zelda Gilroy: [Addressing Dobie] I love you in a classroom, I love you anywhere. I love you indoors, outdoors, upstairs, downstairs, backwards, forwards, I love ya!
Maynard G. Krebs: How come?
Zelda Gilroy: How come what?
Maynard G. Krebs: How come you love him? He don’t love you.
Zelda Gilroy: He will. I’ll get him yet.
Maynard G. Krebs: So what do you do when you have him? I mean, he’s kind of puny, ain’t too bright, and he’ll be bald before he’s 30.
Dobie Gillis: Thanks a lot.
Maynard G. Krebs: Like you’re welcome.
Zelda Gilroy: Don’t you understand, Maynard? That’s exactly why I love him. He’s weak and bewildered and helpless. He needs me to guide his faltering feet.
Dobie Gillis: Zelda, please, won’t you get off my back?
Zelda Gilroy: Never, poopsie.
Dobie vs. the Machine – Season 2 / Episode 21
Dobie Gillis: What I need now is somebody extra-wise, seper-intelligent, a kind of combination Einstein and Plato and Baruch and Shakespeare.
Maynard G. Krebs: You rang?
Herbert T. Gillis: No offense, Maynard, but if he rang never was there such a wrong number.
The Bitter Feud of Dobie and Maynard – Season 2 / Episode 16
Dobie Gillis: Maynard, you were supposed to meet me before class so we could do your history homework.
Maynard G. Krebs: Like flake off, square.
Dobie Gillis: Now – [suddenly puzzled] “flake off, square”?
Maynard G. Krebs: You heard me, cube. You’re like too oblong for me.
Dobie Gillis: Maynard, what kind of a crazy stunt is this? C’mon, let’s get that work done.
Maynard G. Krebs: Aw, your mother listens to Lawrence Welk records.
Dobie Gillis: You do plenty of things for me.
Maynard G. Krebs: Name one.
Dobie Gillis: One? I’ll name a bunch! You tell me when my shoelaces are untied. You come over and wake me up at six o’clock every Saturday and Sunday morning just to remind me there’s no school. You… you… uh… did I mention the shoelaces?
Jangle Bells – Season 2 / Episode 10
Dobie Gillis: There’s some people in this town who say that my friend Maynard G. Krebs is peculiar, odd, eccentric, weird, strange. I’m one of those people. But there’s a difference. You see, I love Maynard.
Dobie Gillis: [In a dream sequence Dobie sees Maynard and himself as little boys on Christmas] Yeah, I remember that Christmas past. We were about four years old. Maynard had just flunked out of nursery school… for the third time.
Dobie Gillis: What makes you so sure I want to come to your party?
Chatsworth Osborne Jr.: Oh, you’ll be there, Gillis baby. Just wait’ll I bewitch you with a list of etertainers.
Dobie Gillis: Oh, sure, sure. I bet you’re gonna have Peggy Lee, Tommy Sands, Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra sing in a quartet, with background music by Thelonius Monk and the Kingston Trio.
Chatsworth Osborne Jr.: They’re for the intermission show.
Love is a Science – Season 1 / Episode 3
Dobie Gillis: [Dobie bemoans his situation, suffering through science class, turns to his table mate] And as for you, you don’t make things any easier, you know? A whole month I’ve been sitting here next to you and I haven’t heard one word out of you, not one single word, not even “hello.” You just sit there doing everything right and giving me the big freeze. For Pete’s sake, speak to me. Say something! Say anything!
Zelda Gilroy: I love you.
Dobie Gillis: [Stunned] I beg your pardon?
Zelda Gilroy: That’s right. I love you.
Dobie Gillis: Zelda, I am of course flattered–
Zelda Gilroy: Now don’t get a swelled head. You’re nothing so special. You’re dumb as a post, you’re pigeon-toed and you’ll be bald before you’re 30.
Dobie Gillis: Is that so? Well, I don’t want to be unkind, but you’re not exactly a traffic-stopper yourself.
Zelda Gilroy: Yeah, we’re a couple of dogs all right. But still, we’re not too repulsive. Antway, what’s the difference? We’re victims of propinquity.
Dobie Gillis: What’s that?
Zelda Gilroy: Propinquity: nearness, closeness. Sida, Post and Wembley of harvard in a study of 2,900 married couples proved that in 87% of the cases the couples first fell in love because of propinquity. You put a boy and a girl close to each other for long enough it’s bound to happen. It’s a scientific fact.
Dobie Gillis: No offense, Zelda, but I don’t love you.
Zelda Gilroy: You will. You’re Gillis, I’m Gilroy. Don’t forget they seat students alphabetically in science classes. You’ll be sitting next to me all year and next year too. And then when we go on to to medical school, eight more years of propinquity. Don’t fight it, Dobie. You can’t beat science.