Thursday, January 24, 2013

You Rang? The Dobie Gillis Show

You Rang?

Ed here: I'm a stone Dobie Gillis fan. Thanks to a friend of mine I have a few dozen VHS episodes of them. Max Shulman was a fine writer and his Dobie book translated perfectly to the small screen.  I'm buying the Shout Factory Set of course.

The great Mark Evanier blogged this today. His site News From me is a daily must-read

Hey, since we’re talking about old TV shows being released on DVD, I oughta mention that Shout Factory has just announced they’ll be bringing us The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis in a complete set later this year — and they seem to have all 147 episodes.
I was a big fan of this series when it first aired from 1959 to 1963 — or at least, I was of its first few seasons. I seem to recall it taking a horrible turn for the worse near the end of its run…but recently, I’ve been TiVoing and watching Season One on MeTV and they hold up pretty well. A lot of the attention the show gets these days is because of the stellar array of supporting cast members who later became more prominent, including Warren Beatty, Tuesday Weld and Sally Kellerman…but the regular cast was quite wonderful. The show had crisp, fast-paced dialogue and a wonderful style about it.
As explained here in my Bob Denver obit, I happened to be on the premises for the first of the two attempts to later revive the series. It was a train wreck of epic proportions and I felt quite sorry for Dwayne Hickman, Frank Faylen, Sheila James and Mr. Denver. They were rightfully proud of the original program and insulted that one man thought every single thing about the show had to be changed for it to have a shot at reaching a modern audience. That might have been true had the series not been so far ahead of its time.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to this set. I hear Shout Factory is planning a good array of special features, including interviews with surviving cast members. It’s too bad they didn’t do this last year when Steve Franken, who was so perfect in the role of Chatsworth Osborne Jr, was still with us and could have participated.


Randy Johnson said...

One of the first TV series I remember getting attached to. I'm of that generation, you as well I suspect, that when one mentions Bob Denver, I think of Maynard G. Krebs before Gilligan.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Would love to see one about now.

Mathew Paust said...

I watch filming of a scene of either Dobie Spreads a Rumor or Here Comes the Groom. Our family had driven from Wisconsin to L.A. in December '59 to visit my dad's brother and attend the Rose Bowl game. My uncle's neighbor was Harold Wirthwein, sales mgr at Allied Artists. Wirthwein got us passes to either AA or 20th Century for an informal tour and to visit the Gillis set. While we waited outside the door to the Gillis set up rides Bob Denver on a bicycle. At that point the whole family was hooked on the show, nearing the end of its first season. Denver was as cordial and natural as the boy next door. We were enchanted. He leaned his bike next to the door and escorted us in. We stood in the shadows and watched, utterly absorbed in the goings on.

The scene included one of the only two episodes Dabbs Greer played in, as Zelda Gilroy's dad. During a break, Mr. Greer walked over to us to and greeted us warmly. He looked so familiar my dad said, "I feel like I know you, but I don't know your name. Greer laughed and said he heard that a lot.

For years I'd thought he was James Gregory (there's a resemblance), but just now, searching the episodes for Gregory, I found out who it really was.

Many thanks, Ed, for posting this, and yes, I will be ordering the boxed set!