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  • It's a grand shame that very few people these days remember this fine sitcom about teenage life in the early 60s. Dwayne Hickman is endearing as simple-minded Dobie Gillis, the typical American teenager, who just wants a girl. Bob Denver is brilliant as his buddy, Maynard Krebs. Who needs Gilligan? Sheila James is fantastic as Zelda...always chasing after Dobie. Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus as Dobie's parents are too-oft forgotten for their parts on this show...they couldn't have gotten a better pair of actors.

    There was some really sharp, funny writing on this series, and that, mixed with the snappy editing, jazzy soundtrack and over-the-top situations, made for some very funny episodes. Plenty of hip, jazzy lingo to go around. Lovely Tuesday Weld was also around for a number of episodes during the first season (and a couple later on) as Dobie's object of affection, Thalia Menninger. It's too bad that they couldn't keep her on for more sporadic appearances, because it is the episodes that she appears in, which I consider to be the zenith of the series. The show started to get a little too silly during its last season, when the focus went towards Maynard and Dobie's cousin, Dunkie, but it was still unique.

    Without question, one of the high points of 1960s TV, and one of the most winning sitcoms of all time. It's a shame that it hasn't gotten the same kind of exposure in recent years as some of the other shows of the time. Hopefully it gets picked up and restored for a full DVD release sometime soon. It's just waiting to be rediscovered.
  • This is a classic, classic show. Nick At Nite used to show it 15 years ago, but I guess it is too intelligent for the types who run TVLand and Nick now, & who refuse to show any comedies unless they got big Neilsen's. Hey, TVLand, I've got your Big Neilsen right here!!

    Bob Denver is far better in this than in the hideously over-rated "Gilligan's Island". This may have been Dwyane Hickman's last really good role. I seem to remember him in a Civil War series with his brother, Daryl. Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus were wonderful as Mr & Mrs Howard T Gillis. Who'd have thought watching Warren Beatty(as Milton Armitage) that he'd give us a masterpiece like "Bulworth"? Tuesday Weld as Thalia Meninger in her best work until "Falling Down".

    DVD's & VHS tapes of Dobie Gillis are available, but for $20 for a 2-episode, 1 hour disc or tape, it ain't worth it. We need someone to bring out some season sets.

    On 29 Jan 2010, Dwayne Hickman(using his wife's account)posted the following on a Dobie Gillis Facebook page: "...As for the DVD question, the estate of Max Shulman has agreed to make a deal to release the show, however, with the current economy the studio does not want to release it. That is what I have been told. When and if I hear anything I will post it on my web site"

    It can't be too soon for me. Heck, I might even pay list price.
  • This show was groundbreaking. No other show captured the generation gap of this era quite like Dobie Gillis.

    First, it portrayed life from a teen's perspective in the age of Father Knows Best. In the early seasons, Dobie was a high school student consumed with only getting a pretty girl to be his girlfriend. Usually, it was Thalia Menninger who had expensive tastes. The conflicts usually resulted from the fact that Dobie was always broke and never wanted to work. He would always try to get money from his dad, but Herbert T. Gillis was not the type to give someone something for nothing. Also, Dobie, despite being a highly likable boy, was far from an exemplary student, which meant girls realized that his future was not promising.

    Second, Dobie's parents were probably the most realistically portrayed of any TV parents from that era. Herbert T. Gillis was a hard-working, but loud-mouthed and had a blustery personality. He openly declared his teenage son a "lazy bum who would wind up living off the county" because he wouldn't work. The first season he would often respond to his disapproval of Dobie's actions by saying, "I gotta kill that boy. I just gotta." This was mildly controversial in that era and that line was later dropped. Instead, he would just be speechless with a bewildered expression that pretty much said he wanted to kill his son. Despite, his outbursts, Mr. Gillis was basically good hearted, but the generation gap between father and son was obvious and portrayed with humorous results. Dobie's mom, Winnie Gillis, was nice, but too nice, and counterbalanced Herbert by doting on her son and letting Dobie get away with not working in the family grocery store. Third, the writing and editing were superb. The writing contained a wit not found in other shows of that era.

    HERBERT: Son. Your mother's a wonderful woman. Dobie: She a gem. HERBERT: She's one in a million. Dobie: She's a princess. MAYNARD: She's a warden.

    The editing was great, because as a scene would close, it would set up the next scene and instantly cut to the next scene where a character would respond in the exact opposite manner to how that scene was being set up.

    MR POMFRITT- You talk to your father, Dobie. I'm sure he'll want you to stay in college. (instant pan to the next scene with Mr. Gillis closeup): MR. GILLIS: You have got to quit school. (After explaining to Dobie and his mom, that Dobie wasn't taking any courses that would help him in the real world at school, and that he was supporting Dobie's lifestyle): (shouting)Wise up, son. Get a job.

    Fourth, the cast contained several well portrayed eccentric characters. In addition, to Dobie, Thalia, and his parents, there were:

    Chatsworth Osbourne, Jr.- a rich, spoiled, and party time brat who was quite likable and funny. He was often in competition with Dobie for a beautiful girl.

    Maynard G. Krebs- Gilligan with a gotee. Always wore a scraggly sweatshirt with holes, loved jazz and bee-bop, would shirk when the word "work" was mentioned, and an even worse student than Dobie.

    Zelda Gilroy- was a smart, brainy, scheming, and an unattractive girl who loved Dobie and was always outsmarting him by sabotaging his romances with more attractive girls.

    Mrs. Osbourne- was Chatsworth's mother who called her son, "you nasty boy." She was a tyrant, who stirred things up with her son, Dobie, Maynard, and Mr. Gillis. Maynard called her "Your dragonship."

    Mr. Pomfritt- was Dobie and Maynard's high school teacher and later professor in college. He played most of their teacher/professors and taught just about every subject that there was. He, like other teachers portrayed on the show, weren't the Leave it to Beaver type teachers. They often complained about being underpaid, under-appreciated, and the "younger generation."

    I think the best parts of this series were seasons 1 and the first half of 2 (before they made ill-advised decision to put Dobie and Maynard in the army) and season 3. By season 3, Dobie and Maynard are in college. At this point, Dobie has matured. He does work in his father's store while going to school, but unfortunately, he is taking mostly liberal arts courses and is becoming an idealist. There were a lot of young, cute actresses appearing on the show each week in this season as Dobie's romantic interests. The show also began to focus more on Maynard and Herbert Gillis. Maynard was a beatnik character when the series began, but was becoming more a clownish type character with a gotee at this point. The silly and sometimes humorous and other times ridiculously over the top conflicts between these two were kind of a preview of the Gilligan/Skipper escapades that would be down the road. Personally, I prefer this show and Maynard's character over Gilligan. By season four, Dwayne Hickman had outgrown Dobie, and much of the episodes focused on his cousin, Duncan (Dunkie) Gillis and Maynard's silliness. In fact, Dobie seemed like the only character that wasn't eccentric at this point. Unfortunately, the too many of the episodes were becoming a little over the top at this point. Despite much of the last season, and the last half of the second, this show has a special charm that stands out from most of the others from that era. Some of the material is obviously dated by today's standards, but overall I think this show and the basic premise holds up quite well. I hope they make this entire series available on DVD soon. From what I understand, there are currently copywrite issues.
  • Now all you Wodehouse fans don't have a cow...

    Dobie is not a copy of Bertie. Bertie comes from money, Dobie's parent run a Mom-an-Pop grocery store. Bertie has a continental charm, Dobie has a corn-fed earnestness. Bertie spends all of his time running from women, Dobie spends all of his time chasing girls. Bertie has Jeeves, Dobie has Maynard G. Krebs, and I think that says it all.

    Though I enjoyed the series when I saw it as a kid (first run), I didn't really get much of the sweet heartache of the show until I was in high school and trying to catch the attention of my own Thalia.

    Thing that I loved: Episodes opening with Rodin's "The Thinker" and Dobie trying to think his way out of his current situation...Dobie addressing the camera...Maynard's reaction to the word, "Work!"

    Let me encourage anyone who can to get the short story collection by Max Schulman. It is a complete delight and gave me a real appreciation for how well the TV show adapted the tone and snap of the book.

    Shulman also wrote "Rally Round the Flag, Boys" and "The Tender Trap" both made into enjoyable movies.
  • Dobie Gillis may not be groundbreaking, but it is a well-crafted comic gem of a TV series. Direction is crisp, acting is excellent and the comic characters are perfection: Maynard, the clueless but lovable loser (who has been widely copied but never surpassed), Thalia, the sexy, cute gold-digger, who is smarter than anyone expects, Milton, the insufferable preppie, Zelda, the nerd, etc. And here sits Dobie--ridiculously average, being tossed between them all like a beachball, and trying to make sense of it all. Character actors Wm. Schallert and Frank Faylen shine; Beatty gives an eerily prescient glimpse into his future roles; and Dobie is the personification of the likeable schlemiel.

  • After looking up this lost series from the late 50's,its repeats ran for a good number of years on CBN back in the 1980's and also recently on TV Land,but Dobie Gillis was the coolest show I ever had the pleasure of watching. Dwayne Hickman was the all- American boy next door who was always competing for the hand of Thalia Menninger(Tuesday Weld)from either Milton Armitage or the annoying Chatsworth Osbourne, Jr.(who was the rich kid that had everything)with the help of his good friend and sometimes wacky Maynard G. Krebbs(played by Bob Denver) who may have been lazy and sloppy,but he was really cool and down with the beat... in other words,the essential beatnick....... who was into Dizzy Gillespie and would go berserk if someone mention "work",around him. My friend and I were comparing Bob Denver's Maynard to his role as Gilligan years later,and in my opinion,MAYNARD RULES!!!!! Maynard was the coolest and hippest cat ever devised for a TV series,but also wasn't very bright,but still had his props to back up Dobie when needed(especially in a couple of episodes where Dobie and Maynard enlist in the Army). The series ran for four seasons on CBS-TV from September of 1959 to the final episode of the series in August of 1963.

    Interesting point about this show: two of the stars of this series went on to greater glory(in feature films) after their run on Dobie Gillis: Tuesday Weld and Warren Beatty(who got his start here before he became box office draw in movieland circles as Mister Hollywood)Who would have thought that Warren Beatty in the first season of this series would played pretty boy Milton Armitage and make that transition to be one of the top box office superstars of all time?

    Recently,20th Century-Fox,which produced the series just released the complete first two seasons of "Dobie Gillis" on DVD that were broadcast between 1959 through 1961.
  • i enjoyed this show in middle school and junior high (first runs)and it's still funny now. the writing is clever (max shulman is brilliant), the actors are good comedians, and the issues of looking for love but being too shy are still pertinent. (it's an idealized version. this is about the 50's. but the goofiness is deliberate, and it works.)
  • Generations will remember him as Gilligan, and that one-gag show did have some funny moments, but Bob Denver better deserves recognition for playing Maynard G. Krebs in this little gem of a series. Although the show never did precisely represent the Zeitgeist of the times it portrays, and, in this post-modern age of irony, more than a little of it seems dated, it really was memorably funny.

    It's remarkable to realize that Dobie – the quintessential pre-hippie teenager – is working awfully hard to convince girls to do something that's really pretty innocent. This is a guy looking for love, first and foremost – in the form of affection and caring. It's not as if he were trying to talk the beautiful Thalia into bed, mind you. "Dobie," in the words of the show's theme song, "wants a girl to call his own. Is she short, is she tall, is she fat, is she small, is she any kind of dreamboat at all? No matter – he's hers and hers alone; 'cause Dobie has to have a girl to call his own." How sweetly corny! And chaste, too! Not a hint of sex!

    A good cast helped this show succeed. Tuesday Weld was more than just a pretty face; she was a surprisingly good actress. The young Warren Beatty was good, too. Dwayne Hickman created Dobie as a likable cipher, and Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus (her real name, not a Max Schulman creation) were convincing and comical as the 1950s parents from hell. Perhaps Sheila James' take on Zelda as Miss Walking Encyclopedia was a little over-the-top, and that nose-wrinkling shtick got a little old, but it worked. The superb character actor William Schallart shone as the English teacher Mr. Pomfritt (recalling the European nomenclature for French fries, "pommes-frites"), who never got to lecture about his favorite poet, William Wordsworth, because the end-of class bell would ring.

    And then there was Maynard.

    Dobie: "Zelda, I don't think that will work." Maynard: "Work!?!" Dobie: "Maynard!" This oft-repeated exchange became something of a catch phrase in certain circles (mine included), as the beatnik Krebs made America realize that it's much more important to play the bongos in a coffee house than hold down a job of any sort. Without Maynard, there would have been no Fonzie, no Bob Dylan, no Allen Ginsburg, no Beatles – well, maybe that's an overstatement. But Bob Denver was the one of the first actors to show the TV audience that people can be hip and likable at the same time. And what a natural he was in the role.

    Of course, none of these characters existed in real life. Real beatniks, like Jack Kerouac's Dean Moriarty, were far less likable and wholesome than Maynard. Tuesday Weld's troubled private life was much closer to a real-life situation than her portrayal of the gold-digging beautiful blonde. And nobody could be as non-libidinous as Dobie. These characters are of the same generation as the lusty characters portrayed in the movie "Animal House," after all. But this show was a fine, amusing and memorable little TV confection.
  • based on Max Shulman's collection of short stories, this youth-oriented series was witty and irreverent with sharp writing and a peerlessly eclectic cast (Warren Beatty and Tuesday Weld, in particular shine) in addition to the leads Hickman and Denver. Hickman is the sensitive youth who aspires to be a poet under a hard-nosed father and doting mother. The father, played by Frank Faylen is outstanding as the hard-working store owner who fails to understand his impractical son's fancies and who frequently intones "I just gotta kill that boy, I gotta." Denver is particularly fun to watch, his comic style which would occasionally suffocate Gilligan's Island is tuned to the right intensity as Hickman's beatnik sidekick.

    What particularly makes Dobie successful, particularly in the early seasons, is the almost surreal and self-contained world created by the writers. Just the names of the characters Thalia Menninger, Milton Armitage, Chatsworth Osborne Jr., Maynard G Krebs and Aphrodite Millican gives an idea of the tone of the series. Dobie begins every episode before Rodin's Thinker, speaking directly to the viewer with a pithy observation, which by the framing end sequence has been demonstrated or refuted. Unlike Father Knows Best and other family shows of its era, the Gillis family is dysfunctional, and the differences between Dobie and his father are not of a dramatic Rebel Without a Cause sort, but a gentler divergence of life views of a depression-era father and a postwar teenager.

    The later seasons, much less inspired, take Dobie and Maynard out of high school into college and other adventures.

    I hope at least the first season comes out as a season box set. It's an important part of our pop history.
  • rlquall15 September 2006
    This show is consistently underrated in my opinion. Created and largely written (even the theme song) by the talented Max Schulman, who later brought us such gems as the movie "House Calls", the program gave us such classic characters as the boy-crazy Zelda (ironically portrayed by a Lesbian, Shelia James), Maynard, the closest thing to a "beatnik" most of Middle America ever saw, and Dobie's dad Herbert (played by the great character actor Frank Faylen), the grocer who needed very little prompting to remind whoever was listening, "I was in The Big One, W W 2!" but who was deep down a fine guy (he reminded me a lot of one of my uncles). Dobie's pining for Thalia, and his soliloquies in front of the copy of Rodin's "The Thinker" in the local park, were close to priceless. I think that the fact that this show was filmed in black and white has hurt its chances for being rerun in recent years, even on "TV Land" or "Nick at Nite".
  • tbk-1023 September 2008
    The "Dobie Gillis" series has impressed me a bit more, looking back on it, with a few things that were definitely ahead of the time for early 60's TV. Besides Maynard always scat-singing to himself, they also used his character to refer to some jazz greats out in the real world. He'd often talk about Dizzy Gillespie, and one episode had him preparing to play bongos for Thelonious Monk (although there's no evidence Monk actually hired pickup bongo players when on tour). Later in the series, when Dobie went to college, I notice that whenever there were other students in background shots, a few of them were usually black (the term back then would've been "colored", or any of a few other vile terms). A bit adventurous, when a lot of schools were putting up a vicious fight against integration.

    Since moving to Utah, I've been wondering if the show had any Mormons (or ex-Mormons) on the writing staff. In the episode where Maynard met the caveman, I think they called the place the Wasatch Caves - Wasatch is the name of the mountain range just east of Salt Lake City. Also, it's a tradition in the Mormon church to include a person's middle initial, such as a few recent church presidents - Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley, and so on. Could this be an inspiration for Herbert T. Gillis or Maynard G. Krebs?
  • My family obtained its first TV right before the 1st episode of I Love Lucy. So I remember that sitcom well. But the two sitcoms from that era I really remember are The Burns and Allen Show, and Dobie Gillis. I'll skip George and Gracie for now, except to say that that show in some ways provided the 'techniques' that made Dobie Gillis so special, primarily the commentary (out of the action) by George, in the earlier series, and Dobie (at the feet of Rodin's The Thinker)in the later series.

    Dobie was special. Why? Because it dealt with the world of the American teenager. There was NO sitcom back then that did so. In fact, the teen-ager was just being delineated as someone special. Father Knows Best had Bud, and Ozzie and Harriet had Ricky and David, but no series had made its raison d'etre the American teenager. Dobie Gillis did, and beautifully so. It did so not by concentrating on the carnal appetites of young males, but by Dobie's heartfelt desire to find a heartmate. Around this character was created a world defined by Dobie's desires, that is, characters who were defined by how they might help or hinder his romantic quest.

    The writing to enable the realization of this quest was top-notch, creating characters who interacted logically with Dobie's single-minded campaigns. Dobie's parents, his teachers, his pal - Maynard G Krebs - all these were realized in relation to Dobie's atesteronic quest for the girl of his dreams. He wanted someone to love, not a body to bed, and in some ways we might doubt whether he actually knew about 'the birds and the bees'. What he did know about, and this is where the wisdom of the series is found, is that 'the best laid plans of mice and men {including those of ardent suitors)are oft gang agley'.

    I don't know of any other TV series that caught both the hope and the hopelessness of such endeavors with such marvelously comic results. It is tragic that no DVDs are available to allow us to see the richness of this early sitcom. Perhaps it is because Dobie's desires were chaste, and everyone knows that chastity is a downer, and that it is SEX that sells.
  • Based on the creation of Max Shulman's characters,some of the episodes of the television series and some of the scripts for the show were adapted from a 1951 collection of short stories of the same name that were written by Max Shulman that also inspired the 1953 theatrical motion picture, "The Affairs of Dobie Gillis",that starred Debbie Reynolds,Bob Fosse and introducing newcomer Bobby Van in the title role as Dobie Gillis. A follow up novel based on Max Shulman's characters appeared in "I Was A Teen-Age Dwarf" that was published in 1959,the same year the television series,"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" made its premiere on CBS.

    "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis",was brought to television on September 28, 1959 and was produced by Martin Manulis,who served as executive producer of the series along with producer Rod Amateau,under Manulis' production company,Martin Manulis Productions in association with 20th Century-Fox Television for CBS. And speaking of situation comedies,"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis",during its premiere in 1959,was 20th Century-Fox's first foray into the half-hour situation comedy genre that was also produced by Martin Manulis,who also brought to television and for the studio its first foray into the action-adventure genre for ABC with "Adventures in Paradise" that premiered the same year and was responsible for bringing to the studio the first foray into espionage thrillers for NBC with "Five Fingers" that also premiered that same year.

    "Dobie Gillis" stars Dwayne Hickman as the endearing simple minded teenager,who has the aspiration to have popularity,money,and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls. He didn't have any of these qualities in attendance,but the tiny crisis surrounding Dobie's lack of success made the story,along with the hilarious hijinks in just about every episode. His partner in crime was television's first beatnik,Maynard G. Krebs(Bob Denver)who also tagged along with Dobie for just about anything. His affection for the girl he really wanted was the rich and spoiled Thalia,played by Tuesday Weld. Hilarious hijinks ensues each week with Dobie trying to win the affections of Thalia and every girl he tried to get with Maynard tagging along for laughs. Dobie's rivals for affection were the rich playboys Milton Armitage(Warren Beatty),and Chatsworth Osborne,Jr.(Steve Frankel),not to mention the super-intelligent Zelda Gilroy(Sheila James),who was also chasing after Dobie,and who knows Dobie is meant for herself one day.

    "Dobie Gillis" had some really sharp writing that was just downright hilarious,mixed in it with some snappy editing and the jazz soundtrack and not to mention over-the-top situations in just about every episode with Dobie and Maynard getting into one predicament after another. Bob Denver was the coolest buddy ever as Maynard(who needs Gilligan?),while Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus as Dobie's parents were there for support. This was the series that launched not only Tuesday Weld and Warren Beatty,but Steven Frankel into Hollywood stardom because of this series,and later on Michael J. Pollard. It made have been hilarious and extremely funny,this was the one of the high points of great 1960's TV,and one of the most endearing winningest sitcoms of all time. Of the four seasons that it ran on CBS from September 28,1959 until September 18,1963,this was classic black and white TV. A total of 147 episodes were produced. "Dobie Gillis" was top notch comedy that was ahead of its time. A classic from the golden age of late 1950's-early 1960's TV.
  • An engaging teen-age comedy, thanks to solid casting, more than the usual 1950's imagination, and a willingness to ridicule our national obsession with greed. Dobie's (Hickman) an ordinary teen from a modest background, with a grouchy grocer dad and a sweet-tempered mom. In short, besides a warm personality, he doesn't have much going for him. The trouble is that the girls he's constantly falling for at school are all looking for money or status, which Dobie doesn't have. Doesn't sound humorous, does it.

    But thanks to clever scripts, rapid-fire dialog, and Bob Denver as the hopelessly dim beatnik, Maynard, it's funny as heck. The best entries are the early ones, where Dobie tries to win the affections of that greedy little vixen Thalia Meninger (Tuesday Weld). Weld is simply perfect as a cute blonde snot who keeps reminding Dobie of how ordinary he is, while she looks for a rich guy instead. Not many series, serious or otherwise, were willing to raise this sort of class envy on TV, but this one does. Poor Dobie. His only consolation is talking to the camera and ruminating over his girl problems. Cleverly, there's a statue of The Thinker in the background as he speaks to us. That way we know what he's saying is what he's thinking without the script having to tell us so. It's a good imaginative touch breaking the wall between character and viewer. I believe this break with convention is the only TV instance of that day.

    But Weld was too good and soon went into movies. So Dobie goes through other similar cuties for whom, in humorous fashion, he's still not good enough. I love the silly poetic way Dobie addresses his reluctant lady friends. Stuff like: "My perfume of India" or "You shine like the stars of my mountain". It's perfect for conveying the show's facetious touch.

    The trouble is that after the first year or so, the premise became too predictable, plus the boys are looking a little old for high schoolers. So Dobie and Maynard join the army, but the hijinks are not nearly as funny. As a result, they're soon out of uniform and back in town, enrolled in college where Dobie can resume his problem with girls. Note too how much larger Denver's role becomes as the series continues. Clearly, however, as good as some episodes are, by that time the writers were running out of variations on the old premise. So, in what appears desperation, they try out ill-advised fantasies like Dobie and Maynard as loony South American revolutionaries. By 1963, the series had clearly run its course.

    Nonetheless, it's hard to say enough about the supporting cast that had so much to do with the show's success. Frank Faylen as dad Gillis is often over the top but fits right into the show's usual snappy pace. Then there's Florida Friebus as long-suffering mom Gillis, the one character not exaggerated for laughs. And, of course, there's little Sheila James as plain Jane Zelda, smart as heck but hopelessly stuck on Dobie, while forced to put up with his constant rejections. And finally, there's Steve Franken as spoiled rich kid Chatsworth Osborne Jr. who's constantly getting in Dobie's way, flaunting his superiority. (Warren Beatty was the original rich snob, but like Weld, went quickly into the movies.)

    Now, if you think about it, the ideas here of romantic rejection, social climbing, and a talentless Dobie could quickly sour if not handled correctly. So it's to the credit of the cast, writers and directors, that they kept the material as light and humorous as they did. And especially to Hickman who made the hapless Dobie so likable without becoming sappy. All in all, for at least a year, this was arguably one of the best, most imaginative shows on TV, and still merits revival.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Brilliant writing by Max Schulman, "The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis", not to be confused with the earlier movie versions, centers around the exploits of Dobie Gillis(Dwayne Hickman) and Maynard G.(Walter) Krebs.

    The story basically takes place at the local high school in Central City , where Dobie fantasizes about his gal pal relationships, and encounters coming of age adventures.

    This IS "Classic" TV, it works on many levels, youth , angst, changing American cultures,Generation Gap,even before anyone knew it existed.

    Maynard G. Krebs(Bob Denver) delivers wonderful performances as the sidekick, and eternally loyal friend to Dobie. More often a hindrance than a help, Maynard can be trusted to be the difference.

    All-Star Cast of Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus as the loving and somewhat disciplinarian parents, Herbert T. and Winfred are timeless.

    They own a local grocery store, but have trouble making ends meet.

    The rest of the Cast shine just as brightly Tuesday Weld, Steve Franken, Warren Beatty, Jean Byron, William Schallert, Sheila James, and Doris Packer all help to stir this delicious offering.

    Underrated for having adolescent themes, Dobie Gillis transcends its' generational limitations, and provides solid enlightenment and entertainment, to all who see it as more than situation comedy. 10 stars out of 10, has it really been 50 plus years.

    I remember when it went off the air,that they would surely bring it back, because it had been such a terrific show....

    Then came Gilligan's Island...ouch
  • Quality programming in the late 1950s wasn't just drama and news reporting. Situation comedy had its high standards too, and one that's sometimes overlooked is this pioneer teen-oriented series. The earlier seasons (especially the first) are a refreshing change from the sitcom norms of the day. Clearly ahead of its time, "Dobie" was 1959 television's version of hormonal teen love----franker than you would find in "Father Knows Best" or "Ozzie and Harriet"---while still reflecting the social and moral conscience of the time. Dobie's lovesick behavior is frank and funny without having to resort to sex jokes, thanks to the quality of the writing and direction. The talented cast is fully in tune--they become their characters, and don't just read lines. Treat yourself to a peek at this smart, unique series.
  • Two years after Leave it to Beaver became the first show to look at life from a child's view, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis becomes the first sitcom to focus on a teenage perspective of life.

    What made Dobie Gillis stand out was Dwayne Hickman's portrayal of the title character. His clean cut, good looks attracted lots of female viewers to the show. Also, he had one of the great TV sidekick as well as one of the most offbeat, Maynard G. Krebs, played by Bob Denver.

    Denver, who would go on to greater success on Gilligan's Island would portray not only TV's first beatnik but also one of the first breakout sitcom characters. He wore a goatee and a sweatshirt and shuddered when anyone said the work "Work." I should also point out that Maynard's other catch phrase was "You rang?" The line was also used by Lurch the butler in The Addams Family.

    The show wasn't just about Dobie and Maynard. There were also Dobie's parents Herbert and Winnie, played by Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus. Winnie was a patient, understanding mom like June Cleaver and Herbert would sometimes say in the early episodes "I gotta kill that boy." Let's not forget an early TV appearance by Warren Beatty, who played Dobie's rival in the first season Milton Armitage. When Beatty left the show, he was replaced by Steve Franken, who would play one of the most popular characters on the show Chatsworth Osborne.

    And there were the girls. The actresses who appeared as Dobie's girlfriends would make some of their early TV appearances such as Michele Lee, Sally Kellerman and Marlo Thomas.

    Even though I haven't seen a lot of episodes, I did watch a few on the new Decades channel and I though it was a pretty funny sitcom. Unlike Beaver, Hickman breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience. It was an added dimension to a successful teen sitcom. And that was Dobie with a "b".
  • Sheila James played Zelda - the smart girl viewers hoped Dobie would fall far - she would straighten him out. Zelda, maybe, Sheila James, no.

    If you read her biography in the IMDb you will find she quit acting, got a law degree, declared herself a lesbian and now holds political office with an eye towards feminist issue.

    Makes one long for the days when the smartest thing a bright girl did was marry well, as viewers hoped Zelda would.

    To find the names of other cast members read the comments - they are embedded there.
  • bkoganbing25 November 2018
    Max Schulman's Dobie Gillis stories written in the late 40s finally were updated and given a television series from 1959-1963. Dwayne Hickman was in the title role.

    Hickman was your basic All-American type and like so many he had a singular focus on his libido. Hickman introduced each episode recording each pursuit of one of the female gender the way Cassanova did in his diary. Only Dobie's success rate wasn't quite as good.

    Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus played Dobie's parents both hard working children of the Depression. Faylen and Friebus ran a mom and pop grocery store and Dobie was occasionally hankering after women out of his league. One such was class tease Tuesday Weld who got her first notice inn the show as Thalia Menninger.

    Rivals were Stephen Franken as rich kid Chatsworth Osborne Jr and an as of yet unknown Warren Beatty as Milton Armitage. Beatty got big screen notice soon enough.

    One woman who pursued Dobie was Sheila James who was determined to make herself Mrs. Dobie Gillis. She had that squint thing going for her that was annoying to Hickman, but audiences loved it.

    Dobie transferred from high school to college, specifically S. Peter Pryor Junior College and transferring with him was William Schallert as Professor Promfritt who occasionally gave some of the same sage advice that Faylen gave, but Hickman took it better.

    Lastly there was Bob Denver who before he was lovable mate Gilligan was lovable loafing beatnik Maynard G. Krebs. Only one thing frightened Denver, a four letter word that sent his psyche into shivers "work". He had some great scenes with Faylen in the show.

    Cancelling in 1963 as it did, The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis missed losing its innocence along with America after the JFK assassination. It's a reminder of simpler times. You have to wonder what this whole crew did when the counterculture of the later 60s took root.
  • Think hippy version of "Saved by the Bell" , which was preppy a couple decades plus later. Comparisons to "Square Pegs", with the valley talk are at minimum, being this is based more on stories from boys. That said, this was not a good show. The forced dialogue of saying words such as man,like or cat was just too much. It seemed every sentence had at least one of those words and they even had the authority figures saying these words, including parents and teachers and police officers. I just thought it was over the top. Kind of cultish , which I understand would appeal to a certain segment. Other than that , a show I was disappointed in seeing, after a lot of hype. I gave it 3 episodes and still do not like it. I give it the 3 stars based on superb acting. Very simple show but it translates to dullsville.
  • I was a teenager and saw "...Dobie Gillis" when it first came out, at a time when I was a teenager myself! Others have commented how this was ahead of its time. If silly, mindless, fantasy (not reality)-based comedy is your cup of tea, then please help yourself. The characters are over-the-top (as are most so-called "sit-coms"). The circumstances are ridiculous. The characters are not developed. "Family Affair" is one of the worst ever. I also saw "Private Secretary," "My Little Margie," "Topper," and others when they were first broadcast. How about "December Bride"? The others were not great, but at least they were not so mindless. Ahead of its time? Yes, today's sitcoms are silly and shallow, too... so in that respect it was. "I Love Lucy" was zany but the characters had some depth and they interacted with one another in a logical way. "All in the Family" has to be one of the best-written, best-acted, most thoughtful series of all time. Dobie Gills and sit-coms in general are mindless entertainment. I do recall that, as someone commented elsewhere here, that "...Dobie Gillis" was edited in a "snappy" way.
  • My gal adores this show, so I've seen a lot of it. We're looking up the cast, trying to find out who played the teacher ... and we find that IMDb doesn't even list the cast.

    What's up with that?

    Where does it say who played in every episode,alongside Bob Denver?

    Who played Dobie's Mom? Why isn't that stuff on the first page we see when we look up this show?

    It's obviously relevant, important information about the show that any IMDb visitor would expect to find on this page.

    Am I missing something? Surely there's been a mistake here.
  • Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963) was another one of the many

    sit-coms that came out during the late fifties through the early sixties. I

    never really enjoyed this show. I don't understand how people like this

    show. The only thing that was amusing about it was Bob Denver. He

    co-starred as one of Dobie's friends. I believed he was supposed to be a

    beatnik. I didn't care about Dobie's love life or his many girlfriends either. The series didn't last more than four years. Years later a made for

    television update was made. I never saw the movie because I never dug this

    show. Who knows maybe if I see it again I'll like it. Until then I have to

    give this "classic" show a pass.

    I'm Mike Tee Vee. Same channel, same station!