Allan's Perspective is not recommended for the politically correct, or the overly religious! Some people have opinions, and some have convictions ..., what we offer is Perspective! (Sometimes I feel like I'm just a bobble-head on the highway of life!)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Dobie!

Dear Friends:

Things are slowly getting back to normal here in the land of the normal, (Ontario) and I find I now have time to sit in front of the computer again for my daily rants and raves!

Let's start out with a rather mundane 'Happy Birthday' to one of my favourite actors from my early childhood ......, Dobie Gillis, from the TV show "The many loves of Dobie Gillis!"

Dwayne Hickman is 83 years old today, and even though most people don't know who he is now, he made a big impression on television back in the late 50's and early 60's!

[Dwayne Hickman, at the time the breakout star on The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) as nephew Chuck MacDonald, won the part of Dobie Gillis over several other candidates, including Michael Landon.]

Dobie Gillis is significant as the first American television program produced for a major network to feature teenagers as leading characters. In other series, such as Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver, teenagers were portrayed as supporting characters in a family story.  

Dobie Gillis broke ground by depicting elements of the counterculture, particularly the Beat Generation, primarily embodied in a stereotypical version of the "beatnik".

Series star Dwayne Hickman would later say that Dobie represented “the end of innocence of the 1950s before the oncoming 1960s revolution”.

The series revolved around teenager Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), who aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls, whose entrance into Dobie's life was often accompanied by the song "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" softly playing in the background. He did not have any of these qualities in abundance, and the tiny crises surrounding Dobie's lack of success made the story in each weekly episode.

Also constantly in question, by Dobie and others, was Dobie's future, as the boy proved to be a poor student and an aimless drifter. Often falling in love with a new girl within minutes, often referring to them as soft and round and pink and creamy, the would-be poet Dobie would address his loves with flowery phrases such as "my great, tawny animal" and go out of his way each week to attract, keep, or win back the girl-of-the-moment.

His partner-in-crime was American television's first beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), who became the series' breakout character. An enthusiastic fan of jazz music (with a strong distaste for the music of Lawrence Welk), Maynard plays the bongos, collects tinfoil and petrified frogs, and steers clear of romance, authority figures, and work (yelping "Work?!" every time he hears the word).
Always speaking with the vernacular and slang of the beatniks and jazz musicians he admired, Maynard punctuates his sentences with the word "like" and has a tendency towards malapropisms.

The main running gag on Dobie Gillis would have Dobie or one of the other characters rattling off a series of adjectives describing something undesirable or disgusting ("I'd be a ragged, useless, dirty wreck!"), at which point a previously unseen Maynard would appear (entering the scene in close-up), saying "You rang?"

Supporting characters:

Dwayne Hickman, as Dobie Gillis, is a clean-cut teenager (later young adult) of below average intelligence who aspires to have dates with all of the beautiful girls he pursues, despite the pressures of home life, high school, and later the military and college. Dobie also serves as the series narrator, relating his observations to the audience from in front of a statue of Rodin's The Thinker.

 Bob Denver, as Maynard G. Krebs, is Dobie's eccentric, lazy and somewhat goofy best friend, a would-be beatnik who shuns romance, authority figures, and work. Like Dobie, Maynard briefly joins the Army in season two between his high-school graduation and enrollment in college.

Tuesday Weld, as Thalia Menninger (season 1), is a beautiful high school classmate of Dobie's who is only willing to date Dobie when he has money or helps her in her schemes to make some for herself. Weld departed the series after the first season, later returning to make two guest appearances, as a somewhat chastened Thalia, once in season 3 and once in season 4.

Warren Beatty, as Milton Armitage (season 1), is a rich jock at Dobie's high school and a rival of Dobie for Thalia's affections. Beatty quit the series midway through the first season.

Michael J. Pollard, as Jerome Krebs (season 1), is Maynard's cousin, also a beatnik. Jerome was intended as a replacement for Maynard when Bob Denver was drafted in mid-1959, and was written out of the show after Denver failed his Army physical and returned to the series.

HERE'S DWAYNE HICKMAN, BOB DENVER, TUESDAY WELD AND WARREN BEATTY ALL TOGETHER ON THE SHOW: