The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959–1963)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Family
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Sensitive teenager Dobie Gillis (yes, Dobie being his real given name) exasperates his grocer father Herbert T. Gillis and is the apple of Winnie Gillis' eye, she being his mother. Dobie ... See full summary »

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Episodes

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4   3   2   1  
1963   1962   1961   1960   1959  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Dobie Gillis (148 episodes, 1959-1963)
...
 Maynard G. Krebs / ... (144 episodes, 1959-1963)
...
 Herbert T. Gillis (120 episodes, 1959-1963)
Florida Friebus ...
 Winifred Gillis (96 episodes, 1959-1963)
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Storyline

Sensitive teenager Dobie Gillis (yes, Dobie being his real given name) exasperates his grocer father Herbert T. Gillis and is the apple of Winnie Gillis' eye, she being his mother. Dobie has an almost singular focus on the opposite sex, more often than not the object of his affection being the beautiful but money hungry Thalia Meninger, who in turn often loves Dobie but always loves money more, which Dobie never has and in his current life direction probably will never have to the extent that would satisfy Thalia. If not Thalia, Dobie pursues several other girls in his search for true love. His best friend is Maynard G. Krebs, a largely clueless but kind-hearted beatnik and lover of jazz music, he who always does what his best buddy Dobie does, often much to the chagrin of others in Dobie's life. While Dobie chases girls, the one girl he knows he does not want but who in turn knows that one day she will become Mrs. Dobie Gillis is bright Zelda Gilroy, who largely uses logic to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Family

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Release Date:

29 September 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dobie Gillis  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dwayne Hickman later reported not being fond of his on-screen love interest, Tuesday Weld, who left the show after the first season (save for two return appearances in later seasons) to pursue other roles. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Herbert T. Gillis: I was in W-W-II - the big one - first sergeant, WITH the good conduct medal!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 10 June 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Dobie
Composed by Lionel Newman & Max Shulman
Series theme song played over the opening titles and closing credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Bob Denver R.I.P.
8 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


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