The hotel was practically Jose's entire world; he lived in special bachelor headquarters provided for hotel employees, ate in the hotel kitchen, and had social contact only with employees and guests of the hotel. In his goodhearted naivete, he saw only the good in the people around him.
The series, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, premiered on September 22, 1963 and ran for a season-and-a-half, before its run ended on January 17, 1965 (the following week, it was replaced by Branded). See more »
Comic Bill Dana was a whole lot like Vaughn Meader in terms of having the character pull his career right out from under him. Just as Meader saw his career crash and burn after the assassination of John F. Kennedy when his act became unwanted overnight, Dana was subject to a lot of criticism from Latino groups. These were the years that Cesar Chavez was emerging as a major figure in American life and also when Black groups succeeded in getting Amos and Andy syndicated reruns off the air because they saw it as caricatures from white people.
So too with Dana's character Jose Jimenez which he originated on the Steve Allen Show. While it lasted Jose gave Dana a one note career and some stardom. Which manifested itself in The Bill Dana Show.
Dana's Jose played a bellhop in a big city hotel who was a hard working guy, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and was continually having his friend and fellow bellhop Gary Crosby get him in trouble. Crosby was an operator of the first magnitude. Given his involvement you can absolutely take to the bank that somewhere was the influence of Poppa Bing on behalf of the son who turned on him posthumously in the production of The Bill Dana Show.
Pressure from Latino groups got this show canceled which wasn't drawing those good ratings in any event. Jose was not a character capable of sustaining a thirty minute comedy show built around him.
Two other people got to try out some shtick that was put to good use later on. Don Adams played the bungling house detective Glick and you can see more than traces of Maxwell Smart in his performance. And Jonathan Harris who did this show between The Third Man series and Lost In Space played the supercilious hotel manager who was forever foiling Crosby's schemes involving Dana. He was condescending in this role, but had a streak of kindness towards Dana, otherwise he would have canned the poor schnook. If you watch Disney's The Suite Life of Zack and Cody you can see a lot of Harris's character in that of Phill Lewis as Mr. Mosby the hotel manager of the Boston Tipton Hotel.
But like Vaughn Meader's Kennedy impersonation, Dana's Jose was banned due to circumstances beyond his control. Although Dana became a respected character actor, Jose Jimenez became his 15 minutes of fame.
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