Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

The 1959-1963 comedy series revolved around teenager Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), who aspired to have popularity, money, and the attention of beautiful and unattainable girls. He didn't have any of these qualities in abundance, and the tiny crises surrounding Dobie's lack of success made the story in each weekly episode. His partner-in-crime was American television's first beatnik, Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver).

Krebs had a deep aversion to work; Maynard was convinced life is for enjoying. Dobie's father, Herbert T. Gillis (Frank Faylen), who owned a grocery store, was only happy when Dobie was behind a broom. Dobie's father was often caught up in various elaborate get-rich-quick schemes, or situational bail-outs à la Ralph Kramden, with Dobie getting ensnared along with him; by the end both came around grudgingly to Maynard's point of view.

As a high school student, Dobie lived at home with his parents in the show's early years, and his interaction with his parents was a source of much of the humor. His mother Winnie (Florida Friebus) was very caring and perhaps tended to baby her son a little too much; his father Herbert was a very proud, hard-working child of the Great Depression and veteran of World War II, who was often heard to declare "I've gotta kill that boy; I've just gotta!" but deep down a good and decent man.

Dobie's two main antagonists were rich kids, Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty) and, after his departure, Milton's cousin, Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. (Steven Franken), both representing the wealth and popularity to which Dobie aspired. They both shared the same actress, Doris Packer, as their mother.

Dobie was hopelessly attracted to the money-hungry blonde Thalia Menninger (Tuesday Weld), who frequently entangled Dobie in her money-making schemes. However Weld soon left the series but was replaced by a seemingly endless stream of young women equally hard for Dobie to obtain. Most, however, were not as money-obsessed as Thalia. Thalia's catchphrase was that the money was not for her but for her family; she would talk about ailments her family had that only money could cure. Thalia claimed her looks were all her family had to lift them out of their bad situation in life.

Zelda Gilroy (Sheila James Kuehl) was a brilliant and eager young girl who was hopelessly in love with Dobie, much to his annoyance. Despite his protests, Dobie was clearly fond of Zelda and would be married to her in the proposed 1977 series pilot, Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis? Zelda claimed Dobie loved her too but just hadn't realized it yet. To prove this she'd wiggle her nose (like a rabbit) at Dobie who would do the same back to Zelda, though Dobie said it was only a reflex and not love that made him do that.

 During the second season, Dobie and Maynard (along with Chatsworth) did a brief stint in the peacetime U.S. Army. Conscription in the United States was in effect at the time, and the Vietnam War was as yet only a minor concern to most Americans when the series ended.

Beginning with the third season, Dobie moved from high school to S. Peter Pryor Junior College, surrounded by many of the same people. William Schallert played Leander Pomfritt, the English teacher at both the high school and the junior college; and the late Jean Byron (with whom Schallert would later co-star on The Patty Duke Show) played mathematics teachers Ruth Adams and Professor Imogene Burkhart (which was actually Jean Byron's real name).

Created by Max Shulman

Directed by:

Rod Amateau

Stanley Z. Cherry

David Davis

Robert Gordon

Tom Montgomery

Ralph Murphy

Starring:

Dwayne Hickman

Bob Denver

Frank Faylen

Florida Friebus

Tuesday Weld

Warren Beatty

Theme music composer:

Lionel Newman

Max Shulman

Opening theme "Dobie" performed by Judd Conlon's Rhythmaires

No. of seasons 4

No. of episodes 147

Executive producer: Martin Manulis

Producer: Rod Amateau

Editors:

Johnny Ehrin

Willard Nico

Robert Moore

Cinematography James Van Trees

Camera setup Single-camera setup

Running time 26 min

Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television

Martin Manulis Productions

Broadcast

Original channel CBS

Picture format Black-and-white

Original run September 29, 1959 – September 18, 1963

Highlights
Sheila Kuehl on being cast as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
04:49
William Schallert on playing "Mr. Leander Pomfritt" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on his cast-mates
08:31
Sheila Kuehl on her Many Loves of Dobie Gillis character "Zelda Gilroy"
05:29
Henry Colman on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
04:11
William Schallert on working with Tuesday Weld on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
00:43
Who talked about this show

George Barris

View Interview
Custom car designer George Barris on his work for a Many Loves of Dobie Gillis episode
01:05

Anne Beatts

View Interview
Anne Beatts on pitching Square Pegs, using The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis as a reference point with then-CBS executive Dwayne Hickman (who played Dobie Gillis) in the meeting
04:23

Robert Butler

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Robert Butler on mishaps directing Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
00:37

Henry Colman

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Henry Colman on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
04:11

Sheila Kuehl

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Sheila Kuehl on being cast as "Zelda Gilroy" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
04:49
Sheila Kuehl on her Many Loves of Dobie Gillis character "Zelda Gilroy"
05:29
Sheila Kuehl on working with The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis creator Max Shulman
01:28
Sheila Kuehl on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis director Rod Amateau
01:35
Sheila Kuehl on the production of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
01:51
Sheila Kuehl on working with Dwayne Hickman as "Dobie Gillis" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
Sheila Kuehl on Bob Denver as "Maynard G. Krebs" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
06:16
Sheila Kuehl on doing publicity for The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
02:39
Sheila Kuehl on her interaction with fans of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and how they reacted to her character "Zelda Gilroy"
03:56
Sheila Kuehl on Tuesday Weld as "Thalia Menninger" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
02:11
Sheila Kuehl on attending UCLA while on The Many Loves of Dobie Gills
02:50
Sheila Kuehl on Warren Beatty as "Milton Armitage" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gills
01:17
Sheila Kuehl on her friendship with Dwayne Hickman on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
02:56
Sheila Kuehl on moments of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis that stood out for her
01:52
Sheila Kuehl on the planned Zelda Gilroy spin-off of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
06:28
Sheila Kuehl on the end of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
01:44
Sheila Kuehl on appearing in the reunion movies Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis? and Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis
04:11

Martin Manulis

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Martin Manulis on developing The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis for 20th Century Fox Television
03:10

William Schallert

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William Schallert on playing "Mr. Leander Pomfritt" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; on his cast-mates
08:31
William Schallert on being a regular on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
00:31

Marlo Thomas

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Marlo Thomas on appearing on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
00:56

Dawn Wells

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Dawn Wells on Bob Denver's "Maynard" on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis  
00:50

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