They Don’t Make ‘Em Like Dobie Anymore

Dobie talked necking, no more. There was sexual tension, but no sex.

I was up late last night. That’s my normal M.O.

Pickings get slim on the weekend. Websites update less frequently, if at all. By 3:00 AM I was channel surfing, looking for something… anything… to watch.

I ended up with WZME, Bridgeport. It’s cable channel 95 for me. The call letters are new, but the station has a colorful past pre-WZME!

I know even more. Good stuff. Can’t talk about it. Sworn to secrecy.

WZME is affiliated with MeTV, a ‘network’ showing old TV shows and infomercials. At the hour I watched nearly all the ads were aimed at people older than me!

In the past rediscovering old shows has been disappointing. Things I remembered as good were anything but. Last night was an exception. I caught two episodes of Dobie Gillis and they were great.

The writing and acting were excellent. The pacing was much faster and tighter than other sitcoms of that era.

The regulars, Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver, William Schallert, Sheila James, Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus were all more-than-equal to the task.

The opening and closing credits ran in an interesting way. At the punchline or payoff of the very first scene and very last scene an animated graphic came on-the-screen. The actors, with their mics now off, continued action beneath the graphic. I can’t think of any other show that did it or does it this way.

Dobie Gillis was produced in the early sixties. It portrays a very different America. There were Caucasians, no others. People ran short of money, but never suffered consequences. Good always prevailed over evil.

Dobie talked necking. There was sexual tension, no sex.

Dobie lived in a more respectful time. Adolescents on TV today are portrayed as smarter-than-parents wise asses.

No one’s rushing to remake Dobie Gillis. That’s a shame. You really should watch the original next time you get the chance.

7 thoughts on “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like Dobie Anymore”

  1. I saw the tweet you put up about late night tv too late to respond to it. Specifically, I was very young at the time but thought Car 54 was great. If nothing else, the lyrics to the theme song have to be right up there with any of the other “classics”. Maybe you had to be a New Yorker to appreciate them!

  2. Dobie was a classic – lots of terrific actors (Steve Franken as Chatsworth Osborne, I think – RIP!) and great dialogue – it didn’t take itself too seriously but was really well done.

  3. It was a safer time for us too. Pre 9/11 pre wars. Probably pre Vietnam too. Just the good old cold war. I believe the actor that played Zelda went into politics in California.

  4. Do you have ANT-TV or ThisTV? We do on Cox digital. We’re talking about shows like Outer Limits, Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, Dragnet, Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, Hazel, Father Knows Best, Patty Duke, Alfred Hitchcock – you will get lost there! Enjoy!

  5. You need to get your back, back into shape. All this Black and White stuff is starting to get to you. Next thing you know, you will be trolling XM Radio for old radio shows like “The Shadow”.

  6. While they weren’t regulars, Warren Beatty, Tuesday Weld, and Ron Howard were also cast members. Not too shabby. And Sheila James (Kuehl) got a law degree from Harvard and was elected to the California Assembly and Senate.

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