Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Golly, does this one remind me of the massive Dennis the Menace obsession that I was nursing age 11! Back then yer humble blogschpieler was scarfing up all of the available paperbacks, reading the current newspaper panels and waking up early during the summer months just so's I could catch reruns of this series that channel 33 would sign on with at eight inna morning!  The station eventually moved 'em into the afternoon because I remember watching this 'un on the divan after I got a big hunka flesh gouged outta my kneecap courtesy of the guy who used to live behind me and hadda walk around like Chester Goode for a good month or so. Ahhh memories. I mean, it was worth having a humongous blob of flesh 'n fat taken outta my knee given all of the goofin' off I was bound to have in store, and darn tootin' you can't get any goof-offier'n than watching old DENNIS THE MENACE reruns!

Anyhoo this second season Dee-Vee-Dee set was sent to me as a Christmas present courtesy of Lou Rone, a guy who really knows a good old time baby boom growin' up 'n stuff program to watch when he sees it! Thanks a mill-yun Lou, because I gotta admit that I've had so much fun watching these comedies (that really conjure up the kinda single-digit fun and games that I wish I coulda indulged of more in!) followed by an episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN which gave me some of the best UHF/indie tee-vee thrills experienced since the Golden Age of Kiddie Slob living way back when!

But boy, did the better moments of funtime just-into-the-double-digits suburban living just come rushin' back into my ever-aging beanie after watching these! Jay North of course is perfect as the saccharine yet deadly Dennis, while of course Joseph Kearns (famed JACK BENNY alumnus) is Mr. Wilson even if his successor in the series Gale Gordon looked more like the character in the comics! Gloria Henry and Herbert Anderson do a real good job as the parents who'd never haul off and wallop Dennis no matter what he does (not that he does anything dangerous here, so don't go expecting any episodes where Dennis accidently neuters Mr. Wilson with a chainsaw) and of course don't you wish you had a grandma or aunt like Sylvia Field as Mrs. Wilson??? I mean I sure did, and the quality of aunts I had remains pretty top notch if you ask me!!!!

Dunno if your standard DENNIS aficionado'd consider season two to be the show at its height (there are those who wax eloquent over the debut season's general kiddie anarchy) but there are some pretty good doozies here that rank as some of the better moments of late-fifties/early-sixties sitcom tee-vee viewing. My own personal fave has to be the one about the soap box derby where Mr. Wilson inadvertantly drives Dennis' car and gets him disqualified! I was kinda hopin' this 'un 'd be an eerie foreshadowing of the famed 1973 Soap Box Derby where the kid who entered fixed his craft with a magnet which his uncle operated from the finish line thus ensuring a certain victory, but I guess even that would have been too out-there for early-sixties television!

Naturally the episode that I was kinda hoping for (but knew never would have popped up) was the one where Dennis discovers the nude photos of his mom hidden in the photo album! The real-life nekkid snaps of Gloria Henry are legendary although I've never been able to, er, "uncover" them even on the web, and the thought of Dennis finding 'em and embarrasing his folk to all heck makes me chortle every time I think of it..."Mom, were you going skinnydipping in the pond when they took these pictures???" "Henry, I thought you destroyed those photos!!!" "Well gee Alice, sometimes I get lonely when you're away and those pictures do come in handy"!!! Just think of all the belly laughs we coulda gotten outta a storyline like that!

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