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Friday, March 22, 2013

That's Dobie With A "B".

Now that I'm done trashing MeTV over Valerie Harper, I'm going to begin a series of articles about show that I regularly Tivo on MeTV.
I'm going to begin with "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
It was a show that I really liked as an adolescent.
I still like many aspects of it, fifty years later.
I've never seen a show that indulged in catchphrases as often as this show:

"I gotta kill that boy some day. I just gotta"

"Gee, like, you're all heart."

"Surely you jest"

"You nasty, nasty boy!"

"It's only you, Maynard"
"So, my young Barbarians...."


After being called "Dopey" Dobie would retort "That's "Dobie" with a "B"

"I just came back from downtown, where they were tearing down the old Endicott Building"

"They're showing a great picture at the Bijou: "The Monster That Devoured Cleveland"

"You're a real human being"

"I was a first Sergeant in the BIG war. WW2. WITH the good conduct medal"
I know that most actors don't like line readings, but think about how much less funny it would have been if the word WITH had not been emphasized.

"You rang?" was the direct antecedent to Squiggy's "Hello"
It was set up exactly the same way and was conscious theft.

Dobie, to Zelda, in a dead-on Jack Benny impression: "Now, cut that out!"

Most of these catchphrases were used in virtually every show, and were undoubtedly part of its charm.
The dialogue was always well paced and intelligent.
What wasn't intelligent, but equally well paced, perhaps too frenetically paced, especially as the series went on, were the stories.
They were usually not just dopey.
They were particularly dopey.
That's "Dopey" with a"P"

More about "Dobie Gillis next time


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. As an assignment in a high school communications class, we had to pick something to present to the class. I picked up a story by Max Shulman about Dobie Gillis. It was the funniest thing I had read to that point. (That point being 1974.)
    As I was preparing for my turn, I found it was impossible for me to read the story without laughing. I read it over and over hoping to wear down the funny parts, so I could do it in front of the class.
    No such luck. I tried to cover the laughing with a cough. So, there I was hacking and laughing my way through Mr. Shulman's brilliant writing. I think I received a C for my efforts.

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."