The live-action adaptation of the Hank Ketcham comic strip of the same name. Dennis Mitchell was a loveable young boy, dressed in overalls and carrying a slingshot in his pocket. Everywhere he went, Dennis' wide-eyed curiosity, well-meaning attempts to help out, and his simply being a normal, red-blooded American boy growing up always seemed to lead to trouble. Usually on the receiving end was Dennis' next-door neighbor, retired business machine salesman George Wilson. Dennis worshiped Mr. Wilson, but he usually displayed a less-than-cordial attitude around the young lad. Mr. Wilson's wife, Martha, adored Dennis and saw him as a surrogate grandson (since the Wilsons never had any children). Dennis' long-suffering parents were Henry (an engineer) and Alice (a stay-at-home mother). Episodes revolved around Dennis' adventures and the trouble that usually followed. Also involved in the fun were Dennis' friends Tommy, Margaret, and Seymour. During the final year of the show, Mr. Wilson's ...Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
In the United Kingdom, the show's title was shortened to "Dennis" to avoid confusion with an existing British strip with the exact same title. This latter strip came to TV as Dennis the Menace (1996), (this sequel was created, 37 years after the weekly series of four seasons began). See more »
The side of the Wilsons' house closest to the Mitchell residence has an architectural inconsistency between front and back views. When viewed from Elm Street, the Mitchells' driveway appears to directly border the outside wall of the Wilsons' living room. However, in all but season 2, there is a door in the living room that exits toward the Mitchell residence. Beyond that door is a fence, sometimes with a gate that exits into the corner of the Wilsons' front yard. Viewed from the front, that gate could not exist. It would come out into the corner of the Wilsons' yard where the front yard, living room and fence meet the edge of the Mitchells' driveway. See more »
Starring Jay North as Dennis, this comedy series dealt with the daily adventures of a young boy. Dennis is a whirling dervish of enthusiasm. He is not a bad kid, just the personification of boyishness. He likes slingshots, baseball, frogs, camping, toy guns, etc.
Most of the episodes concern Dennis' interactions with his next door neighbor, Mr. Wilson (Joseph Kearns), his antagonist. While Dennis genuinely likes Mr. Wilson, Mr. Wilson is ambivalent about the young boy's charms. Wilson is the perfect foil, being someone who likes order and quiet. His hobbies include gardening and bird watching. And he loves public recognition. Dennis' very nature threatens the orderliness of Wilson's world.
This series might be seen as a one joke comedy, but no more so than "Bewitched" was a one trick series. North is a fine child actor who really embodies the Dennis character. Despite the naïve carelessness of Dennis, the episodes often resulted in Dennis saving the day or somehow aiding Mr. Wilson.
After the death of Kearns in the middle of season three, the show's formula altered slightly. Those who think Kearn's acting was over the top might prefer Gale Gordon, who stepped in for the remainder of the series.
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