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Dennis the Menace (1959 TV series)

Dennis the Menace is a television series based on the popular Hank Ketcham comic strip of the same name. The show aired from 1959 to 1963 on CBS and stars Jay North as Dennis Mitchell; Herbert Anderson as his father, Henry; Gloria Henry as his mother, Alice; Joseph Kearns as George Wilson and Sylvia Field as Martha Wilson.

Plot / Summary

The show follows the lives of the Mitchell family – Henry, Alice, and their only child, Dennis. Dennis is an energetic, well meaning, but trouble prone boy and sometimes a mischievous child. He often tangles with peace-and-quiet-loving neighbor, George Wilson.

Differences between the comic strip and the sitcom

Dennis' best friend Tommy Anderson was played by Billy Booth, and Jeannie Russell was chosen at the suggestion of Jay North to play his nemesis, Margaret Wade. There was no recurring character Gina in the TV show (as there was in the comics), and Joey was played by Gil Smith in only 8 early episodes in the first season. Instead of Dennis' big pooch Ruff, there was a smaller breed named Fremont, who belonged to The Wilsons.

On the sitcom, Dennis was basically a good boy who always was trying to help people but winded up making situations worse. On early episodes in the first season, far more disasters happened as a result of his actions than in later episodes. The character of Dennis was slightly toned down by the 6th or 7th episode.

First season

The pilot episode was made late in 1958 and was entitled Dennis Goes To The Movies. Dennis was clearly younger and his speech, the tone of his voice, and his character had obviously not been as developed as in episodes later in the 1959-60 season. On this episode, Dennis indeed causes a lot of destruction such as burying a hose (installing an automatic sprinkler system), trying to repair a leg on the kitchen table and causing the whole table to collapse, almost knocking Mr. Wilson off the ladder but causing him to ruin his shoes as he steps in a can of paint, among other things. Dennis' father and mother then announce that they are going to the movies to see a western (that Dennis wanted to see "all his life") and Dennis would be getting a babysitter. The problem is none of the babysitters in the area would babysit for Dennis because of his mischief. They manage to find an elderly lady Mrs. Porter who had never met Dennis. Dennis then switches places with Joey and sneaks out to the very same movie his parents are seeing. Joey stays home and pretends he is Dennis. Dennis, meanwhile causes havoc at the theatre even demanding the projectionist repeat a scene. His parents suspect that Dennis is there causing these problems so they call Mrs Porter at the house and she assures then that Dennis is so well behaved. Dennis parents say "Wow its sounds like she is talking about some other kid". Little did the parents know they were right. Dennis indeed beats the parents home and is in bed by the time they return but not before making noises causing Mr. Wilson to awaken and go outside to see what is wrong and then be arrested for armed robbery when he is found with Dennis' toy gun (which in those days much more closely resembled a real gun).

In early 1959, several other episodes are made including "The Fishing Trip", "Dennis Gets A Duck", "Dennis Runs Away", "The Cowboy", "Open House", and "Dennis Becomes A Babysitter". At that point, CBS consented to take the program to run at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday Evenings after Lassie. Margaret made her first appearance on "Open House". Actor Billy Booth makes his first appearance on "Dennis Runs Away", but not yet as Tommy Anderson.

After viewing these episodes, CBS determined that they wanted Dennis toned down because of fear that his actions would encourage children watching to try some of these things. Several weeks before the series was to debut, the episode "The Sign Post" was made in which Tommy made his debut. Margaret also appeared along with Joey. On this episode Dennis puts back a street sign that a motorist knocked down, but the sign had the streets in reverse. As a result builders mistakenly begin building a swimming pool at Mr. Wilson's house causing havoc. On this episode, Dennis is very much toned down from the pilot episode. As a result, after the pilot aired as the first episode, "The Sign Post" aired as a second episode. The "Fishing Trip" was the third episode to air but the second one made. After that, newly made episodes aired mixed in with the initial batch made earlier in 1959. Joey is gradually phased out and not a part of the second season.

Later seasons

Dennis and Mr. Wilson had a love/hate relationship. Dennis was always aggravating Mr. Wilson but usually did not realize it. He would call Mr. Wilson his best friend {and often referred to him as "Good 'Ol Mr. Wilson") while on many occasions Mr. Wilson would tell Dennis "You have far better friends than me". Mrs. Wilson, however, liked Dennis and tried to make the situation better. Other neighbors and townspeople included Mrs. Elkins (a widowed neighbor), Miss Cathcart (a lonely spinster), Mr. Quigley (a grocer), Opie Swanson (a TV/appliance store owner), Mr. Finch (a druggist), and Sgt. Mooney (a policeman), among others. Dennis also had a nemesis named Johnny Brady, whose father and Henry Mitchell also were sometimes at odds.

Second and third season episodes began to focus on Dennis at school learning to read, going to camp, playing baseball, being in scouting, and of course trying to help Mr. Wilson. Dennis was gradually maturing and at times it is revealed that Mr. Wilson does like Dennis deep down.

"Two Mr. Wilsons"

Toward the end of filming the third season, Joseph Kearns died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1962. The next couple of episodes simply did not have Mr. Wilson appearing. But later that season for the last half dozen episodes Gale Gordon joined the cast as Mr. Wilson's brother, John (Physically, John Wilson bore a far closer resemblance to the comic strip's Mr Wilson than George did). He was staying as a guest of Mrs. Wilson while Mr. Wilson was away. Sylvia Field, who played Mrs. Wilson, left the series at the end of the year. Her absence was explained by her and her husband embarking on a cruise trip, leaving their home in the care of her in-laws. The following year, John Wilson continued on, joined by his wife Eloise, played by Sara Seeger, as if he had always been the sole Mr. Wilson. Except for Dennis mentioning "The other Mr. Wilson" when he asked John Wilson if he could mow his lawn in the second episode of the fourth season, no mention was made of the original Wilsons ever again.

Music

All four seasons of Dennis The Menace featured a wide variety of background music scoring from John Seely and Associates. The tunes used were for the most part the same ones used for other sitcoms like Donna Reed, Ozzie & Harriet, Patty Duke, and others. Also, children's shows Davey And Goliath and Gumby featured much of this background music as well as some early Hanna Barbera cartoons.

Cancellation

The show had a quite successful four-year run, but Jay North did something all little boys do, grow up. As a result, he was getting too big and too old to continue the role of Dennis, and now at age 12, too old for the childlike antics that made his character into a household name. It was believed that the show had run its course once Joseph Kearns died, but it ran one more season. Finally, the show was canceled in the spring of 1963.

The show continued in reruns on NBC on Saturday mornings from 1963 to 1965 and the show was syndicated in 1965. It has run consistently on local stations over the years. It ran on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite from 1985 to 1994. It also aired on TV Land in the late 1990s.

Cast

Main characters

  • Dennis Mitchell, a well-meaning but trouble-prone boy. Played by Jay North
  • Henry Mitchell, father to Dennis and Alice's husband. Played by Herbert Anderson
  • Alice Mitchell, Henry Mitchell's wife and Dennis's mother. Played by Gloria Henry
  • Mr. George Wilson, the Mitchells' neighbor, often exasperated with Dennis's antics. George has a dog named Fremont. (1959-1962). Played by Joseph Kearns
  • Mrs. Martha Wilson, a loving, grandmotherly type who enjoys Dennis's company. (1959-1962). Played by Sylvia Field
  • Joey McDonald, Dennis's friend. (1959-1960). Played by Gil Smith
  • Tommy Anderson, Dennis's friend. (1959-1963). Played by Billy Booth
  • Margaret Wade, Dennis's nemesis, a goody-goody girl in the neighborhood. Played by Jeannie Russell
  • Mr. John Wilson, George Wilson's brother. (1962-1963). Played by Gale Gordon
  • Mrs. Eloise Wilson, John Wilson's wife. (1962-1963). Played by Sara Seeger

Recurring characters

List of episodes

1959-1960 Season

  1. Dennis Goes to the Movies 10/4/1959 - Dennis successfully sneaks out of the house and goes to a movie his parents also go to while Tommy is left with the baby sitter, pretending to be Dennis. (This is the pilot, which was made late in 1958. Mrs. Wilson does not appear.)
  2. The Fishing Trip 10/18/1959 - Mr. Wilson & Dennis' father plan a secret fishing trip without Dennis. (This was the second episode made but held back in order to air a more recent episode where the cast is more established. Mrs Wilson's first appearance on the show.) Ron Howard starred as Dennis's friend, Stewart.
  3. Dennis and the Duck 2/14/1960 - Dennis gets a pet duck that causes havoc in the neighborhood.
  4. Dennis and the Open House 2/7/1960 - Dennis' house is mistaken for a nearby open house that is up for sale. (This was Margaret Wade's first episode.)
  5. Dennis Runs Away 5/29/1960 - Dennis has nobody to play with after Joey goes home. Since nobody can drive him, he decides to walk to his grandfather's house in Emerson City but is stopped by the police. They then take him to the police station where he gets an ice cream cone and causes further havoc including putting cement in Mr. Wilson's bowling ball. (Billy Booth, who played Tommy first appeared but not yet as Tommy. Due to editing problems, this episode would be held and not shown until the end of the season)
  6. Dennis and the Cowboy 12/27/1959 - Dennis meets Whip Crawford, his cowboy idol, after Mrs. Webster tells Dennis that Whip will be in the community pageant. (Mr. and Mrs. Wilson do not appear in this episode.)
  7. Dennis Becomes a Baby Sitter 5/1/1960 - Dennis winds up babysitting a little boy who is a guest of the Wilsons after his father & Mr. Wilson mistakenly both cancel their respective sitters.
  8. Dennis and the Signpost 10/11/1959 - Dennis and Tommy replace a fallen street signpost but fail to notice they've put it up with the street names facing in the wrong direction. (Tommy Anderson's first appearance. Also Mrs. Elkin's first appearance. While this was the eighth episode made in the Summer of 1959, it was the second episode to air.)
  9. Grandpa and Miss Cathcart 10/25/1959 - Dennis tries to fix up his Grandpa Perkins with Miss Cathcart. (Miss Cathcart's first appearance)
  10. Innocents in Space 11/1/1959 - Mr. Wilson thinks he has discovered a space satellite when the Martians are actually Dennis, Tommy, Joey, and the rest of the gang.
  11. Dennis' Garden 11/8/1959 - Dennis mistakes Mr. Wilson's dahlia bulbs. for sweet potatoes, and, after his bedtime, he switches the sweet potatoes for dahlia bulbs.
  12. The New Neighbors 11/15/1959 - Dennis helps Mr. Wilson sell a neighbor's house.
  13. Tenting Tonight 11/22/1959 - Dennis and Tommy camp out in the backyard.
  14. Dennis Sells Bottles 11/29/1959 - Dennis thinks his dad is broke, so he sells bottles in an attempt to make some extra money. (Mr. and Mrs. Wilson do not appear in this episode.)
  15. Mr. Wilson's Award 12/6/1959 - Dennis starts a rumor that he and his family are moving to New York in order to keep Mr. Wilson in town for an award he is to receive.
  16. The Christmas Story (aka Dennis & Christmas) 12/20/1959 - Dennis is going crazy trying to find his gifts including a new sled.
  17. Dennis Haunts a House 1/3/1960 - Mr. Wilson becomes suspicious when he hears noises caused by Dennis and his friends who've set up their clubhouse in a crawl space underneath his house.
  18. 'Dennis' Tree House 1/10/1960 - Mr. Wilson attempts to teach Dennis about bird watching, and Dennis takes care of a sick bird.
  19. Dennis and the Rare Coin (aka "The Fountain") 1/17/1960 - Mr. Wilson purchases a rare coin for $250.00, but Mrs. Wilson, without realizing what it is, lets Dennis take it to use in a wishing well, which was the town fountain.
  20. Dennis and the Bike 1/24/1960 - When his parents won't buy him his own bicycle, Dennis attempts to get one on his own.
  21. Dennis and the Swing 2/21/1960 - Henry tries to take Alice out for their anniversary. Meanwhile, Dennis tries to build a swing in his yard and ends up chasing a cat up a tree in the process.
  22. Dennis and the Dog 2/28/1960 - Dennis cares for a dog named Charlie who wins a prize for his painting!
  23. Mr. Wilson's Sister (aka "Pieces Of Eight") 3/6/1960 - Dennis meets Mr. Wilson's sister, Helen. Helen brings George a book he had as a child, Treasure Island. He reads the book to Dennis and Tommy, and they become fascinated with buried treasure. (Joey Mcdonald's last appearance)
  24. Dennis and the TV Set 3/13/1960 - Dennis hears about Mr. Wilson getting a remote control for his television set and is fascinated. He uses his friend's remote to operate Mr. Wilson's television from his [Dennis'] house, and Mr. Wilson can't understand what's happening.
  25. Dennis Creates a Hero 3/20/1960 - Dennis asks a reporter to write a story about his dad with hopes of getting his picture in the paper.
  26. Dennis' Paper Drive 4/10/1960 - Dennis and Tommy collect newspapers for a paper drive that will reward the boy who collects the most with a silver dollar.
  27. Dennis and the Bees 4/17/1960 - Dennis and Tommy learn that Opie might have to move because his bees can't find honey. The boys move Mr. Wilson's indoor flowers outside to attract the bees, and Dennis has a plan to attract even more.
  28. Alice's Birthday 4/24/1960 - Dennis' father Henry will be out of town for Alice's (Dennis' mother's) birthday, so he gives Dennis some money and tells him to see that his mother has a nice day.
  29. Dennis and the Starlings 5/8/1960 - Mr. Wilson has a bunch of starlings in his tree and wants to get rid of them. Dennis eventually gets rid of the starlings by putting liver in Mr. Wilson's tree which attracts a lot of cats.
  30. The Party Line 5/15/1960 - The Driscolls are new neighbors, but problems arise as their phone is on the same line as the Mitchells'
  31. Dennis by Proxy 5/22/1960 - After hearing that the city is tearing down Mr. Dorfman's "Postman's Rest" bench in favor of a parking lot, Dennis and Tommy offer him use of their private bench they plan to build.
  32. Miss Cathcart's Sunsuit 6/12/1960 - Dennis and Tommy try to sell Valentine's Day cards in July to buy swim fins.

1960-1961 Season

  1. Out of Retirement 10/2/1960 - Mr. Wilson gets a visit from his former boss from Pittsburgh who offers Mr. Wilson back his old job.
  2. Dennis and the Wedding 10/9/1960 - Mr. Wilson's niece is getting married and asks Dennis to be the ring bearer.
  3. Dennis and the Radio Set 10/16/1960 - Mr. Wilson gives Dennis an old radio set that he accidentally bid on at an auction.
  4. Dennis and the Ham-pher 10/23/1960 - Dennis gets what he thinks is a hamster, but it turns out to be a gopher that escapes from its cage and almost ruins Mr. Wilson's yard.
  5. The Stock Certificate 10/30/1960 - Mr. Wilson has a stock certificate worth $500 and hides it from Dennis by putting it in his phone book.
  6. Man of the House 11/6/1960 - Dennis tries to take care of his sick mother while his father is out of town.
  7. The Rock Collection 11/13/1960 - Dennis starts a rock collection and ends up finding what he thinks is real gold on Mr. Wilson's lot.
  8. Henry and Togetherness 11/20/1960 - Mr. Wilson tricks Henry out of playing golf so that he'll spend more time with Dennis, and Dennis won't bother Mr. Wilson. Meanwhile, Dennis and Tommy try to deal with a hole Dennis put in the fish tank.
  9. Paint-up, Clean-up Week 11/27/1960 - Dennis is very upset because he doesn't know how to whistle, so he spends all day trying to learn.
  10. Dennis Learns to Whistle 12/4/1960 - Dennis is very upset because he doesn't know how to whistle, so he spends all day trying to learn.
  11. The Raffle Ticket 12/18/1960 - Mr. Wilson is conducting a car raffle for his lodge, and Dennis wants to win the car for his mother.
  12. The Christmas Horse 12/25/1960 - Dennis wants a horse for Christmas & gets a record player instead. So, on Christmas Day, he goes around the neighborhood trying to find what he thinks is his horse
  13. Dennis' Allowance 1/1/1961 - Dennis asks his father for an allowance of $0.25 per week. Henry says he'll give it to him with the condition that he learns the value of money first by earning it himself.
  14. Dennis' Penny Collection 1/8/1961 - Mr. Wilson helps Dennis start a penny collection. However, Mr. Wilson fears that Dennis having a penny collection is going to be trouble for himself.
  15. Dennis, the Campaign Manager 1/15/1961 - Dennis convinces Mr. Wilson to run for park commissioner so that he'll open the park all week long instead of just the weekend.
  16. Miss Cathcart's Friend 1/22/1961 - Dennis wants to find Miss Cathcart a best friend, so he gets her a dog from the pound. However, the dog's owner is looking for him and ends up showing up at Miss Cathcart's house before Dennis brings the dog over to her. She mistakenly thinks that the guy is the friend instead of the dog
  17. Pythias Was a Piker 1/29/1961 - Dennis is to write a composition for school about his best friend, and he chooses Mr. Wilson.
  18. Dennis and the Saxophone 2/5/1961 - Tommy has a saxophone that he doesn't want, so Dennis wants to buy it from Tommy's mother. When Mr. Wilson learns that Dennis is going to ask Henry to buy it for him, Mr. Wilson tries to talk Henry out of it.
  19. Wilson Sleeps Over 2/12/1961 - Dennis accidentally knocks over a bottle which fumigates the Wilsons' house, so the Wilsons stay at the Mitchells' for the night. Mr. Wilson walks in his sleep.
  20. Dennis' Birthday 2/19/1961 - Mr. Wilson puts on a magic show for Dennis' birthday and asks Spring Byington (Staring on December Bride)to be his assistant.
  21. Dennis Goes to Camp 2/26/1961 - Mr. Wilson takes Dennis and his friends to a camp for a day, and they end up stranded there for a week after a storm takes out a bridge.
  22. Dennis' Tool Chest 3/5/1961 - Miss Cathcart's cat is accidentally locked in the trunk of Mr. Wilson's car.
  23. The Going Away Gift 3/12/1961 - Dennis gets his mother a going-away present and hides it on Mr. Wilson's closet shelf. Mrs. Wilson finds it and thinks it is a gift for her from Mr. Wilson.
  24. Dennis and the Fishing Rod 3/19/1961 - Dennis wants to buy a fishing rod for his father and tries to purchase it with a $50.00 Confederate bill.
  25. Dennis and the Good Example 3/26/1961 - Dennis decides he wants a bird, but he knows that once his dad sees his report card, he won't get it. So his dad does agree to reward Dennis if he brings home a better report card next term.
  26. Dennis' Obligation 4/2/1961 - Dennis brings home chicken eggs to take care of for a school project but ends up taking them over to the Wilsons' house because of a power outage at the Mitchells'.
  27. The Dog Trainer 4/9/1961 - Dennis trains Mr. Wilson's dog, Fremont, but the training backfires when Fremont will only listen to Dennis and ignores Mr. Wilson.
  28. Woodman, Spare That Tree 4/16/1961 - Mr. Wilson drops a hundred-dollar bill, and a crow picks it up and flies away with it. He later finds it in an old tree in a park which the park commissioner is going to cut down.
  29. The Boy Wonder 4/23/1961 - Mr. Wilson builds a barbecue in his backyard with help from Dennis' friend, Fred Baines
  30. The Soapbox Derby 4/30/1961 - Dennis enters a soapbox derby, and Mr. Wilson accidentally ends up being the one driving Dennis' car in the race.
  31. Dennis and the Camera 5/7/1961 - Mr. Wilson is supposed to take a picture of a plant that blooms at night but ends up dozing off when the time comes. Luckily, Dennis takes the picture of the flower for him.
  32. Dennis and the Miracle Plant Food 5/14/1961 - Dennis accidentally steps on one of Mr. Wilson's plants. He buys Mr. Wilson a replacement and plants it in his flower bed without Mr. Wilson knowing. When Mr. Wilson sees the plant, which is much larger than the one that was there originally, he is convinced that the new miracle plant food he invented is the cause of the growth.
  33. Dennis' Newspaper 5/21/1961 - Dennis overhears Mr. Wilson saying that he wishes he had his raccoon coat back. Dennis gives the story to the newspaper and, as a result, all day, people bring Mr. Wilson raccoon coats.
  34. Mr. Wilson's Paradise 5/28/1961 - Mr. Wilson wants to go to the Island of Happiness in Mexico but changes his mind when he hears that his niece is going to have a baby.
  35. The Fortune Cookie 6/4/1961 - Mr. Wilson gets a fortune cookie that reads "beware of tomorrow" and is convinced that the fortune will come true.
  36. The Pioneers 6/11/1961 - Dennis, his father, and Mr. Wilson camp out to prove to Mr. Krinkie that they can live off of the land like the pioneers.
  37. Father's Day for Mr. Wilson 6/18/1961 - Dennis decides to give Mr. Wilson his own father's day which, in the end, turns out very well after Dennis gets Mr. Wilson out of a lawsuit concerning his dog, Fremont.
  38. Dennis and the Picnic 6/25/1961 - Dennis' father finds a bag of money in the gutter. He calls Mr. Wilson to witness what he's found, and they take it to the police station. They later learn that the money is counterfeit.

1961-1962 Season

  1. Trouble from Mars 10/1/1961 - Mr. Wilson accidentally gets Dennis' space helmet stuck on his head.
  2. Best Neighbor 10/8/1961 - Dennis and Mr. Wilson camp out on a mountain so that Dennis can join the Junior Pathfinders club.
  3. Keep Off the Grass 10/15/1961 - Henry gets a ticket for walking on the grass in the park. When Mr. Wilson hears about it, he thinks it isn't fair, so he convinces Henry to go to court and contest it.
  4. Mr. Wilson's Safe 10/22/1961 - Dennis uses numbers for a football play that are the combination to Mr. Wilson's safe, so Mr. Wilson and Henry get Dennis so confused that he forgets the combination. Unfortunately, Mr. Wilson forgets it, as well, and he has something very important locked inside.
  5. Haunted House 10/29/1961 - George and Henry purchase a house as an income property and later find out that it is known to be haunted. They are unable to get their money back, so they set out to prove that it isn't haunted.
  6. The School Play 11/5/1961 - Mr. Wilson ends up being in a play at Dennis' school after he and Tommy, who is in the play, get handcuffed together before the play starts.
  7. The Fifty-Thousandth Customer 11/12/1961 - Mr. Finch is having a contest in which his store's fifty-thousandth customer of the year will win five minutes of free shopping. Mr. Wilson is determined to be the winner.
  8. Dennis and the Pee Wee League 11/19/1961 - Mr. Wilson coaches Dennis' Pee Wee League baseball team because Henry, the team's original coach, becomes ill.
  9. Mr. Wilson's Inheritance 11/26/1961 - Mr. Wilson receives an inheritance from his aunt and thinks about starting a foundation to help the less fortunate.
  10. Dennis Is a Genius 12/3/1961 - A mix up in grading the school IQ test mistakenly labels Dennis a genius.
  11. The Lucky Piece 12/17/1961 - Mr. Wilson tricks Dennis into taking a silver coin that reads "good luck" and has a horseshoe on it instead of a half-dollar that he owes Dennis for mowing his lawn.
  12. The Fifteen-Foot Christmas Tree 12/24/1961 - Dennis, Henry, and Mr. Wilson go out in the woods and cut down a big Christmas tree that almost ends up getting destroyed before they get it home.
  13. Dennis' Bank Account 12/31/1961 - Dennis wants to open an account at the bank where Mr. Wilson is temporarily working in the new-accounts department.
  14. Through Thick and Thin 1/7/1962 - Dennis' cub scout troupe is putting on a circus, and Dennis convinces Mr. Wilson to be the lion. He tells Mr. Wilson that nobody has to know he's the one inside the costume
  15. Calling All Bird Lovers 1/14/1962- Mr. Wilson holds a bird lovers session at his home where a woman does bird calls that sound like real birds.
  16. Silence Is Golden 1/21/1962 - Mr. Wilson agrees to give Dennis his magnifying glass as long as he doesn't say a word to him or around him for the rest of the day. Henry and Alice had, also, told Dennis that he talks too much, so he doesn't speak around them, either.
  17. Dennis Has a Fling 1/28/1962 - Dennis is put on the spot when he asks both Mr. Wilson and Mr. MacTavish to represent Scotland for his school project.
  18. Frog Jumping Contest 2/4/1962 - Dennis enters his frog in a frog-jumping contest with Mr. Wilson as his partner. Mr. Wilson bets Sgt. Mooney that Dennis' frog will beat Mooney's.
  19. Where There's a Will 2/11/1962 - Mr. Wilson decides to leave Dennis a gold watch in his will. Soon after, Mr. Wilson begins to feel old and is convinced that he has a short time to live. (This episode airs days before the actor playing Mr. Wilson, Joseph Kearns, actually passes away. He does air in the next few episodes because they were made prior to his death.)
  20. Mr. Wilson's Uncle 2/18/1962 - George's uncle, Ned, comes to visit and convinces George that he isn't in shape. Ned starts a physical fitness program and forces George and Henry to participate.
  21. A Quiet Evening 2/25/1962 - Mr. Wilson plans to have a quiet evening at home, but his plans change when Henry needs a sitter for Dennis. Mr. Wilson is talked into being a sitter for Dennis, Margaret, and Seymour.
  22. The Private Eye 3/4/1962 - Mr. Wilson's wallet is taken by a pick-pocket, so Dennis and Tommy try to help the police find the crook.
  23. Mr. Wilson's Housekeeper 3/11/1962 - Mr. Wilson hires a housekeeper for Mrs. Wilson but soon regrets it when the housekeeper tries to tell Mr. Wilson what he can and cannot do in his own home.
  24. A Dog's Life 3/18/1962 - A big shaggy dog follows Mr. Wilson home from the market.
  25. Dennis' Documentary Film 3/25/1962 - Dennis enlists the help of Mr. Wilson in creating a documentary film of the town for Dennis' school project.
  26. Horseless Carriage Club 4/1/1962 - George buys a 1912 Winton to enter into the Horseless Carriage Road Race with the intent of winning the race and becoming president of he and Henry's chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club.
  27. Junior Pathfinders Ride Again 4/8/1962 - An Indian fire-starting demonstration is to take place for Dennis' Junior Pathfinders club, but the person who is to do perform the demonstration hurts his back. Mr. Wilson, trying to get into the Pioneer Club, is volunteered to be the replacement Indian chief and has to start a fire by rubbing together two sticks.
  28. The Treasure Chest 4/15/1962 - Mr. Wilson buys a treasure chest at an auction thinking that it has a pirate's treasure in it. When he gets it open and discovers nothing valuable, he tells Dennis that he can do whatever he wants with it.
  29. Wilson Goes to the Dentist 4/29/1962 - Mr. Wilson has a dentist's appointment but is frightened to go there.
  30. The Man Next Door 5/6/1962 - Mr. Wilson thinks his next-door neighbor is the stocking bandit and tries to prove it. (This episode was filmed the day Joseph Kearns, who played Mr. Wilson, actually dies. It's the last episode with the original Mr. Wilson.)
  31. Dennis and the Dodger 5/13/1962 - Mr. Quigley is chosen to be the coach of the town's pee-wee baseball team. The mayor agrees to give the team new uniforms if Quigley can get Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers to play an exhibition game in town (Mr. and Mrs. Wilson do not appear in this episode.)
  32. Dennis' Lovesick Friend 5/20/1962 - Dennis helps Mr. Wilson's Uncle Ned plant flower bulbs in his yard in order to get out of playing house with Margaret. (Mr. Wilson does not appear in this episode while Mrs. Wilson does.)
  33. John Wilson's Cushion 5/27/1962 - George Wilson's brother, John, comes to stay with Martha while George is out of town. John is a writer but has trouble working without his old seat cushion. (This marks Gale Gordon's debut as Mr. John Wilson, George's brother. In real life the actor playing George had passed away. On the episode, however, its stated that Mr. George Wilson is away on business and John is a guest of the Wilsons.)
  34. John Wilson Wins a Chicken 6/3/1962 - After selling a rare 1919 dime for $150, Mr. Wilson buys 10 raffle tickets from Dennis and ends up winning a chicken. When he wants to cook the chicken for dinner, Dennis and his friends try to talk him out of it
  35. The Bully 6/10/1962 - After being picked on by the school bully, Alice makes Dennis promise not to fight. As a result, the bully gives Dennis a black eye. Henry gives Dennis the go-ahead to fight back next time, so Mr. Wilson teaches Dennis how to fight.
  36. The Club Initiation 6/17/1962 - Dennis wants to join an older boys' club, but, in order to do so, he has to go through an initiation.
  37. Community Picnic 6/24/1962 - Mr. Brady and Tiny, an employee at his store, challenge Henry and John to compete against them in the sporting events at an upcoming community picnic.
  38. Dennis and the Witch Doctor 7/1/1962 - Mr. Wilson is writing a magazine article about voodoo. Dennis gets the wrong idea and tells the whole neighborhood that Mr. Wilson is a witch doctor. (the last episode with Mrs. Martha Wilson, who moves away with George. John buys the house.)

1962-1963 Season

  1. The Chinese Girl 9/30/1962 - Dennis becomes fast friends with a girl from Hong Kong that is staying with the Wilsons. (This marks the debut of Eloise Wilson, John Wilson's wife. They now live in the house formerly occupied by George and Martha as if they had always been the sole Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.)
  2. You Go Your Way 10/7/1962 - Dennis hears the Wilsons argue and spreads the news around the neighborhood. Soon, some of the neighbors think that the Wilsons have split up.
  3. Dennis and the Circular Circumstances 10/14/1962 - Mrs. Elkins turns Dennis down for a job delivering circulars for her campaign, but Mr. Wilson agrees to help Dennis get it.
  4. The Little Judge 10/21/1962 - Sgt. Mooney gives Mr. Wilson a summons after a complaint from Mrs. Elkins for an alleged violation of a town ordinance. So Mr. Wilson requests a trial, which occurs on "Children's Day in Court" - the day he designated for the children of the town to run the court and Dennis is the judge.
  5. Poor Mr. Wilson 10/28/1962 - Mr. Wilson's money falls through a hole in his pocket while he was at Quigley's market and, thus, cannot pay Dennis for washing his car. Dennis misinterprets "the market" as referring to the stock market rather than the food market and assumes Mr. Wilson is broke.
  6. Dennis in Gypsyland 11/4/1962 - Mr. Wilson's article about gypsies is returned with the request that he, first, get to know them and research them further before submitting another. Therefore, he dresses in full gypsy attire and travels on a donkey to a local gypsy camp in order to best observe them. Wilson performs a gesture that, unbeknownst to him, is a wedding proposal to a woman at the camp.
  7. The New Principal 11/11/1962 - Dennis and his school's new principal get off on the wrong foot after the principal takes a remark about his height the wrong way. He threatens to kick Dennis off the baseball team if he observes any further impudence.
  8. San Diego Safari 11/18/1962 - Mr. Wilson is selected to pick up a chimpanzee from the San Diego Zoo, so both the Wilsons and the Mitchells take a trip to the zoo.
  9. Dennis at Boot Camp 11/25/1962 - Mr. Wilson's nephew visits him in San Diego and gives Mr. Wilson and Dennis a ride in his navy truck - something against navy regulation. Mr. Wilson and Dennis hide in the back of the truck when Mr. Wilson's nephew has to pick up one of his officers. Mr. Wilson and Dennis are unable to get out of the truck and are brought back to the naval base.
  10. Henry's New Job 12/2/1962 - Henry is thinking of getting a new job that would relocate him and his family to a country called Calpuna near the Ganges River for three years. Dennis does what he can to prevent this from happening including running away from home.
  11. Wilson's Second Childhood 12/16/1962 - Mr. Wilson hangs out and plays with Dennis and his friends for the day to gather information for a magazine article about the changing behaviors of children.
  12. Jane Butterfield Says 12/23/1962 - Mr. Wilson takes over an advice-to-the-lovelorn newspaper column for a few weeks. He thinks he will have every single woman in town happily married by the time he finishes.
  13. Dennis and the Hermit 12/30/1962 - Dennis visits a hermit that lives in a shack out in his woods. Mr. Wilson thinks that the hermit fought in the Civil War, so he tries to get his life story.
  14. My Uncle Ned 1/6/1963 - Mr. Wilson has written a book about his Uncle Ned's life. Ned, however, does not want the book to be published because certain parts of it, he claims, are not true.
  15. Junior Astronaut 1/13/1963 - Mr. Wilson is named chairman of a saving-stamps campaign for the Junior Astronauts. As chairman, he arranges a contest at Dennis' school in which the student who collects the most stamps wins a trip to Cape Canaveral to meet an astronaut.
  16. Wilson's Little White Lie 1/20/1963 - Mr. Wilson tells Dennis he isn't feeling well just to get Dennis to leave him alone. Dennis spreads the word leading everyone to believe that Mr. Wilson is very sick.
  17. 'Dennis, the Rain Maker 1/27/1963 - Henry desperately wants to get out of playing golf with his boss and says he'd give $10.00 for a rain storm. Mr. Wilson gives Dennis a book called Secrets of the Indian Rain Dance, and he and his friends decide to give it a try.
  18. The Creature with the Big Feet 2/3/1963 - Mr. Wilson sees large footprints in his yard caused by Dennis' new novelty shoes and thinks they may be from a monster that has been reported in the newspaper. Mr. Wilson vows to capture the supposed monster.
  19. Dennis, the Confused Cupid 2/10/1963 - Dennis is interested in learning about love. His parents and Mr. and Mrs. Wilson both tell him how wonderful love is, but he just doesn't understand.
  20. Dennis Goes to Washington 2/17/1963 - Dennis is appointed by the mayor to go to Washington to ask their senator to support the creation of a national forest at nearby Hickory Mountain. Mr. Wilson goes along to cover the story and thinks his contacts there will be the thing that allows the idea of a forest to be realized.
  21. The Big Basketball Game 2/24/1963 - Dennis' basketball team's star player, Stretch, quits the team after Johnny Brady and some of the other players constantly make fun of him and make him feel unwanted. Dennis makes a plea to Mr. Quigley to talk to Stretch in an attempt to persuade him to rejoin the team.
  22. Wilson's Allergy 3/3/1963 - Mr. Wilson is convinced that he is allergic to Dennis because he sneezes every time he is around. Henry and Alice realize that Dennis has changed his bath soap recently, so he takes a bath with his old soap to see if that is the problem. Mr. Wilson still sneezes, so he tells Dennis that they'll have to stay away from each other from now on.
  23. Baby Booties 3/10/1963 - Mrs. Wilson knits several baby booties to use as golf club covers for a new set of clubs she bought for Mr. Wilson's birthday. Dennis sees the booties, and Tommy says it means that Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are going to have a baby. Dennis quickly spreads the word around the neighborhood. Word gets back to Mr. Wilson, and he thinks it may be true.
  24. My Four Boys 3/17/1963 - Mr. Wilson enters an essay contest that requires the entrants to be parents. When he wins the contest, he tries to pass off Dennis and his friends as his own children.
  25. Dennis and the Homing Pigeons 3/24/1963 - Dennis and Tommy decide to use pigeons in the park to send messages to each other. Mrs. Wilson gives Dennis a scratch pad to use for the notes without knowing that Mr. Wilson had an important stock tip written on the pad. Dennis attaches the page with the tip to a pigeon and releases it. Mr. Wilson and Henry, whom also wishes to buy some of the stock, attempt to get it back.
  26. A Tax on Cats 3/31/1963 - Mr. Wilson becomes a cat catcher for the police department to help enforce a cat license law.
  27. The Uninvited Guest 4/7/1963 - With Henry away in New York on business and Alice having to spend the night with Henry's mother, Dennis stays with the Wilsons for a night.
  28. Dennis Plays Robin Hood 4/14/1963 - Dennis and his friends decide to play Robin Hood. Dennis takes Mr. Wilson's lawn edger to use on his own lawn. Mr. Wilson sees Mrs. Elkins using an edger she had recently purchased. Thinking it's his and that she had stolen it from him, he takes it back when she leaves to answer the phone.
  29. The Three F's 4/21/1963 - Property taxes have risen, and Mr. Wilson thinks the reason is that the school is wasting money on nonessential programs and luxuries. So the principal to invite Mr. Wilson to spend the day as a regular student.
  30. Never Say Dye 4/28/1963 A famous actress commissions Mr. Wilson to write her life story thinking he is a "young, vigorous author with a youthful point-of-view." He buys some hair dye in an attempt to look younger and asks Dennis to bring it to his house for him. The bottle falls out of the box and breaks on the sidewalk, so he and Tommy replace it with a bottle of Tommy's mother's dye thinking it's the same thing. An unsuspecting Mr. Wilson proceeds to use the dye on his entire head.
  31. The Lost Dog 5/5/1963 - Dennis finds a stray dog and, since the pound is closed until the next morning, Henry allows the dog to stay in their house for the night. The dog causes nothing but trouble including barking in the basement, jumping on Henry's bed, and chasing Mr. Wilson up a tree.
  32. Kelly's Kids 5/5/1963 - The Mitchells' neighbors adopt an orphaned boy and his two friends, one of which is Afro-American and the other is American Indian. Another neighbor, Mrs. Payne, tries to get help from the Mitchells avert the adoption when they find out. But the adoption occurs when the Mitchells refuse to help the old lady do such a thing. (Mr. and Mrs. Wilson do not appear. Neither does Tommy or other friends of Dennis. In fact, Dennis only appears for less than a minute. This episode was to be a pilot of another series CBS was planning to begin to make later that year. But the show never got past planning stages. Ten years later, it would be remade again, as an episode of The Brady Bunch, with the same title but again did not get picked up as a series.)
  33. Tuxedo Trouble 5/12/1963 - Dennis and his friends start a laundry service using Mrs. Elkins' old washing machine. Dennis offers to take Mr. Wilson's tuxedo to the cleaners but decides to try to remove a stain himself. While Dennis is away, Seymour throws the tuxedo in the washing machine with other children's dirty laundry. To cover himself, Dennis decides to give Mr. Wilson Henry's tuxedo to use.
  34. Hawaiian Love Song 5/19/1963 - Mrs. Wilson is angry with Mr. Wilson because she thinks he's not taking her to Hawaii for their anniversary even though he promised to. He really is taking her, though, and has the plane tickets mailed to the Mitchells' so that Mrs. Wilson won't discover them. When Alice gets the envelope, she thinks that Henry has used the money from his bonus to buy them tickets to Hawaii.
  35. The Lucky Rabbit's Foot 5/26/1963 - Dennis has what he thinks is a lucky rabbit's foot. With recent bad luck Mr. Wilson has been having, Dennis offers to let him borrow the foot. Mr. Wilson, however, doesn't believe in such superstition and doesn't take the foot. Immediately thereafter, his bad luck continues when something jams his lawnmower, and he runs over his garden hose with the mower.
  36. Listen to the Mockingbird 6/2/1963 - Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Elkins are each running for president of the Birdwatchers Society. The first mockingbird of Spring has made its nest in Mr. Wilson's backyard, and its chirping keeps him up at night.
  37. First Editions 6/9/1963 - Henry tells Dennis to get rid of his massive comic book collection, so he decides to sell them. Meanwhile, Mr. Wilson wants to buy a new camera, but Mrs. Wilson says the only way he can do it is to sell his first-edition books.
  38. A Man Among Men 6/16/1963 - While Henry is out of town, Dennis takes his place and tries to do everything his father would do. Meanwhile, Mr. Wilson has a book of magazine articles he has written published and plans to give all of the proceeds to the Red Cross. He tries to get a window display for his book at the local book store, but the owner gets the idea that Mr. Wilson is a greedy man who only wants to make money for himself.
  39. Aunt Emma Visits the Wilsons 7/7/1963 - When Mr. Wilson's Aunt Emma pays him a visit, she takes an instant liking to Dennis. This causes Mr. Wilson to fear that she will make Dennis her heir instead of him.

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