This was a surprise, but not for reasons you might think. Not that you might have advance reasons on the matter. You probably don't care. Unless this name means something to you:



The TV show is much beloved, but it never did anything for me. It came along in reruns, post Gilligan, so those of us who grew up with Bob Denver as the hapless foil to the Skipper et al were confused to see him as a beatnik. Or we didn't care. This was made years before the TV series, but it was written by Max Shulman, U of Minnesota alum who penned the Dobie stories. The main character is played by Bobby Van, and you can tell we're in the early 50s - if not the late forties:



His main affair is with Miss Adorable herself:



She is reliably cute and perky and smart and fun. It's all cute and perky and smart and fun. The first half hour has promise, and it seems clever and quick; then it's just one episodic thing after the other, and you realize you're watching a 50s MGM musical in black and white. Which seems odd. But there are compensations in the "hey it's that guy" game:


Our Trek connection, right here: Lawrence Dobkin, who appeared in a TOS and a TNG ep.

You might recognize this fellow instantly, by his puzzled expression:



It's Mr. Kimball from Green Acres! But here's the real fun. There's another gal who has her eye on Dobie, and she's a looker. Barbara Ruick:



Here's the woman who plays Debbie Reynold's mother - and he's the real-life mother of the actress above:



It gets better: she's Lurene Tuttle. Who? Well: she played Effie, Sam Spade's secretary on the radio show - and she played Marjorie, the young woman on the Great Gildersleeve, in the early 40s. She's the mother-in-law of the man who wrote the theme from Jaws and Star Wars, among other things.

This extremely brief sequence makes me laugh:



But wait! There's more! I saw a name in the credits, and nearly spit up my coffee when the actor first appeared and did this -



Jazz hands! His first moment in his first credited movie, and he does JAZZ HANDS.

Which is just perfect, because he invented jazz hands. You might wonder if this is, indeed, Bob Fosse.

Ya think?



Frankly, the Fosse style gives me heebie-jeebies, probably because I saw "All That Jazz" at an impressionable age, and associate it with all sorts of things lurking in in the id. Compare Fosse to Van, who's more old-school hoofer, and compare Fosse to Kelly, who had some of the same exuberance but wasn't so serpentine and insinuating. Still, it's a nice routine, and of course they do not make them like that anymore. Or do they? I don't watch "Glee."