Monday, June 22, 2015

Dennis Without Someone to Menace

Dennis the Menace needs someone to "Menace". That's what his neighbor Mr. Wilson is for- the put upon guy who just wants to live his retirement in peace. On the hit sitcom Dennis the Menace, Joseph Kerns fit the bill, as the poor guy who can't understand why nobody else sees how much of a menace Dennis really is.

The show began its life after CBS lost Leave it to Beaver to ABC. The show couldn't have found a better Mr. Wilson than Mr. Kerns. He looked just like the Mr. Wilson on the funny pages and made us believe that while he was faced with Dennis' everlasting annoyance every week, deep down he had a fondness for the boy who became the grandson he never had. Sadly, after filming the 100th episode of the show, Mr. Kerns died of a heart attack. 

Replaced by veteran actor Gale Gordon, the show lost its way. Something just didn't seem right anymore. It was canceled after just one more season.