Dennis! Q&A

Q: Who picked Jeannie to play Margaret?
A She was chosen at the suggestion of Jay North to be his nemesis playmate. She appeared in 31 of the series' 146 episodes over the four-year run of the show.
Q: Who named Dennis the Menace?
A: The cartoon strip was named after the real Dennis, son of Hank and Alice Ketcham. Apparently, there was an incident concerning the four-year-old’s nap-time and the chaos he wrought in his bedroom rather than snoozing. His provoked mother stormed into Hank’s studio exclaiming, “Your son is a menace!” The cartoonist made an immediate connection, and drew a panel about a rambunctious, lovable boy, full of joyful mischief.
Q: How old is the Mitchell's house
A: It was constructed between 1934 and 1935 for the movie Party Wire. It was later moved and became well-known as the home of the Stone family on The Donna Reed Show in 1958, before becoming the home of the Mitchell family in 1959. The house is original, except for some exterior modifications, and was not affected by the fires of 1970.
Q: How many writers did the show have?
A: 18 writers over its 4-year run, including Hank Ketcham with 146 episodes written, Phil Lesley with 42, and Keith Fowler with 32. William Cowley wrote 29, Peggy Chantler contributed 28, and Budd Grossman wrote 26 episodes.
Q: Did DtM have an audience? 
A: No, it was filmed with a single camera and a laugh track was used with no studio audience. This was common practice with other sitcoms of the day, and continues today.
Q: Did Kurt Russell appear in the series?
A: Yes, in Season 4, Episode 19, Kurt was in an un-credited scene of Wilson's Second Childhood.                       (photo below right)
Q: What was George Wilson retired from?
A. He was not a retired postman, as he is in the DtM comic strip, but from a Pittsburgh store as manager of the Women's Wear Department. In "Out of Retirement", he was employed by the Cramer Business Machines Company, and Mr. Cramer wanted him back for his management and executive skills, again in Pittsburgh. In the DtM comic strip, he was (and is) a retired postman.
Q: How many viewers did DtM have?
A: by 1962, 25 - 30 million viewers were tuning-in each week to watch the show. (CBS) According to the Nielsen Ratings, DtM was ranked #11 in Season 3, 1961-62.
Q: How old was Jay when the series ended?
A: He was 11 and would have been 12 had there been a 5th season.
Q:Where did Jay attend school?
A: The Columbia Studio Professional Children's School, at the studio. 
Q: What was Jay's salary in Season 4? 
A: He was making $3500 per episode -- adjusted for inflation, that would equal over $28,000 today in 2016 dollars!


 

     

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                                                                      photo: original CBS/Columbia 

                                       More about the Mitchell home   

Kurt Russell (center) talks to Dennis, Tommy, and pals from the episode "Wilson's Second Childhood".