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Entertainment Earth

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Entertainment Earth

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"Oh, my name José Jimenez. And who may I ask are you two nice people climbing down the side of this building when the elevator are available?"

- as Jose Jimenez from Batman"(1966)

BILL DANA

Bill Dana began his career at NBC working as a studio page and would go on to make 17 guest appearances on Ed Sullivan's variety show, Toast of the Town (1948).

Bill Dana was best known for his Jose Jimenez character. Bill Dana's comic creation José first appeared on Steve Allen's TV show, and swiftly became extremely popular.

Dana's Jimenez character was a Mexican immigrant, somewhat bemused by life in the U.S.A. but eager to join in. Dana got so much mileage from this one character that he became one of those performers entirely known to the public in the guise of one fictional character, rather than in his own right (like Paul Rubens as Pee Wee Herman).

Inevitably, there were some complaints (from Latinos in general and Mexicans in particular) that Jose Jimenez is an ethnic stereotype. But the character was never played as an insult. Jose Jimenez is honest, hard-working and is just naive not stupid. In many ways, Jose Jimenez is a south-of-the-border version of Gomer Pyle.

Jose Jimenez's origins were in brief skits and spoof 'man in the street' interviews on Steve Allen's show. 'The Bill Dana Show' was an attempt to place the popular Jimenez character at the centre of a weekly sitcom. This series had some genuine potential, with a good premise and a splendid supporting cast, and might have succeeded if it had possessed better scripts. Each episode began promisingly, with a marimba band playing the show's theme tune in rapid three-quarter time. Bill Dana remained firmly in character as Jose Jimenez, who for purposes of this sitcom was a bellboy in a California hotel. Working on the same shift was his bellboy buddy Eddie. There was some good interplay between the naive, trusting Jose and the cynical Eddie, with Eddie always trying to recruit Jose into his schemes and always eager to explain to Jose the 'right' way to do things in America. Pop singer Gary Crosby showed real acting talent in his role as Eddie.

For modern viewers, the most intriguing aspect of 'The Bill Dana Show' is that the supporting cast featured dry runs for two characters who later became fixtures in their own respective series. Don Adams (a longtime friend of Dana) played the hotel's house detective Glick. Adams played this character with the same crotchets and vocal delivery that he would later employ so successfully as Maxwell Smart in 'Get Smart'. The hotel's pompous manager, Mr Phillips, was played by Jonathan Harris in the same snooty supercilious mode that he later used as the villainous Dr Zachary Smith in 'Lost in Space'.

Bill Dana's writting credits include: The Steve Allen Show, Bridget Loves Bernie, Chico and the Man, Donny and Marie, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Matlock and All in the Family (the episode when Sammy Davis Jr visits the Bunkers).

    Selected Bill Dana TVography

Batman
- The Yegg Foes in Gotham (cameo as Jose Jimenez, 1966)

The Bill Dana Show
- as Jose Jimenez (1963-1965)

The Courtship of Eddie's Father
- The Littlest Kidnapper (1969)

Ellery Queen
- The Adventure of the Judas Tree (1976)

Empty Nest
- The Ballad of Shady Pines (1994)

The Facts of Life
- It's Lonely at the Top (1985)
- Teenage Marriage: Part 2 (1981)

Fantasy Island
- Mr. Nobody/La Liberatora (1981)

Get Smart
- Ice Station Siegfried (1969)
- Supersonic Boom (cameo, 1967)

The Golden Girls
- Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan (1992)
- Ro$e Love$ Mile$ (1991)
- The Monkey Show (1991)
- Love for Sale (1991)
- Valentine's Day (1989)
- My Brother, My Father (1988)

The Hollywood Palace
- guest appearances as Jose Jimenez (1965-1968)

Love, American Style
- Love and Las Vegas (1970)

Make Room for Daddy as Jose Jiminez
- Jose's Rival (1963)
- Jose's Guided Tour (1963)
- Jose, the Dog Sitter (1963)
- Jose, the Scholar (1962)
- Jose Rents the Copa (1962)
- Jose's Protege (1962)
- For Every Man There's a Woman (1961)
- The Dog Walkers (1961)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- The Matterhorn Affair (1967)

McMillan & Wife
- Aftershock (1975)

The New Steve Allen Show
- UCLA (1961)
- Pacific Ocean Park (1961)
- San Francisco Show (as Jose Jimenez, 1961)
- Episode #1.7 (1961)

Police Woman
- Sidewinder (1975)

The Practice
- A Doctor's Doctor (1976)

The Red Skelton Show
- Brats in Your Belfry (as Jose Jimenez, 1965)

Sledge Hammer!
- Haven't Gun, Will Travel (1987)

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
- Episode #2.1 as Jose Jimenez (1988)

The Snoop Sisters
- The Female Instinct (1972)

The Spike Jones Show
- guest as Jose Jimenez. 10 episodes (1960 - 1961)

St. Elsewhere
- The Abby Singer Show (1988)
- No Chemo, Sabe? (1987)
- Once Upon a Mattress (1986)

The Steve Allen Show
- guest as José Jiménez (1960)

Swinging Spiketaculars
- guest as Jose Jimenez. 3 episodes (1960)

Switch
- Gaffing the Skim (1976)

Too Close for Comfort
- A Matter of Degree (1982)
- Rafkin's Bum (1981)

Vega$
- Love, Laugh and Die (1978)

Zorro and Son
- The Butcher of Barcelona (1983)
- Wash Day (1983)
- A Fistful of Pesos (1983)
- Beauty and the Mask (1983)
- Zorro and Son (1983)

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