Show Type: Sitcom

First Telecast: October 4, 1959

Last Telecast: September 22, 1963

Broadcast History:

October 1959 - September 1963, Sunday 7:30-8:00 on CBS


Dennis Mitchell..... Jay North

Henry Mitchell..... Herbert Anderson

Alice Mitchell..... Gloria Henry

George Wilson (1959-1962)..... Joseph Kearns

Martha Wilson (1959-1962)..... Sylvia Field

Joey McDonald (1959-1960)..... Gil Smith

Mrs. Lucy Elkins..... Irene Tedrow

Tommy Anderson..... Billy Booth

Margaret Wade..... Jeannie Russell

Mr. Quigley..... Willard Waterman

Miss Esther Cathcart (1959-1961)..... Mary Wickes

Grandma Mitchell (1961)..... Kathleen Mulqueen

Sergeant Theodore Mooney (1962-1963)..... George Cisar

Seymour (1962-1963)..... Robert John Pittman

John Wilson (1962-1963)..... Gale Gordon

Eloise Wilson (1962-1963)..... Sara Seegar


Cartoonist Hank Ketcham's mischievous imp was brought to television in 1959 in the person of Jay North. Dennis the Menace had been a comic-strip fixture for years, with its little boy who was always trying to help but usually managed to make everything worse. Dennis's long-suffering parents put up with him as best they could, which was more than could be said for Mr. Wilson, their next-door neighbor in suburban Hillsdale. If Mr. Wilson planted some fancy tulips, Dennis was sure to uproot them and plant some "prettier" potatoes in their place. If Dennis happened upon some of Mr. Wilson's rare coins, he was sure to donate them to the March of Dimes. Adding to the general confusion was Mr. Wilson's dog, Fremont.

Joseph Kearns, the first Mr. Wilson, died before filming was completed for the 1961-1962 season. He was replaced in May 1962 by Gale Gordon, who was initially introduced as Mr. Wilson's brother John, a houseguest of Mrs. Wilson. The next fall, John returned with a wife of his own, Eloise, as if he had always been the sole Mr. Wilson.

Reruns of Dennis The Menace aired Saturday mornings on NBC from October 1963 to September 1965. A quarter-century after the live-action Dennis the Menace left the air, CBS brought an animated version to its Saturday morning lineup in January 1988. The animated Dennis only lasted for nine months. A second animated series, The New Dennis the Menace, aired Saturday mornings on CBS during the 1993-1994 season.