Sunday, February 8, 2009



In the 21 inch, diagonally measured, black and white, family-friendly, world of 1950’s, television sitcoms, Hollywood Photographer Bob Collins was living the American Dream.

All day, he snapped glamour shots of beautiful, screen models for magazine ads and calendars. All night, he chased the very women whose images he captured and whose charms he coveted.

In between studio sessions there were cruises to Hawaii, beach picnics at Malibu, and drives in his convertible, up to L.A.’s own lover’s lane, Mulholland Drive.

Bob also flew jets as a U.S.Air Force reservist and piloted his own Beechcraft Bonanza.

A caring brother, he supported his widowed sister, Margaret, and stood as a solid, if skewed, father figure for his teenaged nephew, Chuck.

A good boss, he adored his devoted, office assistant, Charmaine (Schultzy) Schultz, who made no secret of her desire to develop a romantic relationship with the dashing man behind the camera.

From a more contemporary viewpoint, Bob Collins, the all-American, dream date of 1958 was actually a feminist nightmare, who spent 30 minutes in our living rooms, each week, objectifying the women on whom he focused his lens and his lust.

In the end, Bob got the girl, but usually on her terms, not his own.

His adventures were chronicled in The Bob Cummings Show, which starred the one time, movie, matinee idol as the oversexed, L.A. lothario.Cummings, who had an NBC-TV sitcom in the early 1950's,came to this series following his success in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954, sophisticated, thriller, Dial M For Murder.

Cummings not only starred, but directed and produced the series, along with accomplished showman Paul Henning (who later created the Beverly Hillbillies) and master monologist George Burns. The Bob Cummings Show was filmed in the one camera method at Hollywood’s General Service Studios.

The light hearted, fast paced show enjoyed a four year run in primetime, debuting on NBC-TV in January of 1955, moving for two seasons to CBS-TV, and returning to the NBC-TV schedule for its final episodes in the 1958-1959 season.

The series was re-titled As LOVE THAT BOB, for daytime replay in 1959 on ABC-TV and in subsequent syndication. As the demand for color programming grew, the black and white series all but disappeared from local, television schedules.

Supporting Cummings were (clockwise from upper right) Dwayne Hickman (pre-Dobie Gillis) as his impressionable nephew,Rosemary DeCamp as his sardonic sister,and Ann B. Davis (of Brady Bunch fame) as his aspiring,lover-in-waiting,Schultzy.

A panoply of 1950’s, B movie, Hollywood starlets, ranging from Mamie Van Doren to Joi Lansing, appeared as the objects of Bob’s affection. Big name guest stars, like leading men, Peter Lawford and Jack Carson, balanced the weekly war of the sexes. The solid and versatile stock company included the hilarious Rose Marie (Dick Van Dyke’s Sally Rogers), the versatile King Donovan and the redoubtable Nancy Kulp (the Hillbillie’s Miss Jane Hathaway).

Below are four clips that constitute a full episode of The Bob Cummings Show, which aired on NBC-TV, on January 16, 1958. It includes commercials for his sponsor, Winston and Salem cigarettes. The show’s theme song was a minor hit and entitled, A Romantic Guy, I. The announcer is the sonorous Bill Baldwin.

Here is Bob Judges A Beauty Contest. Enjoy !!!!!

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