Jan 26, 2022

The Bob Cummings Show: Uncle Bob and Chuck

Dwayne Hickman (right) of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and 1960s beach movies started his tv career as Chuck, a high school boy who lives with his widowed mother and sleazy photographer uncle Bob (former film noir star Bob Cummings) in Love That Bob (1955-1959), aka The Bob Cummings Show. 

At first Chuck is interested in hot rods and rock music but not girls, so Uncle Bob tries to instill in him an appreciation of "the important things in life."  Since Bob's job involves drooling over, gaping at, and sometimes photographing girls, he's something of an expert on girl-craziness, and he has spent many episodes promoting heterosexual desire among gay-coded colleagues: his butch lesbian secretary (Ann B. Davis, later  Brady Bunch); a butch lesbian buddy (Nancy Kulp, later on The Beverly Hillbillies); and a "girl-shy" male buddy (King Donovan).

Bob's overenthusiastic attempts to induce girl-craziness in Chuck looks unconfortably like an attempt to displace his own homoerotic attraction.  Even the teen magazines seemed to notice, treating the two as a couple of "bachelors out on the town."  The December 1957 issue of Teen shows Bob and Chuck slurping ice cream sundaeas, gazing into each other's eyes while wearing matching effeminate fur coats.

Eventually Chuck went off to college, his girl-craziness still tentative, in spite of Uncle Bob's constant girl-ogling, and Dwayne Hickman went off to play high schooler Dobie Gillis.


  1. A lot of these "uncles" in retro tv shows seem to be gay coded

  2. I was not aware that Ann B. Davis was a lesbian.

    1. The name sounds familiar. Was she the housekeeper on "The Brady Bunch"? She was gay; I believe she spent her retirement in a women's commune or spiritual community or something.

  3. Yes, she was the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.

  4. It was a sort of Christian collective she lived in after retiring from showbiz except for occasional Brady Bunch homage gigs.
    While she kept to herself and wasn't in anyone's face about it, she was rumored to be uncomfortable working with Rip Taylor in THE BRADY BUNCH VARIETY HOUR, partly because he was Gay. But she refused to speak publicly about that show, so there's nothing definitive.


No offensive, insulting, racist, or homophobic comments are permitted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...