Sunday, October 16, 2005


Short-term memory audiences may only know Louie Nye from several episodes of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in which he portrayed Jeff's Dad. But his connection to Toobworld goes back to the classic Golden Age and Steve Allen's variety show. There he created Gordon Hathaway, the slightly fey spoof of the Madison Avenue advertising executive which had become sort of an Everyman (in a more white-collar Willie Loman way) thanks to "The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit".

It was Gordon who immortalized the phrase "Heigh-ho, Steve-arino!" and the character links to something called 'Laugh-Back' which aired in 1975.

He also had a memorable turn in the recurring role of Sonny Drysdale, the step-son of Milburn Drysdale the banker on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. (Never did figure out how that worked, what with their names being the same and all.) For a while, Sonny was the main suitor for the attentions of Ellie Mae, but a retro look at Nye's sly performance and you wonder if she wasn't acting as a "beard" for Sonny.

There might be an interesting tele-genetics theory in the possibility of Gordon Hathaway being related to Jane Hathaway, Mr. Drysdale's secretary. From there it would lead to speculation if there were then blood ties between Gordon and Sonny that links the two shows together.

Louie Nye might be remembered mostly for his comedy roles, but his dramatic turns were no less interesting. But then, everybody knows comedy is harder than drama. For me, I'll remember him best as Elliot Axelrod's dad in several episodes of 'St. Elsewhere' near the end of its run. Dr. Axelrod was a veterinarian who cared more about his dying collie than he did about his son.

(One interesting note - one of the episodes in which he appeared featured several veterans of the old 'Tonight' show gang, all of them playing the parents of the regulars. Bill Dana was the father of Fiscus, Tom Poston was Boomer's dad Jim Morrison, - I think there was an in-joke there concerning fire doors - and Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows were the birth parents for Ehrlich.)

A sad and ironic twist - Louie Nye passed away just a few weeks after Don Adams. They worked together doing voice-work for 'Inspector Gadget'.

Because of his involvement with both 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and 'St. Elsewhere', Louie Nye is firmly entrenched in the TV Universe.

Heigh-ho and farewell, sir.

"Laugh Back" (1975) TV Series .... Gordon Hathaway
"Needles and Pins" (1973) TV Series .... Harry Kemp
"Happy Days" (1970) TV Series
"The Steve Allen Comedy Hour" (1967) TV Series
"The New Steve Allen Show" (1961) TV Series .... Regular
"The Ann Sothern Show" (1958) TV Series .... Dr. Delbert Gray (1960-1961)
"The Steve Allen Show" (1956) TV Series .... Gordon Hathaway

Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Carpenter
I've Had It Up to Here (1982) (TV)
Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1974) (TV)
The City That Forgot About Christmas (1974) (TV)

The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies (1993) (TV) .... Sonny Drysdale
Steve Martin: All Commercials (1980) (TV)
Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty (1980) (TV) .... Laundry Customer
Bob Hope for President (1980) (TV)

The Magic of David Copperfield III: Levitating Ferrari (1980) (TV)
"The $1.98 Beauty Show" (1978) TV Series .... Himself/judge
"That Was the Week That Was" (1964) TV Series .... Himself
"The Jack Benny Program" playing "Himself" in episode: "Wayne Newton Show" (episode # 15.11) 4 December 1964

inspector Gadget: Gadget's Greatest Gadgets (1999) (V) .... M.A.D Agents (segments "The Capeman Cometh" & "Gadget's Gadgets")
"Inspector Gadget" (1983) TV Series .... Additional Voices (1985-1986)
"Inspector Gadget" playing "The Great Wambini"

in episode: "The Great Wambini's Seance" (episode # 2.66) 1984
in episode: "Magic Gadget" (episode # 2.65) 1984

10 from Your Show of Shows (1973)

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" playing "Jeff's Dad"
in episode: "The Grand Opening" (episode # 3.10) 17 November 2002
in episode: "Thor" (episode # 2.2) 30 September 2001
in episode: "Beloved Aunt" (episode # 1.8) 3 December 2000
in episode: "Porno Gil" (episode # 1.3) 29 October 2000
in episode: "The Pants Tent" (episode # 1.1) 15 October 2000
"St. Elsewhere" playing "Dr. Axelrod" in episode: "The Abby Singer Show" (episode # 6.21) 18 May 1988
in episode: "Schwarzwald" (episode # 5.17) 11 February 1987
"The Cosby Show" playing "Norman Kirby" in episode: "Where's Rudy" (episode # 4.10) 19 November 1987
"Trapper John, M.D." playing "Marty Slaughter" in episode: "A Wheel in a Wheel" (episode # 7.7) 1 December 1985
"The Love Boat" in episode: "Prisoner of Love/Youth Takes a Holiday/Don't Leave Home Without It" (episode # 7.4) 15 October 1983
"The Love Boat" playing "Glenn Dobson" in episode: "Isaac and the Mermaids/Humpty, Dumpty/Aquaphobic" (episode # 4.18) 7 February 1981
"The Love Boat" in episode: "Never Say Goodbye/New Woman, A/Trial Romance" (episode # 3.9) 3 November 1979
"Fantasy Island" playing "Comedian" in episode: "Treasure Hunt/Beauty Contest" (episode # 1.8) 11 March 1978
"Police Woman" playing "Drew" in episode: "Ambition" (episode # 4.9) 28 December 1977
"Starsky and Hutch" playing "Jerry" in episode: "Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island" (episode # 3.1) 17 September 1977
"Laverne & Shirley" playing "Store Manager" in episode: "Guilty Until Proven Not Innocent" (episode # 2.11) 4 January 1977
"Love, American Style" playing "Mr. Stevens" in episode: "Love and the Happy Unhappy Couple" (episode # 3.16d) 14 January 1972
"The Jackie Gleason Show" playing "Gaylord Farquhar" in episode: "The Honeymooners: The Honeymooners in England" (episode # 1.8) 12 November 1966
"The Munsters" playing "Zombo" in episode: "Zombo" (episode # 2.22) 17 February 1966
"The Beverly Hillbillies" playing "Sonny Drysdale" in episode: "Sonny Drysdale Returns" (episode # 4.21) 9 February 1966
in episode: "Elly Races Jethrine" (episode # 1.11) 5 December 1962
in episode: "Pygmalion and Elly" (episode # 1.10) 28 November 1962
in episode: "Elly's First Date" (episode # 1.9) 21 November 1962
"Burke's Law" playing "James Stock" in episode: "Who Killed the Toy Soldier?" (episode # 2.18) 20 January 1965
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Mickey Marshall" in episode: "Think Pretty" (episode # 2.1) 2 October 1964
"Burke's Law" playing "Hooper" in episode: "Who Killed Cassandra Cass?" (episode # 2.3) 30 September 1964
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Jack Roberts" in episode: "Her School for Bachelors" (episode # 1.21) 20 March 1964
"The Lieutenant" playing "Lt. Cdr. Kevin Green" in episode: "Tour of Duty" (episode # 1.23) 7 March 1964
"Alcoa Premiere" playing "Larry" in episode: "This Will Kill You" (episode # 2.28) 11 April 1963
"The Jack Benny Program" playing "The Crying Cab Driver" in episode: "Jack and the Crying Cab Driver" (episode # 13.12) 18 December 1962
"Make Room for Daddy" playing "Herman" in episode: "Bunny Cooks a Meal" (episode # 9.24) 19 March 1962
"Guestward Ho!" playing "King Cool" in episode: "The Beatniks" (episode # 1.37) 15 June 1961
"Naked City" in episode: "The Bloodhounds" (episode # 1.35) 26 May 1959


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