Sunday, April 2, 2017


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dabbs Greer, one of the greatest character actors to grace the land of the Toob.  Perhaps he's best known for playing Mr. Jonas the shopkeeper in 'Gunsmoke' and he played the first man in Metropolis rescued by the Superman of Earth Prime-Time.  

Most baby boomers should know him as the minister who married Mike Brady and Carol Taylor in the pilot episode of 'The Brady Bunch'.

And it's that minister who brings us together today, Team Toobworld, in order to honor Dabbs Greer on his birthday.

We started marking centenary milestones two years ago with Frank Sinatra, and followed that up with several honorary memorial inductions into the Hall for other League of Themselves centenarians last year.  This year we're honoring characters who qualify for the Hall and who were played by those centenarians.  Already this year we honored not only the memory of Desi Arnaz on the occasion of his 100th birthday, but his legendary Ricky Ricardo as well.

And so we're here to honor that minister who married Mike and Carol.  Not because he performed that service; had that been all there was, I would have probably only noted Dabbs Greer's natal anniversary over in my Toobworld Dynamic Facebook page and that would be that.  But to become a member of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame, one must have three separate credits to their "resume".  And luckily the Reverend fills the bill.

This is a really simple connection that although it can't be proven, it should also prove hard to argue against. Why? Because who would want to argue against lovable old Dabbs Greer?

In 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' episode "The Attempted Marriage", Dabbs played the Army chaplain of Camp Crowder, Missouri, where he married Rob Petrie and Laura Meehan. 

In the Toobworld view, after he got out of the Army, the reverend accepted a position in his Church as minister to the flock in Los Angeles, California.  There he married architect Mike Brady to Carol Ann Taylor Martin, thus combining their families of three boys and three girls (the youngest one in curls) respectively into 'The Brady Bunch'.

Not long after that, he took another posting - this time in the Mid-West, as pastor in the third Rome, Wisconsin. (I don't remember off-hand now, but I think he must have officiated over the marriage of somebody on 'Picket Fences', probably the wedding between Sheriff Jimmy Brock and Dr. Jill Langston before the series began. (After all, they had two young boys by the time the series started. Not that it really mattered, but shhhh! You don't talk about such things in the context of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'!)

Thanks to his long-running role on 'Picket Fences', we at Toobworld Central can make the claim that his Army Chaplain in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and his minister in 'The Brady Bunch' finally had a name - the Reverend Henry Novotny.

For more about Dabbs Greer, click here.  (And if you like the idea that Reverend Novotny was descended from Reverand Alden of 'Little House On The Prairie', or that perhaps Reverend Alden's soul was "born to re-run" as Novotny, I'm open to the idea....)


O'BSERVATION - This is a reworked "Inner Toob" post from October 3, 2011, when I partook in a blogAthon celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.  I ended up posting 24 entries that day!

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