Premiere September 19, 1963
Finale April 1, 1966
Network ABC
Seasons 3
Episodes 86

The Jimmy Dean Show was an hour-long variety show hosted by country singer Jimmy Dean which aired on ABC from September 19, 1963 until April 1, 1966. Rowlf the Dog was a regular on the show, billed as Jimmy's "ol' buddy." Between 7-10 minutes of every show were devoted to a spot with Rowlf and Dean. Many of the comedy sketches ended with Rowlf and Jimmy singing a duet together. Rowlf's tenure on The Jimmy Dean Show allowed Jim Henson, for the first time, to develop an original character over a period of time. In addition to providing national exposure for the Muppets, it also brought a steady source of income that allowed Henson to develop and finance other projects.

Henson also animated an opening sequence for the show which was never used. Footage was uncovered in the Henson Archives during a 2016 project in which a number of original materials had been transferred to high definition. The segment was screened as part of "Henson in High Definition: The Early Years" at Museum of the Moving Image on May 22, 2016.

Rowlf on The Jimmy Dean Show

Rowlf on The Jimmy Dean Show

Rowlf on The Jimmy Dean Show

Jimmy teaches Rowlf karate.

Rowlf jim jimmy
Rowlf Jimmy

Dean with the miniature Rowlf puppet gifted to him by Henson.

According to Dean's autobiography, producer Bob Banner suggested that the show needed some sort of comedic character that Jimmy could interact with. Dean mentioned some coffee commercials that he enjoyed seeing while in Washington, D.C. The commercials turned out to be the work of Jim Henson, who was contacted and recruited for the program. Dean stated that the segments with Rowlf were one of the most popular parts of the show, and stated that Rowlf drew two thousand fan letters a week.[1] Rowlf's first appearance was meant to be a one-time guest appearance, which also featured a segment called "Cool Jazz", featuring two pairs of hands performed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz.[2]

Rowlf would become the first Muppet elevated to national stardom due to his role on The Jimmy Dean Show. The show was also Henson's first major gig having to perform and interact in character with a live partner, rather than using pre-recorded tracks or short and tightly storyboarded commercials. Henson was trained by some "expert teachers" and veteran writers on The Jimmy Dean Show. Henson recalled the experience stating:

They would work with me in terms of performance and the delivery of punch lines. Buddy Arnold was an old-fashioned sock-'em joke person and you can learn a lot from those guys. You learn to put the funniest word at the end of the punch line, and you learn to deliver that line clean and sharp. If you stumble on your phrase, you've killed your laugh and the audience never knows it...So Jimmy Dean was great from a point of view of learning the craft, and Rowlf was the first solid, fully rounded personality we did.[3]

Aside from being exposed to a more disciplined comedy style, a deeper characterization, and live performing (all of which Henson would take into his later works), Henson also had the task of singing. Although Henson was musical, he did not think of himself as possessing silver vocal cords. The Jimmy Dean Show was the first showcase Henson had, singing in character, as almost all of the sketches with Rowlf and Jimmy ended in a song. Aside from using his voice to bring music to the show, on some occasions Rowlf would play the ukulele.

In typical Muppet fashion, Rowlf had a way of upstaging the star with ad-libbed quips and his exaggerated reactions and expressions to jokes and actions. Even early on, Henson would steal the scene and force Dean along for the ride. These kinds of moments would usually cause Dean to lose his composure, break character and laugh as Rowlf hammed it up. Jim Henson: The Works asserts that many of these moments were pre-planned and rehearsed by Jim Henson prior to the live performance; however, Dean was not always aware of them, or of how far Henson would go, prior to the act.[3]

In his autobiography, Dean recalled in detail his feelings towards Rowlf and Henson:

I treated Rowlf like he was real, but he was real to me, and I think that's one of the reasons he made such an impression on everyone. Jim Henson himself said it was the reason Rowlf was such a hit... Rehearsals with Rowlf and his handlers were done in my office, and we'd always have a lot of fun clowning around. My secretary Willie loved Rowlf and would come in regularly to watch us work with the writers. Sometimes Rowlf and I would act like we were fighting, and on one occasion when we were joking and having one of our scuffles, I smacked his head and one of his eyeballs flew off. Well, when I did that, Willie screamed and ran out of the office, and you'd have thought that I'd mortally wounded somebody.
Henson and I not only had a good stage rapport with Rowlf but we enjoyed each other as friends too. One of my most prized possessions is a miniature Rowlf that he and Frank Oz made and gave me for Christmas one year. The puppet stands about twenty inches high, and when you lift him off of the stand, there's Jim Henson standing there with his hand straight up in the air. It really is a well-made piece, and I wouldn't take anything in the world for it.[1]

Performing Rowlf

Rowlf and Jimmy Dean Native American

Rowlf and Jimmy dressed as Native Americans.


Jim Henson puppeteering Rowlf during a rehearsal with the Jordanaires and Jimmy in 1964.

Although not a full Muppet production, Jim Henson and his co-workers at Muppets, Inc. were very involved with bringing Rowlf to life each week on the The Jimmy Dean Show. The show required Rowlf to interact with a live star; special sets were built to conceal Henson and his assistant while allowing the performers to operate the puppet comfortably and competently. Don Sahlin built many of the sets and props for the sketches taking into account the puppetry needs and differences in Rowlf's and Dean's size. While Sahlin maintained the puppet and other physical needs of the sketches, Jerry Juhl assisted in writing the Rowlf sketches with the help of the show's staff writers, and on occasion Henson and Dean themselves.

Jim Henson puppeteered (and voiced) Rowlf with the assistance of Frank Oz (then Oznowicz) as the right hand. Jerry Nelson took the assisting role over in the later portion of the show's run. The scenes were rehearsed and polished throughout the week leading up to the show, usually with Dean and Henson running through the scripts several times to get the comedic delivery and timings down.

Craig Shemin explained at a 2003 Jim Henson Legacy event that all the segments were shot live, meaning the puppeteers had to perform non-stop with their arms in the air for well over seven minutes. Audience member Joey Mazzarino pointed out that seven minutes was an excruciatingly long time to perform a puppet.[4]

Outside the Show

EdSullivan JimmyDean Rowlf

Rowlf and Jimmy Dean with Ed Sullivan.

Jimmy Dean photo Rowlf's Tavern

Rowlf and Jimmy Dean, pictured in Rowlf's Tavern in The Muppets

During the summer of 1964, after the first season of The Jimmy Dean Show, Rowlf appeared with Dean in his month-long Las Vegas night club act at The Flamingo Hotel. To promote the appearance, Dean and Rowlf also did a special bit in an earlier show in Texas.[5]

In October 1964, towards the start of the second season, Rowlf appeared with Dean in a set of shows on the road - including an appearance at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana[6] and at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, Louisiana.[7]

After the final episode of The Jimmy Dean Show taped in March 1966, Dean took his show (and Rowlf) on the road for a series of live performances throughout the spring and summer of 1966. Jim Henson noted several of these trips in his journal including The Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, PA, Salt Lake City, UT, Anaheim, CA, Asbury Park, NJ, and Baltimore, MD.[8][9][10][11][3][12]

Dean recalled his experiences with Henson on the road:

For a while Jim Henson and his Muppet Rowlf were appearing nightly as part of our show, and it was on Lake Mead that I taught Jim how to water-ski. It's a picture I'll never forget: Jim back there skiing with his long hair and beard waving in the breeze. And with that skinny frame and spindly legs, I couldn't help but think how much he looked like Jesus on water skis.[1]

Jerry Nelson commented on the logistics of the live show in a 2000 interview, explaining that Jerry Juhl, Don Sahlin, and he had built the puppet sets used in the show. The Muppeteer team would carry the sets down the long aisles and get the stage and puppet set up in the dark, in order for Rowlf to be there when the lights came up. After Rowlf did his skit, the lights would go out and the team would pick up the set in the dark and find their way out.[13]

Rowlf and Jimmy Dean appeared together for the last time on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 8, 1967.

Rowlf's stint on the series was referenced in the 1965 Wilson's Meats Meeting Film, as an example of the Muppets' TV exposure. Rowlf himself stated, "I'm the Muppets' big lovable shaggy dog Rowlf, from ABC's The Jimmy Dean Show!" However a decade later, in the 1975 pilot The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, Rowlf lamented to his dance partner that "I was with Jimmy Dean... Nobody remembers me anymore." He later expressed similar regrets to Ernie in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. Years later, a photo of Rowlf and Dean was used on the set of Rowlf's Tavern in The Muppets. An ad for The Jimmy Dean Show, with a photo of Rowlf and Jimmy Dean, is pinned on the bulletin board in PizzeRizzo in Walt Disney World.

Ownership and Availability

Jimmy rowlf 12 Dec 1963

During the run of The Jimmy Dean Show, Dean was offered ownership of nearly forty percent of Muppets Inc., but turned it down, feeling he had no real right to what Henson was doing or had created. Dean stated in a 2004 interview that "I didn’t do anything to earn that. If I had done something to earn it I would have said, 'Alright, fine.' But I didn’t. A lot of people have said, 'Well, I bet you're sorry now.' No, I am not. Because I couldn’t have lived with me. I’ve got to do things that let me live with me and shave my face in the morning."[14] Dean continued to assert right up to his death that "they were an asset to The Jimmy Dean Show and they did good things for us, but I wouldn't want to take them."[1]

In a discussion on A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume, Craig Shemin related a story from the late 1980s, where the Henson Company was contacted by somebody possessing kinescopes of ten full episodes of Jimmy Dean. Jim Henson authorized the purchase of the shows and made an offer of $1,000 of his own, personal funds. The party informed the Henson Company that another entity had made a higher bid for the shows, but offered to splice out the Rowlf segments and sell them to the company, before re-inserting them into the shows and selling them to the other bidder. They later discovered that the other bidder was Jimmy Dean himself. Subsequent shows were discovered by a company, Research Video, and were bought out by Dean's wife. Research Video would then provide the Jim Henson Legacy with Rowlf footage as needed.[15]

In April 2007, Time-Life released the first DVD of material from the series, entitled The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 1. The hour-long compilation includes two Rowlf sketches. The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 2 was released in August 2007, with two more Rowlf sketches.

In 2017, RFD-TV began airing the show again,[16] and around the same time, a DVD of season 1 was released.[17]

Several Rowlf sketches, donated by the Jim Henson Legacy, are featured in the film collection at The Museum of Television and Radio.


Season 1 (1963-1964)

Thursdays, 9:00pm on ABC; taped at ABC Studio One in New York, NY.

Images Episode Description
Episode 101

Air date: September 19, 1963
Guests: Dick Shawn, Fred Flintstone, The Jubilee Four, and Chuck McCann

Rowlf the Dog does not appear.
Episode 102

Air date: September 26, 1963
Guests: Rosemary Clooney, Al Hirt, Roy Clark, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Debut:
In honor of National Dog Week (and in the second broadcast of the series), Jimmy introduces the audience to his ol' pal, Rowlf. He explains to Jimmy that dogs have a government just as humans do, with Lassie as their President. He asserts that every man should have a dog, segueing to the two singing their first duet, "Nobody."
This episode was taped on August 29, 1963.[2]
Episode 103

Air date: October 3, 1963
Guests: Roy Clark, Milt Kamen, Karen Morrow, and Rowlf the Dog

"Side by Side":
Jimmy introduces Rowlf (who was not originally intended to be a regular on the show) saying: "Last week, we had an old hound dog buddy of mine with us…and he turned out to be the hit of the show. We’ve had all kinds of people asking us to have him back again…so what else can I say except…here’s Rowlf!"[2] Rowlf and Jimmy share a duet of "Side by Side." Rowlf messes up a cue, prompting Jimmy to silence the band and point out his mistake on the cue cards.
A clip of this performance was used in the 2013 PBS special The Jimmy Dean Show: Country Classics. (YouTube)
Episode 104

Air date: October 10, 1963
Guests: McGuire Sisters, Jack E. Leonard, Ron Martin, Stuart Hamblen, and Rowlf the Dog.

"Put a Dog in Your Future":
Rowlf asks Jimmy if they could record his song together, "Put a Dog in Your Future". Jimmy isn't so sure he wants to do that, deflating Rowlf's self esteem, so Jimmy assures him that everyone on the show loves him. Rowlf begins to take the sentiment to heart as Jimmy begins speaking the lyrics from "Consider Yourself", and segues into singing accompanied by Rowlf's commentary.

Episode 105

Air date: October 17, 1963
Guests: Art Carney, Patrice Munsel, The Dukes of Dixieland, Ron Martin, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Crush:
Rowlf tells Jimmy he has a passionate crush on a kitty cat, with the overly cute name of Puff. Rowlf finally comes to terms with his most unorthodox romance and Rowlf and Jimmy sing "You're Just in Love."

Episode 106

Air date: October 24, 1963
Guests: Jane Morgan, Phil Ford & Mimi Hines, The Jubilee Four, Ron Martin, and Rowlf the Dog

Big Bad Dog:
Jimmy Dean sings "Home on the Range," but is interrupted shortly after the deer and the antelope playing by Rowlf, with a sign reading "Jimmy Dean Unfair to Dogs." Rowlf resents Jimmy singing about other animals and not dogs. Jimmy apologizes but points out that there aren't too many dog songs. He says that changing animals, with "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Poodle" or "When the Dachshunds Return to Capistrano," wouldn't work. Rowlf can only think of "Get Along, Little Dogie" and is shocked to learn that "Dogie" refers to a calf (which means he should have been saying moo moo all this time). To cheer Rowlf up, Jimmy sings a song he wrote which may sound familiar: Dean's hit "Big Bad John" rewritten as "Big Bad Dog" and a loving tribute to Rowlf.

Halloween That Ol Black Magic-Me and My Shadow 10-31-63
Episode 107

Air date: October 31, 1963
Guests: Teresa Brewer, The Willis Sisters, Jackie Mason, Ron Martin, and Rowlf the Dog

Me and My Shadow:
Jimmy Dean sings "That Old Black Magic," when Rowlf tries to scare him with his Halloween mask of a gorilla. Rowlf fears that there may be ghosts, vampires and other scary things afoot, but Jimmy reassures him there aren't. They sing "Me and My Shadow".

Then ill Be Happy 11-7-63 2
Then ill Be Happy 11-7-63
Episode 108

Air date: November 7, 1963
Guests: Jo Stafford, Don Adams, Jubilee Four, Elston Howard (Tennessee Governor), Frank Clement, Ron Martin, and Rowlf the Dog.

"Then I'll Be Happy":
Rowlf and Jimmy sing "Then I'll Be Happy."

Fur coat - you belong to me 7 2 64 2
Episode 109

Air date: November 14, 1963
Guests: Red Buttons, Jerry Vale, Molly Bee, The Crum Brothers, Ron Martin, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf is Cold:
During the opening number "Row, Row, Row," Rowlf plays a riverboat captain. He remains on deck while the dancers cavort. In his main spot, Rowlf is cold and disputes Jimmy's claim that animals can get by with fur coats (since they're naked, after all). Jimmy gives Rowlf clothes to warm him up: four cowboy boots, a scarf (and he has to avoid choking Rowlf: "It's a present, not a hanging"), ear muffs, and an overcoat for the cold weather. They sing "Button Up Your Overcoat."

Episode 110

Air date: November 21, 1963
Guests: Maureen O'Hara, Bronwyn FitzSimons, Professor Backwards, and Rowlf the Dog

A Love Letter to Lassie:
Rowlf writes a passionate love letter to Lassie, and makes Jimmy promise to invite her on the show. Rowlf imagines the romantic scene they could have: "Just imagine -- me! A mutt from the Lower East Side, on the same stage with a glamorous Hollywood collie." Rowlf describes all of the animals who'll be tuning in to see them, leading into a duet of "Swinging on a Star".
This episode was released on DVD as part of "The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 1."
Episode 111

Air date: November 28, 1963
Guests: The McGuire Sisters, The Jubliee Four, Don Adams, The Crum Brothers, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 112

Air date: December 5, 1963
Guests: Eddy Arnold, Molly Bee, Allan Sherman, Lud & Lester, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Acting Skills:
Rowlf sings a verse of "Mention My Name in Sheboygan", and explains to Jimmy that he learned the song at the Animal Actors' Academy. (Other graduates include Huckleberry Hound, Donald Duck and Trigger.) Rowlf demonstrates his acting skills by performing a line from Hamlet, and then ropes Jimmy into a romantic scene, which culminates in a quote from Winston Churchill. Rowlf wishes that he could do that scene with Lassie, and Jimmy assures him that he's invited Lassie to appear on the show. The pair finish the sketch with a duet of "Song and Dance Man".
This episode was released on DVD as part of "The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 1."
Rowlf skip to me lou b
Rowlf jimmy dean (1)b
Episode 113

Air date: December 12, 1963
Guests: Jack Carter, Homer and Jethro, Molly Bee, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Vacation:
Rowlf sings a line of "Skip to My Lou" in the opening number. In his main spot, Rowlf (singing a snatch of "By the Beautiful Sea") tries to book a vacation to Miami, giving his last name as Dean (implying his full name is Rowlf Dean). He wants a place that has cha-cha lessons down by the pool, and he shows Jimmy the dance moves he learned from Xavier Cugat's chihuahua. Jimmy makes him feel guilty about leaving him behind, so Rowlf cancels. They talk about taking a vacation just the two of them later on and end with a full duet of "By the Beautiful Sea."

Episode 114

Air date: December 19, 1963
Guests: George Gobel, Anna Moffo, Buck Owens, The Jubilee Four, Lud & Lester, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 115

Air date: December 26, 1963
Guests: Patty Duke, Tex Ritter, The Jubilee Four, Jackie Mason, Lassie, and Rowlf the Dog

Lassie's Visit:
During the opening, Rowlf sings a brief part of "Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle" and then announces that canine star Lassie is on the show at last. When Jimmy Dean tries to introduce a beautiful dramatic actress with her own TV show, Rowlf keeps interrupting to assume it's Lassie. (It's actually Patty Duke in her singing debut). A lovestruck Rowlf continues to await Lassie, and hopes she'll find he reminds her of David Niven (or Steve McQueen, or scrunching down, Mickey Rooney). When he does meet her at least, Rowlf faints twice and then can only ask her at first about baseball teams. He doesn't understand why she won't speak to him in English. Lassie shows off her jumping and acting skills with the help of trainer Rudd Weatherwax. When Jimmy leaves them alone to have some private time, Rowlf sings "Honey" (replacing the title endearment with Lassie); as she gets closer to him and nuzzling, he tells her to cut it out since people are watching. During the end credits, Rowlf and Lassie continue to chat.
In his 2004 biography, Dean describes this event as "one of the sweetest things you ever saw."
Episode 116

Air date: January 9, 1964
Guests: Chet Atkins, Molly Bee, Homer and Jethro, Don Adams, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Nephew:
Rowlf's nephew, a pup named Nephew, comes for a visit. According to Rowlf, Nephew is a "goofy lookin' kid," despite the obvious family resemblance. When Jimmy questioned why his name is Nephew, Rowlf replied, "What am I gonna call him, 'Niece'?" They sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with Jimmy.
This is one of the rare times a second Muppet character appeared in a sketch. Nephew was performed by Jerry Juhl.
Episode 117

Air date: January 16, 1964
Guests: Jane Morgan, Johnny Tillotson, George Kirby, Duke of Paducah, Buck Owens, Smitty & The Virginians, and Rowlf the Dog

Jimmy happens upon Rowlf all geared up as a beatnik, playing a swinging tune on the trumpet. He says he's been taking lessons from the greatest trombonist of them all, Rubberlips Levine. He flies in from Chicago twice a week without a plane to tutor Rowlf. He's become good enough that he plans to release his own album, but it won't have a hole in it: when folks buy it, they'll just have to take his word for it that it's good. Jimmy offers that he can play some jazz on the piano. His demonstration is met with a lackluster response from Rowlf, figuring on his performance as rather square (evidenced by his pantomime to the audience). Rowlf counters that one shouldn't be able to pick out the melody in jazz, so he provides his own interpretation, taking up the keys himself -- a schtick he would later become famous for on The Muppet Show. He figures on the two of them heading out to Birdland after the show and riffing with the greats. Jimmy concedes that it's not really his style and convinces Rowlf to stick around. The two end the sketch with a rendition of "You Are My Sunshine" with Jimmy on piano and Rowlf on ukulele.
This episode was released on DVD as part of "The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 2."
Episode 118

Air date: January 23, 1964
Guests: Johnny Cash, Molly Bee, Boots Randolph, Phil Ford & Mimi Hines, Grandpa Jones, Eddie Arnold, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf And Jimmy Dean Dog Day
Episode 119

Air date: January 30, 1964
Guests: Patti Page, Ferlin Husky, Grandpa Jones, Wade Ray, and Norm Crosby, and Rowlf the Dog

Dog's Day:
During the opening gold rush number, "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain," Rowlf the Dog is using a pickaxe behind a fence

Dramatic horns are heard as Rowlf makes a bitter plea asking why there isn't a dog day. He says there is Father's Day and Mother's Day, but there is no dog day. When Jimmy Dean comes over, Rowlf shows him the alamanac that there is a holiday for Groundhog Day, Mother-in-law Day, Bicycle Day, and Yo-yo Day. Rowlf says that the only time they think of dogs is on Arbor Day. When Jimmy tells Rowlf that Arbor Day is dedicated to trees and ask what it has to do with dogs, Rowlf looks at him until Jimmy realized what the answer was. Jimmy also point out that turkeys got a day which is Thanksgiving Day, but Rowlf says the way they honor turkeys he can do without. Rowlf shows there is a National Pickle Week after Mother's Day and shames us that most people are Getting pickled then becoming mothers.

Then Jimmy asks Rowlf if dogs really deserve a special day and Rowlf takes offensive to the question because he thinks dogs are brave than other animals. Jimmy asks that if his house on fire that Rowlf will rush in to get Jimmy's house slippers. Rowlf replies that he means brave and not stupid. Then Jimmy asks Rowlf if he and Elizabeth Taylor were drowning at midstream, who would Rowlf save? When Rowlf could not answer the question, Rowlf decides that Dog's Day is not for him. Jimmy tells Rowlf that the mayor of New York City is a good friend of dogs and that he should tell his tail to Wag-ner because the mayor's name is Robert F. Wagner Jr.

After talking, Rowlf decides to not give up on having dogs have a dog's day and Jimmy was going to help him make it happen. Rowlf and Jimmy Dean sing "How Come There's No Dog Day."

Episode 120

Air date: February 13, 1964
Guests: Eydie Gorme, George Jones, Don Adams, and Rowlf the Dog

Valentine's Day:
Rowlf appears during the opening saloon brawl number, "Hoop-Dee-Doo," as a bartender wiping down the counter.
Rowlf shows Jimmy a large Valentine's gift he's received, from his dry cleaner (who used Rowlf's underwear to lace up the card). Rowlf is disappointed that he hasn't received anything from Lassie. Jimmy tries to cheer him up with some other cards written by "Lady Bird" Johnson and Nikita Khrushchev's wife ("Roses are red, violets are red..."). Rowlf tries phoning her in California instead, making a pass at the information woman. After he dials the inordinately long area code, he reaches Lassie's estate and hears the panting of another man (presumably Rin-Tin-Tin). It turns out to be Lassie's mother, who informs Rowlf that her daughter is out. Jimmy tries to pick up Rowlf's spirits by singing "The Glory of Love," while Rowlf sings "Makin' Whoopee." Just as they reach a climax, a cast member delivers a large gift for Rowlf - an autographed portrait of Lassie, with an inscription on the back telling them she'll be visiting next week's show. Rowlf is so elated he faints, then revives to finish the number.

Rowlf Lassie2
Rowlf lassie2a
Episode 121

Air date: February 20, 1964
Guests: Julius LaRosa, Skeeter Davis, George Kirby, Lassie, and Rowlf the Dog.

Lassie Returns:
Lassie returns as a guest on the show, and Rowlf is still lovestruck. When Jimmy shows his set off to the audience, Rowlf pops up behind his usual bench and excitedly asks if Lassie has arrived yet. He resents Jimmy's quip that she took a Greyhound to get there.Later in the show, anxious to impress "Miss Lassie," Rowlf pops up in a collar and tie (and heavily perfumed). He hopes to land an acting role on Lassie's TV show, to be around her more often. They practice a typical Lassie plot, first with Lassie herself (accompanied by trainer Rudd Weatherwax) jumping over fences and hedges to save Rowlf. Later, the tables are turned and Rowlf has to run to her, jump in the river and fight the current, and run faster lickety-split. (Rowlf: "Ah! I think I've just split my lickety!") Lassie grapples with a villain for a stick of dynamite, which she tosses to Rowlf (who throws it behind the set, with explosive results). When Jimmy finally decides to leave the couple alone for romantic purposes, Rowlf serenades Lassie with "Oh! You Beautiful Doll."
A clip from this episode was featured in The World of Jim Henson.
Episode 122

Air date: February 27, 1964
Guests: Eddy Arnold, Corbett Monica, Molly Bee, Buck Owens, Smitty & The Virginians, and Rowlf the Dog

The Rowlf Show:
During the opening, with a rodeo set this week, Rowlf mimes riding a bucking steed and says "Howdy." For his main spot, Rowlf tells Jimmy he's trying to rehearse for The Rowlf Show. Rowlf has been offered his own TV series, sponsored by Flanigan's Flea Soap. It will be a variety show, with song, dance, and jokes. Every week, he plans to do a spot talking to a "pet human." Guest stars will be included, but (don't tell the sponsor) Rowlf plans to impersonate them all: Maurice Chevalier (singing "Louise" and "Thank Heaven for Little Dogs"), Crazy Guggenheim, Doctor Zorba from Ben Casey, Jackie Gleason (in a top hat ala Reggie Van Gleason, and spouting catch phrases)... and Jimmy Dean ("Howdy, if I ain't Jimmy Dean and a hog's nose ain't pork"; he sings one line of "Big Bad John," Dean's 1961 hit song). Jimmy offers to be a guest on Rowlf's show for free, but regrets that the dog is leaving his show. But when Jimmy's done with and seen in some dive, he hopes Rowlf will remember who got him his start, or at least give him an autograph. Emotionally touched, Rowlf tells Flanigan's Flea Soap to get another dog (he's not leaving Jimmy Dean just because he's old, feeble, and forgotten). In musical fashion, Rowlf and Jimmy cement their "Friendship."

Episode 123

Air date: March 5, 1964
Guests: Dorothy Collins, Boots Randolph, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Manna, and Rowlf the Dog

George Washington:
Rowlf appears apple bobbing during the opening number, "Glad Rags." Later, Rowlf strums "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" on Jimmy's guitar, accidentally breaking it. When Jimmy queries him, Rowlf tries blaming the other guests. Jimmy tries to force the truth out of him with the story of noted truth-teller George Washington. Rowlf is not surprised that Washington's father forgave him: "Of course he forgave him! The kid had an axe in his hand!" Rowlf confesses he did it and the two sing "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie."
This episode is available for viewing at The Paley Center for Media.
Rowlf for President 3 5 64
Rowlf for President 3 5 64 2
Episode 124

Air date: March 12, 1964
Guests: Buck Owens, Molly Bee, Don Adams, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf for President:
In the opening, Rowlf sings one line of "Deep in the Heart of Texas." For his main spot, Jimmy finds him reading the newspaper, ignoring news of Barry Goldwater and other candidates to focus on the real news: Little Orphan Annie to marry Daddy Warbucks (with Sandy as best man; "Arf," says Rowlf.) Rowlf and Jimmy discuss politics and the presence of a woman candidate, before Rowlf starts spouting nonsense as a prelude to his own campaign. He quotes Muhammad Ali ("I am the greatest") and then he and Jimmy sing "Vote for Rowlf" (to the tune of "Yankee Doodle Boy" and "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight"). His running mate will be Rin-Tin-Tin and his first lady will be Lassie.

Episode 125

Air date: March 19, 1964
Guests: Johnny Tillotson, Molly Bee, Homer and Jethro, The Four Cuties from Hackensack, Norm Crosby, and Rowlf the Dog

In the opening, Rowlf is washing the window of a train station during the "Wabash Cannonball" opening number. Rowlf is writing a letter to Dear Abby as Jimmy comes by with a kitten he picked up in the alley. He plans on adopting it and naming it Fluffy. Rowlf thinks that he's giving him up for the cat, and immediately greets it with trepidation. Jimmy speaks in baby talk to the kitten, and tries to convince Rowlf that cats are nice to have around. After Jimmy threatens to release it outside into the fold, Rowlf finally holds Fluffy and begins speaking in baby talk. Jimmy assures Rowlf that he'd never let a cat get between them, and they end the segment with a duet of "Let's Be Buddies" from Cole Porter's Panama Hattie.
This episode was released on DVD as part of "The Best of the Jimmy Dean Show: Volume 2."
Episode 126

Air date: March 26, 1964
Guests: Jack Jones, Hank Snow, Professor Backwards, and Four Cuties from Hackensack, and Rowlf the Dog.

Rowlf is preparing a birthday cake for the love of his life, Lassie. The recipe came from Betty Crocker's dog, the eggs from a chicken friend, and the milk from a cow Rowlf knows ("That takes a little pull.") Jimmy and Rowlf do the "bitter batter" tongue twister. After hand lettering a lengthy note on top in icing, Rowlf prepares to mail the cake... but knocks it to the ground. Rowlf begins to cry (at which point the audience applauds loudly), but Jimmy consoles his ol' buddy by singing "When You're Smiling."

Rowlf pancakes
Rowlf no business
Episode 127

Air date: April 2, 1964
Guests: Eydie Gorme, Jim Reeves, Don Adams, Buck Owens, Smitty & The Virginians, and Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf's Casino Act:
Rowlf is seen flipping pancakes in the opening titles. He is practicing his comedy act for his summer stint at the Royal Casino in Las Vegas. He says that he will open with a tap dance number, he then plays a card trick on Jimmy. The Casino sends a letter saying that there are "no dogs allowed", Jimmy offers him a part in his show at the Flamingo on July 9th. They end with a duet of 'There's No Business Like Show Business'.

Rowlf Becomes an Air Force Recruiter
Rowlf Becomes an Air Force Recruiter 2
Episode 128

Air date: April 9, 1964
Guests: Hank Thompson, Molly Bee, Roy Clark, Eagle and Man, and Rowlf the Dog

Income Taxes:
Rowlf is struggling with his income tax forms. Jimmy claims to look forward to paying his taxes, and he critiques Rowlf's mathematics. Rowlf also paid $1,000 dollars to have an appendix put in ("48 stitches"). His owed income tax is one dollar, which Rowlf refuses to pay. Jimmy suggests without it, they'd be unable to send a rocket to the Moon. Feeling patriotic at the idea of planting the American flag on the moon, Jimmy and Rowlf sing "You're a Grand Old Flag." Jimmy tells Rowlf to stick around, since he has a surprise for him at the end of the show (but asks Rowlf to take the bench he sits behind off with him).At the end, Jimmy presents Rowlf with a letter from the United States Air Force Recruiting Office in Ridgeway, New Jersey. Rowlf has been made an official Air Force Recruiter to select dogs for the Air Force sentry program.

Episode 129

Air date: April 16, 1964
Guests: Vikki Carr, Carl Smith, Milt Kamen, and Rowlf the Dog

RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 130

Air date: April 23, 1964
Guests: Buck Owens, Molly Bee, Don Adams

The World's Fair:
After walking at the World’s Fair at Long Island, Rowlf’s feet are killing him (and causing more puns than usual). He brought back souvenirs: a genuine imported Swiss cheese from the Switzerland exhibit, a serape from the Mexican pavilion, an Alaskan polar bear tooth necklace, a conical straw hat from the Japanese exhibit (but it causes Rowlf to launch into a stock Chinese dialect, including a reference to Charlie Chan’s Number One Son), and a mask from the South American exhibit. Jimmy Dean recognizes the last as the mask of a Peruvian rain god. The name is inscribed on the back: “Mugga Wugg Chapultepec.” This translates to “Bow to me or I’ll flood your basement.”Rowlf and Jimmy sing “Meet Me in St. Louis,” retitled “Meet Me in Long Island, Louie,” and Jimmy acts as barker in between stanzas. At the end of the routine, Jimmy Dean encourages the audience to stay tuned for the rest of the show, and Rowlf (as the rain god) says if they don’t, “I’ll ruin your next picnic.”

Season 2 (1964-1965)

Thursdays, 10:00pm on ABC; taped at ABC Studio One in New York, NY (unless otherwise noted). Jim Henson began his work on the second season of "The Jimmy Dean Show" on August 28, 1964.[18]

Images Episode Description
Episode 201

Air date: September 17, 1964
Guests: Roger Miller, Don Adams, Molly Bee

Summer Camp:
Rowlf tells Jimmy about his time at Summer Camp, though Jimmy is disappointed he didn't even get a postcard.

Episode 202

Air date: September 24, 1964
Guests: Molly Bee, Charlie Callas, Buck Owens

Lets Go Mets - Take me out to the ball game 10 1 64
Lets Go Mets - Take me out to the ball game 10 1 64 2
Episode 203

Air date: October 1, 1964
Guests: Vikki Carr, Roy Drusky, Pete Drake, Al Kelly

Let's Go Mets:
Rowlf is preparing for the World series, initially rooting for the Mets (until informed the team didn't even make the World series, at which he switches his sign). Jimmy and Rowlf sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Episode 204

Air date: October 8, 1964
Guests: Bobby Vinton, Homer and Jethro, Molly Bee

Episode 205

Air date: October 15, 1964
Guests: Ernest Tubb, Roy Clark, Don Adams, Molly Bee

Episode 206

Air date: October 22, 1964
Guests: Sheb Wooley, Connie Smith, The Stoneman Family, Professor Irwin Corey

Chief Rowlf:
Rowlf has been made an honorary chief of the Red Hawk Indian tribe. He hopes to get the real chief's daughter on the show under threat of attack (even though she can't sing or dance). Rowlf makes Jimmy an honorary member as well and the two sing "Pass That Peace Pipe," where Rowlf gets caught up listing various tribes (and other miscellaneous names) at the song's end.

Episode 207

Air date: October 29, 1964
Guests: Johnny Tillotson, Don Adams, Grandpa Jones, Molly Bee

Episode 208

Air date: November 5, 1964
Guests: Eddy Arnold, Minnie Pearl, Dottie West, Chet Atkins, Ernest Tubb, Flatt and Scruggs, The Jordanaires

Rowlf Meets Chet Atkins:
Jimmy introduces Rowlf to Chet Atkins. Rowlf eagerly tries to impress Chet with his guitar playing (enacting the 1963 novelty single "Chit Akins, Make Me a Star"). While Jimmy is unimpressed, Chet thinks Rowlf has talent and invites him to his office on Monday.
This episode was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Episode 209

Air date: November 19, 1964
Guests: Jerry Vale, Carmel Quinn, The Virginians, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 210

Air date: November 26, 1964
Guests: Johnny Cash, Floyd Cramer, Molly Bee, Norm Crosby

Thanksgiving Dinner:
Rowlf tries to make plans for Thanksgiving dinner, having been rejected by several parties already (including Lassie, his Aunt Fannie and Cousin Seymour). He makes an attempt to reserve a table at the Salvation Army ("Not too near the tambourines"), until he discovers he's instead called the U.S. Army (who want him to enlist). Rowlf then allows Jimmy to perform one of his newest songs, "Sam Hill." Afterwards, Rowlf tries to guilt Jimmy into inviting him to his Thanksgiving. He shows all he has to eat is peanut butter sandwiches and launches into a lesson on their historical significance (from the Mayflower voyage to George Washington). Jimmy catches on and eventually invites Rowlf to join his family, as they sing "Home for the Holidays."

Episode 211

Air date: December 3, 1964
Guests: Eileen Farrell, Charlie Rich, Faron Young

Episode 212

Air date: December 10, 1964
Guests: Teresa Brewer, Ferlin Husky

Rowlf the Cat:
Rowlf thinks that he is a cat. Jimmy and Rowlf sing a duet of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" after Rowlf is cured from his delusion.

Karate 0004
Karate 0005
Episode 213

Air date: December 17, 1964
Guests: Molly Bee, Boots Randolph, George Kirby

Rowlf Learns Karate:
"Bobby," a big bull dog, is picking on Rowlf, so he decides to learn karate. However he's unable to break a piece of wood and perfect Jimmy's "karate grunt." Jimmy insists that Rowlf is "flabby and weak" and that violence is not the solution. Rowlf insists, challenging Jimmy to an arm wrestling match (which he loses) and showing off his judo techniques (which are as good as his karate). Finally he shows his true dog side when he gives Jimmy the bite. Jimmy says he's finally found a way to beat "Bobby"- "bite him." Rowlf then reveals that "Bobby" is not a "him"; the bully is Bobbie (short for Barbara), a girl dog. Jimmy says he can't beat up a girl but should romance her instead, and the skit closes with the two singing "She'll Never See Any Dog Like Me."
See also: Sketch Transcript
Turkey - Have yourslf a merry little christmas 12 24 64
Turkey - Have yourslf a merry little christmas 12 24 64 4
Episode 214

Air date: December 24, 1964
Guests: Porter Wagoner, Jerry Vale, The Quinto Sisters, Connie and Robert Dean

Christmas Raffle:
Jimmy approaches Rowlf with a Christmas gift - a quartet of wristwatches (one for each paw). Rowlf holds a Christmas raffle, selling tickets to win a live turkey for the holidays. Only one, ten-cent ticket has been bought so far, so Jimmy buys all the rest for $9.90. Rowlf makes the drawing and they see that the winner is the turkey; the only other contender. Rowlf then realizes with the purchases made for the raffle and bus fare that he's made no profit at all. He becomes sad, as he's now unable to buy Jimmy a gift. Instead, he makes a Christmas wish for Jimmy by singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

12 12 64
Episode 215

Air date: December 31, 1964
Guests: Homer and Jethro, Kay Starr

Rowlf the Seer:
Rowlf dons a turban and checks out his crystal ball.
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 216

Air date: January 7, 1965
Guests: Bobby Rydell, Roger Miller, Minnie Pearl, The Levee Singers, the Standwell Puppets

Rowlfs Flu 1 14 65
Rowlf flu
Episode 217

Air date: January 14, 1965
Guests: Jane Morgan, Eddy Arnold, Roy Clark, Abe Weatherwise

Rowlf's Flu:
Rowlf has the flu, so Jimmy tries to remedy his symptoms in different ways, including a medicinal throat spray. He pumps the spray so much that it inflates Rowlf until his belly button blows out! This would become a running gag on the show. Eventually, Rowlf produces an alarm clock that rings seconds later, indicating that his 24-hour virus has just left. The two sing "Happy Days Are Here Again."
A clip from this episode was featured in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years and The World of Jim Henson.
Episode 218

Air date: January 21, 1965
Guests: Buck Owens, The Mills Brothers, Norm Crosby, and Rowlf the Dog

Ski Resort:
Rowlf returns to the show from his skiing trip, his arm in a sling (having injured himself before even leaving the lobby). Jimmy soon reveals him to be faking, and Rowlf tries to get Jimmy to come with him to the resort, Ingmar Houlihan's Swiss Chalet. Eventually, Rowlf reveals that he's already promised Ingmar that Jimmy can be the live entertainment, working pro bono while also busing tables, washing dishes and parking cars. Jimmy refuses to participate, but relents when Rowlf points out how his actions could cause Ingmar and his nine children to become homeless. Rowlf and Jimmy sing "Winter Wonderland" as it snows over Rowlf, who is then hit with a large swath of snow at the song's end (per Jimmy's request).

Episode 219

Air date: January 28, 1965
Guests: Jack Jones, Rex Allen, Nudie Cohn, and Rowlf the Dog.

Episode 220

Air date: February 11, 1965
Guests: Bill Cosby, Leon McAuliffe, Molly Bee, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 221

Air date: February 18, 1965
Guests: Vikki Carr, Henny Youngman, Johnny Tillotson, and Rowlf the Dog

Sleepy Jimmy:
Rowlf comes onto the show while Jimmy is taking a nap and plays with his ear after discovering it has bouncy spring-like qualities. He tries sticking the ear into place with glue, blowing air through his ears and playing a trumpet through them. Rowlf moves onto playing with Jimmy's head in other ways while trying to avoid waking him up, blowing bubbles with his snoring and messing with his hair, drawing facial hair on him, and sticking a Kiss Me sign on his forehead. As Rowlf tries to leave, he trips and drops all of his stuff, waking Jimmy up. Jimmy doesn't notice Rowlf's antics and goes back to sleep after waving Rowlf goodbye.
Episode 222

Air date: February 25, 1965
Guests: Carl Smith, Phil Ford & Mimi Hines, Della Rae, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 223

Air date: March 4, 1965
Guests: Louise O'Brien, Sonny James, The Village Stompers, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 224

Air date: March 11, 1965
Guests: Jerry Vale, Judy Lynn, Homer and Jethro, and Rowlf the Dog

Episode 225

Air date: March 25, 1965
Guests: Eddy Arnold, Kay Starr, Norm Crosby, The Village Stompers, Florida Citrus Queen, and Rowlf the Dog

This episode was Taped in Winter Haven, Florida.
Episode 226

Air date: April 8, 1965
Guests: Chet Atkins, Julie Rogers, Cliff Arquette, Floyd Cramer, and Rowlf the Dog

RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 227

Air date: April 15, 1965
Guests: Gene Pitney, George Jones, Molly Bee, Leo Durocher, and Rowlf the Dog

Cousin Calvin:
Rowlf tries to sell Calvin (Jimmy's cousin, played by Jimmy) the Brooklyn Bridge.

Episode 228

Air date: April 22, 1965
Guests: June Valli, Porter Wagoner, Adam Keefe, Rich Richelieu, and Rowlf the Dog

RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 229

Air date: May 6, 1965
Guests: Boots Randolph, Elton Britt, and Rowlf the Dog

To the Moon, Rowlf:
Rowlf appears in an elaborate space outfit, singing "Fly Me to the Moon," planning on blasting off there. Jimmy interrupts his countdown, doubtful Rowlf will be able to get there or even survive (despite bringing some dehydrated water tablets). Rowlf is still determined and has Jimmy top him off with his special fuel blend. Jimmy pumps into his space suit, causing Rowlf to expand and blow out his bellybutton once again (and go into orbit on its own). Rowlf prepares for take off as he counts down; Jimmy gets caught off guard by the flash spot set so close as smoke fills the screen. Rowlf thinks he's reached the moon and mistakes Jimmy for a moon monster, but beats himself up when he learns he never left the studio. Jimmy, cracking up from the flash spot still, abandons the punchline and proceeds to sing with Rowlf.

Episode 230

Air date: May 13, 1965
Guests: Roy Clark, Rex Allen, Judy Lynn, and Rowlf the Dog

Season 3 (1965-1966)

Fridays, 9:00pm on ABC; taped at ABC Studio One in New York, NY (unless otherwise noted). Jim Henson began his work on the third season of "The Jimmy Dean Show" on September 3, 1965.[19]

Images Episode Description
Episode 301

Air date: September 17, 1965
Guests: Eddy Arnold, Gene Pitney, Buck Owens, Connie Smith, Linda Gayle

This episode was taped at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Episode 302

Air date: September 24, 1965
Guests: Ernest Tubb, John Davidson, Corbett Monica, Jody Miller

Episode 303

Air date: October 1, 1965
Guests: Jane Morgan, Will Jordan, Bill Anderson, The Geezinslaw Brothers

The Dog From C.O.U.S.I.N.:
In a spoof of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Rowlf becomes a spy.
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 304

Air date: October 8, 1965
Guests: Bobby Vinton, Jody Miller, Don Gibson, The Geezinslaw Brothers

Episode 305

Air date: October 15, 1965
Guests: Cliff Arquette, Johnny Tillotson, Molly Bee, Buck & Smitty and The Virginians

Episode 306

Air date: October 22, 1965
Guests: Roy Acuff, Buck Owens, Minnie Pearl, Roy Drusky and Priscilla Mitchell, Del Reeves, Norma Jean, Merle Haggard, Tex Ritter; other presenters and winners, Connie Smith, Jim Reeves, Hank Cochran, Wesley Rose, Roger Miller, Frances Preston (of the Country Music Association), Frank G. Clement (Tennessee Governor)

The 18th Annual Billboard Country Music Awards:
Rowlf joins Jimmy Dean to introduce a few of the awards in the special episode of The Jimmy Dean Show - a broadcast of The 18th Annual Billboard Country Music Awards in Nashville, TN. Early in the ceremony, Rowlf starts off by thanking the audience for bestowing the award to him and Dean has to explain that the award is going to a musical artist (but says they'll get to Rowlf later). At the end, he presents an award that Rowlf would surely win – "Best performance by a four-footed animal on television... namely, a performance by a dog...by a dog on The Jimmy Dean Show...” Rowlf beames as Dean continues, “and the winner is...Lassie!"[20] Rowlf tries to be a good loser and congratulates Lassie ("Chickie baby") but is clearly crestfallen, so Dean gives Rowlf an award from him personally, a plaque called the Golden Bone, for being the best ol' hound dog buddy anyone could have.
This episode was taped at The 18th Annual Billboard Country Music Awards at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Episode 307

Air date: November 5, 1965
Guests: Arthur Godfrey, Sharon Carnes, Fran Allison, Bobby Bare, The Geezinslaw Brothers

Episode 308

Air date: November 12, 1965
Guests: John Davidson, Del Reeves, Eddie Peabody, Molly Bee

Rowlf jimmy boxing
Rowlf jimmy boxing1
Episode 309

Air date: November 19, 1965
Guests: Forrest Tucker, Jody Miller, Homer and Jethro

Rowlf Takes Up Boxing:
Rowlf decides to take up boxing when he hears about the upcoming Cassius Clay and Floyd Patterson fight. He plans to challenge the winner. Jimmy Dean visits Rowlf to see how his training is progressing and volunteers to be his sparring partner. He feigns being knocked out in order to dissuade Rowlf from fighting. Rowlf vows that from now on there will be no more boxing, just wrestling. They then join each other in a rendition of Jimmy’s hit "The First Thing Ev'ry Morning."
A clip from this episode was featured in The World of Jim Henson.
Episode 310

Air date: November 26, 1965
Guests: George Jones, Cliff Arquette, Jimmy Dickens, Gale Garnett, The Bordermen featuring Chuck Woolery

Thanksgiving at Gleason's:
Rowlf tells Jimmy about his Thanksgiving dinner at Jackie Gleason's house and brings him a "people bag" of leftovers.
This episode was taped at ABC Studios in Miami Beach, Florida.
Episode 311

Air date: December 3, 1965
Guests: Eileen Farrell, Chet Atkins, Don Gibson, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, Buck & Smitty, Norm Crosb

Carnegie Hall:
"Playing Carnegie Hall with a full orchestra, however, was a big deal and required some sophistication. Wearing white tie, Rowlf joined Jimmy on stage, carrying his violin and offering up his rendition of Liszt’s "Hungarian Rhapsody" (actually played by the orchestra’s violin soloist). Rowlf’s enthusiastic fiddling to Jimmy’s frantic conducting reached a furious pace and ended in a dramatic upsweep, with Rowlf launching the bow into the air."
This episode was taped at Carnegie Hall on November 18, 1965.[2]
Episode 312

Air date: December 10, 1965
Guests: Joanie Sommers, Jerry Vale, Leroy Van Dyke, Cliff Arquette, Joe Maphis, Milton Berle

This episode was taped at ABC Studios in Hollywood, California.
Episode 313

Air date: December 17, 1965
Guests: Kay Starr, Joe Maphis, Bobby Rydell, Cliff Arquette, Phil Harris, Lassie

This episode was taped at ABC Studios in Hollywood, California.
Episode 314

Air date: December 24, 1965
Guests: Rich Little, Jody Miller, Cliff Arquette, Joe Maphis, Chuck Green

This episode was taped at ABC Studios in Hollywood, California.
Episode 315

Air date: December 31, 1965
Guests: Vikki Carr, Buck Owens, Norm Crosby, Joe Maphis, The Western Continentals

Episode 316

Air date: January 14, 1966
Guests: Roy Acuff, Flatt and Scruggs, George Hamilton IV, Sonny James, Carl Smith, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Dottie West, Faron Young

Country Music History:
Rowlf’s claims he's writing a history of country music going back to the Eighteenth Century. According to Rowlf, George Washington chopped down the cherry tree to build a guitar. When Benjamin Franklin flew his kite with the key tied to it, he handed the string to Washington. “That is how we got the first electric guitar!” Rowlf explained. The two sing the song "Good Old Mountain Dew."
This episode was taped on October 14, 1965 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.[20]
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 317

Air date: January 21, 1966
Guests: Pearl Bailey, Cliff Arquette, Buck Owens, Wilma Bridges

Rowlf Behind Bars:
Jimmy tells the audience that before he went to sleep, he watched an old James Cagney prison film, making him dream of prison that night. In his dream, Rowlf, in striped prison uniform, is locked up and sentenced to 187 years. He laments, "Perry Mason finally lost a case, and it had to be mine." He's also unable to break open Jimmy's cake with a file in it.Jimmy comes to visit him in prison, where Rowlf attempts to break out (while doing a James Cagney impression, though he claims it's Lawrence Welk). Rowlf informs Jimmy of how his long sentence came to be - he was initially caught for opening the wrong side of his Cracker Jack box, but his patrol wagon wound up sinking a U.S. Navy battleship (where the surviving troops swam to shore to form the jury). After decoding a message from his jailhouse neighbor, Rowlf recruits Jimmy to help him break out. He whispers his detailed plan and calls for a blackout. When the lights return, Jimmy is thrown in the cell with Rowlf. Jimmy winds up having a wardrobe malfunction and breaks into laughter, while Rowlf tries to finish the bit singing "The Prisoner's Song."
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 318

Air date: January 28, 1966
Guests: The Everly Brothers, Jody Miller, Fran Allison, Lloyd Green

A Brother for Rowlf:
Rowlf is depressed because he doesn't have a brother. He recites a poem about brothers to Jimmy (inspired by Howard Johnson's "M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World to Me)"). Jimmy offers to be Rowlf's brother, but he hasn't got a dog mouth, nose or tail (though Rowlf jokes that his ears are just as big). Jimmy then surprises Rowlf with a puppy dog, Robert, who can be his brother. Upon inspection, Rowlf discovers the puppy is actually a "Roberta." He ultimately decides he doesn't need a brother, as long as he has a pal like Jimmy. He wants to keep Roberta as a pet and sings "Let's Be Buddies" to her.
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)
Episode 319

Air date: February 11, 1966
Guests: The Andrews Sisters, Billy Grammer, Sgt. Barry Sadler

Episode 320

Air date: February 18, 1966
Guests: Molly Bee, Roy Clark, Jerry Caterino; clips of "The Japanese Grand Ole Opry"

As Rowlf's signature theme plays, Jimmy Dean announces that this time it's not to introduce his ol' buddy. It's to herald a new hero at whose name the underworld trembles: Batdog! Spoofing the Batman TV series (which premiered a month prior, January 12), Rowlf cavorts to the orchestra's version of the Neal Hefti theme before telling them to "cool it." He then summons his dopey assistant, Dobbin (Jimmy Dean). Dobbin utters assorted Holy exclamations (at one point saying "Holy mackerel, Andy" ala the Kingfish of Amos 'n Andy) as Batdog relates the prison escape of arch criminal the Midget (when he tries to cash a check, he's a little short). While Dobbin is sent off (as Batdog plans to leave town in disguise), our hero reports to the commissioner on his Batphone (with batwings on the side). He uses the codename Hot Dog by mistake, then has to explain to the commissioner that the one who escaped prison was the Midget, not Gidget. While Batdog describes the Midget (who stole thirty million dollars), the fiend himself (Dean again) enters. Tapping the canine ("Hold it, commish, I think Avon is calling."), the Midget rejects his plea for mercy and tries to devise the most fiendish torture ("tie me to a phonograph and play a Jimmy Dean record.") The Midget chooses hand to hand combat, initially scaring our hero ("Are you a man or a mouse?" "I'm a bat and a dog.") but he agrees. The villain distracts him first by claiming Superman is on his way to rescue him ("I don't see me old pal Soupy.") While he's looking the other way, the Midget plans to fight dirty. While melodrama chase music plays, hero and villain fight behind the wall while battle words appear onscreen, as on the Batman series. In addition to Pow and Zonk, the phrases include Oy! and Zlerp! (both of which Batdog reacts to). A disheveled Midget, beaten by our hero, re-enters in a punch-drunk manner. Batdog makes him swear to tell him where he hid the thirty million dollars, and not to tell anyone else: "I now pronounce us partners."The two then sing an abbreviated version of "Friendship."

Episode 321

Air date: February 25, 1966
Guests: George Carlin, The Brown Family, Peggy Paxton, Warner Mark, Elton Britt

Episode 322

Air date: March 4, 1966
Guests: Al Martino, Don Gibson, Sharon Carnes, The Statesmen Quartet

Rowlf's Disco:
Rowlf jams to his jukebox, which he will be using in his new discotheque in the Bronx (located next to Dopplemeyer's Delicatessen). He waits for reservations by phone, but instead gets a call from President Johnson (who needs his jukebox for Luci's wedding). Before he can fully open, Rowlf needs a business partner; "some guy who's got a lot of cash and not much brains" - enter Jimmy. Rowlf tries to get him to sign a contract, but Jimmy doesn't enjoy the atmosphere or music found in discos. Rowlf tries persuading him with some music by the Four Caterpillars (actually the McCoy's "Hang On Sloopy"). Jimmy still isn't sure, but hopes Rowlf will have some "Dean records" in rotation (though Rowlf believes he's referring to Dean Martin). Rowlf isn't certain Jimmy's music can be danced to, demonstrating "the Subway," but agrees to comply with Jimmy. Instead of a discotheque, they'll open a "discoTexas" and play only country music. They shake hands on it and sing "Why Don't You Love Me."

Episode 323

Air date: March 11, 1966
Guests: Roberta Sherwood, Boots Randolph, Norm Crosby, Marvin Laird

Card Game:
Rowlf is playing solitaire and wins by taking the ace of diamonds from his mouth ("That was my ace in my hole.") Rowlf asks Jimmy to play cards with him, but Jimmy tells Rowlf that he is a sore loser at card game. After Rowlf promises to not be a sorry loser, the two start to play a real he-man game that gunslingers of the Wild Wild West played at the Alamo with John Wayne: Old Maid. The two put on cowboy hats and play the game down to the last three cards with Jimmy having two cards and Rowlf having one. Rowlf tries to point at the sky to fool Jimmy while he look at his cards, but Jimmy catch him after three tries. When Rowlf picks a card, he throws a fit because he got the old maid and Jimmy calls him a sore loser. Rowlf makes Jimmy pick the old maid and then Jimmy throws a fit to show Rowlf how he acted. Rowlf promises to not be a sore loser and the two then sings "Put on a Happy Face."
RFD-TV Promo (YouTube)

Episode 324

Air date: March 18, 1966
Guests: Maury Wills, Jim Mudcat Grant, Margie Bowes, Loraine Lee, George Carlin

Rowlf And Jimmy Dean Dog Day
Episode 325

Air date: March 25, 1966
Guests: Jerry Vale, Norm Crosby, George Jones, Billy Grammer

Dog Day:
Rowlf makes a bitter plea asking why there isn't a dog day. Rowlf and Jimmy sing "How Come There's No Dog Day."

Episode 326

Air date: April 1, 1966
Guests: Rowlf the Dog

Series Finale:
In the final episode of the series, Jimmy performs with series regulars Rowlf the Dog and the Chuck Cassey Singers. Jimmy and Rowlf sing "Together."
This episode was taped on March 25, 1965.[21]


Jimmy Dean Rowlf Credit

Trade ad.


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dean, Jimmy. Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham: Jimmy Dean's Own Story. Berkley Books. 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jim Henson's Red Book entry - November 18, 1965
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Finch, Christopher. Jim Henson: The Works. Random House. 1993.
  4. Young, Andrew. "The Unseen Work of Jim Henson." Muppet Central. October 22, 2003. [1]
  5. 7/10/1964 – ‘Flamingo Hotel – Las Vegas w/J.Dean’
  6. 10/10/1964 “Show with J.Dean – Purdue University”
  7. 10/23-24/1964 – ‘Show with J. Dean – Shreveport LA State Fair’
  8. 4/11-14/1966 – ‘Appear in Syria Mosque with Jimmy Dean.’
  9. 4/25-30/1966 – ‘In Salt Lake City with Jimmy Dean.’
  10. 5/3-8/1966 – ‘In Anaheim with Jimmy Dean’
  11. 8/26-28/1966 – ‘W/J.Dean – Asbury Park, NJ and Baltimore.’
  12. Jim Henson's Red Book entry - May 1-2, 1966
  13. Plume, Kenneth. "Interview with Jerry Nelson". ING Film Force. February 10, 2000.
  14. McDonald, Craig. "Interview with Jimmy Dean." ModestyArbor.com. October 2, 2004. [2]
  15. A Bit of a Chat with Ken Plume March 27, 2018 episode with Craig Shemin (00:45:16)
  16. http://www.rfdtv.com/story/34148752/after-50-years-the-jimmy-dean-show-is-back-on-rfd-tv
  17. http://www.thejimmydeanshow.com/
  18. 8/28/1964 – ‘Began second season of J. Dean.’
  19. 9/3/1965 – ‘Start new season – 3rd for Jimmy Dean.’
  20. 20.0 20.1 10/14/1965 – ‘Tape 2 Dean shows in Nashville.’
  21. 3/25/1966 – ‘Tape our last Jimmy Dean Show’

External links

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