Dennis the Menace

Watch Dennis the Menace

  • TV-G
  • 1959
  • 4 Seasons
  • 7.0  (2,513)

The classic family sitcom, Dennis the Menace, aired from 1959 to 1963 and starred Jay North as the titular character. Based on the popular comic strip created by Hank Ketcham, the show followed the mischievous adventures of six-year-old Dennis Mitchell as he wreaked havoc on his unsuspecting neighbors.

Set in the idyllic suburban town of Springfield, USA, the show centered on the Mitchell family, including Dennis, his parents, Henry and Alice, and their next-door neighbors, the Wilsons. Mr. Wilson, played by character actor Joseph Kearns, was the grumpy and often beleaguered victim of young Dennis' pranks and schemes, while Mrs. Wilson, played by Sylvia Field, was the kind-hearted and nurturing presence in Dennis' life.

Each episode followed a fairly straightforward formula: Dennis would get into some kind of trouble, usually involving Mr. Wilson, and would then learn a valuable lesson about responsibility, honesty or friendship by the end of the half hour. Along the way, there were plenty of hijinks, sight gags and physical comedy to keep audiences entertained.

What set Dennis the Menace apart from other family sitcoms of the time was its blend of warmth and humor. The show was infused with a sense of nostalgia for a simpler time, harkening back to a bygone era of picket fences, soda fountains and wholesome family values. At the same time, it wasn't afraid to indulge in the kind of wacky physical comedy that was popular in the 1950s and 60s, with Dennis often sliding down banisters, getting caught in sticky situations or causing chaos with his friends.

Of course, the heart of the show was the relationship between Dennis and Mr. Wilson. Kearns and North had a great on-screen chemistry, with Kearns playing the curmudgeonly old neighbor to perfection and North bringing just the right amount of cheeky charm to his role as the lovable troublemaker. Their scenes together were always a highlight of each episode, with Mr. Wilson exasperated by Dennis' antics but unable to resist the little boy's charm.

The supporting cast was also a big part of what made Dennis the Menace such a beloved show. Herbert Anderson and Gloria Henry were perfectly cast as Henry and Alice Mitchell, providing a stable and loving presence amidst all the chaos. Field was also a standout as Mrs. Wilson, playing the role with warmth and grace.

Despite its popularity, Dennis the Menace only ran for four seasons, with the last episode airing in 1963. However, the show has remained a beloved part of pop culture, inspiring numerous spin-offs, films and adaptations over the years.

In 1986, a live-action film version of the show was released, starring Walter Matthau as Mr. Wilson and Mason Gamble as Dennis. Although the film was a moderate success, it was criticized for straying too far from the source material and relying too heavily on slapstick comedy.

In 1993, a direct-to-video animated version of the show was released, featuring the voice talents of actress Marilyn Lightstone as Mrs. Wilson. The cartoon was more faithful to the original comic strip and was generally well-received by critics and audiences alike.

Overall, Dennis the Menace remains a beloved classic of family entertainment, beloved for its warmth, humor and enduring appeal.

Dennis the Menace is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (146 episodes). The series first aired on October 4, 1959.

Dennis the Menace
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Aunt Emma Visits the Wilsons
38. Aunt Emma Visits the Wilsons
July 7, 1963
When Mr. Wilson's Aunt Emma pays him a visit, she takes an instant liking to Dennis, causing Mr. Wilson to fear that she will make Dennis her heir instead of him.
A Man Among Men
37. A Man Among Men
June 16, 1963
While Henry is out of town, Dennis tries to take his place and do everything his father would do.
First Editions
36. First Editions
June 9, 1963
Henry tells Dennis to get rid of his massive comic book collection, so he decides to sell them.
Listen to the Mockingbird
35. Listen to the Mockingbird
June 2, 1963
Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Elkins each run for president of the Birdwatchers Society.
The Lucky Rabbit's Foot
34. The Lucky Rabbit's Foot
May 26, 1963
With the recent bad luck Mr. Wilson has been having, Dennis offers to let him borrow what he believes to be a lucky rabbit's foot.
Hawaiian Love Song
33. Hawaiian Love Song
May 19, 1963
Mrs. Wilson is angry with Mr. Wilson because she thinks he's not taking her to Hawaii, for their anniversary even though he promised to.
Tuxedo Trouble
32. Tuxedo Trouble
May 12, 1963
Dennis and his friends start a laundry service using Mrs. Elkins' old washing machine.
The Lost Dog
31. The Lost Dog
May 5, 1963
Dennis finds a stray dog and convinces Henry to allow the dog to stay in their house for the night.
Never Say Dye
30. Never Say Dye
April 28, 1963
A famous actress commissions Mr. Wilson to write her life story thinking he is a young, vigorous author with a youthful point of view.
The Three F's
29. The Three F's
April 21, 1963
Mr. Wilson thinks his property taxes are rising because the school is wasting money on nonessential programs and luxuries.
Dennis Plays Robin Hood
28. Dennis Plays Robin Hood
April 14, 1963
Dennis takes Mr. Wilson's lawn edger without asking, so when Mr. Wilson sees Mrs. Elkins using an edger she recently purchased, he takes it believing it was stolen from him.
The Uninvited Guest
27. The Uninvited Guest
April 7, 1963
With Henry away in New York on business and Alice having to spend the night with Henry's mother, Dennis stays with the Wilsons for a night.
A Tax on Cats
26. A Tax on Cats
March 31, 1963
Mr. Wilson becomes a cat-catcher for the police department to help enforce a cat license law.
Dennis and the Homing Pigeons
25. Dennis and the Homing Pigeons
March 24, 1963
Dennis and Tommy decide to use pigeons in the park to send messages to each other.
My Four Boys
24. My Four Boys
March 17, 1963
Mr. Wilson wins an essay contest that requires the entrants to be parents, so he tries to pass off Dennis and his friends as his own children.
Baby Booties
23. Baby Booties
March 10, 1963
Mrs. Wilson knits several baby booties to use as covers for a new set of golf clubs, and Dennis quickly spreads word around the neighborhood.
Wilson's Allergy
22. Wilson's Allergy
March 2, 1963
Mr. Wilson is convinced that he is allergic to Dennis because he sneezes every time Dennis is around.
The Big Basketball Game
21. The Big Basketball Game
February 24, 1963
The star player on Dennis' basketball team, Stretch, quits the team because Johnny Brady and some of the other players constantly make fun of him.
Dennis Goes to Washington
20. Dennis Goes to Washington
February 16, 1963
Dennis is appointed by the mayor to go to Washington to ask their senator to support the creation of a national forest at nearby Hickory Mountain.
Dennis, the Confused Cupid
19. Dennis, the Confused Cupid
February 10, 1963
Dennis decides to help along a potential romance between an older friend of his and a new girl in town.
The Creature with the Big Feet
18. The Creature with the Big Feet
February 3, 1963
Mr. Wilson sees large footprints in his yard caused by Dennis' new novelty shoes and thinks they may be from a monster that has been reported in the newspaper.
Dennis, the Rain Maker
17. Dennis, the Rain Maker
January 27, 1963
Mr. Wilson gives Dennis a book called Secrets Of The Indian Rain Dance, and he and his friends decide to give it a try.
Wilson's Little White Lie
16. Wilson's Little White Lie
January 20, 1963
Mr. Wilson tells Dennis he isn't feeling well just to get Dennis to leave him alone, but Dennis of course spreads the word and leads everyone to believe that Mr. Wilson is very sick.
Junior Astronaut
15. Junior Astronaut
January 13, 1963
Mr. Wilson is named chairman of a saving-stamps campaign for the Junior Astronauts and arranges a contest at Dennis' school to win a trip to Cape Canaveral to meet an astronaut.
My Uncle Ned
14. My Uncle Ned
January 6, 1963
Mr. Wilson has written a book about his Uncle Ned's life, but Ned does not want the book to be published.
Dennis and the Hermit
13. Dennis and the Hermit
December 29, 1962
Mr. Wilson believes that a hermit Dennis visits at his shack out in the woods fought in the Civil War, so he tries to get his life story.
Jane Butterfield Says
12. Jane Butterfield Says
December 23, 1962
Mr. Wilson takes over an advice-to-the-lovelorn newspaper column for a few weeks, thinking he will have every single woman in town happily married by the time he finishes.
Wilson's Second Childhood
11. Wilson's Second Childhood
December 16, 1962
Mr. Wilson hangs out and plays with Dennis and his friends for the day to gather information for a magazine article about the changing behaviors of children.
Henry's New Job
10. Henry's New Job
December 2, 1962
Dennis runs away from home because Henry is thinking of getting a new job that would relocate him and his family.
Dennis at Boot Camp
9. Dennis at Boot Camp
November 25, 1962
When Mr. Wilson's nephew visits him in San Diego and gives him and Dennis a ride in his Navy truck, they inadvertently get brought back to the naval base.
San Diego Safari
8. San Diego Safari
November 18, 1962
Both the Wilsons and the Mitchells take a trip when Mr. Wilson is selected to pick up a chimpanzee from the San Diego Zoo.
The New Principal
7. The New Principal
November 11, 1962
Dennis and his school's new principal get off on the wrong foot after the principal takes a remark about his height the wrong way.
Dennis in Gypsyland
6. Dennis in Gypsyland
November 4, 1962
Mr. Wilson's article about gypsies is returned with the request that he get to know them better through further research.
Poor Mr. Wilson
5. Poor Mr. Wilson
October 28, 1962
When Mr. Wilson's money is lost at Quigley's market through a hole in his pocket, he cannot pay Dennis for washing his car -- but Dennis misinterprets "the market" to mean stock and assumes Mr. Wilson is broke.
The Little Judge
4. The Little Judge
October 21, 1962
Following a complaint from Mrs. Elkins, Sgt. Mooney takes Mr. Wilson to court for an alleged violation of a town ordinance when his incinerator continues to burn after 8:00 a.m.
Dennis and the Circular Circumstances
3. Dennis and the Circular Circumstances
October 14, 1962
Mrs. Elkins turns Dennis down for a job delivering circulars for her campaign, but Mr. Wilson agrees to help Dennis pursue it.
You Go Your Way
2. You Go Your Way
October 7, 1962
Dennis hears the Wilsons arguing and spreads the news around the neighborhood, leading some of the neighbors to think the Wilsons have split up.
The Chinese Girl
1. The Chinese Girl
September 30, 1962
Dennis becomes fast friends with a girl from Hong Kong who is staying with the Wilsons.
Where to Watch Dennis the Menace
Dennis the Menace is available for streaming on the Shout Factory website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Dennis the Menace on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, The Roku Channel Free, Crackle, Tubi TV and Peacock.
  • Premiere Date
    October 4, 1959
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (2,513)