Friday, 6 December 2013

Bill Dana - José Jiménez - Gallery

José Jiménez was a fictional character created and performed by comedian Bill Dana on The Steve Allen Show in 1959 and who became increasingly popular during the 1960s. During the course of his José Jiménez acts, Bill Dana took his character through various roles including elevator operator, sailor, and submariner until settling into the most famous occupation that José would hold which was that of; Astronaut.
As time passed, Dana realised that such ethnic humour was becoming offensive, and Hispanic groups began protesting Dana's portrayal of the dim-witted Hispanic character. In 1970, Dana announced to ten thousand Mexican-Americans attending a cultural pride festival that "after tonight, José Jiménez is dead," later holding a mock funeral for José on Sunset Boulevard..


Now I have to confess, I'd never heard of this chap until today - if his work ever crossed the pond it didn't wash up on my shore - but you've got to like someone that's been in that many of the iconic film and TV spacesuits.  I've read up on him a little now but I'll throw it open to the American blog followers to chuck a thought or two into the comments below. But before then....
This image is a cast shot for the second season of The Bill Dana Show (1964).  You've got Bill himself,  Don Adams, Jonathan Harris and Maggi Peterson.  And what does this particular gathering have to do with spacesuits I hear you ask.  Well look no further.  It's funny how things turn out.
Now if anyone knows if Maggi Peterson ever donned a space suit, I would love to complete the quartet.



  1. His work really hasn't stuck around.

    I listen to old time radio and watch old time TV; and the only time I've encountered his work was in "The Right Stuff."


    The weirdest thing about this sketch is that making the character Ecuadoran adds pretty much nothing to the humor. Accent aside, Bill Dana could have played him as Hungarian without missing a single beat.