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Maximilian "Max" Shulman (March 14, 1919 – August 28, 1988) was an American writer and humorist best known for his television and short story character Dobie Gillis, as well as for best-selling novels.
Early life and career
Shulman 's earliest published writing was for Ski-U-Mah, the college humor magazine of the University of Minnesota, in the 1930s. His writing often focused on young people, particularly in a collegiate setting. In 1943 he wrote his first novel, Barefoot Boy with Cheek, a satire on college life, while still a student.
Shulman's works include the novels Rally Round the Flag, Boys!, which was made into a film starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward; The Feather Merchants; The Zebra Derby; Sleep till Noon; and Potatoes are Cheaper.
In 1954 he co-wrote (with Robert Paul Smith) the Broadway play The Tender Trap starring Robert Preston, which was later adapted into a movie starring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds. He wrote the libretto for the 1968 musical How Now, Dow Jones, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical.
Shulman's collegiate character, Dobie Gillis, was the subject of a series of short stories compiled under the title The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which became the basis for the 1953 movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, followed by a CBS television series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963). Shulman was a script writer for the series and also wrote the lyrics for the series' theme song (music was composed by Lionel Newman). The same year the series began, Shulman published a Dobie Gillis novel, I Was a Teenage Dwarf (1959). After his initial success with Dobie Gillis in the early 1950s, Shulman syndicated a humor column, "On Campus", to over 350 collegiate newspapers at one point.. He piloted another series for CBS for the 1961 season "Daddy-O", which showed behind-the-scenes of TV sitcom production. It was turned down by CBS.
A later novel, Anyone Got a Match?, satirized both the television and tobacco industries (which was ironic as his "On Campus" column was sponsored by a cigarette company), as well as the South and college football. His last major project was House Calls, which began as a 1978 movie based on one of his stories, and starred Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson; it spun off the 1979-1982 television series of the same name, starring Wayne Rogers and Lynn Redgrave in the leads. Shulman was the head writer.
- Barefoot Boy With Cheek (1943)
- The Feather Merchants (1944)
- The Zebra Derby (1946)
- Max Shulman's Large Economy Size (1948), includes Barefoot Boy with Cheek, The Feather Merchants, The Zebra Derby
- Sleep Till Noon (1950)
- The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1951)
- Max Shulman's Guided Tour of Campus Humor (1955)
- Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1956)
- I Was a Teenage Dwarf (1959)
- Anyone Got a Match? (1964)
- Potatoes Are Cheaper (1971)
- Shulman, Max, Max Shulman's Guided Tour of Campus Humor, Hanover House, Garden City, New York, 1955.
- "People of 1988: Obituaries", 1989 Britannica Book of the Year, Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1989, p. 109, ISBN 0-85229-504-9
- Schneider, Martin (March 4, 2015). "'Daddy-O,' The Incredible Failed TV Pilot That Broke the Fourth Wall 25 Years Before Garry Shandling". dangerousminds.net.
- Friedman, Roger (March 13, 2002). "Nash May Talk -- Oscars in Last Leg of Voting". Fox News. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
- Barron, James (August 29, 1988). "Obituaries". Max Shulman, Humorist, Is Dead; Chronicler of Postwar Life Was 69. New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-23.