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The Littlest Hobo
Release date(s) 1963 & 1979
Running time 77 min.
Country Canada
Language English

The Littlest Hobo is a Canadian television series, based upon a 1958 American film directed by Charles R. Rondeau. The show first aired from 1963 to 1965, and was then revived for a popular second run on CTV from 1979 to 1985.

Contents

Concept

All three productions centered around a stray German Shepherd who wanders from town to town, helping people in need. Although the concept was similar to that of Lassie, the Littlest Hobo did not have an owner, and despite the attempts of many people to adopt him, he preferred to be on his own, and would head off by himself at the end of each episode. Never actually named on-screen, the dog is therefore often referred to by the name Hobo (though he was often given names by his multitudes of temporary owners). Although there were recurring actors in both series, the only constant was the dog.

1963-1965 series

Following the 1958 film, the 1960s TV series was aired in syndication around the world, and is best remembered[citation needed] for a scene (later included in the closing credits of most episodes) showing the dog actually riding a parachute. This was before animal treatment regulations discouraged such activity in film productions.[citation needed]

The German shepherd dogs featured in the 1960s series were owned and trained by Charles "Chuck" Eisenmann. The primary star was London, but several of London's relatives, including Toro, Litlon, and Thorn, also played scenes as the Hobo. Eisenmann recounts many stories from the filming of the series in his 1968 book Stop! Sit! and Think. Other books he wrote include THE BETTER DOG: THE EDUCATED DOG and A DOG’S DAY IN COURT.

Although widely referred to as German Shepherds, the dogs do not have the coloration or markings which are recognized for that breed's standard. Currently this breed is called a "Tamaskan", but no country has accepted the Tamaskan as a registered breed. Their coloration and markings more closely resemble specimens of the Northern Inuit Dog which was created by combining several dog breeds, they also closely resemble wolfdog hybrids such as the Saarlooswolfhond or the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Similar looking dogs were selected to play the role of the Littlest Hobo, however little information is available about the process to breed them and whether Chuck bred the dogs himself[citation needed].

Shiloh Shepherd dogs are stated to trace their heritage back to London's relatives, and are inspired by the intelligence Chuck's dogs were reputed to have.

1979-1985 series

In 1979, CTV revived the series, which unlike the previous series was shot on videotape rather than on film. It aired in the U.S. in syndication. Over six seasons the New Littlest Hobo (as it was sometimes called) featured many big-name Hollywood guest stars (such as Alan Hale, Jr., DeForest Kelley, Morey Amsterdam, Patrick Macnee, Vic Morrow, Henry Gibson, John Carradine, Leslie Nielsen and a young Mike Myers) and plotlines that ranged from traditional "dog helps boy" stories to outlandish secret agent-type tales. Its theme song, "Maybe Tomorrow", was sung by Terry Bush. The song was commercially released in 2005 by Terry Bush as part of his debut album, also entitled Maybe Tomorrow.[1]

The dogs that starred in the two series were both named London. It is not known if they were actually related to the dog from the earlier series, although they were of the same breed.

The 1979 series continues to air in reruns on CTV Television Network to this day, on Saturday mornings.

DVD Release

Mediumrare Entertainment will release Season One The Littlest Hobo featuring the theme tune 'Maybe Tomorrow' on DVD in Region 2 & 4 on 26th April 2010.

In popular culture

Corner Gas

An episode of the popular Canadian sitcom, Corner Gas, paid tribute to The Littlest Hobo in the episode "The Littlest Yarbo" that first aired in October 2005. In this episode, a German Shepherd mysteriously arrives in the show's fictional setting of Dog River, Saskatchewan and begins intervening whenever someone gets into trouble. Hank, the town's resident dimwit, is convinced this dog is The Littlest Hobo from TV. The episode ends with "Hobo" locking Brent and Hank in a shed and stealing a steak off a barbecue while Brent yells "This isn't very Hobo-like!" The dog then hops onto the back of pick-up truck heading out of town, as "Maybe Tomorrow" plays over the episode's closing credits. (The dog used in this episode differed from London, however, in that he was golden colored, compared to the salt-and-pepper coloring of the original.)

Spaced

An episode of the British sitcom, Spaced, used a version of the theme song in a scene in which the main character's dog, Colin, wandered off.

Trailer Park Boys

Ricky, one of the protagonists of Trailer Park Boys, a popular Canadian television program, watches The Littlest Hobo on his run-down television. (Trailer Park Boys: Season 3; Episode 1). Ricky sings along with the program's theme song.

Dogbarked

In James O'Shea's play Dogbarked, the two main characters, Roland and Baxter, have a lengthy exchange about the programme in an effort to try to recall the name of both the programme and the title character. The dialogue wraps up when they sing a brief excerpt of the theme song.

Pure Pwnage

An episode of the popular internet gaming show Pure Pwnage has the main character Jeremy getting followed by a small dog. He ends up presenting the dog to his girlfriend as an anniversary gift, but later on when the dog wanders away, there is a musical tribute to the theme song from the show.

External links


Simple English

The Littlest Hobo
Format Children/Family
Created by Charles R. Rondeau
Starring Buddy Hart
Wendy Stuart
Carlyle Mitchell
Howard Hoffman
Bob Kline
Country of origin Canada
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 113
Production
Camera setup Single camera
Running time Approx. 77 min.
Broadcast
Original channel CTV
Original run 1963, 1979 – 1965, 1985

The Littlest Hobo is an Canadian children's show directed by Charles R. Rondeau. It based on a movie and is about a German Shepherd that wanders from town to town, helping people in need. The tv series ran from 1963-1965 and was later revived by CTV from 1979-1985.








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