For 15½ years my life was a complete and total ick. But then on the 23rd of June two things happened. I fell in love with two things: Jeff, my Moondoggie and surfing.

Gidget was a television show starring Sally Field that ran from September 1965 to April 1966. Based on a book Frederick Kohner wrote about his surf-obsessed daughter Kathy, Gidget (a combination of "girl" and "midget") was centered on the trials and tribulations of Francine Lawrence, whom everyone called Gidget. She lived with her father, a professor named Russ Lawrence, in Santa Monica. The show mainly focused on Gidget's life as a teenager coming-of-age on the Pacific Coast: parties, dealing with boys and family, school, surfing, jobs, and so forth.

Other characters on the show included Gidget's sister, Anne Cooper, who very much mothered Gidget; John Cooper, Anne's husband, a psychology student who liked to analyze everything; and Larue, Gidget's best friend. Gidget also had a boyfriend named Jeff, who she called Moondoggie, but because he was away at college, he was more often than not mentioned rather than seen.

The show was rather charming and likable without being cloying or annoying; light-hearted fun with the required moral lesson at the end of each of its 32 episodes. Eighteen-year-old Sally Field won the part over seventy-five other girls with her sparkling and adorable characterization of Gidget. Despite the fact that the show was smartly written and mindful of not "talking down" to its audience, it was cancelled in 1966 because of poor ratings.


  1. Francine "Gidget" Lawrence - Sally Field
  2. Russell Lawrence, father - Don Porter
  3. Anne Lawrence - Betty Conner
  4. John Cooper - Peter Deuel
  5. Jeff "Moondoggie" Mathews - Stephen Mines
  6. Larue - Lynette Winter
  7. Treasure - Beverly Adams
  8. Becky - Heather North
  9. Sally - Bridget Hanley
  10. Mel - Ron Rifkin
  11. Betty - Barbara Hershey
  12. Ken - Tim Rooney
  13. Ellen - Pam McMyler
  14. Randy - Rickie Sorensen
  15. Paul - Jimmy Hawkins
  16. Siddo - Mike Nader
  17. Episodes:

    • "Dear Diary Et-Al" - The pilot episode. Gidget falls in love with surfing and her surfer boy, Jeff. Trouble ensues when Anne reads Gidget's diary and mistakenly believes Gidget's imaginative fantasies are real-life accounts.
    • "In God, and Nobody Else, We Trust" - Anne becomes concerned when John and Gidget go to a luau together.
    • "The Great Kahuna" - Gidget dates an older man.
    • "Daddy Come Home" - Gidget is suspicious when she sees her father with a woman.
    • "Gidget Gadget" - Gidget tries to reconcile Anne and John after a fight.
    • "A Hearse, A Hearse, My Kingdom for a Hearse" - Gidget purchases a hearse from a surfer in a move to become more independent. After Gidget makes a couple of payments, he sells it to someone else. Since she technically is a partial owner of it, they allow her to drive it part-time. She also starts taking shop class at school to help with the maintenance of the car.
    • "Gidget is a Proper Noun" - Gidget's English teacher happens to be an old friend of her father's.
    • "Image Scrimmage" - Gidget develops a crush on Larue's cousin.
    • "Is It Love or Symbiosis?" - Gidget's father sends her away to a private all-girl school in Paris after John and Anne convince him that he and Gidget are too dependent on one another.
    • "All the Best Diseases are Taken" - Gidget protests the rising costs of movie tickets.
    • "My Ever Faithful Friend" - Gidget suspects that there is something going on between Larue and her father after she gives her a makeover.
    • "Chivalry Isn't Dead" - Gidget decides that the boys are taking the girls for granted, and hosts a girls-only slumber party, which turns out to be a bust.
    • The War Between Men, Women and Gidget - Gidget, her girl friends and the boys fight over a cove on the beach.
    • "Gidget's Foreign Policy" - Gidget takes a girl from another country under her wing.
    • "Now There's a Face" - Gidget develops a crush on a fashion photographer.
    • "Too Many Cooks" - Gidget double-books herself for a school dance, and tries to accommodate both dates without her dates' finding out.
    • "I Love You, I Think" - Gidget develops a crush on a surfer, who she finds is her new math teacher.
    • "Like Voodoo" - A fortune teller practices voodoo on Gidget.
    • "Gidget's Career" - Gidget joins a folk band. They get a gig on a teen music television show, but Gidget decides they need a new image, and they become Gidget and the Gories.
    • "Ego-A-Go-Go" - Gidget helps a boy become more self-confident.
    • "In and Out with the In-Laws" - Gidget meets Jeff's parents.
    • "We Got Each Other" - Gidget becomes jealous when her father starts dating.
    • "Operation Shaggy Dog" - Gidget tries to save the local burger joint from closing down.
    • "Ring-A-Ding-Dingbat" - The Dingbats, a British singing duo, come to town. Gidget wants to know if she really likes them, or if she does only because adults don't. Of course, she comes up with a scheme to meet them, but then causes a bunch of trouble for The Dingbats and she and Larue wind up having to pretend that they are The Dingbats.
    • "Love and the Single Gidget" - John and Anne pay a college student to chaperone Gidget.
    • "Take a Lesson" - Gidget fights with a friend's domineering father.
    • "Independence: Gidget Style" - Gidget gets a job in order for her to have money to buy her father a birthday present, and he mistakenly believes she's working in a nightclub.
    • "One More for the Road" - Gidget must learn to drive in order to get a job making deliveries for a flower shop.
    • "Ask Helpful Hannah" - Gidget becomes the writer for the advice column in the school paper, but is caught when she tries to play match-maker.
    • "A Hard Night's Night" - Unbeknownst to Gidget, a friend of Russ's is staying at their house... she decides to return from Larue's early and stay in, and confusion ensues when Gidget wonders what the noise she is hearing is.
    • "I Have This Friend Who..." - Gidget and her boyfriend attempt to discourage his father from chaperoning them on their dates.
    • "Don't Defrost the Alligator" - A frozen alligator causes some confusion.

    And because I can't resist...

    If you're in doubt about angels being real...
    I can arrange to change any doubts you feel
    Wait'll you see my Gidget!
    You'll want her for your Valentine.
    You're gonna say she's all that you adore
    But stay away, Gidget is spoken for
    You're gonna find that Gidget is mine!

    Works Cited:
    Gidget - television show.
    Gidget, Sally Field.
    Television Heaven.
    Gidget tv theme lyrics.

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