Bill Dana passes

| June 19, 2017 | 33 Comments

His real name was William Szathmary. During the 60s and 70s, he was called Bill Dana. If you were around then and you watched the Ed Sullivan show, you knew his tagline “Hello. My name José Jiménez”. He died last week at the age of 92. Like most of his generation, he was a veteran, according to Wiki;

During World War II he served in the United States Army with the 263rd Infantry Regiment, 66th Infantry Division as a 60mm mortarman and machine gunner, as well as an unofficial interpreter.

Category: Blue Skies

Comments (33)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    Vaya con Dios, Jose Jimenez!!

  2. bg2 says:

    “William Szathmary,” it is a Hungarian surname, for “Jose.”

  3. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    As a kid growing up in Laurelton Queens NYC in the 1950’S, I remember our family watching Bill on the Steve Allen show in our parents bedroom. Only one TV set in the bedroom and having one in the living room was not allowed due to the living room was for getting together as a family and having conversation.

  4. AW1Ed says:

    While I don’t remember him specifically, he did appear in Tom Wolfe’s book and movie, “The Right Stuff” about the Mercury 7 astronauts, in a very humorous way.

    Fair winds and following seas, Mr. Szathmary.

    • Hondo says:

      As I recall, the Dana clip used in that movie was actual Ed Sullivan Show footage.

      RIP, Mr. D. Thanks – for serving this nation, and for the fond memories resulting from your professional career.

    • FuzeVT says:

      That’s where I saw him the first time, too. I LOVED the Right Stuff when it first came out (at age 11 in 1983) and watched it tons of times on my VHS copy we recorded from the Movie Channel, back when that was a thing.

      Farewell, sir, thank you for your service!

      • FuzeVT says:

        Ed Sullivan: “Now, what do you consider the most important thing in rocket travel?”
        José Jiménez: “To me the most important thing in the rocket travel is the blast-off.”
        Ed Sullivan: “The blast-off.”
        José Jiménez: “I always take a blast before I take off. Otherwise I wouldn’t go near that thing.”

  5. The Stranger says:

    I’ve been using Jose Jimenez as an “alter ego” lately and got a few chuckles from folks when I showed them the videos on YouTube. Still funny over 50 years later! Rest in peace, Mr. Dana.

  6. Dave Hardin says:

    Being the youngest son, I had to hang out my sisters window and turn to pipe the antenna was on until my father screaming from the living room told me to stop. Thats the only way we could get Ed Sullivan on TV.

    Then, we had to play with the big ring around the channel selector to stop all the squiggles on the screen.

    We got three channels and one did not come on until noon. Ahh…the nights when I stay up until the stations signed off for the day. National Anthem played and then I sat there and watched to goofy test pattern.

    I thought my name was Change Channel until I got to Junior High. Kids today miss out on so much. Trying to talk to your girlfriend on a party line…was no party.

    Rest well Mr. Szathmary, thanks for the memories.

    • Fjardeson says:

      Remember getting sent up to Radio Shack with a bag full of tubes and a 10$ bill to hit the tube tester? Of course, it was ALWAYS the last tube you checked that was bad.

      • Dave Hardin says:

        Ahh, the tube tester. Ya, then when you finally plugged them all into a socket and found the bad one…you prayed and rooted through the cabinet for a new one.

        How I miss the Vert Hold knob.

    • USAF E-5 says:

      My Grandfather’s house in the country still had a party line when we visited the first time. “Ruby, get me Chicago Viking9-5897.” Needed to call home since I was a wee lad, standing on the chair, honest to God ring em up crank and it was 1962.”

    • just some feller says:

      I remember Dixie being played.

      I can find but ONE example on YouTube from 1975 (and “Glory” follows!?!).

      The one in 1965 was a slowly-played instrumental with the CSA battle flag flying in the background.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    “as an unofficial interpreter”
    That is so funny in oh so many ways.

    • Hack Stone says:

      Kind of like the old salts on Okinawa taking the newbie out in town, then teaching him a bit of Japanese to impress the girls. Having a 19 year old Marine telling a 50 year old bar girl in Japanese that he has a small penis never gets old.

  8. Fjardeson says:

    Is that your crash helmet?

    Jose: I hope not!

  9. Graybeard says:

    A real comedian’s jokes are never old. Too many “comedians” today don’t understand that.

    RIP, sir.

  10. David says:

    The old Borscht Belt guys used to say “if you gotta be blue to be funny, you aren’t funny.” Funniest guys on Earth and the closest they got to risky was maybe a double entendre. Try to get a current comedian to perform a clean show – it would probably last 30 seconds before he ran out of material. Dana could do hours.

    Speaking of astronauts – Dick Gregory once explained that not all the astronauts were lily-white – one of the original 7 was black: “He just looks like that since they told him what he volunteered for.”

  11. M48DAT says:

    ‘Yes, the name of my ranch is the Bar Nine Circle Z Rocking O Flying W Lazy O Crazy Two Happy Seven Bar 17 Parallelogram Four Octagon Nine Trapezoid Six Ranch.’

    “‘Well, do you have many cattle?’

    “‘No. Not many survive the branding.’

  12. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace Bill Dana. Thanks for the Sunday nights on TV. Rest in peace.

  13. CC Senor says:

    A short version of one of my favorite Bill Dana bits. Too bad even he had to suffer PC correctness. RIP Mr Dana.

  14. Bill M says:

    Rest in Peace Bill Dana. Thanks for the laughs.

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