MFM TRIVIA & "IN-JOKES"
DID YOU KNOW------?
1. Listen for a blooper in "That Little Old Matchmaker…" One character calls another by his real name.
2. In "How to Be a Hero…" don’t worry, that’s not eight year old actor Butch Patrick high up on that mountain. His adult stand-in Felix Silla took his place.
3. In the last scene of the pilot, Martin quotes a line from the 1953 play, The Teahouse of the August Moon by John Patrick: "Pain makes man think. Thinking makes men wise. And wisdom makes life endurable."
4. Although some TV trivia books list the address as 21 Elm Street, that is given only in the third season for Mrs. Brown’s home. In the fourth show, "Russian R In Season", Tim states his address as 1436 Greenhill Road, and in the second season’s "Martin & the Invisible Flying Objects" Mrs. Brown’s downstairs address is 347 Palm Court.
5. The opening credits animation was designed by Lloyd Vaughn, best known for his work on Warner Bros Looney Tunes. (added 4/22/06)
6. In the early episodes of the series, Tim drives a British 1963 Triumph TR-4. That model cost about $2800 at the time. (Many thanks to Tom for this information!) (added 1/29/01)…..Later on, in seasons 2 and 3, he drove a 1964 and then a 1965 Plymouth Sports Fury. (added 5/18/08)
(Take a look at Tim’s cars) (added 12/26/10)
7. Speaking of cars, Art Director James Hulsey based the Martian’s spaceship design on a 1962 e-type Jaguar. The vehicle had a trademark oval vent opening in its front grillwork. As an in-joke in Rocket to Mars, Uncle Martin remarks to Tim that his ship "…is a little foreign sports job." (added 4/27/05 with sincerest thanks to Peter Greenwood)
8. Although never identified by its name, in "My Nephew the Artist", the Van Gogh painting that Martin has copied is entitled "Boats on the Beach".
(For more Artwork trivia click here)
9. In "Who’s Got the Power?" listen to Tim’s double-talk about rewiring Mrs. Brown’s house to find out who wrote the episode.
10. An original skit was filmed for a CBS promo which aired during early 1964. In it, Tim and Martin are having a meal at the dining table (in Mrs. Brown’s house). As the camera fades in, Tim remarks that people are watching. The Martian indignantly puts down his cup, stating that he prefers privacy during meals, and raises his antennae to disappear despite Tim’s protests. ("What am I going to tell them-?" "That’s your problem," replies Martin, now invisible). Tim resignedly addresses the camera, saying, "That’s my favorite Martian."
Learn more about this CBS promo commercial
11. In "Uncle Martin's Broadcast" there is a scene where Tim is on the phone in his office and he is put on "hold". With his hand over the receiver, and for his own amusement, he then launches into a classic comedy routine of popular 60s comedian Shelly Berman whose trademark material involved recreating one-way telephone conversations.
12. Tom Skerritt, who would have an Emmy-award winning lead role in Picket Fences, a show which also co-starred Ray Walston, (whose role as Judge Bone earned him 2 supporting actor Emmys), had a part in the MFM episode "Miss Jekell and Hyde".
13. Also in Picket Fences Season 1, (just released on dvd 6/19/07), there is a moment worth watching for Ray Walston’s character Judge Bone during the very end tag scene in the "Remembering Rosemary" episode. (added 6/19/07)
14. In The Disastronauts, Ray Walston’s stand-in, Bill Blackburn, an accomplished gymnast, did the gym routines for Mr. Walston. Later in that episode, in the crowd scene before the rocket launch, Uncle Martin shakes hands with Mr.Blackburn. ( added 4/27/05 with sincerest thanks to Peter Greenwood)
15. Bill Bixby mentions his real high school in "Gone But Not Forgotten".
16. In "We Love You Miss Pringle" it is stated that Tim graduated from Cahuenga High School in Los Angeles. But the name was an in-joke reference to DESILU’s Cahuenga Studio facilities which, at the time, was home to The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show, among other TV series. MFM filmed its first 7 episodes at the DESILU Cahuenga Studio before moving to DESILU’s Gower Studio lot for the rest of season 1 and all of season 2.
17. My Favorite Martian was filmed on sound stage 10 on the DESILU lot from 1963-1965. In 1966 Star Trek used Stage 10 for its alien planet sets. When Paramount Studios took over DESILU, all the sound stages were renumbered. Today, the sound stage which had been used for MFM is now number 32, on the western side of the lot, next to stage 31 (formerly sound stage 9) which was the home set of the Starship Enterprise and the original Star Trek series.…….. (added 4/25/01)
18. AT MGM Studios, My Favorite Martian filmed on sound stage 14, (note: MFM production shooting schedules from Jan. 1966 state it as Stage 25) which was used for the TV series "The King of Queens." (added 4/27/05 with sincerest thanks to Peter Greenwood)
19. After "Martian" was cancelled, Uncle Martin’s time machine, the CCTBS, was used as a prop in the Man From U.N.C.L.E. which also was filmed at MGM. The CCTBS, altered slightly, was used as a Beta-Ray detector in "The Maze Affair" a 4th season show which had been filmed July 31-Aug 7,1967. The location of the time machine prop today is unknown. (added 7/28/07)
20. In 1960, comedy writer and raconteur Jack Douglas wrote a book of humorous disconnected anecdotes called Never Trust a Naked Bus Driver, its title having absolutely nothing to do with the stories in the book. In the same spirit, the MFM script that has Tim trapped in Limbo, parodies the title of the Jack Douglas book in its own episode title. (The plot idea of having Tim become invisible in that episode, came from Ray Walston.)
21. Check the episode guide to find that at a time when it was exceedingly rare to have women writers working on a primetime series, MFM had 8 female writers contributing scripts and stories over the course of the show.
22. Aside from the pilot, the "006¾" episode is the only other show where the production credits for producer, writer and director appear over a freeze-framed shot taken from the opening credits animation, instead of over the filmed action.
23. Also in "006¾", actor Dan Seymour, who appeared in the film Casablanca as Abdul, the fez-capped doorman, portrays a fez-capped CRUSH agent reminiscent of Casablanca co-star Sydney Greenstreet’s classic characterization.
24. In 1965 My Favorite Martian got a mention in the Congressional record during an Armed Services Committee hearing on flying saucers.
25. In 1965 MFM director David Alexander received a nomination from the American Cinema Editors as Best Director of a Television Film for the episode,"Go West Young Martian: Part II".
26. An inside mention was given to writer Bill Kelsay who contributed scripts to all 3 seasons of the show, when in "Martin the Mannequin", the department store floor manager is called Mr. Kelsay and in "Butterball" Tim’s wrong phone call gets him "Kelsay’s Garage".
27. Another example of an inside joke appeared in the "Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow" episode, where the lawyer had the name of Mr. Poppe, an acknowledgement to series Production Executive Harry H. Poppe.
28. Also, Production Executive Harry H. Poppe happened to have worked as a road manager for the world-renowned magician Harry Houdini. This gave Mr. Poppe invaluable knowledge that helped special effects man Jack Lannan stage the tricks seen on My Favorite Martian. * *(added 10/7/07 with very special thanks to Peter Greenwood)
29. After the show ended production, sections of the terraced apartment and Mrs. Brown’s living room were used for sets in the MGM movie, Doctor You’ve Got to Be Kidding. Filmed in spring 1966, the film coincidentally featured Bill Bixby in a supporting role and one of his scenes takes place by the fireplace section of Mrs. Brown’s living room set.
30. A year before he would become top writer/producer for Star Trek, Gene L.Coon wrote the MFM script "Hate Me a Little" .
31. MFM writer/director James Komack, who appeared in Damn Yankees with Ray Walston, went on to produce The Courtship of Eddie’s Father in 1969,which starred Bill Bixby (whose role as Tom Corbett earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series). Mr. Komack also wrote, directed and co-starred as Norman Tinker in the series.
The Courtship of Eddie’s Father"The Candidate" ABC photos 1971
Bill Bixby as Tom Corbett and James Komack as Norman Tinker…
32. As part of a CBS fall promotion for the 65-66 season, Bill Bixby and Pamela Britton appeared together as guests on the daytime game show Password which was telecast on September 16, 1965. They spoke about the ‘Go West’ 2 part opening episode which concluded that Sunday. (added 10/4/08)
33. In 1973, Pamela Britton made a guest appearance in "The Man Who Lost Himself" episode of Bill Bixby’s series, The Magician.
34. On a segment of the 1974-75 syndicated game show Masquerade Party which featured Bill Bixby as a panelist, Ray Walston appeared as a disguised guest.
35. In 1979, Ray Walston had a co-starring role with Bill Bixby in the "My Favorite Magician" episode of The Incredible Hulk. Both enjoyed longtime memberships in Hollywood’s Magic Castle club for professional magicians.
(See behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Hulk’ "My Favorite Magician" episode)
The Incredible Hulk "My Favorite Magician" CBS Photos 1979
36. In 1987, during production for the TV series Sledge Hammer, Ray Walston and Bill Bixby met on the soundstage of the show, as Ray was filming a role in episode 24 of the series and Bill Bixby was there to prepare to direct episode 25.
SHOKUS RADIO INTERVIEW with actor Wayne Stam (added 4/21/08)
BACKSTAGE on My Favorite Martian…..(added photo 8/4/12)
ARTWORK on My Favorite Martian (added 9/4/04)
MY FAVORITE MARTIAN: Season 3 DVD
And a 2012 MPI release Collector’s Edition Season 3 MY FAVORITE MARTIAN
have lots of additional TRIVIA information in their special bonus features
text © 1998-2012 JH Harison
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