Actor Wayne Stam (Andromeda) made another guest appearance on STU’S SHOW, an internet radio webcast on Shokus Internet Radio on Aug 6, 2008

2012: Photos of Wayne displaying some of the latest MFM collectibles


On Feb 20, 2008, STU’S SHOW, on Shokus Internet Radio devoted its program to My Favorite Martian. Host Stu Shostak interviewed actor Wayne Stam (who played Uncle Martin’s 11 year old Martian nephew). Here are some exerts from the conversations, rearranged for continuity, and posted with the very kind permission of Mr. Shostak.


STU: …You had watched the show at home, {so} coming in, your first impressions of Ray and Bill?

WAYNE: They both immediately wanted to work with me on every shot. Instead of the director really having control over every scene and every shot, it seemed that they were working with me personally, and really giving me a lot of information. I really didn’t realize that as an on-going character, and being another Martian that would impact Ray’s character, I really had to follow what he was doing and so Ray worked with me directly. But Bill Bixby really wanted me to understand the character before I got started. And he also—when I started to make some mistakes—some stage actor mistakes, working in front of a camera…gestures too big and things like that—he came to me and immediately let me know to ask about the shot.

STU: … As you told me, Bill Bixby was always into trying stuff spontaneously, right?

WAYNE: Right, yes. He would want to redo a take, he would want to try something crazy, and then if he wasn’t happy with it, or if he just had another idea, he’d want to try both things.

STU: {During the scene with the floating chair}did you record your lines on the set off the set, in a microphone so that Bill could have his timing, or was that all looped later on?

WAYNE: It was not looped later on. We did it at the time we were shooting the shots. I was just off camera.

STU …And you were watching Bill do his bit and probably just marveling at it.

WAYNE: I was loving it. But both of those shots where he grabs the chair and bangs into the wall…that one, he tried it several different ways just to make it as outlandish as he could and that was wonderful to watch him do that. And also, in falling over the desk, that part where he dives over the desk, there was actually a big fight on the set about that. He wanted to do it, he insisted on doing it, and they wanted to have somebody else do the stunt. And he didn’t want that. He wanted to do it himself. He said, "It’ll be real, it’ll be all right, it’ll be okay." And there really was kind of an extended argument. And as a kid, wide-eyed, I’m watching him have this conversation and it made a big impression on me. I really enjoyed watching him do that. 


(Note Bill’s left hand reaching for a thin blue mattress behind the desk to cushion his fall.)

STU: …Tell them about the rehearsal and then the filming.

WAYNE: He also rehearsed it, and he did it—the first time he did it, it was very good, and it was impressive and he showed them, "See? I’m okay." And then, actually during the take, he went quite a bit farther and it was that much better when they were rolling.


STU: The one time I met Bixby was in the 80s I was booking audiences on the "Book of Lists", a show he was hosting, and went up to him and introduced myself, and I said, "You and Ray Walston –your chemistry on the show made it my favorite of all the fantasy shows." And you know what he said to me? He said that he learned so much from Ray Walston, about timing, about delivering a line, and about reacting and...about acting and reacting…I thought that was incredibly generous and gracious of him. He said if it were not for Ray Walston, he would not have the comedic ability and timing he had received as a result.


CALL-IN QUESTION: Did you have a table read-through of the script, or did you just rehearse on the set and go ahead and film it?

WAYNE: We did not have a table read-through, no. We rehearsed the shots and one of the really fascinating things about rehearsing was that Bill Bixby and Ray Walston really did more coaching of me than {the director} Jean Yarbrough did. Basically the shots that I was in with Ray, he pulled me aside and really worked with me on exactly what we were going to do, and he wanted it a certain way and {he} was very serious about it.

And then in most of the other shots, whether Bill Bixby was in them or not, it was as if he was directing. I think, my sense of it was that Jean Yarbrough was doing much more of setting up the shots, framing the shots, working with the lighting and everything else and he let Ray Walston and Bill Bixby really work with the actors.


CALL-IN QUESTION: How many set ups were there for each scene, as it was a one camera show?

WAYNE: What I recall, was that there was two, but actually so much of my time when they were doing set ups, was I went back and worked with my tutor, they put me back in a trailer, so I missed a lot of the setting up, so I’m not absolutely sure if there were more than two, but there were quite a few shots where there were two set-ups.


STU: {When Andromeda turned a desk into a tree}--what was the process involved there? Did you have to freeze while they changed it?

WAYNE: We did have to freeze but we also had in a couple of scenes like that, we had the benefit of smoke so any movement would be as part of the smoke clearing. But yes, they did it and they did it very quickly. I believe everything was on rollers, and they did it very quickly…so that it wouldn’t appear that there was much movement.


STU: Why did they put your show on {only} 3 weeks after you shot it?

WAYNE: They were thinking that this might regenerate the show and also trying to bring to a head what would happen with the future of the show...What I heard, is that they were still negotiating with Ray Walston, and they were trying to figure out how were going to proceed, if they were going to proceed with the series, and by really promoting this episode and putting it on a few weeks earlier than they might have, they could get an idea of what the ratings would be and what the reaction would be.


 STU: Wayne...they told you at the end of your shoot, you may be a regular next year, right? Something to that effect?

WAYNE: Yes. Actually I had a 5 year contract…

STU: …So, to hear this, after one week on the show, you must have been on Cloud 9?

WAYNE: I was excited, but they also prepared me for the possibility that the show would not go on. They had also said that it was possible that it’s going to be cancelled. "We’re negotiating…we’re not sure if it’s going to continue…" They did prepare me for that—they really didn’t just build me up to say no.


Wayne Stam is also interviewed as a part of the Extra Features selections of the "My Favorite Martian: Season 3", DVD by Umbrella Entertainment.



My sincerest gratitude and appreciation go out to Stu Shostak for allowing the publication of this transcript from his webcast with Wayne Stam, who very kindly took the time to share his memories of working on My Favorite Martian. Thank you, Wayne!

J.H. Harison


All the quotes on this page are © by Shokus Internet Radio 2008 and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Shokus Internet Radio.

e-mail: jhharison@gmail.com





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