Scenes from The Incredible Hulk episode
"My Favorite Magician"
Without giving away too much of the plot, in this episode Dr. David Banner (Bill Bixby) is working as a dishwasher in a roadside diner while experimenting with a cure for his metamorphosis into the "hulk"creature. An eccentric ex-vaudeville magician named Jasper Dowd (Ray Walston) shows up at the diner on his way to do a benefit performance. Before long, Jasper persuades David Banner to assist him in his magic act.
(See some behind the scenes photos taken during the filming of "My Favorite Magician")
At a Buena Park California convention in 1991, Ray Walston talked about his guest role on The Incredible Hulk. He revealed that the episode had been written with him in mind for the part of Jasper. Mr.Walston then told the audience that on the first day of production, he was using the dressing room trailer that was assigned to the supporting cast while on location. He described it as being long and divided by partitions and each performer had their own space. Mr.Walston said that when Bill Bixby came to greet him that morning, he was his usual genial self, but, as Bill was saying hi and shaking hands with him, Ray noticed that Bill’s eyes were looking over this dressing room trailer. Bill asked if that was where they had put him, and Mr.Walston said, "Yeah, why-?" Bill Bixby then excused himself and went directly to the phone and called the studio, and was overheard saying, "You don’t treat an actor of Ray’s caliber like an extra." He then went back to Mr.Walston and apologized for his having been put up in that trailer. Ray Walston said that he didn’t mind or see anything wrong with it, but Bill Bixby told him that he had ordered a motor home from the studio for Ray’s use and until it gets there, he was to use Mr. Bixby’s motor home as his own.
After telling this story to the audience, Ray Walston went on to say that in all his years in show business, Bill Bixby was one of the nicest and most decent people he had ever met and that his friendship meant a great deal to him.
(Special and sincerest thanks to William Petersen who was in the audience and kindly related Mr.Walston’s remarks for this page.)
The "My Favorite Magician" episode was filmed in August 1979 and during that time Channel 9 in Los Angeles was televising reruns of My Favorite Martian at 3:30 PM each weekday afternoon. In the book America on the Rerun, Ray Walston mentioned that when they were filming the Hulk, Bill Bixby came into his motor home and they turned on the television to watch a rerun of their show.
Source: America on the Rerun by D. Story, Citadel Press, (1992) page 59
"It really was nostalgic to sit with Bill and watch that ‘Martian’ episode. It was the first one I’d seen since they stopped running it in 1966. Watching it brought back a lot of memories."
Source: "Martian Costars are Reunited" The Chronicle-Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, (Oct. 26, 1979)
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