Aug 15, 2012

Bill Bixby: My Favorite Martian

Bill Bixby played swinging 1960s bachelors with glamorous jobs, cool pads, boss threads, and a never-ending supply of babes -- until one day something happened that changed everything, made his heteronormative hedonism seem trite and crude.

In My Favorite Martian (1963-66), his Tim O'Hara rescued a Martian scientist from a crashed spaceship, and had to keep him hidden from the world.  But what started out as a standard "keep your unique talent hidden" sitcom like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched quickly developed into something more.  Tim and his so-called "Uncle Martin" share a home and a life and generally ignore the attentions of female suitors.  And though they rarely if ever disrobe on camera, they surround themselves with cute and muscular men:

In The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969-72), his Tom Corbett is widowed, left with a young son (Brandon Cruz), like the Dads on a dozen other 1960s sitcoms.  But what started out as a standard "fix up Dad with a girl" plot quickly developed into something more.  Tom isn't really interested in marrying again.  Instead, he bonds with a coworker, magazine photographer Norman (James Komack).

 In an iconic photo, the three share the same  banana split, quite an unconventional family for the 1970s:

Bill went on to buddy-bond with Lou Ferrigno off-camera, while they were both starring in The Incredible Hulk.