CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With the Cast of "I Dream if Jeannie"
Aired June 2, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA EDEN, ACTRESS: Master? I'm sorry to have to tell you this.
LARRY HAGMAN, ACTOR: You're sorry to have to tell me what?
EDEN: Your best friend is a poodle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, the cast of the classic TV comedy "I Dream of Jeannie" reunited for the first time in years. We'll look back at the laughs, the memories and the behind-the-scenes stories of that magical, masterful show with "I Dream of Jeannie's" Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily together again in an exclusive in-depth hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.
How many years? This weekend, cable TV's TV Land will run a 48- hour marathon of "I Dream of Jeannie." It starts at 6:00 AM Eastern and Pacific on Saturday morning. The show is a regular part of that channel's regular line-up. And we thought, in conjunction with that, we'd salute that wonderful show that's part of television legendary lore.
And the stars are here. Barbara Eden is with us. She played the title character in the highly successful "I Dream of Jeannie," later went on to star in "Harper Valley PTA" and countless other TV projects. Larry Hagman -- he was Barbara's on-screen lord and master, Major Anthony Nelson, for five years and, of course, later starred as J.R. Ewing in "Dallas." And Bill Daily, who played major crack-up Roger Healy (ph) on "I Dream of Jeannie," the only show character in on the secret that Jeannie and Tony kept bottled up from everyone else in that fictional Cocoa Beach community. After "Jeannie," Daily, of course, was the nervous neighbor and airline navigator Howard Borden in the legendary "Bob Newhart Show." It's great to have them all with us tonight.
We know that Sydney Sheldon conceived the story, right? It was his baby. How did you become Jeannie?
EDEN: Sydney called me at home one day, and he said, I hear you're my Jeannie, and...
KING: You didn't even know about it? EDEN: No, I had been sent the script, but I thought it was a mistake because they'd been testing every -- Miss Israel, Miss Italy -- every tall, voluptuous dark woman in town, and I -- what, a short blonde? They're interested in me?
KING: Did you like the script?
EDEN: Very much. So I had tea with him, and we talked...
KING: Got it.
EDEN: ... and that's how I got the show, yes.
KING: And Larry, how'd you get on?
HAGMAN: Oh, I'd come out here. I was broke, and I -- I had an agent, and they got me into the -- to meet Sydney and the casting direction. And I did the regular thing -- you know, had a screen test and the whole thing. And the -- the director, Egbert Wandrik Zwackhammer (ph), was the guy who did -- yes!
KING: He did the first...
HAGMAN: He did my first screen test, my -- my first and only. I'd never done one, and I haven't done one since. So that's how I got the -- you know, the regular way.
EDEN: And they...
KING: You come out of here...
EDEN: They said Larry was a young Jack Lemon.
KING: You came out here as a broke guy? You were a broke guy looking to break into movies?
KING: And read for this part and got it.
HAGMAN: Well, I had done a film earlier in New York, "Failsafe," and...
KING: Oh! Yes, you were great in -- you were...
HAGMAN: Oh, thanks.
KING: I remember the scene...
HAGMAN: I was the interpreter for...
KING: The interpreter for...
HAGMAN: ... Hank Fonda.
KING: ... for the -- Hank Fonda, when he's talking to the Russian premier.
HAGMAN: Yes, yes, yes. And that -- that gave me my break, you know, to get me a foothold out here, so that...
KING: And how, Bill, did you become Roger Healy?
BILL DAILY, ACTOR: I have no idea. I really don't. I mean, I couldn't -- I didn't know what I was doing. And I still try to figure out why did I get the -- I was, like, "Man in Uniform," in the background somewhere...
KING: Did you -- did you read for it?
DAILY: I don't -- well, I can't -- I'm -- I can't read, so I don't know how the hell I got it.
KING: You just looked...
DAILY: Well, I just saw Sydney and -- at his house in Palm Springs, and he looked fantastic, you know?
KING: That's good to hear.
DAILY: And I haven't seen him in 30 years. I said -- I said, What have you been doing? He said, "Jeannie." He said a little writing.
KING: Tell me, how did you get the part?
DAILY: I don't know! I...
KING: What do you mean, they called you one day and said...
DAILY: Yes, well, there -- well, I was doing a show at the Little (ph) Club, and Rod Amatow (ph) -- you remember Rod Amatow?
KING: You were a stand-up, right?
DAILY: Yes. Rod Amatow came in, and he said, I'd like to use you on "My Mother the Car." And I said, Well, I'll do it. I didn't know what it was. He said, Well, I can't because you're going to do -- they changed the whole thing around, and you're -- you're going to -- they sold "I Dream of Jeannie," and you're on it. That's how I found out.
KING: Why -- start with you, Barbara, and then you could all chime in on this. Why did that show work?
EDEN: I think -- on many levels. I think -- first of all, I think it was just a wonderful, wonderful something that we three gelled so well.
HAGMAN: Four. Four.
HAGMAN: Hayden Rourke.
EDEN: Hayden Rourke, yes.
HAGMAN: Yes. Hayden Rourke was...
EDEN: Our rhythms were right, and we worked well together.
KING: That's important, but rhythms are right on lots of shows.
EDEN: Yes, but I don't...
KING: Had to be something else.
EDEN: I don't know about that.
HAGMAN: We worked hard at it. We worked -- we rehearsed all the time, didn't we.
HAGMAN: I mean, we just always rehearsed. We only had three days to do a half-hour show. And a lot of the stuff was, you know...
KING: Three days to do a show?
DAILY: Yes, three days.
HAGMAN: And we just worked hard on it. That's -- it was five years of hard work.
EDEN: Yes, it was!
HAGMAN: It was. And it was a lot of fun.
KING: Was it a hit right away, Bill?
DAILY: I don't -- was it? I don't remember. I don't remember. I was...
HAGMAN: In those days, a hit...
EDEN: It was a hit. We were picked up.
HAGMAN: Well, we were picked up, yes.
KING: When were you on? What network were you on?
KING: And what night were you on? EDEN: Every night of the week!
HAGMAN: They switched us around a lot until they found...
KING: The right niche.
HAGMAN: ... the right place for us, yes.
KING: Where was the right place?
HAGMAN: I don't remember!
EDEN: It was on -- every single year, it was on a different night.
KING: How did they pull off the technical stuff then, in early TV, of having her appear and disappear?
DAILY: Well, it was a nightmare at first because we weren't good at it because when you freezed, you couldn't move. And they'd said, Freeze -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) She'd go away for nine hours, you know, and...
EDEN: I did not!
KING: Would you talk to...
DAILY: ... get her hair done.
HAGMAN: Oh, yes, have her hair done...
KING: Did you talk to no one? Would you do scenes where you're not talking to anyone? I mean, how -- when they shot it, would she be in the scene or not in the scene? You follow me? In other words, they're bringing...
HAGMAN: Yes, yes. On, no. She was always there. What would happen is we'd be like this, and she would -- they'd say -- we'd have a cue, and they'd say, Freeze. And so and Billy and I would -- like that, and she'd go off and change costumes.
DAILY: And, Well, is she ready? And, Oh, my arm's falling off!
DAILY: Four hours to get her hair done!
HAGMAN: And then she'd come in and get into her position... (CROSSTALK)
HAGMAN: ... and they'd say, One, two, three, action.
DAILY: But we got good at it after a while.
HAGMAN: Yes. Yes.
DAILY: We'd find someplace to lean on, you know?
KING: The show premiered September 18, 1965. The chemistry was there from the get-go. We just found out it wasn't necessarily a hit, but the network stayed with it, right? And you were pregnant one time during this.
EDEN: I was pregnant during the first 13 shows.
DAILY: So was I. It was...
KING: How did they -- did they have to work through that? How did they handle that?
EDEN: Well, you would think that they would have hidden it, but they didn't. They just kept adding veils!
DAILY: Veils. She had a lot of veils on.
EDEN: I looked like a walking tent!
KING: How did you view your character? Did you play her off the top, or did you try to find a Jeannie?
EDEN: I felt -- well, I -- I felt Jeannie was a tomboy. That's really -- in my heart, that's how...
KING: You played her that way.
EDEN: ... I felt she was, yes. She was a tomboy. And she loved him! And she didn't know she wasn't real, you know?
HAGMAN: And she never really looked like a boy, let me tell you that!
KING: And how did you see your character? What was he?
HAGMAN: Oh, just a straight guy. You know, just a straight guy. He had his career. He was an astronaut, you know, and you have to work hard to be that. And she was always -- like -- and she was always clinging on me and wanting me to do this and -- and I just couldn't. I just played it straight. You know, I can't. I have my career. Thank you very much, but I just -- I can't do it.
KING: You can't play it for laughs, right? It got laughs, but you...
HAGMAN: Oh, no. I -- yes, I didn't play it for laughs.
EDEN: But he knew she wasn't real. She thought she was real.
HAGMAN: He got the laughs.
DAILY: I thought we were doing Bob Hope, really, and Bing Crosby, a road picture. That's what it was.
KING: You didn't approach it seriously.
DAILY: No, not -- I wanted to get laughs. I didn't care what it was. I wanted to do the jokes. I was doing Bob Hope. I got to do that character for Bob Hope at Steve Allen's house, that, you know, walking back -- I was doing Bob Hope! And I thought he was Bing Crosby...
DAILY: And I thought you were Dorothy Lamour.
EDEN: Oh, really? Oh, thank you.
KING: Did you have a favorite episode?
EDEN: No. I guess -- I guess one of the most fun for me was the wedding show, but I didn't like it because I knew it was killing our show. I knew it.
KING: You mean, was that the -- one of the...
EDEN: Oh, of course. They shouldn't have married. They never should have married. She wasn't real!
HAGMAN: We'd still be on the air if hadn't gotten married.
KING: That was a mistake.
HAGMAN: Killed it.
KING: Yes. Do you have a favorite show?
DAILY: I liked the Pip-chick (ph) series -- you know, the little dog who was dog that used to shred all my clothes and stuff... EDEN: Gin-Gin (ph).
KING: And did you have a favorite laugh routine, Bill?
DAILY: Yes. Yes, I had the -- I liked it better when I didn't know there was a Jeannie at the beginning.
HAGMAN: Yes. Yes.
DAILY: And what happened was -- I figure it was -- he was on a boat, and she disappeared. And they're going to put him in jail, and he's in jail, and he says, I want you to go to the house, and I want you to talk to -- and I don't -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I want you to talk to the walls and I want you to tell the walls that I love them. So I had the best scene. And Dr. Bellus (ph) is in back of me, and I'm -- Well, I just want to say that -- I just -- I love that...
KING: We'll be right back with Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily celebrating one of the great series in television history. It lasted five years. It's memorable, still plays. They're going to do a marathon about it this weekend on TV Land. We'll be taking your calls, a lot of calls tonight, for Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDEN: I was right! Pip-chicks. Pip-chicks. My favorite candy. And no one can make them like my mother does. Try one, master.
HAGMAN: No, thank you. If your mother made them, I'd really rather not...
HAGMAN: They're great! What does she put in them?
EDEN: I do not know. It is my mother's secret recipe. She will not tell anyone.
HAGMAN: Oh, yes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAGMAN: I don't care where I marry you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Madison Square Garden, Westminster Abbey, because I love you. You believe that?
EDEN: Oh, yes, master, I do.
HAGMAN: Don't call me master, call me Tony.
EDEN: Yes, Anthony, I do.
HAGMAN: You remember that "I do" for the ceremony. It will really come in handy. Shall we get on with the wedding?
EDEN: Oh, yes, darling! Yes!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It was 1960s. Were there was problems with the bear midriff? Censors?
EDEN: Well, there wasn't at the beginning. There was in the middle of the show. Suddenly, they became aware of the fact that I had a navel!
KING: Yes, how -- how could she have a naval?
EDEN: Well, they didn't want -- that wasn't the point. But you're right. You're right. They just wanted it high. They didn't want a belly button showing.
HAGMAN: Goldie Hawn on another network could show practically everything.
EDEN: Well, that's how it came about.
KING: Oh, is it?
EDEN: Yes. George Slaughter (ph) wanted me to premier my navel on "Laugh-In."
HAGMAN: Oh, no!
EDEN: And then he said he's never seen a room full of so many suits sitting around the table, talking about somebody's belly button.
KING: One would have guessed that those roles became so indelible in America, they would have affected you. Yet all of you went on to other roles in other things. Like you. You would have bet that you would have been stuck with that guy...
HAGMAN: Yes. Yes.
KING: ... for a long time. Yet you got "Dallas."
HAGMAN: Well, that was a fluke. You know, it was just one of those things that happened. I never expected -- and I wasn't top banana on that show, either, you know, and so it just evolved that way, but...
DAILY: What do you mean, top banana? You were the show.
HAGMAN: I know, but when it started off...
KING: J.R. Ewing wasn't the star?
HAGMAN: No, no. It was Patrick and -- and -- oh, God -- Victoria. They were the top. It was the Capulets -- you know, it was the Shakespearean...
KING: Your part grew.
KING: Your part grew (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
HAGMAN: Yes, it grew. Yes.
KING: And you with Newhart.
DAILY: No, mine stayed the same.
DAILY: They took more and more away from me, I think. I got so dumb at the end, even they couldn't take it, you know?
KING: How could you be a dumb navigator?
DAILY: Oh, I don't know how we did it. The role just got -- the lines were just so dumb. I was playing myself.
DAILY: Actually, I was playing with myself at the time! No. You know, but can I say one thing about -- Larry, about that -- I didn't I know how good he was. You know, I knew Barbara was great and she was a star, but I just didn't realize what was going on. But you tell me one person, including Jack Nicholson, can play a Major Nelson and then stretch and play "Dallas," play on that, that range. I don't know anybody can do that range.
KING: I think he was also so great in the movie we did -- I was in the scene with him in "Primary Colors."
DAILY: "Primary Colors" was the best thing in it!
KING: Phenomenal scene. You were incredible in that movie.
DAILY: Yes, my son did that -- that was my -- he was the best thing in it.
HAGMAN: Never worked again. (CROSSTALK)
HAGMAN: I did "Primary Colors," and I never worked again!
KING: After "Jeannie," what...
HAGMAN: Best reviews I ever got in my life.
KING: What's the first thing you did after "Jeannie"?
EDEN: I did a movie called "Harper Valley PTA."
KING: That wasn't bad, either, right?
EDEN: Yes. Yes.
KING: Off the song.
EDEN: It did really well, yes, but it was a surprise because it was a little, tiny movie. Nobody expected it to do well.
KING: So all of you have worked extensively beyond "Dream of Jeannie."
DAILY: Well, I think this is a big move for me, working with you tonight!
KING: This is a hit for you, right?
DAILY: Oh, this is good. I'm -- from now on, it's going up.
KING: Why is "Jeannie" still seen?
EDEN: I think because it has something for everyone, the whole family.
HAGMAN: And it's clean, too.
HAGMAN: You know, it's a -- it was a clean show. And it wasn't a radio show. You know, a lot of these are joke shows. This is very visual. A lot of sight gags in it.
HAGMAN: And that's one of the reasons it goes well in the Orient because they like sight gags, you know? KING: Oh, it's all over the world?
HAGMAN: All over the world, yes!
DAILY: You know, when you do Newhart -- I look at the Newhart -- we have these lapels that go out to here, and the ties are, like, here, and the sideburns.
KING: That's right.
DAILY: Well, we wore uniforms, and it was the same...
KING: So it's never dated.
DAILY: Never dated. And she...
KING: Did you become like astronauts, get the salute, the two of you? I mean, did you get known around astronaut-ville, like...
DAILY: Yes. They liked this. Yes, oh...
DAILY: Well, they liked her. They really liked her.
HAGMAN: They weren't looking at us.
KING: Right now, if they did that show, they'd do it with a lot more sexual innuendo, wouldn't they?
DAILY: Oh, sure. Absolutely.
KING: In modern-day times, they would do it...
HAGMAN: Well, we had a lot in those days, but it was clean sex. You know, I mean, it was, like -- we never did it.
EDEN: You know, you don't really need sex in that show, though. It's...
HAGMAN: Honey, it was underlying everything...
EDEN: You don't!
HAGMAN: ... you did, that's for sure.
EDEN: Come on!
HAGMAN: Oh, it was, too. It was, too. She was always...
DAILY: Well, what were they doing in that bottle? What were they -- they were living together?
HAGMAN: He was never allowed in my bottle.
DAILY: What went on in that bottle?
HAGMAN: I was in there one time. Yes, one time.
DAILY: Did you have a toilet in that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
DAILY: I was a genie!
KING: You did a movie with Elvis, didn't you?
EDEN: Yes, I did.
KING: And you had a breakdown on this show, didn't you.
HAGMAN: Oh, yes. Sure.
KING: But recovered.
HAGMAN: I hope.
DAILY: You call this recovery?
KING: All right, we're going to take a break, folks. This is your show tonight. I mean, this is a wonderful reunion of three people who've made their mark on American television and worldwide television. "I Dream of Jeannie" -- again, they're going to show it for 48 hours this weekend on the cable TV Land. And they show it regularly, but there's going to be a marathon this weekend. And we'll come back and include their phone calls right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGMAN: I must have gone further into orbit than I thought!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGMAN: All right, Jeannie. Now, that is enough. I want Roger back in his original form. You sure are cute, Rog! Jeannie, I want him back the way he was a few minutes ago.
DAILY: Oh, hi, Tony. What happened?
HAGMAN: You were a baby.
DAILY: I mean recently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily of "I Dream of Jeannie" fame.
Let's go to calls. London, England. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, there. Hi, Larry.
KING: Hi. What's the question?
CALLER: Well, my question is, I'd like to know if Jeannie (UNINTELLIGIBLE) are still making lots of money out of "I Dream of Jeannie."
KING: Good question.
DAILY: I should laugh in your face!
HAGMAN: She didn't sound very English to me.
KING: No, sounded -- well, she was from London. Anyway, any money?
EDEN: No. No.
HAGMAN: No. This was before -- this was before residuals.
DAILY: Before residuals, yes.
KING: So you made a run of residuals initially, didn't you?
HAGMAN: Yes. DAILY: Yes, $1.37 or something like that.
KING: You never made a lot of money?
HAGMAN: No. No.
DAILY: Ten plays we got paid for.
KING: Peoria, Illinois. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, there.
CALLER: Just wanted to let Larry Hagman know that there has never been a better-looking guy on primetime TV since "I Dream of Jeannie."
HAGMAN: Oh, thank you very much!
CALLER: I was a huge fan way back when. But my question is, are there any plans of a reunion show?
KING: Good question.
HAGMAN: I don't have any. Do you have any?
EDEN: I don't know about it.
DAILY: Well, I do. I'm doing one.
KING: By yourself?
DAILY: Yes, just (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
KING: Well, why don't we bring Sydney Sheldon back into the mix and do a reunion?
HAGMAN: Yes, that'd be nice.
KING: Would it work?
HAGMAN: That'd be great. Sure, it would work! I'd love to do one.
KING: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hello.
DAILY: Hey, my home town!
CALLER: Hi. KING: Hi.
CALLER: Oh, well, we'd love to see you back in Albuquerque.
DAILY: I am back in Albuquerque.
KING: He lives there.
CALLER: Oh. I'll look for you around the malls for you more.
CALLER: But given the popularity that the show has in reruns, and in the last segment, you guys were saying what a clean show this is, would you like to see this kind of format back into American television now in primetime, or do you think America is just too far past that?
EDEN: I don't think America's past it at all. I think something that's funny and charming, there's always an audience for that.
KING: You think a show like that could work?
EDEN: Sure. Certainly.
KING: Do you?
HAGMAN: I don't know. I really don't know. Most of the shows now are talking heads, you know? It's just a series of radio -- yes, you can turn off television and listen to them...
KING: Basically, it's gags. Yes.
HAGMAN: ... and it's still pretty funny stuff -- some of it. But I don't know. You can't really go home. You can never go home.
KING: You think so?
HAGMAN: I don't think so.
KING: It had its run. It is (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
DAILY: If it was just me alone in it, then it would probably work.
KING: Chaparral, New Mexico, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is for everybody.
KING: Yes. CALLER: You all look fabulous. And for, you know, the show being on more than 30 years ago, you all still look as wonderful now as you did back then. And my question is for each of you. When you get your fan mail, how do you guys decide what you're going to be responding to? And have any of those fans become personal friends?
KING: You got legends of fans, right? I mean...
HAGMAN: Oh, yes. We got -- I mean, we get a lot of stuff, a lot of mail. We had one great picture, and Barbara Eden's arm is like that.
EDEN: And you always get it.
HAGMAN: And if I get them first, I write Larry Hagman. And if she gets it first, she writes Barbara Eden.
KING: I mean, do you send pictures out from those times?
HAGMAN: No, no. They send them in.
KING: Oh, they send...
HAGMAN: They send the pictures in and we sign them and send them back out. I don't know. I get -- you get a lot. I mean...
EDEN: A lot.
KING: Is there a cult -- do you do "Dream of Jeannie" reunion appearances?
EDEN: I haven't.
KING: No? I mean, you know, like "Star Trek."
KING: Do they have any...
HAGMAN: Oh, no. I don't think so.
EDEN: No, we haven't done that.
HAGMAN: No, we haven't done that.
KING: Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hello.
DAILY: What is this, New Mexico night?
CALLER: Hi. I watched "Jeannie" when it first hit the air, and my teenage daughter loves it now. I'd like to know -- Barbara Eden, what do you do to stay in such fantastic shape?
KING: What do you do? EDEN: I just see Larry and Bill every once in a while, and that makes me perk up.
KING: What do you do?
DAILY: Makes her look younger.
EDEN: What do I do?
KING: Yes. Come on. What do you do?
HAGMAN: Exercises, watches her diet, all that stuff.
EDEN: I exercise. I take my vitamins, wash my face, you know? I don't know.
KING: Have the three of you remained friendly?
HAGMAN: Do we look like we're not friendly?
KING: No, I mean, do you talk frequently, see each other?
HAGMAN: We see each other at charity benefits mostly, and things like this. We kind of all run -- he's in Albuquerque and I live up in Ojai now and she's out in the valley, and so, you know, we just kind of...
EDEN: I'm not in the valley.
HAGMAN: Where are you at?
EDEN: Beverly Hills.
HAGMAN: Beverly Hill?
HAGMAN: You've moved...
KING: Made it.
KING: Dallas, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Love all three of you. And you know we love you down here, Hagman. But what I wanted to know -- Jeannie, did you get the bottle after the show went off? KING: Who got the bottle?
EDEN: I got it. I got it. But the only reason I got it was because the little girl we were working with brought it into the dressing room. She said, They won't let you have the costume so you should have this. Take it! And I did. So I have one, yes.
HAGMAN: I have a replica.
DAILY: I got to keep my uniform.
KING: Tampa, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for the cast is, during your time of the filming of the show was very turbulent, as far as political-wise. Did the studio have any line, far as when you were interviewed, if you could actually voice your opinions, considered politics or even, say, the war or Civil Rights?
KING: Height of the Vietnam war.
HAGMAN: Yes, it was.
KING: Did they have any restrictions on you, like, if you did interviews?
HAGMAN: No, they didn't.
DAILY: We kind of stayed away from that.
HAGMAN: Nobody talked about it in those days.
KING: Nobody asked you what you thought of the war?
HAGMAN: Oh, I told them. I told them, whether they asked or not, but it seldom got out there.
HAGMAN: Yes. Yes, it seldom got out there.
KING: So they never -- it's a different era, boy.
KING: Today you'd be asked.
HAGMAN: Oh, yes.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with lots more phone calls for Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman and Bill Daily, cable's TV Land, 48 hours of "I Dream of Jeannie" this weekend. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGMAN: They're going to be discussing the Apollo project, and I've got to be there.
DAILY: Well, you'll never make it now.
HAGMAN: Jeannie, get this cast off me.
EDEN: But I...
HAGMAN: Now, come on. Both of them. Off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dearly beloved, we're gathered together here in the sight of this company...
HAGMAN: No, I can't. I'm sorry, I just can't. Now get me back to that meeting.
EDEN: Oh, but master!
HAGMAN: Now, come on. I mean it. Get me back there.
I'm sorry I'm late, gentlemen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with the cast of "I Dream of Jeannie."
They are Barbara Eden who played the title character. She later started in "Hopper Valley PTA," and countless other television movie projects.
Larry Hagman, wrote an autobiography called "Hello Darlan." It came out around 9/11, '01. Was Barbara Eden's on screen cord and master, Major Anthony Nelson, five years later J.R. Ewing in "Dallas,"
And Bill Daily who played Major crack up Rodger Healy on "I Dream of Jeannie," the only show character in on the secret, and after that was cast as the nervous, neighbor and airline navigator Howie Borden in the "Bob Newhart Show."
Back to the calls Decatur, Alabama, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. My question is for Larry. Larry, in your character as Major Nelson and then as your character as J.R., which in real life most resembles you?
KING: Good question.
HAGMAN: Both of them. I'm the same character, just two different facets. I had a good time in "Dallas." I mean it was funny. It was a cartoon as far as I was concerned. KING: Did you like Ewing?
HAGMAN: Well, Yes. Yes sure. I mean, he was an all American businessman. He had his family man, had his business and his mistresses and all that. He was just an American guy.
KING: Why did that show work?
HAGMAN: I don't know. I don't know...
KING: It was the first prime time?
HAGMAN: No, there was "Payton Place" before that was quite successful. It just happened to be the right time. One thing, I think, it came out on a Friday night and nobody could go out, they couldn't afford a babysitter and a movie and everybody stayed in. I think that's what it was.
KING: What was it like with Newhart?
DAILY: It was great. And Bob is not only the the nicest, sweetest guy in the world, he is a comic genius. But I hated working with him because he doesn't like to rehearse. He's very quick and very bright and I'm very slow. So what was so great about Larry, I was used to working with Larry, but what we'd make this up at like a theater. And then we'd take it -- he put a set and we'd go over 20, 30 times, bam, bam, bam. So when I went on I knew my lines. So most of the character Howard I was so terrified, I didn't know what I was doing. That was my character. I didn't know the lines. But he's so quick. It was better for him to do it just live without.
KING: What was it like working for you, Barbara, in the work ethic?
Lots of rehearsals?
"Dream of Jeannie" was it pressure work?
EDEN: I like to rehearse. I really do my best work when are I rehearse.
KING: You rehearsed a lot with this show.
CALLER: Hello. Hi. First of all I want to say what an honor this is for me to talk to the cast. My question is for the whole cast, what would you think of an "I Dream of Jeannie" motion picture and would you consider appearing in it?
HAGMAN: I'd consider it. Sure.
KING: It would have to be a spectacular script for it to work.
DAILY: Who could they get?
I thought about this. About all the great actresses and beautiful girls out there, who could they get to play Barbara? I mean who could really do that.
KING: To play Jeannie?
DAILY: Yes. Who could do that?
I mean, really, I thought about Michelle Pfeifer and all the great gals and all the wonderful actresses, but who could get that...
KING: A lot of teenage girls loved that show. My daughter loved it in the third run around. She used to collect the tapes.
EDEN: Did she?
To Miami, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hi. First of all, I want to congratulate you for the wonderful show you have. And just tell you I've been watching "I Dream of Jeannie" all my life. I am going to be 40-years-old this year and you guys are going to be the best. My teenage daughter loves them, she can't stop seeing you guys.
My question is, a couple of years ago, Barbara Eden, there was the movie "15 years after Jeannie."
Why didn't Larry Hagman play Nelson?
EDEN: He was doing Dallas.
HAGMAN: I was doing Dallas at the time.
KING: Someone else play the part.
KING: Would you have done it.
yes, I would have done it. I had like one line or something. Here is Wayne Rogers dressing up as him. And it went down hill from then on. He wasn't that funny on "M.A.S.H." I mean, this is not live because I would have never said that. We're not on. Thank goodness.
KING: What's the name of the show?
Jackson, Mississippi, hello.
CALLER: Hello, how are you doing? KING: Hi.
CALLER: First of all I want to say hi to you, Larry, and cast. My question is, I remember at the beginning she said she was pregnant the first 13 episodes, and I wonder if there was any off-screen romance between any of them, which I take it there wasn't.
My question for each cast member if you could change one thing if anything about your character on the show what would it be?
KING: What would you change? Anything about Jeannie?
EDEN: I wouldn't change anything. I can't even think about that.
HAGMAN: I wouldn't have no. I was happy with what I was doing.
KING: There wasn't a shading a you'd like to see?
HAGMAN: I don't know, we didn't have any time. We had to do everything quick in those days.
KING: One a week, done in three days.
DAILY: Yes, three days.
KING: Would you have changed anything?
DAILY: I wish I knew how great Larry was. No, Larry, I mean that because...
KING: Had you known, it would have affected the way you played it?
DAILY: Yes, I would worked with him first of all. I would have got my own show.
KING: Well, can say Larry Hagman is underrated.
DAILY: Beyond underrated, beyond. Because he controlled the show. Wait a minute, he directed the things, he got the scenes, he did rewriting. Even Sydney said, when I just saw Sydney, it was Larry who put it together. Of course, if she was the star and didn't allow us to do that, I mean would couldn't have. She'd just let us be crazy. But no, I wish I knew all that now. I know it now.
KING: Do you think feminists would be mad at the master concept?
EDEN: I think they'd try to be, but it's sort of silly. Anybody with a brain in their head.
HAGMAN: Well, she always won anyhow. I mean, not matter what it was she was the winner.
EDEN: It was her job, this is what she was. She wasn't a human being. KING: She was genie.
EDEN: She was a genie, she wasn't the housewife.
KING: You should get a job as a genie.
HAGMAN: She tried in the last.
EDEN: Yes, which was big mistake.
KING: Topeka, Kansas, hello.
CALLER: Hello, thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: Barbara, Larry and Bill, I'd like to tell you when you first started I could see, but now I'm blind. But whenever I watch the episodes, even though you said they were visually oriented, I can still laugh and remember when I could see. So I thank you very much for that. And I'd also like to ask, did you have as much fun doing it as it appeared on TV?
EDEN: We did. We did. We're so glad that you enjoy them.
HAGMAN: Yes, we had a great time doing it. It was hard. Sometimes comedy is not funny when you're trying to work things out. And sometimes you get it on a page and it doesn't read funny, so you try to make some business to help it along. It's hard work. It's hard work.
KING: I don't plug my own books, I got a new book out called, "Moon Over Manhattan," first novel I have ever done. And I worked on it with Thomas Cooke. But the reason I ask, there is a character in the book a lady dressed up in the chicken running around Manhattan.
Did you ever dress up as a chicken?
HAGMAN: I did.
KING: Why? For no reason you dressed up...
HAGMAN: No, no, no, there was a reason. It was Labor Day and it was during the Vietnam War, and I think somebody froze prices or something, froze wages. I think Nixon froze wages. And labor didn't mind about that. So, I thought they were chicken. I put on my chicken suit and I had a parade and stuff like that. That was my protest.
KING: That was your protest dress as a chicken.
DAILY: I missed that somehow.
EDEN: I did, too. How did I not know about this?
(CROSSTALK) DAILY: I could see wearing my own duck outfit.
KING: We'll be back with more calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDEN: I obey only the person who controls the bottle.
HAGMAN: Yes, it's right, only the person that -- well, how do you get in and out of that thing, anyway?
EDEN: Oh, simple. I will show you.
HAGMAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) master, Jeannie. Roll up your sleeves and we are going to live a good (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
EDEN: No. No. Not (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Let me out of here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't worry, I'll help you with it.
HAGMAN: Roger, Roger, is that you? Speak to me, will you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who you talking to?
HAGMAN: Oh, no one, sir. Nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were talking to this brick.
HAGMAN: Don't be ridiculous, sir. A normal, everyday, run of the mill brick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened to Major Healey?
HAGMAN: Major who? Oh, Major Healey, yes, he was around here somewhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll see you both in my office in 10 minutes.
HAGMAN: May I have my brick?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hayden Rorke, what was he like to work with?
HAGMAN: He was the glue that kept the show together, I swear.
KING: He died a young man?
HAGMAN: Well, he died about five years or six years after this.
DAILY: But he was always old. He was like 90 when he started. He looked like he was 12, but he was always old. God knows, he must have been like 90 when he died.
EDEN: Oh, no. No, he wasn't.
DAILY: Wait a minute, he was my age.
KING: But he was a good guy to work with?
DAILY: Oh, the best.
EDEN: Wonderful gentleman.
KING: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: Us in Canada think you're awesome. Barbara, I just want to make a fast statement. I think you're the most naturally beautiful woman that ever came out of Hollywood. And I want to ask the cast, what is the favorite sitcom of each of yours on TV today? Thank you.
KING: OK, what do you like, Larry?
HAGMAN: I don't watch television. I haven't the foggiest idea who Seinfeld was. I never saw him.
KING: You never saw it?
HAGMAN: I saw "Friends" a couple of times. I think that's a good show. And Peter Boyle is on a great show, too. Raymond.
KING: "Everybody Loves Raymond."
HAGMAN: Yes. But I go to bed about 7:30, so I don't stay up for all these shows.
KING: What do you like, Bill?
DAILY: Nothing. I don't like them all. I like Nick at Night, all the old -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I like our (ph) show.
DAILY: No, I really just don't think anything's funny, really. I like watching sports, watching you. KING: That's a compliment.
DAILY: I'm lying about that.
KING: You'll never be back.
DAILY: I'm not here right now, actually.
KING: What do you like, Barbara?
EDEN: I like "Frasier."
HAGMAN: I do watch "Frasier" when I stay up that late.
KING: Ellijay, Georgia. Hello.
CALLER: Wonderful show, Larry. I would like to ask Larry Hagman. Larry, you're a great actor, excellent actor. How is your health, and tell us about your great recovery from alcohol?
HAGMAN: Oh, well, I stopped drinking about 10 years ago, and two years ago I had a liver operation. I had a new -- a slightly used liver, and life goes on. I feel wonderful, and the transplant's worked very, very well, and I encourage everybody to become an organ donor, of course. And life is good.
KING: When you have a transplant, what is the toughest accommodation?
HAGMAN: Oh, I don't -- if it's successful, and you don't have any complications, everything is wonderful. I mean, you feel better than you have in 20 years, and I don't see any drawbacks to it.
KING: Do you still take medication?
HAGMAN: Oh, yes, you have to take medication for the rest of your life, anti -- you know, to keep your immune system low. So your body just says -- it's -- your -- these medications fool the body into thinking...
KING: What kind of feeling must it have been the day you were getting that?
HAGMAN: Well, I didn't feel anything the day I got it. I was out.
KING: I mean, the excitement, though, I mean?
HAGMAN: I kind of go into low gear when things like that happen.
KING: Really? We've got a liver for you (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
HAGMAN: I said, it's OK, and we got in the helicopter, went down. I didn't say a word. I kind of blend out when things get tough.
KING: Tarzana, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I want to tell the cast, thank you for many years of enjoying "I Dream of Jeannie," and I've even had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Eden one time on (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that I worked on. I wanted to know, of all the actors and actresses that they didn't have to chance to work with, Larry, Bill and Barbara, is there somebody that they would have liked to work with that they haven't?
KING: Good question.
HAGMAN: We have worked with almost everybody, didn't we?
EDEN: Yes, but there's so many good actors out there. Wow, that would be very tough to answer.
KING: You did individual scenes. Your scene with Travolta in "Primary Colors" when he comes to tell you it's over for you.
KING: That's one of the super individual scenes.
HAGMAN: Well, thanks.
KING: Brilliantly played by both of you.
HAGMAN: I thought he was wonderful in that show. He played Clinton in that. And it was just -- he was sensational.
KING: Anyone you'd want to work with, Bill?
DAILY: Other than you?
KING: You knew Groucho, didn't you?
DAILY: Well, yes...
DAILY: Every Monday I would go to his house for dinner and he would always put me next to...
KING: He was brilliant, wasn't he, Groucho?
DAILY: He was a little old, he was doing, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He was a little old. My age, actually.
KING: The list is too long for you, right?
EDEN: There are so many good...
KING: Brooklyn, New York. Hello.
CALLER: I wanted to know why Roger Healey always wore a green uniform and everybody else wore a blue uniform?
KING: Who knows?
HAGMAN: In the beginning we had mine, my blue, the Air Force, then we had the Navy uniform, then we had (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and that is an officer's full dress uniform -- or not full dress, but a dress uniform.
KING: Wait a minute, the uniforms were correct?
HAGMAN: They were all correct, yes, but that was the green was the Army, and the Navy was the dark blue.
KING: So you were astronauts from different service.
HAGMAN: But nobody knows that.
DAILY: And the trivia question -- I mean, nobody knows that. When we were doing the movie up in Canada, they were getting ready to go on, Barbara is waiting, and I see my uniform, and it's an Air Force uniform in Canada, and I say, by the way, I'm in the Army. He said, no, you're not, I watched the show. And you just can't go in Canada into an Army surplus store and get it. So we had to wait, cut down the scene, I had to shoot the scene the next day. But no one -- that's a great trivia question.
KING: White Plains, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hi, I have a question for Barbara Eden, actually two of them. If it didn't happen already, are the episodes of "I Dream of Jeannie" are going to come on DVD? And secondly, this is a question about a particular episode. There was an episode where Major Nelson needed to find out Jeannie's birth date, and they sort of borrowed a computer from NASA. What was the actual birth date?
EDEN: Never mind.
HAGMAN: 200 and you know....
KING: Are DVDs available?
EDEN: I hope they are, but we don't know.
KING: Do you know if "I Dream of Jeannie" is available on DVD?
HAGMAN: No, I don't think so.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with the cast of "I Dream of Jeannie." Don't forget, cable TV Land runs a 48-hour marathon this weekend. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HAGMAN: Jeannie, I don't know what I'm apologizing for, but I'm sorry. Now, tell me, what's so important about today?
EDEN: Oh, it was nothing. Today is our first anniversary.
HAGMAN: Our what?
EDEN: It was one year ago today that you rescued me from my bottle on the beach.
HAGMAN: What kind of an anniversary is that?
EDEN: Well, I'm sorry, but it's the only one I have, and you forgot it.
HAGMAN: Oh, come on, be reasonable, Jeannie. There isn't a man in the world who would remember an anniversary like that.
DAILY: Hi, Jeannie. Hi, Tony.
DAILY: Well, happy anniversary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We'd be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if we didn't ask how you're doing, Barbara. Your son, what, was about two years ago now.
EDEN: Yes, it'll be June 25.
KING: How you holding up?
EDEN: No different. You know.
KING: It must lessen a little.
KING: Were you in touch with her when that happened?
HAGMAN: Yes, I talked to her.
DAILY: No, I was...
KING: Sad day.
DAILY: I was not even in touch with myself. KING: Knoxville, Tennessee. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, good evening. Thank you, Mr. King, for the opportunity to call in. What a thrill it is to see the three of you together again. I'm such a fan. I would like to ask if you feel the show ended at the right time. Thank you and God bless you.
EDEN: Well thank you. I don't ever think you think the show ended at the right time.
KING: You wanted it to continue?
EDEN: Oh, sure. I did.
KING: Why did it end?
HAGMAN: It ended because we got married.
HAGMAN: It just ruined us.
KING: Because that was stupid?
EDEN: Yes. Made her a house wife.
HAGMAN: The network apparently wanted it, and I don't know why. But it wasn't good for the show.
DAILY: The same "Get Smart" was a wonderful show, got married and that was over for them.
KING: Now, "Bewitched", they were always married right?
EDEN: Always married, yes.
KING: It was a different kind of show even though she could also disappear, right?
EDEN: But she was a witch.
HAGMAN: And a housewife.
EDEN: And a housewife. She was a wife.
KING: Six of one, half a dozen.
EDEN: She wanted to be a housewife.
KING: Kalamazoo, Michigan, hello. CALLER: Good evening, Larry, and Barbara, Larry and bill, you have no idea what a thrill this is for me. Named my very first dog Gingin (ph), Larry. So I can really, really (UNINTELLIGIBLE) your favorite episodes.
What I would like to know, would there ever be an opportunity other than a Jeannie show for the three of you to reunite on television?
HAGMAN: Here we are!
HAGMAN: Thanks to Larry, we're here.
KING: Might be interesting to have the three of you in a script.
KING: It might work.
Waco, Texas. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry King. Thank you for this opportunity.
CALLER: Hello everybody on the cast. You all are wonderful. Larry Hagman, I'd like to ask you a question. On "Dallas" do you all ever plan on getting back together or having another series?
HAGMAN: Well, somebody plans a major movie about "Dallas," not including any of the cast that was on the television show.
KING: You mean doing the same kind of story?
HAGMAN: Doing "Dallas" but with a different cast. At least, that's what I've heard of. I haven't been approached.
KING: Studio City, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, my question is for Bill Daily.
CALLER: Did you prefer, as actor, working on film, where you had the luxury of retakes, or working on "Newhart" with the live audience right in front of you? And how about Reese Witherspoon for a new Jeannie?
DAILY: Reese Withersponn. No. Only Barbara can -- no, doesn't work.
(CROSSTALK) I hated like with "Newhart" and the live because we didn't rehearse. And Newhart is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) but that worked the best for him. And I liked working with Larry...
KING: Even though it was a laugh track?
DAILY: Oh, no, because you just didn't get a chance to even get a chance to try it out. You just didn't rehearse and you went out there cold with an audience. And we would take a scene and go over it 20 or 30 times.
KING: What are you doing right now, Barbara? What are you doing? What's life like? Doing a new project?
EDEN: I'm still doing "The Odd Couple." We're still touring with that.
KING: Female version of "The Odd Couple."
EDEN: Female version of "The Odd Couple" with my friend my friend Rita McKenzie. Yes.
KING: Larry, what are you doing? What's life like?
HAGMAN: Oh, gosh. Pretty busy. I'm on the advisory committee for transplantations, which is working for the government trying to get more people to donate organs. And then I work in a 12-step group. Oh, gosh. And then I've been plugging my book all over Europe. I've been really busy.
KING: You still go to AA meetings?
KING: That never ends.
HAGMAN: Tonight, yes.
KING: Tonight you'll go to one?
KING: And what's life for Mr. Daily?
DAILY: Well this is it for me. After this it's downhill.
KING: You live in Albuquerque.
DAILY: Live in Alberquerque, love it, New Mexico.
DAILY: Two great kids. Two of the best children that were -- I don't know what happened. My kids never drank or never smoked, never -- what went wrong? What did I do wrong? But, no, I got great kids.
KING: What's Albuquerque like?
DAILY: It's a little -- we have more violence than any city. We have more -- I don't know want to go into this, I'll never get back in town again. But nice weather. There's a lot of winds.
KING: A lot of wind?
DAILY: Lot of wind.
Thank you all very much. Bill, Larry and Darling Barbara.
EDEN: Oh, thank you, Larry.
KING: Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily. And don't forget this weekend, cable, TV Land a 48 hour marathon of "I Dream of Jeannie."
And I'll be back in just a moment to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night more updates on the Scott Peterson matter. And on Wednesday night, Bob Jones of Bob Jones University. We'll also be in Cambridge, Massachusetts to address the graduates of the Harvard Law School. Nice honors. Called "Class Day" and I'm really looking forward to it.
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