May 2, 2009

1963 TV: the magic makeover of a nerd girl.

The magic is done by Ray Walston, Bill Bixby's favorite Martian, and the girl is Marlo Thomas, pre-"That Girl." The early 60s sitcom style is perfect, especially the music. Note the sexual innuendo at 1:55 — "This ship will never get off the ground" — and the music — and Walston facial expression — that punctuates it. The makeover segment, which begins at 2:10, is the sort of thing that used to — still does? — drive feminists mad.

52 comments:

rhhardin said...

I thought she looked okay at the beginning.

Ron said...

'60's videos?

What tha?!? Is this Trooper York's place? Hmmm...words like 'innuendo' and 'punctuates'...the lack of words that rhyme with duck, and runt, and kitties...[looks around] Oh, Althouse!

Man...I need more coffee!

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lacegrl130 said...

I was five when this show was on the air. I had the biggest crush on Bill Bixby. I am sure feminists hate this, but I prefer this to the hyper sexualization that goes on in shows now. They may not 'show' the makeover, but look at the women in TV - on CSI, episodes of NCSI emphasize sexuality they are PERFECT, perfect boobs, hair, makeup - everyone pretends that all women just LOOK like that- only difference now is when the male NOTICES - the woman actor spouts feminist rhetoric making the male look like a masher... I prefer this - did you notice there is NO cleavage used? Just hair and makeup and calf - OH! the horror!

Bissage said...

Odd Little Fun Facts, #19: Bill Bixby was legally entitled to bang B. Kliban’s widow.

Odd Little Fun Facts, #20: B. Kliban had more than a few things to say about the television sitcom.

Here is but one.

Can you feel the gratitude?

I know I sure can! I feel grateful because I was a latchkey kid way before the term was invented. And everything I ever needed to learn about life I learned from reruns of TV shows like “My Favorite Martian” and “That Girl” and “Gilligan’s Island” and “Hogan’s Heroes.”

Grateful.

Yes, that’s it.

Truly . . . truly . . . grateful.

Deb said...

@lacegrl130: I loved Bill Bixby, too.
I used to crack up at the way they dressed some of the women on "24" - low cut, clingy blouses with cleavage spilling out. Super short, tight skirts. Perfect hair & makeup. Sure, all female counter terrorism agents look that way.

Well, except for one.

Christy said...

Yeah, Deb, I love the way CSI:Miami girls collect evidence in 3 inch heels.

Ron said...

Christy, Deb...it's clearly 'professionalism!'

Data Schlepper said...

Isn't the joke on Bill Bixby? He plays the fool first when he finds Marlo Thomas unattractive. Then when Ray Walston changes her appearance he immediately wants to date her

traditionalguy said...

She reminds me of a Girl's school freshmen/freshwomen needing to spread her wings.Her powerful father wants her protected from other males. (They never thought then of any need to protect her from females). Anyway, by the next spring she will have found out how to get men's things off the ground. Thus starts off the next generation in a most "holistic" way.

Dody Jane said...
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Dody Jane said...

Deb - I think I still have a crush on Bill Bixby

Drew W said...

In this clip, I thought Marlo Thomas looked just as cute when she was Awkward Geek Girl as when she was magically transformed (I don’t remember Uncle Martin being able to hypnotize people, but whatever) into Elegant Geek Girl. She’s still engaging and brilliant -- and practically an equal to a visiting Martian genius. The tongue-wagging, double-taking wolf that is Bill Bixby’s Tim (who’ll chase anything in an a-line skirt) clearly doesn’t deserve her.

I do.

Maybe since the ‘60s were my psychologically formative era, I’ve always been undone by the utter adorable sexiness of Marlo Thomas. (And don’t forget the vivacious, uninhibited way she musses her hair in the opening credits of “That Girl.”) With Sally Field’s “Gidget” running a close second, Marlo Thomas left me forever in the thrall of cute little brunettes.

I wonder what present-day Marlo Thomas -- who still looks great by the way -- would think of the scene, since I’m pretty sure she’s an insufferable paleofeminist these days. I don’t think this “My Favorite Martian” appearance would give her anything to be ashamed of.

Jason (the commenter) said...

All she needed to do was stop frowning! And her hair was lovely at the beginning, the updo they gave her was bizarre.

Dody Jane said...

I agree, Drew. She plays the part of a super brilliant person really believably. Actually, the clip is more of a slam at Bill Bix than females. He would be doing well to end up with the Marlo character. She could have probably used a great looking house husband to cheer her up after a long hard day doing formulas.

Dave said...

Isn't Ray Walston the crazy teacher in Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

k said...

I'm with Schlepper. This one makes Tim look the idiot, easily manipulated with simple cosmetic changes, completely consumed with the veneer of outward appearance, and utterly unimpressed with - in fact, unaware of - the girl's intellect.

traditionalguy said...

Susan Boyle where are you? Nerds with the brain power of Eienstein are beautiful, but you have nothing to offer us after your singing ends.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

He needed to magically give her a low cut blouse where you could see her cleavage. The makeover is incomplete.

Tits.

Deb said...

"Yeah, Deb, I love the way CSI:Miami girls collect evidence in 3 inch heels."
Ha. No kidding.

Agent Dana Sculley used to chase aliens in those things, too.

Quayle said...

A summation of the feminists essential argument for all these years:

"No! No! It's not about surface things like outward beauty. It's about surface things like money, position, and eminence!

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

Also the skirt needs to be hiked up and she should not be wearing any undies so when she crosses her legs we can see her shaved beave.

Shaved Beave.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

He should of magically put a bunny tail and bunny ears on her too.

Tits.

Shaved Beave.

Bunny Tail and ears.

That would complete the makeover.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

Has Susan Boyle shaved her beave as a part of her makeover?

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

Gary Wright, who sang Dreamweaver and Love Is Alive is now a new age musician.

I learned that from Soundscapes which I am playing on my tele.

Gary Wright also played keyboards on one of George Harrison's albums.

Little trivia for you this morning.

shaved beave.

tits.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

I am eating lots of salads so my loaves tend to be very dark and have floating lettuce in them.

floating lettuce in loaves.

thank you.

I say thank you because my written comments are so profound and I want to acknowledge the impact they have on the reader.

thank you.

Buford Gooch said...

Thanks, Bissage! I was totally unaware of the Kliban connection. Kliban is one of the best cartoonists of all time.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

Actually the floating lettuces are not a part of the loaves but are seperate identities. tit. They don't want to be a part of the loaf.

I apologize and stand corrected.

floating lettuces NOT in loaves.

loaves.

pinching.

lettuce.
goat
cheese.

thank you.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

strawberries and pears cut very special in salads are dreamy.

TitusSaysGoodmorning2U&U&U2 said...

"I pinch loaves therefore I am".

thank you.

EDH said...

I always wondered why Ray Walston's character got the name "Mr. Hand" in Fast Times...

rcocean said...

Thomas was always cute and adorable on-screen. Off screen she was rich bitch - the essence of limousine liberalism forever flipping her finger at middle America.

Phil Donahue's wife - enough said.

pj (not PJ) said...

Came across this. Susan Boyle in 1984. She looks more nerd girl than idiot savant oxygen deprived baby.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxES80FbRmM

It didn't have to go the way it did. They could have made her over into sheena easton.

The comments underneath are still fairly cruel considering - she got more of a break when she was *past* the age to be considered doable.

Bissage said...

Buford, you are very welcome.

Please pay it forward.

The body of B. Kliban has died but the body of his work must live on!

ironrailsironweights said...

Also the skirt needs to be hiked up and she should not be wearing any undies so when she crosses her legs we can see her shaved beave.Blecch, the hideous pedophilic Bald Eagle is a sure sign of our society's downfall.

Nothing is as magically wonderful as a thick, rich, luxuriant bush, overflowing with magnificent aromas and flavors.

Peter

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I want the chair that he is sitting on in the very last part of that clip.

Eames era shell chair All of this stuff is coming back in style and is very collectible. Too bad the clothing fashions are making a comeback too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And while the dining set isn't excactly a Heywood Wakefield Bill Bixby's set is of a similar age.

The couch in the clip is pretty cool too.

Lesson is....don't throw out your Grandma's ugly furniture before checking the prices.

Sissy Willis said...

Too long and boring to sit through, but feminists or just regular wimmins overthe hill, it hurts.

SukieTawdry said...

Well, I bet Tim got some at the end of the evening which is more than Don Hollinger could ever say.

srfwotb said...

So it's just me who doesn't think the guy is even remotely cute?

I understand the point being made etc., but he's chubby, boring and very stupid, so why would one want to attract him? ;-)

She needs an asymmetrical haircut and some tats. And she'll have to move to NoCal where she will be much happier.

blake said...

These things are always silly. Kathy Ireland in Alien From L.A.? What'd they do? Have the supermodel wear glasses and sweatshirt. Voila! She's ugly!

Always with the glasses. I remember Lisa Loeb being quizzed about her glasses and responding that they were "so she could see."

My absolute favorite transformation was in the movie Evil Toons. Penthouse Pet/'80s sex icon Monique Gabrielle does the sweatshirt, glasses and ponytail thing. Since it's Fred Olen Ray, the "reveal" is just her taking off her clothes. Heh.

I assume guys actually fall for this in real life. It seems to be the operating basis for female impersonators.

jdeeripper said...

Note the sexual innuendo at 1:55 — "This ship will never get off the ground" — and the music — and Walston facial expression — that punctuates it.More carrots and onions from the Althouse kitchen.

It wasn't sexual innuendo at all. It was all about the in joke with the viewing audience that only they and Tim knew the real deal about Uncle Martin the martian.

Marlo looked good but every time I heard her voice I thought of Phil Donahue and Gloria Steinem and just got nauseous.

commenter said...

marlo, shakira, and selma hayek all have the beautiful look of a phoniecian princess in their eyes. i would love to see marlo dance,too. I think they get it from their dad's side. men with those eyes are quite the lookers, too.

Allen Garvin said...

Nice transition from a really cute geeky girl, to a completely generic hollywood actor.

XWL said...

Weren't Martin and Tim the first same sex married couple on TV?

In this episode, Martin was just trying to set up Marlo as a more convincing 'beard' so that folks wouldn't whisper.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Marlo took up her father Danny's torch and has done a lot for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I used to know some people who worked there. She is really involved, really cares about the kids and the hospital.

Maybe she's an irritating paleofeminist, but she walks the walk there.

John Stodder said...

Titus,

Gary Wright used to live down the street from my parents. Whatever that Hindu letter is that George Harrison put on his albums is sculpted and placed in the center of his front door. He moved away decades ago but the "om sign," as my brothers and I used to call it, is still there.

commenter said...

um…

today was celebrated as buddhas birthday in china.

The hindu / indian celebration shall wait a few days.

Beldar said...

I don't see anything sexist in the "makeover segment." I've seen plenty of TV shows and movies -- in fact, more -- which feature male nerds being "made over" in indistinguishable ways. It's not like they had her try out for a beauty contest which then paid for her to get breast implants.

kentuckyliz said...

I prefer the before picture. The after is just way too Stepford.

The before appeals to the "ravish the librarian" dirty perv streak men have.

blake said...

Hey, librarians need ravishing, too.

J Lee said...

On the other hand, over on ABC at the same time, Marlo got to play a anthropologist on "McHale's Navy". So I suppose there was a little progress on the self-worth front.