By Geno McGahee
For the most part, I sincerely love this series, but every once in a while, they have a whole lot of shit in it that pisses me off. In the episode of “RICKY”, there was a load of shit that should have never made it into a Hulk show, including some slow guy showing him how to drink soda. I contend that if the Hulk took a sip of soda, he would have gotten so startled by the carbonation that he would have taken that slow guy and bashed his skull in. Hulk is all about rage. So, we move onto “MY FAVORITE MAGICIAN,” which features the star of “MY FAVORITE MARTIAN,” Ray Walston. He plays a magician named “Jasper Dowd” and he is definitely one of the most annoying characters ever to appear in a Hulk episode. Actually, there are quite a few things that irritate me that I will mention. Fuck martians and magicians.
As in every episode, David (Bill Bixby) has a job. God bless him. I know so many people out there without Banner’s problems and they are sitting at home on their fat ass and collecting a check. Not Banner. He keeps working and turning a buck, even when he’s faced with shitty jobs and terrible bosses. He’s working as a dishwasher and he’s on break, injecting himself with some new serum that may just flush the Hulk out of his system, but his asshole boss doesn’t let him get a rest. He storms in and just tears into him. I’ve worked for hard ass bosses before and had to deal with it, but this is Banner we have here. This is the ideal situation to take that boss, Hulk up, bend him over and split him like firewood. I’m sure he would be singing a different tune after that happens. It would probably be titled “I can’t sit down for a year.”
As Banner deals with the bullshit, a cloud of smoke appears and in walks Jasper, the magician. This totally irritating music is playing that makes me want to puke in my shoes and we go through the endless spree of bad magic tricks. The writer of this episode must have had a hard on for magicians. More bad music and more bad magic until Jasper sits his old ass down and orders a meal. The most amazing part of this scene was the couple that sat behind Jasper. A really hot chick is with this balding guy in a Canadian tuxedo. I think “Canadian tuxedo” might be insensitive and I withdraw it, but the dude is wearing all denim. He’s also fat and balding and this hot chick is dating him? She is also very amused by Jasper. What the fuck is her problem? At least she was hot. If I were Banner, I would be going after her…not taking an interest in Jasper.
After the meal, it is revealed that Jasper has no money. He is now partnered up with David, washing dishes and here comes the shitty music and magic tricks again. I would strangle Jasper if I had to work with him, but David must smirks and goes on with his business. The boss, however, isn’t impressed by Jasper’s work ethic and kicks him out and then does the same to poor David. One person always fucks it up for everyone else. Now, what should David do? He could look for another job, locally. I’m sure that there were more jobs there. It was 1979…so not Walmart, but maybe Bradlees or Caldors were hiring. Hell, he could have gone to Railroad Salvage and got a job. Instead, he gets into Jasper’s van and they take off, and remarkably, David agrees to be Jasper’s new assistant. Jasper notes that: “If I can pull a rabbit out of a hat, I can pull the sorcerer out of you.” I hope he wasn’t referring to David’s prick as the sorcerer.
Now, here’s a thought. David has made it a point to lie low and remain under the radar. He is taking jobs where he will be basically ignored. A dishwasher was perfect. When I see a dishwasher cleaning off tables, I never notice any features. I just wait for him to get lost so I can restart my conversation. Dishwashers can be very nosy and I don’t want them knowing my business. Anyway. With David lying low and not wanting to draw attention, he takes a job as a magician’s assistant, where he will be standing in front of a large crowd and performing magic tricks. What the fuck is he thinking?! If Jack McGee came to the show, he would recognize him immediately and his secret would be out. And why is he taking the job anyway? Jasper has zero money. He’ll never get a dime from that old bastard. Also, and you can call me whatever you’d like on this one, I think that the magician’s assistant should always be a hot chick. I’ve seen magicians that have had five or six hot chicks on the stage with them. If I went to a show and the best trick the guy had was pulling a rabbit out of the hat and his assistant was some dude, I would be pissed. This guy is not a mind freak at all.
On top of Jasper being a total piece of annoying crap, he’s also trying to break up a relationship between a woman he likes, Lily (Joan Leslie) and her man, Giancarlo (Robert Alda). Lily is loaded and is really taken by the charm of Giancarlo, but I had a feeling he was a bad guy immediately. Hulk episodes usually have a bunch of dickheads and as Lily walked away, Giancarlo gave that look to the camera that screamed: “Yeah, I’m an asshole bitch. Whatcha gonna do about it?” Giancarlo was one of the saving graces of this episode.
The magic show goes on and David is convinced to go into the water tank and do some escape…without any training. Why is this a good idea? David is handcuffed and his feet are chained and then he is put into a water-filled coffin. He struggles and then has that “I should have fucking asked how to do this” look on his face. Finally, we get some Hulk action. He breaks out of the coffin and breaks some shit and …that’s it. We then see the Hulk in the street and this annoying old couple come up to him, looking to get his autograph and picture. Why is it so easy for these idiots but Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) cannot find him at all. This was another one of those scenes that I could have done without. The Hulk should not be just standing there. He should go nuts and kill this couple, or at least throw them into the brick building. He’s good at throwing people.
As the show completes, Kim (Anne Schedeen) shows up, looking for her father, Jasper. Why she wants to see him again is anyone’s guess…but it later comes out that she wants to lock him in a nursing home. I don’t blame her. He’s been ruining the family name for years and she wanted to save as much face as she could. I was trying to figure out where I knew Schedeen from and then it hit me. She was the mom from ALF. She actually looked good here. She wasn’t bad in ALF, but here, she was near hot. She also did a great job of doing her lines very dramatically and owned the scenes she was in. It was nice to see her in a dramatic role, but I wish it wasn’t across from that magician martian jerk off.
Jasper tries to break up the wedding of Lily and Giancarlo, but it isn’t working. She is in love and Giancarlo is not going to let his chance to get rich slip by. Eventually, Jasper gets the proof that Giancarlo is a fraud and tries to present it at the wedding, but one of the Giancarlo goons drag him away. I wish he did it right at the beginning of the show and threw him off a cliff. What a terrible character this was. Only my love of the Hulk got me through this episode.
Banner and Kim go to help as they see Jasper being dragged away to a possible corn-holing. They fight the goons and lose and Banner is locked in the trunk of a car. Great. At least I get to see the Hulk again. And the Hulk does return and launches every bad guy into the air, but how did he know that they were bad guys? Usually, Banner is well informed as to who the bad guys are, or he has direct interactions with them that proves that they are up to no good. Not here. He knows the two pricks that beat him up were jerks and he was more than willing to hand them their asses, but he went after Giancarlo too, tossing him into the wedding cake. Why? He had no idea whether or not he was guilty of anything. He just did it to impress Jasper. Was he that impressed by his magic? Giancarlo was old too and when you toss and elderly person, you can really fuck them up. He probably broke two hips. So much for any honeymoon boom boom now.
MY FAVORITE MAGICIAN is one of my least favorite episodes of all time. The musical score was very annoying, Jasper was one of the worst characters ever to be on this show, and there wasn’t much fun factor here. There was barely any Hulk. This was just a case of the writer and editor trying to turn this show into a comedy and they don’t know what funny is. I hated this episode.