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Blog: Eden's 'I Dream of Jeannie' has a new master

8:45 AM, May 27, 2013   |    comments
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Barbara Eden just slipped back into her trademark "I Dream of Jeannie" harem costume and now has a new "master."

This may make no sense to really young people who, first of all, have no idea who Barbara Eden is; second, have never seen the TV show "I Dream of Jeannie" and third, don't get the "master" reference.

First the latest: Eden, who is now 78, got all dressed up Saturday night in Vienna in the costume she wore in the '60s sitcom.

(With a nod to Christina Aguilera, Eden was the original "genie" in a bottle -- pink crop top, harem pants, a blonde ponytail that rose from her headress. The ponytail "wagged" when she gave her trademark head-bob and wink when she made magic.)  

She took the stage Saturday and made her signature move and who should appear but her "new" master -- former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, 11 years her junior and likely a fan of the former TV show, had a huge smile on his face (who wouldn't?) as he greeted her. The two were there for a charity event -- along with Elton Jphn and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.

The 21st Life Ball raises money to promote HIV and AIDS awareness.

Now, for the curious or forgetful, the show ran from 1965 to 1970. It starred Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman (who you probably know better as J.R. from "Dallas") as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries.

You have to understand that this time frame was the height of the space race between the U.S. and Russia and Americans loved their heroic astronauts, so this show -- albeit a bit far-fetched -- drew a big audience.

(Just so you know, the legendary Apollo 11 mission, carrying Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins, began with its launch on July 16, 1969. After entering lunar orbit, the Lunar Module (Eagle), with Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the Command/Service Module (Columbia) and began its landing. At 4:17 p.m. on July 20, 1969, we heard the famous "The Eagle has landed." At 10:39 p.m., the hatch of the Lunar Module opened. At 10:56, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon with these infamous words: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.")

In the show, U.S. Air Force Captain Tony Nelson was on a space flight when his one-man capsule Stardust One came down far from the planned recovery area, near a deserted island in the South Pacific.

On the beach, Tony notices a strange bottle that rolls by itself. When he rubs it after removing the stopper, smoke starts shooting out and a Persian-speaking female genie (wearing an enticing harem costume) materializes and kisses Tony on the lips with passion.

At first they cannot understand each other until Tony expresses his wish that Jeannie could speak English, which she then does. Then, per his instructions, she "blinks" and causes a recovery helicopter to show up to rescue Tony, who is so grateful that he tells her she's free.

But Jeannie, who has fallen in love with Tony at first sight after being trapped for 2000 years, re-enters her bottle and rolls it into Tony's duffel bag so she can accompany him back home.

She ends up living in his house and wreaks havoc -- or help, in some cases -- with her magic. He eventually falls in love with her and they get married.

One of the things on my "bucket list" is to see a launch from Cape Canaveral on the Space Coast in Florida. I want to experience it in person. It's just not the same "Space Coast experience" long-distance.

WKYC-TV

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