David Copperfield gives famous ‘Martian’ ship a place to crash

The spaceship from “My Favorite Martian” has finally landed safely.

The aircraft prop from the campy 1960s sci-fi series now belongs to legendary illusionist and pop-culture sentimentalist David Copperfield, who claimed the object at auction with a offer of $100,000. Copperfield’s winning outlay was registered during the auction outlet Prop Store’s first TV Treasures sale on Friday.

Television archivist James Comisar curated the auction, with more than 400 items offered for sale. Forbes once described Comisar as holding the world’s greatest collection of TV memorabilia. Copperfield himself is a passionate collector of items of nostalgia; in August he snapped up the original “D” from the Disneyland Hotel for about $86,250.

A testament to compassionate journalism, “My Favorite Martian” centered on newspaper reporter Tim O’Hara (portrayed by Bill Bixby) of the fictional Los Angeles Sun fostering of a space alien (Ray Walston) later named “Uncle Martin,” whose ship crashed to Earth.

That 9-foot-long prop vessel, which sort of resembles a robotic aardvark, is now in Copperfield’s hands.

“As a child of the 1960s, I was transfixed — like many Americans — by the incredible images of flight being broadcast,” Copperfield said in a statement issued by Prop Store on Saturday night. “From Neil Armstrong landing on the moon to Ray Walston crashing down to Earth, these images seared themselves into my mind, and have beguiled and inspired me to this day.”

Copperfield went on to say that when he learned Comisar had put the “My Favorite Martian” spaceship up for bid, “I knew I was destined to give it a home along with the rest of my magic, film and television collections for future generations.

“In my current stage show, I use a similar full-size ship, an homage to this classic series and the way it made me feel as a boy.” No word, yet, on how or where the object will be displayed. Check back here — not the L.A. Sun — for updates.

D.M. alert

In his appearances at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace, Paul Shaffer talks of watching singer Tony Martin in the Desert Inn lounge when Shaffer was a kid. Shaffer marveled at how Martin placed his right hand over the right side of his midsection to dramatize his act.

“Whenever Tony wanted to get serious for a moment, he would place his hand right here, for no apparent reason,” Shaffer says. “So, I am also doing this, ladies and gentlemen …”

Shaffer brought up special guest Dennis Miller in Saturday’s closing night of the Shaf-Shifters’ most recent engagement at the Barge. Miller took the stage and mocked how Shaffer grabbed his side, saying, “You know, Tony Martin died of appendicitis.”

The crowd erupted, and Shaffer called back, “You’re opening with that?”

Martin actually died of natural causes in 2012, at age 98, but Shaffer keeps his shtick alive.

Love, comedians’ style

Veteran Vegas comics Traci Skene and Brian McKim have something in common: They are both successful and very funny stand-ups. They are also married — to each other. They celebrated their 30th anniversary on Sunday, and as part of their working celebration appear on the same bill at the Comedy Cellar at the Rio from Thursday through next Sunday.

The couple were married in Hawaii, by the late Rev. Richard B. Elsner, also famous as bassist for Dean Martin and The Goldiggers. Skene once said, “We’re not even sure if our marriage is legal.”

Show notes

Bronx Wanderers close their run at Windows Showroom at Bally’s on Dec. 23. They still have not announced their next home, but I expect them to remain with a Caesars Entertainment property.

Frankie Moreno returns his Thursday night schedule at South Point Showroom on Feb. 17. Meantime, Frankie Scinta performed his final show of the year at that venue (before he hits the road), and has a 7:30 p.m. show Jan. 18-19. This is a test of sorts to see if Scinta’s “The Showman” production can draw enough support for additional dates at South Point.

Who Was Where

CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, Dexter Fowler of the St. Louis Cardinals and Chris Young, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels, were at Tao Nightclub in The Venetian on Saturday night, rejoicing in the performance of DJ Politik. At another VIP table: Ex-NBA player Ron Harper, who won five titles with the Bulls and Lakers.

Cool Hang Alert

Piano great Wes Winters still makes it swing at South Point’s Grandview Lounge. He’s back at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. No cover charge, so no complaints.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him atjkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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