A writer recalls an anecdote about the late I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas actor Larry Hagman:
“Larry Hagman lives in a big house in Malibu where he observes certain rituals which some might call superstitions. One is that he does not speak on Sundays. He whistles. He can whistle in a manner that goes up in pitch at the end. That one means ‘yes.’ He can whistle in a manner that goes down in pitch at the end. That one means ‘no.’ He has a few others but those are the key ones — The whistle for ‘yes’ and the whistle for ‘no.’ Those who know the star know all about this and Fred is well aware. He starts the call by saying, ‘Larry, I know you don’t talk on Sundays but please listen to this…’
“He tells him about the show and how all we want is a day or two of his time. The pay will be $7500, which is more or less standard for a Big Name Star in this kind of gig — or at least it was then. Hagman will be in a sketch or two and he will not be alone in these as Sid Caesar is also a guest. At he mentions Sid Caesar, Silverman unknowingly scratches a long-held itch of Mr. Larry Hagman. Larry grew up watching Sid’s old Your Show of Shows, thinks Caesar is the greatest genius ever on television, and once fantasized about being Carl Reiner or Howie Morris — a second banana supporting player to Sid Caesar.
“When Fred asks, ‘Will you do it?,’ Larry Hagman gives his whistle for ‘yes.’ Fred mishears it as the whistle for ‘no’ and offers $10,000.
“Hagman gives the whistle for ‘yes.’ Fred mishears it as the whistle for ‘no’ and offers $12,500.
“Hagman gives the whistle for ‘yes.’ Fred mishears it as the whistle for ‘no’ and offers $15,000.”