This weekend, in the mythical town of Cocoa Beach, in the mythical state of Florida, the townsfolk are embracing their inner genies and celebrating the connection between their hometown and the magical sitcom 'I Dream Of Jeannie'.
Today marks the 40th anniversary for the broadcast of the very first episode.
Even though none of the three main cast members - Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, and Bill Daily, - were going to be there, and even though the show never actually filmed there, that wasn't going to stop the good citizens of Cocoa Beach from throwing a grand party in honor of that bottle-star gal, complete with look-alike contests.
Actually, had Toobworld more of an accurate portrayal of the life of an astronaut, then Major Tony Nelson would have been living in or just outside of Houston, Texas. In the Real World, that's where all the astronauts live as they train for their missions.
But then again, had it really been the Cocoa Beach as seen in the Real Florida, and not the one as seen on TV, you never would have seen the Hollywood Hills in the background. And the Kennedy Space Center must have shared the same architect as the Edwards Air Force Base in California, as their buildings all looked exactly the same. [Gee.....I wonder how that happened......!]
Many of the shots of local streets actually turned out to from the back lots, so that 1020 Palm Drive, the street on which Jeannie lived with her "Master", Major Nelson, could also be seen as Morning Glory Circle in Westport, Connecticut, on 'Bewitched'.
The TV show contributed a fictional newspaper to the library of Toobworld media - the Cocoa Beach Herald. And there's the book Jeannie wrote (using Tony's name) - "How To Be A Fantastic Mother", which was published by Woodhouse Publishers in NYC. Also there is the home-made candy which could bring out the hidden fantasies of people - Pip Chicks.
Yet even though the televersion of Cocoa Beach is just as fictional as Hooterville and Fernwood, the identification of the town with the TV show is practically universal. Said a local lawyer, "When I tell people, in almost every place I go — Europe, South America — that I'm from Cocoa Beach, they say 'I Dream of Jeannie'!"