Eyewitness: a day on the U.N.C.L.E. set

Steve Matthews appeared as a child extra in episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. He contacted the propretior of this Web page and his account here is used with his permission. All contents © 1997-2015 William J. Koenig Click here to return to the Man From U.N.C.L.E. page.


The Children’s Day Affair

I appeared in the Children’s Day Affair episode, Season Two as one of the kids in the choir — I had a Thrush gun under my robe (complete with the red scope and everything!). By the way, most of the kids in the choir were my cousins – my grandmother knew some people at MGM, and they called her whenever they needed a bunch of kids that could sing (we did an episode of Dr. Kildare, and a WW2 show you may have heard of called Jericho). (Those shows were made by Arena Productions, MFU’s production company, WJK)

I was only 10 years old in ’65, so it’s hard to remember many specifics about the experience on MFU. We only did one day of filming. Vaughn was not involved at all (his stunt double was all they used for our part), but he showed up for a little while to watch and I got his autograph. Never saw McCallum. I remember, though, that we sat and talked with Leo G. Carroll for about an hour, and he was a real interesting guy. He was my hero from the Topper series. It’s kinda funny watching that episode now – especially the scene where Warren Stevens is telling these little kids what to do, and cheerfully says something like “after the song, you take out your guns and you kill ’em.” — talk about politically incorrect!

The Little John Doe Affair

We also did about 5 seconds on GFU, the Little John Doe Affair. I remember some things from our one day on the set of GFU. I remember that, in-between takes, Stefanie was reading “Valley of the Dolls.” And, like every other male 11-year-old in the U.S., I was completely in love with her. Still have her autograph at home somewhere. And you’ll recall that the guest villain on the episode was Wally Cox. He was definitely an introvert — went off by himself during breaks and lunch. But a few of us went and found him walking by himself during one of the breaks, got his autograph, then we said something about the cartoon character Underdog, which he did the voice for.

And this is one of the highlights of my life which I will never forget: There we were, standing face-to-face with him, and he said in that heroic voice: “There’s no need to fear. Underdog is here!”

It was great. I know. I was there.


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