Friday, April 3, 2020

TVXOHOF, APRIL 2020 - WOKKA WOKKA WOKKA!


With the April showcase for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, we celebrate the Fool.  Now, this could be the wise fool on the level of Feste, or of Lear’s Fool.  Or it could be someone like Gilligan.

The TVXOHOF Committee always wants to get at least one puppet character into the Hall each year and while they are usually consigned to June, it was felt that April was the better choice for our candidate this year….


FOZZIE BEAR

From Wikipedia:
Fozzie Bear is a Muppet character known for his lack of innate and effective comedy skills. Fozzie is an orange bear who often wears a brown pork pie hat and a red and white polka dot necktie.




The character debuted on ‘The Muppet Show’, as the show's stand-up comic, a role where he constantly employed his catchphrase, "Wocka Wocka!" Shortly after telling the joke, he was usually the target of ridicule, particularly from balcony hecklers Statler and Waldorf. Fozzie was performed by Frank Oz until 2001; Eric Jacobson has since become the character's principal performer.  


Fozzie also appeared alongside his fellow Muppets in the Halloween 2011 episode of ‘WWE Raw’, where he and Gonzo encountered Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie Guerrero backstage.


I’m only counting on the TV appearances for his tally which fall into Earth Prime-Time.  (This will include any serlinguistic work done in commercials and interstitials.  Fozzie is a performer and would be expected to toil for the Empire.)


The movie roles were not technically of Fozzie but of characters he played, including the fictionalized versions of himself.  But I stipulate that it was Fozzie who played those roles in the movies.


(The difference for ‘Big City Greens’ is that we have behind-the-scenes footage of him working on the cartoon.  The same holds true for the Muppets' version of "The Wizard of Oz".)


Maybe one day the Tooniverse version of Fozzie will gain entry into the Hall.  But as to including the ‘Family Guy’ appearances into the official tally?


Here are the TV shows I am including in his qualifications for Hall membership.

  • The Muppet Show (1976–1981)
  • Muppets Tonight (1996-1998)
  • It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
  • The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)(Appearance as Himself and the Cowardly Lion)
  • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008)
  • Studio DC: Almost Live (2008)
  • Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular (2013)
  • The Muppets (2015-2016)
  • Big City Greens (2019)(Appearance as the voice of Dr. Enamel)



In one episode of ‘Sesame Street’, another Jim Henson production, Baby Bear says that "Fozzie" is a terrible name for a bear. (So they probably knew about Fozzie Bear.)


Fozzie was a contestant on the May 24, 2016, episode of "@midnight" and beat Kristen Schaal and John Hodgman.

Here is a list of appearances compiled by the fine folks at the Muppet Wiki:








TV Shows

  • The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
  • Little Muppet Monsters (1985)[But only as a puppet, not animated]
  • The Jim Henson Hour (1989)
  • Episode 103: Power
  • Episode 108: Videotape
  • Miss Piggy's Hollywood
  • Muppets Tonight (1996-1997)
  • Episode 103: Billy Crystal
  • Episode 104: John Goodman
  • Episode 108: Jason Alexander
  • Episode 109: Whoopi Goldberg
  • Episode 110: Martin Short
  • Episode 204: Pierce Brosnan
  • Episode 208: The Cameo Show
  • Muppets TV
  • The Muppets
  • The Muppet Babies (2018)
  • Carpool Karaoke: The Series (2018)




TV Specials

  • Kagayake! Gorō Mapetto Geba Geba 90-pun! (1976)
  • The Bob Hope All Star Christmas Comedy Special (1977)
  • Julie Andrews: One Step Into Spring (1978)
  • The Muppets Go Hollywood (1979)
  • A Christmas Together (1979)
  • The Muppets Go to the Movies (1981)
  • I Love Liberty (1982)
  • The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show (1982)
  • Rocky Mountain Holiday (1983)
  • The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986)
  • A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
  • The Muppets at Walt Disney World (1990)
  • The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990)
  • Studio DC Hosted by Selena Gomez (2008)
  • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008)
  • Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular (2013)




TV Appearances
  • Kagayake! Gorō Mapetto Geba Geba 90-pun! (1976)
  • The Orson Welles Show (1979)
  • Good Morning America (1992, 2004, 2005)
  • Saturday Night Live (2004, 2011)
  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2005, 2010)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live (2005)
  • America's Funniest Home Videos (2005)
  • Chuck the Movie Guy (2008)
  • The View (2008)
  • Hollywood 411 (2008)
  • D23 Expo (2009)
  • Andrea Bocelli & David Foster: My Christmas (2009)
  • The Early Show (2010)
  • WWE (2011)
  • Good Luck Charlie (2013)
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009, 2014)
  • The Arsenio Hall Show (2014)





Commercials
  • Polaroid (1981)
  • National Wildlife Federation (1985-1990)
  • MasterCard Commercials (2002-2003)
  • Pizza Hut Commercials (2004-2005)
  • Disney Channel Bumpers (2005)
  • Will Rogers Institute (2006)
  • The ESPYs (2008)
  • Give a Day, Get a Disney Day (2009)
  • Lipton (2014)
  • Warburtons (2015)
  • Facebook Portal (2019)
From Facebook:
Though his main job was to be the show's comedian, he has had a number of other roles on ‘The Muppet Show’. He sang and danced in many musical numbers, and frequently acted in sketches (most famously his recurring sketch “Bear On Patrol” where he plays an unlucky police officer). He also often helps backstage and even attempts to plan out the show in one episode, and write the script in another.

Welcome to the Hall, Fozzie!


My thanks to the Muppets Wiki for the list of shows.  And I'm sure in my search for pictures of Fozzie via Google Image Search, I probably grabbed quite a few of their pictures.

I hope they forgive me....

Wokka wokka!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

THE CROSSOVER THAT PRIME-TIME FORGOT


PERRY MASON
THE CASE OF THE NINE DOLLS

11/19/1960


From the IMDb:
As Perry prepares to go to Scotland on vacation, a little girl arrives in his office asking him to determine who she is. His search takes him to Switzerland where he meets a woman who becomes his client after a murder.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW
OPIE’S CHARITY

11/28/1960

From the IMDb:
Pride in what other people think presents itself to Andy two-fold when he hears that Opie only gave a measly three cents to a school charity fund and when a two-years-dead husband walks up to say hello.

It may not seem evident from the summaries for these two episodes, but this was one of the first CBS crossovers.

If you check the cast lists for each episode, you’ll notice that Ray Collins (Lt. Arthur Tragg of ‘Perry Mason’) and Don Knotts (Deputy Barney Fife in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’) were both absent from their respective episodes.

At the time both of these episodes were filmed, both actors were busy on the sets of each other’s show.  They filmed cameo appearances allegedly as their characters although they went unnamed.

In the ‘Perry Mason’ episode, while Perry was at the airport, Barney could be seen in the concourse struggling with luggage as he departed a flight from North Carolina. It was a silent routine, full of the usual Barney ticks and mannerisms which only lasted a minute at best.


Meanwhile, in “Opie’s Charity”, Lt. Tragg showed up at the Taylor home and asked Aunt Bee where he could find the Sheriff.  Apparently he had some questions about the character of Tom Silby, the long-missing husband played by Stuart Erwin (who made several appearances on ‘Perry Mason’.)  He left but we never saw him later with Sheriff Andy.

This was a way to hype the new show by having a well-established series like ‘Perry Mason’ give ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ some free two-way publicity.

In order for it to have the full impact, CBS hyped the exchange of characters all through the summer with a promo in heavy rotation.  It was from that I was able to track down the still picture seen in this post, thanks to a collector I know from Facebook.

Don’t waste your time trying to track down those scenes in either show.  They only got one broadcast before being edited out.  With eventual syndication in mind, the network thought it might be confusing to the audience to see one part of the crossover without the other, even though they weren’t really connected.  And they were structured in such a way so that they could be easily excised from the episodes.

This practice would be repeated by CBS nearly forty years later.  In May of 1998, archival footage of classic CBS characters were blended into scenes of various top shows which were then on the air so that they interacted with the current stars.
  • Edward R. Murrow (‘Murphy Brown’)
  • James Arness (‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’)
  • Lucille Ball (‘The Nanny’)
  • Jack Benny (‘Cosby’)
  • Chad Everett ('Chicago Hope')
  • Steve McQueen (‘Walker, Texas Ranger’)
  • Dick Van Dyke (‘Diagnosis Murder’)
Here are two examples:




Those special episodes were broadcast only the one time and then were excised for future reruns and syndication.

Someday I hope I’ll be able to see those two scenes linking ‘Perry Mason’ to ‘The Andy Griffith Show’.  When I lived in Manhattan, I was a member of the Paley Center for Media and every time I visited, I would check to see if they had gained those holy grails.  For all I know, they finally got them now that I’m no longer there to view them.

That would be typical for me…..

Friday, March 27, 2020

FRIDAY HALL OF FAMERS 03/27/2020 - THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON



You can learn a lot
watching Johnny Carson
.”
Mary Hartman
‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’

Since March is the month in which the Television Crossover Hall of Fame celebrates the League of Themselves in which (mostly) famous people appeared in TV shows in which they portrayed their fictional televersions, and since the last week of each month this year we’re celebrating TV shows which have their own televersions, I could think of no other TV show which had so many members of the League of Themselves and which made appearances (or were at least mentioned) on so many other TV shows than:

‘THE TONIGHT SHOWSTARRING
JOHNNY CARSON’

One day I'll have to compile a list of all the TVXOHOF members who were inducted as part of the League of Themselves who appeared on 'The Tonight Show'. 


Here are two of them - Mister Warmth & Ol' Blue Eyes - with fellow member and the host, Johnny Carson. 

Johnny Carson himself was inducted as the January Classic showcase the year after he died.  As such, the shows which feature Johnny outside of ‘The Tonight Show’ milieu would not also be included in the tally for the show itself as they're being used for his own qualifications. 


Thus, ‘Cheers’ when Cliff wrote a joke for Carson and Cliff’s mother gave Johnny whatfor because he delivered it wrong would count for membership, but ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ in which Johnny showed up at a party which Mary hosted (disastrously) would not.



Dream sequences would count because a dream acknowledges that the show exists in Reality to serve as the basis for the dream.  So, the dream sequence in an episode of ‘The Joey Bishop Show’ qualifies ‘The Tonight Show’ for membership even though Johnny didn’t show up in it.  (Ed McMahon did however.)


In my personal opinion, the best use of ‘The Tonight Show’ within another show was in ‘Columbo’ – “Forgotten Lady”.  We saw plenty of scenes from one of the shows, enough so that I was able to pinpoint the night on which the murder took place in the Toobworld (and real time) timeline.

CARSON ON ‘COLUMBO’

Here are just a few of the other TV shows which have acknowledged the presence of ‘The Tonight Show’ in Toobworld with references and/or showed clips from the show or recreated it within their own reality.  (i was surprised by how many references there have been to Carnak over the years.  Maybe a Skitlandian inductee someday?)

‘Cheers’, ‘Columbo’, ‘The Joey Bishop Show’, ‘St. Elsewhere’, ‘Get Smart’, ‘Rhoda’, ‘All In The Family’, ‘The Monkees’, ‘Sanford and Son’, ‘The Rockford Files’, ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Lou Grant’, ‘The White Shadow’, ‘Soap’, ‘Diff’rent Strokes’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘WKRP In Cincinnati’, ‘Sykes’, ‘Taxi’, ‘Quantum Leap’, ‘Sanford’, ‘Hill Street Blues’, ‘Fame’, ‘Gimme A Break!’, ‘The A-Team’, ‘The Jeffersons’, ‘Family Ties’, ‘Miami Vice’, ‘Growing Pains’, ‘The Golden Girls’, ‘Charles In Charge’, ‘The Greatest American Hero’, ‘Boy Meets World’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘Just Shoot Me!’, ‘Do Over’, ‘That 70s Show’, ‘Scrubs’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Psych’, ‘The Mentalist’, ‘Mad Men’, ‘Justified’, ‘Veronica Mars’, ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, ‘Better Call Saul’, ’30 Rock’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’.


That’s just a “few” of them.  You get the idea.

So here’s to ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’.  Welcome to the Hall!


O’Bservation:
Because for over thirty years ‘The Tonight Show’ was so indelibly linked with Carson, I think it has to be considered as its own entity, differentiated from those other incarnations hosted by Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Jimmy Fallon.  But their versions of the show would figure into their own tallies once they were inducted into the TVXOHOF (and Leno already is a member and Conan is on the verge… if he’s not already.  Hey, I’ve been doing this for over twenty years; my memory’s shot.)


Carson and the show were seen dramatized in a recent Showtime series, “I’m Dying Up Here”, but I’ve got two possible splainins for that, both of which are connected to two of the series mentioned above.


I think a blog post on that may rouse me from my lethargy…..

Friday, March 20, 2020

FRIDAY HALL OF FAMERS 03/20/20 - KID ROCK


Sorry I’m late with the Friday Hall of Famers from last week.  This whole “living in isolation” we’re going through may have been par for the course for this sedentarianist, the reason has not been and it’s kind of overwhelming at times.  (I’m fine, by the way;  I hope you all are as well.)

So let’s kick this off.

For March we’re celebrating the League of Themselves, those celebrities who play their own fictional televersions in TV series.  And this week we’re going with....

KID ROCK  

In fact, we’re inducting two Kid Rocks – the one from the main Toobworld and the animated one from the Tooniverse.


From Wikipedia:
Robert James Ritchie (born January 17, 1971), known professionally as Kid Rock, is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, musician, record producer, and actor. In a career spanning 30 years, Rock's musical style alternates between rock, hip hop, and country. A multi-instrumentalist, he has overseen his own production on nine of his eleven studio albums.

Kid Rock started his professional music career as a self-taught rapper and DJ, releasing his debut album Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast in 1990 on Jive Records; his subsequent independent releases The Polyfuze Method (1993) and Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp (1996) saw him developing a more distinctive style which was fully realized on his 1998 album Devil Without a Cause (1998), his breakthrough album, which sold 14 million copies. Devil Without a Cause and his subsequent album, Cocky (2001), were noted for blending elements of hip hop, country, rock and heavy metal. Starting with his 2010 album Born Free, the country music style has dominated his musical direction. He has not rapped on his albums since the 2003 album Kid Rock, with the exception of one track each on Rock n Roll Jesus (2007) and Sweet Southern Sugar (2017).


One acting job which I'm not going to play fast and loose with is his appearance in:



Stacked
-Nobody Says I Love You (2005)
He is credited as the Delivery Man and is just a citizen of Toobworld who bears an uncanny resemblance to Kid Rock.  (However... had I been in need of another appearance as himself to qualify, I could have made the claim he was doing a side gig.  I don't know; maybe his career wasn't going so well at the time.  Luckily we're covered.)

Here are the roles which do qualify him in both fictional universes.....

TOOBWORLD


Fat Actress
- Charlie's Angels or Too Pooped to Pop
(2005)
- Hold This (2005)


Saturday Night Live
- Alec Baldwin/Coldplay
(2001)
- Jackie Chan/Kid Rock (2000)


Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector




CSI: NY
- All Access
(2006)

Silicon Valley
- Minimum Viable Product
(2014)


And now we slide over into the other universe....

THE TOONIVERSE


The Simpsons
- Kill the Alligator and Run
(2000)


King of the Hill
- The Fat and the Furious
(2002)


Stripperella
- You Only Lick Twice
(2003)

Enjoy your time in the Hall…..