Thursday, November 23, 2017

THE BEST THANKSGIVING TV CLASSIC!


Here ya go, kind of a Thanksgiving tradition.....


Let's look again at the highlights.....



And here's the look behind the scenes for this comedy classic:


Finally, here's the traditional Toobworld Thanksgiving from Yours Truly....


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

HAT SQUAD - UNFORTUNATELY REMEMBERING MANSON



STEVE RAILSBACK
as
CHARLES MANSON

Charles Manson was an unlikely figure to evolve into the personification of evil. A few inches over five feet, he was a petty criminal and small-time hustler. And his followers bore little resemblance to the stereotypical image of hardened killers. Most were in their early twenties, middle-class white kids, hippies and runaways who fell under his charismatic sway.

But in the summer of 1969, Manson masterminded a string of bizarre murders in Los Angeles that both horrified and fascinated the nation and signified to many the symbolic end of the 1960s and the idealism and naiveté the decade represented.

Considered one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century, Manson died of natural causes at a Kern County Hospital at 8:13 p.m Sunday, according to Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was 83.

Sentenced to death for the crime, Manson escaped execution when the state Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional at the time. He spent decades behind bars, an unrepentant and incorrigible inmate who’d been cited for behavioral issues more than 100 times.

- Miles Corvin

Los Angeles Times

So the piece of slime is finally dead, but I don't think the fascination with his hypnotic evil will ever abate in the Television Universe.  You can expect even more depictions of his crimes than those posted here in two years when the fiftieth anniversary comes round.

One day, Manson will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as a Multidimensional.  And I'm thinking it should happen during the month of October when it does.  But I'm in no hurry to have him soiling the carpeting in my little corner of Toobworld.  I have friends online who have called for his name never to be mentioned again.  I understand that; at the same time, my maintenance of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame is a form of History, silly as you may see it, and you should never bury History.  

Remember the old adage: Those who forget History are doomed to get an F on the final.

As it stands now, here is the IMDb list of actors who have played Charlie Manson on television.  One which is missing is Bob Odenkirk on 'The Ben Stiller Show'.  You can find it on YouTube, in which he plays Manson as a Lassie stand-in. 

I grabbed the list for this post even though I'm not ready to induct him because the IMDb is going to rid themselves of the character pages which have been a boon to me and my fellow televisiologists.

At any rate, here are the portrayals of Charles Manson, spread across the greater TV universe.  Steve Railsback was the first and perhaps the most memorable depiction.  But I'm not sure who should be the Charles Manson of Earth Prime-Time.  No established fictional characters in the main Toobworld ever interacted with Manson - thankfully.  As to who would be the "face" of Manson in the Hall, I think Gethin Anthony, due to the amount of appearances he has logged in as this psycho.....


GETHIN ANTHONY
as
CHARLES MANSON

"Deadly Possessions" 
    - Bela Lugosi's Mirror and Charles Manson's TV (2016) 
Played by Darrell Chumley

"American Horror Story" 
    - Great Again (2017) 
    - Charles (Manson) in Charge (2017) 
Played by Evan Peters

"National Enquirer Investigates"
    - Charles Manson (2017) 
Played by Chris Ploetz

"Autopsy: The Last Hours Of"
    - Dennis Wilson (2017) 
Played by Lewis Poll

"Mysteries of the Outdoors"
    - Death Valley (2016)
Played by Terral Altom

"Aquarius"
26 episodes    
Played by Gethin Anthony

"The Special Without Brett Davis"
    - Mike Love & Mercy (2016)
Played by Alyssa Stonoha

"Murder Made Me Famous"
    - Charles Manson (2016) 
Played by David Burkhart

Manson's Lost Girls (2016) 
Played by Jeff Ward

"Aquarius: The Summer of Love" 
4 episodes
Played by Gethin Anthony 

"Saturday Night Live"
    - Cameron Diaz/Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars (2014) 
Played by Taran Killam
    - Courteney Cox/Dave Matthews Band (1995) 
Played by Adam Sandler

"Mysteries at the Museum"
    - Squeaky Fromme, Hodag, Typhoid Mary (2013) 
Played by Peter Endrigian

Manson (2009)
Played by Adam Kenneth Wilson

Will You Kill for Me? Charles Manson and His Followers (2008)
Played by Charlie Davidson / Nic Weinfeld (as Young Charles Manson)

Helter Skelter (2004)
Played by Jeremy Davies

"The Beach Boys: An American Family"
    - Episode #1.2 (2000) 
Played by Erik Passoja

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
    - Episode #7.106 (1999) 
Played by James DeAngelo
    - Troy Aikman/Natalie Portman/Green Day (1996) 
Played by James DeAngelo

"South Park"
    - Merry Christmas Charlie Manson! (1998) 
Played by Trey Parker

Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys (1990) 
Played by Michael Reid MacKay

Helter Skelter (1976) 
Played by Steve Railsback

BCnU!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TWO FOR TUESDAY - THEMYSCIRA: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION


'LEGENDS OF TOMORROW'
"HELEN HUNT"


Do you know where this is?

The CW had a feeling you might not know, so....


At the end of this episode, Zari ("She Who Must Not Be Named Isis") was supposed to return Helen to Troy so that the timeline for Comix Toobworld-DC1 could get another fix-it patch.  But after hearing how sad Helen was to be a plaything and a bargaining chip for men, the Legend decided to reset the coordinates for the Waverider's shuttle and bring Helen back in time to this idyllic island, home of the Amazons, where she could pursue whatever interests she favored without interference from the opposite sex.  As Helen faded from History/Legend without any more reference as to what happened to her, Zari thought her decision would be a safe one.


As any fan* of Wonder Woman knows,Themyscira is the birthplace of Diana.  But Themyscira is multiversal and exists in many fictional universes, O'Bviously found most often in the world of comic books.  Even though this might be the same CGI(?) location as used in this summer's blockbuster movie about the Amazonian princess, Helen shouldn't disembark expecting to find Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.  Her incarnation of Diana exists in the Cineverse, and only one dimension of that as the current run of DC movies are in a different world from those in which so many other Supermen and Batmen can be found.  

The Cineverse of DC has no connection to the current spate of TV shows on the CW, either, which was made evident with the release of the "Justice League" - they have a different actor playing the Flash.  And this island paradise is somewhat different from that found in the main Toobworld where Wonder Woman first spun into action.  There Themyscira was known as Paradise Island.  

Maybe one day Wonder Woman will show up in the CW; maybe Gal Gadot will even play the role.  But until then, this world of Themyscira must not be mistaken for any other incarnation of the location.

BCnU!

*Hi Rob Buckley, Mark Thompson, and Cousin Coco!!

TWO FOR TUESDAY - "HELEN OF TROY" THE MOVIE



'LEGENDS OF TOMORROW'
"HELEN HUNT"

'Legends of Tomorrow' does not take place in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld.  It originated on Comix Toobworld-DC1 with 'Arrow' and 'The Flash'.  But they have disrupted the timeline so much, they may be in some alternate Comix Toobworld now.  (However, when they crossover with Flash and Arrow, I'm sure the Waverider will always find its way back to their original dimension.)

So when there are any Zonks in their episodes which would be a violation of what happened in the main Toobworld, let alone the Trueniverse, I let it slide.  It has no bearing on Earth Prime-Time.  But they're always fun to investigate.


Take for instance, the basic plot of this episode, "Helen Hunt" (a great title which is in the running for a Toobits Award): Helen of Troy arrives in 1937 Hollywood and bumps Hedy Lamarr from consideration for the lead role in a movie about Helen of Troy.  Because her American movie career didn't take off, she was unable to pursue her scientific interests which led to her inventions in wireless communication.  As a consequence, the Waverider was no longer able to function and they were stuck in 1937.  The Legends had to "put right what once went wrong" and restore Miss Lamarr to her former glory.

In the timeline of the real world, Hedy Lamarr didn't make a movie about Helen of Troy until 1953, which was then released a year later.  And it was made in Italy, not Hollywood.

From Wikipedia:
"Loves of Three Queens" (Italian: L'amante di Paride), also known as The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships, is a 1954 Italian anthology film. It was directed by Marc Allégret and Edgar G. Ulmer and stars Hedy Lamarr.


Hedy Lamarr's first Hollywood role was as Gaby in 1938's "Algiers".

But that discrepancy probably works out.  Because of the temporal disruption, the studio probably scrapped their Helen of Troy biopic and chose the "Algiers" script to be Miss Lamarr's first Hollywood film.  So it would have all worked out in the end.

Not that it mattered.

BCnU!



Monday, November 20, 2017

THE HAT SQUAD - "REMEMBERING" KEITH BARRON



From the Euro Weekly News:
British TV star Keith Barron has died, aged 83, after a short illness. [November 15, 2017]

Barron’s agent confirmed the news in a statement which read, “He had a long and varied career." 

“He is survived by his wife Mary to whom he was married for 58 years and his son, Jamie, also an actor.”

Barron made regular appearances on British TV since the 1960s with roles in 'Coronation Street', 'Duty Free', 'Doctor Who', 'Z Cars',  'Casualty' and 'Where the Heart Is'.

He also guest-starred in the hit ITV comedy series 'Benidorm' in 2009.

His most memorable role came as a leading man in the 1980s sitcom 'Duty Free', where he starred as Yorkshireman David Pearce.

(Kari Smallman)

Barron also played Dennis Potter's altar-ego Nigel Barton in two of his TV plays and almost made it into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for his character of Detective Sgt. John Swift.  Swift came on board 'The Odd Man' in the last couple of seasons and then was spun off to 'It's Dark Outside'.  But unfortunately he never got the chance to play Sgt. Swift in any other series to get that third requirement for TVXOHOF induction.  (As much as I like John Fraser and was happy to see him all too briefly in the London-based 'Columbo' episode "Dagger of the Mind", I would have traded him in for a chance to see Barron bring Sgt. Swift into the investigation.  As long as Swift was a copper in London, of course.)



Far too few of the TV shows produced over in the UK ever made it here to the United States unless they could fit into the sometimes snobbish showcases like 'Masterpiece Theatre' and even in 'Mystery!'.  So I don't think there was ever a chance I was going to see any of these other long-running roles of Mr. Barron:
  • 'Duty Free'
  • 'Coronation Street'
  • 'The Good Guys'
  • 'Haggard'
  • 'DCI Banks'
  • 'Holby City'
  • 'Doctors'
  • 'Dead Man Weds'
  • 'The Chase'
  • 'Where The Heart Is'
  • 'NCS Manhunt'
  • 'Take Me'
  • 'All Night Long'
  • 'Leaving'
  • 'Room At The Bottom'
  • 'The Adventures of Lucky Jim'
But here's the sad thing (for me): I have seen him in plenty of one-shot roles, mostly in crime dramas imported from the UK:
  • 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' (The one true Holmes for the main Toobworld!)
  • 'Pie In The Sky'
  • 'New Tricks'
  • 'Hustle'
  • 'Law & Order: UK'
  • 'Foyle's War'
  • 'Hetty Wainthrop Investigates'
  • 'Dalziel and Pascoe'
  •  'The New Avengers'
And yet, of those, the only one I remember him in is the episode he did of 'Midsomer Murders'.  But there are two reasons for that: I did see it recently again, and - let's face it - the murders on that show have become memorable.

I'm surprised I can't remember Mr. Barron in the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Last Vampyre"!  I remember the story well enough; I'm a big fan of the Holmes canon.  But as to its dramatization.....  Yeah, I have to watch the box set again.

Along with those light mysteries, I can't remember seeing him in his one-shot roles in 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and 'My Family', either.


The one role that does stand out in my memory was that of Captain Striker the Eternal in the 'Doctor Who' episode "Enlightenment".  One day I have to delve further into the Eternals in the grand mosaic of Toobworld.  Could there be a connection to the Prophets of the wormholes or the Q Coninuum?

For more on his career, click here.


I will have to go back and revisit those episodes of 'New Tricks', 'Pie In The Sky', 'Hustle' and especially the 'Sherlock Holmes' adventure.  I'm thinking I need to familiarize myself with more of Mr. Barron's contributions to Toobworld.

BCnU!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

THE VIDEO SUNDAY MYSTERY MOVIE


"THE GOLDEN GATE MURDERS"


BCnU!


Saturday, November 18, 2017

SATURDAY SOUNDTRACK


The Factory
('Gomer Pyle')


The Bed Bugs
('F Troop')

The Sacred Cows
('Get Smart')

The Mosquitoes
('Gilligan's Island')

The Honeybees
('Gilligan's Island')

The Brady Bunch

Dawn Wells
Sugar, Sugar

Sifting Sands




Friday, November 17, 2017

SUPER SIX LIST - COLUMBO KILLERS WHO COULD HAVE KILLED AGAIN



SUPER SIX LIST
SIX "COLUMBO" KILLERS WHO WOULD HAVE KILLED AGAIN
IF COLUMBO NEVER CAUGHT THEM.


There were several murderers in the run of the show who originally killed more than one victim - Tommy Brown, Roger Stanford, and Ruth Lytton come to mind.  And there were others who later killed a second time as part of their plan to get away with the first murder - Paul Galesko, Graham McVeigh, and technically Riley Greenleaf.

But there were far too many others who had to keep killing in order to evade suspicion - Viveca Scott, Dale Kingston, Ken Franklin, Dr. Mark Collier, Dr. Bart Kepple, Max Barsini, the Paris twins, and the acting team of Frame and Stanhope and so on.  Of course, it didn't help them at all, not with the Lieutenant on the case.

And even among those who only killed one victim, there are indications that they would have done it again in a heartbeat.  (Preferably somebody else's.)  Not that they were blood-thirsty maniacs, but having committed this most heinous of crimes once, they might have found it easier to get what they wanted by disposing of somebody in their way.

My list is of those killers who didn't come right out and claim that they would kill again.  So I'm dismissing the very first killer, Dr. Ray Flemming in the pilot movie "Prescription Murder".  When he thought that Joan Hudson had committed suicide, he reveled in his hypothetical bragging to Columbo that had she not died then, surely something might have happened to her in the future.

And I'm not counting Dr. Barry Mayfield whose original victim, Dr. Edmund Hidemann, never ended up dying.  But if Columbo didn't get so close to the truth, it might still have happened.

So here are six of the 'Columbo' murderers who might have killed again if Lt. Columbo hadn't stopped them.....


1] ADRIAN CARSINI,
"ANY OLD PORT IN A STORM"

Potential victim: Karen Fielding

Carsini's personal secretary had been with him for at least a dozen years and had been in love with him for almost that long.  When he learned from Columbo that she had lied for him to provide an alibi, Carsini chafed under the suggestion from Karen that they should get married even if he didn't love her back.  You can see he was almost physically repulsed from her advance to kiss him.  (It could be that he was a closeted homosexual, not that there's anything wrong with that.)  So if he played it cool and didn't start destroying all of those wine bottles, Columbo would have not been able to charge him... unless Karen spilled the beans....

2] HAROLD VAN WYCK
'PLAYBACK"

Potential victim: Elizabeth Van Wyck

I never considered this one before, but the last time I watched the episode, I saw how feral Harold got when his wife suggested that she would take a stronger position in the running of the company.  Harold did not kill her mother just to see his power grab be lost to Elizabeth and her dim bulb brother Arthur.  If Columbo never noticed that evidence in the frame of the video and Van Wyck got away with the murder of Margaret Meadis, Harold might have engineered an electronics method to do away with his wife if she did try to take control of the company.

3] SENATOR NELSON HAYWARD
"CANDIDATE FOR CRIME"

Potential victim: Victoria Hayward

Hayward was disgusted with his wife and her drinking abuses and he was bored with their marriage.  Lithe and lovely Linda Johnson wanted to replace her "boss" Vicky in Hayward's marriage bed.  But it was apparent that Vicky would not go quietly with a quiet divorce.  It would have been acrimonious and she could have dredged up the suspicions behind Harry Stone's murder again.  (I'm assuming that if Hayward never set up that second "assassination attempt" to strengthen his alibi, he could have evaded Columbo.)  And yes, I believe he did win the election, so if Vicky wanted to cause him trouble, it would have had an adverse effect on his try for a second term in the Senate.  Plus, there was that community property that I'm sure he would have much rather kept.  So when he either got too bored in the arrangement or she was hinting that she was going to start throwing the mud, Hayward might have resurrected the same plot that helped him get rid of Harry.  Perhaps he would have blown up the beach house with her inside and blamed it on the same underworld figures who he claimed killed Harry.

4] LEON LAMARR
"DEATH HITS THE JACKPOT"

Potential victim: Martha Lamarr

We tap into the Rogues' Gallery of the ABC era of 'Columbo' with this selection.  If the Lieutenant had never been able to figure out the clue supplied by the chimp, and Leon had been able to evade arrest for the murder of his nephew, Leon would have begun thinking of disposing of his wife Martha in order to live openly with Freddy's widow.  And who knows?  An accident might have been arranged for Nancy Brower as well should she come to realize she was the true heir of that lottery money without the prompting from Columbo.

5]  MARK HALPERIN
"A FRIEND IN DEED"

Potential victim: Lt. Frank Columbo!
When Columbo was getting dangerously close to identifying Halperin as the killer of his wife and as an accomplice in the murder of his friend's wife, the Police Commissioner could have called on the resources at his disposal to find a contract killer, a "disposal man", to put a hit on the rumpled investigator.  (Sid Nylund, a future member of the TVXOHOF based on only one 'McCloud' appearance, could have been consulted by the Commissioner for suggestions.)  Odds were in Columbo's favor, but Halperin was one of the most dangerous killers he ever had to face!  (There had been attempts on Columbo's life in the past, at least four I can think of; and I believe there's another killer who might have been in the same situation and with the same available options that Halperin had.  I'll leave that for you to figure out.)

6]  ABIGAIL MITCHELL
"TRY AND CATCH ME"

Potential victim: Veronica

It pains me to list the great mystery novelist, but I can't accept that claim she made to the Lieutenant once he nailed her guilt: 

"I don't suppose you would consider making an exception in my case? 

An old woman, quite harmless, all in all."

If Columbo had never discovered Edward's dying clue (although eventually somebody would have), and Abigail had been able to continue with her ocean voyage, I think she would have committed her next murder during the trip.  What better opportunity for getting rid of her assistant Veronica?  The younger woman made it clear that she knew Abigail had murdered her late niece's husband - it was the reason she got to go on the cruise!  So getting her drunk would make Veronica more pliant and easier to push over the railing for an old lady like Abigail.

So that's my list, limited as always to my "Super Six".  But maybe I've forgotten somebody whom you think should be considered as well.

Tell me, Team Toobworld - who do you think would have killed again if Columbo had never caught them?

BCnU!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THURSDAY'S THEORY OF RELATEEVEETY - FREE-WHEELIN' VELIE



‘ELLERY QUEEN’
“THE ADVENTURE OF AULD LANG SYNE”

Whenever I think of ‘Ellery Queen’, it’s Ellery and his father who first come to mind.  But soon they’re followed by Sgt. Thomas Velie, the detective right-hand man for Inspector Richard Queen.  


He could always be counted on when muscle was needed (especially since the Inspector was getting on in years and Ellery was practically pure intellect and too clumsy to boot.)

We also got to meet Velie’s wife, Madge, in “The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne”, which took place at the end of December, 1946. 


It never came up, but I believe they did have children, possibly in their late teens at the time of that murder investigation.  And I think their son grew up to indulge in his wanderlust by becoming a trucker.  And he might have also had a yen for the sun, which is why he moved to California. 

‘THE ROCKFORD FILES’
“GEARJAMMERS PART ONE”



We saw young Velie in 1975 when he was hijacked for his rig by his mob-connected boss in a plot to steal millions of dollars worth of sable furs.  Velie Junior was the first of six drivers who had their rigs hijacked and they were stripped down and relieved of their clothing to impede their making contact with the police.


I don’t know who played that first trucker in this episode, but I thought it might be Tom Reese.  I don’t mean to be rude, but it was his beezer that gave me that idea….


However, I ran the idea by my fellow T-Zoners in an FB page for ‘The Twilight Zone’ where I’m a member.  (Mr. Reese played the intruder in the episode "The Midnight Sun".)  And most of them who offered an opinion said it’s not him.

But that’s… okay.  I don’t need to have EVERY theory of relateeveety be played by the same actor, even if it is a standard practice of stunt casting to have the actor playing the main character also play their father or grandfather, sometimes even farther back with their ancestors, or jumping ahead to their descendants.

Among such examples:
  • ‘The Odd Couple’
  • ‘F Troop’
  • ‘The Brady Bunch’
  • ‘Simon & Simon’
  • ‘Doctor Who’
But on the whole, those are the exceptions and not the rule.  And we don’t have to look any farther than the show which gave us Junior Velie – take a gander at Jim Rockford and his father Joseph, “Rocky”. 


So even if this wasn’t Tom Reese, that doesn’t mean the trucker can’t be the son of Tom Velie.  And since it doesn’t cause any Zonks to make that claim, I’m going to stand by it.

BCnU!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

THE GAME OF THE NAME - PAGING CAPTAIN CALIMO



Wait a minute .....
Captain Calimo was supposed to be here
!“
CAPTAIN AUGUST
'Columbo'

'COLUMBO'
"A CASE OF IMMUNITY"

'COLUMBO'
"NO TIME TO DIE"

The premise of that above quote was that there had been a miscommunication regarding the Police Department's security meeting with the Ambassador from Suaria.  Captain Calimo was supposed to be there, but the message was sent to Lieutenant Columbo in error. 

Calimo, Columbo, let's call the whole thing off.

When Dan Carey shared that quote on the "Columbo TV" Facebook page, I added a comment about how it was a shame that Captain Calimo never showed up later in that episode or even in the series.  And then I began to wonder....  What if he did show up and we never knew it?


It was easy enough to research. I opened the full cast & crew page for 'Columbo' at IMDb and ran the search feature.  Sure enough, among the characters listed there was Lance LeGault as a "Police Captain" with no name attributed to him.  


This police captain was in the later ABC run of the series, in an episode based on an Ed McBain book: "No Time To Die".  The three other cops working with Columbo to rescue the bride had names - his nephew Andy Parma, Dennis Mulrooney, and Sgt. Goodman, but not so for the Police Captain.

Unlike my personal life, I like to keep Toobworld tidy.  So why can't we assume he was Captain Calimo?




As played by Lance LeGault, this police captain was a no-nonsense commander, probably a carryover from a previous military career.  But most importantly, he had a bearing which would have been a boon to any security detail assembled to provide protection for the royal visit of the King of Suaria to Los Angeles.

But what they got there was a failure to communicate and so it was Lt. Columbo who was called to the meeting instead of Captain Calimo.  Fortuitous in a way because it gave the homicide detective the opportunity to get a first impression of the diplomat before Sallah felt the need to put his guard up. (He had already committed the first of two murders.)

BCnU!

Thanks to Dan Carey of the "Columbo TV" Facebook page for inspiring this post when he shared the quote about Captain Calimo.  The "Columbo TV" members are a talented and imaginative group of fans for 'Columbo'.  Many of them have led me to "think inside the box" when it comes to this show, one of my Top Five faves.