Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WEDNESDAY IS PRINCE OF WALES DAY....



'MR. BELVEDERE'
"TRIANGLE"

From Wikipedia:
Heather gets fed up with her name and decides she wants to go by Bianca.


During the episode, Lynn Belvedere remembered the time when Prince Charles wanted to be called "Buzz". 

This may have happened soon after the first Moon landing in July of 1969.  As an impressionable 20 year old at Cambridge, the Prince of Wales may have hero-worshipped astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the point where he wanted to use the same nickname.

Whether or not you consider my splainin to be canon-fodder, the simple fact that Mr. Belvedere mentioned HRH Prince Buzz means that the Heir Presumptive exists in Toobworld.

Eventually Prince Charles will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  I'm thinking either on his 70th birthday in 2018, or when he's crowned as King, whichever comes first.  (Sorry, Your Majesty, but you can't live forever.)

That mention by Mr. Belvedere would count towards his qualifications.  These other shows would carry more weight because he actually appeared in them as a Royal member of the League of Themselves:

EARTH PRIME-TIME
'Dragons' Den'
- The Dragons' Stories: Deborah Meaden (2008) 

It's some form of "reality", but its existence is acknowledged in Toobworld thanks to shows like 'EastEnders', 'Coronation Street', 'Derek', and "The Thick Of It'.

'Coronation Street'
- Episode #1.4945 (2000)
The picture accompanying this post came from that day on the set.

"Dennis Pennis R.I.P." (1997) 
This was direct to video, but Toobworld would probably absorb it.

If you check the IMDb, you'll find this listing for His Royal Highness:

'Bro'Town'
- Morning Side Story (2005) 

But Prince Charles doesn't seem to have had anything to do with this New Zealand cartoon episode, probably not with any episode in the series.  Somebody stuck in a ringer.  I just watched the episode online and I doubt the Prince would have had anything to do with it.  ('Twas funny, though....)

BCnU!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

JUST ONE MORE THING ABOUT THOSE PRETZELS


I even dream Toobworld nowadays.  As I slept Sunday night, this theoretical connection came to me......

'SEINFELD'
"THE ALTERNATE SIDE"

In this episode, Kramer was hired to be an "under-five" in the latest Woody Allen project....

Sid:
Well, you know they're making that Woody Allen movie in the block, and all
those people and trucks everywhere, when I saw him I must have got a little
distracted.


Kramer:
You know I'm in that movie?

George:
You are?

Kramer:
Yeah, I'm an extra.

George:
How'd you get that?

Kramer:
Well, I was just watching them film yesterday and some guy just asked
me.


George:
Right out of the clear blue sky?

Kramer:
Clear blue sky!

George:
Well, why didn't they ask me?

Kramer:
I got a quality.


He was given one line:

Kramer: 
I got a line in the movie!

Elaine: 
Get out!

Jerry: 
That's great!

George: 
You got a line in the Woody Allen movie?

Kramer: 
Pretty good, huh?

George: 
You're in the movie? Is he in the scene?

Kramer: 
Oh yeah, yeah, it's me and him. I might have a whole new career on my
hands, huh
?

Jerry: 
You mean *a* career.

Elaine: 
So was Mia Farrow there?

Kramer: 
Uh, I didn't see him.

Elaine: 
What's your line?

Kramer: 
Oh, well uh, okay I'm there with, uh, Woody, you know, I'm at this bar
and, uh, I'm sit-- you know it's Woody Allen, did I mention that
?
So I'm sitting there with Woody and I say, I turn to him and I go,
"Boy, these pretzels are making me thirsty."


But eventually he was fired because of a combination of events:

1]  Because of George's inept management of Sid's car parking business, there were accidents and traffic jams that tied up the location where Woody Allen wanted to film.  It was so bad that the director vowed never to film in New York City.  

2]  During the filming of his scene, Kramer slammed down his beer stein so hard that it shattered and one of the shards injured the director.

Kramer: 
I got fired from the movie.

George: 
Get out of here, why?

Kramer: 
Well, you know they were gonna shoot it today, and uh, we rehearsed it
twice, then Woody yells 'Action!' and I turn to him and I say, 'These pretzels
are making me thirsty' and I took a swig of beer, ya know, and I slammed the
glass down on the bar and it shattered.


Elaine: 
Aww.

Kramer: 
Well, one of the pieces must have hit Woody. He started crying. And
he yells out, 'I'm bleeding' and he runs off. Anyway, this woman, she came up
to me and she says, 'You're fired.' Boy I really nailed that scene.


Since he was fired after the scene was filmed, maybe Woody used the footage rather than waste time and money in recasting and re-shooting the scene.  So Cosmo Kramer did appear in a Woody Allen movie, to go along with his turn as a secretary on the fictionalized sitcom about the life of newswoman Murphy Brown.

The question then is: what Woody Allen movie could this have been?

I don't think it's for any Real World movie that he was making at the time.  That 'Seinfeld' episode aired in 1991, which was the same year in which "Shadows And Fog" was released and while "Husbands And Wives" was being filmed.  Both movies were of a more serious nature than his earlier comedies, showing some influence from Ingmar Bergman.  So I don't think either of those two movies had a scene similar to the one Kramer described.  (Of course, the scene could have been deleted, but where's the sport in that?)

And as everything was taking place in Toobworld, I think the movie would have to be fictional.  We've seen precedence for this in 'Seinfeld':
  • "Sack Lunch" - an escapist comedy starring Dabney Coleman
  • "Firestorm" - an action movie starring Harrison Ford
  • "The Other Side Of Darkness" - in which Eric Roberts played the husband of a coma victim
  • "The Muted Heart" - a chick flick with Glenn Close and Sally Field, which I would think had a similar theme to "The Children's Hour"
They do like their fictional movies on that show!

But there are other examples, one being an Army hygiene film, "Of Ice And Lice" starring ice skater Sonje Henie which was shown in the 'M*A*S*H' units during the Korean Conflict.  And then there was an Alan Mallory novel, "Sixty Miles To Saigon", optioned by Universal as a Rock Hudson project which was a key plot point in the 'Columbo' episode "Publish Or Perish".  If they were willing to give Hudson an advance of $100,000 for the movie, I'm pretty sure it got made.

I ended with that example because I'm going to utilize a Wish-Craft here.  I think the movie was based on a different episode of 'Columbo', that Woody Allen was directing a film based on a case solved by the Lieutenant back in the early 1970s......

'COLUMBO'
"DOUBLE EXPOSURE"



Dr. Bart Keppel develops an intricate plot to kill Vic Norris. Keppel specializes in motivational research and sales promotion and had arranged to show his latest promotional film to a small group of people that includes Norris. While supposedly narrating the film "live" from behind a curtain, he uses a prerecorded narration while waiting for Norris to step out to get a drink of water whereby he can then shoot him. He knew Norris would do so, as he had fed him salty caviar before the showing and then inserted subliminal messaging into his film to heighten his thirst. He further tries to blame Norris' wife for the crime, but Keppel must act fast when an employee catches on to his scheme. As for Lt. Columbo, he suspects Keppel is responsible and uses his own subliminal messaging techniques to trap him. 
[IMDb]

As time passed, the investigations by Lt. Columbo became more and more newsworthy.  After all, he was proving world-renowned architects, senatorial candidates, famous actors and symphony conductors were guilty of murder so his fame was spreading beyond the Los Angeles area.  I think the televersion of Woody Allen learned of the Keppel investigation and found his use of subliminal influence to lure his victim away interesting enough to make a movie about it.

I even wrote about the fame of Lt. Columbo among other TV characters in the blog before.  Click here for that article. And the most damning of all is from "Stronger Than Steele", an episode of 'Remington Steele':

Laura Holt: 
Columbo... Peter Falk... Universal Studios... 1975!

In an episode entitled "Playback", Oscar Werner kills his mother-in-law. He seems to have the perfect alibi until Columbo discovers he used a video tape to alter the apparent time of the murder. 


Now all we need to do is find that tape. If Columbo can do it so can we!

Woody Allen's version would have been a very loose adaptation of the Vic Norris murder, and perhaps Allen's screenplay played out with a light-hearted tone.  In his adaptation of the facts, Woody could have taken on the role of the murderer based on Dr. Bart Keppel, but I think it more likely he would choose the role of the bumbling detective based on Lt. Columbo.  (Obviously liberties were taken.  I'm sure he gave his detective a name similar to ones he used in other films, like Melish or Zelig.)  

As for Cosmo Kramer, he was probably playing one of the other people in the screening room who were subjected to the subliminal yearnings meant for the murder victim.  It really affected his character because he had been eating dry pretzels.

Just one more thing.....*

The movie could have been filled out with any number of TV characters who were actors.  Bobby Wheeler of 'Taxi' for one.  Perhaps Mary McKinnon from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Hour' as another.  And who knows?  Maybe Colt Seaver worked on the movie as a stunt man; you know... 'The Fall Guy'.

It's all conjecture, of course, but when has that ever stopped me in the past?

BCnU!

* Come on!  You knew I had to say it!



Monday, December 5, 2016

MINUTIAE MONDAY - REMEMBERING GRANT TINKER


There was nothing about Grant Tinker's career that could be considered minutiae, but what the spunk.....

My brother initiated this theme for his newspaper's daily "Morning 5" in honor of the late Grant Tinker, one of the giants in the TV industry.  Bill chose the 5 entries and a co-worker wrote it up.


Morning 5: Grant Tinker
November 30, 2016

Grant Tinker, who left his mark on TV from the 1970s through the ’90s, has died at age 90. His shows all ended with the cat at the top saying “Meow!” The signature was a parody of the MGM lion, based on the name of his production company – MTM – which stood for his former wife, Mary Tyler Moore. Here are five of Tinker’s most famous shows:

1. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show': Alas, poor Chuckles! With spinoffs for Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou and featuring Terryville native Ted Knight.

2. 'The Bob Newhart Show': Hello, Bob.

3. 'Hill Street Blues': Let's be careful out there.


4. 'St. Elsewhere': It was all an autistic child’s fantasy, though a fat lady sang at the end.

5. 'Lou Grant': He hated spunk. Began where “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ended, but quickly followed its own path.

The Morning 5 is always a quick item in the paper, so I hope you weren't expecting something in depth about his career.

And this is a "Minutiae Monday" blog post, after all.....

BCnU!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

VIDEO SUNDAY - DINO AS HIMSELF......


On the first of this month, Dean Martin was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as the League of Themselves member for December.

So here are two full versions of appearances which contributed to his qualifications.

First up, here is an episode of 'The Lucy Show':


And then there is the 1976 Bob Hope TV special "Joys", which was supposed to be a parody of "Jaws".  I found it rather depressing as it purported to kill off so many great classic comedians.  (For some of them, this was their last appearance on the Toob.  What a way to go!)


BCnU!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

SATURDAY COMICS - "AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY FAWLTY"


The relatively new Inner Toob theme about Toobworld as seen in comic books takes a different path this Saturday.  And it's due to the sad news this week about the death of Andrew Sachs.....


Andrew (Andreas Siegfried) Sachs, actor and writer, born 7 April 1930; died 23 November 2016.

Andrew Sachs, who has died aged 86, was never more effective than when playing a bewildered victim unfailingly eager to please his sometimes equally comic tormentors. The most popular and inspired example came in the role of Manuel, the waiter from Barcelona who spent most of his waking hours being abused by Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) in the BBC’s 'Fawlty Towers' (1975-79). Manuel – short, shoulders sloping in submission – was a star of the television show, which attracted more than 15 million viewers and became a comedy classic.

Sachs was grateful to Manuel for making him famous.  [He] felt that Manuel was the best thing that ever happened to him.

[The Guardian]

I didn't think I would find any proof of comic books based on 'Fawlty Towers', but I did find some great caricatures and cartoons of the main characters from that classic show.  

So in tribute to Mr. Sachs and his role as Manuel in this comedy classic, I'd like to share that artwork with you now.....




Good night and may God bless Andrew Sachs.....

Que?


Friday, December 2, 2016

MISSING LINKS - WE'RE TALKIN' BASEBALL




In October, the once hapless Chicago Cubs won the World Series. It only took them 108 years since their last championship to accomplish that.

"108" is an important number in the Valenzetti Equation of 'Lost', as it is the sum of The Numbers and it was the number of minutes that elapsed until "the button" had to be pushed again down in the Hatch.



But it probably doesn't come into play here because in Toobworld it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that it didn't take 108 years for the Cubs to win the World Series. On Earth Prime-Time, they may have won the Series back in 1974, only a mere 66 years since they were last in it.

'KOLCHAK, THE NIGHT STALKER'
"THEY HAVE BEEN, THEY ARE, THEY WILL BE..."




Carl Kolchak was driving through the Windy City on his way to cover a story about some missing animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo, listening to Game One of the 1974 World Series. 

Now, in the Trueniverse, the match-up was totally California dreaming: the Oakland A's vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

But for the main Toobworld, the 1974 World Series was between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox*

The Red Sox had not been waiting as long as the Cubs for a championship - they last won in 1918 (when they were pitted against the Cubs as well) and would not win again until 2004 in the Real World. 

But either way, one or t'other of Major League's long-time losers was going into 1975 as the World Series champeens. 

So this really was a fantasy TV show!

I'm going to say that it was the Cubs who won. First off, I'm the caretaker of the Toobworld Dynamic concept and I'm a member of Idiot Nation. So that skews my analysis. 

But despite the prevalence of TV shows set in Chicago over all those years in which the Cubs never won the Series - 'M Squad', 'Anything But Love', 'Early Edition', 'ER', 'E/R', and the current quartet of shows produced by Dick Wolfe - I don't think a Championship by the Cubbies in 1974, or even the drought since 1908, would merit much attention by the fictional characters of Toobworld. 




The case could be made that it must have come up in at least one episode of 'My Boys'. After all, the show was about a Chicago sports reporter and her sports-obsessed friends. And there may have been a few shows set outside of Chicago that could have brought it up: the usual suspects would include 'Bay City Blues', 'Clubhouse' and 'The Odd Couple' (since Oscar was also a sportswriter.)

I did a quick search of the IMDb for quotes about the Cubs and the Red Sox and did find one quote dealing with the Cubs' infamy in regards to the World Series:

'Married with Children'
Episode: Dances with Weezie
(1993)

Jefferson: 
What year did the Cubs last win the World Series?
Al: 
1908.
Peggy: 
And yet you can't remember the year we were married?
Al: 
Same year, 1908. Only difference is, baseball is still interesting.
Peggy: 
Maybe that's because they score more than once a season.
~~~
'Supernatural'
Episode: Do You Believe in Miracles 
(2014)
Dean Winchester:
"I'm blaming you for Kevin! I'm blaming you for taking Cass' grace. 
Hell, I'm blaming you for the Cubs not winning a World Series 
in the last 100 freaking years. 
Whatever it is... I'm blaming you."

Trust me.  Those won't be Zonks by the time we finish this splainin.......

But didn't the Red Sox Series drought ever get mentioned in a TV series? I think it very likely, not only in some of those series mentioned above, but also at some point in 'St. Elsewhere' or 'Spenser: For Hire' or maybe even in 'Relic Hunter'.  (In one episode, Sydney Fox had an adventure in the bowels of Fenway Stadium.) And that doesn't even take into account that Farrelly Brothers movie starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, 'Fever Pitch', which got to film its two stars right in the middle of the Sox' epic win. (That stays put in the Cineverse.)

Here are some quotes I found which illustrate that the Sox had not won since 1918:

'Suddenly Susan' (1996 TV Series)
Susan Keane:
Oh, come on, Luis! 
We live in a universe with certain natural laws. 
The earth revolves around the sun. 
Red Sox never win the series, 
and I always reject you!

'The Dead Zone'
Episode: Precipitate
(2003)

John Smith:
"Did the Red Sox win the World Series yet?"

Besides, there was just something - at least to me - that was magical about that whole series which I wouldn't want to diminish by having the Red Sox win thirty years earlier. The Curse of the Bambino vs. the Curse of a Goat? No contest. Sorry, Cubs fans.

Okay, so I found that 'Married With Children' quote which did mention the fact that the Cubs had not won a World Series since 1908. If the Bundys are to remain in Earth Prime-Time - because no way in Hell am I banishing Carl Kolchak to some alt. Toobworld! - then how could they forget that Chicago's National League team had won in 1974?

Perhaps something else in the news of the world at that time had siphoned off everyone's attention. And not even the diversion of America's Past-Time could compete.

What could that have been?

I doubt the March elections in the United Kingdom could have ever diverted the attention of the American public that much. I don't even think the expatriates from the British TV Land, like Phoebe Figalilly, Giles French, and Mrs. Nell Naugatuck, would have still been obsessed by Harold Wilson becoming Prime Minister.

Perhaps news of the death of Ed Sullivan, that Toast of the Town, in early October** affected the citizenry of Toobworld more than in the Real World. After all, he was a really big shew in himself and is a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame because of the impact he had.

But that doesn't feel powerful enough either.....

It could have been a cumulative effect, the combination of events in that year - not only Sullivan's death, but the Watergate scandal leading to Nixon's resignation; Ford pardoning Tricky Dick; the Super Outbreak of tornadoes which bedeviled the Midwest; the Patty Hearst kidnapping. 

Or it might have been a fictional newsworthy event that occupied the world's attention.  And I would think an "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" - even if it was happening in London - might fill the bill.....

'DOCTOR WHO'
"INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS"



The Third Doctor and Sarah arrive in 1970s London to find it has been evacuated because dinosaurs have appeared mysteriously. It turns out the dinosaurs are being brought to London via a time machine to further a plan to revert London to a pre-technological level. [TARDIS Data Core Wikia]


Even "across the Pond in the Colonies", this sort of attack on the British capital would have kept the whole world transfixed.  Now, that entry only pegs the time period as "1970s", but we know it happened in 1974 because "At one point, Sarah states she is twenty-three. This would make the date of this story 1974, based on her date of birth given in the The Sarah Jane Adventures episode Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?." [TARDIS Data Core Wikia]

The threat of dinosaurs materializing in other parts of the world as the news quickly spread would have caused a global panic.  Who could pay attention to the World Series when at any minute a neosaurus could be attacking your home?  The fear would have spread like the hysteria during Orson Welles' radio broadcast of "The War Of The Worlds".

And maybe there was an American off-shoot of "Operation Golden Age" which brought forth the dinosaurs as part of the plot to transform the United States back into a prehistoric paradise.  Or maybe there were backwash vortices created by the Time Tunnel which provided the saurian time travelers to journey from their time to the "present" of 1974.  (These would be the same anomalies that would crop up in the two 'Primeval' TV series - the original set in the UK, the spin-off in the USA.) 

It would take a team of extraordinary heroes to combat such a threat, with science and physicality as well as supernatural magic.  TV characters like the Six Million Dollar Man would be called in by the shadow government of the United States to work alongside witches and warlocks like Serena and Arthur, a genie from Cocoa Beach, a Martian by the name of Exigius 12½, and any superheroes willing to help... even if they were Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific.  Right there in Chicago, Special Unit 2 may have actively engaged with Silurians coming out of their eons-long slumber to ally themselves with their more bestial reptilian relatives. 

As you can see in that previous paragraph, I gave free reign to my imagination as to the chaos that might have ensued ancillary to the Invasion of the Dinosaurs.  And as a fanficcers' friend, I offer up that suggestion freely to any 'Doctor Who' fanfic writers out there.  But in the end, it was small potatoes since I know believe that timeline was ultimately re-written.


1974 was the year in which a lot of the episodes from 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' took place.  The show may have been broadcast in the early '60s, but it was set a decade later.  The Future, now forty years in the past.  At that time, the President of the United States was Henry Talbot MacNeil.  But at some point the Past had to be revised so that the POTUS in Earth Prime-Time was the same as that in Earth Prime - first Richard M. Nixon and then Gerald R. Ford.

There were plenty of other TV characters besides the Doctor and Uncle Martin O'Hara who could have affected the timelines far enough back so that this particular history never happened.  It was concurrent within the personal timeline of Dr. Samuel Beckett, so he might have put right what once went wrong.  And there was the Flash of the main Toobworld - he could have created a "Flashpoint" as did his alternate Toobworld counterpart just recently.  Toobworld's Flash may not have come into his powers until 1990 but the ability to use his super-speed to go back in Time could have come into play.  And Tony Newman and Doug Phillips might have fallen out of the temporal vortex at some point during the Johnson administration just long enough to alter the timeline so that Henry Talbot MacNeil never even ran for public office, let alone got elected president.  

It may have been a combination of any number of temporal interlopers who caused the ripples in Time, the butterfly effect, so that several things we once saw happen on TV no longer were true; it wasn't just a case of being shunted off to a parallel TV dimension.

So in 1974, the invasion of the dinosaurs happened.  And the World Series match-up between the Red Sox and the Cubs took place.  But the Toobworld timeline got a do-over.  And so then they never happened.  And the long championship drought for the Red Sox and the Cubs was restored and would continue until 2004 and 2016 respectively.***

And as for those quotes from 'Supernatural' and 'Married With Children' about the Cubs and 1908, that happened in the new timeline in which neither the Cubs nor the Red Sox reached the 1974 World Series.

By the way, I can't tell you who won that entire Series, but that first game?  The Red Sox won, 1-0.  Woo to the Hoo!

"The Cubs were looking pretty good until the seventh."
Gordy Spangler

BCnU!

O'BSERVATIONS:
* The radio broadcast for the was anchored by Dick Enberg, which adds to his qualifications for eventual entry into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

** Kolchak's narration mentions that first game being played in September.  But I think we'll chalk it up to human error.  It should be the same for the Toobworld as it is in the Real World and it was played from October 12 to the 17th.

*** 'Lost' may be the first TV series to have acknowledged the Red Sox win in 2004.

Henry Gale: Your flight crashed on September 22, 2004. Today is November 29th. That means that you have been on our island for sixty-nine days. And yes we do have contact with the outside world, Jack. That's how we know that during those sixty-nine days, your fellow Americans reelected George W. Bush, Christopher Reeve has passed away, Boston Red Sox won the World Series. What?

Dr. Jack Shephard: [laughing] If you wanted me to believe that, you probably should have picked somebody else besides the Red Sox.

Henry Gale: No, they were down three games to none against the Yankees in the League Championship and then they won eight straight.

Dr. Jack Shephard: Sure. Sure. Of course they did.

Jack Buck (as heard on TV): -back to Foulke... Red Sox Fans have longed to hear it! The Boston Red Sox are world champions! A clean sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Red Sox celebrate in the middle of the diamond here at Busch Stadium.







Thursday, December 1, 2016

TVXOHOF, DECEMBER, 2016 - DINO!




Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance.

He and Jerry Lewis were partners in the immensely popular comedy team Martin and Lewis. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" and a star in concert stages, nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program 'The Dean Martin Show' (1965–1974) and 'The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast' (1974–1985).

Martin's relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".

[Wikipedia]

I think this picture of Dean Martin with Kookie Kookson III was a publicity photo for '77 Sunset Strip'.  I don't think he ever appeared on the detective series.  But the IMDb has been wrong before, as we'll see....

Dean Martin hosted several Christmas TV specials on NBC over the years:

Dean Martin's California Christmas - 1975

Dean Martin's Christmas in California - 1977

Christmas at Sea World - 1981


And that's as good a reason as any to choose Dino to be the December inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in this year when we celebrate the League of Themselves.  (He also died on Christmas Day but I prefer a more festive reason to celebrate his memory.)

Dean Martin played his fictional televersion in the following TV shows:

'The Jack Benny Program'
- "The Road to Nairobi" (1954)


In this live episode, before the monologue, Bob steals Jack's pants, so Jack wears Don Wilson's. The skit features Bob and Jack as big game hunters in Africa, who get captured by cannibals. Martin & Lewis do a cameo at the end.

- "Jack Visits the Vault" (1953)

Per the title, the vault was one of Jack Benny's gags where he kept all his money guarded by numerous traps and an old man who had not been out of the vault in decades.

'Make Room for Daddy'
- Terry Has a Date (1956)


O'BSERVATION:
I think this was another example of the IMDb not being ever reliable.  I looked through this episode via YouTube and there's no sign of Dean Martin.  I think the title of this episode was confused with that of the following entry on this list:

'Make Room for Daddy'
- Terry's Crush (1958)



Danny is alarmed to learn that Terry has been spurning classmate, Donald Cooper, in order to swoon over Dean Martin. Danny enlists Dean to figure out a way to place his wayward teenager back into the arms of the hapless, but far more suitable, Donald.

'The Phil Silvers Show'
- Bilko's Secret Mission (1958)



Bilko is sent to Yucca Flats to work on a nuclear test program. Ritzik is magnetized by one of the scientists' machines. They skip the base and head for Las Vegas where Rupert is keen to demonstrate his 'attractive' gambling skills.

O'BSERVATION:
Dino was listed in the IMDb as "Unnamed Las Vegas Gambler", but since he went uncredited in the episode I think it's not a problem to think of him as playing himself.

'The Lucy Show'
- Lucy Dates Dean Martin (1966)


Lucy is set up on a date with Dean Martin's movie double Eddie Feldman. When Eddie can't make it because he's needed in a scene, Dean substitutes as him on the date. Throughout the evening, Lucy keeps telling him how much more talented he is than that lucky Dean Martin. To make matters worse, Dean/Eddie can't get a drink anywhere. This was one of Lucille Ball's favorite's of this series.

Here's a clip:




"Lucy Gets Lucky" (1975 TV Movie)


LUCY GETS LUCKY finds the wacky redhead pulling out all the stops in Las Vegas to see her favorite entertainer, Dean Martin. Lucy gets a job working at the MGM Grand casino and high stakes hi-jinks follow.

'Vega$'
- The Usurper (1979)



Dan comes looking for Roth and finds a man named Rodmore in charge. So Dan tries to find Roth to find out what's going on but he appears to have vanished. So he tries to find out why Roth turned control of the company to Rodmore. At the same time someone is following Dan.

'The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo'
- Dean Martin and the Moonshiners (1979)


Sheriff Lobo faces a challenge in the upcoming election from Harry Cunningham's sleazy attorney Waverly and so he schemes to get Dean Martin to perform at a "Re-elect Lobo" rally. Meanwhile, and despite Perkins' bungling, Birdie and the deputized Mary Ellen attempt to bust the Beauregards' moonshine-running operation.



"Half Nelson" (1985 TV Movie)


'Half Nelson' (1985)

A tongue-in-cheek detective show with Pesci perfect as the gumshoe. Strong supporting cast of actors who didn't take themselves too seriously and a great episode-ending plot device with Dean Martin as himself, talking to Joe. Dean didn't look so good, but it was sure nice to see him on the show after his "roasts" ended in '82. Whenever Dean was on the screen it was a lot of fun. The other supporters included Bubba Smith and Dick Butkis, I think. The whole security firm plot landed itself to all sorts of Rockford Files type adventures and it's sad that it didn't last. (Opinion from the IMDb)

And of course we can't forget this entry in his resume:

'The Dean Martin Show'
There were 261 episodes from 1965 - 1974, including the Dean Martin Roasts (but there were specials as well).


"Joys" (1976 TV Special)

In this spoof of Jaws (1975), nearly fifty comedians are mysteriously attacked and swallowed up, apparently by a great white shark.

And that doesn't include his appearances in variety programs and talk shows.

So here's to the evergreen memory of Dean Martin.  Welcome to the TVXOHOF.

Ain't that a kick in the head?



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

HAT SQUAD TVXOHOF - GRANT TINKER



In most years for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, creative talent behind the scenes who qualified are inducted in September.  And unless they were a team who are better known together than apart (Hanna-Barbera, for example), I limit the entries to one a year.  The same as I do with other categories, like in February and August, to guarantee the themes can continue.  

But this year, September saw two producers inducted - Sheldon Leonard, who had been previously scheduled, and the late Garry Marshall, whose death a few weeks previously precipitated his inclusion now.  Both of them were definitely Hall-worthy, but Leonard was given preference because the overall theme this year has been the League of Themselves.  And Sheldon Leonard not only produced so many shows that crossed over with each other but he also appeared as himself in several shows.

So here we are, one month away from the end of this Grim Reaper of a year, and Toobworld Central finds itself faced with the death of another producer who was the power behind the throne of many a crossover in Toobworld.....

I don't think anybody could say it better than Ken Levine, the writer-producer of shows like 'Becker', 'Cheers', 'Frasier', and 'M*A*S*H':

Television has not just lost a giant, it lost its Babe Ruth. Grant Tinker has died at the age of 90. The man who presided over MTM Enterprises in its heyday and then turned NBC into the number one network was 90. No one in the history of television has done more to lift the quality and advance the medium than Grant Tinker. And that’s not even what made him great.

As for those accomplishments: At MTM he was responsible for THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, RHODA, PHYLLIS, HILL STREET BLUES, ST. ELSEWHERE. Taking over NBC, which was mired in last place, he brought the world CHEERS, COSBY, TAXI, FAMILY TIES, GOLDEN GIRLS, MIAMI VICE, HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, and dozens of other hit shows. Come Emmy time NBC would usually sweep. Compare that to today when broadcast networks are almost shut out at Emmy time.

His famous dictum was: “First be best, then be first.”

And he practiced it. He brought class, sophistication, and humanity to everything he touched. 


Grant Tinker's stewardship over the shows produced at MTM Enterprises led to crossovers, sequels, and spin-offs, including the show that was perhaps the greatest hub of crossovers ever - 'St. Elsewhere'.  Sometimes a few of those "after-thoughts" went on to even greater glory than the show that spawned it.  And some of those characters even went on to appear in shows that weren't part of the MTM aegis.

And it was all due to Grant Tinker willing to take the fights to the top in support of the talent working for him.

I could have waited to induct Mr. Tinker until next year.  Already the 2017 class for the Hall is shaping up to be a memorial tribute season.  But as Mr. Levine said, Grant Tinker was Babe Ruth.

In those BC years - Before Computers - I kept scrapbooks about MTM.  It started out as a tribute to one of my Top 5 TV shows, my guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything.  But it soon spread to include anything to do with all of the shows from MTM, not just those mentioned by Mr. Levine above, but also 'Doc', 'The Tony Randall Show', 'WKRP In Cincinnatti', 'Remington Steele', 'White Shadow', and 'Lou Grant'.  And as I added to the collection, I knew who was the reason for so many of the series I was enjoying - Grant Tinker.

So as thanks for the enjoyment he gave me - and I realize it's poor remuneration - Grant Tinker is being inducted right away into the TVXOHOF.

Thank you, Sir.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

HISTORICAL FIGURES ON THE FRITZ




Fritz Weaver, a Tony Award-winning character actor who played a German Jewish doctor slain by the Nazis in the 1978 mini-series “Holocaust” and an Air Force colonel who becomes increasingly unstable as the nation faces a nuclear crisis in the 1964 movie “Fail Safe,” died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his son-in-law, Bruce Ostler.
[New York Times]

Here are nine historical figures who were portrayed by Fritz Weaver, all on TV, who just died at the age of 90.  Personally, I preferred his truly fictional characters, from 'The Twilight Zone' to 'Law And Order' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'. But with a couple of these, he does stand as the official televersion of said historical figure.....

BRUTUS
'Festival' (TV Series) 
- "Julius Caesar"
1960

Marcus Junius Brutus (85 BC – 23 October 42 BC), often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle, he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name.  He took a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. 
[Wikipedia]

ANDREW BORDEN
"The Legend of Lizzie Borden" (TV Movie) 
1975


Lizzie Borden took an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks. 
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one. 

ARTHUR BEAL
"The Hearst and Davies Affair" (TV Movie) 
1985

Who he? Check:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitt_Witt_Ridge#

SIR EDMOND HALLEY
'Tales from the Darkside' (TV Series) 
- "Comet Watch"
1986


Edmond (or Edmund) Halley, FRS (8 November [O.S. 29 October] 1656 – 25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741]) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of Halley's Comet. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed.  
[Wikipedia]

But he must have faked his death. In Toobworld he found a way to ride with the comet which gave him immortality. 

SENATOR THOMAS HART BENTON
'Dream West' (TV Mini-Series) 
1986

Missouri senator just before the Civil War who was known as "Old Bullion" and was a leading proponent for the expansion of the West. 

DR. CLARK BURNHAM
"My Name Is Bill W." (TV Movie) 
1989

Father of Bill W's wife Lois; she co-founded Al-Anon

JOHN ERICSSON 
"Ironclads" (TV Movie) 
1991


John Ericsson (born Johan) (July 31, 1803 – March 8, 1889) was a Swedish-American inventor, active in England and the United States, and regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. In America he designed the US Navy's first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton, who unjustly blamed him for a fatal accident. A new partnership with Cornelius H. DeLamater of the DeLamater Iron Works in New York resulted in the first armoured ship with a rotating turret, the USS Monitor, which dramatically saved the US naval blockading squadron from destruction by an ironclad Confederate vessel, CSS Virginia, at Hampton Roads in March 1862. 
[Wikipedia]

SENATOR EVERETT DIRKSEN
"Citizen Cohn" (TV Movie) 
1992


Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 – September 7, 1969) was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the House of Representatives (1933–1949) and the Senate (1951–1969).

As Senate Minority Leader for a decade, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s, including helping write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation. Dirksen, a conservative, was one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War.  
[Wikipedia]

JUSTICE HUGO BLACK
"Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight"
2013


Hugo Lafayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was an American politician who served as a Democratic United States Senator and represented Alabama in the Senate from 1927 to 1937, and served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63 to 16 (6 Democratic Senators and 10 Republican Senators voted against him.) He was the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, and he outlasted all except for William O. Douglas.  Black is widely regarded as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the 20th century.  
[Wikipedia]

In 1964, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali requested exemption from the military draft based on his religious beliefs. His request was denied and when he refused induction into the army, he was convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. His case eventually works itself up the Supreme Court. In their first conference after the case is presented, the justices decide by majority vote to uphold the conviction and Justice John Harlan is tasked with preparing the majority opinion. He assigns one of his clerks, Kevin Connolly, to prepare a first draft but try as he might he believes that decision his wrong. His draft argues for overturning the conviction and Harlan agrees with him. The justice must now find a way to convince his colleagues. 
[IMDb]

O'Bservation: He was the fifth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history.
~~~~~~~~
Maybe someday, there will be an event in the late Fritz Weaver's life and career that will be deemed worthy of dramatization.  And then an actor will be chosen to portray him.

Good night and may God bless Fritz Weaver.....