Monday, June 18, 2018

THE MONDAY MINUTIAE OF MY SO-CALLED LIFE



2 WORLDWIDE PLAZA


New York of the mind – in the opening of the Father's Day episode of ‘Instinct’, a bomb supposedly went off in Battery Park. I may have been gone from the City for almost 2 years now, but I’m pretty sure that was 2 Worldwide Plaza which is between 49th & 50th, across from Churrascario Plataforma.

But 'Instinct' does take place in an alternate Toobworld.  (I like to think it's the same TV dimension as 'The West Wing'.) So maybe there are some architectural differences in Battery Park in that world.

Then again, I’m the one who’s always saying Toobworld is not the same as the Real World.  So - for example - subway routes which don't exist in our world could certainly be found in Toobworld.  (This happened in an episode of 'Clubhouse' and caused a hue and cry among the readers of the NY Post.)

Hopefully later today I'll get a frame grab from the episode to add to this post.

BCnU!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

FATHER'S DAY IN A SNOW-GLOBE


'ST. ELSEWHERE'
"THE ABBY SINGER SHOW"


Bill Dana passed away just about one year ago (June 15, 2017), at the age of 92.  As far as I can tell, he was the last of Steve Allen's repertory players best known for those "Man On The Street" segments.  (If I'm wrong, email me; let me know.)

He died the day before Stephen Furst, most famous for "Animal House", 'St. Elsewhere', and 'Babylon 5'.  And in 'St. Elsewhere', both men shared their last scene together for that series: Stephen Furst was a series regular as Dr. Elliot Axelrod while Bill Dana was a recurring guest star as the father of Dr. Wayne Fiscus.  Both of their characters died around the same time in the show and their "ghosts" marched down the halls of St. Eligius Hospital dressed in Sandinista uniforms in Fiscus' dream/nightmare.  But he saw it as an omen about his decision to be a doctor working in Nicaragua.


Bill Dana was not the only member of Steve Allen's show to play a father on 'St. Elsewhere':

  • Bill Dana - Mr. Fiscus, Wayne's father
  • Tom Poston - Jim Morrison, Boomer's father
  • Louis Nye - Dr. Axelrod, Elliot's father
  • Steve Allen & Jayne Meadows - Lech & Olga Osoranski, Ehrlich's birth parents (and Russian spies!)

It's a shame that they didn't carry this theme out further because there were a few more players who could have pulled Daddy Duty during the show's run.
  • Don Adams
  • Don Knotts
  • Pat Harrington, Jr.

Gabriel Dell died of leukemia during the show's final year, so he may have been too sick during its run. But who knows?

There were plenty of other characters at St. Elsewhere who could have had those men as their fathers:
  • Dr. Seth Griffin
  • Dr. Jacqueline Wade
  • Dr. Carol Novino
  • Nurse Lucy Papandreo
I am not one of those fans of 'St. Elsewhere' who accepts the series finale premise that the whole show had been all in the mind of Dr. Westphall's autistic son Tommy.  For me, when Tommy was staring out the hospital window and everything started shaking, our perspecitve as the audience entered his daydream, not exited it.  The idea of the Tommy Westphall Universe is far too limited for my needs as the Toobworld Monitaur, so I had to reject it.

But I can understand the allure of the original theory.  If we look at the entire show happening inside Tommy's mind, we can see so much of the series had to be influences from television and elsewhere.

I even have a Super Six List to cover my favorite references in the show and the Fathers all top the list.

1)Steve Allen comedians as the Dads

2) Warren Coolidge, a character from 'The White Shadow' as an orderly

3) Mr. Carlin of 'The Bob Newhart Show' was in the psych ward of the hospital

4) The dog belonging to Axelrod's father was a collie, just like 'Lassie'

5) There was a one-armed man who was a fugitive in the hospital

6) John Doe #6 - Whoo, where to begin?  Because he had amnesia, it could be said that they had given him a number and taken away his name.  He decided that he was Mary Richards of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and he even thought a visiting Naval doctor played by Betty White was actually Sue Ann Nivens.  He finally divested himself of that fantasy once he realized he was throwing a great party at the hospital.  (Mary Richards NEVER threw a great party!)

And those are just my top six.  There were so many others, like song lyrics being used as dialogue.  ("Our house was a very, very fine house.  With two cats in the yard.  Life used to be so hard....")

But I can see how the original premise can be tempting; it just doesn't work for Toobworld....

At any rate, the show gave us a wonderful way to remember those great comic actors working for Steve Allen.


Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, June 16, 2018

VIDEO SATURDAY - "CLUTCH CARGO"


One of the many TV-related Facebook pages I belong to is geared to the memories of Connecticut kids' shows from the 1960s.  And the topic of the "Clutch Cargo" cartoons seen on 'Mr. Goober' came up.  So I figured that would make a great entry for this week's Video Saturday!

Here are seven adventures of Clutch Cargo and his pals Spinner and Paddlefoot in all their cringe-inducing, lip-smacking glory!











That should have been good for wasting almost three hours of your time!

Friday, June 15, 2018

TVXOHOF (06/08/18) - LET'S INDUCT LET'S!


Wander the halls of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame (located in Joyville, Ct.), and you'll see that some of the exhibits are dedicated to products and to places as well:
  • the New York Ledger
  • the Los Angeles Tribune
  • the L.A. Tribune
  • the L.A. Sun
  • Playgirl Magazine
  • the Edison Hotel
  • the North Pole
  • Fernwood, Ohio
  • Mayberry, North Carolina
  • the Montecito Hotel
  • St. Eligius Hospital
The most recent example would be the Slush-O soft drink which gained entry during the 15th anniversary of the TVXOHOF as part of the overall theme for 2014 - "Toobworld Goes To The Movies".

Since the Birthday Honors list is usually meant to induct something off-beat which connects the TV Universe together, we have another product this year that deserves entry:

LET'S POTATO CHIPS

There are four kinds - the classic salty kind (yellow bag), the BBQ flavored (orange bag), ranch flavored (blue bag), and sour cream and onion (green bag).

And the number of shows connected by the used of this fictional product is a lengthy list:
  • 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'
  • 'Sons of Anarchy'
  • '10 Things I Hate About You'
  • 'The New Adventures Of Old Christine'
  • 'The Ringer'
  • 'New Girl'
  • 'Parenthood'
  • 'Trophy Wife'
  • '2 Broke Girls'
  • 'Let’s Stay Together'
  • 'Ugly Betty'
  • 'CSI: NY'
  • 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
  • 'Switched At Birth'
  • 'The Mentalist'
  • 'Arrested Development'
  • 'Melissa and Joey'
  • 'Orange Is The New Black'
  • 'Dads'
  • 'The Middle'
  • 'The Bill Engvall Show'
  • 'Cougar Town'
  • 'Brothers and Sisters'
  • 'Dollhouse'
  • 'Inside the Box'
  • 'My Name Is Earl'
  • 'Better Off Ted'
  • 'Touch'
  • 'Make or Break It'
  • 'Awkward'
  • 'Community'
  • 'The Crazy Ones'
Here are some images from those examples:

 
 
 
 
                                                      


 

 
 
  
 

In fact, there may even be plenty of other shows that are now users of Let's Potato Chips.  After all, I'm setting up this article back in August of 2014 when I first found an article online celebrating this trivial tidbit.

One good thing about having the Let's Potato Chips brand in the TVXOHOF?  There's always something to snack on if you get locked in for the night.....

Bet you can't eat just one!  Oops, wrong potato chips....


BCnU!




Thursday, June 14, 2018

THEORIES OF RELATEEVEETY - THE CAHILLS & THE MACYS


'COLUMBO'
"MIND OVER MAYHEM"



Dr. Marshall Cahilll: "You know, Steve and Janet are still in Hawaii. Maybe we can spend a little time with them. We both need some time off. What do you say?"

I say - Who are Steve and Janet?

I'm thinking the Cahills had more than one child.  And I think their other offspring was a son, and an older one at that - already married and moved away from his father's dominating influence.  (I believe Steve was his son and not that Janet was his daughter.  I realize it's standard practice to name the man first in a couple [Personal O'Bservation: there's no reason for this to be], but I think Dr. Cahill did it out of his life-long focus on his son.  Otherwise he might have said "Janet and Steve".

Since we never see Steve and Janet in the episode, we don't know what they looked like.  And this being a theory of relateeveety, we could do some dream-casting.

At the time of the episode, he would have been too young to play Neil Cahill's older brother, but Steve Cahill should have looked like Miguel Ferrer, the son of the episode's guest star Jose Ferrer.  
(Miguel was my age and I know I’m younger than Robert Walker Jr. who played Neil)  Aside from the O'Bvious reason why, you can buy into the claim that he looks like Marshall Cahill.

And that brings me around to my long-standing theory of "relateeveety" about Marshall and Neil Cahill.

Simply put: Neil is not Marshall's biological offspring.


Look at the two of them!  Mrs. Cahill had to be a goddess to counter the genetic contribution from her husband.

I don't think Neil - at the time of the episode - knew that Marshall was the father who raised him but without contributing the genetic material.  Marshall probably suspected as much, but I don't think he ever got the chance to confront his wife about the topic.  


This being 'Columbo', I suppose there's always the possibility that he did confront her; that it became a violent argument of accusations; and eventually in a heightened moment of rage, he could have struck her and killed her.  Genius that he was, Dr. Cahill probably staged her death to look like the result of a car accident or something similar and got away with it... that time.  (But only because Lt. Columbo was assigned to the case.)

(It's happened before in the series - with Abigail Mitchell's niece, Dr. Eric Mason's wife, Nora Chandler's husband come to mind.)

Nevertheless, Cahill loved his son, even with his failings in life, and would do anything to protect Neil.  And he did, by committing murder (again?)  See the episode if you don’t know about that already.  I’m not going to ruin it!

Mrs. Cahill was dead, probably long dead, by the time of the episode, and unlike the case of Nora Chandler's husband Al Cunningham, there were no pictures seen that could have been of her.  I'm just making the supposition that she was a beautiful woman, but I'm not sure if her DNA share in Neil could compete against Marshall's for dominance.

But if she had an affair with another man, it would be someone of less severe physiognomy.  And I do have a suspect and you'll be the first to know....
I think it was with Harry Macy, her brother-in-law.


Harry Macy was a con man who had been married to Marshall Cahill's sister.  Seeing Harry's interactions with his son, Dr. Garrett Macy ('Crossing Jordan' - "From Harry, With Love And Squalor"), it's not hard to see him as the type of man who could have stepped out on his wife with another woman.  And as I'm convinced that Mrs. Cahill was indeed a mesmerizingly beautiful woman, I could see how a shady character like Harry Macy might have found a way to woo her into an extra-marital affair.

And the reason why I think Harry Macy was the brother-in-law of Marshall Cahill?  His son Garrett Macy was played by Miguel Ferrer.


As a televisiological curator, I have made some outlandish claims to fill in the blanks about Toobworld.  But even I have limits.  In this case, I don’t think it likely that while Harry was schtupping Marshall’s wife, Marshall was doing the same with Harry’s missus.  (In the Toobworld timeline, it would be about thirty years before the wife-swapping lifestyle came into its own.)

So instead, I think Harry Macy had been married to Marshall Cahill’s sister.  She would share many key DNA similarities to her brother, so it would not be surprising when she gave birth to a son who had a somewhat physical resemblance to Marshall.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

BCnU!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"COLUMBO" - WE'RE TALKIN' BASEBALL



'COLUMBO'
"FADE IN TO MURDER"


In order to establish his alibi before murdering his blackmailing producer, actor Ward Fowler used a baseball game which he was recording to fool his "go-fer" into thinking that he was with Fowler at the time of the murder.

Here are the transcripts from two points in the game:

Back in Kansas City, you'll recall, earlier this week and -#

Out there.
Here's the wind, the pitch and the swing and a high, pop fly on the infield.
Settling under it, the shortstop, Jones, who makes the catch.
One away! Los Angeles with one out, a tie game at three and here comes first baseman, Tony Eberly 
Swings into the wind-up and here's the pitch.
Fastball, high.
And taken by Eberly, it's ball one.
Ball one.
Eberly digs in.
Waves that bat back and forth.
Brenner leans in, gets his sign from Kowalski.
Here's the wind[-up] and here comes the pitch.
Swung on and a high fly ball, foul and drifting into the stands in leftfield.
One ball, one strike to Eberly.
Here's the wind, here comes the pitch.
Swung on and missed.
Ooh, he had his best rip at that one, but he swung through a fastball, knee-high on the inside.
Brought it in under the fist, did Whitey Brenner.
And so the count goes one and two on Eberly.
One out, no one aboard for Los Angeles.
Brenner looks in, gets his sign.
The outfield deep around toward left field.
Here's the wind and here comes the pitch Wahlberg sprinting around first and he comes into second with a stand-up double.
So we swing into the top of the fifth inning, and we're all tied at -#


LATER:

A double in the bottom of the sixth inning by has given Los Angeles a 7-5 lead and we're ready to go in the seventh inning. Leading it off will be Vince Carr. Whitey Brenner was relieved by Kowalski back in the fourth inning He's into the wind-up and here comes the pitch. Carr swings and misses. It's 0 and 1. A good fastball. Carr hitting. 231 on the season. Seventh inning here in Los Angeles. A beautiful night and the score is 7-5, L. A. The wind and the pitch and a high fly ball to left And here comes Scooter D'Agosta in from the bullpen. It's a critical spot, now. Bases loaded. We got two outs in the ninth inning. And the game is 7-6. D'Agosta has won four and lost three on this season, has eight saves. He's a From Brenner and the count now is full, three balls, two strikes on Tony Eberly. We're tied at three in the bottom of the third inning.   And a high-fly ball, sliced down the right field line. Fair or foul? It's at the foul pole. It's a home run!

From the IMDb:
The baseball announcer refers to one team as "Los Angeles" and mentions their game the previous week in Kansas City. At that time, the teams could only be the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League and the Kansas City Royals of the American League, but they would not play a regular season game against each other until more than twenty years later. 


The baseball footage shows the Baltimore Orioles of the American League at home in Memorial Stadium (during the daytime) but the announcer refers to one team as "Los Angeles". That would make the visitors the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League who would not play a regular season game at Baltimore until more than twenty years later.
 


These two "splainins" from the IMDb assume that the Los Angeles team has to be the real Dodgers.  But this is Toobworld - Lt. Columbo is not a real person and 'Inspector Lucerne' is not a real TV show.  So why can't the Los Angeles baseball team be one only to be found in Toobworld?


First off, because the footage does show the Orioles at Memorial Stadium, we have to accept that they are one of the two teams involved.  The Orioles have a televersion presence in the main Toobworld, seen in 'Homicide: Life On The Street' but perhaps other shows as well.

As for the Los Angeles team, I think we have to discount the Dodgers based on the information... information... information provided by the IMDb - that the Dodgers would not play the Orioles for another twenty years.  The televersions of those Real World teams should follow the events established in the Real World.

  
But there was another Major League Baseball team in TV-L.A. - the California Stars.

'THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO'
"THE 200 MILE AN HOUR FASTBALL"


Ralph Hinkley has to step in as the pitcher for the California Stars to prevent mobsters from profiting on the outcome.  The game seen in the episode took place in Dodgers Stadium, so the Dodgers and the Stars shared the use of the field.  Therefore the announcer could be excused for referring to the Stars as the Los Angeles team.

BCnU!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TWO FOR TUESDAY - THEO'S CULP-ABILITY


'COLUMBO'
"DOUBLE EXPOSURE"


I've celebrated the artwork of Theo Solorio here at Inner Toob in the past.  Her specialty is to re-interpret characters from 'Columbo' (and 'Seinfeld') as Bluth-like animals.  

As a quick entry for "Two For Tuesday", here is her version of Dr. Bart Kepple.......




Theo, you really captured the essence of this scene with Dr. Kepple.  And I think it's the best you've ever done in suggesting the actor who played the role - Robert Culp.

BCnU!

Monday, June 11, 2018

TUBULAR KNELLS - REMEMBERING KIT PEDLER



On this date in 1927, scientist and author Kit Pedler was born.

From Wikipedia:
Christopher Magnus Howard "Kit" Pedler (11 June 1927 – 27 May 1981) was a British medical scientist, parapsychologist and science fiction author.

In the mid-1960s, Pedler became the unofficial scientific adviser to the Doctor Whoproduction team. Hired by Innes Lloyd to inject more hard science into the stories, Pedler formed a particular writing partnership with Gerry Davis, the programme's story editor. Their interest in the problems of science changing and endangering human life led them to create the Cybermen.

Pedler wrote three scripts for Doctor Who: "The Tenth Planet" (with Gerry Davis), "The Moonbase" and "The Tomb of the Cybermen". He also submitted the story outlines that became "The War Machines", "The Wheel in Space" and "The Invasion".

Pedler is buried at All Saints Church in the Kent village of Graveney, where he lived before moving to nearby Doddington.  His epitaph reads: "A man of ideas."


Pedler would have been 91 today.



He was involved in writing 30 episodes of 'Doctor Who' between 1966 and 1968:

  • "The War Machines" (1966)
  • "The Tenth Planet" (co-written with Gerry Davis, 1966)
  • "The Moonbase" (1967)
  • "The Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967)
  • "The Wheel in Space" (1968)
  • "The Invasion" (1968)

(Click to enlarge)
BCnU!


Sunday, June 10, 2018

MUSEUM PIECE - "THE NEW BREED"




This past Tuesday marked the 56th anniversary of the cancellation of 'The New Breed', one of the lesser-known detective shows from the Quinn Martin empire.... 

From Wikipedia:
'The New Breed' is an American crime drama series that aired on ABC from October 3, 1961 to June 5, 1962, with thirty-six episodes. The series was a QM Production in association with Selmur Productions, Inc.

The series stars Leslie Nielsen as the serious Lieutenant Price Adams who worked on "The Hot Shot Detail" of the LAPD's Metro Squad and former Major League Baseballplayer John Beradino as Sergeant Vince Cavelli. The script for the first episode, "No Fat Cops," was written by Hank Searls, credited as the creator of the series. Searls also wrote an original novel based on the series under the pseudonym "Lee Costigan."

The New Breed was the first independent production of Quinn Martin under his newly established company, QM Productions. Prior to starting his own production company, Martin had produced The Untouchables for Desilu Productions, and Nielsen was cast for the role of Adams because of a guest appearance he had made on that program in the episode entitled "Three Thousand Suspects." The show was scheduled against The Red Skelton Show and Ichabod and Me on CBS and The Dick Powell Show on NBC, and was canceled after one season.

I saw one episode of that somewhere, years later; can't even remember where.  I came away from it thinking that Leslie Nielsen had to be one of the most boring actors I ever saw.  His limited appearances in two 'Columbo' episodes about a decade or so later helped mollify that opinion, but it would nearly twenty years later when he finally came into his own and was allowed to let his inner jokester to cut loose, beginning with 'Airplaine'.

Here's an episode from the series and a few short clips:



BCnU!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

KASY'S CREATIVE CLOSET CLIPS FROM "I LOVE LUCY"


Closets have been a staple in comedy for a long time, probably since the early days of Feydeau farce, maybe even earlier.  But definitely since the radio days of "Fibber McGee and Molly."

Kasy Long, a fellow member of the Facebook page "Classic TV Lovers' Haven" has put together this compilation of how the closet in the Ricardos' apartment played a key role in a lot of the 'I Love Lucy' episodes.

Take a look.  I think you'll enjoy the memories...... 




BCnU!