Friday, July 31, 2015

TELE-FOLKS DIRECTORY - DWIGHT SINCLAIR, MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO


'THE FUGITIVE'
"THE COMMITTEE FOR THE 25th"

Over the years, Toobworld Central has relaxed its rules on elected officials of real places in Toobworld - not all of them have to reflect exactly the people who hold their offices in the real world.  We'll never budge on the President and Vice President of the United States and the uneasy head that wears the crown in Great Britain.  But for senators, governors, mayors, etc.?  We'll take it on a case by case basis.

For example.....


Dwight Sinclair was a former mayor of San Francisco who came to Las Vegas at the request of Paul Bryan in order to persuade his daughter (Sarah Sinclair) to return home with him.  (Unfortunately, because of her abusive mobster boyfriend Cappi, that was not to be.)

Played by the great character actor Wendell Corey, Dwight Sinclair must have been out of office for at least a decade, maybe longer.  (Corey was 52 in 1966, but looked older, like most of the actors of the time; men who knew how to carry off the commanding air of maturity.)  To my way of thinking, his stern patrician air guaranteed that he followed the Republican party protocols of that period.  I bet his wife probably wore a respectable Republican cloth coat.  Hell, his first name was Dwight!

But to be the Mayor of San Francisco at any point in the Toobworld timeline, Dwight Sinclair would have had to displace somebody from the real world's list of San Francisco mayors.  And there was a sixteen year block, from 1948 to 1964, in which a segment could be donated to Sinclair's mayoralty without really having an adverse effect on Toobworld history.  
Elmer Robinson [Republican]
January 8, 1948 - January 7, 1956

George Christopher [Republican]
January 8, 1956 - January 7, 1964

Robinson and Christopher were the 33rd and 34th mayors respectively.  (So yeah, inserting Dwight Sinclair would have an effect on the numbering.)  I think carving out a block from the end of Robinson's term in office and from the beginning of Christopher's - let's say from 1954 to 1959 - probably wouldn't make much of a difference when it came to any Toobworld plotlines that might have had an impact on life in San Francisco.  

(Of course I could be wrong.  I usually am.)

BCnU!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

DATELINE TOOBWORLD - 70 YEARS AGO TODAY


On this date in History, both the Real World and Toobworld......


From Wikipedia:
After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium (about half of the world's supply of Uranium-235 at the time) for the atomic bomb Little Boy, which would later be dropped on Hiroshima. Indianapolis departed San Francisco on 16 July 1945, within hours of the Trinity test. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 19 July, she raced on unaccompanied, delivering the atomic weapon components to Tinian on 26 July.

Indianapolis was then sent to Guam where a number of the crew who had completed their tours of duty were replaced by other sailors. Leaving Guam on 28 July, she began sailing toward Leyte where her crew was to receive training before continuing on to Okinawa to join Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Force 95.

At 00:14 on 30 July, she was struck on her starboard bow by two Type 95 torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58, under the command of Mochitsura Hashimoto. The explosions caused massive damage. The Indianapolis took on a heavy list, and settled by the bow. Twelve minutes later, she rolled completely over, then her stern rose into the air, and she plunged down. Some 300 of the 1,196 crewmen went down with the ship. With few lifeboats and many without lifejackets, the remainder of the crew were set adrift.


Navy command had no knowledge of the ship's sinking until survivors were spotted three and a half days later. At 10:25 on 2 August aPV-1 Ventura flown by Lieutenant Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn and copilot Lieutenant Warren Colwell spotted the men adrift while on a routine patrol flight. Of the 880 who survived the sinking, only 321 men came out of the water alive; 317 ultimately survived. They suffered from lack of food and water (some found rations such as Spam and crackers amongst the debris), exposure to the elements (hypothermia, dehydration, hypernatremia, photophobia, starvation and dementia), severe desquamation, and shark attacks, while some killed themselves or other survivors in various states of delirium and hallucinations. "Ocean of Fear", a 2007 episode of theDiscovery Channel TV documentary series Shark Week, states that the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in history, and attributes the attacks to the oceanic whitetip shark species. Tiger sharks might have also killed some sailors. The same show attributed most of the deaths on Indianapolis to exposure, salt poisoning and thirst, with the dead being dragged off by sharks.

Gwinn immediately dropped a life raft and a radio transmitter. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once. A PBY Catalina seaplane under the command of Lieutenant R. Adrian Marks was dispatched to lend assistance and report. En route to the scene, Marks overflew USS Cecil J. Doyle and alerted her captain, future U.S. Secretary of the Navy W. Graham Claytor, Jr., of the emergency. On his own authority, Claytor decided to divert to the scene.

Arriving hours ahead of Doyle, Marks' crew began dropping rubber rafts and supplies. Having seen men being attacked by sharks, Marks disobeyed standing orders and landed on the open sea. He began taxiing to pick up the stragglers and lone swimmers who were at the greatest risk of shark attack. Learning the men were the crew of Indianapolis, he radioed the news, requesting immediate assistance. Doyle responded while en route. When Marks' plane was full, survivors were tied to the wings with parachute cord, damaging the wings so that the plane would never fly again and had to be sunk. Marks and his crew rescued 56 men that day.

The Doyle was the first vessel on the scene. Homing on Marks's Catalina in total darkness, Doyle halted to avoid killing or further injuring survivors, and began taking Marks' survivors aboard. Disregarding the safety of his own vessel, Captain Claytor pointed his largest searchlight into the night sky to serve as a beacon for other rescue vessels.  This beacon was the first indication to most survivors that rescuers had arrived.

The destroyers Helm, Madison, and Ralph Talbot were ordered to the rescue scene from Ulithi, along with destroyer escorts Dufilho, Bassett, and Ringness of the Philippine Sea Frontier. They continued their search for survivors until 8 August.

And those events happened in the Cineverse as well, but the account of them were off.....

From Wikipedia:
Arguably the most well known fictional reference to the events occurs in the 1975 thriller film Jaws in a monologue by actor Robert Shaw, whose character Quint is depicted as a survivor of the Indianapolis sinking. The monologue emphasizes the numerous deaths caused by shark attacks after the sinking. John Milius was specifically brought into the production to write lines for this scene and he based them on survivor stories. However, there are several historical inaccuracies in the monologue: the speech states the date of the sinking as 29 June 1945, when the ship was actually sunk on 30 July, that they were spotted at noon of the fifth day rather than the third day, that 1,100 men went into the water and 316 came out (nearer 900 went in and 321 came out, of whom 317 survived) and that because of the secrecy of the atom bomb mission no distress call was broadcast, while declassified Navy documents prove the contrary.

It occurred in Toobworld as well: The incident itself was the subject of the 1991 made-for-television movie "Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the USS Indianapolis", with Stacy Keach portraying Captain Charles Butler McVay III.



This scene is dubbed into Spanish but it doesn't lessen the power of the acting if you don't speak the language....



The full movie is available on YouTube but embedding has been disabled.  Click here to see it.

God bless the crew of the Indianapolis that fateful day 70 years ago today........


MISSING LINKS - STATED "R"



'MURDER, SHE WROTE'

"SNOW WHITE, BOOD RED"

While investigating the murder of an Olympic skier at a snowed-in lodge, Jessica Fletcher called a phone number she found in the victim's room*.....

Man's Voice: Tartaglia residence.

Jessica Fletcher: Yes. Uh, may I speak to Vicki, please?

Man's Voice: Mrs. Tartaglia isn't here at the moment. Who's calling?

Jessica Fletcher: Could you tell me when she's expected?

Man's Voice:  I don't know! Who is this?

So close and yet so far!  For the want of a letter......

It turned out that the victim had been having an affair with the wife of a mobster in organized crime.  His name was Tartaglia and that letter "R" is purposefully accented whenever someone in the episode pronounces it.  

But if only that "R" had been a "T"......

From Wikipedia:
The Tattaglia family [is a] fictional Mafia family in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel "The Godfather" and its 1972 film adaptation. In theuniverse of the series, they are one of New York City's Five Families.

The family, founded as [the] Maranzano crime family, was founded by Salvatore Maranzano in 1920s. After his death in 1933, Philip Tattaglia took over the family, renaming it as Tattaglia crime family.

The Tattaglia family are known to be involved in prostitution run from the Tattaglia Hotel in Brooklyn. They are the first family to begin working with narcotics sometime in the 1930s. In the 1940s, the Tattaglias begin to gain power after being supported by drug kingpin Virgil Sollozzo, even managing to gain a vital toehold into Little Italy, Manhattan, crippling the Corleone family's empire. They are also behind the attempted assassination of Don Vito Corleone.


If only... then we could have made a definitive, if trivial, connection to a televersion of the Corleone Family....

BCnU!

* The picture is from a different episode.....


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"MURDER, SHE WROTE" FEATURING DICK TRACY



'MURDER, SHE WROTE'
"SMOOTH OPERATORS"


When a wino revealed that he had seen a car peal away from where a body was dumped in an alley, Lt. Timothy Hanratty pounced on the information.

Lt. Hanratty: Did you get the license plate number?

Wino: Who do I look like?  Dick Tracy?

Dick Tracy is a multiversal who exists in the TV Universe.  The comic strip detective was portrayed on TV back in the 1950s by Ralphy Byrd, who also played the role on the big screen.

If there are pop culture references to Dick Tracy in other TV shows, we could attribute those to the Warren Beatty movie.  And to have a movie made about him in Toobworld, then the televersion of Detective Tracy had to have been famous enough to guarantee box office returns on such an expensive venture.

So I do count the wino's retort as proof that Dick Tracy was real in the same world as Jessica Fletcher.  And that means 'Murder, She Wrote' can be linked to 'Dick Tracy'.

BCnU!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME" - THE TOOBWORLD INSPIRATION?


From Wikipedia:


"The Most Dangerous Game", also published as "The Hounds of Zaroff", is a short story by Richard Connell, first published in Collier's book on January 19, 1924. The story features a big-game hunter from New York who falls off a yacht and swims to an isolated island in the Caribbean, where he is hunted by a Cossack aristocrat. The story is inspired by the big-game hunting safaris in Africa and South America that were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans in the 1920s.

Richard Connell was never portrayed on television like his contemporaries Dorothy Parker, Hemingway, Hammett, Lovecraft, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  But as with everybody who ever lived in the Trueniverse, Connell had a televersion in Earth Prime-Time.  We just never got to see him on our TV screens.

"The Most Dangerous Game" is Connell's most famous story, but in Toobworld the entry in Wikipedia is wrong.  The story was not inspired by hunting safaris; it was inspired by a murder case in Toronto in 1902.


'THE MURDOCH MYSTERIES'
"ARTFUL DETECTIVE"

From the IMDb:
Detective Murdoch investigates a series of deaths in which the killer severs the victims' right thumb. The murders have all occurred in quick succession and are somehow related to the racing sheet for the 7th race at Woodbine - only there is no 7th race. There are very few clues for them to go on and Murdoch soon realizes that he has been added to the list of possible victims. Constable Crabtree meanwhile is crushed by the unexpected return of Edna's husband, who everyone thought was dead. His feelings aside, he is outraged when he realizes that the man has beaten her. When Edna's husband is found dead, all of the evidence points to Crabtree as the killer. 
[Written by garykmcd]


One of the participants in this "game" was only known by the Trueniverse audience as "Big Game Hunter".  And with his accent, there's no way he could have been Zaroff.  However, he may have been the inspiration for Connell's character in the short story.

O'BSERVATION:
Zaroff does exist in Toobworld as a family name.  The Doctor faced off against Professor Zaroff in the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Underwater Menace."

BCnU!

Monday, July 27, 2015

HAPPY TV BIRTHDAY, DENISE CALIENDO HANSEN!


Hey, Team Toobworld, meet my "cousin-in-law" Denise Caliendo Hansen.

Her televersion was seen in the audience of "CT Style" on WTNH-8.  And even though she wasn't seen, she was also mentioned on NBC Connecticut News and just recently mentioned again on 'CT Style':


So those two mentions, per my usual Toobworld rules for more famous members of the League of Themselves, will count toward the tally of "appearances" for her televersion.

The televersion of Denise has so much potential.  Since there is no way we can see everything in the lives of other TV characters, the same holds true for TV-Denise.  So I'm going to suggest an addition to her onscreen "life" - Denise knows Hope Brady as seen in 'Days Of Our Lives'.  I think they met while Denise and Peter were on vacation in Salem and they keep in touch via YouFace.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it......

Happy birthday, Denise!  All the best from Toobworld!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

VIDEO SUNDAY - "THE EX-MEN"


As I said at the beginning of the month, we're into the big blockbuster movie season.  So here's a look at the multiversal characters of the X-Men.  They started out as comic book characters, showed up in the Tooniverse and have already conquered the Cineverse.  So now they're to be found in Skitlandia as well.

But maybe not for long...












And here are some out-takes......


BCnU!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

SATURDAY SUPER-HEROES: THE LAVENDER HILL MOB


'BATMAN'
"THE SPELL OF TUT"


When King Tut learned that millionaire Bruce Wayne was going to donate Tut's version of the Sphinx to the Black Museum of Scotland Yard, the Pharaoh of Felonies was momentarily ecstatic to think that he would be considered one of the luminaries of crime.  Like Landru, Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden....

The Royal Lapidary: The Lavender Hill Mob?

From the IMDb:
Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. Written by Rick Gregory 


Ealing studios are famous for making very dry and witty comedies; they're probably most famous for the excellent 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' and darkly comic 'The Ladykillers', but The Lavender Hill Mob, although not as good as the other two, is definitely worth a mention.

The Lavender Hill Mob is about a bank clerk (Alec Guinness) that, with the aid of his friend Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a man that makes paperweights in the shape of the Eiffel tower, has an ingenious idea of how to rob his own bank. The two realise that the bank cannot be robbed by just them, so they set a trap to catch a couple of criminals, and once they've recruited them; The Lavender Hill Mob is born.  Written by "The Void"


Since King Tut listed three real-life criminals (Henri Désiré Landru was the only one I had to look up, but of course I knew of him better as "Bluebeard"), then it's safe to assume that the Lavender Hill Mob was just as real in Earth Prime-Time.  The only difference would be the Lavender Hill Mob weren't murderers.

However....

'BATMAN'
"LOUIE'S LETHAL LILAC TIME"

At one point during his confrontation with Louie the Lilac (Louis Garnett), Batman referred to Louie and his gang as the Lavender Hill Mob.


In order to keep things simple at Toobworld Central, I'm reluctantly going to accept Louie the Lilac's gang as the Lavender Hill Mob of Toobworld, even if that episode aired a year after the Tut episode.  At least it's easier to believe that they were murderers.

But wouldn't it have been fun to have Stanley Holloway and Sir Alec Guinness as their characters in the movie residing in Toobworld?


BCnU!


Friday, July 24, 2015

WORLD TOOB TONIGHT - "TEQUILA & BONETTI"


As we all do when surfing the Internet, I stumbled across this while searching for something else.  It's certainly one of the most off-beat cases of sequelitis I've ever encountered in my televisiological studies, spanning two continents.
 
From Wikipedia:
'TEQUILA & BONETTI'
 

The lead character of the series, Nico ("Nick") Bonetti (Jack Scalia), is a policeman from New York City who is proud of his Italian heritage and very fond of his vintage rose-colored Cadillac convertible, which he inherited from his father. After he erroneously shoots a young girl during a gunfight, he relocates to a beachfront Los Angeles precinct on temporary assignment. Here he meets his new partners, Tequila (a large, burrito-eating French Mastiff), and Officer Angela Garcia (Mariska Hargitay), who joined the department after her policeman husband's death. Their boss is Captain Midian Knight (Charles Rocket), who is almost as interested in selling a screenplay as he is in police work. The series shows their investigations of crimes and the evolving relationships between the characters. This show has the peculiarity that television viewers are able to hear Tequila's thoughts.

Life is not easy for Bonetti, due to his remorse about the girl he shot and the strange habits of Californians whom he does not understand. His neighbors include a Puerto Rican psychic (Liz Torres), who hears Tequila's thoughts but initially believes she is hearing spirits. Bonetti develops a grudging respect for the people around him as well as for Tequila, who despite his faults is an excellent police dog. The dog is portrayed as having human-level intelligence and a street-wise, sassy attitude.

The show was developed by producer Donald P. Bellisario. His daughter, Troian Bellisario, had a recurring role as Garcia's daughter, who for a time is unaware that her mother has joined the police department rather than continue a career as an art dealer.

Each episode has a montage during which Bonetti plays piano and viewers see odd, sometimes disturbing scenes featuring Bonetti's neighbors and co-workers. Some of these scenes are from later episodes, while others remain unexplained. Each montage ends with Bonetti's memory of the shooting of the girl in New York.

The series was panned by critics and was subsequently canceled by CBS four months after its premiere. Despite the initial negative reception of the series, some modern viewers find it to be a quirky, though flawed, product of the early 1990s.


8 years later, 'Tequila & Bonetti' was rebooted for television with Jack Scalia reprising his role as Bonetti; only this time, the show was filmed and aired in Italy. Bonetti goes to Rome to team up with a new "Tequila", a German Shepard and the policewoman Fabiana Sasso (Alessia Marcuzzi). Again, only the audience can hear the dog's thoughts, but this time Bonetti is the one with strange American habits, as seen by his new Italian friends.

I looked through Scalia's credits at the IMDb, but none of those other characters really jumped out at me as being Bonetti using an alias.  So I don't have a candidate for Bonetti's third qualification for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Maybe someday.....

BCnU!

 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

TVXOHOF IN MEMORIAM - AL FLOSS



Actor Alex Rocco has passed away at the age of 79.  Just about every news story on his passing has mentioned his role as Moe Green in "The Godfather" for the hook to get you to read the story.

And I suppose it is his most famous role; as soon as you hear the name "Moe Green", you probably summoned up the image of him on a massage table in Las Vegas... wearing his glasses......

But for me and the Toobworld Dynamic, it's his supporting role as talent agent Al Floss in the short-lived sitcom 'The Famous Teddy Z', which starred Jon Cryer and also featured Milton Selzer, Jane Sibbett, and Erica Yohn, that is of greater importance.  


The show was a darling with the critics and the role of Floss snared an Emmy award for Rocco, but they just couldn't reel in the viewers.  Even having Al cross over to an episode of 'Murphy Brown' didn't help.  ("And The Whiner Is..." - it turned out Al Floss was the agent for Murphy's co-worker Corky Sherwood on the 'FYI' news magazine.


As it stands, Al Floss is one of many characters who have two TV appearances on different shows under their belt, leaving them one shy for a "legitimate" entry into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  For example:  - Jose Chung as played by Charles Nelson Reilly ('The X-Files', 'Millennium'), John Steed played by Patrick Macnee ('The Avengers', 'The New Avengers'), and Linda Hunt's character of Hetty Lange ('NCIS: LA', 'Scorpion').   At least with those three, I can keep Hope alive that a third crossover will one day be possible.  In fact, I'm set with a theoretical third entry for John Steed which has been accepted by several other crossoverists.  For Jose Chung, even though Mr. Reilly has died, I just need some show to use a book prop with his name on it.  And as for Hetty?  Sooner or later she should show up on either the 'NCIS' flagship or the other spin-off, 'NCIS: New Orleans'.

However, many of these two-time characters are no longer with us because of the passing of the actors who played them.  And now Alex Rocco has joined their company.

Not that I'm going to let that stop me....


In the late 1950s, David Rosen was working in the mail room of The Harry Cooper Talent Agency in New York City.  But then he was summoned to Washington, D.C. by Congressmen Crabtree and Guilfoyle to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  They wanted him to give evidence against his boss, Harry Cooper, and several of his clients (like Jan Stewart and Carrie Crane).  And to his everlasting shame, the young man did so.  Soon after, Jan Stewart faded into obscurity and Carrie Crane descended into a sordid life lived in the gossip columns (becoming a particular target of Holly Schaeffer in her last days.)  As for Harry Cooper, he changed his name to Charlie Halper and was able to survive in show business with the support of comic/singer Danny Williams.  Eventually he opened his own nightclub and did alright for himself.

David Rosen never forgave himself for turning in Cooper and the others.  And there was no way he could distance himself from himself.  So he decided to become someone else.



Moving to the West Coast, changing his name, and adopting a more hard-assed attitude, David used what he learned back in New York to quickly move up in the world of talent management.  Now known as Al Floss, he got his start as an agent at United Talent Agency where he eventually rose to the number two position, just after Abe Werkfinder.  Among his clients were Corky Sherwood of 'F.Y.I.' and actor Harlon Keyvo.  (However, Keyvo eventually dumped him for a kid in the UTA mailroom, Teddy Zakolokis.)

But as hard-edged as he appeared, Al's past shame of being an informer continued to haunt him.  Eventually, after Werkfinder died, it looked as though Floss was on top of the world, about to be the top agent in Hollywood.  But at a party for Rembrandt Brown on the September 1994 weekend just before "The Crying Man" made his comeback, Al Floss was publicly humiliated by a younger agent, a very drunk Ari Gold, who brought up Floss' past and questioned why anyone would sign with him.

AL FLOSS & ARI GOLD
SEPTEMBER 24, 1994
After cold-cocking Ari, Floss stormed out of the party and drove back home.  But Ari's words had landed; he thought long and hard through the rest of the night and realized that he would never be happy until he reconciled himself with who he really was.

And so the next day Al Floss quit UTA and went into business on his own... and under his real name - David Rosen.

Not many of his former clients followed him, having felt betrayed by his lies about himself and for covering up what he had done.  But there were a few stalwarts, one of whom knew him back in the early days in New York City: Elliott Gould.



He wasn't as rich and successful as he once was as Al Floss, but David Rosen was finally happy.  As such, he vowed to work to the very end, which is what he did.  The last client he landed was comedian and podcast king Marc Maron (although Maron had to meet with Rosen at the insistent urging by Gould.)  Unfortunately, he was so worked up over the effort that it landed him in the hospital with a stroke.  And it looks like the stroke eventually killed him.

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'The Famous Teddy Z'
  • 'Murphy Brown'
  • 'Maron'
  • 'Sliders'
  • 'It's Always Jan'
  • 'Make Room For Daddy'
  • 'Entourage'
  • 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington'
  • 'Night Gallery'


For Alex Roco's participation in 'The Famous Teddy Z' and 'Murphy Brown' as Al Floss, and as David Rosen in 'Maron', the ability to conflate both talent agents into one character makes him eligible for a special induction into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  It's not an official induction since I can't prove David Rosen is Al Floss.  But as is the case with the Birthday and Christmas honorees, this can be accepted as a Memorial tribute.

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, David Rosen aka Al Floss......