Thursday, October 14, 2004


Now that he's no longer running for President, Reverend Al Sharpton has a lot of free time for a more prominent position in TV Land. One week after Election Day, Reverend Al will debut as the host of a new reality series on Spike-TV: 'I Hate My Job'.

He'll be serving as a motivational coach to eight guys who quit their jobs and are given three months to pursue the dream job they've always wanted.

And he's been prepping himself by appearing on other shows around the dial as himself. Last December, he hosted 'Saturday Night Live' and proved himself adept at playing characters other than himself. (My personal favorite was his impersonation of Johnny Cochrane.)

But just in the last three weeks he's gone bi-coastal - first, he was practically accosted by Maya when he showed up at William's offices, but at least he got a free copy of her book out of the experience.

And then it was off to Boston where he made a surprise appearance in a court case dealing with a little black girl's chance to play the iconic figure of Li'l Orphan Annie in a roadshow production of the musical.

Reverend Al appeared as a favor to Denny Crane, acting as the "rabbit pulled out of the hat" to shake things up in the courtroom to swing opinion in the favor of Alan Shore's client.

[An interesting side note: the name of the 'Girlfriends' episode was "The Rabbit Died". I hope there's nothing ominous in that.....]
('Boston Legal')

These weren't the first times that Sharpton has appeared as himself in the TV Universe. Of course, there is always the talk show circuit, but we all know that's not the stuff that makes for exciting connections in the Great Link.

Still, here are a list of a few notable appearances in such forums:
"Real Time with Bill Maher" (2003) playing "Himself" 30 July 2004
"Tavis Smiley" (2004) playing "Himself" 29 July 2004
"Dennis Miller" (2004) playing "Himself" 15 & 20 July 2004
"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993) playing "Himself" 14 July 2004
"O'Reilly Factor, The" (1996) playing "Himself" 1 July 2004
"Tavis Smiley" (2004) playing "Himself" 2 February 2004
"Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The" (1992) playing "Himself" 19 February 2003
"Chris Rock Show, The" (1997) playing "Himself" 21 November 1997
"Howard Stern" (1994) playing "Himself" 13 June 1996
"Howard Stern Show, The" (1990) playing "Himself" 27 April 1991
"Howard Stern Show, The" (1990) playing "Himself" 17 November 1990

[Thanks to the IMDb for the info.]

Al Sharpton has also appeared in that little corner of the TV Universe carved out by Dick Wolf with appearances on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' and 'New York Undercover'. (Even though those two shows aired on different networks, they are linked by the appearance of Dr. Elizabeth Olivet, as played by Carolyn McCormack.)

I haven't seen either episode, but I think I know how they sussed out. The reverend probably led the protest when the reputation of a college was being protected to the detriment of an investigation into the murder of a female student, allegedly by two of the school's basketball stars.
('Law & Order: Special Victims Unit')

And he probably rose to the defense of a fellow minister, Reverend Hundley, who was being targeted by a cigarette manufacturer.
('New York Undercover')

But there's one appearance by Reverend Al Sharpton that has my curiousity piqued. In September of 1974, he appeared as himself on an episode of 'Soul Train'.

As he just turned fifty this month, he was not yet twenty when he was on the show. So I'm figuring that he was one of the kids dancing to the latest hits.

Now THAT would be something to see!

Charlie's loony next door neighbor, Rose, used the term "re-gifted" when talking about the fact that he gave his nephew a fake dog-poop toy which she had given him. (Actually, she broke into the house and left it on his pillow.)

Rose: "But you re-gifted. And I thought you were a classy guy!"

She jumped off the balcony to make her escape before she could reveal how she might have known of a term that was created by a character on 'Seinfeld'.

There was no mention or reference to the classic show about Nothing, so we're free to assume that this is not a Zonk. Instead, it's possible there might be a reason to be found in the show's inner reality.
('Two And A Half Men')

At some point in time, Rose must have known someone found in the 'Seinfeld' universe. And each of the four main characters could have used the term with her.

Jerry: As a comedian, he would have had plenty of opportunities to visit Los Angeles; they even built a season-ending cliff-hanger around such a trip. And as a single man with dating woes, Rose would have fit in perfectly with his personal rogue's gallery.
George: While he was working for the New York Yankees front office, George must have traveled with the team to the West Coast for any number of road trip series. Perhaps he met Rose while they were both going into a stadium.
Kramer: He's got a reputation for doing well with those ladies who have some kind of emotional problems or who are at least on the rebound. And as he is a quixotic sort, he may have been in the City of Angels on business. (He does have Kramerica, Inc. to run, after all.)
Elaine: Maybe once she got out of prison in 1999/2000, she decided to start her life anew. To accomplish that, perhaps California was the place she ought to be. And once she relocated to Beverly - Hills, that is (movie stars, swimming pools) - perhaps Elaine became friends with Rose.
('Two And A Half Men' & 'Seinfeld')

Illya Kuryakin and a scientist's daughter once watched a TV episode about a secret agent who takes the place of a sheik's daughter in the Arabian kingdom of Zalamar, in order to foil the plans of the evil Grand Vizier.
('The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' - "The Her Master's Voice Affair")

The problem is, the show they were watching was the second episode of 'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.' ("The Prisoner Of Zalamar Affair"). Illya Kuryakin and April Dancer (the secret agent portrayed in the episode) worked for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. He once teamed up with her partner Mark Slade, while she was working with Illya's partner, Napoleon Solo.

This wasn't the only time two TV series that are definitely proven to be in the same universe would later be Zonked by being shown on TV within each other's programs. It happened between 'Ally McBeal' and 'The Practice', as well.

There's a splainin for all of this, I'm sure of it.

Just haven't found it yet......

Mary, Delinda, and Nerissa got lost in the Nevada desert when they hunted for hidden treasure. But before they could be found by the local crime scene investigators (like THAT crossover will ever happen!), they were rescued by singer Clint Black who happened to be staying nearby. Clint Black always seems to have interesting encounters with the Ladies of TV Land; he was once stalked at a party in Boston by bar manager Rebecca Howe. ('Cheers')

The great thing about Toobworld: There's always a celebrity around when you need one!
('Las Vegas')

Tony Kleinman was told by his mechanic that he should borrow a Hummer while his own car was in the shop for repairs. What he failed to point out, however, was that the vehicle was owned by Dennis Rodman. And even after he found out, Tony still wouldn't give it up until his own car was ready.

The sportswriter might not have been so obstinate about the situation had he known that within TV's own reality, Dennis Rodman is not of this world. He is an alien, perhaps even one similar to those pseudo-humanoids to be found in Rutherford, Ohio.

Maybe that's the real reason Rodman is known as "The Worm".
('Listen Up!' & 'Third Rock From The Sun')

Both Black and Rodman are eligible for eventual induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame - and without any appearances on talk shows, music programs, or poker showdowns.

Dennis Rodman also has:
'North Shore'
'L.A. Doctors'
'Double Rush'

And Clint Black can also claim:
'King Of The Hill'
'The Larry Sanders Show'

"Avenue Q", the puppet musical which won the Tony Award this year for Best Musical, is now officially a part of the TV Universe in more than just promotional appearances on talk shows, commercials, or in musical snippets.

Chief Jerry Reilly discovered his wife had Alzheimer's when they went to see the show. (She told him that when her husband showed up, he'd have to give up his seat - for himself.)
('Rescue Me')

The first orchid hybrid was created in 1858, according to Dr. Barrett Moore.

The last time Joan Rivers graced the cover of 'People' magazine was in 1994.

Adrian Moore, totally messed up by his relationship with his "mother", Ava Moore (formerly a man named Avery Tanner), killed himself with a hunting knife plunged into his intestinal organs.

Sam Dorian, father of Dan and John ("JD"), was a traveling office supplies salesman. He may have died on the road doing business.('Scrubs')

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