Friday, February 4, 2005


For the first week of February, the fifth week of the year, we have a tie for the Crossover of the Week. Both of them employed the techniqueof using Real World celebrities portraying fictionalized versions of themselves.

And both of our celebrity celebrants are long-time members of the League of Themselves. As it is Black History Month, and since we respect the mantra of "Ladies first, Ladies first!", we'll begin with Brandy Norwood.

Brandy appeared in the opening scene of 'House'. She was insistent that even though the recording studio time was costing her a lot of money, it was imperative that they wait for the arrival of John Henry Giles, a legendary horn player.

Once he arrived, she played back the tracks already laid down for the song which she wanted him to play and John Henry only needed the one go-through.

However, he collapsed during the song, and Brandy quickly dialed 911 for help.

This appearance by the young actress/singer ties in with several other dramas as well as sitcoms, including her own show 'Moesha' which had an episode entitled "Moesha Meets Brandy". (Such encounters are standard in Toobworld.)

"House, M.D." playing "Herself" in episode: "DNR" (episode # 1.9) 1 February 2005
"Maybe It's Me" playing "Herself" (as Brandy) in episode: "The Quahog Festival Episode" (episode # 1.20) 19 April 2002
"New York Undercover" playing "Herself" in episode: "Digital Underground" (episode # 2.5) 28 September 1995

There were also two intriguing credits in her IMDb entry which made me investigate further:
"Reba" playing "Mystery Caller" (uncredited) in episode: "She Works Hard for Their Money" (episode # 1.18) 19 April 2002
"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" playing "Mystery Caller" (uncredited) in episode: "Guilty!" (episode # 6.19) 19 April 2002

Upon further investigation in, it appears that on April 19th, 2002, The WB had all of its friday night sitcoms play a game with a mystrey caller. I'm assuming Brandy Norwood served that purpose in the other two shows.

The other two shows were the above-mentioned episode of 'Maybe It's Me' and 'Raising Dad'. (That episode was 'The House Of Stewart'.)

I'm not sure why this "theme" night was presented. As far as I know, it may have been an advance promo for Brandy's "reality" series 'Brandy: Special Delivery' which was purported to be about the impending birth of her baby and which aired on MTV in June of that year.

If anyone out there knows, fill me in.

As for our other honoree:

For Toobworld, it may well turn out that Jay Leno is the TV show equivalent of Kevin Bacon. Since he assumed the mantle of 'Tonight Show' host from Johnny Carson (but not as Heir Apparent!), Leno was making appearances as himself on a wide variety of TV series:

"The Bernie Mac Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Pink Gold" (episode # 2.15) 19 March 2003
"Scrubs" playing "Himself" in episode: "My Own Private Practice Guy" (episode # 2.17) 13 March 2003
"Pet Star" playing "Judge" (episode # 1.9) 15 February 2003
"Just Shoot Me!" playing "Himself" in episode: "Liotta? Liotta!" (episode # 6.12) 31 January 2002
"Titus" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Pit" (episode # 2.22) 8 May 2001
"The Chris Isaak Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "T&A" (episode # 1.7) 23 April 2001
"DAG" playing "Himself" (uncredited) in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 14 November 2000
"Passions" playing "Himself" (episode # 1.332) 13 October 2000
"Dilbert" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "The Delivery" (episode # 2.14) 13 June 2000
"Late Show with David Letterman" playing "Himself" 29 February 2000
"The West Wing" playing "Himself" in episode: "20 Hours in L.A." (episode # 1.16) 23 February 2000
"V.I.P." playing "Himself" in episode: "Valma and Louise" (episode # 2.6) 30 October 1999
"Home Improvement" playing "Himself" in episode: "Home Alone" (episode # 8.14) 19 January 1999
"V.I.P." playing "Himself" in episode: "Diamonds Are a Val's Best Friend" (episode # 1.6) 31 October 1998
"South Park" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "City on the Edge of Forever" (episode # 2.7) 17 June 1998
"The Simpsons" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "The Last Temptation of Krust" (episode # 9.15) 22 February 1998
"Muppets Tonight!" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Best of Muppets Tonight!" (episode # 2.9) 21 December 1997
"Muppets Tonight!" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Cameo Show" (episode # 2.8) 7 December 1997
"Veronica's Closet" playing "Himself" in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 25 September 1997
"Caroline in the City" playing "Himself" in episode: "Caroline and the Bad Trip" (episode # 2.23) 6 May 1997
"Just Shoot Me!" playing "Himself" in episode: "Secretary's Day" (episode # 1.3) 12 March 1997
"Baywatch" playing "Himself" in episode: "Talk Show" (episode # 7.14) 17 February 1997
"3rd Rock from the Sun" playing "Himself" in episode: "Dick Jokes" (episode # 2.11) 8 December 1996
"The Nanny" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Taxman Cometh" (episode # 4.7) 6 November 1996
"Ellen" playing "Himself" in episode: "Go Girlz" (episode # 3.23) 1 May 1996
"Seinfeld" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Shower Head" (episode # 7.15) 15 February 1996
"Wings" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Team Player" (episode # 7.15) 6 February 1996
"Homicide: Life on the Street" playing "Himself" in episode: "Sniper: Part 1" (episode # 4.8) 5 January 1996
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Script Formerly Known As..." (episode # 6.5) 16 October 1995
"JAG" playing "Himself" in episode: "Pilot: Part 2" (episode # 1.2) 23 September 1995
"JAG" playing "Himself" in episode: "Pilot: Part 1" (episode # 1.1) 23 September 1995
"Mad About You" playing "Himself" in episode: "Just My Dog" (episode # 3.15) 9 February 1995
"Home Improvement" playing "Jay" in episode: "Brother, Can You Spare a Hot Rod?" (episode # 4.14) 10 January 1995
"Friends" playing "Himself" in episode: "The One with Mrs. Bing" (episode # 1.10) 5 January 1995
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" playing "Himself" in episode: "Will's Up a Dirt Road" (episode # 5.10) 21 November 1994

"Saturday Night Live" playing "Himself" (uncredited) (episode # 19.20) 14 May 1994
"The Sinbad Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Telethon" (episode # 1.17) 3 March 1994
"The Larry Sanders Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Performance Artist" (episode # 2.14) 25 August 1993
"The Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Show" (1977) TV Series .... Himself/Cast Member (1977)

And of course, there's been his tenure on the 'Tonight Show' since 1991 and which will be under his stewardship until 2009.

Looking over that list, it's apparent that Jay Leno has served as NBC's biggest cheerleader since he became the host of 'Tonight'. I'm not that big a fan of his as far as that show goes (I prefer Letterman), but it doesn't seem right that a 'CSI' team could dust his back for the Peacock's handprints as they started shoving him out the door.

(Some of those appearances are definitely in alternate TV dimensions. 'South Park' and 'The Simpsons' fall into the Tooniverse, while 'The West Wing' takes place on Earth Prime-Time Jed. Others I included because of their novelty, like Jay being a judge on 'Pet Star', or appearing on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' to bury the hatchet over the 'Tonight Show' gig. Not listed at is Jay's appearance as a contestant on 'Battlebots'. Gear-head Leno had a robot with his mug on it dubbed "Chin Killer".)

In his latest appearance on an NBC show, Leno needed a last-minute replacement to appear on the talk show and 'Joey' Tribbiani, star of 'Deep Powder', got the nod. But because he was stuck in traffic, Joey barely made it onstage in time to say hi to Jay.

And Joey called Jay "Johnny" by mistake, just a week after the death of the Late Night King.

I wonder how NBC felt playing that episode at this time. It worked, and I know it was taped months in advance, and it really wasn't distasteful, but we're dealing with cretins who are the majority of the audience. I'll bet there are TV bulletin boards out there in cyberspace where there is much wailing and gnashing of the teeth over the "lack of respect" for Carson's passing.

NBC might have been better off saving this episode for May Sweeps.....


No comments: