We don't have to consider only those characters who were played by actors who passed away to have been passengers on the SS Poseidon (which is airing tonight on NBC at 8 PM est).
Why not a few from TV shows that are just no longer on the air?
PURSER CHARLES DUFFY (LARRY STORCH) - 'THE QUEEN AND I'
SUSANNAH POMEROY (GALE STORM) - 'THE GALE STORM SHOW'/'OH, SUSANNAH!'
So far as I know, both of these actors are still alive. And hopefully they've got plenty of years ahead of them.
But both Ms. Pomeroy and Charlie Duffy, despite their advanced ages, might have still been working in the ocean cruise business. Charlie had been the purser aboard the Amsterdam Queen, while Ms. Pomeroy was the social director for the Ocean Queen.
I'll stake the Toobworld claim here and now that both these ocean liners were owned by the same company. Perhaps as fellow employees for the firm, Susannah and Charlie met and fell in love so that they were working together on board the Poseidon. And when the ship was sinking, they remained together to the very end.
Ah, who am I kidding? Considering the type of characters Larry Storch usually plays, Charlie Duffy probably grabbed one of Susannah's dresses and disguised himself to make a break for one of the life boats!
TEDDY ZAKALOKIS (JON CRYER) - 'THE FAMOUS TEDDY Z'
Since Jon Cryer is comfortably ensconced finally in a hit CBS sitcom ('Two And A Half Men'), it's a safe bet there wouldn't be much of a problem with killing off this earlier character.
"Teddy Z" was a young talent agent fresh out of the mail room. But fifteen years later, he's probably parlayed his networking skills to rise up the corporate ladder. Maybe he's even sold out and/or burned out in a spectacular example of the fickle rise-and-fall in Tinseltown. Fifteen years is a long time in Hollywood's short attention span, after all.
So like many of the other characters I've considered to be passengers on board the SS Poseidon, maybe Teddy Zakalokis decided to take stock of his situation. Maybe he decided to go back to Greece, land of his forefathers, and find new meaning to Life.
Once the ship started sinking and he was about to become famous for a whole new reason, Teddy Z probably wished he was the one who had a stunt man, rather than some of his clients!
GEORGE & KATHERINE CALDER-YOUNG POPADOPOLIS (ALEX KARRAS & SUSAN CLARK) - 'WEBSTER'
Now that their adopted son, Webster Long, was grown up and out in the world on his own, the former football player and his wife (an ombudsman for Chicago) might have decided to relive the event where they first met. On a cruise to Greece, these two strangers felt their mutual attraction was so strong and just so right that they immediately got married before the cruise was over.
But on this trip down "Memory Lake", they probably never expected to go down with the ship!
This could actually be the background story for a proposed revival of 'Webster'. But this time, the grown-up would have to face Life on his own, now that he had been orphaned a second time. And you wouldn't have to rehire Emmanuel Lewis for the role; any up-and-coming young black actor could fill the bill.
In fact, unless he's making good money from Bravo's 'Celebrity Poker', Dule Hill should be needing a job soon with 'The West Wing' winding down.....
I'm just sayin', is all; throwing the idea out there, free of charge.
LARRY DALLAS (RICHARD KLINE) - 'THREE'S COMPANY'
TV characters can come back all the time, either in reunion specials and movies, or even as guest stars in other TV shows. (A good example of that would be Alan Brady, who appeared on 'Mad About You' over thirty years since his last appearance on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.)
But I don't think it's likely that Larry Dallas will resurface. And if he was on the Poseidon, he definitely wouldn't resurface!
After all, 'Three's Company' survived with the loss of Suzanne Somers as Chrissie, and with the Ropers being spun off to their own short-lived sitcom.
But the death of John Ritter dealt a death-blow to any hopes that the series might one day be revived. What could they do without Jack Tripper to lead the way?
So Larry Dallas - whose family name was really Dallipoulos, - might have been a passenger. And keeping true to his nature, he might have been there courtesy of some aging dowager who kept him as her gigolo. In that respect, he might have taken advice from Sue Ann Nivens ('The Mary Tyler Moore Show') who had plenty of experience in that type of voyage.......
THE PORTAKOLIS FAMILY (NIA VARDALOS, ET AL) - 'MY BIG FAT GREEK LIFE'
It's nothing personal. I never even saw the movie. But I know the film had a lot of fans who wish this attempt to cash in on its success never existed. Letting the televersion of Clan Portakolis perish might bring closure to those fans.
And a few chuckles to sick bastids such as myself!
ARNOLD HORSHACK (RON PALILLO) - 'WELCOME BACK, KOTTER'
Okay, this one is personal. It's not Palillo's fault. I liked the character. I think he's a true classic and an original.
Blame Dr. Nafe Katter, formerly head of the drama department at the University of Connecticut. He used to throw his pet student's success on the sitcom in our face all the time.
There are characters out there who might have had reason to be on board the Poseidon, but there's no way in Hades the Powers That Be here in the Real World would allow them to do so.
DR. FRASIER CRANE (KELSEY GRAMMER) - 'CHEERS' & 'FRASIER'
Dr. Frasier Crane had Greek relatives on his father's side, (exemplified by Patti LuPone as his shrewish aunt), and perhaps he took his new bride on a trip to Greece to see the origins for that branch of the family. (I'd like to think that he'd be married to Laura Linney's character by now.)
However, 'Frasier' is a powerhouse of a character, and he didn't last long enough to tie the record set by James Arness as Matt Dillon on 'Gunsmoke' to be killed off now. (Although he might have appreciated noting the irony in a Katherine Ann Porter sort of way.) There's always a chance Kelsey Grammar might bring the character back to the airwaves in the future, so we'll leave him off the passenger list.
JESSE KATSOPOLIS (JOHN STAMOS) - 'FULL HOUSE'
Although I can't splain it, there is definitely a fascination with the Olsen Twins out there in the Real World. And I have great faith in the return of 'Jake In Progress' starring John Stamos, buttressed by his current stint as a paramedic on 'ER'.
So I wouldn't bet against a 'Full House' and cash in his chips as Jesse Katsopolis. He might have finally made it big as a musician and as such, he would have been able to take his wife on the cruise after visiting his family's country of origin. Or at least maybe he got a gig on board the Poseidon in the house band for Jak's Lounge.
Play "The Morning After" one mo' time!
BALKI BARTOKOMOUS (BRONSON PINCHOT) - 'PERFECT STRANGERS'
Yes. I'm serious, I'm not being "ridikalas".
I don't think the network suits would want to kill off Balki because there might always be a reason to bring him back with his cousin Larry Appleton for a sequel to 'Perfect Strangers'.
Stranger things have happened in the world of Television, you know.
But if there's any hope, maybe as the ship passed his home on the Isle of Mypos, maybe Balki was overcome with homesickness and jumped overboard.
Or better yet, Larry tossed him over the side........
Well, it's time for nappies. Looks like that's all I have time for before the movie premieres tonight on NBC at 8 PM EST. (I'm so shameless!)
But I still have more to go - including the possible passengers who could have escaped without anybody else realizing it. And the missing links to TV shows, past and present.