Friday, January 14, 2005


[Yet another "Lost In Thought" essay]

'Lost' came perilously close (for the TV Universe, that is) to throwing out a Zonk in the latest episode, "Hearts And Minds".

As you should know by now, a Zonk is a TV show's mention of another TV show when both series should be co-existing in the same universe. They should NOT be aware of each other as TV shows.

This past week, Hurley was in the surf, trying to catch a fish. Suddenly he was stung by a sea urchin and had to be helped back up on the beach by Jin.

Hurley kept pleading for Jin to pee on his foot; that it was the only way to take care of the poison from the sting. But Jin refused.

"You gotta pee on my foot, Dude!" Hurley begged. "I saw it on a TV show once. It's the only thing that will work!"

Like I said, he came awfully close to Zonking us! More than likely the TV show he was referring to was 'Friends'. In one episode, they all went out to the beach in the Hamptons and somebody got stung in the foot. So the bond of friendship was cemented even harder when one of the other five volunteered to pee on the foot.

'Lost' has already Zonked us, however. When Boone and Locke were out in the jungle searching for Claire, Boone was tying red flags up to mark their path back.

He pointed out that the red flags were made of a red shirt. And that anybody who wore a red shirt on 'Star Trek' (mostly the engineering or security departments) was usually flagged as a potential goner.

Don't go behind that rock!

'Star Trek' must be right up there with 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Gilligan's Island' for the most Zonk references in other TV shows. Up until now I've had to just shrug and accept it, for I couldn't see anyway out of splainin that one away.

At least with many of the other shows, their episodes happened (for the most part) in the "present time" of their original broadcast. There was always the possibility then that characters who referred to those shows later on were aware of the "history".

But how do you splain away a character's knowledge of what will happen in the TV Universe 400 years into the future?

'Lost' may provide the key to solve that problem. I won't say why just yet, because the show is very slow and patient in giving up its secrets.

So stay tuned!


Thursday, January 13, 2005


At the end of the two-hour pilot for 'Lost', Charlie Pace asked, "Guys... where ARE we?"

Why, you all everybody are in Toobworld!

As is usually the case, I was in the various message boards for 'Lost' before the night was through. But this week, I held off for an hour in order to watch 'The West Wing' first.

When I did finally begin bouncing around the forums, I found a possible contender for the Crossover of the Week:

"You All Everybody" By Driveshaft!
Did any other Lost fans hear "You All Everybody," by Driveshaft during Alias? They played it in the background of a scene in the first 10 minutes of the show. Gotta love it! : )

This episode of Alias just had it playing in the background at a party.

An excellent episode guide site, TV Tome, confirmed the information:

69. The Awful Truth

To learn the location of a stolen NSA code-breaker, an undercover Sydney must convince a murderous arms dealer to fall in love with her. Meanwhile, Vaughn fears that Weiss might have been killed on a mission, and Sydney and Jack argue about telling Nadia the horrible truth about her mother, Irina.

b: 12-Jan-2005 w: Jesse Alexander d: Lawrence Trilling

NOTE: During Sydney's party, the song "You All Everybody" is playing in the background. [It was faint in the background and then they opened a door and it could be heard REALLY clearly!!] "You All Everybody" is the hit song of the fictional band, Driveshaft, on J.J. Abrams other show, Lost.

"Hercules", the TV spoiler-king for Ain't It Cool? News, has also addressed the issue already:

Crossover magic, Bad Robot-style:
Hey Herc,
Am I wrong or was Driveshaft playing in the background at Eric's birthday party on Alias tonight? It was real subtle, but I'm pretty sure I heard the chorus line "You all everybody". Too much fun!
cheers, tredeger

And in response, Herc bounces the crossover back to the island:

Wouldn’t it be cool if the thing Locke and Boone are excavating turned out to be a Rambaldi artifact? I miss my Rambaldi artifacts …

One of the TalkBack regulars pointed out:

It was Driveshaft. Watch the episode again with the Closed Captioning turned on. It says "You All, Everybody by Driveshaft playing"

So, first off, my thanks to wagirl98 for the first alert that I saw about the crossover.

Where it goes from here is you all everybody's guess. But if we accept the ABC 50th anniversary special sketch in which 'Columbo' met Sydney Bristow of 'Alias' as being part of the TV Universe, (And THANK YOU, Hugh Davis, for reminding me of this!), then both shows are definitely locked into the main TV Universe.

As mentioned in Columbo's induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame this month, Columbo was seen at a detective convention in Hawaii during an episode of 'Magnum, P.I.', which also was linked to 'Murder, She Wrote', 'Simon & Simon', 'Whiz Kids', and like the case with 'Columbo', to 'Kojak' and 'Mannix'. (Apparently there's also a very subtle reference to not only 'Hawaii 5-O, as one might expect, but also to 'Quantum Leap' in 'Magnum' episodes.)

'Mannix' then leads to 'Diagnosis Murder', which also links to 'Mission: Impossible', 'Jake And The Fatman', and 'Matlock'.

My brain is kind of fried right now, but I know somewhere in all of those shows there must be some appearance by a celebrity appearing as themselves who can then link the whole cluster to the main TV Universe.

But at any rate, we've got 'Lost' linked to another JJ Abrams show, 'Alias' and to boot, one leads right into the other.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005


It's the first episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show back in 1970....

For whatever reason, Mary Richards finds herself in the men's room at the WJM-TV studios in Minneapolis.
Ted Baxter is there doing his business at the urinal, but upon her entrance, he zips up and spins around, holding out his hand in greeting.

"We haven't met. I'm Ted Baxter."

Mary stares at the hand in revulsion.

"Aren't you even going to wash that first?"

"I keep a very clean penis."

You don't remember that scene? Don't worry; you're not getting forgetful in your old age like Denny Crane. That snippet of conversation actually occurred on Denny's show 'Boston Legal' this past week. But instead of Ted Baxter, substitute Alan Shore. And his scene partner was Shirley Schmidt, not Mary Richards.

(I'm fairly certain you've already figured out that it took place in a Boston men's room, not in Minneapolis.....)

What I was trying to show is that the exchange was perfectly in keeping with the character of Alan Shore. (And that conversation only got better. Trust me! Catch it in reruns.) But when you try to imagine some other TV character saying such things....

It's not that Mary Richards didn't have her own edge. When her mother left Mary and her father alone one evening to get to know each other better, Mrs. Richards said, "Don't forget to take your pill."

Both Mary and her father replied, "I won't."

Okay, it seems tame by today's standards, but for the mid-70s (and ANY MTM character!) that was edgy.

I've found myself lately lifting lines of dialogue out of today's TV series and ascribing them instead to classic TV characters of the past. Just one of those little TV-oriented amusements, like re-writing those interminable email jokes that get passed around endlessly so that they are about TV characters (or sometimes family members!) instead.

Here's another example - when Marni Fliss and Nate Solomon were getting to know each other on their accidental blind date in the pilot episode of 'Committed', Marni trilled:

"So then I said, 'Hey, you can't touch me there! You're my uncle!' (Laughs) Aaah, family......."

Let's face it. For a sitcom, that's way past "edgy". That's pretty sick. (It sure goes a long way to splain why Marni is so off-the-wall though!)

But if you think that's bad enough as it is, take it out of context and give it to some other TV character to recite........

"So then I said, 'Hey, you can't touch me there! You're my uncle!' (Laughs) Aaah, family........"
- Jody Davis
'Family Affair'

You've just raised the "Ewwwwww" content by 47%!

Although I don't have any examples to hand, I've also taken some rather prickly quotes by Dr. Gregory House of 'House' and had 'Marcus Welby, M.D.' saying them instead.

Picture Jack Bauer's interrogation style on '24' being used by Captain Kangaroo while talking with Bunny Rabbit......

Why not give it a try yourself? And of course, I'd love to see what you come up with. Send them to me at and I'll share them on the Inner Toob blog.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005


If you have a really good cable system, you've got yourself a really great research library for making connections in the TV Universe. I have access to at least ten different cable networks which showcase classic shows from the past in which I can find those little bits o' trivia which I might not have noticed when those shows first aired; back before I began hunting such items down in earnest.

Here's a case in point: the GoodLife Network has a great schedule full of such shows as 'Maverick', 'Cheyenne', 'Kung Fu', '77 Sunset Strip', 'Hawaiian Eye', and 'The Man From UNCLE'.

They also show 'I Spy'. And this past week they broadcast the pilot episode, which didn't make it on the air until the 14th week of the series:

"Affair in T'Sien Cha"
Kelly and Scotty's investigation of the disappearance of an old Chinese train between Hong Kong and the Communist mainland leads to an ancient walled city, a beautiful American schoolteacher, and a secret cargo someone is willing to kill for.
b: 29 Dec 65
w: Morton Fine & David Friedkin d: Sheldon Leonard

During the episode, a local schoolteacher tells Kelly that she saw him play tennis three years before in Forest Hills, Queens. He was beaten (in straight sets, I believe) by Pancho Segura.

That means, even though it was off-camera, Pancho Segura makes himself an official Toobworld character in 1962.

I love these little mentions of real people in fictional scenarios during a TV show. Most of the time you can then link that person's "character" to other appearances in which they portrayed themselves. George Burns, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr....... they're among the celebs who were most famous for this.

And Pancho Segura was no exception. True, he didn't appear in this episode, but it was stated as fact by the schoolteacher and so it really did happen in the TV Universe. (And the fact that Kelly backed up the statement - by requesting that she not remind him of that particular loss - cements the deal.)

Segura did, however, appear in a later episode of 'I Dream Of Jeannie':

"Always on Sunday"
(episode # 2.2)
19 September 1966
032 - Thinking Tony works too much and too hard, Jeannie makes one Monday a Sunday. For relaxation, she sends him to a safari in Africa, and then to play tennis. Ignoring Tony, she makes every day Sunday.

Tony, thinking it's Monday, sounds insane to Roger and Dr. Bellows when they drop by.

According to the, the only other TV appearance made by Segura happened during a show hosted by Jimmy Connors on ESPN. And although it would ultimately count, it lacks the oomph of a fictional setting.

But we'll keep looking. The TV Crossover Hall of Fame could always fit somebody who chases his balls in Toobworld.


Monday, January 10, 2005


We have our first crossover for 2005!

In a new commercial for the new soda, 7-Up Plus, we see Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon at a spa. They are being pampered by well-muscled, quite handsome attendants; all of them with boy-toy potential.

Ms. Davis points out the young man bearing the lunch tray: "Here comes lunch!"

And Ms. Nixon vixenishly responds, "And he's bringing grapes!"

They aren't named as such, but it's obvious that 7-Up would clearly like us as the audience to identify them not as the actresses Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, but as the characters they made famous in 'Sex And The City' - Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes.

And being one so fervent in the idea of the ever-expanding TV Universe, I have no problem with that sentiment.

Ultimately, this means that 'Sex And The City' is linked to 'Space: 1999', as it was Orlando Jones' use of a laser cannon that caused a massive explosion on the moon back in that year during another 7-Up commercial. And that massive explosion detonated the atomic fuel waste dumps which put Commander Koenig into a permanent coma; a coma in which he dreamt that the moon had been ripped from its orbit around Earth and sent hurtling into the unknown reaches of outer space.

(That's a theory I put forth back in 1999 as to why the moon was still visible in later TV shows after the events of 'Space: 1999' supposedly had taken place; indeed, why the moon even had its own amusement park in the year 3000. It's not like the moon finally reversed course and parked in its reserved space.*)

Ms. Nixon and Ms. Davis are not the first alumni of 'Sex And The City' to trade on their most famous TV characters with commercials suggesting that they still exist in the TV Universe. Just before the holidays, Sarah Jessica Parker bopped around in a series of ads for the Gap. And even the New York Times felt that urge to tag her as Carrie Bradshaw rather than as Mrs. Matthew Broderick:

"In Ms. Parker's newest television appearances, a string of holiday advertisements for the Gap now in heavy rotation, time's arrow seems to have shot even further backward. The three spots, which have been running since mid-November, show Ms. Parker giving and getting gifts at Christmas parties where the other guests look as if they have just completed their end-of-semester exams. Did Mr. Big turn out to be too middle-aged? "

All that's left is for Kim Cattrall's Samantha Jones to make an appearance in an ad.

Charlotte and Miranda have done the ad for 7-Up.... Considering her licentious lifestyle, perhaps Samantha can do something with a Coke bottle?

Or maybe she might take her cue from Carrie.

Let's see.......

What's another word for "gap"......?


* If you missed reading the "moon boom" essay years ago (and I'm not sure it can be googled or found in any of those Internet archive sites), I'll be more than happy to send you a copy of it. Just write to me and ask.