Saturday, February 5, 2005


I'm not the only one out there who wants to know all the trivia to be discovered about various shows; there are even books out there filled with thousands of nearly-useless (to anybody else!) bits o' knowledge.

(Want a good one? "Television Characters And Story Facts by Vincent Terrace. It's published by MacFarland.)

One such item that has always sent trivia hunters scrambling has been the locations for those shows that never make it clear exactly where they're set.

Oh, they may give you the name of the town, but you never get a fix on exactly what state they may be in. Sometimes you don't even get the town, just the street!

Three such shows from the past were 'Hill Street Blues' and 'Green Acres'/'Petticoat Junction'.

'Blues' was an inner city precinct gritty enough to be found in the Chicago or New York of the early eighties. But in at least one episode, palm trees could be seen in the background during a car chase.

The location for both 'Green Acres' and 'Petticoat Junction' was Hooterville, but what state could lay claim to the town that Time - and Logic - forgot?

In his book "The Hooterville Handbook", Stephen Cox ran through all the pertinent pieces of information that had been parceled out over the episodes. He was able to find correlations in some states, but then other bits of info would contradict those.

The same question (among many!) is raised with 'The Prisoner'. Where exactly was "The Village"?

Several times Number Six was able to escape from The Village by sea, and once when he flew back over the area based on his own coordinates, it was definitely an island.

And yet, in the mind-blowing finale, he was simply able to load up the truck and move away from there and back to London - as if it really was situated in the Portmeirion, Wales, resort in which it was filmed.

And then there's the eternal question of where is the Springfield of 'The Simpsons'? Particulars of that town seem to fluctuate with the needs of an episode, but at the very least it can be said that they are on a coastline for the ocean.

Which ocean? Who knows?

And now this season has brought us two new intriguing questions, both from ABC. Where is the island of 'Lost'? And where is Wisteria Lane in 'Desperate Housewives'?

Someday we may get an answer from Mssrs. Abrams and Lindelof as to the location of the home for the "Lostaways". (The flight left Australia for L.A. and was turning back to Fiji when it broke up in mid-air. They were 1000 miles off-course. The research vessel that shipwrecked there 16 years earlier was three days out of Tahiti.)

But as for Wisteria Lane, we more than likely will never get an answer from the creator of 'Desperate Housewives'.But that's not stopping some intrepid reporters from trying to find out......

By John Cook
Chicago Tribune staff reporter

The cool oceanic breeze stirring the night air feels like Southern California to me. But the stately houses that line the slightly winding street -- a grab bag of styles from ranch to colonial to Gothic manor, all decked out in comfy pastels -- would look at home anywhere, from Savannah to Seattle.

There's really only one man who knows where we are, and he's not telling.

"Let me assure you that Wisteria Lane is in a state that will never be revealed," says Marc Cherry, flashing a mischievous feline grin.

"There's a state in my head," Cherry says, "but I will never ever reveal it."

Still, we have some clues. Take the Wisteria: They don't call it Wisteria Lane for nothing. The kudzulike flowering vine, which inspired Cherry because of its omnipresence in the South, from which his family hails, festoons many of the houses. (Well, plastic facsimiles do.)

And Wisteria doesn't grow just anywhere.

"It wouldn't grow in New England, where the soil freezes too long," says Kristine Johnson, a forester at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and wisteria connoisseur. "Once you get west of Missouri, you wouldn't see it in the Plains. You could probably grow it in Chicago, if you pamper it. If I had to put your town somewhere, I'd put it in upper South Carolina or Piedmont North Carolina."

That rules out Massachusetts, which is where Marcia Cross, who plays Bree, says she thinks the show is set (she grew up there). Eva Longoria, who plays Gabrielle and hails from Texas, says it's the Lone Star State. Neither knows for sure.

Wisteria does indeed grow in Chicago, which might explain the actual Wisteria Lane in Schaumburg and the Wisteria Court in Naperville.

It could also explain the brief appearance, in Episode 10, of what appears to have been a copy of this very newspaper.

As we noted at the time, Nicollette Sheridan's Edie swiped a newspaper from Mrs. Huber's porch that bore a striking resemblance to the Chicago Tribune, including the blue banner with the words "-ago Tribune" visible.

So what'll it be: Naperville or Schaumburg?

"If a Tribune was used," Cherry says, "it was a prop guy having fun. Some Teamster wanted to get his hometown paper in the show."

I'm going with Schaumburg, on the strength of an old police blotter report detailing a woman stabbing another woman at a Wisteria Lane address there in 1997.

Sounds like something that would happen on the show.

As for me? I like to think 'Desperate Housewives' takes place just around the corner from that classic episode of 'The Twilight Zone', "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street".

As she was growing up, Mrs. Huber definitely would have been defined by the suspicions of those times......



During this week's episode of 'Enterprise', Shran (of the Andorian Imperial Guard) was inspecting the framed illustrations of all the Earth ships which have proudly born the name of Enterprise.

Shran worked his way down from the "current" name-bearer, the starship on which he was a guest, to the space shuttle, to the aircraft carrier, and finally to the three-master.

Captain Archer better contact the Future's equivalent of the Franklin Mint and tell them that he's missing one. Between the sailing ship and the aircraft carrier, there should have been a riverboat by the name of Enterprise.

The Enterprise sailed up and down the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers, where it was the focal point of many an adventure for Captain Grey Holden and his crew.

Considering the fact that 'Enterprise' was just officially canceled by UPN, there doesn't seem to be any time for Archer to get the riverboat's picture up on the wall before the end. So we'll just have to settle for this to be a "Missing Link" between 'Enterprise' and 'Riverboat'.

Sail on!

For more about the TV series 'Riverboat', visit this site:


In many of the obituaries and probably in most people's memories, John Vernon will forever be linked to the role of Dean Vernon Wormer in "National Lampoon's Animal House". And we also have him repeating that role in the TV follow-up, 'Delta House'.

But for me, my favorite role of John Vernon's was that of Geoffrey Darro in the TV movie/pilot 'The Questor Tapes'. I've always had a strange fondness for the type of character he played - those who knew there was no chance of survival and still they push forward, making the ultimate sacrifice. But with Darro, there was a refreshing selfishness to his sacrifice, that it still served his own ends.

As for Ossie Davis, the role that always first comes to mind is that of the Judge in 'The Stand'. It is another of those roles where a character knowingly marches towards Death for the greater good. And he brought to it a quiet dignity that isn't often seen in what is essentially an extended horror flick. And that he came to the role with little preparation (due to the death of the actor previously attached to the part) shows how much of an artisan he was.

But in truth, it's for another character that I like to think of Ossie Davis, and actually, it's not even for the way he played it. It's because of the character's name.

Ponder Blue. I'm a big fan of the art of coining names, which Lin Carter dubbed "neocognomina". And there is something about "Ponder Blue" which has poetry in it.

I wish both of these gentlemen godspeed and offer my thanks for what they brought to the Toobworld table.




Deacons for Defense (2003) (TV) .... Rev. Gregory
"Feast of All Saints" (2001) (mini) TV Series .... Jean-Jacques... aka Anne Rice's The Feast of All Saints (USA: complete title)
Legend of the Candy Cane (2001) (TV) .... Jules
Finding Buck McHenry (2000) (TV) .... Buck McHenry
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (1999) (TV) .... The Caretaker
A Vow to Cherish (1999) (TV) .... Alexander Billman
The Soul Collector (1999/I) (TV) .... Mordecai
The Secret Path (1999) (TV) .... Too Tall... aka The Silent Path
"The Protector" (1997/II) TV Series
12 Angry Men (1997) (TV) .... Juror #2
Miss Evers' Boys (1997) (TV) .... Mr. Evers
"Promised Land" (1996) TV Series .... Erasmus Jones (1996-1998)... aka Home of the Brave
Home of the Brave (1996) (TV) .... Erasmus Jones
"VH1 Legends" (1996) TV Series .... Narrator
"The Client" (1995) TV Series .... Judge Harry Roosevelt... aka John Grisham's The Client
The Android Affair (1995) (TV) .... Dr. Winston
Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder (1995) (TV) .... Uncle Phil
Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice (1994) (TV) .... Uncle Phil
"The Stand" (1994) (mini) TV Series .... Judge Richard Farris... aka Stephen King's The Stand
"Queen" (1993) (mini) TV Series .... Parson Dick... aka Alex Haley's Queen
The Ernest Green Story (1993) (TV) .... Grandfather
Die Laughing (1990) (TV) .... Ossie
King of Jazz (1990) (TV) .... Ossie
"Evening Shade" (1990) TV Series .... Ponder Blue
We'll Take Manhattan (1990) (TV) .... Man in Subway
"B.L. Stryker" (1989) TV Series .... Oz Jackson (1989-1990)
B.L. Stryker: The Dancer's Touch (1989) (TV)
Don't Look Back: The Story of Leroy 'Satchel' Paige (1981) (TV) .... Chuffy Russell
"Ossie and Ruby!" (1980) TV Series .... Co-host (1980-81)
All God's Children (1980) (TV) .... Blaine Whitfield
Freedom Road (1979) (TV) .... Narrator
"Roots: The Next Generations" (1979) (mini) TV Series .... Dad Jones
"King" (1978) (mini) TV Series .... Martin Luther King Sr.
Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid (1977) (TV) .... Dr. Fredericks... aka Ghetto Child
The Tenth Level (1975) (TV)
The Sheriff (1971) (TV) .... James Lucas
Night Gallery (1969) (TV) .... Osmond Portifoy... aka Rod Serling's Wax Museum (USA)
Teacher, Teacher (1969) (TV) .... Charles Carter
The Outsider (1967) (TV) .... Lt. Wagner
Gone Are the Days! (1963) .... Reverend Purlie Victorious Judson
Seven Times Monday (1962) (TV) .... Will
The Emperor Jones (1955) (TV) .... Brutus Jones

Notable TV Guest Appearances
"The L Word" playing "Melvin Porter" in episode: "Lawfully" (episode # 1.5) 15 February 2004
"JAG" playing "Mr. Minnerly" in episode: "Close Quarters" (episode # 9.7) 7 November 2003
"Touched by an Angel" playing "Gabriel" in episode: "Remembering Me: Part 2" (episode # 9.9) 23 November 2002
"Presidio Med" playing "Otis Clayton" in episode: "This Baby's Gonna Fly" (episode # 1.1) 24 September 2002
"Philly" playing "Gilbert Willoughby" in episode: "The Curse of the Klopman Diamonds" (episode # 1.12) 8 January 2002
"Third Watch" playing "Mr. Parker" in episode: "Men" (episode # 1.18) 10 April 2000
"City of Angels" playing "Henry, King of England/Henry Charles" in episode: "To Halve or Halve Not" (episode # 1.12) 29 March 2000
"City of Angels" playing "Henry, King of England" in episode: "When Worlds Colitis" (episode # 1.11) 28 March 2000
"Third Watch" playing "Mr. Parker" in episode: "Journey to the Himalayas" (episode # 1.12) 24 January 2000
"Touched by an Angel" playing "Gabriel" in episode: "The Christmas Gift" (episode # 6.10) 12 December 1999
"Third Watch" playing "Mr. Parker" in episode: "Modern Designs for Better Living" (episode # 1.9) 28 November 1999
"Cosby" playing "Fred" in episode: "Ol' Betsy" (episode # 3.17) 15 February 1999
"Great Books" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" 1999
"Touched by an Angel" playing "Erasmus Jones" in episode: "Vengeance Is Mine: Part 1" (episode # 5.2) 27 September 1998
"The Rosie O'Donnell Show" playing "Himself" 24 January 1997
"Touched by an Angel" playing "Erasmus Jones" in episode: "Promised Land" (episode # 3.1) 15 September 1996
"Reading Rainbow" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Summer" (episode # 10.8) 5 October 1994
"Love, American Style" in episode: "Love and High Spirits" (episode # 5.4b) 5 October 1973
"The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People" in episode: "Today Is Ours"
"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" playing "Himself" 25 June 1970
"Night Gallery" playing "Osmond Portifoy" in episode: "The Cemetery" (episode # 1.0) 8 November 1969
"Bonanza" playing "Sam Davis" in episode: "The Wish" (episode # 10.23) 9 March 1969
"The Name of the Game" playing "Kubani" in episode: "The Third Choice" (episode # 1.24) 7 March 1969
"N.Y.P.D." in episode: "Nothing Is Real But the Dead" (episode # 1.26) 19 March 1968
"The Merv Griffin Show" playing "Himself" 3 January 1968
"Run for Your Life" playing "Dave Corbett" in episode: "A Rage for Justice: Part 2" (episode # 2.17) 16 January 1967
"Run for Your Life" playing "Dave Corbett" in episode: "The Flight from Tirana: Part 1" (episode # 2.16) 9 January 1967
"Twelve O'Clock High" playing "Glenn Luke" in episode: "Graveyard" (episode # 3.15) 30 December 1966
"Run for Your Life" playing "Frankie Morton" in episode: "A Game of Violence" (episode # 2.11) 28 November 1966
"The Fugitive" playing "Johnny Gaines" in episode: "Death Is the Door Prize" (episode # 4.2) 20 September 1966
"Slattery's People" playing "Jack Phillips" in episode: "What Can You Do with a Wounded Tiger?" (episode # 2.6) 22 October 1965
"The Defenders" playing "District Attorney Daniel Jackson" in episode: "The Sworn Twelve" (episode # 4.25) 25 March 1965
"The Defenders" playing "District Attorney Daniel Jackson" in episode: "Nobody Asks What Side Your On" (episode # 4.23) 11 March 1965
"The Defenders" playing "District Attorney Daniel Jackson" in episode: "Fires of the Mind" (episode # 4.20) 18 February 1965
"The Nurses" playing "Dr. Farmer" in episode: "The Family Resemblance" (episode # 3.8) 17 November 1964
"The Defenders" playing "Assistant District Attorney" in episode: "Turning Point" (episode # 4.7) 5 November 1964
"The Defenders" playing "District Attorney" in episode: "Mind Over Murder" (episode # 3.30) 16 May 1964
"To Tell the Truth" playing "Guest Panelist" 16 December 1963
"The Defenders" playing "District Attorney" in episode: "The Star Spangled Ghetto" (episode # 3.7) 9 November 1963
"To Tell the Truth" playing "Guest Panelist" 4 November 1963
"The Great Adventure" playing "John Ross" in episode: "Go Down, Moses" (episode # 1.6) 1 November 1963
"The Defenders" playing "Patrolman Bond" in episode: "Metamorphosis" (episode # 2.24) 2 March 1963
"Car 54, Where Are You?" playing "Omar" in episode: "Here Comes Charlie" (episode # 2.23) 24 February 1963
"Car 54, Where Are You?" playing "Omar" in episode: "The Star Boarder" (episode # 2.21) 10 February 1963
"Car 54, Where Are You?" playing "Omar" in episode: "The Presidential Itch" (episode # 2.18) 20 January 1963
"Car 54, Where Are You?" playing "Omar" in episode: "Benny the Bookie's Last Chance" (episode # 2.17) 13 January 1963
"The Defenders" playing "Nixie" in episode: "The Riot" (episode # 1.4) 7 October 1961
"Kraft Television Theatre" playing "The Emperor Jones" in episode: "The Emperor Jones" (episode # 8.22) 23 February 1955

Writer - filmography
For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story (1983) (TV) ... aka For Us, the Living (USA: short title)
Purlie (1981) (TV) (play Purlie Victorious)
"East Side/West Side" (1963) TV Series (writer) (episode "I Before E Except After C")



Star Trek: Klingon Academy (2000) (VG) (voice) .... Academy Communications Officer, Federation Commander 2
"The Incredible Hulk" (1996) TV Series (voice) .... General 'Thunderbolt' Ross (1996-1997)
Family of Cops (1995) (TV) .... Frank Rampola... aka Une famille de flics (Canada: French title)
"Pinky and the Brain" (1995) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
Paris or Somewhere (1994) (TV) .... Old Mahon
Sodbusters (1994) (TV) .... Slade Cantrell
Hostage for a Day (1994) (TV) .... V.D. Regan
The Forget-Me-Not Murders (1994) (TV) .... Boyce... aka Janek: Forget-Me-Not Murders
"Acapulco H.E.A.T." (1993) TV Series .... Mr. Smith (1993-1994)
The Fire Next Time (1993) (TV) .... Boudreaux
You Me + It (1993) (TV) .... Irritated Man
"Matrix" (1993) TV Series (voice) .... Narrator
Wojeck: Out of the Fire (1992) (TV) .... Dr. Steve Wojeck
"Batman" (1992) TV Series (voice) .... Rupert Thorne... aka Batman: The Animated Series (USA: promotional title) ... aka The Adventures of Batman & Robin (USA: new title)
The Woman Who Sinned (1991) (TV) .... Lieutenant Girvetz
Two Men (1988) (TV) .... Alex Kores
Nightstick (1987) (TV) .... Adam Beardsly... aka Calhoun
"Wildfire" (1986) TV Series (voice) .... Wildfire
Fuzz Bucket (1986) (TV) .... Principal
"Hail to the Chief" (1985) TV Series .... Gen. Hannibal Stryker (1985)
"The Blue and the Gray" (1982) (mini) TV Series .... Secretary of State Seward
The Sacketts (1979) (TV) .... Jonathan Pritts... aka The Daybreakers (USA: cut version)
"Delta House" (1979/I) TV Series .... Dean Vernon Wormer
Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night (1977) (TV) .... Dr. Orrin Helgerson
The Uncanny (1977) .... Pomeroy
Matt Helm (1975) (TV) .... Harry Paine
Barbary Coast (1975) (TV) .... Templar
The Swiss Family Robinson (1975) (TV) .... Charles Forsythe
The Impostor (1975/I) (TV) .... Sheriff Turner
The Virginia Hill Story (1974) (TV) .... Nick Rubanos
Mousey (1974) (TV) .... David Richardson... aka Cat and Mouse
The Questor Tapes (1974) (TV) .... Geoffrey Darro
The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping (1973) (TV) .... Julian Peck... aka Solid Gold Kidnapping (USA: short title)
Hunter (1973) (TV) .... David Hunter/Praetorius
Cool Million (1972) (TV) .... Inspector Duprez... aka Mask of Marcella (USA: reissue title)
Escape (1971) (TV) .... Charles WaldingTrial Run (1969) (TV) .... Leo D'Agosta
"Captain America" (1966) TV Series (voice) .... Iron Man (Tony Stark)
"Hulk" (1966) TV Series (voice) .... Major Glenn Talbot... aka The Incredible Hulk (UK: video box title) (USA: promotional title)
"Iron Man" (1966) TV Series (voice) .... Iron Man (Tony Stark)... aka The Invincible Iron Man (UK: video box title)
"The Marvel Superheroes" (1966) TV Series (voice) .... The Sub-Mariner/Iron Man (Tony Stark)/Maj. Glenn Talbot
Once Upon a Prime Time (1966)
"The Sub-Mariner" (1966) TV Series (voice) .... Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner
"Wojeck" (1966) TV Series .... Dr. Steve Wojeck

Notable TV Guest Appearances
"Grim & Evil" playing "Warden Toadblatt" (voice) in episode: "Nigel Planter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets/Circus of Fear" (episode # 3.6) 16 July 2004
"Grim & Evil" playing "Warden Toadblatt" (voice) in episode: "Toadblatt's School of Scorcery/Educating Grim/It's Hokey Mon!" (episode # 2.1) 13 June 2003
"The Strangerers" playing "D.N.E. Agent" in episode: "The Streets of Laredo" (episode # 1.7) 28 March 2000
"Heartbeat" playing "Rory Shaw" in episode: "Friends Like You" (episode # 8.21) 7 February 1999
"Duckman" playing "Principal Dinkler" (voice) in episode: "From Brad to Worse" (episode # 4.5) 1 February 1997
"The New Adventures of Robin Hood" in episode: "The Time Machine" (episode # 4.11)
"Spider-Man" playing "Doctor Strange" (voice) in episode: "Sins of the Fathers Chapter 1: Doctor Strange" (episode # 3.1) 27 April 1996
"Walker, Texas Ranger" playing "Clint Murdock/Max Slater" in episode: "Final Justice" (episode # 4.7) 11 November 1995
"Legend" playing "Seamus Calhoun" in episode: "Skeletons in the Closet" (episode # 1.12) 8 August 1995
"Renegade" playing "Max" in episode: "Family Ties" (episode # 3.19) 20 February 1995
"The Fantastic Four" playing "Dr. Doom/Victor von Doom" (voice) in episode: "The Mask of Doom: Part 3" (episode # 1.10) 26 November 1994
"The Fantastic Four" playing "Dr. Doom/Victor von Doom" (voice) in episode: "The Mask of Doom: Part 2" (episode # 1.9) 19 November 1994
"The Fantastic Four" playing "Dr. Doom/Victor von Doom" (voice) in episode: "The Mask of Doom: Part 1" (episode # 1.8) 12 November 1994
"Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron" playing "Rex Shard" (voice) in episode: "Chaos in Crystal" (episode # 1.8) 30 October 1993
"Doogie Howser, M.D." playing "Hank Bellamy" in episode: "Dorky Housecall, M.D." (episode # 4.20) 10 March 1993
"In the Heat of the Night" playing "Dr. Phillips" in episode: "Private Sessions" (episode # 6.11) 12 January 1993
"Renegade" playing "Capt. Ed McKendrick" in episode: "Lyon's Roar" (episode # 1.11) 4 January 1993
"Tales from the Crypt" playing "Mr. Chalmers" in episode: "Seance" (episode # 4.4) 4 July 1992
"The Ray Bradbury Theater" playing "La Farge" in episode: "The Martian" (episode # 5.8) 21 February 1992
"Dinosaurs" playing "Mr. Ashland" (voice) in episode: "Power Erupts" (episode # 2.15) 15 January 1992
"Dark Justice" playing "Don Paolo" in episode: "Broken Toys" (episode # 1.8) 24 May 1991
"Poirot" playing "David" in episode: "The Theft of the Royal Ruby" (episode # 3.8) 24 February 1991
"Father Dowling Mysteries" playing "Sam McCauley" in episode: "The Undercover Nun Mystery" (episode # 3.6) 1 November 1990
"War of the Worlds" playing "General Wilson" in episode: "The Walls of Jericho" (episode # 1.3) 10 October 1988
"War of the Worlds" playing "General Wilson" in episode: "The Resurrection" (episode # 1.1) 7 October 1988
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Mr. Brenner" in episode: "Conversation Over a Corpse" (episode # 2.2) 31 January 1987
"Scarecrow and Mrs. King" playing "Jordan" in episode: "Promises to Keep" (episode # 4.13) 9 January 1987
"Sledge Hammer!" playing "Mayor Jack Flambo" in episode: "Under the Gun" (episode # 1.1) 23 September 1986
"Knight Rider" playing "Claude Watkins" in episode: "Voo Doo Knight" (episode # 4.22) 4 April 1986
"Airwolf" playing "John Bradford Horn" (as John R. Vernon) in episode: "Discovery" (episode # 3.14) 18 January 1986
"Murder, She Wrote" playing "Henry Hayward" in episode: "School for scandal" (episode # 2.4) 25 October 1985
"MacGyver" playing "Ryerson" in episode: "The Gauntlet" (episode # 1.3) 20 October 1985
"The Fall Guy" playing "Mardovitch" in episode: "High Orbit" (episode # 4.18) 6 February 1985
"Call to Glory" playing "General McDermott" in episode: "The Move" (episode # 1.2) 20 August 1984
"Automan" playing "Carlos Rayner" in episode: "Zippers" (episode # 1.11) 26 March 1984
"The Fall Guy" playing "Ellis" in episode: "Boom" (episode # 3.20) 7 March 1984
"Knight Rider" playing "Cameron Zachary" in episode: "A Good Knight's Work" (episode # 2.20) 4 March 1984
"T.J. Hooker" playing "Grant Chandler" in episode: "Matter of Passion" (episode # 3.9) 26 November 1983
"Faerie Tale Theatre" playing "Father" in episode: "Little Red Riding Hood" (episode # 2.5) 10 November 1983
"The A-Team" playing "Jarrett" in episode: "Labor Pains" (episode # 2.8) 8 November 1983
"Hart to Hart" playing "Travis Saunders" in episode: "Love Game" (episode # 5.6) 8 November 1983
"The Fall Guy" playing "Carson Connally" in episode: "Just a Small Circle of Friends" (episode # 2.23) 4 May 1983
"The Greatest American Hero" playing "Justin King" in episode: "Desperado" (episode # 3.12) 1983
"CHiPs" playing "Sgt. Honeyton" in episode: "K-9-1" (episode # 5.26) 9 May 1982
"The Phoenix" playing "Harry Atkins" in episode: "In Search of Mira" (episode # 1.1) 26 March 1982
"Vega$" playing "Marvin Grant" in episode: "Deadly Blessings" (episode # 3.7) 10 December 1980
"The Littlest Hobo" playing "Sam Burrows" in episode: "Trapper" (episode # 2.4) 9 October 1980
"Quincy" playing "Vincent DiNardi" in episode: "Requiem for the Living" (episode # 3.20) 10 March 1978
"The Oregon Trail" playing "Charles Shrigley" in episode: "Hard Ride Home and the Last Game" (episode # 1.1) 21 September 1977
"Cannon" playing "Correll" in episode: "The Star" (episode # 5.14) 10 December 1975
"McMillan and Wife" playing "Nelson" in episode: "Secrets for Sale" (episode # 5.4) 7 December 1975
"S.W.A.T." in episode: "Dealers in Death" (episode # 2.4) 27 September 1975
"The Invisible Man" playing "Ernest Sheed" in episode: "Man of Influence" (episode # 1.4) 22 September 1975
"Kung Fu" playing "Gen. Cantrell" in episode: "Full Circle" (episode # 3.21) 15 March 1975
"Kung Fu" playing "Gen. Cantrell" in episode: "The Brothers Caine" (episode # 3.20) 1 March 1975
"Cannon" playing "Ward Trustin" in episode: "The Set Up" (episode # 4.19) 12 February 1975
"Gunsmoke" playing "Oliver Harker" in episode: "The Fires of Ignorance" (episode # 20.17) 27 January 1975
"Police Woman" playing "David Cory" in episode: "The Child Buyers" (episode # 1.12) 13 December 1974
"Kung Fu" playing "Forbes" in episode: "My Brother, My Executioner" (episode # 3.6) 12 October 1974
"Petrocelli" playing "Majors" in episode: "By Reason of Madness" (episode # 1.3) 25 September 1974
"Barnaby Jones" playing "Dr. Hank Danvers" in episode: "Woman in the Shadows" (episode # 2.22) 10 March 1974
"Cannon" playing "Brad Calvert" in episode: "Night Flight to Murder" (episode # 3.6) 17 October 1973
"Search" playing "Paul Holloway" in episode: "Goddess of Destruction" (episode # 1.18) 21 February 1973
"Cannon" playing "Ross McClintock" in episode: "Hard Rock Roller Coaster" (episode # 2.14) 3 January 1973
"Mission: Impossible" playing "Norman Shields" in episode: "Movie" (episode # 7.8) 4 November 1972
"Mannix" playing "John Thompson" in episode: "To Kill a Memory" (episode # 6.7) 29 October 1972
"The Bold Ones: The New Doctors" playing "Frank Stedman" in episode: "Time Bomb in the Chest" (episode # 4.4) 10 October 1972
"The F.B.I." in episode: "Escape to Nowhere" (episode # 7.26) 19 March 1972
"Mannix" playing "Dexter" in episode: "Scapegoat" (episode # 5.23) 1 March 1972
"Bearcats!" playing "Jason Ryker" in episode: "The Devil Wears Armor" (episode # 1.1) 16 September 1971
"Storefront Lawyers" playing "Martin Carlyle" in episode: "Yesterday Is But a Dream" (episode # 1.21) 31 March 1971
"Mannix" playing "Chief Belden" in episode: "Shadow Play" (episode # 4.23) 6 March 1971
"Mission: Impossible" playing "Ramone Fuego" in episode: "The Catafalque" (episode # 5.19) 6 February 1971
"The Name of the Game" playing "Embers" in episode: "Seek and Destroy" (episode # 3.18) 5 February 1971
"Hawaii Five-O" playing "Cal Anderson" in episode: "Force of Waves" (episode # 3.7) 28 October 1970
"Mission: Impossible" playing "General Ramon Sabattini" in episode: "The Falcon: Part 3" (episode # 4.16) 18 January 1970
"Mission: Impossible" playing "General Ramon Sabattini" in episode: "The Falcon: Part 2" (episode # 4.14) 11 January 1970
"Mission: Impossible" playing "General Ramon Sabattini" in episode: "The Falcon: Part 1" (episode # 4.13) 4 January 1970
"The F.B.I." playing "David Mark Starrett" in episode: "Journey Into Night" (episode # 5.14) 14 December 1969
"The High Chaparral" playing "Gregg" in episode: "No Irish Need Apply" (episode # 2.16) 17 January 1969
"Mission: Impossible" playing "Colonel Josef Strom" in episode: "The Exchange" (episode # 3.12) 4 January 1969
"Bonanza" playing "Beaudry" in episode: "Yonder Man" (episode # 10.12) 1 December 1968
"Felony Squad" playing "Royce Taylor" in episode: "Jury of One" (episode # 3.2) 23 September 1968
"Tarzan" playing "Dan Burton" in episode: "Rendevouz for revenge" (episode # 2.24) 15 March 1968
"The F.B.I." playing "Mike Burton" in episode: "Southwind" (episode # 3.21) 3 March 1968
"Coronet Blue" playing "Ali" in episode: "The Assassins" (episode # 1.6) 10 July 1967
"The F.B.I." in episode: "Vendetta" (episode # 2.9) 20 November 1966
"The Forest Rangers" playing "Butler" in episode: "Escape" (episode # 3.8) 1965
"The Forest Rangers" playing "Chub's 1st Foster Father" in episode: "The Deal" (episode # 2.1) 1964
"The Unforeseen" in episode: "The Monsters" (episode # 1.8) 16 August 1960
"Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans" in episode: "Tolliver Gang" (episode # 1.23) 4 September 1957
"Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans" playing "Nangus" in episode: "Revenge" (episode # 1.32) 23 February 1957

Orbach Lives!

From Rush & Malloy, gossip columnists in the NY Daily News:

Jerry Orbach died in December - yet the commercials he made for a mortgage company continued to run in New York and nationally.

They went on despite promises from David Peskin, president of the Senior Lending Network, to immediately halt the promos the day after Orbach's death.

Elaine Orbach, the widow of the "Law & Order" star, is unhappy about it and considering her legal options, according to The News' Deborah Kolben.

"It was spooky," one viewer told us. "It was like he was selling mortgages from beyond the grave."

Reps for the beloved New York actor, a former Broadway musical star, would not comment.

But Peskin spokeswoman Laura Bennett told us: "Yes, it's true that one or two ran as many as 10 more days [after Orbach's death]. But we asked the stations to pull them, and they told us they couldn't be pulled out of rotation.

"We never heard from the Orbach family. We're very sorry if they are upset. It was a real blow. He was very easy to work with and he was tremendously successful."

Bennett added that the company will announce a new spokesman next week.

A Toobworld Note:

That's bullbleep that they only ran for 10 days after Orbach's death. I saw one at 9:15 am on January 27th [on CNN]. So that's about a full month since his death. I've got nothing against seeing his actual performances, especially as Lennie Briscoe, even though he's passed on. In fact, I can't wait until 'Trial By Jury' finally debuts so we can see his final two episodes as Lennie.

But schilling mortgages from the afterlife? There was only one thing creepier I've seen in a similar vein: seeing Phil Foster ('Laverne & Shirley') hawking for a New York local furniture store many years after his death!

'Desperate' Spinoff?

From the pages of that fine publication, the New York Post:

February 4, 2005

THE "Desperate Housewives" of Wisteria Lane are desperate for a spinoff — and might get one.

"The network [ABC] has saved an area [on the schedule] for me when I'm ready to write it," series creator Marc Cherry tells the latest edition of TV Guide.

But "it's going to take me a couple of seasons before I have the energy [and] time," he says. "I know another angle on telling the stories of the people in this neighborhood."

Cherry says cryptically that the new show would focus on a "segment of Wisteria Lane's population . . . but would be set somewhere else."
Don Kaplan

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.....


Thursday, February 3, 2005


What would Life be like for me if I was a cat?

I think Patrick McDonnell is capturing it nicely with this week's run of the "Mutts" comic strip.

Go here to check it out for yourself:

Or to any fine website for comics that you frequent.

(Just in case that link doesn't work for you!)



This is the type of story you can expect to see about a year later in one or another of the various crime dramas in the 'Law & Order' universe. It would also have been an engaging sub-plot on 'NYPD Blue'......

Wed Feb 2, 7:23 AM ET
With Jonathan Lemire

An impatient 75-year-old East Village man stabbed a homeless man in the throat yesterday after twisting apart a walking cane to reveal a long sword, cops and witnesses said.

Eugene Carlson allegedly attacked George Devol with the 22-inch blade after the homeless man blocked a narrow path along the snow-covered, trash-strewn sidewalk on E. Ninth St. and refused to budge. As several horrified churchgoers looked on, Carlson hacked into Devol's neck with his stealth weapon and nearly severed the victim's jugular vein outside Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Church, police said.

"The old man was going to go after him again," said a witness, a homeless man who didn't want his name used. "I had to get involved."

The good Samaritan said he snatched the wooden cane and held Carlson until cops arrived about 1:40p.m.
"The old man was all confused," said the witness. "He was in a daze. He didn't know what he had done. You could tell."

Devol, 30, who had just left the church, between Avenues B and C, was in good spirits about getting a job at Con Edison before he was attacked, friends said. He was rushed to Bellevue Hospital and was in critical but stable condition last night.

Carlson, who lives up the block near Avenue C, was charged with first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, authorities said.

His neighbors were stunned by the charges against him. "It's hard for me to wrap my mind around it," said Mal Stein, 44. "He's an elderly man, relatively fragile," Stein added. "He's not in good health."

Wednesday, February 2, 2005


In one of the flashbacks of the 'Lost' episode "Hearts & Minds", we saw Boone Carlisle in a Sydney, Australia police station trying to swear out a complaint against his step-sister's latest boyfriend, Bryan. Unfortunately, the desk officer wasn't too willing to get involved. (

DETECTIVE: "Mr. Carlisle, in the absence of any physical evidence or a direct complaint from, uh....."

BOONE: "Shannon."

DETECTIVE: "Shannon. We can't just go baring in people's apartments. Sadly, we're the police, not the dating police."

But why couldn't they have been at least the Harbour Police?

From 1996 to 2002 or so, one of the most popular police procedurals on Australian TV was 'Water Rats', which took place in and around Sydney Harbour.

Barring the actual import of any of the actors who played established characters on that show, at least the producers of 'Lost' could have thrown this old Crossoverite a bone by making it known that the police station was the same one used by the "Rats".

As it is, I'm still content in imagining it actually was the same police station, and that the cops we saw in that short scene were either from a different shift, or the other cops known in the series were enjoying days off and vacation time.

It might seem strange that Boone would have sought police assistance from a police station tailored for water-based crimes. But as we saw in a later flashback, Boone confronted Bryan down on the pier, where the abusive boyfriend was washing down the area.

Boone probably wanted to get help from the police who would be closest to the "psycho" (as Boone described Bryan) at his place of employment.

And after leaving the 'Water Rats' station, Boone might have headed straight over to the pier where Bryan was working and made his monetary offer for Bryan to get "lost" himself.

So as far as I'm concerned in a corner of the TV Universe where the rules are a bit more lax, this can be considered a missing link.



Tuesday, February 1, 2005


This year marks the 50th year I've been stranded on your world.

As such, I've applied the philosophy of the Birthday Honors List to the entire induction process for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in 2005.

"What I say, goes."

Therefore, in celebration of Black History Month, I'm pleased to announce that the February induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame is the techno-wizard electronics genius of the Impossible Mission Force:

Barney Collier.

As befitting a spy who must have deep deniability, the dossier on Barney Collier is quite scant in details:
Years of service to the IMF: 7
Missions completed: 156
The IMF's mechanical and electronics genius.
President of his own electronics company, Collier Electronics.

I posted the following back on November 20th of last year. And it was because of this blog entry that I realized I had the perfect candidate for this month's induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame:

Because of their line of work, a secret agent usually leads a very lonely life. No close friends outside of their partners, no family to really speak of, no lasting relationships. How could they have those things? Anybody they became close to would be a target for their enemies.

That's why most spies, like James Bond ('Casino Royale'), can be excused for having an endless string of temporary lovers. [Being the prurient moralist that he is, John Drake ('Danger Man') had to abstain even from those fleeting comforts.]

Eventually, some of them do fall in love and, after their romantic partners are vetted by their higher-ups, they even marry and raise a family. Partners Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott ('I Spy') obviously needed more than their own companionship; each of them married and had a child who would later follow in their footsteps. ('I Spy Returns')

But even so, the secret agent would still have to take precautions. He'd have to settle his family in far from his haunts as a "spook"; and perhaps even have them all live under an assumed name as though they were in the witness protection program.

So it was for IMF member Barney Collier. ('Mission : Impossible')

We don't know who his wife was, but he must have set up their househould in New Rochelle, New York. There they lived under the surname of "Peters" - a nice, bland name which probably never raised a blip during surveillance sweeps by agents of KAOS ('Get Smart') or THRUSH ('The Man From UNCLE') or some other nefarious organization.

And at some point around 1955, Barney Collier met Rob Petrie, creating a theoretical link between 'Mission: Impossible' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

By 1988, Barney Collier's son Grant had followed in Dad's footsteps. ('Mission: Impossible 2') As a technical genius, Grant Collier worked with his Dad's old boss Jim Phelps and even was able to rescue Barney from a foreign prison. (This near-tragedy made them both realize how easily it would be to lose the other. Any gulfs in their relationship as father and son were quickly erased.)

At this time, I have no information on whether or not Grant Collier ever used the alias of "Peters" for old times sake........

By the way, many years later, Barney's former IMF partner Cinnamon Carter met a Dr. Mark Sloan in Los Angeles. ('Diagnosis Murder') Had Barney been around to get involved in that case, he might have noticed a striking resemblance between Dr. Sloan and Rob Petrie.

Then again, maybe not. Although a one-time meeting over thirty years before might not have been that memorable, there's also another factor to consider: For some reason, many people in the TV Universe don't seem to notice when they meet more than one person who looks exactly the same. Otherwise, Dr. 'Frasier' Crane might have said something when a piano tuner showed up in 'Cheers' who looked exactly like his father Martin!

Welcome aboard, Mr. Collier. You'll never have to worry about us disavowing your presence in the Hall of Fame!


PS: Even though Barney Collier is a separate entity from Greg Morris in the TV Universe, anybody who would walk out of the movie version of "Mission: Impossible" is A-OK in my book!

"If you want to know who you are, it's important to know who you've been."- Jadzia Dax, 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'