Wednesday, May 31, 2006



In order to promote the online presence of "Brilliant But Cancelled", BRAVO presented a marathon of 'The Jake Effect. At least seven episodes of the sitcom were allegedly produced, but the NBC owned BRAVO only showed the first six. (Someday I'll have to track down the episode "The Intervention" so my 'Jake Effect' viewing experience will be complete.)

Now that the show has aired, the Chicago-based sitcom has become part of Toobworld.

'The Jake Effect' was about an idealistic lawyer who chucked it all to become a high school history teacher. But Jake Galvin still took advantage of the perks which his former life provided him.

This included accepting favors from former clients whom he got off the hook. One of these clients was a home securities expert who liked to use the properties of his own (unsuspecting) clients when they were conveniently out of town. So when he was finally caught doing this, Jake's skills led to a "not guilty" verdict, and he was so grateful, that he made sure Jake and his friend Nick Case would get a chance to try out these celebrities' homes.

The episode gave us as examples the adventures of Nick and Jake in the homes of Mike Ditka, Oprah Winfrey, and the Big Man of Chicago himself, Michael Jordan.

At Mike Ditka's, Nick took a fancy bubble bath, while Jake availed himself of the Coach's personal electric toothbrush.

At Oprah's mansion, they enjoyed a Steve Guttenberg film festival in her private screening room.

And finally, at Chez Air Jordan, Jake and Nick brought along one of Jake's fellow teachers and a potential love interest to boot, Liza. And they used the mansion as a place for two of their students to work out their mutual hostilities.

Now, we never got the chance to see the actual televersions of Ditka, Oprah, and the King of Jordans, but we did get to go inside the palatial estates where they lived.

And that's good enough with old Dinsey......

Aside from his own eponymous series back in 1982, Mike Ditka has appeared in such shows as:

"According to Jim"
- Cars & Chicks (2002) TV Episode .... Himself
- The Trouble with Harry (2001) TV Episode .... Himself
"3rd Rock from the Sun"
- Fourth and Dick (1996) TV Episode .... Himself
- A Player to Be Named Later (1996) TV Episode .... Himself
- One for the Road (1993) TV Episode .... Himself
"L.A. Law"
- The Last Gasp (1990) TV Episode .... Himself

And the Coach also showed up in two made-for-TV movies, "Second String" (2002) and "A Night To Die For" (1995) as himself.

In addition, Mike Ditka was practically a god-like cult figure to several fans of "Da Bears" in the TV dimension of Skitlandia, thanks to several classic sketches on 'Saturday Night Live'.

The bazillionaire talk show goddess Oprah Winfrey also has her own series and has hosted many TV specials, including the recent "Legends Ball". But her televersion has also made herself at home in the following sitcoms:

- Two Days at a Time (2000) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Hughleys"
- Milsap Moves Up (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
"Home Improvement"
- Home Alone (1999) TV Episode .... Herself
"All-American Girl"
- A Night at the Oprah (1995) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
- A Night at the Oprah (1992) TV Episode .... Herself

As well as in a drama series:

"Gabriel's Fire"
- Tis the Season (1990) TV Episode .... Herself

Surprisingly, the Big Man of Basketball doesn't have much in the way of credits for his televersion:

"My Wife and Kids"
- Fantasy Camp: Parts 1 & 2 (2004) TV Episode .... Himself

That's it.

But, he does have an impressive run of appearances in blipverts for Haines underwear which carry as much weight as TV shows and tele-flicks. In these, he hangs around with celebrities like Matthew Perry, Kevin Bacon, and Jackie Chan. But he also finds time for the simpler things in Life, such as walking through the park... where he tells two inquisitive young bench-warmers that he's wearing Haines. As to whether they're boxers or briefs, he advises them to just leave it at that.

I wonder if the "boys" are ever allowed to go commando, considering that hefty Haines contract.

Just as with the connection made with 'The Jake Effect', Michael Jordan can also make the connection with 'Monk' without ever appearing on the show. A basketball that he autographed was the prize possesson in the office of a sports agent in San Francisco... or at least it was until Adrian Monk obsessively wiped away the "smudge" that was on it.

Oprah can make the same kind of connection without having to show up, via something she "owns" - Gayle King. The quartet of women who worked as real estate agents on 'Hot Properties' worshipped Oprah and finally scored the ducats needed to gain entry to her show. But thanks to a series of mishaps through which hilarity ensued, the girls needed the divine intervention of "Oprah's Best Friend" to finally get in to see her.

So it's a bit off the cuff and by proxy, but through the League of Themselves, 'The Jake Effect' has gained official entry into the TV Universe.

(Unofficially, it's also a member thanks to the Theory of Relateeveety. Six episodes weren't enough time for us to meet Jake Galvin's family. So nothing really prevents me from staking the claim that his father is Ace Galvin, the former astronaut played by Robert Culp in an episode of 'Wings'.)


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