Saturday, January 7, 2006


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Raul Davila, who appeared with many A-list actors in feature films and on television, died Monday in a Belleville hospital of a heart attack. He was 74.

Davila's best-known big-screen role was in 1987's "The Believers," starring Martin Sheen, when he played a voodoo priest with designs on the soul of the son of Sheen's character. Through the 1990s, he played Hector Santos on the TV soap opera "All My Children," starring Susan Lucci.

Davila moved to New York in 1963, acting in theater as well as in TV and radio ads. In 1967, he moved to Newark and produced programs for the city's Spanish language television station Channel 47, including the long-running public-affairs program "Hispanic Forum."

Davila retired from acting about three years ago, his brother-in-law Vincent Perez said, but continued to work with student actors at a community center in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem.

"He loved to share his craft," Perez said.

"All My Children" (1970) TV Series .... Hector Santos (1994-1996)

The Old Man and the Sea (1990) (TV)
The Trial of Bernhard Goetz (1988) (TV) .... Flores
Florida Straits (1986) (TV) .... Esteban
Private Sessions (1985/I) (TV) .... Mr. Fontana
A Doctor's Story (1984) (TV) .... Jack Angel

"New York Undercover" in episode: "Missing" (episode # 1.8) 3 November 1994
"Law & Order" playing "Camacho" in episode: "Coma" (episode # 5.2) 28 September 1994


Friday, January 6, 2006


Singer Lou Rawls has passed away from cancer. His voice served him in good stead in the Tooniverse, and his talent made him a welcome guest on many sitcoms as himself. But he also showed he had dramatic chops in TV shows of all genres, from Westerns to private eye actioners.

"Baywatch Nights" (1995) TV Series .... Lou Raymond (1995-1996)

Don King: Only in America (1997) (TV) .... Harold Logan
Saturday's (1991) (TV) .... Jack Saturday

"The Proud Family" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "The Party" (episode # 1.11) 4 January 2002
"Hey Arnold!" (1996) TV Series (voice) .... Harvey (1996-1999)
"Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" (1995) TV Series (voice) .... Bat
"Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (1990) TV Series (voice) .... Dr. Rice

"My Wife and Kids" playing "Himself" in episode: "Michael's Garden" (episode # 2.7) 31 October 2001
"The Norm Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Norm and Shelly in Love" (episode # 2.5) 20 October 1999
"The Good News" playing "Himself" in episode: "Gospelfest: Part 2" (episode # 1.20) 5 May 1998
"Martin" playing "Himself" in episode: "California, Here We Come: Part 2" (episode # 5.24) 1 May 1997
"Roc" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Concert" (episode # 3.18) 8 February 1994
"Lou Rawls Parade of Stars" (1984) TV Series .... Himself/Host
"The Muppet Show" playing "Himself" (episode # 2.15) 1 November 1977
Lou Rawls: Soul On Ice! (1975) (TV) .... Himself
"Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers" (1968) TV Series .... Himself (1969)
Jack Benny's Bag (1968) (TV) .... Himself

"Early Edition" playing "Hanratty" in episode: "The Wall: Part 2" (episode # 1.15) 8 February 1997
"Baywatch" playing "Ozzie Thompson" in episode: "Lifeguards Can't Jump" (episode # 3.10) 16 November 1992
"Fantasy Island" playing "Charles 'Diggs' Whelan" in episode: "Return to the Cotton Club/No Friends Like Old Friends" (episode # 6.15) 26 February 1983
"The Fall Guy" playing "Country Joe Walker"
in episode: "The Fall Guy: Part 2" (episode # 1.2) 4 November 1981
in episode: "The Fall Guy: Part 1" (episode # 1.1) 4 November 1981
"The Big Valley" playing "Joshua Watson" in episode: "Joshua Watson" (episode # 4.14) 20 January 1969
"77 Sunset Strip" playing "Safari Attendant" (uncredited) in episode: "Safari" (episode # 2.22) 4 March 1960 TV

"This Is America, Charlie Brown" (1988) TV Series (singer) (episode "The Music and Heroes of America" 1989)
A Garfield Christmas Special (1987) (TV) (singer: title theme)
Garfield in Paradise (1986) (TV) (singer)
"New Love, American Style" (1985) TV Series (singer: title theme)
Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985) (TV) (singer)
Garfield in the Rough (1984) (TV) (singer)
Garfield on the Town (1983) (TV) (singer)
Here Comes Garfield (1982) (TV) (singer)

Apparently, Rawls must have found kinship with another hep cat.....



Neil Strawser, who spent 34 years as a correspondent for CBS News and anchored its four straight days of radio coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy, has died at the age of 78.

Strawser died at his home in Washington.

He appeared on radio and television for CBS News from 1952-86, including a stint as a Washington-based correspondent for the "CBS News With Douglas Edwards." This was the network's 15-minute newscast in the 1950s and early 1960s before Walter Cronkite replaced Edwards on the nightly newscast.

Before the Kennedy assassination, Strawser was on the job during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 as what the network described as one of the first reporters allowed to travel to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. As the television pool reporter, he saw Soviet freighters leave Cuban waters with nuclear missiles.

Strawser spent his entire career at CBS News in the Washington bureau. He moderated the CBS Radio coverage of NASA missions from the Gemini program through the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. He also moderated the CBS coverage of the 1973 Watergate hearings in the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings the following year.

Strawser also appeared on "Face the Nation."

After leaving CBS News, he worked as a press officer for the House Budget Committee from 1987 until he retired in 1994.

"Neil was a true Washington expert, particularly on the legislative process," CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante said. "He was a generous colleague with an enormous storehouse of knowledge he was always willing to share."

CBS TV newsmen have always played an important part in my family's living room while I was growing up. So that's why I'd like to tip my hat to Mr. Strawser for his contributions.



Jaia may have been on to something the other day when she suggested a new category for next year's Toobits: Best Return Of A Character.

She thought that Dr. Noah Drake's return to 'General Hospital' after 22 years was a worthy contender for last year. And if the rumors I'm hearing are true, I have the candidate for 2006 locked up as well.

But my candidate may have competition, and it looks like Jaia's fave soap will be responsible for it again.

According to Carolyn Hinsey in the New York Daily News, Tristan Rogers is returning to 'General Hospital' next month as Robert Scorpio. The former spy, with one of the coolest TV names ever, was last seen 14 years ago when it was assumed he perished in a boat explosion.

Of course, as so often happens in soaps, no body was recovered.

Who's next to turn up in Port Charles, NY? If this trend continues, perhaps we might find out that the title character of 'Jake In Progress' was once known as Blackie Parrish!


Thursday, January 5, 2006


You give me a TV story in which alien worms are controlling humans by burrowing into the base of the neck, I'll go along with it. Bleep, they're aliens; who am I to argue with how they evolved on their homeworld?

But don't ask me to suspend my disbelief when it comes to the mundane. There are certain aspects of life in the Real World that should be reflected in Toobworld.

Sure, you can argue that it's not likely a housewife looking like Ann Miller could have her kitchen split apart so that she could dance on the tops of soup cans. For that matter, you're not likely to find many housewives looking like Ann Miller.

But if you find a decent splainin - say, Sweet the Musical Demon of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' was controlling her actions - then, okay, that works for me. There's precedent.

But don't tell me those two sisters in 'What I Like About You' can afford that big NYC apartment without at least two more room-mates!

David Bianculli, the TV critic for the New York Daily News addressed that particular issue in Wednesday's edition of the paper while reviewing 'Four Kings':

'Four Kings' is created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, and is about four lifelong friends. The buddies get to prolong their friendship - and arrest their maturity - by moving in together into the lavish apartment that one of them has inherited.

Give that plot twist credit, at least, for explaining one of the unspoken absurdities about comedies set in New York: how so many young twentysomethings can afford so many luxurious living spaces.

It was a major sticking point in regards to the apartment Monica and Rachel shared on 'Friends'. It was several seasons before it was finally revealed that it was rent-stabilized and under the name of Monica's grandmother. But by then, the damage was done. At least in the case of 'Four Kings', they address the issue right away.

But as far as Bianculli was concerned, that was about the only good thing about the show's premise......

Looking for other elements of 'Four Kings' on which to bestow compliments, though, is a more difficult task.



Wednesday, January 4, 2006


Here's a good example on how the "Trueniverse" is different from Toobworld:
From the CNN website:

(AP) -- Once-powerful lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to conspiracy and wire fraud stemming from his 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.

The plea before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck came a day after Abramoff, 46, entered guilty pleas in Washington to three other federal charges.

The tandem pleas came as part of an agreement with prosecutors requiring Abramoff to cooperate in a broad corruption investigation into members of Congress.

If this world was like Toobworld, it would never get this far. A cold-blooded assassin, someone on the order of James Olsen, would have made it look like Abramoff died in an accident.

It still could happen, but the plotline would have had it decided to do it before the investigation was now rolling on its own power.

Of course, had this been Toobworld, there would have been somebody racing against the clock to stop the murder within 24 hours, even while his own daughter was being attacked by alien-transformed humans.

And he would have prevented the assassination using only a gum wrapper, a clothes pin, and a potato.



Television, like the English language, is a great maw absorbing new elements from outside influences. This especially refers to characters who might also exist in other creative universes, such as those for movies, novels, comic strips, even from songs. (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? The Gambler?)

I guess it could be estimated that there are at least 1000 major characters in Toobworld who have come from other sources; I wouldn't be surprised if there are even more. But even so, there will always be others whom I would like to see become citizens of the ever-expanding TV Universe.

So as the new year begins to pick up steam, I'd like to take a moment and make two recommendations for characters to be adapted for Television, male and female.

[as depicted by George McDonald Fraser]

This rogue who rogered his way through the world's history in the second half of the 19th Century - from the Khyber Pass to China and on to the Little Big Horn, - would be perfect for several mini-series to be adapted from Fraser's novels. They would be very much in the same vein as the "Sharpe's" miniseries as seen on 'Masterpiece Theater', and the 'Horatio Hornblower' series broadcast on A&E. But there's enough spicy licentiousness in Flash's adventures to make this a candidate for the HBO treatment, a la 'Rome'.

Technically this choice is a bit of a cheat. Although Harry Flashman has been adapted for the movies (Malcolm McDowall in "Royal Flash"), he has also appeared in Toobworld. But that was Harry Flashman as a young student (and secondary character) in 'Tom Brown's School Days'. That was the original source material by Thomas Hughes, from which Fraser kidnapped the character to make over as wholly his own.

[by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson]

Females with magical powers have always been popular in Toobworld - Samantha, Jeannie, Sabrina, Isis, and Happy Hotpoint, among others. So it would not be too hard a sell for a superhero/stage magician who uses magic as a superpower to be a weekly fixture in an action-adventure series.

Zatanna was created by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson in 1964, debuting in "Hawkman" #4. She is the daughter of Golden Age comic book character John Zatara and Sindella, of the "homo magi" offshoot of the human race. Her family tree includes Leonardo DaVinci, Cagliostro, Nostradamus, and even the King of Atlantis. These genealogical touchstones would anchor her well in the TV Universe.

The catalyst for her magic is the incantation of her spells in reverse. This effect could be easily accomplished without the actress having to learn the tricky phonetics. Just run her speech backwards, a la the Dancing Midget on 'Twin Peaks' and Walt on 'Lost'.

According to a report at from July of 2005, Warners is developing a feature film version of the character, written by Hadley Davis and produced by Denise DiNovi. Apparently, that version is seen as a 'Sabrina' type for a "tweenie" audience.


I think it should be darker, more in keeping with the zeitgeist of the Buffyverse. Zatanna should be sexy to the point of slatternly in her fishnet stockings; so ample of bosom that there's a threat that she might bust her buttons on her shirtfront. (Check out the cover on the latest issue of "Catwoman".)

I see Zatanna with a harder edge in her stage persona/superhero mode than in her public image; providing that Clark Kent/Superman - or in this case, the Diana Prince/Wonder Woman - duality.

I'll take a wait-and-see attitude about Zatanna's future in film - not everything survives development hell. But I'd still rather see her become an addition to the TV Universe. (And in a way, she already is; but over in the Tooniverse where she has appeared on 'Batman: The Animated Series' and 'Justice League Unlimited'.)

Over in an alternate dimension, Clark Kent of 'Smallville' has already met his world's versions of Aquaman and The Flash; perhaps Zatanna might make for an interesting addition to those reinterpretations of DC characters as college students. And since Kal El is supposedly susceptible to the powers of magic, it would make for an interesting initial conflict between the two.

(And it would be better to have him face a new magical adversary rather than cross over the 'Charmed' Sisters, even though both are on the same network. I would rather keep the Halliwells in the main TV Universe.

So those are my choices for this year - Harry Flashman and Zatanna Zatara. We'll see what happens in a year; whether they can be dropped from this new list or be joined by next year's pair.

What character from another medium would YOU like to see adapted for Toobworld?


Tuesday, January 3, 2006


Richard DeAngelis was a Baltimore native, an actor and comedian who was best known for playing Raymond Foerster in the HBO series 'The Wire'.

The IMDb lists him as playing Foerster in six episodes of the first season, and seven episodes of the third season. But they also list these appearances as guest shots. As there were such a limited numbers of episodes in each season of 'The Wire', I think he has every right to be considered a member of the regular company of players.

At some point during the second season, when he was not seen by the home-viewing audience, Raymond Foerster was elevated from the rank of Major to that of Colonel.

As for his role in the movie sequel to 'Homicide: Life On The Streets', he is only listed as a nameless witness. I don't think he was appearing as Foerster, even though both series took place in Baltimore. But he could have been Foerster's twin brother, thus linking the two series unofficially.


"The Wire" playing Major/Colonel Raymond Foerster" June 2002 - December 2004

Homicide: The Movie (2000) (TV) .... Witness #1


I know this is going to sound wrong of me, but I think the main reason Ms. Brunetti's death received the attention that it did was because she died so close to Christmas. And perhaps her main claim to fame was that she played Mrs. Martini in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life", which has come to be so closely associated with the holiday over the years.

She passed away in Italy where she had been living, as did Vincent Schiavelli, who died about a week after she did. They appeared together in at least one movie filmed over there, and I would not be surprised if there were several pictures they made together. American actors who could speak Italian and who were already living in the country were probably few in number.


"General Hospital" (1963) TV Series .... Filomena Soltini (1985-1986)

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (1980) (TV)

Evita Peron (1981) (TV) .... Old woman
Black Market Baby (1977) (TV) .... Aunt Imelda
Flight to Holocaust (1977) (TV) .... Woman in Elevator

"That's Life" playing "Aunt Rose" in episode: "Saint Bernadette" (episode # 1.9) 25 November 2000
"Everybody Loves Raymond" playing "Zia Sarina" in episode: "Mia Famigila" (episode # 2.14) 12 January 1998
"Booker" playing "Grandma Petrelli" in episode: "Mobile Home" (episode # 1.21) 29 April 1990
"1st & Ten" in episode: "Rona's Fling" (episode # 1.11) 1985
"Joanie Loves Chachi" playing "Aunt Gina" (episode # 2.10) 24 May 1983
"The Quest" in episode: "He Stole-A My Art" (episode # 1.3) 5 November 1982
"Fantasy Island" playing "Teresa" in episode: "The Appointment/Mr. Tattoo" (episode # 2.9) 18 November 1978
"Quincy" playing "Mrs. Maggiore" in episode: "Matters of Life and Death" (episode # 3.14) 20 January 1978
"Wonder Woman" playing "Manageress" in episode: "The Return of Wonder Woman" (episode # 2.1) 16 September 1977
"Kojak" playing "Christina" in episode: "Deadly Innocence" (episode # 3.21) 15 February 1976
"Temperatures Rising" in episode: "The Night Shift" (episode # 2.8) 20 November 1973
"To Rome with Love" playing "Josie" in episode: "Rome Is Where You Find It" (episode # 2.6) 20 October 1970
"The High Chaparral" playing "Duena" in episode: "A Time to Laugh, A Time to Cry" (episode # 3.2) 26 September 1969
"The Flying Nun" playing "Consuelo Gomez" in episode: "The Lottery" (episode # 2.26) 10 April 1969
"The Flying Nun" playing "Woman #2" in episode: "The Convent Gets the Business" (episode # 2.24) 27 March 1969
[Most likely, "Woman #2 was Consuelo Gomez.]
"Ironside" playing "Rita's Aunt" in episode: "The Sacrifice" (episode # 2.4) 3 October 1968
"I Spy" playing "Chica" (as Argentine Brunetti) in episode: "Carmelita Is One of Us" (episode # 3.25) 8 April 1968
"The Big Valley" playing "Maria" in episode: "Devil's Masquerade" (episode # 3.24) 4 March 1968
"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." playing "Cara" in episode: "Gomer, the Good Samaritan" (episode # 4.16) 22 December 1967
"The Invaders" playing "Luz" in episode: "The Mutation" (episode # 1.2) 14 January 1967
"The Andy Griffith Show" playing "La Farona" in episode: "The Gypsies" (episode # 6.23) 21 February 1966
"The F.B.I." playing "Tia Rodriguez" in episode: "Special Delivery" (episode # 1.19) 23 January 1966
"The Fugitive" playing "Mexican Woman" in episode: "Stroke of Genius" (episode # 3.20) 2 January 1966
"Gunsmoke" playing "Louise Danby" in episode: "Gold Mine" (episode # 11.15) 25 December 1965
"Ben Casey" playing "Mrs. Sanchez" in episode: "Journeys End in Lovers Meeting" (episode # 4.27) 19 April 1965
"The Gallant Men" playing "Mother Superior" in episode: "A Place to Die" (episode # 1.12) 21 December 1962
"The Rifleman" playing "Mrs. Ramirez" in episode: "Guilty Conscience" (episode # 4.27) 2 April 1962
"Miami Undercover" playing "Mrs. Alemada" in episode: "The Victims" (episode # 1.31) 21 August 1961
"The Lawless Years" in episode: "Blood Brothers" (episode # 3.14) 11 August 1961
"Route 66" playing "Senora Maria Otero" in episode: "Trap at Cordova" (episode # 1.27) 26 May 1961
"Wagon Train" playing "Lisa Canevari" in episode: "The Chalice" (episode # 4.34) 24 May 1961
"Checkmate" playing "Berta" in episode: "Dance of Death" (episode # 1.29) 22 April 1961
"Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond" playing "Maria Gonzalez" in episode: "Person Unknown" (episode # 3.20) 7 February 1961
"Tales of Wells Fargo" in episode: "The Border Renegade" (episode # 5.13) 2 January 1961
"Wanted: Dead or Alive" playing "Juanita Domingo" in episode: "Surprise Witness" (episode # 3.7) 2 November 1960
"Thriller" playing "Mrs. Romano" in episode: "The Guilty Men" (episode # 1.6) 18 October 1960
"The Deputy" playing "Evita" in episode: "The Fatal Urge" (episode # 2.4) 15 October 1960
"Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond" playing "Margarita Castera" in episode: "The Storm" (episode # 2.39) 21 June 1960
"Rawhide" playing "Rosa Patines" in episode: "Incident of the One Hundred Amulets" (episode # 2.26) 6 May 1960
"Bonanza" playing "Bruja's Helper" in episode: "Dark Star" (episode # 1.31) 23 April 1960
"The Untouchables" playing "Mrs. Swoboda"
in episode: "The Unhired Assassin: Part 2" (episode # 1.21) 3 March 1960
in episode: "The Unhired Assassin: Part 1" (episode # 1.20) 25 February 1960
"General Electric Theater" playing "Saral" in episode: "The Story of Judith" (episode # 8.22) 28 February 1960
"The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor" playing "Mrs. Moretti" in episode: "Life in the Balance" (episode # 1.12) 1 January 1960
"M Squad" in episode: "The Human Bond" (episode # 3.6) 23 October 1959
"Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse" playing "Elena" in episode: "A Diamond for Carla" (episode # 2.1) 14 September 1959
"The Veil" playing "Maria" in episode: "The Doctors" (episode # 1.4) 1958
"Panic!" playing "Tina D'Alessio" in episode: "Nightmare" (episode # 1.7) 16 April 1957
"The Adventures of Jim Bowie" playing "Tri Rosa" in episode: "Spanish Intrigue" (episode # 1.23) 8 February 1957
"Navy Log" playing "Mme. Deschamps" in episode: "The Pilot" (episode # 2.7) 28 November 1956
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Mrs. Salvatori" in episode: "Alibi Me" (episode # 2.7) 11 November 1956
"Telephone Time" in episode: "Felix the Fourth" (episode # 1.11) 17 June 1956
"Celebrity Playhouse" in episode: "The Foreigner" (episode # 1.22) 21 February 1956
"Matinee Theatre" in episode: "Light and Shadow" (episode # 1.63) 27 January 1956
"The 20th Century-Fox Hour" playing "Mrs. Rosa Hernandez" in episode: "Yacht on the High Sea" (episode # 1.8) 11 January 1956
"TV Reader's Digest" playing "Mrs. Barrett" in episode: "When the Wise Men Appeared" (episode # 2.10) 19 December 1955
"Letter to Loretta" playing "Mrs. Nardo" in episode: "Gino" (episode # 3.5) 25 September 1955
"Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre" playing "Mrs. Adams" in episode: "Technical Charge of Murder" (episode # 1.1) 30 August 1955
"The Lone Ranger" playing "Maria" in episode: "The Lost Chalice" (episode # 4.23) 10 February 1955
"Lux Video Theatre" in episode: "Waiting for Onorio" (episode # 4.32) 10 June 1954
"The Public Defender" playing "Mrs. Derek" in episode: "Step Child" (episode # 1.12) 27 May 1954
"Letter to Loretta" playing "Mrs. Farenzi" in episode: "Nobody's Boy" (episode # 1.24) 7 March 1954
"Waterfront" in episode: "Tuna Clipper" (episode # 1.29)
"Racket Squad" playing "Mrs. Scarpita" in episode: "The Christmas Caper" (episode # 3.15) 25 December 1952
"Hopalong Cassidy" playing "Senora Soledad" in episode: "Blind Encounter" (episode # 1.10) 1 December 1952


If it hadn't been for the movie "Old School", Pat Cranshaw's death might have passed unnoticed for most of the country's newspapers. That's sadly the fate for most character actors. But his turn as the ancient frat boy who died from... anticipation gave the editors and obit writers a hook to hang the story.

But in Toobworld, he had the classic "Old-Timer" looks that made him prized for roles on all genres of TV shows. Had 'The Boys of Twilight' become a success, I imagined him as playing Richard Farnsworth's older brother, come to Twilight, Utah, to stir up a little trouble for his "kid" brother.

"Most Valuable Primate" (1999) TV Series (as Joseph Patrick Cranshaw)
"After MASH" (1983) TV Series .... Bob Scannell
"Alice" (1976) TV Series .... Andy (1976-1978)
"On the Rocks" (1975) TV Series (as Pat Cranshaw) .... Gabby (1975-1976)
"Thicker Than Water" (1973) TV Series .... Bert Taylor

Alien Avengers II (1998) (TV) .... Judge Gorman
Return of the Rebels (1981) (TV) .... Storekeeper
Mars Needs Women (1967) (TV) (as Pat Cranshaw)
Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966) (TV) (as Pat Crenshaw)

The Gong Show Movie (1980) (as Pat Cranshaw) .... Man Dying In Elevator

Quantum Leap (1989) (TV) .... Old Man
["Quantum Leap" playing "Old Man" in episode: "Genesis - September 13, 1956" (episode # 1.1) 26 March 1989]

"7th Heaven" playing "Mr. Suggs" in episode: "There's No Place Like It" (episode # 8.19) 19 April 2004
"Monk" playing "Miles Hollings" in episode: "Mr. Monk and the Very, Very Old Man" (episode # 2.5) 25 July 2003
"ER" playing "Mr. Gilman" in episode: "A Little Help from My Friends" (episode # 9.11) 9 January 2003
"Dead Last" playing "Pops McNitty" in episode: "The Problem with Corruption" (episode # 1.5) 18 September 2001
"The Norm Show" playing "Grandpa" in episode: "Norm vs. Dad" (episode # 3.13) 12 January 2001
"Ladies Man" playing "Uncle Earl" in episode: "Thanks for Nothing" (episode # 1.10) 22 November 1999
"Suddenly Susan" playing "Kyle" in episode: "On a Clear Day You Can Hear Forever" (episode # 3.13) 18 January 1999
"Veronica's Closet" playing "Mr. Leeds" in episode: "Veronica's From Venus; Josh's Parents are From Mars" (episode # 2.11) 7 January 1999
"Boy Meets World" playing "Custodian" in episode: "Santa's Little Helpers" (episode # 6.11) 11 December 1998
"ER" in episode: "Vanishing Act" (episode # 5.4) 15 October 1998
"Just Shoot Me!" playing "Cowboy Pete" in episode: "Sewer!" (episode # 2.11) 13 January 1998
"The Drew Carey Show" playing "Gerald Thompson" in episode: "Drew vs. Mimi: Part 2" (episode # 2.22) 30 April 1997
"The Single Guy" playing "Old Man" in episode: "Au Pair" (episode # 2.20) 9 April 1997
"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" playing "Homer Blackstock" in episode: "Forget Me Not" (episode # 3.18) 10 March 1996
"Pig Sty" playing "Old Man" in episode: "The Ghost and Mr. Evans" (episode # 1.6) 27 February 1995
"All-American Girl" playing "Mr. Vasin" in episode: "Pulp Sitcom" (episode # 1.18) 22 February 1995
"Coach" playing "Mr. Knickerbocker" in episode: "Out of Control" (episode # 7.11) 28 November 1994
"Ellen" playing "Mr. Curran" in episode: "Adam's Birthday" (episode # 2.8) 16 November 1994
"Married... with Children" playing "Young Kit" in episode: "Buck Has a Belly Ache" (episode # 6.6) 13 October 1991
"Growing Pains" playing "Reverend Chuck MacGregor" in episode: "Anniversary from Hell" (episode # 4.15) 15 February 1989
"Night Court" playing "Mr. MacNulty" in episode: "The New Judge" (episode # 4.7) 20 November 1986
"Hunter" playing "Old Man" in episode: "Saturday Night Special" (episode # 2.23) 20 May 1986
"Perfect Strangers" playing "Street Person" in episode: "Happy Birthday, Baby" (episode # 1.6) 29 April 1986
"Three's a Crowd" playing "Mr. Levingson" in episode: "Jack Gets Trashed" (episode # 1.21) 2 April 1985
"Night Court" playing "Mr. Sheldon" in episode: "Billie's Valentine" (episode # 2.18) 14 February 1985
"Diff'rent Strokes" playing "Mr. Clemens" (as Pat Cranshaw) in episode: "The Wedding: Part 2" (episode # 6.19) 25 February 1984
"Archie Bunker's Place" playing "Albert" (as Pat Crenshaw) in episode: "Three Women" (episode # 4.15) 16 January 1983
"It's a Living" playing "Louis" in episode: "Strange Bedfellows" (episode # 2.13) 4 June 1982
"Best of the West" in episode: "The New Jail" (episode # 1.11) 26 November 1981
"Best of the West" playing "Bob" in episode: "The Prisoner" (episode # 1.2) 17 September 1981
"Mork & Mindy" playing "Jake Loomis" in episode: "Mindy Gets Her Job" (episode # 3.11) 22 January 1981
"Little House on the Prairie" playing "Manuel Barton" in episode: "To See the Light: Part 1" (episode # 7.10) 1 December 1980
"The Dukes of Hazzard" playing "Doctor" in episode: "And in This Corner, Luke Duke" (episode # 3.4) 14 November 1980
"CHiPs" playing "Carpenter" in episode: "Kidnap" (episode # 3.18) 26 January 1980
"The Dukes of Hazzard" playing "Doc Petticord" (as Pat Cranshaw) in episode: "Double Sting" (episode # 1.12) 11 May 1979
"Wonder Woman" playing "Codger" in episode: "A Date with Doomsday" (episode # 3.18) 10 March 1979
"Mork & Mindy" playing "Old Man" in episode: "Mork's First Christmas" (episode # 1.12) 14 December 1978
"Little House on the Prairie" playing "Spokes" in episode: "Men Will Be Boys" (episode # 5.10) 13 November 1978
"Mork & Mindy" playing "The Man in the Store" in episode: "Mork the Gullible" (episode # 1.8) 9 November 1978
"Baby, I'm Back" playing "Bum" in episode: "Baby, I'm Back" (episode # 1.9) 27 March 1978
"Baby, I'm Back" playing "The Biker" in episode: "So, What Are You Doing This Weekend" (episode # 1.3) 13 February 1978
"The Bob Newhart Show" playing "Bum" in episode: "Carlin's New Suit" (episode # 6.5) 22 October 1977
"Sanford and Son" playing "Bank Guard" in episode: "Carol" (episode # 6.9) 26 November 1976
"Police Woman" (as Pat Crenshaw) in episode: "Broken Angels" (episode # 3.5) 9 November 1976
"Jigsaw John" playing "Caretaker" (as Pat Crenshaw) in episode: "The Executioner" (episode # 1.10) 5 April 1976
"The Bob Newhart Show" playing "Old Gentleman" in episode: "Carol's Wedding" (episode # 4.6) 18 October 1975
"Adam-12" playing "Mr. Ferguson" in episode: "Point of View" (episode # 7.6) 12 November 1974
"Temperatures Rising" in episode: "The Oldest Living American" (episode # 2.2) 2 October 1973
"Green Acres" playing "Farmer #2" (as J.P. Cranshaw) in episode: "The Hole in the Porch" (episode # 6.23) 2 March 1971
"The Odd Couple" playing "Grubby" (uncredited) in episode: "The Hideaway" (episode # 1.15) 14 January 1971
"Green Acres" playing "Old Man" (as Pat Cranshaw) in episode: "Jealousy" (episode # 6.3) 29 September 1970
"Green Acres" playing "Grandpa" (as Pat Cranshaw) in episode: "The Picnic" (episode # 5.22) 7 March 1970
"The Doris Day Show" playing "Farmer" in episode: "Buck's Portrait" (episode # 2.19) 16 February 1970

Depending upon the fates for all those characters in shows in which he portrayed "Old Man", it might be interesting to concoct some kind of back-story to link them all together as one character.

Perhaps he was an eccentric millionaire who liked to travel incognito, which is why he could be found in Chicago ('The Bob Newhart Show'), Manhattan ('The Single Guy'), Boulder ('Mork & Mindy'), L.A. ('Hunter') and Hooterville ('Green Acres').

But like I said, it would depend upon the fates for each of those roles. When you're tagged as "Old Man", it's a pretty safe bet there's only one way to develop your character and that's by dropping dead.

Still and all, it's definitely a project for the back-burner - if one of those episodes pops up on the Toobworld radar, I'll check it out for inclusion.

I'll leave it to others to offer up the signature send-off for you from the cinematic world. For Toobworld, I just wanted to tip my hat to your career and say, "Happy Trails".


Monday, January 2, 2006


This is the last Crossover of the Week from the calendar year of 2005, and it's... fanTASTic that it's from the TV show that knocked me for a loop last year - 'Doctor Who'.

Specifically, it's 'The Christmas Invasion', the holiday special that was to serve as the bridge between the Ninth and Tenth incarnations of the Doctor before the 'Children In Need' charity telethon vignette came along.

I have yet to see this myself, but I expect to do so this coming week, thanks to my source(s) "Markhael". I would have done so already had it not been that they're enjoying themselves on the Brokeback Mountain Water Slide at Universal Studios Theme Park in Orlando, and as such are just a bit outside the range of my incredible mental powers.

But thanks to Brent, a TV blogging ally in the Great White North, I was able to verify the appropriate scene.

With each regeneration, the Doctor's personality quirks change along with his appearance, and that includes his taste in wardrobe. 'The Christmas Invasion' served as a bridge for that aspect between the two Doctors as well. For most of the special, the Doctor was out of commission and he spent all of that time in a pair of jammies.

When he finally became aware of his surroundings, the Doctor took note of his sleepwear fashion and said, "Ooh, very Arthur Dent."

And so.....


Well, of course, as a Time Lord, the Doctor would know of Dent, Arthur Dent. After all, it was through Arthur's inadvertent meddling in the Timestream which saved the Earth from destruction in 1981. In its original timeline, the Earth was vaporized by the Vogon Constructor Fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. But when Arthur Dent and his alien friend Ford Prefect were tossed back in Time to hitch a ride with the Golgafrinchans, they altered that projected history. The Golgafrinchans became Mankind's ancestors, not the pathetic cavemen who were native to this world.

(And apparently - according to the series of GEICO blipverts, - they're still around. And they're very touchy about their place in History.)

But the Doctor doesn't just know of Arthur Dent; apparently he actually knows him as well. In a quick aside to his companion, Rose Tyler, the Doctor adds, "Now there was a nice man."

I hope there's nothing untoward in the verbal past tense that was used.....

But it does mean that there's an unrecorded adventure out there in Toobworld that links 'Doctor Who' to 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy', which should quicken the pulse of fanfic writers everywhere.

(Sorry, Lee.)

Of course, we're talking about the TV version of 'Hitch-Hiker's', not the original radio drama, not the books, and certainly not the recent lump of cinematic excrement. This means the Doctor knew not only Simon Jones' interpretation of "Dent Arthur Dent", but also David Dixon's portrayal of Ford Prefect.

I always thought David Dixon would have made for a fine Doctor, as there was something of the Gallifreyan Twee about his performance as Ford. (That wardrobe of his went a long way towards this perception.) I realize it's been a quarter of a century since he assayed that role, and I haven't seen much of him since; but I think he would still be a good choice for future consideration to play the Doctor - very much in the Troughton mold.

(By the way, as I was watching the HHG2TG movie this past summer, squirming in my seat in tormented pain while doing so, I thought to myself that Bill Nighy was horribly miscast as Slartibartfast - but that he would have made for a damned fine Doctor!)

Because of the brevity in the onscreen career of Paul McGann as the Eighth incarnation of the Doctor, there is ample room for all possibilities in regard to his storylines. So I think it would be the Eighth Doctor who more than likely encountered Arthur Dent.

But I'd love to see David Dixon as Ford meeting David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

And for good measure, I'd like to see the programmed personality of Marvin the Paranoid Android downloaded out of the televersion of his robotic body and into the cinematic cybernetics as manipulated by Warwick Davis. That was the only good thing to come of the movie.

Abyssinia, 2005!


Sunday, January 1, 2006



We've had themes for the TV Crossover Hall of Fame these last two years. In 2004, we marked the 35th anniversary of the cancellation of 'Star Trek' by inducting people connected to that original version of the franchise.

I celebrated and/or mourned my year of living fiftyishly in 2005 by adopting the mantra I usually reserve for the birthday honors list: "What I say, goes." Those were the inductees that might not have made it into the Hall of Fame without a little help.

And this year we'll be celebrating another theme as well; we'll be pyaing tribute to another long-running franchise. Sadly, the inspiration for this was due to the death of the actor who had been with the show the longest up to that point - Jerry Orbach.

As Detective Lennie Briscoe, Orbach came to embody the archetype for the plainclothes detective in the Big Apple. He was part of a long tradition that could claim Horace McMahon as Lt. Mike Parker ('Naked City') as its paterfamilias.

In fact, I like to think that Lennie Briscoe might have learned his craft under the tutelage of Lt. Parker in those years between 'Naked City' and 'Law & Order'. (By contrast, his successor at the 2-7, Joe Fontana, probably found his mentor in the sartorial style of Lt. Theo Kojak.)

In one of his earliest crossovers with 'Homicide: Life On The Street', Briscoe and Baltimore Detective John Munch (the Crossover King) brought a relationship between two characters from different shows to a whole new level. Usually any previous connection between two characters might have been old school buddies, or they grew up in the same neighborhood. But in Briscoe's case, he was MIGHTY friendly with Gwennie, one of Munch's ex-wives!

At the end of the 2004 season, Briscoe retired from the force, only to take a new job as an investigator with the D.A.'s office. Unfortunately, his new venture for his golden years was short-lived. Briscoe - like the actor who portrayed him - died on the job.

So to kick off this year-long salute to 'Law & Order', we pay tribute to Lennie Briscoe, the Cop's Cop.

'Law & Order'
'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'
'Homicide: Life On The Street'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'

And there are even a few 'Law & Order' video games as well in which he appeared!



I want to give a big THANKS! to Rozane of the Emergency! Fans website for her help today in sealing the deal on the connection between a quartet of shows.

It all began when I caught a recent two-hour 'Matlock' "movie" on one of the cable channels ("Matlock: The Vacation"). There were a lot of references to Trans-Global Airlines, so I decided to look into that and see if I could link it to anything else.

First off, there's the link to the movie universe with 'Airport'. But more importantly, it was used in 'All My Children' in 1997, and 'The Young & The Restless' in 2004.

(On 'AMC', Adam Chandler's cost-cutting measures with the airline caused the crash of TGA Flight #149 after which Maria supposedly died while saving Maddie. And Nick took TGA Flight #373 out of Chicago's O'Hare back to Genoa City, Wisconsin, on 'Y&R'.)

And then there's 'Emergency!', but I'll let Rozane pick up the tale:

"There is a scene in "The Girl On The Balance Beam" with the TGA logo in it. I caught this one before since Mickey Michaels (one of the show's set decorators) also worked on all the "Airport" movies. TGA was their logo in those."

Each of these shows go on to link to others.

'Emergency!' links to 'Adam-12' and 'Sierra', with an in-joke reference to it on 'Quincy, M.E.'.

'The Young & The Restless' links to 'The Bold & The Beautiful' and 'As The World Turns'.

'All My Children' has linked in the past to many of the other ABC soaps - 'General Hospital', 'One Life To Live', 'Port Charles' and 'Loving'.

And 'Matlock' showed up on 'Diagnosis Murder', which has also linked to 'Promised Land' (a spin-off of 'Touched By An Angel'), 'Mannix' (which crossed over to 'Here's Lucy'), 'Mission: Impossible', and which was itself a spin-off from 'Jake And The Fatman'.

So as you can see, having Trans-Global Airlines to connect those four yields a bonanza!

And now Oceanic Airways has some serious competition in Toobworld!

If you want to visit Rozane's site, here's the URL:

It's chock-full of DeSoto and Gage goodness!



One last thought about the TV Universe 2005.....

TV has been responsible for new words in the past - "Uhny-Uftz", "embiggen", "Shozbot!", "Nanu-nanu", "Ibeeda", Imzadi", and "Slurm".

2005 was nearly over before we got the best new term of the year:

"It's not 'The Apprentii', it's 'The Apprentice'."
Randal Pinkett
'The Apprentice'

Maybe somebody should do an end-run around NBC and The Gasbag by creating a new show called 'The Apprentii'. Make it a sci-fi show about Jedi-like mystics (Let's bleep off George Lucas while we're at it!) training to protect the universe.