Saturday, May 27, 2006


With last year's finale, I think the one line that most resonated with viewers was spoken by "Tom Friendly" near the end of the two hours:

"The thing is... we're gonna have to take the boy."

This year, I think the honor goes to Sayid Jarrah:

"I don't know what is more disquieting, the fact that the statue is missing or that it has four toes,"
I'm hoping the statue relic proves to be Sayid's "hatch" (in other words, an obsession like Locke had). This would provide a meaty storyline for Naveen Andrews and whomever else is drawn into the mystery of what the four-toed statue represents.
And what does it represent? The producers once said that the final answer would not involve aliens, but they've been known to lie to us before.

Perhaps it's a question of semantics. Maybe the statue has no connection to aliens from outer space... what about a race of ancients alien to the modern concept of intelligent life on Earth?

Something out of Faerie perhaps?

Could it be a tribute to the demi-gods who once visited this world from another dimension?

Could it be that the Island is some kind of Atlantis?

"Gulliver's Travels" has been incorporated into Toobworld, thanks to the mini-series in the late 1990s. So we know the lands visited by Lemuel Gulliver are now part of this TV world. (And as an off-shoot beneficiary from that, post-dated, we now have a splainin for 'Mr. Ed'!)

On one of those islands, Gulliver encountered the Brobdignagians, a race of giants. Could this statue have been left behind as a memorial to them? (They still exist on Earth Prime Time, but not as a united tribe. Mostly they live in the Rocky Mountains and enjoy cold beers. Every so often, one of them takes a nap across the landscape, inconveniencing the passersby.)

Whatever the statue represents, I think it's the aspect of the story I'm most jazzed about. I just hope they don't let me down with the splainins.
I'm told that weird-looking bird, the only one seen on the Island since they crashed there, also appeared in the finale for the first season. I'll have to retrieve my copy of the boxed set from my brother and finally watch it all again.

This show gives you so much information, sometimes it's hard to retain it all.
There's been a lot of chatter about Charlie's demeanor when he returned to the Lostaways' camp. I'm thinking that it can be attributed to more than the disorientation from both explosions and the resulting "meltdown" when the button wasn't pushed.

I'm thinking that he should not have injected himself with that serum. Something bad will come of that next season, I'm sure.
I think on his trip back to the other survivors, Hurley may encounter that bird again. It would certainly make for an interesting episode for him, considering his tenuous grasp on reality.

And I think his best bet is to head for that signal smoke sent up by Sayid. That way he can reconnect with the Iraqi and with Sun & Jin. It's probably almost necessary, otherwise they might still stay out there looking for Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.

And then he gets a boat ride home.
At first I didn't like the idea of those three being taken captive by the Others, because I thought the rest of their group would suffer story-wise, being left behind.

But now I see that it might have been necessary to protect their chances at juicy roles on the show. Without getting overshadowed by Sawyer, Jack and Kate week after week, we might be able to see a new dynamic rise from the survivors.

Who will emerge as the new leader with Jack missing? Locke or Eko (if they survived)? Sayid? Might Danielle Rousseau make her presence more noticeable this season?
I think Eko and Locke have survived the cataclysm of the hatch. Not too sure about Desmond, but I'd like to think so. By turning the key, I think he cancelled out the electromagnetic program altogether, but that doesn't necessarily mean he was killed off in the attempt.

At the same time, I think he has served his purpose to the script gods and so the Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos of Toobworld have more than likely given his particular thread the final snip.
But thanks to his short-lived return, at least we should be getting Sonya Walger as Penelope Widmore, at least on a recurring basis. I first saw her in "The Librarian: Quest For The Spear", and then in her recurring role on 'CSI: NY'. She's an interesting actress to watch, and I think Penelope will play an integral role to the development of the story.
There was a flurry of speculation that Matthew Fox was playing one of those two Portuguese (Brazilian?) researchers in the Antarctic working for Penelope Widmore.

But on closer inspection of that scene with repeated viewings, I tend to doubt it. Eye color, nose shape, vocal quality all point to him being a different actor.

Still, people are fixated on this idea of "bad twins" and "genetic mirrors", so who knows? Personally, I'm using that genetic mirror theory to splain something else that happened in the finale.....
I think we have more or less seen the end of Michael on the show. Maybe now and again in a flashback for somebody else, as we're promised with Libby, but otherwise, his storyline is wrapped up and he's out the door without having to die for it like Boone, Shannon, Ana Lucia, and Libby.

But what about Walt?

I can't believe the "Others" would give him up that easily. They claimed they got what they wanted from him - what could that be? Genetic material? But why wait until any clones, let's say, came to fruition, when you can exploit the original. If he has the powers that many of us suspect, he's an Anthony Fremont that can still be controlled.

So here's my idea - the Walt that left with Michael is not the original Walt. He's a doppelganger, a changeling, a bad twin. (Dun dun DUNH!)

The real one is still back at the Others' camp, where Jack and Kate and Sawyer will find him being held in "the room".
How were they able to come up with a changeling so quickly? There's always that Faerie angle I mentioned earlier. But considering that this is a production in which JJ Abrams still has some input, and that a connection has already been established between 'Lost' and his other show 'Alias', I think we can look to yet another crossover for the splainin.

That splainin comes in the 'Alias' episode "Double Agent": "Helix is a new gene therapy that can reshape a patient's face and body. The only way to determine an actual identity is through an ocular scan — this flaw was purposely built into the procedure." (from Wikipedia)

Perhaps the Others used Helix, acquired through Widmore Labs, to turn some other child (or small adult - Malcolm David Kelley was growing like a weed!) into the perfect double for Walt. And since Michael didn't really know all that much about his own son, perhaps he would never notice until it was too late - i.e., he was outside the radius of the Island's influence and can't find his way back.
But here's another scenario that might play out which would keep Walt in the show, but lose Michael:

Keeping to that heading supplied by Fake Henry, the boat would head out to sea as the Island curved away. Somewhere out there is some kind of radius, invisible wall, that prevents the island from being seen by the outside world. Things can drift into that area, but they can't get back out - except at the one place where the boat would be heading.

Just before they reach that chink in the "wall", Walt demands that they go back so that he can get Vincent. But Michael refuses. He knows what will happen if they return - he'll be killed for murdering Ana Lucia and Libby. Better to keep going and escape to the outside world.

Walt's powers forced a bird he was interested in to come to him, only to smash into a glass door. He may have summoned the polar bear (although I think it was already on the Island). He probably caused it to stop raining at one point. And he seems able to teleport at least an image of himself.

What if he wanted Vincent so badly that his powers caused himself to be teleported back to the Island? But once there, he couldn't rejoin his father, no matter how powerful his mind was, because Michael was just passing through that one opening in the shield? The boat goes through before he has a chance to notice Walt was gone - not unusual considering their past relationship - and turning around, he can't find his way back in.

So that would strand Walt back on the Island to be included in future stories, but without having Michael around.
As for his growth spurt in what should have been only two months, that could be attributed to the kinds of experiments performed on him by the Others, or through the use of his own powers. Making a "Big"-like wish to be of a size where he could better protect himself against their imprisonment and "tests".

With some similar explanation, it wouldn't be a problem then to have the young actor stick around without the audience complaining about his size difference; the way they complained that Hurley wasn't losing weight.

(You notice that they don't often complain that the women still have shaved legs and non-hairy armpits, right? Sheesh.)
Why did the Others take Kate, Jack, and Sawyer? Just to prove to the other Survivors that they can take anybody. And to throw them into a leadership vacuum and keep them docile through fear. But procreation could be a factor as well. Maybe that EMP all these years has rendered them sterile.
Like I said, I hope this means meatier storylines for the other Survivors left behind. I hope Locke and Eko did survive and that Locke rediscovers his faith with Eko's help.

With the EMP now gone forever most likely, will that mean a reversion to the Island's healing powers? We've seen three major examples of it via Locke, Jin, and Rose (the first ever example? The fast way Jack healed from his back injury which Kate had sewn up.)

With Jin, it doesn't matter much. If he had been cured of his own sterility by the Island, it already did its job: Sun was pregnant. But it could have terrible consequences for Rose and Locke. Locke might not be able to walk now, but Rose could end up dying from the cancer.

We'll just have to wait and see if there was a connection between the button and their healths.
So the storylines I think we should see next season:

Obviously life among the Others for Jack, Kate, and Sawyer (and maybe Walt).
Any possible effects on Charlie in re: to that vaccine.
The mystery of the four-toed statue.
Hurley's bird.
Sun's pregnancy - is Jin the father? Was she raped by Charlie when he kidnapped her?
The health of Rose
More about Alex Rousseau and a possible reconciliation with her birth mother.
And maybe even more about Penny Widmore and the outside world.
A casting call has gone out for the following three types:

woman, 30s, with leadership qualities
woman, early 20s
Latino male in his 20s, mysterious nature

When they were casting the role of Charlie, the producers orginally had an older, more washed-up figure in mind; maybe somebody along the lines of Bill Nighy's character in "Love, Actually". But upon seeing Dominic Monaghan's audition, they re-thought the role.

The same could happen with these three. That's why I like the idea of Alex Kingston, formerly of 'ER', as the take-charge woman. She's older than what they're looking for, but she has a great look that would fit right in with the diversity of 'Lost'.

Speaking of which, where are the Native Americans? We've got Africans, African Americans, Asians, we had a Latina......

(The reason I ask is that I'm currently watching 'Coyote Waits' on DVD with Adam Beach and Wes Studi among others. Some of the actresses would fit right in to this Island mix as that woman in her 30s, Jill Scott Momaday and Alex Rice.)

As for the woman in her 20s, I'd suggest Rachel Nichols, who was in 'The Inside' last summer and then in the final season of 'Alias'

And how about David Lago for the mysterious young Latino? He won a Daytime Emmy for playing Raul Guttierrez on 'The Young & The Restless'.... he should be available.

So that's about it - and isn't that enough? LOL

Here's to a summer of rehashing theories and the sweet agony of the show's return in the fall......


Friday, May 26, 2006


Speaking of international translations, network corporate newspeak has the word "reversion" in its lexicon.

"Reversion" means adapting a TV show to a new translation for an audience in another country, rather than just dubbing the original with new voiceovers.

And so 'According To Jim', which has been more of a revulsion to many TV critics, will be reversioned for a Turkish audience by producer Medyapim for local broadcaster ATV. It will join another ABC alumnus, 'Hope & Faith' which has already been reversioned by Medyapim.

For all I know, Turkish TV has already seen adaptations of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'. But if not, couldn't they have been reversioned instead of 'According To Jim'? Even accounting for cultural differences, I'm sure the audience could relate to the stories about a TV comedy writer and his family, and stories about a single woman working in TV news.

At least the source of the plotlines would be more interesting than those found in Jim Belushi's sitcom.

This news comes courtesy of "Variety", the trade magazine. In reporting their take on it, the folks at came up with what the title might be for the Turkish 'According To Jim': 'Gore Yakup'.

Gore Yakup...... Sounds more like a belch from a former Vice President......

If the production turns out to be like many other adaptations from Turkey, the show might prove to be more entertaining to us than the original. I've seen their unauthorized adaptations of 'Star Trek' and "Star Wars" and they are so bad, they're hysterical.



In July of last year, I reprinted the news story about the concept of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' being adapted for French Television:

The French version of 'Criminal Intent', which will get its own native tongue title, should go into production with an eye toward a 2006 premiere on TF1. The scripts will be adapted from the original U.S. stories, though they will be transplanted to Paris and adjusted for language, culture and considerations of the Napoleonic Code. Producer Dick Wolf said that the absence of courtroom emphasis in 'Criminal Intent' made it ideal for this translation.

"For many years, 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' as well as 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' has been a huge success for TF1,' says the French network's head of drama Takis Candilis. "Taking these unique characters created by Dick Wolf and adapting them for French viewers in primetime will enable a whole new, and much larger, audience to enjoy this great drama. We're sure that it's the beginning of a long story."

As it now turns out, TF1 is looking to 2007 to premiere their version of the show.

And then I went on to suggest that the characters of Detectives Goren & Eames should appear in an episode of this new adaptation to make it an official member of the 'Law & Order' family.

(Even better would have been to send Detective John Munch from 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', and I hope we all know why!)

Now comes word that the globalization of the 'Law & Order' franchise is spreading to Mother Russia:

Localized versions of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are in preproduction in Moscow, and are scheduled to premiere this year on broadcaster NTV, their producers said Tuesday.

They initially will adapt the original U.S. scripts, taking into account language, culture and the local justice system.

"Realistically, both series travel better than the mother ship because the legal systems do vary in each country," said series creator Dick Wolf who has always believed that 'Law & Order' had great potential in its international variations.

I think this will be especially true with 'Criminal Intent', as Russia is already well-known for its detectives who have unique personalities, beginning with Inspektor Porfiry who was the inspiration for Lt. Columbo. (And Porfiry exists in Toobworld, - in several different TV dimensions! - thanks to his portrayal by Timothy West, Ben Kingsley, Fernando Baleroni, and Ian McDiarmid in adaptations of "Crime And Punishment".)

And as for 'Special Victims Unit', I think Russia has its own dark underbelly of crime and a show like this might help drag the real perpetrators of such horrors into the light.

Again, I'd like to suggest that the original characters from the American versions make crossover appearances on the Russian adaptations, once the shows are up and running. And Munch would be the most appropriate choice to send over - not just because I want to see him rack up more crossover appearances, but because (if I'm not mistaken) he comes from a Russian Jewish background.

But that's not up to me. I can only just hope that somebody brings this suggestion to the attention of the Powers That Be.


Thursday, May 25, 2006


Stopped by midtown source for bootleg DVDs of old TV shows and picked up a trio of niceties.

First up, a volume of 'Captain Nice', the 1960s spoof of superheroes starring William Daniels (spelled "Danials" on the case!).

I think they were going for that 'Get Smart' feel, but at least Mel Brooks, Buck Henry, Leonard Stern, and Don Adams knew how to walk that fine line between satire and over the top buffoonery.

'Captain Nice' leaped over that line in a single bound.

Episodes include:

"The Man Who Flies Like A Pigeon"
"Don't Take Any Wooden Indians"
"Whatever Lola Wants...."
"The Man With Three Blue Eyes"
"It Tastes O.K., But Something's Missing"

'Beany And Cecil'
Seventeen Bob Clampett Cartooooons! I'm buying now with an eye on my upcoming vacation at the Lake in July. I'll be spending a lot of time with my nephew Tommy, who's about a year and a half old. And I'd like to introduce him to the cartoons that I grew up with. I was hoping to pick up a volume of 'Hoppity Hooper' - not that he'd be able to appreciate the vocal talents of Hans Conried Uncle Waldo Wigglesworth, - but somebody purloined it from the shelf before I came back to buy it.

Still, 'Beany & Cecil' is a nice substitute, and probably even a bit weird - that just from looking at how gay Beany looks on the cover.....

In the coming weeks I'll also pick up a volume of 'Heckle & Jeckle' and 'Deputy Dawg'.

If only I could find 'Tales Along The Riverbank' - and the really old version at that.

I'm a big fan of Jim Henson. Hey, let's face it - no matter who the subject, I'd be a big fan.

I picked up a DVD of three of his short films:

"Time Piece" - 1965
"The Cube" - 1969
"Hey, Cinderella" - 1969

What I'd really love to find is some of Rowlf's work from 'The Jimmy Dean Show'. Rowlf is my all-time favorite Muppet and I loved hearing that he pissed off Sausage Man by getting more fan mail than he did.

So that's what's new at Toobworld Central.

What's new with you?



While I was in the Washington Post/Michael Ausiello chat re: last night's 'Lost' finale, I got this IM from my brother Bill:

Did you watch the Enron verdicts live?

When Skilling came out with his attorney, after they finished taking questions and were walking away, someone in the crowd can be heard yelling:

"Don't bend over for the soap!"

Gotta love live TV.

It depends on what exactly the subject matter is. As drop-jawed as I am over the finale for 'Lost', I'm amazed even more that over 43 million people tuned in to see 'American Idol' for its bloated two-hour finale.... when all they had to do was watch the last two minutes!

Mindless drones......

But like my brother pointed out, I hope 'The Daily Show' has some fun with this tonight!



Getting cast in a pilot that is then sold to a network doesn't automatically gain you entry to the home team. An actor can often be used just to sell the concept and then new actors brought on board to carry on with the show.

For the most part, this will have no bearing on the show's status in Toobworld, because those pilots usually don't get aired. If they ever do, it's usually after the show has begun and can just be lumped over in one of the alternate dimensions.

Here are the shows that will be recasting some key roles, but which will not have any consequence for the show's inner reality:

'BROTHERS & SISTERS' - Jonathan LaPaglia, another Aussie passing himself off as American like show's star Rachel Griffiths, won't be playing one of the brothers when this show follows 'Desperate Housewives' on Sunday nights. Betty Buckley won't be returning as the mom, either, which is a shame since I think I'd like to have seen her interact with Griffiths and Calista Flockhart as her daughters.

'TRAVELER' - Also on ABC, this show is losing Gillian Jabobs who played Kimberly in the pilot.

'RULES OF ENGAGEMENT' - Over on CBS, Kathleen Rose Perkins won't be in this comedy when it finally gets its moment on the sked come mid-season. (Or sooner if something flops.)

'THE BIG BANG THEORY', also for CBS, is replacing its female lead who was originally played by Amanda Walsh.

'THE WEDDING ALBUM' was sold through the performance of its leading man, Bruno Campos. But now they're looking to go in a different direction.

Over at NBC, 'THE SINGLES TABLE', which is about five strangers who become friends after getting lumped together at a table for the wedding reception of a common friend, is losing Pascale Hutton who played one of those strangers.

I guess with a show like that, the whole pilot would have to be re-shot. Other shows could just pick up the storyline at some point after the pilot takes place, as if the show had always been on. But 'The Singles Table' would need that opening salvo.

The new network, CW, is the only one who might have a splainin problem when it comes to recastaways. 'THE GAME' is a spiinoff from 'Girlfriends' and its pilot aired originally as an episode of its parent sitcom.

'The Game', which will be about the women in the lives of pro football players, is going to need a new Kelly, since Jennifer Baxter played the role on 'Girlfriends' but won't be joining the new series.

Since the character already appeared on 'Girlfriends', we'll have to see how 'The Game' splains it all away. I haven't heard who's been cast in the role of Kelly Parker yet, so any splainin will hinge on that. I know it's wrong to judge someone by their looks, but it's more that I'm seeking an answer that is most believable and the simplest to boot.

And right now I'm leaning toward plastic surgery, but it all depends on if the actress hired for the recast looks like she'd be the "After" picture in such an operation.



Heads up for June 11th, because rain or shine, 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' over on FOX.

The jewel of Emperor Murdoch's crown will be replaying several of the sitcom's episodes this summer in anticipation of its return to heir apparent FX later that month on the 29th. (Sorry about dragging that monarchy metaphor to its death.)

But since it will now air on the broadcast network rather than the cable outlet, there will have to be some nip/tuck involved to bring it in line with the stoopid FCC's tight-assed, prurient, lemon-sucking schoolmarms narrow-minded views of what the public should see.

As you might guess, I'm no fan of that particular cubbyhole of the bureaucracy.

This type of cross-promotional programming stunt was tried last summer by CBS with UPN's 'Veronica Mars' and by ABC the summer before that with 'Monk'. Usually the shows flow to the niche of the cable channel from the big brother broadcaster, like NBC's 'Kingpin' playing on BRAVO, and their 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' showing up on USA two weeks after airing on the Peacock network.

Or is that 'Law & Order: SVU'? I get confused sometimes......

When the show returns to FX on June 29th, Danny DeVito will be part of the cast as the father to Dennis and Dee.

Of the quartet that makes up the cast, however, I think he'd have been more believable as the father of Charlie.

But tele-genetics have never been a priority among casting agents.....



Yesterday, the fishwrap known as the New York Post mentioned a piece of paper that flashed briefly on the screen during the season finale of '24'. The only way to read it was to get a frame grab and enlarge it.

It showed a random group of letters that could be re-arranged to spell "Jack is dead".

It also featured these numbers:


Those numbers were written in a vertical column and they were for a Nextel account's voice mail which was connected to '24'. According to the Post reporter, the mailbox is now full and inaccessible.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


A two hour pilot has already been filmed for 'The Dresden Files' which will lead to an 11 episode series for the Sci-Fi Channel. The show will be about a Chicago private detective with wizardly powers named Harry Dresden who is consulted when crimes have an otherworldly connection. It's being described as "supernatural noir" and will debut in January.

Being a contemporary show, 'The Dresden Files' sounds like a natural for an appearance by any of the alumni from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' or from 'Charmed'. Since he flew to Chicago in the finale of his own show, even Dr. Frasier Crane might be believable in a more light-hearted episode of the show, and thus expand the number of his appearances in Toobworld.

And Chicago was the setting for the classic 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' series as well as for a short-lived but fun show called 'Special Unit 2'. As "SP2" focused their attentions on the same kind of supernatural doings that Harry Dresden will probably be investigating, at least a reference or two to their covert operations might be in order (although I'd love to see Danny Woodburn return in his role as a thieving gnome).


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Alan Sepinwall is the TV critic/columnist for the Star-Ledger in New Jersey. His blog is listed there to the left as "What's Alan Watching?"

In his most recent blog entry, as he talks about the finale for 'Alias', Sepinwall invokes a little bit o' Toobworldian fantasy:

"Sloane, having just acquired the secret of eternal life, wants to blow up several world capitols just so he can make money rebuilding them? Huh? Why doesn't he just contact Tony Soprano and buy out that heavy equipment leasing company from Johnny Sack?"

I'd also like to see Sydney Bristow take out Phil Leotardo.....


Monday, May 22, 2006


My thanks to Adam Finley of whose review last night of the 'Family Guy' finale led me to this week's big Crossover.


During the season finale for 'Family Guy', (which was the "movie" DVD broken down into three episodes), reference was made to Lackluster Video, which is a spoof of Blockbuster Video, the national chain of video rental stores. The spoof was made more obvious by the design of the store's logo and the layout of the store's inside.

And it is a national chain, because Lackluster Video does not just have just the one store there in Quahog, Rhode Island. Outlets of the chain have been visited by the Simpsons in Springfield, by Daria Morgendorffer in Lawndale, and by Andy French in Cosmopolis.

So Lackluster Video connects those shows within the Tooniverse, aka Earth Prime-Time Toon. And those shows just lead to further expansion and connections with their own links through crossovers and spinoffs.

'Family Guy' - 'The Flintstones', among others.
'The Simpsons' - 'The Critic', 'King Of The Hill', 'The Archies', 'Huckleberry Hound', among several others.
'Daria' - 'Beavis And Butthead'
'Mission Hill' - well, you can't have everything.....



Thanks to the, here's a list of the actors who have portrayed the Spectre of Death in Toobworld. (This includes alternate dimensions such as Earth Prime Time Toon, the Tooniverse, and Sketchworld aka Earth Not Ready For Prime Time.)

Also in this list are Death's assistants (who would probably go on to become full-fledged Angels of Death themselves), as well as family members and even one of Death's pets.

This is probably not a complete list as I used only the terms "Death" and "Grim Reaper" to find these characters.

Jason Alexander (I) (Death)
. . . "Twilight Zone, The" (2002) {One Night at Mercy (#1.2)} TV Series

Daryl Anderson (I) (Death)
. . . "Passions" (1999) {(#1.1141 & 1.1142)} TV Series

Sebastian Bach (I) (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Strange Frequency" (2001) {Don't Fear the Reaper (#1.12)} TV Series

Lawrence Bayne (Death)
. . . "Big Wolf on Campus" (1999) {Clip Show: The Kiss of Death (#2.22)} TV Series
. . . "Big Wolf on Campus" (1999) {Don't Fear the Reaper (#1.21)} TV Series

Gary Bullock (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Sisters" (1991) {Angel of Death (#5.17)} TV Series

Corey Burton (Death)
. . . "Toonsylvania" (1998) TV Series

Ed Bye (Death)
. . . "Red Dwarf" (1988) {Only the Good... (#8.8)} TV Series

Adam Carolla (Death)
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Death Lives (#3.6)} TV Series
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Family Guy Viewer Mail #1 (#3.21)} TV Series
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {I Take Thee, Quagmire (#4.21)} TV Series
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Mr. Saturday Knight (#3.9)} TV Series
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {The Perfect Castaway (#4.12)} TV Series
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Wasted Talent (#2.20)} TV Series

Gower Champion (Mr. Death)
. . . "General Electric Theater" (1953) {The Rider on the Pale Horse (#5.7)} TV Series

Gary Collins (I) (Michael, the Angel of Death)
. . . "Fantasy Island" (1978) {The Angel's Triangle/Natchez Bound (#6.4)} TV Series

Gregory Scott Cummins (Death)
. . . "Step by Step" (1991) {Never on Sunday (#3.3)} TV Series

Neil Dickson (I) (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Iron Man" (1994) {The Grim Reaper Wears a Teflon Coat (#1.5)} TV Series

John Dye (Andrew, Angel of Death)
. . . "Touched By An Angel" (1995 - 2002)
. . . "Promised Land" (1996 - 1998)

Greg Eagles (Grim, The Grim Reaper)
. . . "Grim & Evil" (2001) TV Series

Noel Fielding (Vince Noir/Death)
. . . "Mighty Boosh, The" (2004) {Bollo (#1.3)} TV Series

Alistair Fullarton (Death/Devil)
. . . "Storyteller, The" (1988) {The Soldier and Death (#1.1)} TV Series

Kelsey Grammer (Death)
. . . "Medium" {Death Takes A Policy (#2.22)} TV Series

Murray Hamilton (I) (Mr. Death)
. . . "Twilight Zone, The" (1959) {One for the Angels (#1.2)} TV Series

Erik Hell (Death as a beggar)
. . . Blodsbröllop (1965) (TV)

Brian Huskey (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998) {Hospital (#3.3)} TV Series

Tony Jay (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Darkwing Duck" (1991) {Dead Duck (#1.47)} TV Series

Stanley Kamel (Death)
. . . "Six Feet Under" (2001) {In the Game (#2.1)} TV Series

Tom Kenny (I) (Death)
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Brian: Portrait of a Dog (#1.7)} TV Series

Patrick Kilpatrick (Death)
. . . "Charmed" (1998) {Apocalypse, Not (#2.21)} TV Series

Jimmy Kimmel (Death's Dog)
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Mr. Saturday Knight (#3.9)} TV Series

Igor Kolva (Death)
. . . Johanka z Arku (2003) (TV)

Christopher Lee (I) (Death (segment "Confession"))
. . . "Redoutables, Les" (2001) TV Series
. . . Saturday Night Live

. . . Wyrd Sisters (1997) (TV)

Denis Lill (Death)
. . . "Red Dwarf" (1988) {Gunmen of the Apocalypse (#6.3)} TV Series

Leon Lishner (Death)
. . . "NBC Opera Theater" (1950) {Labyrinth} TV Series
. . . Labyrinth, The (1962) (TV)

Dayton Lummis (Figure of Death)
. . . "Shirley Temple's Storybook" (1958) {The Nightingale (#1.3)} TV Se

Norm MacDonald
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Death Is a Bitch (#2.6)} TV Series

Alexander Malta (Death)
. . . Emperor of Atlantis, The (1977) (TV)

William Marshall (I) (The Grim Reaper)
. . . "Benson" (1979) {The Stranger (#7.4)} TV Series

Tom McCamus (Death)
. . . Death and the Maiden (2003) (TV)

Patrick McCartney (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998) {Hospital (#3.3)} TV Series

Stephen McHattie (Death)
. . . "Twilight Zone, The" (1985) {Rendezvous in a Dark Place (#3.26)} TV Series

Spike Milligan (Death)
. . . "Gormenghast" (2000) (mini) TV Series

Erik Mørk (Death)
. . . Sanct Hansaften-spil (1979) (TV)

Kendo Nagasaki (Death Angel)
. . . "Send in the Girls" (1978) {The Wild Bunch} TV Series

Martin Novotny (I) (Grim Reaper)
. . . "New Addams Family, The" (1998) {Pilot (#1.1)} TV Series

Regis Parton (Grim reaper)
. . . "Faerie Tale Theatre" (1982) {The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers (#3.7)} TV Series

Gunnar Randin (Horseman Death)
. . . Förlorade sonen, Den (1964) (TV)

Robert Redford (Harold Belden aka Death)
. . . "The Twilight Zone" (1962) (Nothing In The Dark) TV Series

Ian Richardson (I) (Death)
. . . Hogfather (2006) (TV)

William Sadler (I) (The Grim Reaper)
. . . "Tales from the Crypt" (1989) {The Assassin (#6.8)} TV Series

Paul Scheer (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998) {Hospital (#3.3)} TV Series

Tom Schiller (Death)
. . . "Saturday Night Live" (1975) {(#1.23)} TV Series

Angus Scrimm (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Nutt House, The" (1989) {Suites, Lies and Videotape (#1.6)} TV Series

Andrew Secunda (Grim Reaper)
. . . "Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998) {Hospital (#3.3)} TV Series

Corey Sevier (Grim Reaper)
. . . And Then There Was One (1994) (TV)

Jonny Spanish (Grim Reaper) . . . "Upright Citizens Brigade" (1998) {Hospital (#3.3)} TV Series

Simon Templeman (Angel of Death)
. . "Charmed" (1998) {Styx Feet Under (#7.5)} TV Series
. . . "Charmed" (1998) {Vaya Con Leos (#8.10)} TV Series
. . . "Charmed" (1998) {Death Takes a Halliwell (#3.16)} TV Series

Danny Thomas (I) (Angel of Death)
. . . "It's a Living" (1985) {A Very Special It's a Living (#4.19)} TV Series

John West (I) (Death's Assistant)
. . . Labyrinth, The (1962) (TV)

Birger Åsander (Döden (Death))
. . . Fan ger ett anbud (1963) (TV)

Mary Kay Adams (Death (1992))
. . . "One Life to Live" (1968) TV Series

Sofia Andersson (Death)
. . . Ingen som jag (1999) (TV)

Danielle Carter (Death)
. . . "Lost World, The" (1999) {The End Game (#3.12)} TV Series

Estelle Harris (Death's Mother)
. . . "Family Guy" (1999) {Death Lives (#3.6)} TV Series

Kate Hodge (Celesta, Goddess of Death)
. . . "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995) {Death in Chains (#1.9)} TV Series

Dot Jones (Death Angel)
. . . "Chicago Hope" (1994) {Cold Hearts (#6.17)} TV Series

Sue Jones-Davies (Death's Head)
. . . "Brideshead Revisited" (1981) (mini) TV Series


"Death, is good. Death is necessary.
And with a little bit of planning, death can even be a win, win.
I honestly marvel at how passionately some people resist it
The Angel of Death

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Lew Anderson passed away this week. I cobbled together a Hat Squad salute to him from various websites and an obituary or two which you can find by scrolling down the page.

He was best known for being the last of the actors to have played Clarabell the Clown during the long run for 'Howdy Doody' (or 'Puppet Playhouse'). Bob Keeshan, who went on to become Captain Kangaroo, was the first.

As such, Anderson was also known for having spoken the only words ever heard uttered by Clarabell - on the last episode of the show, at the very end, Clarabell waved to the audience viewing at home and tearfully said, "Goodbye, Kids."

Meaning no disrespect, but that would be a nice little quote for his tombstone.

Technically, Lew was not the last actor to have played Clarabell. In the 1970s, Robert Brunner assayed the role on an episode of 'Happy Days'. (Brunner was a writer and associate producer for the sitcom.)

In the episode, Richie sneaked backstage at a local appearance by Buffalo Bob and the Howdy Doody Gang and snapped a picture of Clarabell without his makeup. But Richie gave up the dreams of journalistic glory to help preserve the image Clarabell represented to millions of kids around the country.

We never saw the photo, or Clarabell without his makeup. In the lineup of the actors who played the role, Brunner's contribution would fit somewhere towards the end of the show's run for the Toobworld chronology.

Bob Keeshan
Bobby Nicholson
Alfie Scopp
Lew Anderson

Working within the framework of Toobworld's inner reality, the question might come up as to the splainin behind the differences caused by the various actors who played the role. Falling back on Occam's Razor - the theory that the simplest explanation should always be preferred, - I'd have to say there is no need for a splainin at all.

Wearing as much makeup as he did, any difference in appearance from one actor to another would have been negligible. In fact, as a test to whether or not he could pull off the role, Lew Anderson performed as Clarabell for the show's crew without them knowing in advance that a different actor was underneath the costume and makeup.

None of them noticed during the practice run.

So we don't have to rely on plastic surgery splainins or quantum leaping theories or what-have-you in order to justify the lineage for the clown's body of work. All we have to do is to ignore it.

From beginning to end, Clarabell was Clarabell, and that's all that needs be said.

Goodbye, Kids!


"Aw, being a clown sucks!
You get kicked by kids, bit by dogs, and admired by the elderly
Homer Simpson
'The Simpsons'