Saturday, July 1, 2006


On Friday I popped into the comic book store to pick up my little buddy Sean's order since he's teaching in Taiwan at the present time. While there, I saw they were having a two-for-one sale on the bootleg DVDs, so I picked up four to add to the collection here at Toobworld Central.

I added to my recent, legit, acquisition of 'Topper' episodes on DVD with another four episodes:

"Topper's Old Flame"
"Topper Wins A Trip"
"Topper's Papers"
"Topper Exposes A Fraud"

And then I got three more classic cartoon series discs so that I can introduce my year & a half nephew to the good stuff from my past:

'Heckle & Jeckle, The Talking Magpies', a combined Volumes 1 & 2 which has about 44 cartoons on it.

'Astroboy' Volume 1 which has four episodes:

"The Origin Of Astroboy"
"The Monster Machine"
"The Terrible Time Gun"
"A Million Mammoth Snails"

And finally, 'Fractured Fairy Tales' which has 19 of these cracked classics narrated by Edward Everett Horton.

I think only Boris Karloff with 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' can match Edward Everett Horton for a narrator so indelibly linked to a cartoon.

So I'm all set for those rainy days at the Lake this summer!



It was a full Toobworld day for me on Thursday. Besides posting my o'bservations on 'Kyle XY', I spent the evening with Mark and Michael, my "Brokeback Boys". (One's from Wyoming; for all I know, the other's hung like a horse.) They brought me up-to-date on the sophomore (and, quite frankly, sophomoric) season of RTD's reign on 'Doctor Who' by showing me "Love & Monsters" and "Fear Her". (Eventually I'll get around to commenting on the entire series, having found links for each episode so far.)

I'll be saving the two-part, and possibly traumatic, season finale for my return from vacation. I don't want to see "Army Of Ghosts" and then be left hanging for two weeks until I can get back to see "Doomsday". I'd rather see it as a whole.

Earlier in the day I went to the Museum of TV And Television - er, excuse me, the Museum of Television & Radio! - where I used only two of the four viewing console hours allotted to me as a member to watch three shows.

First up was an episode of 'Night Gallery', "Sins Of The Fathers". It's one that has always haunted my memories and not just because it featured one of my five favorite actors of all time, Michael Dunn. It also starred Richard Thomas, Geraldine Brooks, and Barbara Steele, and was based on the folkloric tradition of the sin-eater, who would eat the sins of the recently deceased by eating food off the dead man's bier.

Next up was "Nice Guys Finish Last", an episode of 'Checkmate' which starred Sebastian Cabot, Anthony George, and Doug McClure, and which was created by spy novelist Eric Ambler. The show was about a private detective agency called Checkmate, Inc., whose goal was to not only solve crimes but to also prevent them from even happening.

This premise always intrigued me, as I figured the private eyes would somehow pick up on clues before even the intended victims figured out somethine was wrong. But based on this one episode I saw, it looks as though they were hired for protection or based on suspicions by their clients that something was going to happen.

"Nice Guys Finish Last" was written by Larry Cohen, a long-time genre stalwart, and had more of the feel given by episodes of 'Naked City'. It was full of character development and insight, heavily slanted more towards dialogue than action.

Guest star James Whitmore was a cop in San Marin who had a beef with a reputed criminal that stretched back to their high school days in NYC's Hell's Kitchen. When he was passed over for a captaincy in the department, the detective automatically blamed his rival and set about finding a way to destroy him once and for all.

Diana Van Der Vlis played the mobster's girlfriend, a former socialite ("Hope Reardon, of the Connecticut Reardons") who ended up falling for Whitmore's cop. At one point, they had an exchange of dialogue that would come back round in a Toobworld echo thirty plus years on:

Hope Reardon: I don't even know your first name!
Lt. Harker: Lieutenant.

This same conversation occurred between Peter Falk and Faye Dunaway in the 'Columbo' episode "It's All In The Game".

All in all, considering what I thought 'Checkmate' was supposed to be like, I was a bit disappointed. And it's the only episode of the show available at the museum, which is a shame considering that it was never lacking for great guest stars like Joan Fontaine, Cyd Charisse (in her first TV appearance), and Charles Laughton (in his last TV appearance).

Oh, and it has a fantastic, jazzy theme by "Johnny" Williams of 'Star Wars' and 'Jaws' fame.

Finally, I saw the pilot episode of 'Topper', and now I have to amend what I had to say about the Kerbys when I wrote about the sitcom after the recent death of Robert Sterling.

I've always thought that the Kerbys were already dead when the show began, but there they were, hale and hearty at a Swiss hotel where they first encountered Cosmo Topper. We actually get to see George and Marian out on the slopes, where they then meet up with their "rescuer" Neil the inebriated St. Bernard. And then we saw the beginnings of the avalanche which claimed the lives of all three, as well as its aftermath when they discover they have perished and are now ghosts.

I have to say, they took it remarkably well.

So my declarative statements that George Kerby was one of the few TV characters who was already dead before we met him are no longer valid. But that's okay; TV scriptwriters have a way around this problem when they create scenes which invalidate earlier information about a show and its characters - they ignore it.

By the way, the gallery on the first floor has a very interesting exhibit running until August 31st: "Beyond TV: New Media Art from Studio IMC". There was a TV screen where you stand before it and it will "paint" your portrait in light. If you move, it becomes a very interesting abstract.

There was also three stacked blocks upon which images were projected of four different "singers" - a young guy, a cow, a Middle Eastern or Indian sub-continent woman, and somebody dressed like a heart. But you can move the blocks and spin them around to mix-n-match the parts of the bodies and this will even change the songs they are singing. Each song is different, but when mixed together, they still work.

The other exhibits are better suited to someone who's less of a techno-phobe than me (although I'm more of a Luddenite than a Luddite), because they depend on interaction with your cell phone. As I hate the telephone in general (I leave mine unplugged unless I need to use it and to hell with people bothering me with calls!), and so would never saddle myself with a cell phone.

(Besides, the government is behind this massive wave of TV advertising to get people to buy cellular phones. The reason? They track us through the phones. Well, not me, pal! Bwahahahahaaha!)

Anyway, it's a fun exhibit and if you're in the City with half an hour to kill, you couldn't go wrong with just touring that one gallery.


Friday, June 30, 2006


Back at the turn of the 20th Century, four baby girls were born in Boston, all the illegitimate children of one man who had affairs with their mothers. These girls were probably born into marriages and passed off as the daughters of their mothers' husbands, but perhaps there might have been one whose mother was single.

At any rate, these girls were raised without ever knowing that they were siblings. And perhaps it may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the fact that they each gave birth to a son during the 1920s. These four boys were cousins, identical cousins, who went on to start their own families in Toobworld.

But it's only noticeable from outside the TV Universe, looking in. Within the framework of Toobworld's landscape, those four young men spread out across the country. So the chance of them running into each other, and seeing how much they resembled each other, was highly unlikely.

Eugene Brown's son Andy was a world-renowned surgeon in Manhattan. But he chucked it all and moved his two kids to Everwood, Colorado, after the death of his wife, Julia. Dr. Andy Brown and his father had not spoken in fifteen years when Gene Brown showed up unexpectedly in town to reconcile with his son before it was too late. ('Everwood')

Stephen Donnell was the only one who stayed behind in Boston, where his son formed his own law firm, Donnell, Frutt & Young. Bobby Donnell never needed anybody's approval but that of his father's. ('The Practice')

AJ Sheridan moved west, ending up in Bakersfield, California, where he established a car dealership. His daughter became a famous actress in Hollywood named Cybill Sheridan. ('Cybill')

John Gavin, Sr.'s father moved the family to New York City where he became a firefighter. It was a calling which his son, John, Sr., did as well - but after beginning his public service career in New York as a police detective once he returned from serving in World War II. But after working a case that involved a contentious family on Hauser Street in Queens, John Gavin Sr. decided it was time to switch gears and so he started all over to become a member of the FDNY just as his father had been.

John Gavin Sr.'s sons both followed in their father's footsteps, Johnny Jr. as a detective and Tommy as a firefighter. It was always hoped that Tommy's son Connor would have done the same, had he not been killed by a hit&run driver. ('Rescue Me')

John Gavin, Sr. wasn't known for remaining true to his marriage vows, a trait which his son also picked up. Tommy Gavin hasn't crossed paths with him yet in NYC, but he has an identical half-brother named Mike McNeil, who - like his biological father - is a detective in the NYPD. ('The Job')

As to who the mysterious great-grandfather of this bloodline could have been, one might always turn to the malicious rumors of Boston politics in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Gossip about John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald's relationship with a cigarette girl named Toodles Ryan who worked at the Ferncroft Inn derailed his long political run. Honey Fitz always maintained that his friendship with Toodles was never more than platonic; that these rumors all stemmed from a very public kiss he gave her during a large party - and at which his wife was right there. ("The Kennedys Of Massachusetts")

But where there's smoke, there's fire, and it's not like such behavior was unknown in the Fitzgerald-Kennedy dynasty. So it's possible, although only a possibility, that Dr. Andy Brown, Detective Mike McNeil, firefighter Tommy Gavin, actress Cybill Sheridan, and Bobby Donnell, attorney at law could all be related to John F. Kennedy in Toobworld!

Then again, it could be that all those women received very special Christmas gifts from Santa Claus himself. Old Saint Nick might not have been so saintly, leaving their bellies full with more than just a bowlful of jelly. ("A Boyfriend for Christmas", "Mr. St. Nick", "Mrs. Santa Claus", and "Elmo Saves Christmas")

If this rumor was true, then he didn't come just down the chimney, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink!

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin' is all......


(This post was inspired by Charles Durning's spate of appearances as the fathers of several series leads, as well as for playing Santa Claus and John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.)


Lennie Weinrib was a vocal master in the Tooniverse since the late 1960s, appearing in many cartoons as well as providing the voice for several of the larger puppets seen in productions by Sid and Marty Krofft.

But he was also a talented writer (He wrote all the episodes for 'H.R. Pufnstuf' and several episodes of 'All In The Family'.) as well as an actor.

As Pufnstuf's voice, Weinrib also appeared in a movie version and even did a cameo on 'CHiPs'. I like to think that his appearance on that show was as the real Pufnstuf, and not as an actor in the suit which is probably what was intended. (However, it was written to be ambiguous about that possibility, perhaps to keep little kids watching from becoming disillusioned.)

Lennie was the only person to be rescued three times in one show of "Emergency".playing "Fred Gibson" in episode: "The Firehouse Four" (episode # 4.11) back in 1974.

For me, it's a five minute appearance on an episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' that first comes to mind when I think of Lennie Weinrib. In the episode, Buddy Sorrell got himself fired so that he could take a better paying job at another show. But when that fell through, he found it impossible to come back to 'The Alan Brady Show' because Mel Cooley was so happy he was gone.

Enter Jackie Brewster (aka Jacke Brewbrew). Rob and Sally brought in the comic to be the new comedy writer and to inflict such punishment upon Mel that he would beg for Buddy to come back.

As Jackie, Lennie Weinrib's assault on Mel couldn't have been more than about three minutes long. But it was such an intensive pummelling of insults and bizarre behavior ("This is your thumb. This is your rib."), that I'm always left gasping from laughter upon seeing it.

As a singular moment in a series of pure comedy gems, I think this has to rate as my favorite.

Mr. Weinrib showed up again in another memorable scene (Although his name was now Phil Franklin, he was basically still Jackie Brewster.) in which he convinced Rob Petrie to dismantle his phone. And then he told Rob to put all the pieces into a paper bag, go outside and wave it over his head, and scream like a chicken.

How many people pulled that same stunt on their friends over the following weeks once that episode aired?

Some time ago, Mr. Weinrib fell in love with a woman who was from Chile. He married her and moved to her native land, and apparently he was quite happy there until his death. But it robbed Toobworld and the Tooniverse of his rich contributions.

But he always did what he enjoyed in Life and how many can claim that?

Hat's off to you, Lennie Weinrib.

For a much better profile and tribute to Lennie Weinrib, visit Mark Evanier's site:

Here are his writing credits for 'All In The Family':

Show/Episode Title Ep # Airdate Type Crew
"All in the Family" 02x11 04/Dec/1971 Writer
Title : The Man in the Street
"All in the Family" 01x02 19/Jan/1971 Writer
Title : Writing the President
"All in the Family" 01x01 12/Jan/1971 Writer
Title : Meet the Bunkers

"The Krofft Supershow" (1976) TV Series .... Magic Mongo in ('Magic Mongo') (1977-1978)
"The Skatebirds" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Knock-Knock Woodpecker "H.R. Pufnstuf" (voice) .... H.R. Pufnstuf/Seymour Spider/Ludicrous Lion
"The Spike Jones Show" (1960)

"CHiPs" - Green Thumb Burglar (1977) TV Episode (voice) .... H.R. Pufnstuf

"The Kids from C.A.P.E.R."
- King Cone (1976) TV Episode .... Conrad
- The Firehouse Four (1974) TV Episode .... Fred Gibson
"The Waltons"
- The Marathon (1974) TV Episode .... Spanky
"Happy Days"
- Richie's Cup Runneth Over (1974) TV Episode .... Duke
- The Sweet Smell (1974) TV Episode .... Tony
- The Beast (1973) TV Episode .... Tony
"Love, American Style"
- Love and the Anxious Mama/Love and the Boomerang/Love and the Private Eye (1972) TV Episode .... (segment "Love and the Anxious Mama")
- Love and the Advice Column/Love and the Bathtub/Love and the Fullback/Love and the Guru/Love and the Physical (1972) TV Episode .... (segment "Love and the Fullback")
- Jackal of Diamonds (1967) TV Episode
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
- The Off-Broadway Affair (1966) TV Episode .... Winky Blintz
- The Sweet Gang (1966) TV Episode .... Bud Sweet
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed the Rabbit's Husband? (1965) TV Episode .... Maddox
- Who Killed What's His Name? (1964) TV Episode (as Len Weinrib) .... Cully
"The Dick Van Dyke Show"
- The Impractical Joke (1965) TV Episode .... Phil Franklin
- The Sam Pomerantz Scandals (1963) TV Episode .... Danny Brewster
- Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? (1961) TV Episode .... Jackie Brewster
"The Munsters"
- The Midnight Ride of Herman Munster (1964) TV Episode .... Freddie
"My Favorite Martian" - Uncle Martian's Wisdom Tooth (1964) TV Episode .... Dr. Herbie Little, dentist
- It's in the Bag (1964) TV Episode .... Archie Williams
"77 Sunset Strip"
- Nine to Five (1963) TV Episode .... Joe
"The Twilight Zone"
- Miniature (1963) TV Episode .... Buddie
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
- And Now a Word from Our Sponsor (1963) TV Episode (as Len Weinrib) .... Eddie Baker
"Don't Call Me Charlie"
- Who Stole My Boots? (1962) TV Episode .... Shoemaker
"Dennis the Menace"
- Mr. Wilson's Inheritance (1961) TV Episode .... Tracker
Westinghouse Presents: The Sound of the Sixties (1961) (TV) .... Himself
"The Rebel"
- The Hunted (1960) TV Episode (as Len Weinrib) .... Sheriff
"Swinging Spiketaculars" (1960)
"Peter Gunn"
- Wings of an Angel (1960) TV Episode (as Len Weinrib) .... Vince Canell

Big Daddy (1973) (TV)

"Yo Yogi!" (1991) TV Series (voice) .... Secret Squirrel
"Wake, Rattle & Roll" (1990) TV Series (voice) .... Secret Squirrel
"Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs" (1987) TV Series
"Rambo" (1986) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"Kissyfur" (1985) TV Series (voice) .... Charles/Lenny
"Voltron: Defender of the Universe" (1984) TV Series (voice) .... Hunk/Lotor
"The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour" (1982) TV Series (voice) .... Scrappy-Doo
"The Smurfs" (1981) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"The Kwicky Koala Show" (1981) TV Series (voice)
"Space-Stars" (1981) TV Series .... Dipper
"Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo" (1979) TV Series (voice) .... Scrappy-Doo (I) (1979-1980)
"Tarzan and the Super 7" (1978) TV Series (voice) .... Commissioner Gordon/The Joker/The Penguin/Mr.Freeze/Additional Voices
"Dynomutt, Dog Wonder" (1978) TV Series .... Additional voices
"The C.B. Bears" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Rattle/The King/Yukayuka
"The New Adventures of Batman" (1977) TV Series (voice) .... Commissioner Gordon/The Joker/The Penguin/Mr. Freeze/Miscellaneous Voices
"Fred Flintstone and Friends" (1977) TV Series (voice)
"Jabberjaw" (1976) TV Series
"The Pink Panther Laugh and the Half Hour and Half Show" (1976) TV Series (voice) (as Leonard Weinrib) .... Roland/Rattfink
"The New Tom & Jerry Show" (1975) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"Uncle Croc's Block" (1975) TV Series (voice) .... Tonka/Wizard/Captain Kitt/Sir Walter Cat/Winston
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (1975) (TV) (voice) .... Darzee the Tailorbird
"Hong Kong Phooey" (1974) TV Series (voice)
"Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch" (1974) TV Series (voice) .... Hi-Riser
The Magical Mystery Trip Through Little Red's Head (1974) (TV) (voice) .... Timer
"Inch High, Private Eye" (1973) TV Series (voice) .... Inch High
"The Addams Family" (1973) TV Series (voice) (as Leonard Weinrib) .... Gomez Addams
"The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan" (1972) TV Series (voice) .... Stanley (1972-1974)
"The New Scooby-Doo Movies" (1972) TV Series .... (1972)
"The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie"
- Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family (1972) TV Episode (voice) .... Big Louie/Count Krumley/Mr. McGuffin
- The Adventures of Robin Hoodnik (1972) TV Episode (voice) .... Robin Hoodnik/Alan Airedale/Whirlin' Merlin/Lord Scurvy/Friar Pork/Little John
- Yogi's Ark Lark (1972) TV Episode (voice) .... Cap'n Noah
"The Flintstones Comedy Hour" (1972) TV Series (voice) .... Moonrock
"Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch" (1971) TV Series (voice) (as Lenny Weinrib)
The Point (1971) (TV) (voice) .... Count
"The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show" (1971) TV Series (voice) .... Moonrock
Tales of Washington Irving (1970) (TV) (voice)
Uncle Sam Magoo (1970) (TV) (voice) .... John F. Kennedy
"Doctor Dolittle" (1970) TV Series (voice) .... Sam Scurvy
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" (1969) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
"The Jetsons" (1962) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices


[Thanks to the]

Thursday, June 29, 2006


TV Guide Online sums it up best when talking about 'Kyle XY' (and that talking is mostly asking questions):

Who is Kyle XY? And where did he come from? Or is the question what is this strange young, innocent man? And perhaps the issue at hand is when did he originate?

Kyle is a young man, probably supposed to be no more than a teen, who awoke in the middle of the woods in the Pacific Northwest, naked and amnesiac as to who he really is and how he got there.

Sounds familiar? The same thing happened to the character we came to know as 'John Doe' on FOX a few seasons back.

The actor who plays Kyle gave this splainin to TV Guide in an interview: The opening scene of Kyle XY is similar to that of the series John Doe, with a mysterious person of unknown origin waking up in the middle of nowhere naked, unable to explain himself....
Dallas: We've been getting compared to 'John Doe' quite often, but what's funny is this show was actually was created before 'John Doe' was even a series. They created this show seven years ago and it's just been floating around trying to find a home. In the meantime, 'John Doe' came on the air… and went. I get how people could see the trailer for 'Kyle XY' and think we’re kind of the same thing, but it’s a much different show.

I don't remember anybody ever complaining that 'NYPD Blue' was a rip-off of 'NYPD' or 'Naked City', yet there had to be similarities. When 'Babylon 5' and 'Deep Space Nine' both came along around the same time, the complaints about similarities of the basic set-up eased off once people could see how different they really were.

It's all in the execution.

And with 'Kyle XY', it's obvious right from the very first episode that it will be a far different show from 'John Doe'. While both characters would inevitably be trying to find out the truth as to who they really were and have some overall mystery story arc that plays a part in their lives, 'John Doe' became kind of a detective drama.

On the other hand, 'Kyle XY' will be examining a family's dynamic and how Kyle living with them will have an impact on their household... all the while a low-key (for now) mystery unfolds around him.

The best way to sum up the show's premise is '7th Heaven' meets 'The X-Files'.

For Toobworld purposes, I welcome the comparisons to 'John Doe'. Thematically, I think both shows can be linked as even having the same origins. 'John Doe' was a finished product before he was set loose upon the world; his brain was filled with all the information he would need to become a living computer. But he also had the basic memories and social skills needed to function in the modern world.

'Kyle XY' didn't have that; his brain was a tabula rasa, a slate wiped clean so that he had to learn everything for the first time - eating, drinking, sleeping, even taking a dump.

And apparently he's not the only one. During the pilot, a news report played on the TV in the background, about a girl who had washed up on the beach who also had no memories as to who or what she was.

Furthering the thematic link to 'The X-Files', hovering in the background is a shady figure played by Nicholas Lea. On 'The X-Files' he played villainous FBI agent Alex Krychek. That character is definitely dead, but perhaps this new character is a clone; it's not outside the realm of possibility in Toobworld.

For weeks I passed the posters for 'Kyle XY' on the streets of NYC and couldn't figure out what they were trying to promote with this show. I knew about the basic premise, but I couldn't understand why ABC Family, still with some kind of tenuous tie back to the 700 Club, would be trumpeting the teen sexual angle - the poster depicted Kyle's torso as he suggestively lifted his t-shirt.

Well, just shows to go ya how o'bservant I am. I didn't even notice that he had no belly button!

Reminds me now of an old "Bloom County" comic strip in which one kid asked another if Adam and Eve had belly buttons.

(Tying in with that, according to the TV Guide interview, Kyle's mysterious origins are linked to a group called the Mada Corporation. "Mada" is Adam spelled backwards......)

I don't know if Dominic Purcell ever appeared shirtless on 'John Doe', but I'll be that at some point during the series his belly button was visible. I don't see that as a roadblock in my attempt to link the two series though.

Like I said earlier, 'John Doe' was the finished product; not only did he have a brain full of all the information available in the world, but he had his belly button surgically installed to complete the package.

(Now that has me wondering: is Kyle circumsized? Aghk! Don't go there!)

Another science fiction series which could be linked to 'Kyle XY' is 'Now & Again', which was about a man's brain implanted in a perfectly engineered human body. Perhaps that technology which grew that body was used for Kyle as well. But now, seven years down the timeline, they've finally been able to overcome that last stumbling block - the brain. They've been able to successfully "grow" one so that they don't have to depend on a transplant with all of its pre-existing memories.

It's a link theory that will depend on how much we learn about Kyle's body and where he came from.

Until then, I think it's going to be an entertaining series that should be able to get the time needed to find its audience (with the help of parent net ABC showing the first few episodes in an encore on the following Friday nights). 'Kyle XY' is definitely going to be part of Toobworld Central's summertime schedule for viewing, along with other guaranteed returning shows like 'The Closer', 'Rescue Me', 'Entourage', 'Hustle', 'The 4400', 'Monk', 'The Dead Zone' and 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'.

There ain't no cure for the summertime views. The naked in the woods scene, was that the very first one you actually shot?
Dallas: No, that was actually toward the end of the shoot, which was kind of nice. I got to know people first before I dropped my pants.

So that's where I've been going wrong.....


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

RrrrrrrrrrrACKET SQUAD!

The head of security where I work loaned me two discs of an oldie that is probably mostly forgotten by all but the die-hards like my compadre Ivan over at "Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear" (see the link at left):

'Racket Squad'.

There were only four episodes on each disc, so it's hard to make an assessment of the series based on just eight shows. But there was a nostalgic charm to the atmosphere of the series which put me in mind of 'The Adventures Of Superman'. It was as if the lifestyle of that time period was pervasive in Toobworld; I could believe that the citizens of Metropolis could easily blend in with the characters seen in the 'Racket Squad' episodes. By the same standard, I think you could easily find 'Lassie' living on a farm just outside of town.

The only thing missing to make it 'The Adventures Of Superman' was the Man of Steel himself. And with a couple of the cases, they seemed like the kind of scams that Clark Kent's alter-ego might have become involved in.

These were the episodes I saw:

"Kite High"
"One More Dream"
"The System"
"Take A Little, Leave A Little"
"The Long Shot"
"Romance Unlimited"
"The Case Of The Dancing Lady"
"The Case Of The MIracle Mud"

(Titles like those two sound like they belonged on the docket for 'Perry Mason'!)

What helped the mental connection to 'The Adventures Of Superman' was the appearance of Noel Neill in "The Long Shot" as Peggy Dawson. And there was nothing about the plot that might contradict the contention that Peggy and Lois Lane could be identical cousins.

There were several familiar faces in these shows that brought a smile to this fan of Toobworld's character actors: Hugh Beaumont, Timothy Carey, Will Geer, and the too under-appreciated Robert Easton.

Another show I was reminded of while watching 'Racket Squad' was 'Hustle'. "One More Dream" was the type of long con that Mickey and his cohorts would have pulled, but there was one big difference - attitude. As we watch the gang try to pull off the scam in "One More Dream", we are led to view them as the criminals they are. That sensibility would be missing from 'Hustle' and instead we would be rooting for them to succeed.

There are also two theoretical links that can be made to other TV shows, based on just these eight episodes.

First off, in "Take A Little, Leave A Little", the action took place in Springfield and featured a character named Anderson. Who's to deny that it's pozz'ble, it's pozz'ble that he was related to Jim Anderson, Robert Young's character in 'Father Knows Best'?

And then there was "The Case Of The Miracle Mud" which took place in Fairview, California, which is better known nowadays as the hometown of the 'Desperate Housewives'.

Was 'Racket Squad' a great show? Not really, and it's understandable why it's mostly forgotten today. But it made for a pleasant diversion, watching two episodes at work each night and knowing that I was getting paid over 26 dollars to do so........


The security chief has now loaned me three boxed sets for 'Naked City' to get me through the slow spot at the hotel each night. I'm golden for at least the next two months!


Miller Lite has re-ignited their collection of "good ol' boys" to promote the beer, but they've updated the roster from the nearly forty ex-athletes, actors, and writers to be more in line with the 21st Century. Instead of arguing over "Less Filling"/"Tastes Great", which culminated with the 1982 spot "Alumni Bowling" and 1983's "Alumni Baseball" (featuring George Steinbrenner firing Billy Martin for the umpteenth time), now the half dozen blipverts feature the Men of the Square Table as they debate the manlier aspects of Life.

As the grand old man of this collection, Burt Reynolds brings his easygoing, laid-back insouciance, carried with the air that he's just slumming his way through the ads. Just from his blipvert work alone, Burt could demand entrance into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame:

Kodak Max Film
Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds perfume
British Petroleum
FedEx Kinkos
Brawny Paper Towels (as a voice-over)

But he's also appeared as his own televersion in several sitcoms:

'The Golden Girls'
'The Larry Sanders Show'
'Hope & Gloria'

And in Earth Prime-Time Delay, he's made his presence felt in the 1990s version of 'Mike Hammer'. I'm still undecided about where Claymation-styled characters should be - their own dimension or the Tooniverse - but Reynolds supplied the voice for his own Golem in an episode of 'Robot Chicken' on Adult Swim.

Joining Burt at the Square Table are fellow actors Paul Renteria and Eddie Griffin, who are both better known for other characters than themselves. Although Griffin also has a comic's background to trade upon.

The others are athletes who for the most part have made contributions to the League of Themselves in other efforts. Most prominent for his outsized persona would be the wrestler Triple H. Aside from his many wrestling appearances, his televersion has appeared on 'Pacific Blue' and 'The Bernie Mac Show'. He may also have shown up as himself on 'The Drew Carey Show' in the episode "Rats! Kate's Dating A Wrestler", but the didn't make that very clear for my straw-filled noggin.

Then there's Jerome Bettis, whose profile was heightened by this year's Super Bowl. He appeared in a PSA-styled ad about asthma which cleverly turned the tables on the old Mean Joe Green commercial for Coca-Cola. But his televersion also showed up on an episode of 'In The House'.

Rodeo champ Ty Murray played himself on appropriate shows like 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and 'Arli$$'. (The super-agent has his hands in all sports venues, apparently.)

And then there are those who are basically using this series of Miller Lite ads to kick off their membership in the League of Themselves:

Jackie Flynn is a sarcasm-fueled comedian who's played at least five different roles on 'The King Of Queens', but is better known for appearing in several of the Farrelly Brothers' movies.

Brian Binnie is a renowned test pilot who helmed SpaceShipOne for Scaled Composites. Most of his Toobworld appearances have been in documentaries or on talk shows, and to include them has the whiff of desperation. I'm sure he'll have plenty of other opportunities to trade on his fame for more appearances as himself as seen on TV.

And the same might be said for Aron Ralston, the hiker who used a pen-knife to amputate his own arm after being pinned by a boulder in the mountains. He's shown up on talk shows with Letterman and Craig Ferguson, but he could parlay his courageous tale of survival into appearances that could evoke memories of Harold Russell. Russell lost both his arms during the war and went on to win the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for "Best Years Of Our Lives".

In Russell's day, his roles usually hinged on the fact that he was missing both his forearms and had hooks instead. However, Ralston might be cast in roles where his loss of an arm is just one facet of his character and not even the main reason why he was cast, in much the same way his disability goes un-remarked in these blipverts.

Now, according to's Best Spots section this month, there is one more guy at the Square Table - Jackie Gesner. I have to wonder if this is a misspelling, because not even Google comes up with an entry for him. All I can figure is that he's the Methuselah who's transcribing all the decisions made by the Men of the Round Table.

Perhaps somebody out there in the Peanut Gallery might be able to provide an answer? Let me know in the comments section, thanks!

I'm not sure if the six ads that have aired so far have had any Square Table members rotated out for other attendees or not. The crew mentioned above were all gathered for a decision on the last unopened beer bottle at a party.

But if they do decide to bring in new blood, I have a suggestion: Eddie Izzard, actor, comedian, and cross-dressing heterosexual.

That should provide some interesting visuals.

It's just a shame that Rodney Dangerfield has passed away; he'd have provided the perfect quote to close out each session.

And maybe they can get Boog Powell for old times' sake.....



The use of the regular feature's title, "The Hat Squad", didn't seem at all appropriate.....

Patsy Ramsey, the mother of the little girl murdered in Boulder, Colorado, a decade ago, has passed away at the age of 49 due to cancer.

Her presence was marked in Toobworld by two televersions: Marg Helgenberger, who played her in "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenet And The City Of Boulder", and in "Getting Away With Murder: The JonBenet Ramsey Mystery" in which Judi Evans Luciano portayed JonBenet's mother.

If the case is ever solved, I would expect we will see yet one more televersion of everyone involved in that case. And should the mystery ever be conclusively resolved, then the first TV production to portray the whole sordid affair should be designated the version of the main Toobworld.

It's just a shame that this tragedy happened in the first place and has to sully the landscape of the TV Universe, but that's life as seen on TV.....


Tuesday, June 27, 2006


One of the stars of 'Frasier' has passed away... at the age of sixteen and a half.

Real fans of the series will automatically realize that I'm referring to Moose, the Jack Russell Terrier who played Eddie on the show. But I can't help but wonder how many might see the age listed and think it might have been the kid actor who played Frederick Crane?

Mathilde Halberg, who trained Moose for his role on 'Frasier', told People Magazine that "He was extremely mischievious, always escaping, chewing up things and running off" before she got him. Apparently acting gave him an outlet to channel his energies.

And as he had killed a neighborhood cat before he became an actor, it could be said that Moose was the Charles S. Dutton of the show biz animal world.

Moose got his name because of his size; the youngest of a litter of four, but the biggest of the bunch. But everyone will always know him as Eddie.

Or as Skip, as he played the older version of the title character in the movie "My Dog Skip" with Frankie Muniz. If you haven't seen this film, rent it; I highly recommend it.

His son Enzo portrayed the younger version of Skip in the movie and Enzo also went on to assume the role of Eddie after Moose finally retired. Moose played Martin Crane's best friend on the show for over 200 performances and Enzo took care of the remaining 98.

And this little tidbit of information.... information.... information.... reminds me of the situation Rowlf found himself in when he was a cast member on 'The Jimmy Dean Show':

For playing Eddie, Moose received more fan mail than any of the human cast members on 'Frasier'.

My favorite moment for Eddie on the show? The Feydeau Farce-like episode in which everybody was caught in Daphne's room for one reason or another: during the end credits, when she finally thinks she has regained control of her small corner of the Crane apartment, Daphne realizes that Eddie is in there, hiding under a pile of clothes.

Thanks for your contributions to Toobworld, Moose. Like Neil on 'Topper', I hope there's an afterlife for you as well.


As I was writing up this tribute, I was in IM with one of the "Iddiots", Eliot With One L. We were wondering if the trainers of Moose would still collect on his residuals from the show now that he was gone, and whether or not his son Enzo still gets money as well.

And I said, "If they had appeared on an Aaron Spelling show, Enzo's step-mother would inherit all the money, the bitch!"

Sorry, but you know there is humor in Death, as Don Rickles once pointed out.

Just ask Chuckles the Clown.......

The dog is a gentleman;
I hope to go to his heaven, not man's
Mark Twain

Monday, June 26, 2006


One aspect which separates Toobworld from other visions of a TV Universe is that Toobworld accepts appearances by real-life celebrities as themselves in fictional situations to be valid crossovers if they appear in other shows as themselves as well. Even though they are "reality" in our world (and let's face it, even then they are sometimes beyond belief!), they are as much fictional characters as those they appear with in TV shows.

And we call the collection of these characters the League of Themselves.

This week's big crossover was due to such a character. Reverend Al Sharpton appeared as himself in an episode of 'Rescue Me' ("Sparks"). And as much of a blowhard as I think he is, I have to give him credit that he agreed to do it since he didn't come off in the best of lights for his showcase.

Sharpton appeared on the news to castigate the firehouse crew for ignoring the community. They had been out on a call to help an elderly black man in the neighborhood who had gone into cardiac arrest when they saw a school bus which had overturned. The firemen stopped to help, making sure that somebody else could answer the cardiac call, and were able to rescue the children (some of them injured) before the bus blew up.

Okay, sure, the old man ended up dying, but all the kids were saved. Reverend Al's problem was that they were all white kids. (The firemen would tell you that there was at least one Egyptian kid on board.)

C'mon, Al. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, y'know? You'll never get on any 'Star Trek' revival if you take that attitude.

Reverend Al Sharpton has appeared on a good handful of TV series as himself over the last ten years or so, and thus his appearance on 'Rescue Me' puts this Denis Leary production into that official version of "The Great Link".

'New York Undercover' - "Smoking Section"
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' - "Sophomore Jinx"
'Girlfriends' - "The Rabbit Died"
'Tanner On Tanner'
'Boston Legal' - "Head Cases" & "Loose Lips"
'My Wife And Kids' - "Fantasy Camp" (Parts One & Two)

Also of note, he hosted 'Saturday Night Live' once, so he's made his mark in Earth Not Ready For Prime-Time as well as in Earth Prime-Time as himself and also as Johnnie Cochran among other roles he played that night.

And not that he needed it for his stats to gain inclusion into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame someday, but he also hosted his own talk show called "Sharp Talk".

It's a shame the Westphallians don't recognize the League of Themselves when constructing their vision of the TV Universe. Since 'Boston Legal', 'New York Undercover', and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' are already part of Tommy Westphall's fantasy land, Reverend Al brings in the other four shows.

Ah well, to each his own.....


Sunday, June 25, 2006


Aaron Spelling's huge contributions to the expanse of Toobworld's geography was strengthened by the interconnections between several of his series via crossovers.

'Burke's Law' & 'Honey West'
'The Love Boat'/'Charlie's Angels'/'Fantasy Island'
'Beverly Hills 90210' & 'Melrose Place'
'Melrose Place' & 'Models, Inc.'

'Dynasty' & 'The Colbys'

And then there are the many TV movie sequels to some of his past hits, like 'T.J. Hooker' and 'Hart To Hart'.

"Charmed" (executive producer) (1998-)
"Clubhouse" (2004) TV Series (executive producer)
"Summerland" (executive producer)
"10-8: Officers on Duty" (2003) TV Series (executive producer)
"Queens Supreme" (2003) TV Series (executive producer)
"Deep Cover" (2002) TV Series (executive producer)
"All Souls" (2001) TV Series (executive producer)
"Titans" (2000) TV Series (executive producer)
"Rescue 77" (1999) TV Series (executive producer)

"Safe Harbor" (1999) TV Series (executive producer)
"Buddy Faro" (1998) TV Series (executive producer)
"Pacific Palisades" (1997) TV Series (executive producer)
"Sunset Beach" (1997) TV Series (producer)
"Malibu Shores" (1996) TV Series (executive producer) (1996)
"7th Heaven" (1996) TV Series (executive producer)
"Kindred: The Embraced" (1996) TV Series (executive producer)
"Savannah" (1996) TV Series (executive producer)
"University Hospital" (1995) TV Series (producer)

"Robin's Hoods" (1994) TV Series (producer)
"Burke's Law" (1994) TV Series (producer)
"The Round Table" (1992) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Heights" (1992) TV Series (producer)
"2000 Malibu Road" (1992) TV Series (executive producer)
"Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990) TV Series (executive producer)
"Nightingales" (1989) TV Series (producer)
"Life with Lucy" (1986) TV Series (executive producer)
"Finder of Lost Loves" (1984) TV Series (producer)
"Glitter" (1984) TV Series (producer)
"Hotel" (1983) TV Series (executive producer)
"At Ease" (1983) TV Series (producer)
"T.J. Hooker" (1982) TV Series (executive producer)
"Strike Force" (1981) TV Series (producer)
"Dynasty" (1981) TV Series (executive producer) (producer)
"B.A.D. Cats" (1980) TV Series (executive producer)
"Hart to Hart" (1979) TV Series (executive producer)
"Friends" (1979) TV Series (executive producer)
"The San Pedro Beach Bums"
"Fantasy Island" (1978) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Love Boat" (1977) TV Series (executive producer)
"Charlie's Angels" (executive producer)
"Family" (1976) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Rookies" (executive producer)
"Starsky and Hutch" (executive producer)
"S.W.A.T." (1975) TV Series (executive producer)
"Firehouse" (1974) TV Series (executive producer)
"Chopper One" (1974) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Most Deadly Game" (1970) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Young Rebels" (1970) TV Series (executive producer)
"The New People" (1969) TV Series (producer)
"The Mod Squad" (1968) TV Series (producer)
"Off to See the Wizard"
"The Guns of Will Sonnett" (1967) TV Series (producer)
"Daniel Boone" (1964) TV Series (executive producer)
"Burke's Law" (1963) TV Series (producer)
"The Dick Powell Show" (producer)
"Johnny Ringo" (1959) TV Series (producer)
"Zane Grey Theater" (1956) TV Series (producer)

"The Love Boat: The Next Wave" (1998) TV Series (executive producer)

"Models, Inc." (1994) TV Series (executive producer)
"Melrose Place" (1992) TV Series (executive producer)
"The Colbys" (1985) TV Series (executive producer)
"Honey West" (executive producer)

"Kingpin" (2003) (mini) TV Series (executive producer)
"Crossings" (1986) (mini) TV Series (executive producer)
"Hollywood Wives" (1985) (mini) TV Series (executive producer)
"The French Atlantic Affair" (1979) (mini) TV Series (executive producer)

Titans (2000) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Till Death Do Us Hart (1996) (TV) (executive producer) (uncredited)
Hart to Hart: Harts in High Season (1996) (TV) (executive producer) (uncredited)
Hart to Hart: Two Harts in Three-Quarters Time (1995) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart (1995) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die (1994) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Hart (1994) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is (1994) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart: Hart to Hart Returns (1993) (TV) (executive producer)
Back to the Streets of San Francisco (1992) (TV) (executive producer)
The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage (1990) (TV) (executive producer)
T.J. Hooker: Blood Sport (1986) (TV) (executive producer)
Glitter (1984) (TV) (executive producer)
T.J. Hooker (1982) (TV) (executive producer)
Hart to Hart (1979) (TV) (executive producer)
Return of the Mod Squad (1979) (TV) (executive producer)
Return to Fantasy Island (1978) (TV) (executive producer)
The San Pedro Bums (1977) (TV) (executive producer)
The Love Boat II (1977) (TV) (executive producer)
Fantasy Island (1977) (TV) (producer)
The Rookies (1972) (TV) (producer)

Charlie's Angels (2000) (executive producer)
The Mod Squad (1999) (executive producer)

"Charlie's Angels" (and its sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle") is one of those rare movies that are actually a part of the TV Universe. Charlie Townsend was once again played by the voice of John Forsythe, but everything else had changed.

It was the movie's conceit that since the demise of the TV series, several other young women had come along to work for the Townsend Detective Agency. (And besides Demi Moore as Madison Lee, who eventually turned villainous, there were also the Angels of the unsold pilot 'Angels '88'.)

And as for the recasting of Bosley, there is a splainin for that. Bill Murray and Bernie Mac were half-brothers and their father was the original Bosley, as played by David Doyle.

As for "The Mod Squad", that is a separate entity that belongs in the Cineverse and has no connection to Toobworld. It is a remake and at best can be looked upon as the mirror counterpart to the original TV series.... if the mirror crack'd: different actors, different time period.

To these theatrical releases one could also add "SWAT", although I don't think Spelling was involved in its production. In fact, because the characters mockingly "sing" the show's theme song, they recognize it as a TV show about their profession. And so the movie can't be seen as either a continuation of the TV show nor a remake.



Usually when I divvy up the credits culled from the for a Hat Squad tribute, I add a category of "TV Pilots".

To have gone through this list of TV movies in search of those which probably served as pilots for unsold series would have taken more time than even I with no life to speak of had.

But I think it safe to say that Aaron Spelling produced many of his TV movies with an eye toward eventual sale as TV series.

Just look at the titles for some of the following offerings, and you can see that there's something of a generic quality that suggests more of a blueprint for a future show:

Internation Airport
The Law And Mr. Lee
Gulf City
Grass Roots
Massarati And The Brain
Mr. And Mrs. Ryan

Perusing the list, it appears Spelling built his power base on the concept of the TV Movie during its heyday in the early 1970s, especially those for ABC's Tuesday Movie of the Week showcase. And some of those tele-flicks definitely served the mantra "Give the people what they want":

Love On The Run
Making of a Male Model
The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch
The Best Little Girl in the World

As well as the two versions of "Satan's School For Girls".

But they weren't all throwaway examples of what Spelling would call "mind candy". He was also the executive producer for "And The Band Played On", and deserves a tip o' the hat for bringing that to the general public.

And he wasn't above giving the okay to a project that needled his contributions to the TV Universe. "Murder Can Hurt You" was the Toobworld version of Neil Simon's "Murder By Death". But in this case, the detectives were spoofs of various TV detectives, including two who were obvious parodies of 'Starsky & Hutch'.

Split Decision (2006) (TV) (pre-production) (producer)
Wanted (2005) (TV) (executive producer)
Bounty Hunters (2005) (TV) (executive producer)
Silver Lake (2004) (TV) (executive producer)
The Law and Mr. Lee (2003) (TV) (executive producer)
Hotel (2003) (TV) (executive producer)
Home of the Brave (2002) (TV) (executive producer)
Satan's School for Girls (2000) (TV) (executive producer)
Odd Jobs (1997) (TV) (producer)
After Jimmy (1996) (TV) (executive producer)
A Season in Purgatory (1996) (TV) (executive producer)
Cross Town Traffic (1995) (TV) (executive producer)
Green Dolphin Beat (1994) (TV) (producer)
Love on the Run (1994) (TV) (executive producer)
Jane's House (1994) (TV) (executive producer)
A Stranger in the Mirror (1993) (TV) (executive producer)
And the Band Played On (1993) (TV) (executive producer)
Gulf City (1993) (TV) (executive producer) (producer)
Grass Roots (1992) (TV) (executive producer)
Jailbirds (1991) (TV) (executive producer)
Rich Men, Single Women (1990) (TV) (executive producer)
Day One (1989) (TV) (executive producer)
Divided We Stand (1988) (TV) (executive producer)
Cracked Up (1987) (TV) (executive producer)
Dark Mansions (1986) (TV) (executive producer)
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan (1986) (TV) (executive producer)
International Airport (1985) (TV) (executive producer)
Velvet (1984) (TV) (producer)
Dark Mirror (1984) (TV) (executive producer)
Making of a Male Model (1983) (TV) (executive producer)
Shooting Stars (1983) (TV) (executive producer)
Don't Go to Sleep (1982) (TV) (executive producer)
The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (1982) (TV) (executive producer)
Massarati and the Brain (1982) (TV) (executive producer)
Sizzle (1981) (TV) (executive producer)
The Best Little Girl in the World (1981) (TV) (executive producer)
Casino (1980) (TV) (executive producer)
Murder Can Hurt You (1980) (TV) (executive producer)
Waikiki (1980) (TV) (executive producer)
Love's Savage Fury (1979) (TV) (executive producer)
The Power Within (1979) (TV) (executive producer)
Beach Patrol (1979) (TV) (executive producer)
The Users (1978) (TV) (executive producer)
Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978) (TV) (executive producer)
Wild and Wooly (1978) (TV) (executive producer)
Cruise Into Terror (1978) (TV) (producer)
Little Ladies of the Night (1977) (TV) (executive producer)
The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976) (TV) (executive producer)
Death at Love House (1976) (TV) (executive producer)
The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1976) (TV) (executive producer)
One of My Wives Is Missing (1976) (TV) (executive producer)
The Legend of Valentino (1975) (TV) (producer)
Murder on Flight 502 (1975) (TV) (executive producer)
The Fireman's Ball (1975) (TV) (executive producer)
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return (1975) (TV) (executive producer)
Only with Married Men (1974) (TV) (executive producer)
Death Cruise (1974) (TV) (producer)
Hit Lady (1974) (TV) (producer)
Death Sentence (1974) (TV) (producer)
Savages (1974) (TV) (producer)
Cry Panic (1974) (TV) (producer)
The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped (1974) (TV) (producer)
The Death Squad (1974) (TV) (producer)
The Affair (1973) (TV) (executive producer)
Letters from Three Lovers (1973) (TV) (producer)
Hijack (1973) (TV) (producer)
Satan's School for Girls (1973) (TV) (producer)
The Bait (1973) (TV) (executive producer)
The Letters (1973) (TV) (executive producer)
The Great American Beauty Contest (1973) (TV) (executive producer)
Snatched (1973) (TV) (producer)
The Chill Factor (1973) (TV) (executive producer)
Every Man Needs One (1972) (TV) (executive producer)
Home for the Holidays (1972) (TV) (executive producer)
The Bounty Man (1972) (TV) (producer)
Rolling Man (1972) (TV) (executive producer)
Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972) (TV) (producer)
No Place to Run (1972) (TV) (producer)
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972) (TV) (executive producer)
Two for the Money (1972) (TV) (executive producer)
The Trackers (1971) (TV) (executive producer) (producer)
If Tomorrow Comes (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
The Reluctant Heroes (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
The Death of Me Yet (1971) (TV) (producer)
In Broad Daylight (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
A Taste of Evil (1971) (TV) (producer)
The Last Child (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
Five Desperate Women (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971) (TV) (producer)
River of Gold (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
Yuma (1971) (TV) (producer)
Love Hate Love (1971) (TV) (executive producer)
Run, Simon, Run (1970) (TV) (producer)
Crowhaven Farm (1970) (TV) (executive producer)
The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again (1970) (TV) (executive producer)
The House That Would Not Die (1970) (TV) (producer)
Wild Women (1970) (TV) (executive producer)
The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (1970) (TV) (executive producer)
But I Don't Want to Get Married! (1970) (TV) (producer)
How Awful About Allan (1970) (TV) (executive producer)
The Love War (1970) (TV) (producer)
Carter's Army (1970) (TV) (executive producer) (producer)
The Ballad of Andy Crocker (1969) (TV) (executive producer) (producer)
The Pigeon (1969) (TV) (executive producer)
The Monk (1969) (TV) (executive producer) (producer)
Wake Me When the War Is Over (1969) (TV) (executive producer)
The Over-the-Hill Gang (1969) (TV) (executive producer)
Cricket on the Hearth (1967) (TV) (executive producer)
My Daddy Can Lick Your Daddy (1962) (executive producer)
A Pair of Boots (1962) (executive producer)
Guns of the Timberland (1960) (producer)



Aaron Spelling didn't just contribute to the TV Universe with all of the TV shows he produced, but he also added to the Toobworld census with several characters as he started out in the business as an actor.

"Beverly Hills, 90210"
- You Gotta Have Heart (1995) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Executive in Limo
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed Julian Buck? (1963) TV Episode .... Harry Penn
"Studio 57"
- Nailed Down (1957) TV Episode .... Olaf
- The Rarest Stamp (1956) TV Episode .... Docker
"The Millionaire"
- The Joey Diamond Story (1956) TV Episode .... Max
- The Guitar (1956) TV Episode .... Weed Pindle
- The Camp (1956) TV Episode .... Andrew Hock
- The Sharks (1956) TV Episode
"TV Reader's Digest"
- The General's Escape (1956) TV Episode
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
- Breakdown (1955) TV Episode .... Road Worker
- The Big Confession (1955) TV Episode .... Bruce Marcus
- The Big Bindle (1954) TV Episode
- The Big New Year (1954) TV Episode .... Donaldson
- The Big Pug (1954) TV Episode .... Charlie Coleman
- The Big Fire (1953) TV Episode .... Ollie
- The Big Safe (29 January 1953) - Charles Boyd
"Soldiers of Fortune"
- Cut Charlie In (1955) TV Episode
"I Love Lucy"
- Tennessee Bound (1955) TV Episode .... Gas Station Man
"Treasury Men in Action"
- The Case of the Desperate Men (1954) TV Episode

When he appeared on 'Beverly Hills 90210', a show he produced and which starred his daughter Tori, Spelling was simply "Executive In Limo". But nothing about that character forbids us from thinking that he appeared as his own televersion. And that would put Aaron Spelling into Toobworld's League of Themselves, one of the building blocks for this particular concept of the TV Universe.

This could be linked to his daughter's VH1 sitcom 'So NoTORIous', in which Spelling was never seen but only heard over the speaker-phone a la Charlie Townsend of 'Charlie's Angels'. However, the voice of "Aaron Spelling" was provided by Mark Capri.

Every so often, the general board governors for Toobworld holds meetings inside my head to make rulings on certain details about the TV Universe. When it comes to casting and recasting, there are two general rules by which we let some discrepancies slide.

One is age differences. If characters, such as the Cartwrights of 'Bonanza', are shown as much younger in the prequel 'Ponderosa', it's okay to consider them to be the same characters in the same dimension of Toobworld.

The other free pass is given to performances of characters which are vocal only. And "Aaron Spelling" as a voice-over coming from a speaker-phone is acceptable as being the real Aaron Spelling.

However, there are two other portrayals of Aaron Spelling that have to be shipped off to another TV dimension; perhaps even to two different dimensions as two different actors played Spelling in them.

Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, portrayed the man behind the curtain for "Behind The Camera: The Unauthorized Story Of 'Charlie's Angels'" in 2004; while Nicholas Hammond, who played the Spiderman of the main Toobworld back in the 1970s, was seen on TV as the uber-producer in 2005's "Dynasty': The Making Of A Guilty Pleasure".

It's just as well we'd have to move them both to a different TV dimension. Let's face it, they're nothing but big ol' Zonks to the basic foundation of Toobworld.

Roger Catlin of The Hartford Courant had this to say in his blog "TV Eye" (link to the left) yesterday about the portrayals of Aaron Spelling on television:

Aaron Spelling, the prolific television producer who died Friday at 83, lived long enough to see himself as a character in movies.

When TV started to celebrate some of his hit series by starting to produce “making-of” movies of them, from “Three’s Company” to “Charlie’s Angels,” there’d be a character named Aaron Spelling done in a most exaggerated way, with a funny voice and odd scarecrow demeanor. His own daughter Tori cast him as a voice on the telephone – like the Charlie he had concocted for the Angels – for her self-deprecating recent VH1 series, “So NoTORIous.”

But not the voice nor any of the TV movie actors – even the talented Dan Castellaneta, no less than the voice of Homer Simpson – could do justice to just how unique the flesh and blood Spelling actually was.

I'd only point out that Spelling wasn't portrayed in the back-stabbing backstage look at 'Three's Company', but otherwise it's a nice tip o' the hat.

Spelling was only an ancillary character in those productions about 'Charlie's Angels' and 'Dynasty', not the main character. But I'd hate to suggest that a TV movie should be made which focuses solely on his life, although others who have contributed to the TV Universe have been given such treatment who were far less deserving.

The reason I'm reticent about the idea when it comes to Mr. Spelling is that I'm afraid that it would focus more on his relationship to his daughter Tori and her strained relationship with her mother, Candy.

And then there's always that massive mansion in which there was a room just for wrapping gifts.....

But if they ever do decide to pay homage to Aaron Spelling with the TV biopic treatment, then I do have a suggestion for an actor to play the role - at least for the early years in the business.

Lucas Haas.

Just sayin' is all.