Saturday, January 6, 2007


One last one for the day...

David Bianculli of the New York Daily News had a nice Toobworld moment when he wrote up the following TV listing a few weeks ago:

9:00 (SCIFI) "Battlestar Galactica." What happens when the high-tech machines responsible for generating food go on the fritz? Pilots from Galactica must go on the prowl, looking for food. (Bet those giant vegetable people from "Lost in Space" would look awfully tasty right about now.)



When the Union Wells High School of Odessa, Texas, had its big homecoming weekend on a climactic episode of 'Heroes', who were they going to play against?

Does anybody out there know if it was mentioned on the show? Hello? Bueller.... Bueller....?

Could it have been the high school of Dillon, Texas, as seen on 'Friday Night Lights'? The Wildcats vs. the Panthers?

It seems like an easy way for NBC to ride the coat-tails of its big hit, especially as they could use all the help they can get in promoting a highly-praised but under-viewed quality program like 'FNL'.

And it's not too late to "make it so". When referring back to the events of that horrific night, Claire Bennett or her father, "HRG", could mention the Dillon Panthers.

After everything that happened that night of celebration before the big game, I would imagine the game could have been postponed until a later date.



News item from a few weeks ago:

ABC has had trouble the past two seasons finding a show that will retain a good percentage of the audience from "Lost." Come February, that will no longer be a problem. The network has decided to move "Lost" to the 10 p.m. ET timeslot on Wednesdays, starting with its return from hiatus on Feb. 7. That should make ABC affiliates happy, as they'll have a much better lead-in for their local newscasts, and it's likely to give ABC's prime-time ratings a substantial boost in that hour.

This was a "modest proposal" I made back in October of 2006. Not that I think "Inner Toob" has any influence with network suits. (May they be nibbled to death by ducks!)

'Lost' will be back on February 7th......



Clearing out my Augean Stables of topic idea and news/notes for "Inner Toob" while I work on my Toobworld novel.......

This may be the first crossover of the year:

Tracey E. Bregman crosses her 'The Young and the Restless' character, Lauren, over to 'The Bold and the Beautiful' in mid-January.

If it isn't the first for 2007, let me know!


Tuesday, January 2, 2007



It was two years ago this month that Johnny Carson passed away, and it's in his memory that we kick off the Crossover Hall of Fame roster for 2007. In doing so, we combine the categories of Classic TV and the League of Themselves.

For over thirty years, Johnny Carson WAS late night television. He lorded over that 11:30 pm to 1 am timeslot (which was then cut back to 11:30 pm to 12:30 am) with little resistance from the other networks. (And at the time there was only CBS and ABC as competition in those "BC" years - "before cable".)

His title of King of Late Night held true in Toobworld as well. In fact, so pervasive was his power that his show would be cited by a character in an episode of 'Columbo' to not only establish an alibi but it served to determine a time frame for the murder ("Forgotten Lady"). And he would figure in a Chicago psychologist's bizarre dream caused by Japanese food in which Carson was the powerful friend of three "creatures" who plagued the doctor's dream: Larry and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl. (Obviously, Dr. Hartley had been watching the 'Tonight' show just before nodding off.) ('Newhart'/'The Bob Newhart Show')

As a host, Johnny Carson's resume included more than just the 'Tonight' show:

'Carson's Cellar' (1953)
'Earn Your Vacation' (1954)
'The Morning Show' (1954)
'The Johnny Carson Show' (1955-56)
'Who Do You Trust?' (1957-1962)

But it is because of his stature as the late night king that provided the inspiration for his appearances as himself in sitcoms as well as in at least two other TV dimensions.

During his second year of hosting the 'Tonight' show, (having taken over from Jack Paar on October 1, 1962), Jack Benny appeared on the program and his "secret" for how he keeps going was revealed. ('The Jack Benny Show' - "Johnny Carson Guests")

Seven years later, Lucille Carter conned her brother-in-law Harrison Carter to go to the 'Tonight' show with her and her two children, Kim and Craig, even though they didn't have any tickets. ('Here's Lucy' - "Lucy And Johnny Carson")

During the taping, Johnny entered the audience for a favorite routine, "Stump the Band", and Lucy won, thanks to her childhood lullaby, "Snoops The Lawyer". (There's a song that should one day be included in any Toobworld songbook - along with "Bupkiss" and "I Fell In Love With Attila The Hun".) Her prize? Dinner at the Brown Derby Restaurant, where she proceeded to interrupt and demolish Carson's own meal there.

In 1977, Johnny Carson was in Minneapolis on business, and he went to a small party at Mary Richards' apartment with his host, Congresswoman Geddys. Unfortunately, he and the representative were trapped in the building's elevator for most of the evening due to a blackout and so could only stay a minute at "Mary's Big Party". But it was long enough to get his face licked by the Happy Homemaker, Sue Ann Nivens. ('The Mary Tyler Moore Show')

Carson wound up in 'Night Court' in New York City in March of 1988, when immigrant Yakov Korolenko needed help in getting a visa to return to Russia to visit his mother. ("Russkie Business" - which happened to be the 100th episode of 'Night Court'.)

Finally, a mailman from Boston named Cliff Clavin had been sending in jokes to the 'Tonight' show for years, but none of them were ever used by Johnny Carson in his monologue. As a practical joke, Cliff's buddy Norm Peterson told him that one of his jokes would be used, but the joke backfired when Cliff bought plane tickets to LA for himself, Norm, and Cliff's mother so that they could all be in the audience when Johnny told the joke.

It took some quick thinking and a bit of brewed bribery for Norm to get the joke added in on the cue cards, but even so, the joke bombed.

Luckily, Mrs. Clavin was there to save the day and she boldly instructed Carson on the proper way to tell that joke - he had hit the wrong key word in his delivery.

Later after the taping, Cliff stood on the stage triumphant and basked in his daydreams about being the host of the show. ("Heeeeere's.... Cliffy!") Carson came out and observed him go through his own version of the monologue's closing movements.

Johnny: Feels pretty good, doesn't it?
Cliff: Yeah.
Johnny: Now get the hell off my stage before I call security.

(Although this episode of 'Cheers' aired in May of 1992, just a few days before Johnny Carson retired, it should be placed in October, 1991, on the Toobworld Timeline. It is mentioned in the episode that Carson's birthday was approaching, which was October 23rd. It could be that this encounter with the Clavins led the televersion of Johnny Carson's decision to retire!)

It would have been nice to see Johnny backstage at 'The Larry Sanders Show', and I know Garry Shandling tried hard to land him for a guest star spot, especially for the very last episode. But Carson's influence could be felt throughout the run of that series, from the design of the set to Larry Sanders' concerns over how his inspiration might handle the various situations that occurred.

Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that read "WWJD?" or "WWJCD?"? Larry Sanders could have used either one of those, but for him the "JC" would stand for "Johnny Carson", not "Jesus Christ".

Johnny also has doppelgangers in several of the alternate TV universes. In the Tooniverse, Johnny is practically superhuman as he was able to juggle an automobile. In Bart Simpson's eyes, his idol Krusty the Clown was second only to Carson as the greatest entertainer in the world, which means Carson had to be truly the best. And considering he could tap dance while playing the accordion and balancing Abe Simpson and Jasper on his head, it's hard to believe anybody could be better in the cartoon universe. ('The Simpsons' - "Krusty Gets Kancelled")

Over in Skitlandia, the dimension based on TV sketch comedy, Johnny Carson helped welcome Lucille Ball to NBC back in 1980. ("Lucy Moves To NBC") But it's hard to believe he'd still be welcome at the network himself after he murdered most of the comedians in the business back in 1976. ("The Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in Joys")

There's one other incarnation of Johnny Carson in an alternate TV dimension, but he wasn't portrayed by Carson. Rich Little played the talk show host in "Late Shift", a TV movie about Carson's retirement from hosting 'Tonight' and the battle between David Letterman and Jay Leno to succeed him.

I think a good place for this tele-flick would be in Earth Prime-Time/MOW, which is the alternate dimension where the succession of US Presidents for the last forty years can be found in various movies of the week ("Vanished", "First Shot", "Washington: Behind Closed Doors", etc.)

This acknowledgment of Johnny Carson as the King of Late Night doesn't even stray into universes of little concern to Toobworld, like the "Cineverse" of movies. And I didn't even need to mention any of the game shows, award shows, many other TV specials, and other talk shows on which he appeared. But these examples have been proof enough as to why Johnny Carson is a deserving candidate for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.


"And so it has come to this.
I am one of the lucky people in the world.
I found something that I always wanted to do,
And I have enjoyed every single minute of it
Johnny Carson

Monday, January 1, 2007


Had I been home on Sunday, I might have posted this for New Year's Eve - the complete list of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

The idea officially began in 1999 when I was reading a page from a Nick at Nite calendar of TV trivia. They were trumpeting Sam Drucker of 'Green Acres'/'Petticoat Junction' as the Crossover King for the total number of episodes (and one TV movie) in which he appeared.

Since then, the new Crossover King is Detective John Munch, of course.

But I had written enough essays in the old "Tubeworld Dynamic" about various TV characters befitting certain times of year; characters who also would be considered for membership in the Hall of Fame. So I've established those characters as the "proto-hall".

There have been a few themes over the years - salutes to 'Star Trek' and 'Law & Order', and "What I Say, Goes" for my 50th birthday. But for the most part, it's been a catch-all grab-bag of choices each month. In a way, it's a lot like TV itself, when you're flipping around the dial with the remote.

So anyway, now that a new year has begun, allow me to run down the list of members in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame:

PROTO-HALL (pre 1999)
January - George Burns
February - Kareem Abdul Jabbar
March - Julius Caeser
April - the Titanic
May - Superman
June - Kermit The Frog
July - James West & Artemus Gordon
August - The Lone Ranger & Tonto
September - Brandon Tartikoff
October - Frankenstein's Monsters
November - George Washington
December - Bob Hope

January - Sam Drucker
February - Abraham Lincoln (official portrayer - Ford Rainey)
March - Frasier Crane
April - John Munch
May - Q
Summer - Brady Hawkes
September - Greta Rae Cummings
October - Dr. Bombay
November - Jack Benny
December - Santa Claus (official portrayer - Charles Durning)

January - Lucy Ricardo
February - Lucille Carmichael
March - Lucille Carter
April - Lucille Ball
May - Pebbles Flintstone
June - Joyce Brothers
B'Day Honors - Mary Richards
July - Calamity Jane
August - Mary Ann Summers
September - Lovey Howell
October - Captain Kangaroo
November - Murphy Brown
December - Dick Clark

January - Bob Hartley
February - Sammy Davis, Jr.
March - Archie Bunker
April - Gilligan
May - Jessica Fletcher
June - Rowlf
B'Day Honors - Ernie Kovacs, Susie McNamara
July - Miguelito Loveless
August - Bart Maverick
September - Norman Lear
October - HG Wells, Exigius 12 1/2, Orson Welles, Leonardo DaVinci
November - Rudy Giuliani, Walter Cronkite, the Twin Towers
December - Walt Disney
Christmas Wish-List (Multiverse Honors) - Bilbo Baggins

January - Felix Unger & Oscar Madison
Multiverse Honors - Cecily & Gwendolyn Pigeon
February - George & Louise Jefferson
March - Jim McKay & Bob Costas, Gloria Stivic & Joey Stivic
April - Maxwell Smart & 99
May - Dale Evans & Roy Rogers
June - Shari Lewis & Lambchop
B'Day Honors - C-3PO & R2-D2, Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton
July - Bat Masterson & Wyatt Earp
August - Lucas McCain & Mark McCain, Andy Taylor & Opie Taylor
September - William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
October - Jed Clampett & Daisy Moses
November - John F. & Jacqueline Kennedy
December - God & Jesus Christ
Christmas Wish-List - Blackadder & Baldrick

January - Lassie
February - Martin Luther King, Jr.
March - Mark Sloan
April - Luther Van Dam
May - Milton Berle
June - Howdy Doody
B'Day Honors - Publications: NY Ledger, L.A. Tribune, L.A. Sun, Playpen Magazine & National Inquisitor

Summer - Cheyenne Bodie
September - Tom Fontana, St. Eligius Hospital
October - Lee Harvey Oswald
November - John F. Kennedy Jr.
December - Ebenezer Scrooge

January - James T. Kirk
February - Uhura
March - Leonard McCoy
April - Montgomery Scott
May - Janice Rand
June - Zephraim Cochrane
B'Day Honors - The actors of Star Trek (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichol, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei)
July - Hikaru Sulu
August - Pavel Chekhov
September - Gene Roddenberry
October - Tribbles
November - Sarek
December - Spock

January - Columbo
February - Barney Collier/Mr. Peters
March - John Drake/Number 6
April - Ted Baxter
May - Kay Howard
June - Arnold Ziffel
B'Day Honors - Toby O'Brien
July - Paladin/Hec Ramsey
August - Samantha Crawford
September - UBS Network
October - Sweet the Demon
November - Adam West
December - The Penguin

January - Lennie Brisco
February - Anita Van Buren
March - Donald Cragen
April - Mike Logan
May - Jamie Ross
June - Elizabeth Olivet
B'day Honors - Faith Yokas
July - Rey Curtis
August - Ed Green
September - Dick Wolf
October - Emil Szoda
November - Arthur Branch
December - Jack McCoy

With this year, I'm hoping to solidify the categories for each month. Here's what I had in mind:

January - Classic TV
February - "Black History"
March - The League of Themselves
April - "April Fools"
May - "Queen of the May"
June - Puppets, Animals, Oddities
B'day Honors - "What I Say, Goes"
July - Western
August - Detective
September - Creators
October - "Monsters"
November - Politicians & Newsmakers
December - "Tis The Season"

Some of those categories can't last forever. For instance, once I run out of possibilities for holiday themes, I may dedicate that month to multiverse characters. Perhaps a month for sitcoms or drama.

Tomorrow I'll post the first inductee for 2007....



As I said to others during the night at work, Happy New Year... unless it interferes with my own plans.

There have been plenty of websites and magazines that have done tributes to those celebrities we have lost over the past year. (The Mail-Call and Newsday had a running gallery throughout the year.)

The problem with those salutes is that they publish too soon. There's always somebody big who shuffles off the mortal coil after the list goes out.

And look what happened this year - we lost James Brown and President Gerald Ford after those lists came out. (And we got rid of Saddam - fulfilling his 'South Park' destiny.)

Trivial TV (link to the left) has a great variation - a list of the TV characters who were killed off on American TV shows this past year. (Check the comments, there are more added to the list!)

At least that list is pretty much guaranteed to be stable. Just about every show is in repeats right now for the holidays, so there are no new episodes in which to off somebody. (Had he included shows from Great Britain, then Ellen Zitek of 'Casualty' and Pauline Fowler of 'EastEnders' would have missed the publication deadline.)

I'd like to pay tribute to some of those characters whose portrayers have passed away this year. Hopefully we will not see their likes again, as there should only be one person ever portraying them in the main Toobworld. (It should be noted that some of them have been portrayed in alternate dimensions.)

Some of these characters already passed away, if not within the framework of the series, then due to the show's placement on the Toobworld Timeline. At least one character should have been considered immortal.

It's not an inclusive list, but those whom I consider irreplaceable, as well as a few I just want to salute in my own small way....

Barney Fife - 'The Andy Griffith Show'
Ralph Furley - 'Three's Company'
Jeff Dillon - 'The Name of the Game'
Grandpa Munster/Count Dracula* - 'The Munsters'*
Clarabelle The Clown - 'Howdy Doody'**
'H.R. Pufnstuf'
'Kentucky Jones'
Ma Barker - 'Batman'
Nana Mary - 'Roseanne'
Father Majeski - 'All In The Family'
Ambassador G'Kar - 'Babylon 5'
Exidor - 'Mork & Mindy'
Eddie - 'Frasier'***
Louise Tate - 'Bewitched'
Margaret Anderson - 'Father Knows Best'
Owen Marshall - 'Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law'
Lionel Jefferson - 'All In The Family'/'The Jeffersons'
Tom Willis - 'The Jeffersons'
Harry Fox, Sr. - 'Crazy Like A Fox'
Phil - 'Murphy Brown'
Sam Cade - 'Cade's County'
Tom Corbett - 'Tom Corbett, Space Cadet'
Nick Bianco - 'Search'
Frances "Pop" Cavanaugh - 'The Cavanaughs'
Henry Phyfe - 'The Double Life Of Henry Phyfe'
Natalie Lane - 'The Patty Duke Show'
David Ross - 'The Outsider'
Officer Leo Schnauzer - 'Car 54, Where Are You?'
Jimmy - 'H.R. Pufnstuf'
Reverend Tom Holvak - 'The Family Holvak'
Bill Brown - 'Murphy Brown'
Grey Holden - 'Riverboat'
Michael Bauer - 'Guiding Light'
Waylon Shaw - 'The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire'
Yancy Tucker - 'The Waltons'
Lt. Mike Haines - 'NYPD'
Louise Goddard Brooks - 'Another World'
Buzz Richman - 'Blossom'
Big Bud Lutz - 'Eisenhower & Lutz'/'Eight Is Enough'
Ivy Tilsley Brennan - 'Coronation Street'
Dr. Joe Bogert - 'Doc'
John St. John - 'Jigsaw John'
Nigel St. John - 'Lois & Clark'
Paracelsus - 'Beauty And The Beast'
Pat Gimble - 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
Amanda Grayson - 'Star Trek'
Bill Otley - 'Prime Suspect'
Madame Francine - 'Yancy Derringer'
Katherine Auschlander - 'St. Elsewhere'
Victoria Bellman - 'Texas'/'Another World'

And there are those who exist in other universes - literary, cinematic, theatrical, etc. - but who had singular portrayals in Toobworld:

Max Merlin - 'Mr. Merlin'
Chester Goode - 'Gunsmoke'
Nora Charles - 'The Thin Man'
Carl Kolchak - 'The Night Stalker'
Captain Monasterio - 'Zorro'*
Morris Buttermaker - 'The Bad News Bears'
Major Simon Butcher - 'The Wackiest Ship In The Army'
'Matt Helm'
'Mike Hammer'*

Finally there is George Kerby of 'Topper', a character who passed away back in the fifties and who has doppelgangers in other TV dimensions.

But for Earth Prime-Time, I think there can only be the one. As he can no longer be seen in Toobworld, and yet had already passed away, perhaps we can assume his spirit finally was able to pass on to his reward in the afterlife. Perhaps with help from 'The Ghost Whisperer'?

That list isn't as devestating as the one in 2005, but there are some heavy-hitters on it; 'twill serve. Personally, I'm glad to see the backside of 2006 as I lost me Mom back in March. But at least she's in some good company there.......


*The character lives on in altermate dimensions.
**Based on the last actor to play the role, Lew Anderson, and the fact that his version was the only one to ever speak on air.
***Based on the first dog to play the role, Moose, and that he held the role the longest.