Tuesday, February 6, 2007


On Monday night, Jerry Rice - one of the best wide receivers ever in pro football - knocked off two of the three required fictional appearances as himself in Toobworld in order to join the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Two shows, two networks (although CBS owns half of the CW).

Rice showed up first on CBS' 'The Class', as an old friend of Yonk Allen. After they worked on a speech they were going to give together at some charity, Jerry was going to treat Yonk to dinner at a steak house - even if Yonk had to go the sissy route and order salmon because of his out of control cholesterol level.

(Does anybody else get the idea that they're setting up Yonk for a stroke, or even death, to clear the path for his wife Nicole with Duncan?)

Then Jerry Rice was on 'The Game' at 9:30 on the CW to offer moral support when the Sabers didn't make it to the playoffs. (At least that's what I imagine he did. At the time it aired, I was on my way to work and was taping 'Heroes' instead.)

(By the way, even though 'The Game' aired an hour after 'The Class' began, it takes place earlier on the Toobworld timeline. The events of 'The Game' are clearly set pre-Super Bowl, since they transpire soon after the playoffs from a few weeks ago. On the other hand, nothing about Monday's episode of 'The Class' indicates that it shouldn't be considered as taking place in the week following the Super Bowl.)

If the arbitration committee wanted to induct Jerry Rice into the Hall immediately, he does have enough credits for inclusion. However, he'd be stuck with a Roger Maris asterisk on his name because his third qualification for entry was in a dream sequence.

On an episode of 'Cosby' ("Superstar"), Griffin dreamt of a world in which teachers had the same respect (and even better, the same pay scale!) as accorded to celebrities and pro athletes.

Along with Jerry Rice, Griffin was visited in his dream by the televersions of Emeril Lagasse, Doug Flutie, Mary Hart, Bryant Gumbel, Tom Wolfe, Patrick Ewing, Ahmad Rashad, John Lithgow, and even little Elmo from 'Sesame Street'. Technically, even though they were seen on TV, they weren't really appearing in Toobworld but instead in someone's dream.

However, if Griffin was dreaming of them, then he had to be aware of their existence. So it's a roundabout way of saying they have fictional versions of themselves in Toobworld.

Appearing on two different shows in one night is pretty impressive, but it's only halfway to the record. For a member of the League of Themselves, Elizabeth Taylor holds the record with four shows in one night as herself:

'The Nanny'
'Can't Hurry Love'
'Murphy Brown'
'High Society'

It was all part of a marathon P.R. stunt to tout Ms. Taylor's Black Pearls fragrance. And even then, La Liz only appeared on screen in the first two episodes. For 'Murphy Brown' she literally phoned it in, as she was going to be interviewed live on 'FYI' but then bowed out. As for 'High Society'? All you saw of her was a "stunt hand" reaching in to pick up her purloined pearls.

For a fully fictional fellow of Toobworld, Luther Van Dam of 'Coach' holds the record with four shows in one night:

'Grace Under Fire'
'The Drew Carey Show'

He can't even claim a record for appearing on two networks in one night. That's held by the casts of 'Ally McBeal' on FOX and ABC's 'The Practice'.

But still, appearing on two shows in one night is nothing to sneeze at. So hat's off to you, Mr. Rice. Someday you'll be able to shout out:

"I'm going to Toobworld!"


"I felt like a rock star!"
Jerry Rice

No comments: