NBC burned off the last two episodes of 'Andy Barker, P.I.' Saturday night, and the quirky little comedy starring Andy Richter went out with its head held high. That last episode looking at film noir characters fifty years on, with Ed Asner as the guest star, was fantastic.
It also added some flavor to the televersion lives of certain real world celebrities with a look back at the fiftieth birthday party of Gene Kelly at the Brown Derby on August 23, 1962. According to the photographer who covered the event, Buddy Hackett took off his pants and sat in the birthday cake. Like the photographer said, that was comedy back then. It wasn't funny, but they committed.
But it's the first episode that needed some de-Zonking. Andy had not been getting enough sleep because his baby kept crying and so he started having weird dreams. At one point, a scene from 'Law & Order' was playing in the background and suddenly Jesse L. Martin, who plays Detective Ed Green, broke the fourth wall and began talking to Andy.
At least, that's how we were supposed to view it as the audience.
But as a televisiologist, one who wants as many shows as possible to exist under the Big Tent of Toobworld, I can't accept that it was a scene from 'Law & Order'.
Luckily, we never heard Martin be identified as Detective Green, and there was nothing about that short clip to positively brand the show within the show as 'Law & Order'. For all we know, it was some movie in which Martin was playing a cop, maybe even a private eye. Or it was some fictional TV show in which Martin was the star, or perhaps just the guest star.
So this way, 'Law & Order' and 'Andy Barker, P.I.' can co-exist in the same universe.