If there is such a thing as a regular visitor to Inner Toob, they might have noticed that since last November there has been no installment of The Hat Squad, The Hat Squad would be a tribute to the actors and creative forces that enriched the Television experience, usually listing those characters they left behind to populate Earth Prime-Time.
But it was never an easy feature to run, and I don't mean just for the work involved in re-arranging their TV credits properly. It was always just so depressing. And since I stopped doing it (although I always thought I'd go back to it again with a bank of free time, like say, on summer vacation), sadly the list just kept growing until it became too daunting to attempt it again.
And the people on that list that we lost! Ian Richardson, Yvonne deCarlo, Tige Andrews, John Inman, Betty Hutton, Stan Daniels, Roscoe Lee Browne, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Poston, Kitty Carlysle, Dabbs Greer, Mr. Wizard, and yes, Anna Nicole Smith, and so many more...... Like I said, it would have been depressing and daunting to give them their proper due.
But there's one passing that I've been thinking a lot about the last few weeks - that of Charles Nelson Reilly. In particular, for one of his last, great contributions to Toobworld, that of the novelist Jose Chung in episodes of 'The X-Files' ("Jose Chung's From Outer Space") and 'Millennium' ("The Doomsday Defense").
Two shows, both already connected, and Jose Chung was two-thirds away from being qualified for entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Sadly, the character was killed off in the 'Millennium' episode and with the death of Mr. Reilly, we don't even have the hope he might have appeared in a show like 'Supernatural' in a flashback cameo.
But there's still the faintest of possibilities his presence can still be felt in the TV Universe. All we would need would be a copy of his book "From Outer Space" to appear in some episode of a third show. It wouldn't have to be a blatant display of the cover (which featured a very Streiberesque alien); 'Lost' has shown us that the smallest of detail needs to be visible of a book and the fans will pick up on it thanks to high-def freeze frames.
'Lost' and 'Supernatural' are just two possibilities in which we might see a copy of "From Outer Space". 'Heroes', 'Kyle XY', 'Entourage', 'The Dead Zone', 'Eureka', 'The 4400', 'John From Cincinnatti', and upcoming new shows like 'New Amsterdam', 'Moonlight', and 'Samantha Be Good' could all have characters who own a copy of the book.
And by extension, Jose Chung could be immortalized in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame bringing along Charles Nelson Reilly for the ride.
Because God knows he'll never get in thanks to Hoodoo!
Thanks for all of the blank, Mr. Reilly.