Saturday, September 1, 2007


Once again I was mentioned in the "TV Extras" column by David Bianculli, TV columnist for the New York Daily News:

The USA series "Burn Notice," if my electronic mailbag is any indication, is popular among viewers who hunt for hidden jokes. Many caught one from an early episode, including Eddie Rabinowitz of Brooklyn, Tricia Metts of Dumont, N.J., and Marc Lighter, also of Brooklyn.

Lighter writes, "In the episode called 'Identity,' Bruce Campbell identified Gabrielle Anwar and himself as 'Detectives Cagney and Lacey.' Sharon Gless, who was Christine Cagney, is also a member of the series, playing Jeffrey Donovan's mother."

Referring to Gless' role on the classic 1980s CBS cop show was good enough to earn Extra points, but Toby O'Brien of Manhattan did even more by putting the playful prank into context.

"Using the TV show for their cover names was funny enough as an in-joke," he writes, "but it's been done before.

"Working undercover in a gated community on an episode of 'The X-Files,' Mulder introduced himself and his partner Scully as 'Rob and Laura Petrie'" - a nod, of course, to the roles played by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore on "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

The full article can be found here.

By my records, Bianculli has published over 70 columns dedicated to TV in-jokes over the years. Looking through my copies of them, I see that I've contributed about 16 of them - that made it to print, that is. You should see how many that never saw the light of day in the Daily News! (Bianculli probably sees me as some kind of nut job by now; but then, why should he be any different from the rest of you?)

But this time out, this may have been the last publication of the TV Extras column - at least in the New York Daily News. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it appears that he and the paper's editor-in-chief came to an impasse over money with a new contract. So it's likely that Bianculli will be moving on.

I just hope that with the world so connected via the Internet, I'll be able to follow his work to wherever he ends up. I know there'll be plenty of new TV in-jokes out there in the future with which I can pester him.....

Toby OB

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