Saturday, November 24, 2007
In the commercial for Kohl's After Thanksgiving Sale, a small dust-mop of a pup awoke before 4 am to get the coffee maker ready, to blend up some kind of breakfast, and to pull the drapes open. And then it padded over to the bed of its mistress to wake her up.
But it didn't bark. It actually spoke English! With a feminine voice, the dog urged the young woman to get up out of bed and get out there for the After Thanksgiving Sale at Kohl's department store. Its job done, the dog then went back to bed.
A cute little blipvert, but for Toobworld it meant so much more. O'Bviously, that dog could speak English because it retained the ability from its previous life as a human.
Most of these reincarnated dogs who can actually talk usually end up with someone they were close to in their previous lives. So based on the voice, I'd say the dog had been the young woman's best friend in college. Perhaps she was a materialistic fashionista and it was one trait that her soul had not transcended in the new life.
Or maybe it might have even been her mother, reborn! And just like a Mom, the dog was doing all it could to help her daughter.
Whoever the dog may have been in the previous life, it seems apparent that the two of them have been together long enough so that the concept of a talking dog really wasn't shocking to the young woman.
I guess it would have been unseemly to have a male-voiced mutt show up in her boudoir at that time of the day......
At least it better be a tradition from here on out!
Spent a couple of days with my cousins in Dunn's River, Connecticut, and once everything was prepared and ready to go, or was in the oven already, we went outside to the pool area to enjoy the hot tub! [Pictured from left: my cousin Marilee, her husband Allan, my brother Bill, and Yours Truly]
And as I sat there wallowing in my own decadence, sipping on "pumpkintinis" made from Bols Pumpkin Smash, the perfect Thanksgiving quote came to mind.
From TV, of course.....
"We'ze gonna get silly, Bitches!"
Orson Bean (as Bob)
'How I Met Your Mother'
Maybe you guys who read "Inner Toob" can help me identify this actress.
You've seen the "Hit Moms" blipverts from Burger King, right? Three women who contract a hit on the Burger King because their kids like the meals better there than the sandwiches they make?
It's driving me nuts as to where I've seen the short redhead before. Can anybody tell me who she might be?
Sunday, November 25th
7 PM EST/6 PM Central
But some shows have to be banished to alternate dimensions because they clash with the established rules of the majority. My favorite example? Most TV series will refer to the current President of the United States as being their POTUS as well. But shows like '24', 'The West Wing', 'Prison Break', 'Commander-In-Chief', 'The Agency', 'Mr. President', 'Traveler', etc? Off they go to their own dimensions.
TV shows that are remakes of earlier series end up in a separate dimension because Earth Prime-Time already has a version. 'Smallville', 'Battlestar Galactica', 'The New Addams Family', all fall into that category.
And TV cartoons have the Tooniverse.
Television, like the English language, is this giant maw absorbing everything it comes in contact with. By that, I mean works of literature have been adapted and become part of the TV Universe. The works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, Agatha Christie, Tony Hillerman, Norman Mailer. 'The Martian Chronicles' of Ray Bradbury and 'Between Time And Timbuktu' by Vonnegut. Some of those are part of Toobworld; others are sent packing to the alternate Toobworlds.
Works of fantasy find their way into Toobworld and by the nature of their created worlds end up in alternate dimensions: the works of 'Tolkien' ("The Hobbit"), Mervyn Peake ('Gormenghast'), L. Frank Baum ('The Shirley Temple Storybook' - "The Land of Oz"), and now Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series of books, starting with 'The Hogfather'.
There's no way the Discworld could exist in the world of Earth Prime-Time. Discworld is not only flat, but it's resting on the backs of four elephants who themselves are standing on the back of a giant turle. Having never read Pratchett, I don't know if this is fact or mythology.
As far as Toobworld is concerned, we should get a pretty good idea Sunday night with the premiere of "The Hogfather". In this story, the Santa Claus of Discworld, the Hogfather, is kidnapped by Mr. Teatime (described as a combination of Peter Lorre and Willy Wonka) and so the personification of Death fills in for him.
I guess the Discworld version of Hannukah Harry wasn't available.....
"The Hogfather" aired last holiday season in the UK, so its alternate dimension is already established. Now we finally get the chance to view it for ourselves.
Here's the info again:
Sunday, November 25th
7 PM EST/6 PM Central
Click the Hogfather's hat to see the trailer......
This past week, Dick Wilson passed away at the age of 91. He is best known, immortalized even, as George Whipple of "Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin" fame.
He died the same day Charmin launched their promotional port-a-potties in Times Square.
The other day, Verity Lambert passed away at the age of 71. She is best known as the first producer of 'Doctor Who', and as the first female producer at the BBC, as well as one of the youngest they had at that time. (I may be wrong on those last two claims.)
She died one day shy for the 44th anniversary celebration of 'Doctor Who'.
Like I said, Clotho, Lachesis, and the other one can be mean.....
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here's the scoop from Wikipedia:
"The UN General Assembly established November 21 as World Television Day to encourage nations to exchange cultural programming focusing on peace, security, economic and social development.The announcement was made in resolution 51/205 at the 99th plenary meeting of the Assembly, on December 17, 1996. The day November 21 was chosen because the first World Television Forum was held on that day in 1996, where media figures organized to discuss the increased significance of television in the world.No other public records besides resolution 51/205 have documented observances of World Television Day."
Well, hopefully we here at Toobworld Central will remember to celebrate World Television Day next year on November 21st.
If we're not bemoaning the Presidential election a few weeks earlier....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TV veteran Richard L. Bare, who directed all 168 episodes of CBS' 1960s sitcom "Green Acres," said he has acquired the rights to remake the series for TV from the widow of "Acres" creator Jay Sommers.
Bare hopes the classic TV series will appeal to the networks, which are short of original material as the Writers Guild of America enters its third week Monday.
The thing is, there was already a remake of 'Green Acres' that came out in the late 1980s.
It was called 'Newhart'.
Think about it! Both shows were centered around urban dwellers who uprooted themselves for a late middle-aged change in their location and job situation. So they move to a rural setting which happens to be populated by the type of people who will end up driving them crazy.
Mr. Drucker and the Ziffels in Hooterville; Ms. Goddard and Larry and his brother Darryl and his other brother Darrell in Stratford, Vermont. (At least that's how I think that name situation could be splained away.)
Their wives manage to fit in well enough with the new surroundings. And they both have handymen with somewhat childlike natures. (Eb saw Oliver Douglas as his Dad; George went trick-or-treating into his early sixties.)
Both series leads had to deal with the local wheeler-dealers. In Oleevah's case, it was the slick Mr. Haney; for Dick Loudon, it was his TV show producer, Michael Harris. (And in both cases, both can be considered "MH".)
Hooterville had its government official, Mr. Kimball. Stratford, Vermont, had the local constabulary represented by Officer Schifflett. Neither one of them was as competent as they could have been.
Now.... in Hooterville, there was an intelligent pig named Arnold who was often mixed up in the life of Oliver Douglas. It's a stretch, but I think the equivalent to Arnold can be found in Stephanie Vanderkellen. Meaning no disrespect to her size or even her eating habits (and I doubt that Stephanie had a curly tail), but the analogy is more about her selfish, materialistic, covetous nature. In that way she could be considered "piggish".
As it turned out, 'Newhart' was nothing more than a long dream by Dr. Bob Hartley of 'The Bob Newhart Show'. I don't think it could be analyzed as his interpretation of 'Green Acres', because both series share the same TV dimension. I think Dr. Hartley may have known about the story of Oliver and Lisa Douglas leaving New York and making a new home in Hooterville. And that's what fed into his dream.
Just sayin', is all, Dahlingk.
One thing the strike can't do is kill creativity.
They just don't get paid for it.
But, like the video says, they're used to it.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
For five years, she played Fraulein Hilda on 'Hogan's Heroes'. Hilda was the sexy secretary of Colonel Wilhelm Klink at Stalag 13, and she was aware of the espionage activities of Colonel Robert Hogan and his crew of prisoners.
I'd like to think that Toobworld imitated the Trueniverse. I'd like to think that when it became too dangerous for her to remain at Stalag 13, Hilda was smuggled out and sent to England to hide. There she waited until the end of the war, when she was reunited with Colonel Hogan. They married and moved to America, where she lived until the end of her days.
Of course, since 'Hogan's Heroes' was set twenty years in the past of the Trueniverse when it was first broadcast, it's likely that Hilda Hogan died long before Sigrid Valdis. (I never understood how she could pick that as her stage name. So clunky! Her birth name was Patricia Olson, from Bakersfield.)
Mrs. Crane died at the home of her daughter. The twice-widowed actress had three children - a daughter by her previous marriage and a son and daughter with Bob Crane, who played Colonel Hogan and who passed away in 1978.
As Red Skelton would have said, "May God bless....."
[amended - thanks, Brent!]
Mr. Whipple nearly lost his finger when a parrot he hired to squawk "Please don't squeeze the Charmin!" ended up biting him right down to the bone. And yet the women kept squeezing the fluffier tissue.
I think George Whipple drank, and copiously. But he was a professional. He never drank on the job. No, for him it was always in some anonymous bar on the way home from work, somewhere near Westport, Connecticut. During those times when he had to travel for the job, either to Los Angeles, or even to Big Town, Mr. Whipple would never start imbibing until his job was over and he could relax on his own time.
[as seen in 'Bewitched', 'The Paul Lynde Show', & 'Captain Nice']
Even so, George saw himself as a failure. In his bitterness, he may have even acted oddly towards a team of mathematical investigators while they were on a case.
It could have been claimed that George Whipple would survive in Toobworld long beyond the death of his portrayer Dick Wilson, who passed away on Monday. However, there can never be anybody who could take his place in the real world or in Toobworld. And so we must assume that George Whipple has passed away as well.
Rest in peace, Mr. Whipple.
'The Paul Lynde Show'
'Square One TV'
'The Twilight Zone' - "The Brain Center At Whipple's"
So since it's his third b'day, I got him "Shrek the Third".
With that chore out of the way, it was time to get me some goodies!
"Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" - I had this on VHS, so it was time to upgrade. When you think of the TV cartoon Christmas classics, it's like thinking of the big three in silent movie comedy. 'Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown' is Chaplin; 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' is Keaton; 'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol' is Harold Lloyd. But in my heart, it's number one.
'The Muppet Show' (The Complete Second Season) - Anything to reclaim the highlights of my years at UConn! And it's nice to know I have these felt-covered lunatics always there to keep me company.
"The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows" - You don't know what a rush it is to look at the cover and see how the images have changed. Now 'Lost' is included! Woohoo! The old volume is consumed with jealousy as it is banished to the bookshelves and its replacement takes its rightful place on my desk.....
'One Tree Hill'???
The CW teen soap, a hold-over from The WB, will be returning in January of 2008, after being off the air since June of this year. (That may be unusual for a network, even a netling show, but something of a standard practice for cable shows.) And like the other shows listed above, it will be dealing in a bit of speculative fiction.....
Here's what Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant (Link to the Left) had to say about what we might expect:
In what the network claims is "unprecedented in the annals of television drama," the show will bypass the usual problem of high school dramas, where stories start to meander once characters go to college and the actors start to look too old for their parts, by jumping the action way past post-high school, where most of the characters graduated last spring, to post-college.
Some characters will have succeeded, others will not have, The CW says.
Lucas will have written and published a book (hello, "October Road"!). Brooke is big in the fashion industry; Peyton is slugging it out in the music industry, and Nathan and Haley are raising a school-aged James.
Four years into the future will put the show in the year 2011, which could prove dangerous should there be any cataclysmic event that should happen here in the Trueniverse before then. Even though Toobworld is not the same world as ours, people watching will expect real events to be reflected in the shows they watch (despite some cries of "Too soon!"). It was done with the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, the collapse of the World Trade Center, Viet Nam, and Iraq (both times). I expect the California wildfires of this year may factor in episodes of shows like 'Brothers & Sisters', 'Chuck', and other Southern California, shows eventually. (If the writers' strike is ever settled, that is.)
Let's say that in 2009 the carved presidential faces on Mt. Rushmore crumble off, like the Old Man of the White Mountains did in New Hampshire and tumble below, killing hundreds of tourists. Shouldn't that be mentioned by the characters of 'One Tree Hill' around that time, even if they're down in North Carolina? (Granted, it took a long time before Toobworld acknowledged that the Viet Nam war was going on, save for an occasional mention in 'The Twilight Zone' or 'Then Came Bronson', but things are different today.)
It only took a few weeks for the tragedy at Cincinnatti concert for The Who to be dealt with on 'WKRP In Cincinnatti', and even though they were a sitcom, they HAD to address it considering the subject matter of their show. What if something dire happens in North Carolina and there's no clue that it ever happened in the past of 'One Tree Hill'?
Bad enough they never mention Mt. Pilot or Mayberry being in the same state!
In the meantime, I just wanted to doff my cap to Dick Wilson, a man who literally gave his blood to bring us Mr. Whipple. In one of the more memorable Charmin ads, George Whipple got a parrot to squawk the message "Please don't squeeze the Charmin." At the end of the commercial, the parrot bit him on the finger - definitely an unscripted moment!
The commercial freezes on that image, but that's mainly because it would have been too traumatic to see wha' hoppint, as Ricky Ricardo would say. The parrot bit right to the bone; for alls I know, Mr. Wilson could have lost the finger!
Gosh, Mr. Wilson!When I get home from work in the morning, I'll load that salute to George Whipple here at Inner Toob, with all the pics I have showing his life in Toobworld.
Until then: Dick Wilson, may God bless...
Monday, November 19, 2007
I put Morgan's name in quotation marks, because it may be that she's the vampyric ex-wife of vampire private eye Mick St. John. (I'm one week behind in watching the show; don't tell me!)
By the way, when Beth Turner was listing Morgan's work references in Chicago, she said, "Chicago Tribune, NewsCorp..." and then stopped, although it was clear she could have said one other name.
I'd like to think it might have been the Independent News Service, where Carl Kolchak used to work....
'Kolchak: The Night Stalker'
While Dan Vasser was interfering with the life of Abigail Armstrong back in the early 70s (either 1973 or '74), a VW bus pulled up to offer her a ride. And the music playing in that bus?
"Shambala" by Three Dog Night.
This was the song of choice on the cassette tape in the Dharma bus where the father of Ben Linus met his end on 'Lost'.
No way I'm going to stretch logic to the breaking point by trying to make the case that the bus on one show was the exact same one as on the other series.
However, there are a lot of coincidences that have occurred for different characters on 'Lost' which tie them together. It's a universal effect which doesn't just happen on the island but in their past lives all over the world. And being a universal phenomenon in the TV dimension means that this is the kind of thing that has an effect in other shows.
It could be that whoever is pulling the strings behind the curtain, in regards to Dan's mysterious ability to travel back in Time, they could be involved with the DHARMA initiative or the Hanso Organization. It might be the reason we see Walt keep popping up at strange moments on the island.
Or it's all just coincidence.
But even if it was coincidence, it's hard to top this moment right after that encounter along the coastal highway:
After hearing what had happened, Dan's partner-in-Time, Olivia Beale, said, "Well, I'm lost!"
I'd almost think they were going for one of those patented Extras in-jokes!
There were of course some shows which just "donated" some of their stars to come out on stage and sing (or in the horrible case of the 'HollyOaks' boys, lip-synch) or to be presenters, like 'Holby City'.
The 'Hotel Babylon' sketch was reminiscent of the "crossover" between 'Alias' and 'Columbo' during the celebration for ABC's fiftieth anniversary. It used the original actors, on established sets, but it was all played for laughs.
The segment featured the cast of 'Hotel Babylon' as they awaited the new manager of the hotel. And this is why the segment now resides in Skitlandia: the new manager was Sybil Fawlty of 'Fawlty Towers'!
Dorian Green from 'Birds Of A Feather'
Ted Bovis, back from Camp Maplins in 'Hi-De-Hi'
June Medford of 'Terry And June'
(Although I would have preferred seeing June Whitfield as Edina's mother from 'Absolutely Fabulous'.)
I've been looking for a video of the sketch online, and the nearest I came had already seen it removed from YouTube. The 'Children in Need' website offers it for a limited time, but only to visitors from the UK, apparently.
But I did find this archeaological treasure of a frame grab:
Pudsey, the bandaged yellow teddy bear who's the mascot/symbol of the Children in Need cause.
Within the context of Toobworld, Pudsey must have fallen through a time warp from 2007. And in Skitlandia, Maid Marian held the power of serlinguism - able to talk through the dimensional veil to the audience at home in the Trueniverse.
This latest edition of 'Robin Hood' doesn't even appear in Earth Prime-Time, by the way. It had to be shipped off to some alternate dimension - like the Michael Praed and Dick Gautier versions before it - because the 'Robin Hood' of Toobworld is the 1950s version starring Richard Greene.
Even so, there is only one Skitlandia - no matter from what dimension a sketch is spoofing a show, it ends up in the same world. The splainin for changes in appearance in particular characters who are popular in comedy sketches - American Presidents, for example - is that the DNA for Skitlandians is highly unstable and malleable. But that's over-analyzing what are just comic goofs all dumped into the same world.....
From 'Robin Hood' - Guy of Gisbourne, Maid Marian... and Pudsey
See it here!
The Gene Genie subjected the poor girl to a lot of white-knuckle driving through Manchester, although his two detectives in the back seat didn't seem to mind; they were used to it. And then he pulled over to hit up other drivers to make a donation into his Children in Need bucket. Once again, a time warp was involved, but it looks like Gene Hunt and his compatriots were catapulted forward into the present of Skitlandia from their past in the 1980s.
And so it goes. The telethon raised more than 19 million pounds for the Children in Need charity, so those sketches went a long way in drumming up the pledges.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
It's only a theory and can never be proven, but it's going to be our contention that Lee is appearing in this blipvert as Ando Masahashi. The commercial is taking place during the four months since Ando's friend Hiro Nakamura went missing in the past. During that time, Ando went to work as the personal assistant to Hiro's father, Kaito Nakamura, the CEO of Yamagato Industries.
So O'Bviously the McDonald's commercial is taking place in an American-based office building/warehouse owned by Yamagato Industries.
I'm loving it!
That's the real world.
In Toobworld, Satriale's still exists in Kearny. Tony Soprano's dad, Johnny Boy Soprano, took the place over after the original owner committed suicide because of gambling debts (according to the Sopranos wiki).
Anyway, just because 'The Sopranos' has ended, that doesn't mean that Satri
I hope it wasn't named after Franz von Papen, who was a spy in the United States during World War One and who helped Adolph Hitler in his rise to power!
A clue to the inspiration for the show's locations could be in the organization known by the acronym of PAPEN - the Pennsylvania Professional Employment Network). According to its web page, it is a "Pittsburgh-based networking organization that helps members advance their careers."
Or maybe Bryan Fuller is a fan of the music of Rob Papen from the groups Peru and Nova. (He's a composer who works with synthesizers.)
We're never going to know for sure; that would spoil the magical fairy-tale quality of this series. And besides, I'm developing a theory about the show so that it won't jar with the overall feel of the Toobworld concept.
just heard from United Hollywood that the fan campaign they've been working on is live!
Here's what they have to say:
"Spread the word! One buck sends a box of 12 pencils to a mogul. We're pooling everyone's money to buy the pencils from a "green"manufacturer who uses wood from sustainable forests.
If the moguls refuse to accept our truckloads of pencils, we'll donate them to schools and non-profits that deal with children's literacy.
Hopefully, we will indeed have truckloads to deliver. But only if we all spread the word."
I'm not a big one for mass mailing campaigns, but this sounds extremely well thought-out to me.
So...get out there and spread the word!
Editor - Glowy Box: Basking in Television's Friendly Radiation
You can click on the pencil - which I've anthropormophized by giving it the name "Old Number Two" (from 'The Prisoner') - to take you to the information about the pencil campaign!
In the TV Universe, this is for now a tenuous link to 'Phyllis'. In the second season of this spin-off from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', Phyllis Lindstrom went to work as the assistant to Dan Valenti on that board. Also on the board at that time back in the 1970s was Leonard Marsh, whose assistant was Harriet Hastings.
It's thirty years on now, and time marches on for TV characters as well. I think Valenti and Marsh have either retired, moved into some other realm of politics, or perhaps their characters have died even though the actors who played them are still very much with us. (I met Carmine Caridi, who played Dan, a couple of weeks ago at work.)
So it's not likely that Katie is ever going to cross paths with Phyllis Lindstrom while on the job. And for more reasons than because it's not likely the producers of this sci-fi drama want to borrow a classic sitcom character.
Within Toobworld, Phyllis must be retired by now. In the Trueniverse, the writers' strike might just kill the show.......
"Money is made from DVD sales, internet streaming, etc. The issue is, who is or should be making that money? Only the studios? Why should wealth be made only by the studios and distributors? This is a no-brainer. The creative person or people who came up with the ideas, wrote and gave them life, should be making money from this."
— K.A. Wallace
When it comes to Reality, it always makes more sense to have someone else speak for me....