Monday, January 7, 2008


One of the few shows my "MacDivver" is recording now because of the strike (although more will join it once the cable series like 'Psych' and 'Monk' come back) is 'Burke's Law' from the early 1960s. It's a great opportunity to indulge in some old-fashioned detective work and to see a variety of stars not often glimpsed off the Lido Deck.

This past week, the episode shown on American Life TV was "Who Killed Molly?" which starred Hoagy Carmichael, Nanette Fabray, Jayne Mansfield, and Arthur O'Connell. Also featured in the cast was Jay C. Flippen, as a crusty old-timer in the burglary division named Lt. "Smiler" Grogan.

Smiler Grogan is also the name of the character played by Jimmy Durante in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". Grogan literally kicks off the action of the movie and casts a big W-shaped shadow over the events to follow.
That Smiler Grogan exists in the "Cineverse" (a term coined by Craig Shaw Gardner) and probably has no connection to the one played by Jay C. Flippen in the TV Universe. But I'd like to think there was a televersion of the events and characters from that movie to be found in Toobworld.

Lt. Grogan's first name is probably Bill and he only recently got a promotion to lieutenant just prior to "Who Killed Molly?" This is only a theory, but he appeared in two earlier episodes - "Who Killed Wade Walker?" and the pilot, "Who Killed Holly Howard?", as Bill, the desk sergeant. As Captain Burke doesn't seem too surprised that there should be two guys wandering around the Metro Division with the same face, I'm assuming Bill and Lt. Grogan are probably the same man.

And his eagerness to crack his Beverly Hills burglary case would indicate that he he still had an enthusiasm for the new venture, if not for the overall job in itself.

Toby OB

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