Tuesday, March 11, 2008


With the big news out of the Governor's office here in New York state, I thought it might be a good time to present another of my Deep Six lists.

This time, it's a list of state governors found only in Toobworld......

1] Judge Henry Garth, played by Lee J. Cobb on 'The Virginian'
When Lee J. Cobb wanted to leave the long-running Western, the producers of 'The Virginian' wrote him out by having Judge Garth become the territorial governor of Wyoming. What's great about this is that I can use this as a link to 'Alias Smith & Jones', in which Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were promised a pardon by the governor of Wyoming, just so long as they stayed out of trouble for one year.

So why not have it be Judge Garth who made the deal?

2] Eugene Xavier Gatling, played by James Noble on 'Benson'
This was probably the biggest role in Noble's career, and it served as a Toobworld link as well. Eugene X. Gatling was the cousin of Jessica Tate of 'Soap' and she was the one who persuaded Benson to take the job in the Governor's mansion in order to help her cousin.

The state at first was suggested to be Connecticut, where Dunn's River of 'Soap' is located, but it never was actually pinned down as such.

3] William Drinkwater, played by Dan Dailey on 'The Governor And JJ'
All we know about the state governed by William Drinkwater was that it was located in the Midwest. Personally, I always saw it as being Minnesota or Michigan. I suppose Dailey was pleasant enough in the role, for what I remember of the show which I watched as a kid. I mainly remember the sitcom for his daughter JJ, played by Julie Sommers on whom I had a crush at the time.

4] Paul Jameson, played by Richard Denning on 'Hawaii Five-O'
Jameson became something of an adjunct to the cast of 'Five-O'. He wasn't the first governor for the 50th state, as the great Lew Ayres held that office in one episode as well. But when it came time to having the role filled on a recurring basis, Denning was elected. Back then, having McGarrett deal directly with the Governor showed how much power Five-O had. Nowadays that type of relationship would inevitably lead to episodes about corruption....

5] Robert Ritchie, played by James Brolin on 'The West Wing' & Frank Tancredi, played by John Heard on 'Prison Break' (tie)
I couldn't make up my mind between these two governors from alternate TV dimensions, based entirely on the actors in the roles. Heard has always been one of my ten favorite actors since I first saw him in "Between The Lines", and it's always good to see Brolin get the chance to be more than Mr. Streisand.

6] James Devlin, played Zeljko Ivanek on 'Oz'
What a great lizardly character actor Ivanek has been for Toobworld, with other roles on 'Damages', 'Lost', and 'Homicide: Life On The Street' as highlights on his resume. Governor Devlin was an integral character when it came to showing the forces affecting Oswald Penitentiary beyond its walls.

So there you have it, my picks for the six top fictional governors in the televersion of the United States. As for the worst? I've got two choices:

Richard Wechsler as seen in 'Monk' ("Mr. Monk Is On The Run, Part Two") - Everybody knows the governor of California at this time is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Having Wechsler in office probably means that 'Monk' must be tossed into an alternate TV dimension.

Michael Riordan as seen in 'Law & Order' ("Gov Luv") - At the time this episode aired, Connecticut's governor was John Rowland, who was embroiled in charges which led to his departure from office and eventual conviction. Those troubles were blended with those of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey's sexual revelations to create a new character. But since both real world governors were being referenced in other TV shows, and since 'Law & Order' was already using real world politicians like Giuliani and Bloomberg, why couldn't they have said Riordan was the governor of some unnamed nearby state.

Or they could have made him the governor of Delaware. The real one doesn't seem to be making headlines lately.....

Waiting for the Spitz to hit the fan....

Toby OB

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