Saturday, June 7, 2008


Today Hillary Clinton is expected to suspend her campaign (which means she holds on to her delegates for more clout at the convention). She'll be throwing her support to Barack Obama and promising to do what she can to get him elected as President.

This is the type of moment in real world history which should echo throughout Toobworld and all of its alternate dimensions. If 'Saturday Night Live' was still producing new shows, there'd be a sketch about it tonight. And that would have ended up in Skitlandia.

Those dimensions where it won't be happening are those with a different Commander-in-Chief, including the one where 'Commander-In-Chief' took place. The dimensions for '24', 'Prison Break', 'The West Wing', - all of them wouldn't have had Hillary Clinton in a position to get this close to the presidency herself. Characters based on her, perhaps, (as we'll see in '24'), but not the real deal.

Hillary will also be making her concession speech in the Tooniverse today. And I think that will look a little something like this......

[from 'Freakazoid' - thanks to Sean for the image]

Toby OB

Friday, June 6, 2008


Back in 1988, I was helping out my friend Brad Williams on a book he and two others were writing about time travel. I didn't do anything special - a few suggestions, lent a hand at the photo shoot for the cover... not much more than that.

But as a thank you, Brad made sure that I ended up as a character in the book!
What I found really cool about the mention was that it kind of tied in with one of my favorite novels, "Still Life With Woodpecker".....

Brad was a puppeteer and designer of the puppets Ebenezer Squint and Luigi O'Brien (my puppet cousin!) for the early Nickelodeon series 'Pinwheel'. He moved back to Hope, Michigan, in order to teach puppetry at the local college about a year later......

Sadly, while riding as a passenger in a car there, another vehicle ran the red light and smashed into his side of the car in an intersection. Although he had plenty of bones broken, the prognosis seemed good - but then he had a massive heart attack while in the hospital and passed away.

So even though it's my day, I'd like to take this opportunity to salute Brad, who gave me a presence in the literary universe as well.....

Toby OB


Well, somebody's gotta do it......

So yes, it's my birthday today. Two years ago - on 06/06/06, I finally came into my own as the Prince of Very Dim Lighting. I apparently share this birth date with Sandra Bernhard. (Big whoop.)

As a way to mark the "occasion", here's a news clipping about one of my first forays into Toobworld......
They told us not to look up at the microphone when it came time to say our names, but to look straight into the camera. So when it came to be my turn there in the Ranger Station's version of a "Peanut Gallery", I was so nervous trying to remember not to look up at the microphone that I blurted out part of my cousins' name of Hansen instead of my own. So technically, in Toobworld my name is "Toby Hans O'Brien".

And my grandfather never let me forget it!

This appearance didn't establish my televersion however (who, by the way, was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame back on my 50th b'day). That happened when my Joyville citizenship was established on 'The Hap Richards Show', another kids' show from that same local CBS affiliate back in the early sixties.

Toby OB


Earlier this year I wrote about Archibald Beechcroft from 'The Twilight Zone' episode "Mind And The Matter". Using the powers of his mind, Beechcroft transformed everybody in the world - his world of Earth Prime-Time, that is - into a copy of himself. We only got to see just a few examples of the results - those people Beechcroft came into contact with. But for the hour or so during which his experiment took place on May 12, 1961, every single TV character then living in Toobworld literally became Archibald Beechcroft.
I think we're talking one million crossovers, easy!

Archibald Beechcroft's transformation of Toobworld's population only had an effect within the reality of the TV Universe. Just because a TV show was in production at that time, this doesn't mean their characters were transformed. Westerns were big back in those days, but their characters were long dead by 1961. So Matt Dillon and the Cartwrights never looked like Beechcroft. (The exception to that? Dr. Miguelito Loveless. It's our contention that he was alive in Toobworld until at least 1973.)

I see no reason why 'Ellery Queen', 'Banyon', and Jake Axminster ('City Of Angels') couldn't still be alive by 1961. If so, all of them would have looked like Archibald Beechcroft on May 12th. If they survived through the end of 'Combat' in World War II, Lt. Hanley, Sgt. Saunders and the rest of their squad would have all resembled each other that day.

If a show took place in the future and was being broadcast at that time - let's say an episode of 'One Step Beyond' - their characters didn't become "beechcroftian" unless they were already born by May 12, 1961.
TV shows that weren't even on the air yet, though, would also have been affected by the transformation, so long as their characters were alive during that time.

Young John Locke of 'Lost' would have been transformed.

Captain Jack Harkness of 'Torchwood' would have undergone the transformation.

Lieutenant 'Columbo'

Mary Richards of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

Peter Tong of 'Bachelor Father'.

Fred 'Sanford and Son' Lamont.

Both halves of 'The Odd Couple', Felix Unger and Oscar Madison

Sabrina, Jill, and Kelly, collectively known as 'Charlie's Angels'

All but one of 'The Brady Bunch' kids, even as babies, would have looked like Archibald Beechcroft. The lone exception would have been Cindy - the youngest one in curls wasn't born until three months later.

Even if the TV characters were clear across the globe, they would not be spared "beechcroftization". Captain Adam Troy of 'Adventures in Paradise' would have sailed the Seven Seas looking like Beechcroft. Dr. Marsh 'Daktari' Tracy of the Wameru Study Center for Animal Behavior in Africa would have suffered the same fate. Basil and Sybil Fawlty, and all the employees and guests at 'Fawlty Towers' would have looked the same on that one day. (Polly and Manuel most likely weren't working there yet, but wherever they were in the world, they looked like Beechcroft.)

If Exigius 12½ of Mars or the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor were visiting tele-Terra at the time, both of them would have been subjected to the effects of the transformation, even though they were not human. (As seen in the first episode of 'My Favorite Martian', Exigius - soon to be known as Martin O'Hara - didn't crash on Earth until September of 1964. According to a 'Doctor Who' chronology, it doesn't look like the Doctor was anywhere near Earth in 1961, but that could still happen.....)

Just about the only major TV character around at the time who wasn't transformed into Archibald Beechcroft would have been Lassie!
So here's to you, Mr. Beechcroft. Luckily for the Toobworld Dynamic, you didn't learn your lesson until after you remade Earth Prime-Time in your own image. And in doing so, you may have proven yourself to be the greatest crossover link of all time!

Toby OB

(I was originally going to save this tribute for next year, when the whole Toobworld concept celebrates its tenth anniversary. However, who knows what may happen before then.......)


There was a running gag throughout the seasons of '3rd Rock From The Sun', in which the Solomons were terrorized by the sight of green Jell-O molds. They believed that Jell-O was an offshoot of a hostile, amorphous, carnivorous species from their home planet on the Cepheus-Draco border.

We've seen hostile amorphous species before in Toobworld, and they were green as well. We knew them as the Rutans, sworn enemies to the Sontaran race, and they had been locked in battle with the potato-headed clones for over 50,000 years. The Rutans were mentioned several times during the run of 'Doctor Who', but they only appeared once, in the 'Doctor Who' story "The Horror Of Fang Rock".

After watching the first half of 'The Sontaran Stratagem', NYMarkie of the Bit Torrent Rebel Alliance played for us the relevant clip from that Tom Baker episode, in which the Doctor had a sit-down detente with the Rutan on the stairs of the lighthouse. And we all agreed that it could be very likely that the Rutans were the aliens who terrified the Solomons.
Toby OB

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Actor and director Mel Ferrer passed away the other day at the age of 90. I may be projecting my own reactions on others, but I think when most people hear his name, the first thing they think of is that he was once married to Audrey Hepburn.

In Toobworld, Ferrer will be best remembered as Jerry Parks from the 'Columbo' episode "Requiem For a Falling Star". (Parks was a gossip columnist who appeared to be the intended murder victim.)

Again, I may be projecting my own feelings there. However, even though he was in nearly seventy episodes of 'Falcon Crest' as Phillip Erikson, I don't see that series getting the syndication saturation that 'Columbo' has received over the years. Those mysteries featuring the rumpled detective will be in reruns forever!

Here are a list of Mel Ferrer's Toobworld credits. Some of them may be found in alternate dimensions instead of in Earth Prime-Time.....

"Stories from My Childhood"
- Pinocchio and the Golden Key (1998) TV episode (voice) .... Geppetto

Catherine the Great (1995) (TV) .... Patriarch

"Christine Cromwell" - Doctor

- Only the Good Die Young (1990)
- In Vino Veritas (1990)
- Easy Come, Easy Go (1989)
- Things That Go Bump in the Night (1989)

"Wild Jack" (1989) TV mini-series

"Murder, She Wrote"
- Weave a Tangled Web (1989) TV episode .... Miles Austin
- Widow, Weep for Me (1985) TV episode .... Eric Brahm

"Dream West" (1986) TV mini-series .... Judge Elkins

Outrage! (1986) (TV) .... Judge Michael Lengel

"Peter the Great" (1986) TV mini-series .... Frederick

- Nightfall (1985) TV episode

- Celebrations (1985) TV episode .... Garrett Hardy
- Resolutions (1985) TV episode .... Anthony Palandrini

Seduced (1985) (TV) .... Arthur Orloff

"Finder of Lost Loves"
- Forgotten Melodies (1984) TV episode .... George Matthews

"Falcon Crest"- Phillip Erikson (68 episodes)

One Shoe Makes It Murder (1982) (TV) .... Carl Charnock

"Fantasy Island"
- The Case Against Mr. Roarke/Save Sherlock Holmes (1982) TV episode .... Moriarity/Lord Collingwood

"Behind the Screen" (1981) TV series .... Evan Hammer (unknown episodes, 1981-1982)

Fugitive Family (1980) (TV) .... Anthony Durano

The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) (TV) .... Dr. Sanford

Top of the Hill (1980) (TV) .... Andreas Heggener

"Dallas" - Harrison Page
- Jenna's Return (1980)
- Love and Marriage (1979)

- Who Is the Missing Woman? (1979) TV episode

"Return of the Saint"
- Vicious Circle (1979) TV episode .... Dr. Paolo Brogli

The Return of Captain Nemo (1978) (TV) .... Dr. Robert Cook

"How the West Was Won" (1978) TV mini-series .... Hale Burton

"Black Beauty" (1978) TV mini-series .... Nicholas Skinner

Sharon: Portrait of a Mistress (1977) (TV) .... David

"Logan's Run"
- Man Out of Time (1977) TV episode .... Analog

"Wonder Woman"
- Anschluss '77 (1977) TV episode .... Fritz Gerlich

"Lanigan's Rabbi"
- In Hot Weather, the Crime Rate Soars (1977) TV episode

"The Fantastic Journey"
- Funhouse (1977) TV episode .... Appolonius

"Hawaii Five-O"
- To Kill a Mind (1977) TV episode
- The Bells Toll at Noon (1977) TV episode .... Father Neill

- Everybody Pays the Fare (1977) TV episode

"Alle origini della mafia" (1976) TV mini-series .... Armando Della Mora (episode "Legge, La")

"Ellery Queen"
- The Adventure of the Disappearing Dagger (1976) TV episode .... Brandon Childs

"Marcus Welby, M.D."
- Designs (1974) TV episode .... Carlo

"Police Story"
- The Wyatt Earp Syndrome (1974) TV episode .... Dr. Ross

- Suffer My Child (1973) TV episode .... John Rickman

Tenafly (1973) (TV) .... Charlie Rush

Carola (1973) (TV)

Columbo: Requiem for a Falling Star (1973) (TV) .... Jerry Parks

"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- The Fifth Passenger (1963) TV episode .... Peter Carrington

"Zane Grey Theater"
- The Ghost (1959) TV episode .... Marshal Monty Elstrode

"Producers' Showcase"
- Mayerling (1957) TV episode .... Crown Prince Rudolph
- Episode #3.6 (1957) TV episode
Toby OB


With all of this free time, now that the regular TV season is over and my summer shows haven't yet started up (although I am adding 'In Plain Sight' to the mix), I'm trying to clear out the backlog in my DVR queue. Tuesday I watched 1 1/2 episodes of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' (the second half of the "Revenge Of The Slitheen" and the full "Eye Of The Gorgon") and the first hour of the mini-series (really a two-part movie!) of "The Andromeda Strain". The original movie is probably my favorite "hard" science fiction movie but only read the book afterwards. Add to that my interest in this production being piqued by Medium Rob's advance review, I was eager to add "The Andromeda Strain" to the TV Universe.

Within fifteen minutes, though, that dream was dashed, once they introduced William J. Scott as the President of the United States [pictured]. As most visitors to Inner Toob know, the main Toobworld should reflect the real world when it comes to the POTUS, since so many sitcoms will eventually get around to making jokes about the current Commander-in-Chief, and perhaps even work the actual person into the plot. ('Here's Lucy' with Kennedy, 'Gomer Pyle' with LBJ, 'Angie' and Carter, 'The Nanny' and Clinton, and 'Whoopi' with Bush as examples.)

And then it veered off into the near future with the 'Star Trek' gadgetry of "vid-paper" in an early scene, and I saw a way to at least get a tenuous connection to the main Toobworld and with a link to another TV series to boot!

In the 'Journeyman' episode of "The Hanged Man", Dan Vasser accidentally left behind a digital camera. When he returned to his present, he found that the timeline had changed dramatically. The technology was far more advanced than it was when he left, and that included the type of "video-paper" seen in "The Andromeda Strain". (Of greater concern of course was that Dan's son Zack no longer existed but instead he had a daughter named Caroline.)

So Dan went back again and was able to retrieve the camera before it could be utilized for changing the future by the person who found it; and when he made it back to his own time, it was his original timeline again.

However, that old timeline, with the free-floating computer screens and the vid-paper AND President William J. Scott, didn't disappear. Once created, it remained in existence in its own plane of "reality". It continued without Dan Vasser's presence.

I have no clue as to how the alternate version of his family dealt with his disappearance. The counterpart of his wife, at least, knew of his time traveling ways and of his desire to go back and fix the offspring discrepancy, so she probably understood why he was gone. Eventually she probably even came up with a cover story - something along the lines that Dan had turned out to be no different from his father Frank in abandoning his family.

So that's not too shabby - only one hour viewed so far and already I have a connection to the main TV Universe - from before its home dimension splintered off to be a new TV dimension!

We'll see what the next three hours will bring..... (I think the coagulated blood may make for a connection to some 'Star Trek' series or another.)

Toby OB

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


For years now I've been inducting TV characters into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame on my birthday. Those chosen for this Birthday Honors List might not have fulfilled the qualifications of appearances in three different TV series, commercials, or TV movies, but they still made significant contributions to Toobworld which should be recognized.

  • Suzy McNamara of 'Private Secretary' only made one crossover, but her appearance on 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' is considered by many to be the first TV crossover.
  • It wasn't that Brady Hawkes of the 'Gambler' movies appeared in other TV shows; instead he was honored because the fourth tele-flick, "The Luck Of The Draw", served as a showcase for over a dozen characters from classic TV Westerns.
  • Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon only appeared in 'The Odd Couple', but the same actresses who played them on Television also played the parts on Broadway in the original production and in the movie version as well.
  • The late, great Michael Dunn only appeared in nine episodes of 'The Wild, Wild West'. However, I've made a convincing argument (I think so, at any rate) that many of his other TV characters from a century later (in the Toobworld timeline) were actually Dr. Miguelito Loveless operating under an assumed name.

This year's Hall of Fame selection for the Birthday Honors doesn't officially meet the requirements for membership. He only appeared in one TV series, and - like previous inductee Sweet the Demon from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' - in only one episode at that.

So I just wanted to get that out of the way now before we unveil the Birthday Honors inductee on Friday.

And it was a sad attempt to get the word out that MY BIRTHDAY IS ON FRIDAY!!!!!!

Toby OB


My copy of the second season for 'How I Met Your Mother' arrived today. Now I can get back into the swing of things with synchronized viewing of the show with my "kids" living over in Taiwan.

I coaxed Sean & Gosia into checking out the series; and despite their aversion to shows with laugh tracks, they've fallen in love with it as I did. We haven't been able to "watch" each episode together - using our computers in different ways. (I'll just say I use the DVDs and leave it at that.) But it's always fun to make snarky comments in AIM about the show and just wallow in their guesses as to what will happen.
Toby OB


Following in that theme that God and Science co-exist in the TV Universe......

Not all of Toobworld's alternate dimensions survive alongside the main dimension of Earth Prime-Time. Some alternate Earths are destroyed in nuclear conflagration; others from viral plagues. We've seen these possibilities for the human race happen in anthology shows like 'The Twilight Zone', 'The Outer Limits', and 'Nightmares & Dreamscapes'.

And then there are those Toobworlds where God got the ball rolling, but the human race never makes it out of the starting gate.....
Check out this commercial for an insurance company!

Toby OB


"What if you could find brand new worlds right here on Earth,
where anything is possible?
Same planet, different dimension."
Opening Narration

From what little I understood in the TV special "João Magueijo’s Big Bang" (about the beginning of the Universe), and from what little I know about Hugh Everett's many-worlds theory (if applied to the creation of new dimensions*), I don't think any consideration was given to the concepts of Heaven and Hell as alternate dimensions. But then anything connected to God gets short shrift in the hard sciences. (Full disclosure - I'm a lapsed Catholic. I may not accept the organized religion anymore, but I still have my Faith.)

The "science" of Televisiology has to take God, Heaven and Hell into account. Too many shows touch upon the subject, and God even shows up as a character in many series.

And so does the Devil.....

In a recent episode of 'The Reaper', Sam and Bert looked through Gladys' logbook of those escaped souls who may have slipped under the radar. Among them was Al Capone (as would be expected).... and Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln, practically the patron saint of the United States, equal to George Washington as the Charlemagnes of America... apparently he was a very naughty boy.

The photo which Gladys showed them looked like the 16th President - bearded, tall and lanky. But he was dressed in a t-shirt and holding one of those I.D. slates you see in mugshots. It was like a picture from an episode of 'Cops' - directed by Ken Burns.

So that immediately got me thinking - if everything we see on TV actually takes place in the alternate dimension of Toobworld, what was it that supposedly Honest Abe had done to warrant being dispatched to Hell?
And after about five minutes, I realized that it would be too much work trying to conjure up a splainin for that. Did he survive the assassination attempt and in his new life did he veer off-course from his nobler inclinations? Maybe in the TV Universe, the scientists of the day, including Dr. Miguelito Loveless, were able to utilize steam-punk cybernetics and bring him back to life - bigger, stronger, and more bad-ass than before. ("Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.....")

(Don't worry. Despite the suggestive nature of this screen capture, Lincoln didn't bugger Mark McCain on 'The Rifleman'!)

Like Darrin's Mom on 'Bewitched', I got a sick headache trying to come up with a splainin for Evil Abe Lincoln that would keep his physical presence in the main Toobworld. So I went with a different route.

As Quinn Mallory pointed out each week in the opening narration for 'Sliders', Earth exists in thousands of different dimensions, with doppelgangers of just about everybody in each one. But why should there be a separate Heaven and Hell for each of them? God created the Universe - in Televisiology, He got the ball rolling with the Big Bang - and even though it would then splinter into a multitude of dimensions, He probably didn't need a lot of branch offices to keep them all in line.

When thinking about those mirror images of characters like Mr. Spock, Willow Rosenberg, and others who have counterparts in alternate dimensions, I don't think the concept of their immortal souls is given any thought. But when those alternate doppelgangers finally do die, they would end up sharing the afterlife with the souls of their twins. IF they all ended up in the same area, that is!
So it could be that there are many souls of Abe Lincoln out there, and some of them might have been evil, ending up in Hell after they died. This way, we can have the soul of Evil Abe Lincoln exist in Earth Prime-Time without sacrificing the reputation of the real Lincoln as reflected by his main televersion in Toobworld.

Toby OB

*That understanding of the "Many Worlds Theory" is damnably little. As I've been accused here in the past, I'm a sciolist. In fact, I barely made the effort to look up what "sciolist" means! At any rate, I'm probably totally wrong with my understanding of it anyway!

During "Joao Maqueijo's Big Bang", his theories were branded as "breathtaking stupidity". I'd be honored if my theories about the TV Universe could achieve that level of scorn. As Abigail Mitchell said in an episode of 'Columbo', "I accept all superlatives!"
"Real holographic simulated evil Lincoln is baaaaaack!"
Abraham Lincoln


Cyndi Lauper will be appearing on the July 3rd episode of 'As The World Turns' in a "League Of Themselves" performance. She'll be singing a couple of her songs and will also encourage young lovers Luke and Noah in their relationship.

As Cyndi told Entertainment Weekly, "I think they're young, these guys, and they're sweet. They're taking their time and struggling with the heart issues, which is even more endearing than just being like the straight couples, half-naked and having sex all over the place. The best way to people is through the heart, and that's why I think it's kind of interesting the way they've done it. It's about love.''

A lot of the show's "shipper" fans who are interested in the love of Luke and Noah - Do they call themselves "Nukers", I wonder? - have been upset that the show seemed to be dragging its heels when it came to their relationship. It took almost six months I think between the broadcasts of their first and second kiss. So hopefully, this push by Cyndi Lauper might give them the impetus to take their relationship to the next level, which the fans are waiting for.

Toby OB

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A rare occurrence in Toobworld Central last night, so rare that it was the first time it's ever happened......

I upgraded my cable system to get the DVR option back in September of last year. It's mostly filled up with the run of 'Sarah Jane Adventures' (which I had already seen ~ahem!~ through other means), a few episodes of 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood', and a few TV documentaries and specials. I should be running through those SJA's quickly now that summer rerun season has begun and my summer shows haven't really started up yet.

But last night I went to see what I had scheduled to be recorded while I napped during prime time. (I work an overnight shift.) And I saw a message I had never seen since I began using the system - I had absolutely nothing scheduled for the next three days!

I doubt that's going to show up very often!

Toby OB


"I've debated Daniel Webster,
And you, sir, are no Daniel Webster
The Devil

The Devil may be a liar, but I'd like to think that he was speaking the truth when he told Sam this. And since "The Devil And Daniel Webster", a short story by Stephen Vincent Benét, was adapted for Television back in 1959, then 'Reaper' can be considered linked to 'Sunday Showcase' in the TV Universe.

Here's how describes the tale:

In the story, set in 1841, an unlucky New Hampshire farmer named Jabez Stone sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for seven years of good luck. When the Devil comes to collect, Stone is able to convince lawyer and politician Daniel Webster to argue his case.
The story was adapted twice for the movies, but only the first version, with Walter Huston as Old Scratch and Edward Arnold as Mr. Webster, hewed close to the original source material and Webster's historical timeline. (The other movie, starring and directed by Alec Baldwin, was set in contemporary times with Anthony Hopkins as Webster and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the Devil!)

Edward G. Robinson played Webster in the TV adaptation of the story, with David Wayne as the Devil and Tim O'Connor as Jabez Stone. (Edward G. Robinson is seen here in "Barbary Coast" because the clothing suggested Daniel Webster's time. And that picture of David Wayne is actually from 'Batman', in which he played the Mad Hatter, but I couldn't resist. He looks rather devilish!)

Daniel Webster was also seen in Toobworld in other productions that were more like showcases for his personal history. We've yet to see Webster show up in TV series where he could have interacted with fictional characters, as could have happened in shows like 'Voyagers!', 'The Time Tunnel', or more recently, 'New Amsterdam'.

Here's a rundown of the actors who played Daniel Webster on Television:

Ray Collins (I) (Daniel Webster) . . . "Cavalcade of America" (1952)
{The Last Will of Daniel Webster (#2.8)} TV Series

Charles Dingle (Daniel Webster) . . . "See It Now" (1951)
{The Vice Presidency: The Great American Lottery (#5.1)} TV Series

Martin Gabel (Daniel Webster) . . . "Profiles in Courage" (1964)
{Daniel Webster (#1.13)} TV Series

Walter Hampden (Daniel Webster) . . . "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" (1951)
{Decision and Daniel Webster (#1.6)} TV Series

François Klanfer (Daniel Webster) . . . Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny Kemble (2000) (TV)

Edward G. Robinson (Daniel Webster) . . . "Sunday Showcase" (1959)
{The Devil and Daniel Webster (#1.22)} TV Series

William Roerick (Daniel Webster) . . . "Freedom to Speak" (1982) TV Series

William Windom (Daniel Webster) . . . Bridger (1976) (TV)

(The quote by the Devil in 'Reaper' also echoes Senator Lloyd Bentsen's comparison of Senator Dan Quayle to President Jack Kennedy during their Vice Presidential debate back in 1988.)

Toby OB


In the last few weeks, we've said goodbye to Dick Martin and Harvey Korman, both of whom were best known in Toobworld as themselves, but who still provided long lists of TV characters they created. It feels good to know that even though we've lost them, they've left us a rich legacy of artistic work.

Sadly, some people aren't that fortunate.....

Mitch Mullaney has passed away from a diabetic stroke at the age of 39. He was a comedian and comic actor who appeared as himself as the host of a reality show 'All American Girl', but unless some other show ties in to it within their fictional script, we usually ignore reality shows.

Mullaney portrayed the title character in 'Nick Freno, Licensed Teacher' on the WB back in the 90s, but it had only a short run (even with Portia de Rossi in the cast). Other than that, Mullaney played a character named Joey in an episode of 'Hangin' With Mr. Cooper'.

He wrote and starred in a movie called "The Breaks", but other than those two credits above, there's not much chance that Toobworld citizens who resemble him are ever going to bump into each other.

39 is far too young and so I'd like to think his character of Nick Freno will serve as his legacy, outliving him in Earth Prime-Time. It's not likely the show will ever be revived so there's no fear that some other actor will come along and turn Nick into a "recastaway"; and there's no need to come up with a reason why Nick should have died in Toobworld as well.

So Mitch Mullaney is gone, but his Nick Freno, who had an even shorter "life", lives on.

May God Bless.....

Toby OB


We have yet another morbid connection made in the hereafter...

From the Los Angeles Times:

Robert H. Justman, a producer who was one of the creative forces behind the original "Star Trek" television series of the 1960s as well as the 1980s-era "Star Trek: The Next Generation," has died. He was 81.

Justman died Wednesday at his Los Angeles home of complications from Parkinson's disease, his son Jonathan said.

Justman's death came within days of those of his "Star Trek" friends and colleagues Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the original series' most popular episodes, and Alexander Courage, who composed the series theme.

"There seems to be a big 'Star Trek' convention and everyone is going," Jonathan Justman said. "Everyone is getting beamed up."

Toby OB


Bo Diddley has passed away at the age of 79. I met him once back in the early 80s when I worked at the old Seville. As you would probably expect, he had that trademarked hat with the turquoise and feather setting.

Back in October of 2007, I wrote up his contributions to Toobworld, after seeing him in a cameo on 'Psych'. The blog-post can be found

As Red Skelton would say, "May God Bless...."

Toby OB

[This was my 2800th post to Inner Toob.....]

Monday, June 2, 2008


For this month's edition of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, we're getting back to the traditional offering for June - puppets!

Unlike most cartoon characters and many of the stop motion/claymation characters found on television, puppets co-exist with humans in the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time. Our splainin is that they are a spirit people who assume these shells to give them visible form. And their characteristics are determined by the type of shell that they wear - Kermit would be a frog, Chairy would be a chair, and Topo Gigio would be a mouse.

And it's that internationally known vermin whom we're saluting today.
Here in America, we know Topo Gigio best from his 92 appearances on 'The Ed Sullivan Show', beginning in 1963. In fact, it was Topo Gigio who closed out the series with Mr. Sullivan on the final episode on 1971.

Although we didn't see Topo Gigio, the televersion of Ed Sullivan thanked him as the show was joined in progress (seen in the Billy Joel video for his song "Tell Her About It".

But Topo Gigio first gained fame in his "native" Italy, where he was the lead character on a children's puppet show in the early 1960s. And he had been around since 1958 before he broke into Toobworld.

After 'The Ed Sullivan Show' became a memory, Topo Gigio found a wealth of new fans in Latin America with his own TV shows in Peru and Mexico. In 2006, Topo Gigio appeared in several segments of a sports show as Germany hosted the World Cup. And he's also a citizen of the Tooniverse, thanks to a 1988 Japanese production about his adventures 400 years in the future.

So here's to the little puppet mouse, a true citizen of the world, in the Trueniverse as well as the TV Universe.
"Kees me goo'night!"

Toby OB


So I went back online and grabbed a screen capture of that Playpen magazine which was seen in the final minutes of last night's premiere of 'In Plain Sight'. And save for a reworking of the cover script, it looks to be the same issue that Charlie found while rooting about in Sawyer's stash on 'Lost' in "Flashes Before Your Eyes":
[Far right and left are from 'Lost'. Center is from 'In Plain Sight'.]

So I'd say we have a definite crossover. My splainin for the difference in the text? Each issue was geared to a different market in the world. The one we saw from 'In Plain Sight' was sold in the Albuquerque area, while Sawyer probably picked his up at the airport in Sydney, Australia.

As for the time difference between episodes? After all, Oceanic 815 took off in September of 2004. For all intents and purposes, the pilot episode of 'In Plain Sight' just happened recently in 2008. Well, my splainin would be that the copy which Marshal Mary Shannon had was also from 2004, and she swiped it from the collection of her semi-boyfriend Raphael.

Toby OB


In the final moments of 'In Plain Sight', the new TV show about the Witness Protection business officially joined the TV Universe: with a good view of Playpen magazine. All TV shows are automatically granted entry into Toobworld; we're very inclusive. But once you get that official link, other crossover sites hopefully will roll out the welcome wagon as well.

Of course, such a gimme didn't come without a price. The main character, Mary Shannon of the US Marshals working for WitSec, not only brought the Playpen to a new witness in her charge, but she also Zonked big time by mentioning how 'Columbo' operated on TV. She went into a whole riff about how he'd let the suspect know that he was on to them by commenting on their shows - and she did it with a funny impression of Peter Falk's voice as Lt. Columbo.

Hopefully an easy splainin that the Lieutenant was famous, and would often appear on TV to discuss the cases he solved, might do the trick in covering up this mess.

I'm going to like having Mary and her fellow Marshals - as well as her boyfriend(s) and her dysfunctional family - around for a few weeks this summer. Even though she is based in Albuquerque, Mary's WitSec program (which has been around since 1970 in the real world and now in Toobworld as well) can be used to splain how certain characters with similar occupations and identical features but with different names can be the same person - without just saying it's because they're played by the same actor.

In the Old West we had Fabian Lavendor from an episode of 'The Wild, Wild West'. Now we have Mary Shannon facilitating the deal.

Other ways in which 'In Plain Sight' can cement its position in Toobworld:

  • Refrain from the mention of 70s TV shows!
  • Guest star turn by Jeff Fahey as Deputy Marshal Winston MacBride from 'The Marshal'. (However, a lot of time has passed since that series and it shows in Fahey. This can work to their advantage.)

  • Mention of the late Thomas Jefferson Alcala (Anthony Quinn, 'The Man And The City') as once being Mayor - if not of Albuquerque itself, then at least of some nearby metropolis. (His city was never named in the series.)

Welcome to Toobworld, "Mayr"!

Toby OB