Saturday, December 13, 2008


"Trip over the ottoman!
Dick Van Dyke that ass!"
Emerson Cod
'Pushing Daisies'
It was probably serendipiteevee, but it was nice to hear that line in the week leading up to Dick Van Dyke's birthday. (The private eye was suggesting to The Piemaker that he should touch an undead character a second time, thus making him dead again - but making it look like an accident.)

Dick Van Dyke was born December 13, 1925. Wikipedia has a concise rundown of
his career, but there are plenty of sites around that celebrate one of the most talented men in Television. And his classic trip over the ottoman in the opening credits of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' is one of the most enduring images of Toobworld.
One of my blogmates, Classic Television Show Biz (link to the left, Twiloites!) has unearthed a sweet video of Mr. Van Dyke when he appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' to promote his Broadway show,
"Bye Bye Birdie".

As Dr. Mark Sloan, the main character of 'Diagnosis Murder', Dick Van Dyke was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame in March of 2003. Eventually Rob Petrie will join him as well, most likely paired with his wife, Laura Petrie. (A good choice for a June/Gemini entry!)
Here are my recommendations for what to see in the Van Dyke ouvre:

'The Dick Van Dyke Show' - ALL of it!
'The New Dick Van Dyke Show' - available online
'Mary Poppins'
'Columbo' - "Negative Reaction"
'Diagnosis Murder' - but mostly for the crossover episodes
"The Morning After"
"Cold Turkey" - I can't believe this isn't out on DVD!
"Bye Bye Birdie"
"The Art Of Love" - Dick Van Dyke and James Garner: what a great team-up!
"Night At The Museum" - and a sequel is on the way!
And appearances in episodes of:
'Jake And The Fatman' - introducing Dr. Mark Sloan
'Matlock' - in which he was the villain (Later he would team up with Matlock on 'Diagnosis Murder')
'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
'Bilko' ('You'll Never Get Rich')
'Supertrain' - the only episode that was worth watching
'Coach' - it's a blink and you'll miss him moment, but a great in-joke!
(Feel free to chime in with your choices. I'll probably agree with them!)
When I was a kid, I really believed that Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were married in real life. I still think they should have been. LOL!

I don't know what else to say about the man, truly one of my TV favorites.

Happy birthday, Sir.
Toby O'B


Harding … was an abnormal?

You don't think a normal person would choose a job that impossible?

Dr. Will Zuckerman had to find some way to pass the time while cooped up in a 'Sanctuary' submarine during a search of the Bermuda Triangle in the episode "Requiem". So he pestered his boss, Dr. Helen Magnus, for the scoop on all the famous people she knew over her unnaturally extended long life. Magnus knew HG Wells, Jules Verne, both Presidents Roosevelts (But Teddy was the fun one!), Louis Pasteur was her godfather; and she claimed that President Warren G. Harding had been an abnormal. In fact, she claimed that Harding lost his life while in office because he was trying too hard to hold onto his human form.

Here's the basic 4-1-1 on Warren Gamaliel Harding, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the twenty-ninth President of the United States, serving from 1921 until his death from a heart attack, aged 57, in 1923. A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate (1899–1903) and later as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1903–1905) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–1921).

His political leanings were conservative, which enabled him to become the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention. During his presidential campaign, held in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return to "normalcy"; and, in the 1920 election, he defeated his Democratic opponent, fellow Ohioan James M. Cox, in the largest presidential popular vote landslide in American history since the popular vote tally began to be recorded in 1824: 60.36% to 34.19%.

Harding headed a cabinet of notable men such as Charles Evans Hughes, Andrew Mellon, Herbert Hoover and Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, who was jailed for his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal. In foreign affairs, Harding signed peace treaties that built on the Treaty of Versailles (which formally ended World War I). He also led the way to world Naval disarmament at the Washington Naval Conference of 1921–22. Harding has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the worst U.S. Presidents.

Harding was, to me, at least, one of the creepiest looking Presidents. But that's not what would have sold me on him being alien. It's that middle name of Gamaliel!

Of all the Presidents to pick as a possible abnormal on 'Sanctuary' (at least within the personal timeline for Dr. Magnus), Harding is probably the best choice. That's because his termination two years into his term of office was so mysterious.....

In June 1923, Harding set out on a cross-country "Voyage of Understanding," planning to meet ordinary people and explain his policies. During this trip, he became the first president to visit Alaska. Rumors of corruption in his administration were beginning to circulate in Washington by this time, and Harding was profoundly shocked by a long message he received while in Alaska, apparently detailing illegal activities previously unknown to him.

At the end of July, while traveling south from Alaska through British Columbia, he developed what was thought to be a severe case of food poisoning. He gave the final speech of his life to a large crowd at the University of Washington Stadium (now Husky Stadium) at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. A scheduled speech in Portland, Oregon, was canceled.

The President's train proceeded south to San Francisco. Arriving at the Palace Hotel, he developed pneumonia. Harding died of either a heart attack or a stroke at 7:35 p.m. on August 2, 1923. The formal announcement, printed in the New York Times of that day, stated that "A stroke of apoplexy was the cause of death." He had been ill exactly one week.

Naval physicians surmised that he had suffered a heart attack; however, this diagnosis was not made by Dr. Charles E. Sawyer, the Surgeon General, who was traveling with the presidential party. Mrs. Harding refused permission for an autopsy, which soon led to speculation that the President had been the victim of a plot, possibly carried out by his wife. Gaston B. Means, an amateur historian and gadfly, noted in his book "The Strange Death of President Harding" (1930) that the circumstances surrounding his death lent themselves to some suspecting he had been poisoned.

Several individuals attached to him, personally, and politically, would have welcomed Harding's death, as they would have been disgraced in association by Means' assertion of Harding's "imminent impeachment". Although Means was later discredited for publicly accusing Mrs. Harding of the murder, enough doubts surround the President's death to keep reputable scholars open to the possibility of murder.

How many of them are open to the possibility that he was an abnormal?

Warren G. Harding hasn't been over-exposed in Toobworld, not like Kennedy, Lincoln, Nixon, or even W. Aside from Ben Bradlee giving him voice in a documentary, his only portrayal on television has been by George Kennedy in the mini-series 'Backstairs At The White House'. So this sci-fi twist on his televersion can easily be incorporated into the Television Universe.

Toby O'B

Friday, December 12, 2008


One last Fanficcer's Friend for the year, and I think with this one I may be done with the monthly experiment. I may do one occasionally, if I find a movie picture or some photo of TV actors outside of the medium that serves to inspire me. (And actually, I do have one for my annual "Who's On First" salute!)

But I had fun with the project, unlike my experiences with the Hat Squad (of course!), even though I would often feel guilty for giving ideas to the writers of fan fiction. I always expected to be castigated by those who hate the story form.

I'm not writing the fanfic myself, just offering up a picture that could inspire someone to write their own story based on it. The pictures never come from TV - those are set in stone as to what they're about. But when actors from two different TV shows team up (or work against each other) in a movie, I like to get a frame grab of that moment and then claim that they're appearing as their TV character.

This month, with the air full of holiday cheer and song, I decided against using a movie picture and instead chose a picture of someone who symbolizes the song in our hearts at Christmas time.

Tom Waits.

Okay, maybe not.

But still, what a cool picture, right? (At least I'm pretty sure it's Tom Waits......)

Think of him appearing on TV in some show as himself, but his televersion is caught up in some kind of supernatural mumbo-jumbo.

And speaking of 'Supernatural', there's one possibility. Perhaps Dean and Sam Winchester have to come to the aid of Tom Waits when he's possessed by a vengeful spirit.

Or you could use the characters from the following shows, maybe even mix and match them!

'The X-Files'
'Kolchak: The Night Stalker'
'Eleventh Hour' (Waits' dilemma could be more scientific than science fiction!)

Well, it's up to you. Use the picture in your horror/fantasy/sci-fi fanfic as you see fit.

Ho ho ho!

Toby O'B


We've had a few late entries for consideration in this year's Toobits Awards, which will be announced in a few weeks.

In the Blipvert category, Dr. Pepper has come out strong with a new ad that ties into 'Frasier'. Not only does it have Kelsey Grammar reprising his signature role as Dr. Frasier Crane (1999 inductee into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame), but there's also a surprise guest appearance of a future Hall of Famer!

You can see the commercial

The Toobworld take on this blipvert crossover: even though it's currently airing on our TV sets, it takes place before 'Frasier' left Seattle behind in the final episode.

Toby O'B


Hold on, don't I know you? You're Jon Pertwee!
Graham Capelli:
The difference between myself and Mr. Pertwee
Is that Jon, sadly, is dead.


While hanging out with the M&M Boys for a Wednesday overnight, I finally got to see the October episode of 'Doctors' in which Sylvester McCoy guest-starred as an actor who once was known as "The Amazing Lollipop Man". (For my American readers, 'Doctors' is an afternoon soap opera on BBC1.)
McCoy, whose greatest claim to Toobworld fame is as the Seventh Doctor in 'Doctor Who', appeared as the reluctantly retired Graham Capelli, star of 'The Amazing Lollipop Man' on the Toobworld version of ITV back in the late 1980's. His character was a time-traveling school crossing guard who would help people by taking them back in Time. The show would have been something of a mixture of 'Doctor Who' and 'Touched By An Angel'. In fact, there was a similar series here in the real world a decade earlier: 'Time Express', which starred Vincent Price and his wife Coral Browne.

This episode of 'Doctors' becomes a Toobworld essential because of Graham Capelli. Now, should any other TV show create a Zonk by showing a clip from 'Doctor Who' with Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, we can say that it's the televersion of the program with Capelli in the role.

The Toobworld 'Doctor Who', as our splainin goes, was secretly sponsored by UNIT to throw off any audience suspicion that such a man actually existed. Graham Capelli was just one of the actors hired to play the role (as was David Tennant - seen as the Doctor on 'Extras' - but in the role of Rob Harker, a character he played in an episode of 'People Like Us'. (For more about Rob Harker, check out this Inner Toob post.)

Capelli never mentions his participation in 'Doctor Who', but that's an easy splainin - the role was never really his; he may not even have been in the show for very long. But 'The Amazing Lollipop Man' was totally his and no one else's.
At one point, Capelli does mention that he hopes to portray the next Davros (a classic villain from 'Doctor Who' and recently seen in the fourth season finale of the show's latest incarnation), as it would be a nice sitting role for his bad back. There's no harm in this - in the real world, Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, earlier played a villain on 'Doctor Who'. And Tom Baker has expressed an interest in playing returning to the show - but as a villain, not as the Fourth Doctor.

Besides, the way Capelli pronounced the name, it sounded like "Davrosh", (played it twice to make sure), so we can always claim he was describing some other TV character.
By the end of this 'Doctors' episode, Graham Capelli finally came to grips with the realization the he shouldn't try to drum up interest in reviving the "Amazing Lollipop Man" series, and perhaps cheapen the memory.

It was only a one-shot appearance; no reason to assume there'll ever be a reason to bring back the character of Graham Capelli or the fictional TV show 'The Amazing Lollipop Man' on 'Doctors' or on any other TV program. But as we saw with Archibald Beechcroft from 'The Twilight Zone', who was the Birthday Honors inductee this year into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, once is enough to have an impact on Toobworld!

"People can come into your life for a moment,
And last a lifetime
Judge Henry T. Bone
'Picket Fences'

Toby O'B


Since Toobworld is expanding more and more into online content, check out this minisode series from Rob Corddry, 'Children's Hospital'. Corddry stars in it (under an alias) as well as Jason Sudeikis, Megan Mulally, Lake Bell, and Corddry's brother Nate, among others.

It's not safe for work, and you shouldn't let your kids watch it.

And if you don't like clowns (Mark & Sean!), maybe you should avoid it as well.....

Toby O'B


December 12, 1098:

First Crusade: Massacre of Ma'arrat al-Numan - Crusaders breach the town's walls and massacre about 20,000 inhabitants. After finding themselves with insufficient food, they resort to cannibalism.

The First Crusade played an important role in establishing the background for 'Cadfael', a Welsh monk who served as a soldier and sailor before taking up the cowl.

Here's what Wikipedia offers up with regards to Cadfael's past in the First Crusade:

The Crusades form an important part of the backdrop to the books. There are Cadfael's own memories of his crusading life, which occur in virtually every one of the books, and the circumstances of Olivier's early life. [Toobworld note: Olivier was Cadfael's son by Mariam, a Muslim woman.]

In addition, most of Cadfael's knowledge of herbs and medicine was learned in the East, from more sophisticated sources than he would have found in England. (In the TV version of "Virgin in the Ice", when Cadfael is treating a gravely wounded brother, the best remedy another brother can suggest is bleeding, which Cadfael scorns).

Also, several of the books feature returning crusaders who have central roles in the plot, while in others there are characters who depart England on the way eastwards. All of these crusading characters are depicted as sterling, model knights, brave and chivalrous, and the crusading enterprise itself is invariably regarded by all characters as a most noble and worthy cause.

There is occasional mention of acts of cruelty committed in the course of the Crusades. In conversation with a fellow crusader, Cadfael remarks, "After the killing that was done in Jerusalem, of so many who held by the Prophet, I say they deserved better luck against us than they had." In adding that his companion was never accused of brutality, he implicitly passes judgment on the Crusades as a whole ("The Leper of Saint Giles"). While on various occasions Cadfael makes remarks showing him not pleased with such brutalities, the references are rarely specific. Cadfael (as all other characters) never casts any doubt on the morality of carving out a Christian kingdom in the Muslim East and maintaining it by force; indeed, it would have been anachronistic to have him express such doubts.

However, his experience of the Crusades didn't lead to bigotry. Cadfael remembers Mariam, a Muslim woman as "well worth the loving," and had many other profitable friendships with Arabs and Muslims. His companion from "The Leper of Saint Giles", who spent many years as a captive of the Fatimid Egyptians, agrees, saying he always found his hosts "chivalrous and courteous," who gave him medical help and supported him in his convalescence.

Toby O'B

I covered the First Crusade in the daily Tiddlywinkydinks back in January of this year.........

Thursday, December 11, 2008


As TV is a visual medium which still fostered some brilliant writers, here are two links about TV writing which you may find of interest.

First a salute to the
top 100 TV lines of dialogue.

And here's a New York Post article on the
death of the TV catch phrase. (Please forgive their headline. After all, it is the Post.....)

Toby O'B


My buddy Mark sent me a link to a New York Times science story by Dennis Overbye that begins:

"Is this the dark side speaking?

A concatenation of puzzling results from an alphabet soup of satellites and experiments has led a growing number of astronomers and physicists to suspect that they are getting signals from a shadow universe of dark matter that makes up a quarter of creation but has eluded direct detection until now."

Mark then provided more information... information... information on the subject.

But everybody who watches TV on a regular basis, especially science fiction programs, already knows about the anti-matter universe. As described at Memory Alpha, a wiki for 'Star Trek':

The antimatter universe is the anti-matter opposite of the familiar "positive matter" universe, where black stars shine in a white void where time flows backwards. It is the home of anti-Lazarus, a man whose civilization created a negative magnetic corridor to connect the two universes. (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

Anti-Lazarus isn't the only resident in the anti-matter universe. Back in 10,000,000 BC, an engineer from Gallifrey caused a super-nova to supply the power needed for time travel technology on his homeworld. The resultant explosion appeared to have killed him, but instead he was pulled into the anti-matter universe where he remained a prisoner for millions of years (taking the name "Omega").
Omega sought revenge against his fellow Gallifreyans whom he thought had abandoned him there in the anti-matter universe. But the Time Lord known as the Doctor advised two later incarnations of himself in order to defeat the renegade.

Thanks, Mark!

Toby O'B


Now that we've inducted the final member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for the year, here's a rundown of the 2008 roster:

January - Rusty Williams
'Make Room For Daddy'
'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'
'The Joey Bishop Show'
'Make Room For Grand-Daddy'

February - Grady Wilson
'Sanford And Son'
'The Sanford Arms'

March - Betty White
'Ugly Betty'
'The John Larroquette Show'
'The Naked Truth'
'The Odd Couple'

April - Jose Jimenez
'The Bill Dana Show'
'Make Room For Daddy'

May - Emily Hartley
'The Bob Newhart Show'
'Saturday Night Live'
'The Bob Newhart Show 19th Anniversary Reunion Special'

June - Topo Gigio
'The Ed Sullivan Show'
Italian TV
German TV
Spanish TV

Birthday Honors - Archibald Beechcroft
'The Twilight Zone'... and every single current TV series that aired on or before May 12th, 1961!

July - Kwai Chang Caine
'Kung Fu'
'Kung Fu: The Legend Continues'
'The Gambler IV: Luck Of The Draw'

August - Doc Holliday
'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp'

September - Jamie Tarses

October - Grandpa & Lily Munster
'The Munsters'
'Munsters Go Home'
'The Munsters' Revenge'

November - George W. Bush
'That's My Bush'

December - Mrs. Claus
See the previous blog entry.....

Toby O'B


Santa Claus has been inducted twice into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, once in the very first official ceremony back in 1999, and again last year with the Santa Claus of the Evil Mirror Universe, as played by Art Carney in three different productions. (Just to be clear - just because he existed in the Evil Mirror Universe, that doesn't mean that Santa was evil. He wasn't; it's just the world in which he lived was evil.....)
So it's high time for Santa to be reunited with the Missus in the Hall of Fame. Had it not been for the fact that I wanted to salute Dick Clark as we entered a new century, Mrs. Claus would have been inducted in 2000. During that year, we had as our theme, "A Year Of Women in Toobworld".
Finally, the time is right for her to enter the Hall of Fame. And there are plenty of portrayals of Mrs. Claus to represent the many alternate dimensions of Toobworld. Here are a few of them:

Peggy Allenby
. . . "Directions" (1960)
{Prologue to Christmas}

Kathleen Barr
. . . Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys (2001)

Frances Bay
. . . "Amazing Stories" (1985)
{Santa '85 (#1.11)}

Delta Burke
. . . Year Without a Santa Claus, The (2006)

Marcia Ann Burrs
. . . Meet the Santas (2005)
. . . Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (2004)

Darlene Conley
. . . Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)

Phyllis Diller
. . . "Robot Chicken" (2005)
{Easter Basket (#2.3)}
{Robot Chicken Christmas Special (#1.21)}

Nora Dunn
. . . Saturday Night Live Christmas (1999)

June Foray
. . . Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (1979)
. . . Chipmunk Christmas, A (1981)

Lynne Griffin
. . . Santa Baby (2006)

Mary Ann Hannon
. . . "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993)

Shirley Jones
. . . Christmas Is Here Again (2007)

Carol Kane
. . . "Grim & Evil" (2001)
{Billy and Mandy Save Christmas (#5.15)}

Angela Lansbury
. . . Mrs. Santa Claus (1996)

Shannon Lawson
. . . Very Barry Christmas, A (2005)

June Lockhart
. . . Night They Saved Christmas, The (1984)

Tress MacNeille
. . . "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" (2006)
{Mickey Saves Santa (#1.18)}
. . . Olive, the Other Reindeer (1999)

Rose Marie
. . . "On the Television" (1990)
{Holiday Specials (#2.18)}

Donna Mills
. . . Too Cool for Christmas (2004)

Robyn Moore
. . . Adventures of Candy Claus, The (1987)

Chad Morgan
. . . "Robot Chicken" (2005)
{Nightmare Generator (#1.16)}
{Robot Chicken Christmas Special (#1.21)}

Caroline Rhea
. . . Santa Claus Brothers, The (2001)

Beverly Rowland
. . . It Nearly Wasn't Christmas (1989)

Susan Ruttan
. . . Ultimate Christmas Present, The (2000)

Rebecca Toolan
. . . Once Upon a Christmas (2000)
. . . Twice Upon a Christmas (2001)

I once wrote here in the Inner Toob blog "Thanks to a TV movie which starred Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning, Mrs. Claus of the main Toobworld must resemble a certain mystery novelist from Cabot Cove, Maine. And I don't think that the Missus shares the same metamorphing ability as her husband."
As Charles Durning represents the official Santa Claus of the main TV Universe (Earth Prime-Time), then only one woman should represent Mrs. Claus in the main Toobworld: Angela Lansbury, as seen in "Mrs. Santa Claus". June Lockhart represents the Mrs. Claus from the Evil Mirror Universe, married to the Santa Claus portrayed by Art Carney. The rest can be spread out to whichever alternate TV Land where they would be welcome. (Although those from the animated TV shows and specials would be the same woman in the Tooniverse, and the same would apply to those from the sketch comedy dimension of Skitlandia.)
Boring you, aren't I?

Then let's wrap it up for Christmas with the glad tidings that Mrs. Santa Claus has been inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame!
Gud Jul!

Toby O'B
[Post #3300]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Back on Thanksgiving, while blogging about Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah", I mentioned a song that was also used a lot on TV... but I just couldn't remember its name.

Well, it showed up this past week on 'Chuck' and now I have the info - it's "Oh, Yeah" by Yello.

"Ohhhhhhh, Yeah!"

Toby O'B


December 10, 1896:
Alfred Nobel, Swedish inventor and founder of the Nobel Prize, died. (b. 1833)

Swedish chemist Alfred Bernhard Nobel invented dynamite in 1866 and it made him rich. Nobel was as interested in drama and poetry as he was in chemistry and physics, but it was in the sciences that he made his fame, and by the time of his death he held more than 350 patents and controlled factories and labs in 20 countries. The story goes that when Nobel's brother died, a newspaper mistakenly published an obituary of Nobel that emphasized the fact that he had invented things that blew up and killed people. Nobel, not wanting to be remembered in that way, pledged his wealth toward the betterment of humanity. In his will he directed the establishment of a foundation to award annual prizes for achievement in chemistry, physics, literature and efforts toward international peace. The Nobel Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the world and includes a cash prize of nearly one million dollars. In 1968 the prize field was broadened to include an award in economic science.

If I'm not mistaken, former President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for economics....

Alfred Nobel was portrayed in documentaries and in theatrical films. But Toobworld's choice for his best representation in Toobworld comes from the "Hobson's Choice" episode of 'Have Gun, Will Travel'. That's because we're always partial to historical figures who interact with fictional characters.

In that episode, Paladin must find and transport the inventor Alfred Nobel's latest discovery out of San Francisco -- a missing case of nitroglycerine.

Nobel was portrayed by one of the unsung greats among TV character actors, Milton Selzer. I'm not sure if he had a beard in that fifth season episode*, but it would not be far off the mark to say that he probably looked a bit like he's portrayed in the second picture, just after the real Alfred Nobel.

Toby O'B


The previous post about 'Leverage' doesn't mean that they can't Zonk with the best of them. During the debut episode, there were major references to both 'Star Trek' and "Star Wars" (which does have a Toobworld presence).

'Star Trek' - While posing as an IT tech/nerd, Eliot Spencer chatted up the mark's secretary and the subject of Klingon costumes at sci-fi conventions came up.

"Star Wars" - In the flashback which introduced Alec Hardison, the computer geek was found using a hotel room under Mick Jagger's name. Inside, he was being... pampered by three babes dressed in Princess Leia chain-mail bikinis. Once discovered by the management and hotel security, Hardison tried to wave them off with a Jedi mind-trick.

Even though both 'Star Trek' and "Star Wars" have been established in the main Toobworld, TV characters from the past (per the 'Star Trek' perspective) and from the future ("Star Wars" did take place "a long time ago") frequently mention them both. And the reason why this is not a Zonk is similar in both cases.

For 'Star Trek', somebody from the future came back in Time to give the televersion of Gene Roddenberry all of the information... information... information about Starfleet so that the "Great Bird Of The Galaxy" would then create a TV empire based on that knowledge. The reasons why this was done are unknown - perhaps the mysterious visitor was trying to alter the future. Or it could be that he was trying to ensure that the way was paved for that future to happen.

As for "Star Wars", various characters from that galaxy far, far away have come forward in Time to eke out new lives for themselves in Toobworld. While Luke, C-3PO, and R2-D2 could have arrived after the events of the last movie, Darth Vader's presence on Toobworld could cause serious damage to the established reality if he doesn't return. (His appearances on Earth Prime-Time probably take place between "Star Wars: A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back".)
Yes, I'm a geek. Deal with it.

Anyhoo, the televersion of George Lucas (who appeared in an episode of 'The O.C.'!) must have learned about the history of the Empire and created his own empire based on it.

So, in both cases, no Zonks!

Toby O'B


With its debut episode, 'Leverage' showed how an in-joke should work without becoming a Zonk.

The team caused the computer of their mark's secretary to crash in "The Nigerian Job", and when she called the IT department, they intercepted the call. The first thing Parker asked her was if the secretary had tried turning the computer off and then on again. Alec Hardison, the computer geek on the team, boasted to team leader Nate Ford that this was standard operating procedure in the IT game.

What he could have done was beat the audience over the head with the fact that this was how 'The IT Crowd' operated in that British series. And considering that show is on IFC over here in America, they would have had to really drum in that over-splainin to make sure everybody got it.
Instead, they just let the information ride as it was. So for those in the know, it could be a tip o' the hat to 'The IT Crowd'; otherwise, it was just a statement of fact about IT techies everywhere.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Kendall Cho works for the California Bureau of Investigation on the TV series 'The Mentalist'. But as with all characters in Toobworld, Cho has a life outside that which is seen on your TV screen during that show.

And apparently, he's buddies with a real doofus who just doesn't understand that you can do so much better with AT&T for all of his phone, TV, and internet needs........
Based on the latest commercial, in which his dopey friend nearly fries them both with a weird electrical apparatus, Cho won't be making it to retirement age if he keeps hanging out with the guy!
Toby O'B


As I was away from Toobworld Central for a week, and working with my old dial-up craptop, I couldn't pay my proper respects to certain people who have passed away during that time, and who all contributed to Toobworld.

Odetta was a civil rights activist, mostly through her music, and she made several appearances on TV as herself in arts programs. But she also contributed a few characters to the Tele-Folks Directory. Two of them passed on long before Odetta's televersion did, but another won't see her moment on the Toobworld stage until 2017, even though the TV-movie "The Fire Next Time" aired in 1993.

Should "The Fire Next Time" be unable to reconcile itself with the events of 2017, we'll have to place that tele-flick into the same alternate dimension which houses all of those other bad weather TV-movies.

Here are the women who have Odetta to thank for giving them life in the Television Universe:

The Fire Next Time (1993)

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) .... Big Laura

"Have Gun - Will Travel" .... Sarah Gibbs
The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs (1961)
A destitute black woman wants a chance to say a last goodbye to her condemned husband, and the take body home for burial.

Popular African American folksinger Odetta guest stars as Sarah Gibbs, the wife of a man condemned to be executed. Hoping to bid one last goodbye to her husband Aaron (Rupert Crosse), and to claim the body after the hanging, Sarah hires Paladin (Richard Boone) to help her carry out her wishes. Unfortunately, the town marshal (Roy Barcroft) adamantly refuses to allow Aaron any visitors--and the hostile townsfolk already have plans for the poor man's corpse. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

May God Bless.....

Toby O'B


Sorry I'm late with the daily Tiddlywinkydink. I was in transit for part of the day to get back to Toobworld Central, and then I had to spend a few hours making nice with my cat Sand to make up for leaving him alone for a few days.

Today, in Sweden and Finland, is Anna's Day. I don't know how it started, and I'm too tired to go look it up. (Now THAT'S lazy!) But on this day we're supposed to acknowledge everyone named Anna. And in doing so, it also marks the day to begin the preparation of the Christmas lutefisk.

That's one of those foods, like Bulger's Wheat Germ, that I won't eat just based on the name. I don't even know what it is - I'm assuming it's fish - but it'll never pass my lips because of that name.


I'm joining in with the Anna's Day celebrations with a list of a few Toobworld Annas. O'Bviously there was no way I'd get them all, not even those who were regular characters on major TV series. I used the character search at and only got through the "F" names of actresses, and that was over a 1000 names!

And these are not just Annas from American TV shows. Since this is an international celebration, you'll see that most of these women are from shows from around the world.

Anna Conroy - 'Slings & Arrows'

Dr. Anna Del Amico - 'ER'

Anna Winterson - 'Sweet Medicine'

Anna Ward - 'Rock Follies of '77'

Anna DeSouza - 'Emmerdale Farm'

Mrs. Anna Madrigal - 'Tales Of The City'

Anna Miller - 'Lost Room'

Anna Sophia Antonia Garces-Keller - 'Family Biz'

Anna Maria Verdugo - 'Zorro'

Sheriff Anna Turner - 'The Dead Zone'

Anna Schick - 'The Young & The Restless'

Anna Chancellor - 'Cold Lazarus' & 'Karaoke'

Anna Fairley - 'Reckless'

Anna Stern - 'The O.C.'

Anna Dodwell - 'Pacific Drive'

Anna Daptor - 'KYTV'

Anna Krakauer - 'Love Of Life'

Anna Nardini - 'Gilmore Girls'

Anna Owens - 'Anna And The King'

Anna Pegram - 'Fox'

Anna Kirkwell - 'Where The Heart Is'

Anna Denton - 'CrashBurn'

Anna Williams Bedford - 'The Chase'

Anna Wolek Craig - 'One Life To Live'

Anna Jacobs - 'Models, Inc.'

Anna Crozier - 'A Wing And A Prayer'

Anna Brigmore - 'The Mallens'

Anna Lacey - 'Noah's Ark'

Anna Tellwright - 'Anna Of The Five Towns'

Anna Taggaro - 'One Tree Hill'

Anna Gripenhielm - 'Nya tider'

Anna Wiegel - 'Unter uns'

Anna Krogh Moller - 'Sommer'

Anna Andersson - 'Sunes Jul'

Anna Polonskaya - 'Svakha'

Anna Mohlin - 'Hem Till byn'

Anna Taratsa - 'Ola stm taratsa'

Princess Anna Bilinska - 'Slawa i Chepla'

Anna Jensen - 'Zwei manner am Herd'

Anna Akerblom Bergman - Den Goda Viljan
[She may be a candidate for the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame!]

Anna Engberg - 'Hook'

Anna Merthin - 'Unter Den Linden - Das Haus Gravenhorst'

Anna Bochenek - 'Na Dobre I Na Zle'

Anna Bol - 'Oppassen'

Anna Danesi - 'Incantesimo'

And the following shows had regular characters by the name of Anna, but no last name was listed at the

'Groupe flag'
'Neprata cena'
'Die Kleine Vampir'

In the Tooniverse, there's Anna Watson of 'Spiderman', and among the reality superstars, of course there is the late Anna Nicole Smith.

So as you can see, with just these names culled from thousands up the letter "F", it's little wonder I didn't get much farther.

But that just means I have something to work with next December 9th!

Toby O'B

Monday, December 8, 2008


In the news today:

The Tribune Company, the newspaper and television chain that publishes The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and the Hartford Courant, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.

Looking at this just from a Toobworld perspective, I'm wondering if this will affect the storylines for the upcoming third season of 'My Boys'. In the show, Bobby Newman is a sports-writer for the Chicago Tribune; his friend and rival PJ Franklin works for the Sun-Times.

In the real world, of course, I'm worried about the employees at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut (being originally from the Nutmeg State).

Toby O'B


On a recent episode of 'Chuck', Bartowski the Intersect pointed out that "The Culper Ring used to use stuff like that to pass along information during the Revolutionary War days."

I never read the comic book "The Y Man"; I just bought it for my Little Buddy over in Taiwan. The comic book has its own modern version of the Culper Ring, but here's the information about the original group, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Culper Ring was a spy ring organized by Benjamin Tallmadge under the orders of General George Washington in the summer of 1778. The Ring's task was to infiltrate British-controlled New York City and report troop dispositions and intentions. The Ring conducted covert operations until the end of the American Revolutionary War, though its heyday was between 1778 and 1781.

One of those who allegedly aided the Culper Ring was an operative known only as "355," the group's code for "lady." Some historians believe that she was the only member of the ring arrested by the British and hanged as a spy. Others claim that she gave birth to Robert Townsend's child while she was a prisoner aboard the British hulk, The Jersey, but this story has been discredited. Robert Townsend did allegedly father a child by another woman after 355's death.

Nathan Hale and Tallmadge were close friends at Yale and Tallmadge's entry into the secret world was not accidental, nor did it begin with the Culper Ring in 1778. As early as 1777, Tallmadge acted as the operative John Clark's contact in Connecticut when Clark was based on Long Island. Before that, he worked for the spymaster Nathaniel Sackett, who was later fired.

Toby O'B

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We've seen how the TV characters of the main Toobworld are altered in the other TV dimensions, thanks to such shows as 'Star Trek' (and especially in one of its sequels, 'Deep Space Nine'), 'Sliders', 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', and 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. But we've also met characters in those alternate dimensions first - do they have counterparts in the original Earth Prime-Time? And are their lives different there?

We may have found an answer for at least one character, Mrs. Landingham of 'The West Wing'.

In that Aaron Sorkin production, Mrs. Landingham worked as the Executive Secretary for the President of the United States. But at the end of the second season - ooh! Spoiler alert! - she died in a car accident.

But in that alternate dimension, the President was Josiah Bartlet. In the main Toobworld, as in the real world, the President during that same span of time covered by the series was first Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush. So Mrs. Landingham wasn't working in that White House, and so she would not have found herself in the same set of circumstances that would have led to her death.

As to what she may have been doing, we can look to 'Gossip Girl', of all shows, for what she was up to.....

In a recent episode of 'Gossip Girl', Lily Bass talked to Mrs. Landingham on the phone. It turns out that in the main Toobworld, she's also a secretary. But she works for Bart Bass, not Jed Bartlet. So at the very least, she's outlived her doppelganger in that other TV Land where we first met her.

Toby O'B


Dec. 7, 1930:

W1XAV [Boston] broadcasts a video portion of a CBS radio program, The Fox Trappers orchestra program, sponsored by I. J. Fox Furriers. Included was what is sometimes called the first television commercial, which was prohibited by FRC regulations. [However, Donna Halper reports that as early as 1928 W1XAY in Lexington Mass. simulcast one hour of WLEX radio daily, and there is a mention of commercials in that hour. She also reports that Big Brother Bob Emery made an appearance on W1XAV, as did several other Boston area announcers, when W1XAV tried on a few occasions in 1930-31 to telecast a Boston radio station's programming. They first tried WEEI and then WNAC. The FRC took a dim view of their attempts to telecast a network program, however, since there was no agreement yet about whether or not experimental TV stations could run network commercials, so the FRC advised them not to try it.]

Toby O'B