Saturday, April 25, 2009


Sir Clement Freud, the grandson of Sigmund Freud who wrote about food, appeared in dog food commercials, became a broadcast personality and launched a career in politics in Great Britain, has died at the age of 84. In some of the tributes I've found on the web, the word "lugubrious" kept popping up: "excessively mournful". Listening to him in some of the recordings from BBC Radio 4's "Just A Minute", I was reminded of Marvin the Android from 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'.....

When all is said and done, he'll probably be remembered for those Chunky Meats blipverts with Henry the dog.......

I found this clip interesting - from 1973 on Jack Paar's talk show (back when talk shows offered more than just people promoting their latest production), Sir Clement got into a verbal back-and-forth with Rona Barrett.......

Good night and may God bless.....

Toby O'B


I mentioned the puppets from Joyville, Ct., as seen on the old 'Hap Richards Show' from Hartford's WTIC-3, in an earlier post......

By the time the 15 minute series ended in the early 70's, there were seven puppets, two of them female. Frankly, I don't remember them, but I would have been in school by the time the show aired, I think.

For me, there were always the basic four, Dandy Lion, Dooley Lucius O'Toole, an Irishman who's name I may be mis-remembering, Brian the Dragon - again, I may not have the name right. (I think his last name was Althorp?) And my favorite was Oliver Orbit, whom I always thought was a robot. But I caught some video of the show today, and I guess he's really an alien. What was really cool - and creepy for a little kid - was that Oliver's body was basically a glove. That way he had four arms, as all the puppeteer's fingers were utilized.

It could also be that if Oliver is an alien, he shouldn't even be considered a puppet. Like 'ALF' and 'Jonny Jupiter', maybe he is simply as he appears, an alien species.

The picture above is of Oliver and Brian. This next one has them joined by Mr. O'Toole and Hap Richards, the show's host and the Mayor of Joyville: As for the female puppets, I only know that one of them was something of a beauty named Marilyn Monrovia.

And here you'll find two articles from back in the day about 'The Hap Richards Show', which are showcased on a great website about the old WTIC (now known as WFSB):

Toby O'B

If any fellow Nutmeggers who grew up with Hap Richards can help fill in the blanks of my faulty memory, leave a comment, thanks!


PJ and the guys held the second annual Games Decathlon on 'My Boys' this week, and Stephanie served up a Zonk in the form of a trivia question. She asked the "Angola" team for the name of the robot in the 1980's sitcom 'Small Wonder'. (Andy knew it was Vickie.)

In a perfect Toobworld, 'My Boys' and 'Small Wonder' would be sharing the same plane of existence. And they still can, with enough splainin to keep things from getting Zonky. 'Small Wonder' may fall into the same category as 'Bewitched', 'Doctor Who', 'Battlestar Galactica', and 'Star Trek': the TV characters who reference them shouldn't have any knowledge of their existence. And yet they get mentioned, which is bad enough in itself, but then they get mentioned as TV shows. (Oftentimes quite specifically because the writers don't trust the audience to get their jokes.)

There are several categories for the splainin of these Zonks:

1) The person or persons invoked became so famous that a TV show was created about them.
This doesn't just apply to historical figures; in the real world, people like 'Toma' and 'Serpico' were contemporary to the shows about them. This would serve as the splainin for 'Murphy Brown', and that's why we saw Kramer get a job on the show based on her life in an episode of 'Seinfeld'.

2) This same splainin also works for Toobworld "news events". Best example: 'Gilligan's Island'. The return of those seven stranded castaways must have captured the world's attention. (And that's without the benefit of the Internet, Susan Boyle!) There would have been documentaries and TV specials and maybe even a theatrical film or two....... No wonder 'ALF' and 'Roseanne' dreamt about them!

3) The character and show mentioned are actually reality shows in Toobworld.
'The Office' - no matter which country you're in - is the best example of this. O'Bviously by this point in time, it must be a running documentary TV series, like 'Airline' was in the real world. Those film-makers have shot too much footage otherwise.

But other shows could have been reality programming in Toobworld instead of the sitcoms and dramas that we know them as. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' would be a great example for this. Mary Richards' line of work would have made for a much more fascinating documentary series than Dunder-Mifflin ever did. And seen as "herself" in this documentary, Mary Richards would have been the inspiration for John Doe #6 in 'St. Elsewhere'.

4) 'Star Trek' has its own set of circumstances.

I've already stated this in the past: somebody from the Future came back to the 1960's and gave Gene Roddenberry all the info he needed to create the sci-fi series. As such, those TV characters now know everything about the future of Toobworld, over three hundred years before it actually takes place.

5) The government - and/or some covert operation - has created these TV shows to hide the truth.

I think UNIT probably has a movie studio - I'd like to think it's Mammoth Studios! - as a front, from which they have created a TV show to hide the truth about the Doctor's activities on Earth. When people are talking about it on screen - unless details are mentioned (like the name of Eccleston or Tennant, as has been done recently) or actual scenes are shown (as on an episode of 'Supernova') - I think we should assume they're talking about the movies starring Peter Cushing. It could be that for Toobworld, they were episodes from the fictional TV show.

Of course, the need for such a studio was shot to hell when Davros moved the Earth in "The Stolen Earth".....
The US government would have such a production company in place; they probably funded the movie about 'The X-Files' which starred Tea Leoni and Garry Shandling. And they probably produced the 1980's sitcom called 'Small Wonder' about the little girl robot Vickie. Because word got out about her existence.

Such a TV show would have disarmed any closer scrutiny into the story and would have given the government time to download all of Vickie's memory banks into a new wessel - er, sorry, vessel. And this time they would have made her older to avoid anyone tracking her/him/it down. Resembling a fully-grown adult just like the AF709 android from 'My Living Doll', Vickie's probably living among society with a new name.

If she didn't already have such an extensive family history complete with actual relatives, I'd think Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan could have fit the bill.....

Toby O'B

*Personally speaking, they basically mean the same thing......


"World Forum" was an interesting deviation from the usual sketches on 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' in that most of the actors were not members of the regular cast. Eric Idle plays the game show host of "World Forum" and Terry Jones appears as Karl Marx. But as for Che Guevera, Lenin, and Mao Tse Tung? I have no idea who the actors are. For today's "As Seen On TV" feature, here's Lenin as he looked in Skitlandia, the sketch comedy TV dimension where Python rules!

And here's the sketch itself:

When the Python troupe came over to America on tour to perform their greatest naughty bits, the roles were now played by the other Pythoners: Terry Gilliam was Mao, Michael Palin was Che, and John Cleese appeared as Lenin: BCnU!
Toby O'B

Friday, April 24, 2009


I always seem to forget about finishing off the inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame each month, once I reach the Location listings.

Well, better late than never, and somehow it's kind of appropriate for this entry. After all, the Hooterville Cannonball was never really on time anyway. That's right, we're inducting the town of Hooterville into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. It was the main location for two series - 'Petticoat Junction' and 'Green Acres' and 'The Beverly Hillbillies' made frequent trips there. On top of that (which was enough by the rules of the Hall), it also showed up in the reunion movie "Return To Green Acres".

And considering the local citizenry, I think it's a fitting place to cap off the April Fool's inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. BCnU!
Toby O'B

When I was a kid, I wanted a similar water tower in my hometown. And for the O'Bvious reasons.....


Do y'all understand the deal with puppets in Toobworld? Have I explained that recently?

Puppets are alive.

Taking my cue from the 2nd Century tome "True History" and its tale of the Isle of the Blessed, puppets are spirit beings who take visible shape by assuming the puppet shells. In doing so, they become what the shell represents.

For example: upon inhabiting the puppet body, the spirit being known as Kermit becomes a frog. Miss Piggy takes on the characteristics of a pig (the figurative ones anyway, like selfishness). Shari Lewis' friend Lambchop is a lamb. Chairy of 'PeeWee's Playhouse' is a chair. And Oliver Orbit of 'The Hap Richards Show' is a robot. ('The Hap Richards Show' was a local kids' show in Connecticut when I was growing up. I still have my certificate of citizenship in Joyville!)

However, Gordon Shumway - aka 'ALF' - is an actual alien. And as for ventriloquist dummies, they're not alive - unless magically, spiritually, or demonically possessed.

The living puppets exist side by side with humans in Toobworld, but there's a reason why we don't see them outside of places like 'Eureeka's Castle' and 'Sesame Street' - human prejudice. That's why no puppets served at the 15th Precinct on 'NYPD Blue', or on the starship 'Enterprise' - most humans don't want them around.

Anyhoo, every so often I feel the need to refresh memories about certain aspects of Toobworld. Plus, we're getting new visitors all the time and it's enough of a head-scratching excursion as it is without some kind of guide posted now and again.

I bring it all up now because I wanted to show you the latest discovery of puppet-celebrity interaction - and all the way from Spain!

Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley on 'Lost' (or 'Perdidos' in Spanish), appeared on 'El hormiguero' with two puppets named Trancas and Barrancas. (I'm told their names mean "Thick and Thin" and/or "Leaps and Bounds".)

I don't speak Spanish, but it's pretty O'Bvious what Trancas y Barrancas got Garcia to do for them in this clip......

Toby O'B


"Backstairs At The White House"
Bill Quinn

From Wikipedia:

Andrew William Mellon (March 24, 1855 – August 27, 1937) was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932.

Andrew Mellon was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by new President Warren G. Harding in 1921. He served for ten years and eleven months; the third-longest tenure of a Secretary of the Treasury. His service continued through the Coolidge administration and most of the Hoover administration.

Mellon's policies reduced the public debt (largely inherited from World War I obligations) from almost $26 billion in 1921 to about $16 billion in 1930, but then the Depression caused it to rise again. By 1935, Franklin Roosevelt had gone back to high tax rates and wiped out Andrew Mellon's initiatives. The top tax rate went to 80% by 1935 and the federal government increased excise taxes to make up for the lost revenue.

Toby O'B

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Just based on last night's episode, I think it's safe to say that 'Better Off Ted' is my cat Sand's favorite sitcom.

Ted said the word "treats" a couple of times in one scene. Sand's ears twitched at that and he turned to look at the screen.

Of course, when no treats were forthcoming, he went back to his nap......

Toby O'B


In "Home Is Where The Heart Stops", the latest 'Castle' episode, Richard Castle introduced Detective Kate Beckett to "the Mayor" at a charity event.

We knew Castle was a friend of the Mayor of New York City, but this certainly wasn't Mike Bloomberg. This Mayor was black and his name was Bobby.

Bloomberg is currently the NYC mayor, both in Toobworld as well as the real world. He's been seen in that function on 'Law & Order' and '30 Rock'.

So who was this other guy?

It's easy enough to disable this Zonk. There was no mention that Bobby was the Mayor of New York. His title was that of "Mayor", but he could have been the Mayor of some other city, maybe even one in a neighboring state. Nothing says such a person can't attend a charity function in Manhattan.

Of course, this splainin will only be good until the character shows up again and it's specifically mentioned that he's the Mayor of New York City. Then I'm afraid this entertaining romantic mystery show will have to be shipped off to another dimension. I suppose it'll fit nicely into the world of 'The West Wing'......

I just checked the IMDb listing for Joseph C. Phillips, the actor who played Mayor Bobby. He's going to show up again in the April 27th episode "Ghosts". So we'll see how long this splainin can last.....

Toby O'B


'The Unusuals' was on twice this week, giving it a test run on Tuesday to see if it fared better than 'Cupid' in that timeslot.

In that Tuesday night episode, "One Man Band", Detective Casey Schraeger had to do the favor run-around in order to get somebody released from jail. And the guy was being held at the 15th Precinct station-house.

The 15th is most famous for being the setting for 'NYPD Blue', but it also showed up in the "Tithonus" episode of 'The X-Files'.

As to why the establishing shot in 'The Unusuals' differed from the view we know from 'NYPD Blue', we were probably seeing a side entrance.....

Toby O'B


This week, Lifetime presented "Natalee Holloway", a movie about Beth Holloway's search for the truth in the disappearance of her daughter down in Aruba.

From Wikipedia:

Natalee Ann Holloway (born October 21, 1986) disappeared on May 30, 2005, during a high school graduation trip to Aruba, a Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. An American student from Mountain Brook, Alabama, Holloway graduated from Mountain Brook High School on May 24, 2005, shortly before the trip. Her disappearance caused a media sensation in the United States.

Toby O'B

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


With tonight's episode, 'Better Off Ted' now has something in common with 'NewsRadio' and 'Cheers'.

Can you name what it is?

Toby O'B


Rob Buckley of "The Medium Is Not Enough" (link to the left!) has posted a meme question:

"If you could be any TV character, who would you be and why?"

I chose Buddy Sorrell, of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. There was no need to think long and hard about it; I've wanted to be Buddy Sorrell since I was a kid.

Buddy gets paid to tell jokes.

He sleeps on the job.

He gets to make fun of a much taller bald guy.

Being Buddy was something to aspire to when I was younger.

Upon growing up, however, I've had to make a few adjustments. Oh, I still get to sleep on the job, but I'm not often paid for my jokes. Okay, I'm not paid at all for them; I just shell them out gratis. (I probably should be paying for telling them......)

And as for insulting the tall bald guy, I'd never do that to a fellow Iddiot.

But at least I do follow the Buddy Sorrell dress code at work: loosened tie, unbuttoned vest, rumpled white shirt.

Maybe I should have taken up the cello......

So, I'd like to know - which TV character would you like to be? Let me know in the comments.

Toby O'B


When I finally upgraded to broadband back in September of 2007, I installed Site Meter on "Inner Toob". I was just curious to see if the blog had the same pull that the old Tubeworld Dynamic did from 1997 to 2002.

Well, this past week, I broke the 100,000 mark!

-- Site Summary ---

Total ...................... 100,472 Average per Day ................ 274 Average Visit Length .......... 1:27 This Week .................... 1,919

Page Views
Total ...................... 144,238 Average per Day ................ 418 Average per Visit .............. 1.5 This Week .................... 2,926

I began "Inner Toob" back in August of 2004, prompted by my Little Buddy Sean starting his own blog over in Taiwan. (Anything Shoe can do....) For over three years, visitors went uncounted. So I have to wonder just how many hits there truly are for this voice of Toobworld?

Since I use "Inner Toob" as the launch pad to visit so many of my favorite blogs and sites, I realize a lot of thoe clicks are my own. But still, I'm most humbled by the spread as to where y'all come from, and how often.

Thanks, one and all, for helping me reach this milestone.

Toby O'B


I mentioned in that "Farmer's Daughter's Daughter" post that one reason I was led to consider that particular theory of "relateeveety" was due to looking at how old TV shows integrated the product - in this case, cigarettes - into the show itself. And that's what led me to this YouTube video from the closing credits of 'The Farmer's Daughter'......

Toby O'B


Sydney Cockerell

As Seen In:
"The Best Of Friends"
Portrayed by:
Sir John Gielgud

From Wikipedia:
Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867-1962) was a British museum curator, collector, and well-connected figure in the literary world.

He made his way initially as clerk in the coal business, until he met John Ruskin. According to John Ruskin by Tim Hilton (p.816) , around 1887 Cockerell sent Ruskin some sea shells, which he collected. At that time he had already met William Morris. Cockerell tried to patch up a quarrel between Ruskin and Octavia Hill (Hilton p. 832), who had been a friend of his late father Sydney John Cockerell, and godmother to his sister Olive.

From 1891 he gained a more solid entry to intellectual circles, working for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. The architect Detmar Blow was a friend (Hilton p.843). He acted as private secretary to William Morris, becoming a major collector of Kelmscott Press books; was secretary also to Wilfrid Scawen Blunt; and was Thomas Hardy's executor. He was on friendly terms with Charlotte Mew, Viola Meynell, and T. H. White.

From 1908 to 1937 he was Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Cambridge.

Toby O'B

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Now that his stint on 'Doctor Who' is winding down, David Tennant has expressed a desire to join a different franchise - the man who played the Eleventh Doctor would like to play The Riddler in a "Batman" movie.

I'm sure he'd do a great job in the role, bring his own quirks to such an iconic figure in the Caped Crusader's gallery of rogues. But I'd rather see him take on a lesser-known villain who had only the one misadventure in the old 1960's show:
The Bookworm!
A villain who centered his crimes around books as the theme.

Wishful thinking on my part, but I always thought there was potential in the character. I think had there been less camp - and by that point in the show's history, it was too late for that! - and if McDowall had been available, the Bookworm could have been as serious a threat to Gotham City as the Big Four: the Riddler, the Joker, Catwoman, and the Penguin.

But this will prove to be just wishful thinking on my part.....

Toby O'B


'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation'
"A Space Oddity" Now, THIS should have been the 200th episode! Last week, 'CSI' attended a sci-fi/comic book convention in Las Vegas, the Whatifitcon, and of course, somebody was killed. Jonathan Danson was the driving force behind 'AQR', otherwise known as 'Astro-Quest Redux'. 'AQR' was going to be a major "re-imagining" of the original 'Astro-Quest' series, to be grittier, more political, and it would abandon all the trappings that fans held dear about the original version of the show. It sounds like what happened here in the real world with Ron Moore's version of 'Battlestar Galactica', which just recently concluded to much acclaim. Danson wasn't as lucky with his version of 'Astro-Quest', however: somebody caused his nose bones to get shoved back into his brain....... The 'Astro-Quest Redux' situation may have been similar to the early stages of 'Battlestar Galactica' here in the real world, but the original 'Astro-Quest' series was pure homage to 'Star Trek'. The costumes were similar to those worn by the Enterprise crew; the aliens could almost be mistaken for the races guest-starring in 'Trek' episodes; and women were seen in the same light as those who acted on the original show (either as exotic alien playthings or as dead-end job yeomen who would never break the glass ceiling in space).

Just from this one episode, we learned more about a fictional TV show than we may have from any since the 6 O'Clock News at WJM-TV12 on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.

'Astro-Quest' ran for at least four seasons during the 1960s on Thursday nights. Three of the characters on the show were:
Commander Artemus Bishop (great name!)
Corpsman Scully
Yeoman Malloy There was a special alien fighting technique called the "Cephalon Submission Claw" (similar in effect to the Vulcan Neck-Pinch).

The main alien race seems to have been the Vellikans, which had its own language. Although the name sounds similar to "Vulcan", I think the Vellikans were meant to be more like the Klingons.

There was a Vulcan-like alien on board the starship's bridge; only his ears had long droopy earlobes with holes through them, rather than being pointy-tipped.

"A guy in a red shirt dies at the beginning of most 'Astro-Quest' episodes." - Hodges

'Astro-Quest' props include Trajillion Ale with Vellikan skull worms (the outer space equivalent of tequila), similar in effect to Saurian Brandy, I imagine. And then there's the Compliance Yoke from the episode "Slavers Of Serenidon", which looks to be almost too similar to the 'Star Trek' episode "Gamesters Of Triskellion".
In fact, within Toobworld's reality, 'Astro-Quest' appears to be a complete rip-off of 'Star Trek', which (unfortunately for Toobworld) does exist as a 20th Century TV show as well as a 24th Century reality.

"The Slavers Of Serenidon" - "Gamesters Of Triskellion"

"Dollop Of Apocalypse" - "A Piece Of The Action" (Amphibians who worshipped the book "Peyton Place" as a sacred text vs. humanoids who emulated the lifestyle depicted in the book "Chicago Mobs Of The Twenties") Agillian concubines (feral, carnal, voracious) - Orion slave girls

In Season 4, there was a three-part story, "Yesterday's Tomorrow", which may have been similar to the 'Trek' episode "All Our Yesterdays". In the episode, we see Ron Moore, who is the real world equivalent to the murder victim Jonathan Danson, lead the protest against 'AQR'. As it was just a nameless cameo, we can assume he was appearing as himself, which he's now done in two different TV dimensions in as many months. Also in the crowd was Grace Park, who played both Boomer and Athena in the newer version of 'Battlestar Galactica'. I suppose it could be that she was playing herself, but I'd rather think there must be some other TV character she has created in Toobworld who could be an ardent sci-fi fan and who would have gone to the fourth annual Whatifitcon in Vegas.

If you're interested in seeing 'CSI' - "Space Oddity", head over to; they've got the episode up on the site.

Toby O'B


A lot of times, when imagining the "life" in the TV Universe for characters from TV shows that have been cancelled, I sometimes take it years down the road, and sometimes even to the next generation. My latest rumination along these lines came about while looking at how old TV shows integrated the commercial into the actual show (especially after seeing an episode of 'Martin Kane, Private Eye' last week!), combined with my enjoyment of actress Megyn Price. (She's on 'Rules of Engagement' now, which I don't watch, but I loved her in 'Lateline' and 'Grounded For Life'.) A few months back I wrote an appreciation of the late actress Inger Stevens, and it occurred to me that Megyn Price could pass muster as the genetic daughter of Ms. Stevens' Katy Holstrum Morley and her husband Glenn Morley from 'The Farmer's Daughter'.

'The Farmer's Daughter' ended its run in 1965; Inger Stevens died in 1970; and Megyn Price was born in 1971. Only that last date would matter, as it is Toobworld policy to consider the actor's real age to be the same for the character they play (unless specifically noted otherwise). As for the other two real world dates, they don't apply to Toobworld: like I said, "life" continues for the characters, and those characters can outlive the actors who portrayed them. When 'The Farmer's Daughter' ended its four season run, Katy and the Congressman (whose family may have made its money from Toobworld's own brand of cigarettes) were now married, and she adopted his two sons. But perhaps, five years down the road from when the series left the air, Katy gave birth to a daughter.

I'm not saying any such child has to be a character that Megyn Price has already played on television - last names and mentions of family relations would play hob with that idea, especially with her character on 'Rules of Engagement'. (And we met her father on 'Grounded For Life'.) I'd have to watch my copy of 'Lateline' again, but it would be neat to imagine her character in that (Gale Ingersoll) as being the Morleys' daughter.

As for that particualar name change? A former marriage perhaps?

However, it's much simpler to just imagine that the character exists, that she looks like Megyn Price, and that we never got the chance to actually see her on TV.

And if her mother did die young and was thus unable to provide the governance needed for a proper upbringing, it might explain the wild behavior of her later years as an "adult"...... BCnU!
Toby O'B