Saturday, July 4, 2009
A few hours ago Sci-Fi aired "The Invaders", the classic episode with Agnes Moorehead; probably one of the top five stories told on the show.
I've probably mentioned this before; but what the hell, I'm going to do it again.
Although "The Invaders" was broadcast first (27 January 1961), in the Toobworld timeline it takes place after the debut episode of the TV series 'Land Of The Giants' (22 September 1968). US Air Force Space Probe 1 was sent into that greenish cloud that masked the wormhole leading to the world of the giants in order to discover what happened to the Spindrift. The experimental sub-orbital airliner disappeared in June of 1983, and after an investigation, Toobworld Central believes that the government launched the secret probe to discover what happened to them.
Unfortunately for Gresham and his partner, the two astronauts didn't have as much luck as the passengers and crew of the Spindrift once it landed on the giants' planet.....
But over in the United Kingdom, Mollie Sugden left an impressive body of work with roles on such famous shows and mini-series as 'The Bill', 'Coronation Street', 'Z Cars', 'Up Pompeii', 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII', and 'Steptoe And Son'. She had starring roles in other Britcoms like 'The Liver Birds', 'Come Back, Mrs. Noah', and 'Hugh And I'. But it will always be Mrs. Slocombe who will come to mind first when we think of Mollie Sugden, who passed away the other day at the age of 86. Because of their participation in 'Are You Being Served?', movie and series, and in the sequel 'Grace And Favour', the employees of Grace Brothers will one day be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, probably en masse. This will probably happen just as soon as... I'm free.....
Ms. Sugden, good night, and may God bless.
Here are the roles she contributed to the Tele-Folks Directory: "The Bill" .... Lally (2003)
"Revolver" (2001) .... Mother
"The Liver Birds" (1976 - 1996) .... Mrs. Thelma Hutchinson
"Dennis the Menace" .... Vilhemina Slop Bucket (1996)
"Romuald the Reindeer" (1996)
"Just William" .... Great Aunt Florence (1995)
"Oliver's Travels" (1995) .... Mrs. Robson
"Grace & Favour" (1992-1993).... Mrs. Betty Slocombe
"Cluedo" (1991) .... Mrs. White
"My Husband and I" (1987-1988) .... Nora Powers
"That's My Boy" .... Ida Willis (1981-1986)
"Are You Being Served?" .... Mrs. Betty Slocombe (1972-1985)
"Tickle on the Tum" (1984) TV series .... Bessie Bagwash
The Talking Parcel (1978) (voice) .... Hortense, the Flying Train
"Come Back Mrs. Noah" .... Mrs. Noah (1977-1978)
Are You Being Served? - The Movie (1977) .... Mrs. Betty Slocombe
"Three Comedies of Marriage" .... Mother (1975)
Holiday with Strings (1974) .... Doris
"Love Thy Neighbour" .... Sister Martin (1974)
"Coronation Street" .... Nellie Harvey (1965-1974)
"Son of the Bride" .... Mum (1973)
"The Fenn Street Gang" .... Mrs. Greer (1972)
"My Wife Next Door" .... George's Mother (1972)
"A Class by Himself" .... Lesley Charles (1972)
"Emma" .... Mrs. Goddard (1972)
"Doctor in Charge" .... Mrs. Waring (1972)
"Six Days of Justice" .... Mrs. Dunne (1972)
"Steptoe and Son"
- Oh What a Beautiful Mourning (1972) .... Minnie
- And Afterwards at... (1965) .... Mother Of The Bride
"Mandog" (1972) .... Mrs. Morris
"Comedy Playhouse" .... Lady Wright (1972)
"Please Sir!" .... Alice Larch (1971)
"For the Love of Ada" .... Nellie Pollitt (1971)
"Doctor at Large" .... Mrs. Mollett (1971)
"The Goodies" .... Minister for Trade and Domestic Affairs (1970)
"Up Pompeii" .... Flavia (1970)
"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" .... Lotte (1970)
"Oh Brother!" - (1969) "Just Jimmy" .... Mum
- Harem Scarem! (1968)
- Chips with Nothing (1964)
"Jackanory" .... Storyteller
- The Unwelcome Guests: Welcome at Last (1968)
- The Unwelcome Guests: Lost and Found (1968)
- The Unwelcome Guests: The Golden Coin (1968)
- The Unwelcome Guests: The Beachcombers (1968)
- The Unwelcome Guests: The House on It's Own (1968)
"Z Cars" .... Vera (1967)
"Armchair Theatre" .... District nurse
- I Am Osango (1967)
"Hugh and I" (1962-1966) .... Mrs. Crispin
"First Night" .... Mrs. Phillips
- Maggie (1964)
"Benny Hill" .... Woman Tenant (1962)
"Suspense" .... Belle
- Killer in the Band (1962)
But I've been looking at some online photos of Gale Storm these last few days, and I can see the real reason I kept coming back to the series. She was cute - even with that horrible hair style! And just this morning I discovered the website tv4u.com where I caught an old episode of the show and was able to admire her again, from a more adult viewpoint. (At least as best of one that I can conjure up!)
Ms. Storm passed away this past week, part of one those blasted "They Go In Threes" curses. (Her companions for the journey were Billy Mays and Fred Travalena.) She was 87 years old.
After 'My Little Margie', she had another successful run with 'The Gale Storm Show', in which she played a cruise ship's social director, Susanna Pomeroy. But as Toobworld primarily exists within my own cranium, I prefer the title of the show as 'Oh, Susanna!', as that's what it was known as when I watched that in reruns as well.
I never could figure out why I saw so little of her on the TV screen after that - two episodes of 'Burke's Law', a 'Love Boat' and a very funny performance in an episode of 'Murder, She Wrote'. I just assumed she withdrew for a while to raise her family, but now (after reading her obituary in the L.A. Times) I wonder if it might have been due to her battle with alcoholism. Once I read about how she successfully fought back, I came away with a new admiration that was deeper than just because of her talents.
As Red Skelton would say, "Good night, and may God bless."
Here are the characters she contributed to the citizenry of Toobworld:
"Murder, She Wrote" .... Maisie Mayberry
- Who Killed Wimbledon Hastings? (1965) .... Dr. Nonnie Harper
... aka "Oh! Susanna"
- Johnny, Where Are You? (1955)
- The Puppeteers (1952)
- Mechanic on Duty (1950)
"Hollywood Theatre Time" (1950)
AS SEEN IN:
"My Father, My Son"
AS PLAYED BY:
Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr. - Karl Malden
Elmo Zumwalt III - Keith Carradine
Adapted from Wikipedia:
Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. (November 29, 1920 – January 2, 2000) was an American naval officer and the youngest man to serve as Chief of Naval Operations. As an admiral and later the 19th Chief of Naval Operations, Zumwalt played a major role in U.S. military history, especially during the Vietnam War. A highly-decorated war veteran, Zumwalt reformed Naval personnel policies in an effort to improve enlisted life and ease racial tensions.
During his son Elmo III's illness in the early 1980s, Admiral Zumwalt was very active in lobbying Congress to establish a national registry of bone marrow donors. (Such donors serve patients who do not have suitably matched bone marrow donors in their families. This was ultimately a disinterested act, since his son was able to receive a transplant from his own sister, but many patients don't have close relatives who are able and willing to help in this heroic way. His efforts were a major factor in the founding of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) in July 1986. Admiral Zumwalt was the first chairman of the NMDP's Board of Directors.
Admiral Zumwalt said he felt his son's cancer was most definitely due to Agent Orange. However, Zumwalt said he did not regret ordering the use of Agent Orange, because it reduced casualties by making it difficult for the enemy to hide and find food.
Admiral Zumwalt, along with his son Elmo III and writer John Pekkanen, authored a book called "My Father, My Son", published by MacMillan in September 1986, where they discussed the family tragedy of his son's battle with cancer. The book contains chapters narrated by Admiral Zumwalt, Lieutenant Zumwalt, and other family members.
After treatment in a number of hospitals, Elmo III went to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, where he received a bone marrow transplant from his sister Mouzetta, whose tissues fortunately matched his well enough for this treatment to be feasible. Results were promising at the end of "My Father, My Son", but he died in 1988.
That same year, 1988, "My Father, My Son" was adapted for a TV movie of the same name, starring Karl Malden as the elder Zumwalt and Keith Carradine as his son.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Here's what Wikipedia has on Malden's use of the name:
(Karl) Malden often found ways to say "Sekulovich" in films and television shows in which he appears. For example, as General Omar Bradley in "Patton", as his troops slog their way through enemy fire in Sicily, Malden says "Hand me that helmet, Sekulovich" to another soldier.
According to the IMDb.com, Art Passarella also played an Officer Sekulovich in two episodes of 'Streets of San Francisco': "Breakup" and "Dead Lift".
I have no problem for Toobworld in suggesting that Sgt. M. Sekulovich and Officer Sekulovich were related. As there was nearly a thirty year age difference between the men, Metrano's Sekulovitch could have been the son of Passarella's.
Some that come to mind - the mysteries of Jessica Fletcher, "Bad Twin", which was worked into the plotline of 'Lost', guide-books and diaries from 'Twin Peaks'. And there's one from a current soap opera, but I'm blanking on the show. And with over 400 books here in the Toobworld Central Library, it's a daunting task to track it down.
But now comes word that ABC will be publishing a mystery novel "written" by Richard Castle, the main character on its returning series 'Castle' and played by Nathan Fillion. Apparently elements of the novel will find themselves integrated into episode storylines.
Before the novel is published as a hard-cover, the first half of the book will be serialized online, a chapter a week for ten weeks. Its actual publication release date is September 29, by Hyperion.
The novel is "Heat Wave", so the protagonist must be Nikki Heat. She's a new character for Castle, having dispatched his previous hero Derek Storm after becoming bored with writing about him. Nikki Heat is influenced by the detective at the 12th Precinct who's been saddled with him by a veiled demand by the Mayor while she's working cases.
Since 'Castle' has a black man currently as Mayor of New York City, the show had to be relegated to an alternate TV dimension, as Mayor Mike Bloomberg has already established himself as "Hizzoner" in '30 Rock', 'Law & Order', and a Muppets Christmas special.
But I think it fits nicely into the dimension of 'The West Wing', the next best thing to the main Toobworld!
On TV, he appeared in nine TV movies, many of which had him portraying real-life figures like Herb Brooks, Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., and Leon Klinghoffer. He also played The Walrus in an adaptation of "Alice In Wonderland".
But in Toobworld, he is best known for playing Lt. Mike Stone, a 20 year veteran police inspector working 'The Streets Of San Francisco', and as himself in a series of commercials he made for American Express Traveler's Cheques and for the American Express credit card over a 21 year period.
He also played the title role of Pete Skagska, a Pittsburgh steelworker felled by a stroke in the short-lived 'Skag'. His last character appearance on TV was as President Jed Bartlet's former priest in a first season episode of 'The West Wing'. (Father Tom Cavanaugh, like all of the characters in 'The West Wing', can be found in an alternate TV dimension and not Earth Prime-Time.)
He was a solid, dependable actor who never disappointed, and Toobworld is richer for the characters he provided.
"Skag" .... Pete "Skag" Skagska
"The Streets of San Francisco" .... Detective Lt. Mike Stone
Skag (1980) .... Pete 'Skag' Skagska
Back to the Streets of San Francisco (1992) .... Mike Stone
They've Taken Our Children: The Chowchilla Kidnapping (1993) .... Ed Ray
Absolute Strangers (1991) .... Fred Zusselman
Call Me Anna (1990) .... Doctor Harold Arlen
The Hijacking of the Achille Lauro (1989) .... Leon Klinghoffer
My Father, My Son (1988) .... Elmo Zumwalt Jr.
Fatal Vision (1984) .... Freddy Kassab
With Intent to Kill (1984) .... Thomas E. Nolan
Miracle on Ice (1981) .... Herb Brooks
Word of Honor (1981) .... Mike McNeill
TV GUEST APPEARANCES
"The West Wing" .... Father Thomas Cavanaugh
- Take This Sabbath Day (2000)
"Armstrong Circle Theatre"
- Anything But Love (1950)
Alice in Wonderland (1985) .... Walrus
Captains Courageous (1977) .... Disko Troop
"The Ford Theatre Hour"
- Little Women (1949)
"Good night, and may God bless."
AS PLAYED BY:
"Freddy" Kassab was the step-father of Collette MacDonald, who was fatally stabbed and bludgeoned to death, along with her two daughters, by her husband, Captain Jeffrey MacDonald. At first, Kassab believed the story told by MacDonald, a doctor assigned to the Green Berets - that "hippies" broke into their home in February of 1970, and murdered his family and left him stabbed with a partially collapsed lung. But eventually Kassab and Colette's mother Mildred became convinced that their son-in-law had committed the crimes, and they spent nearly a decade in bringing him to justice. "Fatal Vision" reunited Karl Malden with Eva Marie Saint, who played Kassab's wife Mildred. They worked together most notably in "On The Waterfront", for which Malden was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Ms. Saint won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Apartment #15 was home to Lisa Wellsley, and the scene of her murder. This kid Jason was a friend of hers and he's seen here breaking into the crime scene....
Toobworld Central has no problem with this recastaway. Like demi-gods and other shape-shifters, a demon can change its appearance. So for some reason, Meg decided she'd rather alter her physical appearance as a mortal.
With Rachel Miner at bottom.
And with that in mind, it's off to bed. Rule 34!
So while IMing with my brother about an hour ago, I realized another one has happened that's a bit more convoluted.....
Harve Presnell and Karl Malden have died on the same day.
Presnell played General Paul Harkins in "A Bright Shining Lie". During WWII, he served as Patton's Deputy Chief Of Staff.
Karl Malden portrayed General Omar Bradley in "Patton".
Means nothing on a cosmic scale, of course. Just thought I'd point it out.....
The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its panels, though it usually does. I'm sure the creative forces behind 'House' and 'Nurse Jackie' want to keep their characters as grounded in reality as possible when it comes to Toobworld. So if the FDA does pull Vicodin and Percocet off the market, both characters will have to deal with the issue in some future episode.
Just sayin', is all.....
In the real world, that whiskey doesn't exist. But that's where we do find the source of the name: Robert MacLachlan is the show's cinematographer. I mentioned this to David Bianculli, TV critic & columnist who has the blog "TV Worth Watching" (link to the left, Little Dudes). And I got spanked for it!
"The only thing that's NOT impressive about your detective work uncovering this particular Extra, Toby, is what the hell are you doing watching Harper's Island? -- David B."
Ah, well. It's my guilty pleasure of the summer......
For Harve Presnell, who died yesterday at the age of 75, that real life figure was General Paul Harkins......
GENERAL PAUL HARKINS
(May 15, 1904 - August 21, 1984)
Paul Donal Harkins was born in Boston and graduated with the West Point class of 1929. He was Deputy Chief of Staff during World War II to George S. Patton Jr. and later became a U.S. Army General and the first Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) commander from 1962 to 1964.
AS PLAYED BY:
AS SEEN IN:
"A Bright Shining Lie"
"A Bright Shining Lie" was based on the book by Neil Sheehan and also starred Bill Paxton as John Paul Vann and Kurtwood Smith as General Westmoreland.
Here's what Wikipedia says about General Harkins' involvement in the Viet Nam War:
The initial U.S. build up in the Viet Nam war occurred during his watch. Harkins appeared on the cover of Time magazine, (What it Takes to Win 1962-05-11), where he was described as "look(ing) every inch the professional soldier". The article went on to describe his "demanding" job and the commitment of the US to stay in Viet Nam even if it took a decade, quoting then Attorney General Robert Kennedy from November 1962, "We are going to win in Viet Nam. We will remain until we do."
At the beginning of his command of MACV Harkins and his staff had repeatedly expressed optimism about the course of the war. As the violence escalated however, many reporters began to feel that what they were seeing in the field and being told confidentially by officers such as Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann did not match the information released by MACV.
The battle of Ap Bac in particular seriously affected many of the reporters view of the credibility of the Army and of Harkins in particular. When details of the battle emerged that differed from the Army's official version it became a very serious matter and press reports of it embarrassed the Kennedy administration.
Harkins was described by Neil Sheehan as an "American General with a swagger stick and cigarette holder...who would not deign to soil his suntans and street shoes in a rice paddy to find out what was going on was prattling about having trapped the Viet Cong".
New York Times reporter David Halberstam became so angry with Harkins he refused to shake his hand at a Fourth of July celebration, declaring at one point that "Paul D. Harkins should be court-martialed and shot!" BCnU!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Here's Gale Storm, showcasing not only her character of Susanna Pomeroy from 'Oh, Susanna!'*, but also highlighting her singing career back in the real world with this rendition of "Dark Moon".
Not only do we get to see Gale Storm, but also Zasu Pitts, Roy Roberts, and special guest Craig "Peter Gunn" Stevens......
Good night and may God bless.
*As I knew the show, but it was originally titled 'The Gale Storm Show'....
Since the whole purpose of this montage was to avoid naming the cat for the sake of the joke, I'll point out that his name was Tiddles.....
For Karl Malden, his ultimate League of Themselves appearance in Toobworld was as a serlinguist. Don't know what a serlinguist is? Those are people in the TV Universe who can converse with the people from the real world. The term is named after Rod Serling, of course, but George Burns was doing it long before him. And there's been Garry Shandling since then in 'It's Garry Shandling's Show', as well as many commercial spokesmen and aerobics instructors and cooking show hosts, etc.
Malden was a rock as he urged us all to carry American Express Traveler's Cheques. "Don't leave home without them......."
I chose this blipvert because it had a classic dramatic storyline as the backdrop....
Just to be on the safe side, I would have put it in my will to be buried with some of those traveler's cheques, had I been Karl Malden.....
Good night, and may God bless.
But for now, I just want to do a quick tip of the cap for Lew Staziak, Mr. Presnell's scary/funny character from 'Andy Barker, P.I.' And to do so, I'll create a diversion:
ZO2 were supposed to open for Bret Michaels in upstate New York in the Chappaqua area, but because of the "crime spree" of their friend Neil Latham, they missed the first show because they were locked up in the local jail. As for the second show, the band got there late because they were performing at a birthday party... for a dog.
The Poison lead rocker also appeared as himself in the following episodes:
"The Chris Isaak Show"
- The Family of Man (2004)
- Hell Is Other People (2002)
- Fantasia (2001)
- Greg's Big Day (2000)
Actually, he can also link two "reali-TV" shows which would more than likely be mentioned in any future appearances by Bret Michaels in shows where he played himself. One would be his dating series 'Rock Of Love', and the other would be the recent Tony Awards telecast. You gotta know that his conk on the noggin by the scenery, which left him injured, is going to be a source of humor in any future appearances.
I asked him if it was possible that somebody might have spoofed this show for pornographic purposes. I mean, look at those spiders Itsy and Bitsy! They're basically disguised hands! This is the perfect puppet show for onanists!
Rob's response? "Rule 34".
I never heard that phrase before, and a quick Google search brought me these splainins from the "Urban Dictionary":
Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.
Generally accepted internet rule that states that pornography or sexually related material exists for any conceivable subject.
If not, then porn will be made of it as soon as someone hears what you are looking for.
True for any movie, game, character, etc. that you can think of, and some you can't.
As I wrote on my Facebook page right after, "For one who delights in all manifestations of "going there", only just this minute have I learned about Rule 34! My guiding principle in Life and I didn't even know it had a name!!!"
Wasn't that nice of him? That way we don't have to de-Zonk whatever examples he might have come up with - 'Prison Break', 'Titus', whatever.....
Here are his most notable appearances as a member of the "League of Themselves":
Stand Up with Fred Travalena (1997) (TV)
- Pros and Ex-Cons (1991)
This was a sitcom which starred Ryan O'Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett, who just passed away this past week as well.
- A Midseason's Night Dream (1988)
This means that Fred Travalena was on the mind of Dr. Bob Hartley of 'The Bob Newhart Show', as 'Newhart' was just one long dream spurred on by a late-night snack of Japanese food.
- Episode #1.47 (1982)
Even though this was basically a variety show, it holds its place in Toobworld because of the fictional interaction with Madame, the "Naughty Marionetta".
Just based on those three appearances alone, Fred Travalena would be eligible for entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.
He made his mark in several TV series, mostly locked into one particular character for each of them....
"Black Scorpion" .... Charlie Chortle
- He Who Laughs Last (2001)
"Beverly Hills, 90210" .... Club Owner
- Ever Heard the One About the Exploding Father? (2000)
"Histeria!" .... Lenny
- The Wild West (1998)
"Walker, Texas Ranger" .... Ross Perot
- Standoff (1995)
I'm not sure if he was providing the voice for the real Ross Perot or what.....
"Dinosaurs" .... Bob Hack
- Nuts to War: Part 2 (1992)
"The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!"
- Chippie Chimpmunks (1989) .... Mr. Gibbel
- Will the Real Elvis Please Shut Up!/Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1989) .... Elvis
"Murphy Brown" .... Don Sarasota
- Buddies Schmuddies (1989)
Spitting Image: The Ronnie and Nancy Show (1987)
Poochie (1985) .... Zipcode
- Lady's Choice/Skin Deep (1984)
"Dragon's Lair" (1984) .... King Ethelred
Shooting Stars (1983) .... Teddy
"ABC Weekend Specials"
- The Secret World of Og (1983) .... Og/Old Man/Glub Villager
"Shirt Tales" (1982) .... Bogey Orangutan
"Smurfs" (1981) .... Additional Voices
"Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo" (1979) .... Additional Voices
"The Love Boat" .... Ted Ashton
- Double Wedding/Ventriloquists, The/Julie Falls Hard (1978)
"Keep on Truckin'" (1975)
"The ABC Comedy Hour" (1972)
"The Jetsons" (1962) .... Additional Voices
Good night, and may God bless......
I don't know who's playing Bubbles the Chimp or the lion. I speculated the other day on Facebook that the death of Michael Jackson would spell the end of Edward Moss' career as a Jackson impersonator, in much the same way Vaughn Meader's career plummetted after the assassination of JFK. The references to MJ have already been cut out of the movie "Bruno"; would audiences still be accepting of Michael Jackson spoofs as they were when Moss played him in "Scary Movie 4"?
But he could get one last shot at glory if somebody ever does a TV movie about Michael Jackson's final days. You have to admit that it's turning into a spectacle ripe for dramatization......
Just sayin', is all..... BCnU!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I've written about Finder-Spyder in the past; check it out to see a list of all the other shows connected by the search engine found only on the Internet in Toobworld...
Because of the incident, Luke accused Jason of being a "Muslim Buffy with a dick".
I've got no problem when 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' is referenced in a TV show. Just so long as it's a reference to "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" movie, that is. This way, they aren't sharing the same creative universe; one is in the TV Universe, the other in the "Cineverse". As to why there would be a movie about Buffy Summers, again it all depends on how much is mentioned. So long as nobody states when the original movie came out, then we can claim it was made after the events of the final episode of the TV series.
Otherwise, it's time for the Splainin Dance.
So in this case, since Luke didn't even cite the entire title of the show/movie, there's no Zonk to be staked.....