Sunday, March 7, 2010


My tele-blogging buddy, MediumRob, contacted me about a scene in this week's episode of 'Community':

Quite an easy one for Toobworld to cope with, I'm sure, but 'Community' did a shout out to 'Mad Men' this week, with Abed doing an impression of Don Draper to Annie - who is of course played by Alison Brie who also plays Trudy Campbell on 'Mad Men'.

Here's the scene that Rob was talking about:


Let's start off with the easiest Zonk and work up to the hardest.

CALVIN & HOBBES: This is not a Zonk. "Calvin & Hobbes" was a comic strip, one of the greatest ever created, and that's what it is in Toobworld as well. The only TV universe in which it does exist as actually happening would be that claymation/stop-motion world of 'Robot Chicken' and 'Moral Orel', etc.
THE BRADY BUNCH: This could have been a Zonk, but we're saved by the movie versions. The blended Brady family actually exists on Earth Prime-Time and somebody thought the story of the two families becoming one was worthy of a big screen treatment. When these characters are talking about Mike Brady, they could either be talking about the "real" Mike Brady (who only looked like Robert Reed), or about the movie version played by Gary Cole. Robert Reed as Mike Brady does not enter into that equation.

MAD MEN: Whenever somebody on TV has mentioned a TV character from a TV Western, the standard response from Toobworld Central is to disable any possible Zonk by saying that they're referring to a TV show based on an historical figure. There were TV shows about Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Wild Bill Hickcock, so why not "historical" dramas about James West, Bret Maverick, and Victoria Barkley?

The same would then hold true for Don Draper. He's a part of history now in Toobworld, just not as far back as the Cartwrights. So there must have been some network suit who thought the story of the Sterling-Cooper advertising firm would make for riveting toob. It could be that at some point in our past, but in the future of 'Mad Men', Don Draper - or the company as a whole - could be doing something that would merit the TV treatment.

On Toobworld, it's very easy for TV characters to get TV shows about themselves.

Which brings us to -

THE FACTS OF LIFE: That show is long gone and there doesn't appear to be any reason why someone in Toobworld would make a TV series about Mrs. Garrett and the girls. And yet we know there was a show called 'The Facts Of Life' and that there was a character on it named Jo who may have been a bit butch (if I'm reading Britta's subtext correctly).

But all that was mentioned was the show's title and a character's name. But how do we know, based only on those references, that they are the same as our world's Jo on 'The Facts Of Life'. It could have been a whole nuthah plotline. And who knows? Maybe Jo was really Joe in that version.

Then again, it's been referenced in plenty of TV shows - 'Psych', 'Supernatural', 'Married... With Children', 'The Nanny', 'Newhart', 'Step By Step', 'Gilmore Girls', and 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Aire'. So I think it has to be about the same subject matter. Something those girls did at the Eastland school, perhaps not found out for years, made them famous enough to warrant their own TV show.

I'm getting this "Scream"-like vibe from the pozz'bilities.....

After all of that, it's no wonder I try to ignore the Zonks in 'Community', especially with a character like Abed around as a pop cultural geyser.

But it is a damn funny show!

And when it comes to Annie looking like Trudy, there's no connection - or at least there doesn't have to be one. So many people in Toobworld have similar features to each other. And besides, they were from different time periods and lived in different parts of the country. By the time their paths may have crossed, there would have been too much about them that kept them from looking like each other.

So you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have:
the Zonks of Life...

By the way, you can check out MediumRob's blog using the link to the left for "The Medium Is Not Enough".....



MediumRob said...

The force is strong in this one.

Good work, Tobes!

Toby O'B said...

Thanks, Rob!