Saturday, July 31, 2010


With "WNU-Toob", we take an occasional look at fictional characters shared by Toobworld and the Wold Newton Universe (which brings together not only TV shows but plays, movies, pulp novels, short stories, radio plays, comic books, comic strips, even a song lyric or two!)

From the Wold Newton Universe, Toobworld has accepted such theories as Dracula's soul-clones and the Diogenes Club serving as a cover for the British Secret Service branch specializing in the occult and the supernatural - any aspects that could help splain away discrepancies or help tighten up the theoretical links in the mosaic that is the TV Universe.

And there are times when the shared characters are just too different to be interchangeable. This would usually happen with the placement of those characters on their respective timelines. For the most part, the WNU accepts the original timelines, but Toobworld Central has to go with how the character is presented on TV.

Edgar Rice Burroughs may have written about Tarzan as a Victorian/Edwardian era figure, but for Toobworld, the Lord Of The Jungle had his heyday in the 1960's. Batman and the Green Hornet may have been operating during the late '30's and the 1940's, but again, the 1960's was the decade in which they shined in Toobworld. And in Toobworld, Superman was a 1950's icon who has since passed away; any other variants on the character have been "slid" over to alternate TV dimensions.

Today, I've chosen an off-beat couple of characters shared by Earth Prime-Time and the Wold Newton Universe to examine their differences:


The comic duo did vaudeville, several hit movies, radio programs, and finally TV - which is the only medium Toobworld can concern itself with. So we can only accept what was presented within their TV series back in the 1950's, which was a combination of sitcom and sketch comedy variety show.

With the Wold Newton Universe, they've combined that variation of their characters with almost all of their movies (I think "The Time Of Their Lives" must be excluded because of the circumstances with Costello's character.) so that they are all the same duo. (They've even tossed in at least one comic book appearance!) And that even includes the movies - like "Abbot And Costello Meet Dr. Jeckyll And Mr. Hyde" - which were set during the Victorian age. For the WNU, Bud & Lou are immortal, perhaps even of the same "race" as Duncan MacLeod of 'Highlander' fame. They just keep changing their names and moving on to new lives.
But for Toobworld, Abbott & Costello are still struggling comics trying to survive the day to day routine as they hope to strike it rich any way they can. Routines from their stage shows and movies were incorporated into the show, but there is no acknowledgement that they ever made those movies. So there's no connection to "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" and their other classic comedies.

Turns out I've written more about Bud & Lou today than I expected. I was planning to keep this short and fill it up with clips so that I could have more time getting ready for vacation. No matter, they were a fun couple of guys so this was a pleasure.

Just remember to check out the link to the left for the Wold Newton Universe and perhaps you might want to get Win Scott Eckert's books on the topic - the two-volume "Crossovers" as well as "Myths For The Modern Age". They're all a fascinating read into that shared fictional universe.

If you want to watch episodes of 'The Abbott & Costello Show' uninterrupted, visit the
VintageTV4U website. But for now, here are a couple of episodes to be found on YouTube. I've included just the first segments of the two full episodes, but they should lead directly into their following segments.




Abbott and Costello also exist in the Tooniverse, but when this series was made only Bud was still alive and able to provide his own voice.......

Any selection of Abbott & Costello video wouldn't be complete without this famous routine:

Well, that's all from him this week. I'll be off on vacation the next two weeks, but the Inner Toob will keep chugging along with pre-programmed material. The daily "As Seen On TV" showcase will continue, of course, and there will be 'Maverick'-themed posts each day (Too bad, Mark!) as part of the August salute to the TV Western.

Until such time - if any! - that I return, happy viewing!


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