Saturday, February 6, 2010


Ian Carmichael has passed away at the age of 89. His work on stage and in the movies was mostly in light comedies, with his best known film probably being "I'm All Right, Jack" with Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas.

But for the TV Universe, he endeared himself over here in America with his portrayal of Dorothy L. Sayers' detective Lord Peter Wimsey. And he was playing Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster long before Hugh Laurie did. (Laurie's version must thus be relegated to the remakes dimension, as would Edward Petherbridge's portrayal of Lord Wimsey.)

Both Wooster and Wimsey play roles in the Wold Newton Universe; and although Toobworld isn't associated with those research endeavors, at least in the TV Universe we might make the claim that the two men could be related due to their similarity in appearance.

Here's a sampling of Lord Peter Wimsey putting his deductive powers to work. I believe this is from "The Unpleasantness At The Belladonna Club"......

Good night, Mr. Carmichael, and may God bless.



"Danny Thomas?
WHAT is a Danny Thomas
'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

I always like finding TV characters reading actual magazines from the real world because it helps lock in the time period for that episode. (Unless of course the scene takes place in the dentist's office - who knows how long those magazines have been there?)

Anyway, I was watching an old episode of 'Make Room For Daddy' and there was Danny Williams reading "Look" magazine, so I sprang into action. ("Sprang" being a matter of perspective for one so sedentary.)

Learning first that "The Visiting Englishman" was broadcast in 1953, I googled for 1953 "Look" covers. (What also helped in the search of course was the subject of the cover. Who couldn't recognize Marilyn Monroe?)

So it turned out to be easy enough to find, but that's when the real Toobworld fun began.

Check out the cover: One of the other stories in that issue was a profile of Danny Thomas, the comic who plays Danny Williams.

This is a classic in-joke that I'll be sending along to David Bianculli, who collects them. But for the televisiology of Toobworld, it's something more.

As with a lot of real life actors, we know their televersions exist in Toobworld alongside the characters they play. Their appearances on talk shows and game shows guarantee that. (Although we don't like to rely on those for Toobworld purposes unless the game show or talk show figures into a fictional plot. Like when George Wendt and Corbin Bernsen did the 'Tonight' show on an episode of 'Seinfeld', or when Betty White and Allen Ludden played 'Password' with 'The Odd Couple'.) We know that Danny Thomas has a bona-fide televersion without the crutch of game shows and talk shows (despite my fondness for his final appearance on the 'Tonight' show, doing the spit take with fellow guest Macauley Culkin), because of his appearances as himself in several shows:

"That Girl"
- Those Friars (1971)

"The Lucy Show"
- Lucy Helps Danny Thomas (1965)

"The Joey Bishop Show"
- Weekend in the Mountains (1964)

"The Jack Benny Program"
- Jack Goes to Nightclub (1959)
- Johnnie Ray Show (1953)
In "It May Look Like A Walnut!", an episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', Danny Thomas appeared in Rob Petrie's dream as Kolac, leader of the Twiloites. Everyone remarked on the similarity of appearance between Kolac and Danny Thomas, so even Rob's sub-conscious acknowledged that Danny Thomas existed in the TV Universe.

Sometimes the TV characters got to meet the actors who played them: Mork and Robin Williams, Moesha and Brandy Norwood, and Lucille Carter and Lucille Ball. But in this case, Danny Williams only got to read about Danny Thomas. (He was probably checking out the competition. After all, how many big-nosed Lebanese comics named Danny were playing the clubs at that time?)


I started writing up this piece because I stumbled on a cache of 'Make Room For Daddy' episodes at VintageTV4U. It wasn't until I was finishing it up on Friday morning that I found out that today, February 6, marks the 19th anniversary of his death.

So in the end, this became a Hat Squad memorial to a very funny and a very good man......


A little convergence of the return of 'Lost' with today's salute to Aaron Burr on his birthday......

With the sixth season premiere of 'Lost', we saw the return of the character Neil aka "Frogurt". He sat between Boone Carlysle and John Locke on Flight 815 in the new reality created by the detonation of the Jughead bomb. We saw him meet his death in the original timeline when a flaming arrow pierced his chest. And he was in one chapter of the online webisodes known collectively as "The Missing Pieces". So we may see his life continue on 'Lost' now, in an alternate reality. But what of his life in the main Toobworld before he boarded Flight 815 in Australia?

I think we've seen an earlier example of his life gone wrong......



On this date in 1756, Aaron Burr was born.....


'Equal Justice Under The Law'
("United States vs. Aaron Burr")

Nicholas Kepros

From Wikipedia:
Aaron Burr, Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician, Revolutionary War participant, and adventurer. He served as the third Vice President of the United States (1801–1805), under Thomas Jefferson, and was the first vice president to never serve as president.

For more on Aaron Burr:


Friday, February 5, 2010



"Swing Out, Sweet Land"

Greg Morris

From Wikipedia:
Crispus Attucks (c. 1723 – March 5, 1770) was the first of five people killed in the Boston Massacre in Boston, Massachusetts. He has been frequently named as the first martyr of the American Revolution and is the only Boston Massacre victim whose name is commonly remembered. He is regarded as an important inspirational figure in American history.

Little is known for certain about Attucks beyond his death in the conflict. Two major sources of eyewitness testimony about the Boston Massacre, both published in 1770, did not refer to Attucks as a "Negro," or "black" man. The first was a report commissioned by the town of Boston, "A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre," which contained over one hundred depositions from locals about what they saw on March 5, 1770.

The second source, "The Trial of William Wemms," referred to Attucks more than a dozen times as a “mulatto” or “molatto,” and once as an “Indian,” another as a “tall man,” and yet another as a “stout,” or muscular man. While 19th-century anti-slavery advocates later focused on Attucks' African heritage, Bostonians in 1770 considered him mixed-race.



According to these end credits for "Wyatt Earp Visits The Williams" episode of 'Make Room For Daddy', it looks as though Johnny Crawford was in that show. Unfortunately, he must have been cut out of the original broadcast print at some point in syndication because there was no sign of anybody else but Hugh O'Brian.

Crawford must have played the older boy who was supposed to take Terry to the school masquerade - until he got the mumps, that is.

I don't know if the scene took place, but wouldn't it have been neat to see the actors who played Wyatt Earp and Mark McCain together in a scene......?



I've got a new DVR from Time Warner on Tuesday; most of you probably don't know I was without the use of my old "McDivver" since sometime after 11 pm last Wednesday. And I lost a lot of things I was saving or just never got around to yet: the last 'Guiding Light', "The Velvet Touch" (a great non-Columbo "Columbo" movie), and the two Anthony Fremont episodes of 'The Twilight Zone' - the original and the sequel. I've lost them all but that's neither here nor there. So it goes.

But I already had 10% of it filled with programs that I can watch and easily erase afterwards. And I have three disks from Netflix of the TV series 'Callan' still to watch. But late last night I instead decided to visit VintageTV4U and see what they had to offer.

And I watched an old episode of 'Make Room For Daddy', one of the early ones with Jean Hagen as Danny Williams' first wife, Margaret. (Usually you see only the Marjorie Lord episodes where she plays Kathy, his second wife.) And this episode had one of the biggest Zonks of its time: a visit by actor Hugh O'Brian, playing himself - constantly referred to as the star of 'Wyatt Earp'. Actually, it may be a Zonk, but it's easily disarmed. The "real" Wyatt Earp of the TV Universe looked amazingly like Hugh O'Brian. So when it came time for casting the TV series in Toobworld, it was the tele-version of Hugh O'Brian who got the job because of his uncanny resemblance to the legendary lawman. And by coincidence, that TV show within a TV show also had the same theme song, which Danny, Rusty, and Margaret sang at the end of the show. BCnU!


On the latest episode of 'White Collar', June's grand-daughter played on a Central Park field soccer team. Her jersey was #16, which was one of "the Numbers" from 'Lost'. Her team-mate wore another of "the Numbers", #15.

And at least two members of the other team bore 'Lost' numbers as well on their red jersies - another #15 and a #8 which is partially obscured by #7...... BCnU!


Here's a preview clip of the Kia blipvert to be shown in the third quarter of this Sunday's Super Bowl game:

To me it looks like out-takes from the adult version of 'Yo Gabba Gabba!', directed by Tarantino, but I'll be looking for the expanded version.....


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Traditionally the TV Crossover Hall of Fame inducts an African-American character in February because of Black History Month. And Toobworld was nice enough to prepare a character for this so-called honor back in November.....


"Doctor Ray" took over from Gil Grissom on the original 'CSI' series last year when Grissom decided to leave the field to be with his love Sara Sidle.

Here's the Wikipedia bio on Ray Langston:

Raymond was an Army brat born in Seoul, and consequently knows the sport of soccer as "football." His father, a decorated soldier and a veteran of the Korean War, was a violent man, often getting into brawls off the battlefield - this is something which disturbs Langston considerably. He eventually obtained a doctorate and became a physician.

A co-worker at his hospital was an "Angel of Death", murdering 27 patients - while Langston saw the evidence, he was never able to put it together. He ultimately wrote a book about the experiences, which was read by not only Gil Grissom but also Dr. Tom Loman (of CSI: Miami).

Afterwards, he became a college professor, but continued to do pro bono work as a surgeon. It was in this capacity that he came into contact with the CSI team, as they were investigating a series of murders connected to a serial killer being interviewed for the course. After the case's conclusion, Grissom encouraged Langston to join the Las Vegas Crime Lab as a Level-1 CSI.

In November of last year, Dr. Langston was called to Miami on a consult in a case which got him involved in the missing persons case of Madeline Briggs. This case took him from Miami to New York City and was finally resolved on his home turf of Las Vegas.

Langston isn't the first character in the 'CSI' franchise to appear on all three shows; that distinction belongs to Lt. Horatio Caine of 'CSI: Miami'. And because of this storyline arc, Madeline Briggs will also be a candidate for induction into the Hall.

Here are the episodes that made up this 'CSI Trilogy':
'CSI: Miami'
"Bone Voyage" (9 November 2009)

"Hammer Down" (11 November 2009)

"The Lost Girls" (12 November 2009)

Congratulations, "Doctor Ray"!



Every year I chose one or two characters from other media, usually novels or comic books, whom I think should be translated into the universe of television. Some of my past choices have been Harry Flashman from the George McDonald Frasier historical novels (although originally from "Tom Brown's School Days", so Flashie has actually been made a TV character) and Silver John the Balladeer created by Manly Wade Wellman. John was a Korean War vet who wandered the Ozarks and Appalachia with his silver-stringed guitar, fighting the dark folk magics of the area.

So here are my choices for this year, with a decidedly pulp fiction slant to them.....

There was talk a few years back about bringing "Buckaroo Banzai" to the world of the Toob and there might even have been some footage shot of Dean Cain assaying the role. (Personally, I can't picture anyone but Peter Weller in the role. But Time marches on, and I'm sure there are plenty of young actors out there who could fit the bill.)
The movie's over twenty years old, but I think he's still a viable candidate for his own show. The comedic overtones and the combination of aliens, pulp villains, spies, cowboys, and rock 'n' roll could provide a wide range of stories. In that, Buckaroo Banzai could have been a sort of American 'Doctor Who', which is also never tied down to any one kind of story.

I bring up Dr. Moreau a lot here at Inner Toob, mostly as a way to find splainins for the many human/animal hybrid characters we come across in TV shows. The H.G. Wells story was adapted at least three times for the movies, but we've yet to see a TV version. (It would have been perfect for those early anthology sci-fi shows especially, but nowadays it should get one of those Halmi treatments.)
As it stands now, we just have to assume that Dr. Moreau existed in Toobworld and hopefully one day we'll be able to back up the claim. Even if they modernized the story, Toobworld Central could always cite a Theory of Relateeveety that he was following up on his grandfather's research.

I've always been a fan of the Wold Newton Family and Universe, which finds ways in which many of fiction's greatest heroes and villains can be connected. It was first advocated by Philip Jose Farmer and now has my blog buddy Win Scott Eckert as its most ardent supporter. (Links to the left, Action Figures!) Toobworld is but a pale shadow of what they're achieving in that line of study.

Here's a quick Wikipedia sketch of the "Man of Bronze", who may be the greatest of all pulp fiction heroes:

Doc Savage's real name was Clark Savage, Jr.. He was a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and, as revealed in "The Devil Genghis", a musician. A team of scientists assembled by his father deliberately trained his mind and body to near-superhuman abilities almost from birth, giving him great strength and endurance, a photographic memory, a mastery of the martial arts, and vast knowledge of the sciences. Doc is also a master of disguise and an excellent imitator of voices. "He rights wrongs and punishes evildoers." [Author Lester] Dent described the hero as a mix of Sherlock Holmes' deductive abilities, Tarzan's outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy's scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln's goodness.

Sounds a lot like Buckaroo Banzai, doesn't it? I'm fairly certain that Doc Savage was the inspiration for Banzai.

A movie was made about Doc Savage with Ron Ely, but funding ran out and the final product was not well-received. And there had been talk back in the late sixties of an adaptation with Chuck Connors. (At the time, he would have been a perfect candidate to play Doc Savage in Toobworld.) This could be a great vehicle for a syndicated series or on Sci-Fi, and could cover a wide range of genres considering Doc's background.

To play any of these characters? That's not my call......

So those are my three choices this year for characters from other media who should find a home in Toobworld....



Every year I put together a list of TV characters and locations that I'd like to see make a return appearance on TV, even if the shows that spawned them no longer are broadcast.It's not as difficult as it sounds. There have been instances in the past where TV characters from shows long gone have appeared in other programs.

A few examples:

Dr. Bob Hartley & Carol Kester ('The Bob Newhart Show') - 'Murphy Brown'

Elliot Carlin ('The Bob Newhart Show') - 'St. Elsewhere'

Warren Coolidge ('The White Shadow') - 'St. Elsewhere'

Alan Brady ('The Dick Van Dyke Show') - 'Mad About You'

Cinnamon Carter ('Mission: Impossible') - 'Diagnosis Murder'

Here is the list of characters I've suggested in the past whom I'd like to see return for one more turn in the Toobworld spotlight:

Zoe Heriot, 'Doctor Who'

Gotham City, 'Batman'

Dr. Joel Fleischman, 'Northern Exposure'

'Honey West'

Agent Dale Cooper, 'Twin Peaks'

James West, 'The Wild, Wild West'

Ford Prefect, 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'

Brother 'Cadfael'

'The Time Tunnel'

Dr. Sam Beckett, 'Quantum Leap'

Ann Marie (Hollinger), 'That Girl'

Dr. Miguelito Loveless, 'The Wild, Wild West'

And here are last year's additions:

Adam Cartwright, 'Bonanza'

Kevin Arnold, 'The Wonder Years'

Andromeda, 'My Favorite Martian'

The Tenctonese, 'Alien Nation'

Alicia, 'Flying Blind'

Lorne, 'Angel'

Sadly, two of those characters from last year have to be removed from the permanent list. Andy Halleck, who played the green-skinned demon Lorne in 'Angel' died last year, and Pernell Roberts, the last of the Cartwright clan on 'Bonanza', passed away recently.

It looks like the Tenctonese could be coming back, as an updated version of 'Alien Nation' is in the works. However, the project sounds like it would have to be relegated to an alternate dimension.

You'll note that Dr. Loveless is still on the list, even though Michael Dunn has been dead for over thirty years. But it's the Toobworld Central contention that Dr. Loveless was part Gallifreyan and that he could regenerate. Although most of the time when he did so on 'The Wild, Wild West' he kept the same body, eventually he could transfer his intelligence to another person, or regenerate his own body to a new form. (I think Warwick Davis would make for an excellent new incarnation of the not-so-good doctor. And it could be claimed he underwent plastic surgery.)

This year, I've only got one suggestion. So here is the TV character I'd like to see make a return appearance on our screens:

THE MINBARI Okay, so it's a whole planet full of characters! J. Michael Straczynski's world of 'Bablyon 5' haven't been heard from since the 2007 release of "The Lost Tales". I think it's time to bring back that corner of the TV Universe, but with a focus on the Minbari. With the popularity of "Avatar" at the box office, I think the time is right to explore an alien world, with maybe just one or two human characters for the audience to identify with. But the center of attention should be the Minbari and their caste system and the planet of Minbar itself. (A great description of the Minbari and their world and their lives can be found

Failing that, I'd just like to see a Minbari cameo, even if only in the background, of some other sci-fi series. I miss those boneys.



With 'Lost', we've seen the characters featured in flashbacks, flash-forwards, and now for the sixth season, "Team Darlton" will be giving us "flash-sideways". In these, we'll be seeing what life would have been like for the characters had they not crashed on "Crap-hole Island".

Just based on the examples we saw in the Season Six premiere, they turned out better with the crash - even if they ultimately died there.

A fellow member of the Idiot's Delight Digest, an online group centered around the radio shows of Vin Scelsa, told me where "Cuselof" may have found that phrase:

That's from the movie "Funny Farm" where Chevy's wife is describing his novel... "In the first twenty pages alone, I counted three flashbacks, one flash forward, and on page eighteen I think you have a flash sideways!" - Ray

I can always count on a fellow Iddiot for trivia like that!



'Saturday Night Live' had a lot of fun with Senator-Elect Scott Brown's "sexy" image last Saturday, especially on how it might affect various members of Congress....
Senator Barbara Boxer
(played by Nasim Pedrad)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
(played by Kristen Wiig)
Congressman Barney Frank
(played by Fred Armisen)
Senator Robert Byrd
(played by Bill Hader)

And as mentioned the other day, Senator-Elect Brown was played by Jon Hamm.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Sportscaster Jim Nantz appeared on 'How I Met Your Mother' as a figment of Barney's imagination. Technically, this does count towards his League of Themselves appearances in Toobworld because it acknowledges that he does exist in the TV Universe. Otherwise, how could Barney have dreamed him up?

Not that it actually matters, however. Nantz already has enough appearances as himself in TV shows to qualify for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And (not so) suprisingly, they're almost all CBS shows: 'Arli$$' (the one ringer in the bunch), 'Yes, Dear', 'Criminal Minds' and three episodes of 'Clubhouse'

It also puts Nantz into a category in which celebrities appear as themselves in visions, dreams, and fantasies of TV characters -
Oprah, Sinbad, Rob Thomas......

Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees was also in the episode last night, but he was actually there in McLaren's Bar. (That's him in the booth to the far left. He apparently stole Astro Boy's haircut....)


Alan Sepinwall, who writes about TV for the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, pointed out a cross-universal nugget of trivia from the latest episode of 'Chuck': One of the items on sale at Weap-Con is the "EM-50 mobile interrogation unit," where in "Stripes," the EM-50 was a mobile assault vehicle disguised as an RV.

This is a great example of how something from the TV Universe can exist in other fictional universes born of Mankind's creative spark. Only the EM-50 in the "Cineverse" (a term coined by Craig Shaw Gardner) has a different function and look from the one in "Chuck vs. The Nacho Sampler". BCnU!


When it was announced that there would be a new version of 'Human Target' (which in itself was based on a comic book), I was resigned to relegating the new version to an alternate dimension since Earth Prime-Time already had a version.

But a moment near the end of the latest episode, "Embassy Row", gave me hope that both versions can exist in the main Toobworld.

FBI Agent Emma Barnes ran Christopher Chance's prints through the database and learned that he had a slew of alias identities, including that of Christopher Chance: So I'm thinking that this super bodyguard picked up where the last one left off, even taking over the first one's identity - or maybe even all of his identities. (We never saw that Christopher Chance again after August of 1992.) And none of the supporting cast from that previous show have the same names as those of Winston and Guerrero. So we don't have to worry about splainin why they might have picked up those identities as well. (Nevertheless, "Guerrero" is an alias. I'll have a theory on that soon.....)

So this is one time when both versions of a TV show can share the same universe without driving each other crazy....



Republican Scott Brown recently won the Senate seat which the late Democrat Ted Kennedy, the "Lion Of The Senate", held for more than fifty years. And even Brown admits that he did so thanks to beginning his public life posing nude for Cosmo.

'Saturday Night Live' played up that sex symbol image last Saturday.......

'Saturday Night Live'

Jon Hamm

Senator-Elect Brown saw the impression. As he told the "National Review Online":

"Thank goodness I like a good laugh. That was pretty funny. I wish I could host 'SNL' some day. I’ve been watching it since I was young. Jon Hamm is great.”

As for Jon Hamm's accent: “He did a great job. He doesn’t really sound like me, but it was very funny.”


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


To get you caught up before tonight's return of 'Lost' for its final season, Dude, here's a ten minute recap by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. And as an added bonus, Brothuh, there's a message from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to kick things off.....




There was a phrase that David Letterman once tried to make into a popular catch-phrase, and which I think best sums up my excitement for this final visit to the Island....

"I'm moist!"



Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN has made his first foray into the televersion world of the League of Themselves with an appearance on '30 Rock'...... Two more and he'll be eligible for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And appearing on 'The Colbert Report' doesn't count.



When Conan O'Brien moved out to Hollywood to host the 'Tonight' show, he left a lot of material behind from his old show because some of those sketches wouldn't be appropriate for the audience an hour earlier.

And that included the Masturbating Bear.

Now that Conan is out as the host, NBC has claimed a lot of his material to be the intellectual property of the Peacock Network. And it looks like the Masturbating Bear's cousin showed up on '30 Rock' just to prove that point: Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he was just a random actor (perhaps even Josh!) who plays a bear on 'TGS with Tracy Jordan'. But I don't trust network suits - may they be nibbled to death by ducks! I think it was a way to lay claim to the bear's ownership, even if it was a different costume.

At least he wasn't getting one off the wrist.......



Fictionalized versions of real-world TV shows are nothing new in Toobworld. Accepting them (with splainins) is the best hope to keep the TV Universe cohesive; I just can't throw everything that gets Zonked into a parallel dimension.... Where's the sport in that?

So along with the show-within-a-show version of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' as mentioned in the previous post, there's also a Toobworld version of 'Gossip Girl' - thanks to a recent episode of '30 Rock'. Since the real TV show is based on a series of novels, we can make that same claim for the fictional version.

In the scene pictured, a young girl named Tartine has a tearful goodbye with her mother, who's dying of old age - at 41. (Damn! I wish it had been "42"!) Jenna Maroney of 'TGS with Tracy Jordan' guest-starred as the ill-fated Mom.



In the first episode of the 'Being Human' sophomore season, Annie accompanied George's girlfriend Nina on her first night in which she would transform into a werewolf. At one point she said, "There's a werewolf called Nina on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'."

This could be a Zonk. However, in the real world Nina the werewolf actually featured on the 'Buffy' spin-off show 'Angel'. The character never appeared or was even referred to on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.

And that could help deflate the Zonk.

'Buffy' has been off the air since May of 2003. She and her Scooby gang apparently went to Cleveland to take care of another Hellmouth after the cataclysmic events in that last 'Buffy' episode.
So in the next seven years, anything could have happened. And the events depicted in the 'Buffy' comic books have no effect on the TV Universe. That's only the Buffy to be found in the Comic Book Universe. Therefore, in that time period Buffy's work could have become exposed to the notice of the general public.

And as happened in the TV Universe with such characters as the Brady family, the crew of the starship Enterprise, and the Time Lord known as The Doctor, maybe an unscrupulous producer decided to take advanatage of the situation and create a TV show about Buffy Somers. (In some of those other cases, their stories would have been turned into a movie. But Annie said "on 'Buffy'", a phrase used for TV show references. With movies, most people would say "in 'Buffy'".)

For the TV show within a TV show that is 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', there could have been a "fictional" werewolf named Nina - one who had no connection to the "real" Nina as seen in 'Angel'.