Saturday, April 3, 2010


Harlan Ellison has created a deep background for the alien race known as the Kyben, as seen in "Demon With A Glass Hand". But all we know of them is limited to just that episode of 'The Outer Limits'.

So, looking at it only from the TV point of view, without the graphic novels and short stories, I'd like to provide a little more for the Toobworld background.....

As established in "The Chase", an episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', the Preservers seeded many planets with the building blocks to create humanoid races throughout the universe. They didn't all look human, but they did share the same basic structure. This would include Vulcans/Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, Minbari, perhaps the Centaurans, and Orkans.

And to this list we can include the Kyben of Kyba.

The Kyben may have developed along an evolutionary path with primate origins, as Darwin suggested in regards to the human race. But on Kyba, that path may have originated with a different species, perhaps something similar to our own lemurs. And since we never got to see any proof otherwise, it could be the Kyben still had some vestigial remnant of their own ancestors' striped tail.

Just a suggestion, Mr. Ellison. Please don't sue me......



As I mentioned earlier, I went to the Paley Center for Media on Thursday to see the two "From Sea To Shining Sea" specials from 1974. These were supposed to be just the first two of a series of nine that would lead up to the Bicentennial, but no others were made. (Thumbnail review - great casts but not all that compelling, despite being written by Ernest Kinoy and directed by Buzz Kulik.)

The first one was "Give Me Liberty" and was set in 1774-75, ranging from the Virginia frontier back to the more settled area around Alexandria and then up to Philadelphia. The second one, "Land Of The Free" began on the shores of Massachusetts and ended down South on the road to New Orleans in 1814.

In both, Robert Culp played the same character, John Freeborn.
Now, the time that passed between those two periods would approximately be about the same time span that Robert Culp himself went through from his days as a 'Columbo' murderer to the time leading up to his death just last week. And that passage of Time left its mark on him as it does on all men:
And yet, in these two TV specials, John Freeborn didn't age at all. In fact, when he should have been in his 70s, Freeborn was serving on board a British navy vessel; pressed into service after his own ship had been seized at sea.

When I pointed this out the other day, I made an off-hand suggestion that since John Freeborn was something of an "Eternal Man", as Trent was described in the opening narration for "Demon With A Glass Hand" on 'The Outer Limits', then perhaps Trent used one of those Kyben time-mirrors to go back even further in Time. (Off-hand, glass hand. Heh heh....)

But that was forgetting my own rule of thumb (more hand imagery!) about following Occam's Razor - always go for the simplest splainin.

I was too eager to combine Robert Culp characters to tighten up the TV Universe. Instead, I should have used John Freeborn as a way to connect the two historical specials to another TV series, which would have the same effect.

I should have seen John Freeborn for what he really was - an Immortal. Like MacLeod in 'Highlander'.
The name "John Freeborn" could be looked upon as an alias, to cover his real identity from centuries, even a millennium, earlier. It's true we don't see him with a sword, but that could have been hidden among his supplies on his pack animals. And he might have lost it when he was captured by the English in March of 1812. Eventually he would have gained a new one, but it was just something we never got to see happen.

Another scene, right at the very beginning of "Land Of The Free", could also be interpreted as proof that Freeborn was an Immortal. We see him being dragged ashore in the Massachusetts surf by young Jamie MacGillivray, a Connecticut schooled, 1/8th Creek Indian (played by Jeff Conaway). Jamie leaves him there on the beach and goes off to look for supplies.

It could be that Jamie was dragging Freeborn's body on shore, knowing his secret that he would come back to life in a few minutes despite drowning at sea. He looked near as dead lying there on the beach.

After that, we can then play the guessing game as to which of Culp's characters in the future could have been John Freeborn under an alias. So long as his TV Western characters survived the episode they were in, I think they're fair game. (They also shouldn't be the bad guys. Not that John Freeborn was the all-too-noble white-hat guy; he was a peddler just trying to mind his own business and to make sure he got paid his due. At one point, after he made it back to America in 1814, Freeborn was determined just to quit the young republic and go to the Indies.)

I wouldn't include Culp's first leading role, that of Hoby Gilman in 'Trackdown', among the other aliases for Freeborn. Toobworld Central has other ways to link that show to the main TV Universe - 'Wanted: Dead Or Alive', 'Zane Grey Theater', and
'I Spy'.
And besides, too many details about a character's past life can come up when he has an extended run on our TV screens. Better to use somebody who's in and out in just one hour.

Among the candidates to be John Freeborn under another name could be:

Ed Payson - 'Bonanza': "Broken Ballad"
Robert Culp as a former gunfighter trying to live down his past.

Baylor Crofoot - 'Wagon Train': "The Baylor Crofoot Story"
Schoolmaster Baylor Crofoot persistantly turns the other cheek when provoked by a blustering bully. But it seems that he holds these principles only to mask his cowardice.

Craig Kern - 'Rawhide': "Incident At The Top Of The World"
A howling prairie storm known as a "Norther" and a cattle drover with emotional problems, known only to Gil Favor, threaten to hamper the Sedalia-bound cattle drive in more ways than one.

At the very least, Kern and Crofoot could be the same character but not necessarily John Freeborn....
A little further up the Toobworld timeline, I'd like to add Lyle Pettijohn of 'Roots: The Next Generation' to the list of possible new identities for John Freeborn. The fact that he would have incorporated his old name into his new identity makes it especially appealing. As he wasn't the focus in the story (O'Bviously), I don't remember there being much personal background given to his character. (Also, he could have fathered Pvt. "Littlejohn", Dick Peabody's character on 'Combat!' The characters' timelines overlapped to the point that this would be unlikely for anybody else, but Freeborn was around a long time earlier to make it possible.)

Making any definite claims to John Freeborn's other identities at this time would be useless without seeing many of his guest roles and TV movies again. But making the claim that he was an Immortal, and thus providing a link to 'Highlander', 'Highlander: The Raven', and a batch of follow-up TV movies, is good enough for now....
Robert Culp may have left us in the real world and taken many of his signature roles with him, but his characters of John Freeborn and Trent will live on for VERY long times in Toobworld.....


As we approach Easter, here's some background information on the movie I will always associate with the holiday from when I was growing up.....


"Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows"

Tammy Blanchard

From Wikipedia:
In 1938, at the age of 16, Garland was cast in the lead role of Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939), a film based on the children's book by L. Frank Baum. This role is what Garland is first and foremost remembered for. Many people look back at the role of Dorothy Gale as Judy's stepping stone to stardom. In this film, Garland sang the song for which she would forever be identified, "(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow". Although producers Arthur Freed and Mervyn LeRoy had wanted Garland from the start, studio chief Mayer tried first to borrow Shirley Temple from 20th Century Fox. Temple's services were denied and Garland was cast.

Garland was initially outfitted in a blonde wig for the part, but Freed and LeRoy decided against it shortly into filming. Her breasts were bound with tape and she was made to wear a special corset to flatten out her curves and make her appear younger; her blue gingham dress was also chosen for its blurring effect on her figure.

Shooting commenced on October 13, 1938, and was completed on March 16, 1939, with a final cost of more than $2 million. From the conclusion of filming, MGM kept Garland busy with promotional tours and the shooting of Babes in Arms. Garland and Mickey Rooney were sent on a cross-country promotional tour, culminating in the August 17 New York City premiere at the Capitol Theatre, which included a five-show-a-day appearance schedule for the two stars. The Wizard of Oz was a tremendous critical success, though its high budget and promotions costs of an estimated $4 million coupled with the lower revenue generated by children's tickets, meant that the film did not make a profit until it was rereleased in the 1940s.

At the 1940 Academy Awards ceremony, Garland received an Academy Juvenile Award for her performances in 1939, including The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms. Following this recognition, Garland became one of MGM's most bankable stars.


Friday, April 2, 2010


John Forsythe passed away Thursday night after a year-long battle with cancer.

Back in January, Inner Toob marked his 92nd birthday with an
"As Seen On TV" showcase.......

I don't really have anything major in mind to honor Mr. Forsythe's contributions to the TV Universe, save for the obvious connections. But I'll give it some thought tonight at work.

But this much is certain: it will be inevitable that 2010 will see the departure of many giants in Toobworld, just as happened last year. Time marches on.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Forsythe.



According to Google, today is the 205th birthday of Hans Christian Anderson. Click on the Google logo and you'll get several interpretations of the logo design, all of which are thematically linked to his works.

So today we're presenting an extra "As Seen On TV" showcase in order to celebrate the occasion.....


"Hans Christian Anderson: My Life As A Fairy Tale" AS PLAYED BY:
Kieran Bew

From Wikipedia:
Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairytale is a 2001 semi-biographical television miniseries that fictionalizes the young life of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It was directed by Philip Saville and starred Kieran Bew as the title character. Various Hans Christian Andersen fairytales are included as short interludes of the story, and intertwined into the events of the young author's life.

Yeah, if I found out I was 205 years old, I'd make a face like that, too......



Big ass haul of DVDs today!

From Amazon:

1] KINGDOM (Series 3)
I love this show! Now I want to know why Series 1 is not out on disk!

You never know when you're in the mood for Minnie's boys.....

Picked up from my bootleg source:

Episodes from the season before the official release.....

2] YOU ARE THERE Volume Four
Episodes included:
"The Fall of Troy"
"The Rise Of Adolph Hitler"
"Grant And Lee At Appomattox"
"They've Killed President Lincoln"

3] YOU ARE THERE Volume Three
Episodes included:
"Washington Crosses The Delaware"
"The Great Diamond Fraud"
"The Capture Of John Wilkes Booth"
"Spindletop - The First Texas Oil Strike"

I bought this once before there, and there was no sound to it at all. I've probably made a sucker purchase.....

"Where's There's Smokey"
"How To Marry A Millionaire"
"Our Man Higgins" - the pilot

"Please Don't Eat The Daisies"
"No Time For Sergeants"
"Accidental Family"
"Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" pilot (from 'Love American Style', it looks like)

(I had such a crush on Patricia Crowley as a kid. Now it feels creepy just because she was born the same year as my Mom.....

"Nancy" pilot
"Adam's Rib"
"Anna And The King" pilot

Two episodes, one of which is a crossover with 'Hawaiian Eye'!

8] ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Or What's A Nice Kid Like You Doing In A Place Like This?)
This is the cartoon verson with the vocal talents of Sammy Davis Jr, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bill Dana, Howard Morris, Harvey Korman, Allan Melvin, and Hedda Hopper. (WTF?) Plus Alan Reed and Mel Blanc as Fred and Barney as a 2 headed caterpillar.

I saw it and know at who's house I saw it. It should be weird to go down that path again.....


MUSEUM PIECE - 04/01/10

Okay, just so you all know, I'm copping to the fact that all three Inner Toob posts on Thursday were April Fool's jokes. And that includes the As Seen On TV showcase. (If you've seen the two part movie "Sherlock Holmes And The Incident At Victoria Falls", then you know why it was a prank. If not, have no fear - I still played fair with the daily feature about the televersions of historical figures.)

The post about the Three Minute Theater contest was inspired by my crossover compatriot Thom Holbrook, who has entered a play-writing competition. I dragooned several of my theatrically-based friends into the story without their fore-knowledge, and crafted the play out of TV series titles.

As for 'The Frank Morgan Show'.... you don't know how much I wish that it was true. Not my own idea for a concept, per se, just the chance to have seen Frank Morgan on TV......

Actually, I went to the Paley Center on Thursday, rather than on Wednesday as I stated in the post about that fictional "Frank Morgan Show". I don't know how long it's been since I was last there, but they've upgraded the library so that much of the museum's content is now digital and available right there at the computers. I wasn't too keen on this, first of all because the room was nearly packed. If this is the wave of the future, than I hope the new terminals spread to the other two floors as well.

But as for now, those are still to be used by people whose choices are not yet transferred to digital. Private consoles, better & more comfortable seats, and dark surroundings that hopefully inspire quiet (unlike upstairs).

At the digital resource, I watched an episode of 'You Are There' with Robert Culp - "June 2, 1692: The Salem Witch Trials". Culp played Captain John Alden, the son of the legendary John and Priscilla, and he was in prison accused of witchcraft. Others in the cast I recognized were 'You Are There' stalwart Milton Selzer ('The Death of Socrates' & 'Julius Caesar'), Peter Hobbs (George Driscoll on 'Lou Grant'), and one of my favorite actresses, Ruth McDevitt as Deliverance Hobbes.

(Since I got home from seeing this, I've been looking at various sites about the Salem Witch Trials. Those girls who accused those poor people which led to their deaths hopefully got their punishments in the afterlife.)

But for the rest of my stay there Thursday, I was down in the console room to watch the two "From Sea To Shining Sea" specials in which Culp played John Freeborn. The first special took place in 1774-75 and the other took place in 1814. With Culp not aging a bit in either special which in the timeline was a forty year span, you know I'll have more to write about that! Other actors in them were Richard Kiley as a frontiersman, Jeff Conaway as a 1/8th Creek Indian, Burgess Meredith as John Adams, Jeff Corey as Andrew Jackson, and Fritz Weaver as Colonel Washington. (There's a reason why I address him by his title and why I don't mention his first name, but that's for a later post.)

I was also hoping to see an episode of 'Willy' the 1950's sitcom starring June Havoc in tribute of her, but unfortunately they didn't even have the pilot. It may have been a trifle, but I think the sitcom did serve an important function for Toobworld. (Again, more on that in a later post.)

Oh! There was also some downtime while they attended to a technical glitch on the console, so I moved to a different one until they could reload my choices. And from the options to watch while I waited, I chose an episode of 'Crusader Rabbit'.



Kelly Robinson of 'I Spy' was well aware of his family tree and that his great grandfather was Hoby Gilman, the Texas Ranger of 'Trackdown'. He was probably proud of that fact and may have even boasted about it to his partner Alexander Scott on several occasions.

How can we make this assumption? Because in one 'I Spy' episode, Kelly was showing off with his gun. And as he twirled it about, Western style, Scott just shook his head and mildly chastised him with "Hoby, Hoby, Hoby......"

Which - by the way - would eliminate this as a potential Zonk!




'Edward And Mrs. Simpson'

David Waller

From Wikipedia:
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC (3 August 1867 – 14 December 1947) was a British Conservative politician, statesman, and pre-eminent British politician of the interwar years. He served three times as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; first from 1923–24 then 1924–29 and again from 1935–37. Baldwin was the first commanding Prime Minister in an age of full democracy and this has led to his generally receiving a positive press from recent historians.

The accession of King Edward VIII, and the ensuing abdication crisis, brought Baldwin’s last major test in office. The new monarch was 'an ardent exponent of the cause of Anglo-German understanding', and had 'strong views on his right to intervene in affairs of state', but the 'Government's main fears … were of indiscretion'. The king proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcĂ©e, whom the high-minded Baldwin felt he could tolerate as 'a respectable whore', so long as she stayed behind the throne, but not as 'Queen Wally'. She was also distrusted by the government for her pro-German sympathies, and was believed to be in 'close contact with German monarchist circles.'

Baldwin defused a political crisis by turning it into a constitutional question. His discreet resolution (which led to the King's abdication) met with general approval and restored his popularity.

David Waller also portrayed Baldwin in a later TV production, "The Woman He Loved". This would be in a different TV dimension, but it does cement Waller's claim to be the official televersion of Stanley Baldwin.

"When Norman was about, Dinsdale would go very quiet and his nose would swell up and his teeth would start moving about and he'd become very violent and claim that he'd laid Stanley Baldwin." - Gloria, 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'


Thursday, April 1, 2010


On Wednesday, I went to the Paley Center for Media so that I could check out a few TV projects by the late Robert Culp which had piqued my curiousity. Well, that, and to also renew my membership which ended that day.

The three TV projects were two historical programs keyed to the Bicentennial - "Give Me Liberty" with Richard Kiley and "Land Of The Free" with Burgess Meredith, both from 1974. The other one was a 1970 ITV movie written by John Mortimer - "Married Alive" with the loverly Diana Rigg.

I'll have more on my experience with those later, but I really wanted to tell you about the big bonanza - and I ain't talking Cartwrights here. I'm talking about an hour and an half of Frank Morgan goodness, truly a lost treasure!

You know Frank Morgan - he played Professor Marvel as well as the title character in 'The Wizard Of Oz'. As a kid, I always liked him in the role, but I favored Bolger's Scarecrow and Lahr's Lion more. Only now that I'm older have I come to realize that Frank Morgan is the actor to watch in the movie. He's absolutely brilliant!

I always was sorry that there was nothing to represent him in Toobworld, as he died in 1949,
when television was in its infancy. But then a few weeks ago I was in Midtown, at my favorite source for bootleg DVDs of old TV shows; I was there looking for more 'You Are There' compilations so that I won't run out of characters for the "As Seen On TV" showcase here in Inner Toob. And just by luck, I was able to meet the guy who supplies all of those DVDs for my source. (Like I'd tell the authorities where it is!)

Anyhoo, we got to talking, which he was happy to do so long as I kept grabbing his 20 buck cases, and he told me that one of his "holy grails" was 'The Frank Morgan Show'. He knew the Paley Center had the only 3 episodes that were made and if he could find an inside source, this would be his goal: to dupe only this show out of everything in their collection. Apparently, the 'Wizard Of Oz' collectibles market is very lucrative and they'd pay top dollar for copies of this show.
Frank Morgan was contracted to do a TV series in those early days, one of the earliest of sitcoms, to be shown on the NBC network. He was able to complete the pilot and the next two episodes before he died unexpectedly of a heart attack.

According to the book "The Chimes At Midtown" (about the history of NBC, which I have in the Toobworld Central library) the premise of 'The Frank Morgan Show' was this: Morgan played an old con artist, grifter, and master of disguise named Frank Martin (no imagination wasted in coming up with that name!), who had abandoned his family many years before when his son was just a child. Eventually he was declared dead and his wife remarried, with her new husband adopting the son and legally changing his name.

Years later, young Francis Millbrook is grown up, a veteran of WWII, and has established himself in the District Attorney's office. Because of some big case he won, Millbrook finds himself running for Congress. But then a few days before the election, suddenly Frank Martin reappears in everybody's life. Now it's a mad scramble to keep him out of the way, and more importantly out of the papers, until after the election - which the polls showed as being very close. (Joseph Kearns was the guest star in the pilot, playing "The Distinguished Gentleman" who's running for re-election against Milbrook. Yep - that's how he was listed in the credits, no name.)
Quickly assaying the situation, Frank Martin presents himself as Franklin Pynge Salter, which is a play on his old con man nickname of "Frankie Pinch O' Salt" (because you had to take a grain of salt with everything he'd tell you). And without his son's knowledge until it's too late, he inserts himself into the campaign as an advisor. And the hokum he spins for the reporters, worthy of Bilko with a dash of Professor Irwin Corey, gives his son the edge in the election. (And it turns out that people listening to him on the radio thought they would be voting for him the next day.) And that's basically what happens in the first episode, "Prodigal Dad".

The only real downside was how they worked the commercials for Duz detergent (the show's sponsor) right into the storyline with each episode, even if it didn't really fit. Even at the Capitol building, they had to have a kitchen scene! It reminded me of how 'Martin Kane' made a point to involve their cigarette sponsor in each episode.

The other players in that pilot episode survived to the actual series - Robert Lowery as Francis Milbrook and Carole Matthews as daughter-in-law Claire Milbrook. Both were dull as dishwater in this, which is somewhat appropriate since the sponsor was Duz. But then I guess the point was they'd make Frank Morgan shine even more.

And as their son Jib, Georgie Noakes played the role. (I should bring my sister down to see this just for him! She's a fanatic for "It's A Wonderful Life", and I'm sure she'd recognize Georgie Noakes as young Harry Bailey.)
Frank's ex-wife Eleanor and her cantankerous sourpuss of a second husband Oliver Milbrook didn't show up until the third episode but they were mentioned a lot in the pilot. (They were played by Lee Patrick and Will Wright. Ms. Patrick was just getting warmed up for her later 'Topper' role.) Best of all, character actor Clinton Sundberg proved to be a great foil as Winston Tattersall, the campaign manager who was going to be Francis Milbrook's chief of staff down in Washington. (We never do learn what district Milbrook is supposedly representing.)

Winston sees Frank Morgan's character as a potential rival and is always trying to dig up some dirt on him.

There are two running routines throughout all three episodes: one is that Frank always calls Winston Tattersall "Winnie" which causes no end of frustration for Clinton Sundberg. The other is that no matter when a picture is taken in which "Franklin Pynge Salter" should show up, somehow he's never caught off-guard and always finds a way to hide his identity from the camera. (The funny thing was that it reminded me of last week's episode of 'How I Met Your Mother' in which no matter what situation, there was no way to take a bad picture of Barney Stimson. It also reminded me of how 'Bret Maverick' did everything he could to avoid getting his picture taken, at least in the sequel.) Oh, there was another special guest star in that pilot episode; at least, I think so - he certainly didn't get any credit! I think it was the Lassie then "acting" in the movies who appeared as Jib's collie Silky.

The second episode is "Running For Office Space" and is all about the family's move to Washington DC. And thanks to Frank Martin's con man skills, he's able to snare the best office of all in the Capitol for his son, even though he's a freshman Congressman.

Leo G. Carroll is the episode's guest star as a slightly befuddled old lion of Congress who can't quite ever fathom what this "Franklin Pynge Salter" is all about. But thanks to the intervention of old Frankie Pinch O' Salt, Francis Milbrook becomes a co-sponsor on a bill that Congressman Weatherby had been pushing for years. Not only that, he sees it get passed with a majority.

Oh, and Zasu Pitts has a cameo as a slightly flustered protestor outside the Capitol who doesn't know what to do with herself once the bill, which she also championed, finally gets passed.

The third episode is "A Little Something On The Side". A nosy reporter played by Arnold Stang
gets the idea that there must be something to the fact that both "Franklin Salter" and Francis Milbrook both have similar first names. But by the time the episode ends, it's stuffy stepfather Oliver who's suspected of being Frank Jr.'s actual father and that Eleanor was having an affair with him before her husband's death. The situation gets so escalated that eventually Arnold Stang's reporter is accusing Oliver of killing Frank Morgan's character back in the day. And it's only Frankie Pinch O' Salt's crafty shenanigans that gets them all out of hot water without revealing who he really is. (Frankly I'm surprised that for those times the topic was even attempted in the sitcom.)

Sadly, on the night before they were to start filming the fourth episode of 'The Frank Morgan Show', the actor unexpectedly suffered a major heart attack in Beverly Hills. This was on September 18, 1949, and the show was supposed to premiere the following week on NBC. I'm not sure if these three episodes aired or not - 'The Frank Morgan Show' was supposed to air on Wednesday nights at 8 pm before 'The Clock', and the replacement show, 'The Crisis', didn't premiere until October. So it is pozz'ble.....

All that remains of that last episode is a publicity picture of Morgan and the actors who played his son and daughter-in-law, with a menacing George Macready. (If I'm not mistaken, he was to play a determined FBI agent egged on by Clinton Sundberg's character of "Winnie" Tattersall to find the dirt on Frank Martin.

The production quality on the surviving recordings is not all that could be hoped for, but at least they were able to bring Frank Morgan into Toobworld. And on the pilot Nat Hiken was given credit for the story - considering his work years later with 'Sgt. Bilko', I'm not surprised, because that monologue which "Franklin Pynge Salter" delivers to rally the troops had bits of Phil Silvers all over it.

Normally, I would be surprised by the lack of any information on this series in the IMDb, but we all know how reliable THAT is! In fact, that Robert Culp program I went to see, "Land Of The Free" with Burgess Meredith isn't listed either......

So that was my day, a day like any other, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times. And today will always be one I cherish.....



Recently I entered a (very) short play into the annual "Three Minute Theater" competition here in New York City. The rules are simple - write an original play that runs no longer than three minutes.

I made it to the next stage, where I was asked to produce a staging of my play. So I asked a young actor named Ray D. Amell (best known in TV for a stupid human trick on 'The Jay Leno Show') to play George, and Natalie Major, a singer-songwriter, to play his sister Karen. An old college buddy, Michael Hillyer, was nice enough to direct it; and I even got John O'Creagh (last seen in Toobworld in an episode of 'Life On Mars') to pose as Old Man Holvak with Natalie for the painting. (That's just off to the right in the picture above.)

Unfortunately, somebody on the committee finally took a good look at the script and decided it really wasn't very original. But we had fun while it lasted!

So I thought I'd share the play now with you......



(Scene: a darkened room. We can just barely see the shape of a man sitting in a chair on the far right of the room.)

(A woman enters. She attempts to do the clap on routine for the lights.)

Karen (grumbling): Turn on.....

George: Are you afraid of the dark?

Karen: Bless me, Father!

(Karen stumbles to the nearest lamp and switches it on.)

Karen: George!

George: Karen....

Karen: Good grief! You again?

George: Baby, I'm back.

Karen: Who do you think you are? Wait til your father gets home!

George (laughing): Daddy-O? The biggest loser! Don't wait up. (Shows fake sense of mourning) General Hospital, imagine that! Daddy dearest, one foot in the grave....

Karen: What do you want, big brother?

George: Let's see.... in search of cool millions, believe it or not.

Karen: Over my dead body!

(George pulls out a gun.)

George: You asked for it.

Karen: The gun!

(Karen runs to the phone, but can't get a dial tone.)

George: Call for help?

(George holds up the severed phone line.)

Karen (pleading): Let's talk.... Let's make a deal......

George (mocking): Sister, sister.....

(George tosses a coin.)

George: Shoot... don't shoot....

(He checks result of the coin toss.)

George: Goodnight, sweetheart.

(George shoots Karen. She collapses on the floor.)

George: Goodness gracious me! Dead at 21......

(Pocketing the gun, George goes through her pockets until he finds a ring of keys.)

George: Thanks.

(George crosses the room to a picture hanging on the wall and studies it.)

George: Imagine that! You're in the picture!

(No response from Karen. With a shrug, he pulls the painting back to expose a safe.)

George: Eureka!

(He inserts the key but before it opens, huge pincers bolt out of the wall and crush him between them.)

George: The Vise!

(He dies.)

(Karen lifts her head.)

Karen: The Family Holvak... cursed!

(She collapses in death.)

The End



"Sherlock Holmes And The Incident At Victoria Falls"

Steven Gurney


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


"[T]his is 'Lost.' The final season of 'Lost.'
It's sacred ground.
You don't clutter the screen during one of the show's final, pivotal episodes.
Or you piss people off."
Mike Schneider

But what do you expect? As either Morley Safer or Harry Reasoner - or maybe even Eric Sevareid - said, "TV executives should be nibbled to death by ducks."



In the TV series 'Primeval', Nick Cutter and his estranged wife Helen somehow altered the Earth's timeline while they were in the prehistoric past. When Nick returned, he found that not only had the work on anomaly research been accelerated, but that Claudia Brown no longer existed. However, a woman who looked just like her but with the name of Jenny Lewis basically was living out the life that should have been Claudia's.

That massive tweak to Toobworld's timeline didn't just affect the characters of 'Primeval' but all of the other TV shows as well, across the board - even in different countries. We can use this to help splain away recasting Zonks and other discrepancies. And we can also use it to tighten up the connections between series.

A good case in point would be of two characters played by James Doohan in the early 1960's (later to gain fame as Commander Montgomery Scott on 'Star Trek').

In the original Toobworld timeline, the President of the United States in the late 1960's, early 1970's was Henry Talbot McNeill - as seen in episodes of 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'. With the tweak to the timeline, the adjustment brought back Toobworld to be aligned with that of the real world: during that same time period, the Presidents were now Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

In that original timeline, President McNeill had an assistant played by Doohan. He was unnamed in the credits, but we're going to say that his last name was McInernay. Also we will contend that he had served in the Navy before going into government service.
In the new timeline, McInernay didn't go into politics, but instead kept to his seafaring background by becoming the second in command to Captain Shark - as seen in "The Shark Affair", an episode of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' Although McInernay begged his captain to remain behind with him when their plans were foiled by U.N.C.L.E., Captain Shark forced his first mate to abandon ship as it sank.
This way, two one-shot characters played by James Doohan can connect two classic sci-fi TV series, albeit in alternate dimensions.

And how you doohan.....?



Years ago I wrote a Toobworld essay called "Culp Ability", about why so many TV characters looked like Robert Culp, the Hollywood star of "Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice". I'll be tweaking that essay soon to present it here in the Inner Toob blog. But in the meantime, I've taken out one of the candidates for inclusion because I think I have a better background check for him......

Allen Leighton
'The Outer Limits'
"The Architects Of Fear"
Arthur Farnley Selwyn
(Captain Shark)
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'
"The Shark Affair"

It's Toobworld Central's Theory of Relateeveety that Allen and Arthur were twin brothers. The reason for the name change? It could be that their parents separated and each parent raised one of the boys. Eventually Mrs. Leighton remarried and Arthur's step-dad adopted him and gave him his surname.

But the boys stayed in contact and both of them developed a concern for the future of Mankind and the safety of Earth. (This probably grew out of their views about their own family lives.) Unfortunately, both of them took misguided actions in trying to combat the growing threat to the world. Allen Leighton became a scientist who joined with others in a plan to band Humanity together in a common cause by making them believe that the Earth was threatened by a potential alien invasion. Allen volunteered to undergo the painful injections and surgeries necessary to transform him into a believable alien being.

However, his "spaceship" went off course and he was shot by hunters out in the woods. Dying, he staggered back to the secret facility where he was reunited with his wife (who never believed that he was killed in a plane crash as she was told at the beginning of the project.)

Mrs. Leighton was pregnant by this point, so Allen's branch of the family tree lived on. A look through the IMDb list of characters with the last name of "Leighton" could probably turn up at least one person who could have been Allen's offspring...... Meanwhile, Arthur also was convinced that the world would soon destroy itself in a nuclear holocaust, so he turned to piracy as Captain Shark. His intentions were noble - he planned to gather the people and supplies needed to repopulate the Earth after Armegeddon. U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin were able to stop him and rescue his captives, but Captain Shark chose death over capture and went down with his ship.

It is unknown if Arthur Selwyn left behind any children of his own.....



June Havoc passed away on Sunday; she was 97. Part of her life was immortalized in the musical "Gypsy" (Her sister was Gypsy Rose Lee.), which had a Toobworld treatment back in 1993.



Lacey Chavert

She had her own syndicated talk show, 'The June Havoc Show' back in 1964 which was also known as 'More Havoc'. Among the series in which she had regular roles were the soap operas 'General Hospital' and 'Search For Tomorrow'.
She contributed characters to the population of Toobworld in 'The Paper Chase', 'McMillan & Wife', 'Burke's Law', and 'The Outer Limits', as well as in many of the anthology series of the 1950's. She also appeared in two episodes of 'Murder, She Wrote', but the one to check out is "The Grand Old Lady". (This could be a reference either to the luxury liner on which it takes place or to Ms. Havoc's character, 1940's mystery author Lady Abigail Austin who was somewhat pattered after Agatha Christie.

Although the series didn't last long, her greatest contribution to the "Tele-Folks Directory" of Earth Prime-Time was her starring role in 'Willy'. Willa Dodger graduated from law school in the mid-1950's and established a law practice in her hometown of Renfrew, New Hampshire. But when business proved to be too slow, she packed her bags and left for New York, where she got a job as the legal representation for a burlesque vaudeville organization.
It's amazing to think that June Havoc began her theatrical career in 1918 and it lasted into the 21st Century!
Good night and may God bless.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This may only be of interest to those in the Chicago area, but I thought I'd help spread the word. (The Museum of Classic Chicago Television has that Robert Culp clip with the sound problems.)

WGN-TV Won't Let Us Display Their Material In Our Museum
In case you're wondering...

WGN-TV has blocked us from displaying WGN content on our museum website.

WGN says that it has an "exclusive agreement" with the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) to display its material.

We think this is... unfair. It's unfair for a museum, which is a public institution, to effectively have a "monopoly" on display of WGN's vintage content.

Museums should serve the public interest, not just their own. Local TV stations also have a responsibility to serve the public interest.

Instead, we are seeing the freezing out of our museum over the promotion of another one.

All because of WGN-TV's close relationship with the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

We have a lot of WGN material that isn't being preserved anywhere else.

Isn't there room for more than one museum to honor WGN's grand history?

Our WGN material won't be seen by the public until WGN-TV stops giving preferential treatment to a single museum.

In the end, who loses?

You do. not getting to see the vintage WGN bumpers, promos, news segments, Family Classics, Sunday Matinee, and other movie show openings, long-lost Ray Rayner, Bozo clips and more.

If you think WGN's decision not to allow these clips to be seen here is unfair, why not let them know about it?

Send a letter or e-mail to WGN-TV's General Manager, Ms. Marty Wilke.

You can write her here:

Marty Wilke
General Manager,WGN-TV
2501 West Bradley Place
Chicago, IL 60618-4718

You can also call her office and leave a message, or e-mail her directly.

(773) 528-2311

Be polite and respectful...

but help us express the point that our online museum should be given the same right to honor and preserve WGN's history, and to share that history with others.

If enough people speak up, maybe they'll change their mind.

No one should be allowed a monopoly on history.

Thank you for your support.

Rick "Fuzzy" Klein
President / Curator

The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (www.FuzzyMemories.TV) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Illinois.