Saturday, July 31, 2010

WNU-TOOB: BUD & LOU

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:



BUD ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO

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.

"THE TV SHOW"




"THE TV PRIZE"




THE WRATH OF MR. FIELDS




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!

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: PLATO

I'm about to retreat into vacation, which inspired me to choose Plato as the subject of today's "As Seen On TV" showcase. (Plato? Retreat? Get it? Nudge nudge wink wink!)

PLATO

AS SEEN IN:
'You Are There' :
"The Death Of Socrates"

AS PLAYED BY:
John Cassavetes

Plato (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by his apparently unjust execution.

Plato's sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues; thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. Plato's writings have been published in several fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts.

Plato's dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, rhetoric and mathematics.

The first Tetralogy of dialogues by Plato, Socrates' student, has the trial and execution of Socrates as central theme: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo. Also Xenophon wrote the Apology of Socrates to the jury.

The death of Socrates, as presented by Plato, has inspired writers, artists and philosophers in the modern world, in a variety of ways.

(
from Wikipedia)



(seen here with Xenophon)

BCnU!

Friday, July 30, 2010

DATELINE: TOOBWORLD - FAIRLY ODD NEWS

There's no hard and fast rule at Toobworld Central about characters in the Tooniverse having live-action counterparts in Earth Prime-Time. (The main points of contention are the aging factor for those characters and the anthropomorphic animals like Brian Griffin of 'Family Guy'.) It's something that would have to be taken on a case by case basis. At best, the live-action cartoon characters usually end up in Skitlandia.
Word has come out though that Nickelodeon will produce a TV movie in which Timmy Turner and most of the characters of 'The Fairly Odd Parents' will be translated into flesh and blood rather than pen and ink.

The basic plot has Drake Bell (of "Drake and Josh") playing Timmy Turner as a twenty-something who's still in the fifth grade. Timmy refuses to grow up because it would mean the loss of Cosmo and Wanda and all that they could do for him.
"A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!" also stars Jason Alexander as Cosmo and Cheryl Hines as Wanda, and it will be shown next year.

BCnU!

DATELINE: TOOBWORLD - FROM THE AXE FILE

During last week's annual Comic-Con, it was revealed that there will be a 'Burn Notice' prequel starring Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe. It will be an action-adventure story with Sam on a Latin American mission.

'Burn Notice' plays it pretty realistically when it comes to world geography, so I don't expect we can hope for such fictional country names as Chaqueo, Costa Mateo, Santa Coste, San Cordova, San Pascal, or Santales - all of which came from 'Mission: Impossible'.

Nevertheless, Sam Axe will rack up another appearance in Toobworld and will now be ⅔ of the way to membership in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: PERICLES


AS SEEN IN:
"The War That Never Ends"

AS PLAYED BY:
Sir Ben Kingsley

From Wikipedia:
Pericles (also spelled Perikles) (c. 495 – 429 BC, meaning "surrounded by glory") was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. He was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and historically influential Alcmaeonid family.

Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that Thucydides, his contemporary historian, acclaimed him as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", though the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars, or as late as the next century.

Pericles promoted the arts and literature; this was a chief reason Athens holds the reputation of being the educational and cultural centre of the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that built most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including the Parthenon). This project beautified the city, exhibited its glory, and gave work to the people. Furthermore, Pericles fostered Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a populist.


"The War That Never Ends" presented the major figures of the Peloponnesian Wars in contemporary fashion as though it was a news broadcast on the eve of war. And it was presented on the eve of war.....

From Wikipedia:
In 1991, the BBC broadcast a new version of John Barton's 'The War that Never Ends', which had first been performed on stage in the 1960s. This adapts Thucydides' text, together with short sections from Plato's dialogues.

From the IMDb.com:

The Peloponnesian Wars (Athens vs. Sparta for 27 years) told in the format of newsbroadcast-like monologues by Theucydides, Plato, and others

BCnU!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

DOUBLE VISION: POLITICAL HANDLEYS

Back in 1965, twin brothers by the name of Handley had reached their political zeniths in Toobworld. George C. Handley had become the governor of North Carolina ('The Andy Griffith Show'); while his brother became the mayor of Mockingbird Heights, which was a small town outside of Los Angeles ('The Munsters').
When we met them, Mayor Handley was planning on a bombing campaign in the town's sewers in order to get rid of the monsters reported down there. (Actually the monsters were Herman Munster and his pet dinosaur Spot.) Meanwhile, his brother, Governor Handley traveled to Mayberry to speak at a town celebration, during which Deputy Ferguson and Goober Pyle set off an old cannon. Luckily it blew out the tire on a station wagon carrying a couple of thieves.
TOOBNOTE:
Both of the Handley Brothers were played by J. Edward McKinley.

BCnU!

WNU-TOOB: KOLCHAK AND THE ROCKFISH

I've got to send out a big thanks to Win Scott Eckert, heir to the Wold Newton throne - as I read his two "Crossovers" books, I'm finding little nuggets of trivia that are a boon to the research that goes into the Toobworld concept.

Toobworld Central has accepted the theory of "soul-clones", first proposed by Wold Newton scholar Chuck Loridans, to splain why there are so many televersions of Dracula. (With the Wold Newton Universe, all of Mankind's fictional universes are combined into one; Toobworld just deals with television.) When I read William S. Baring-Gould's seminal work on Sherlock Holmes back in the 1970's, I accepted his proposal that Nero Wolfe is the son of "The Great Detective" (even though he better resembles brother Mycroft in appearance and intellect). And there's also the "Famous Individual Syndrome", a term I've adapted to "Famous Impostor Syndrome", which splains why there are so many recastaways of historical figures like Doc Holliday and Abraham Lincoln running about the TV Universe.

As I was reading the book on the subway while on my way to work last night, I hit upon another bit o' trivia that serves as a link between two shows - in an episode of 'The Rockford Files', Jimbo worked with Carrie Osgood, a reporter from the Independent News Service. This is the same news organization which employed Carl Kolchak in Chicago. So that brings in 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' series as well as the preceding two TV movies "The Night Stalker" and "The Night Strangler". There must be some fanfic out there that directly unites Kolchak with the Rockfish, isn't there?

Thanks again, Win!

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: BOUDICCA

BOUDICCA

AS SEEN IN:
"Warrior Queen"

AS PLAYED BY:
Alex Kingston

From Wikipedia:
Boudica (also spelled Boudicca), formerly known as Boadicea and known in Welsh as "Buddug" (d. AD 60 or 61) was a queen of a Celtic tribe who led an uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.


Her husband, Prasutagus, was the king of Iceni, people who inhabited roughly what is now Norfolk. They initially were not part of the territory under direct Roman control, having voluntarily allied themselves to Rome following Claudius' conquest of AD 43. They were jealous of their independence and had revolted in AD 47 when the then-governor Publius Ostorius Scapula threatened to disarm them. Prasutagus lived a long life of conspicuous wealth, and, hoping to preserve his line, made the Roman emperor co-heir to his kingdom along with his wife and two daughters.
However, when he died his will was ignored. The kingdom was annexed as if conquered, Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans.

In AD 60 or 61, while the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey in north Wales, Boudica led the Iceni people, along with the Trinovantes and others, in revolt. They destroyed Camulodunum (modern Colchester), formerly the capital of the Trinovantes, but now a colonia (a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers) and the site of a temple to the former emperor Claudius, which was built and maintained at local expense. They also routed a Roman legion, the IX Hispana, sent to relieve the settlement. On hearing the news of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (London), the twenty-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels' next target. Concluding he did not have the numbers to defend it, Suetonius evacuated and abandoned it. It was burnt to the ground, as was Verulamium (St Albans). An estimated 70,000–80,000 people were killed in the three cities (though the figures are suspect). Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The crisis caused the emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from the island, but Suetonius' eventual victory over Boudica secured Roman control of the province. Boudicca then killed herself so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died; Tacitus and Dio differ.*

Tacitus and Dio agree that Boudica was of royal descent. Dio says that she was "possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women", that she was tall, had long blonde hair down to her hips, a harsh voice and a piercing glare, and habitually wore a large golden necklace (perhaps a torc), a many-coloured tunic, and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch.

*
According to Tacitus, Boudica poisoned herself; Dio says she fell sick and died, and was given a lavish burial.

TOOBNOTE: Although we're featuring Alex Kingston's portrayal today, it will be Sian Phillips' interpretation that will be the official Toobworld version of Boudica. After all, she gave a more detailed performance, thanks to the luxury of a six episode series in which to fully bring the warrior queen to life.

It's just that Alex Kingston's televersion provided more pictures and I just happen to lover her as River Song in 'Doctor Who'......

BCnU!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GUESS WHO?

Just a quickie before I go....

Name this person.

And if you can, name the show for which this publicity shot was taken.....

BCnU!

MUCK SENATE

This hasn't been a very good year for the New York State Senate, in Toobworld as well as the real world. Senator Victor Caldera was arrested for his role in the death of his daughter-in-law's lover as well as in the attempted murder of his own son. And Senator Gary Jennings was brought down by the FBI for a slew of crimes as well.
SHOWS CITED:
'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
'White Collar'

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: ST. SEBASTIAN

ST. SEBASTIAN


AS SEEN IN:
"Le martyre de Saint S├ębastien"

AS PLAYED BY:
Michael Biehn

From Wikipedia:
Saint Sebastian (died c. 288) was a Christian saint and martyr, who is said to have been killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post and shot with arrows.

The details of Saint Sebastian's martyrdom were first elaborated by Ambrose of Milan, in his sermon (number XX) on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was already venerated there in the fourth century.

BCnU!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

WNKW IS ON THE AIR... AGAIN

"Super-Station" WNKW made another appearance in Toobworld this week, and on a key series to help bring in the other TV shows in which it appeared - 'White Collar'.

As we wrote about the TV station in the past, WNKW has been seen before in such shows as 'Fringe', 'Invasion', 'Pushing Daisies', and as a major location in 'Jack & Jill'. It also crossed over into the alternate TV dimension that houses 'Spin City'. As a "super-station", WNKW shows up on different TV channels and reporting from different locations (from Florida in 'Invasion' and Boston in 'Fringe'). But it's based in New York City and it was brought home to the Big Apple with its report on the investigations into NY State Senator Gary Jennings. What helps all those other shows is that 'White Collar' has also used another Toobworld staple in the past - the NY Ledger newspaper. It's deeply entrenched into the 'Law & Order' franchise and was even the central location for an ancillary series, 'Deadline'.

In fact, the paper made a return appearance in this week's episode along with WNKW: Because 'Law & Order' is a major element of the Great Link at the heart of the Toobworld concept, then the use of WNKW not only solidifies the presence of 'White Collar' but brings in all of those other shows as well.

BCnU!

SWORD FOLLOWER

Almost as much fun as seeing the televersions of historical figures in Toobworld is seeing their personal property show up in a storyline. The Hollywood memorabilia like W.C. Fields' pool cue in the 'Columbo' mystery "How To Dial A Murder"; Ben Franklin's spectacles in "Hope", an episode of the short-lived "Three"; and from the 'Bewitched' episode "Paul Revere Rides Again", there was a teapot made by you know who. And now we have a whole series dedicated to such personal yet historical mementos (but with a twist) in 'Warehouse 13'.

At least with the objects, there's less likelihood that Zonks will occur.....


On a recent episode of 'Burn Notice' ("Entry Point"), the sword of Alexander The Great was recreated by a knock-off artist so that it could be switched for the real thing, which was recently purchased by a millionaire named Bocklage.

Here's the "original" sword of Alexander the Great, who happens to be in the spotlight today for the "As Seen On TV" showcase..... BCnU!

"MY BOYS" GO NATIONWIDE

One of my favorite of the current roster of sitcoms, 'My Boys', returned last night with two new episodes. The major sponsor for both of them was Nationwide Insurance, and two of the characters - PJ Franklin and Bobby Newman - are seen in a blipvert that takes place at an auto show, where Bobby bemoans his inability to change a tire.

Apparently, I'm supposed to know who the famous NASCAR driver is who drives the Nationwide-sponsored race car, but I lack the gene that sparks any interest in NASCAR. At any rate, that driver gets into the conversation, saying that he's never changed a tire in his life - thanks to his pit crew.

I haven't been able to track down that new commercial yet, but there's one from last year, still with PJ and Bobby, that can be seen at the show's web site. (I tried to embed it but the code doesn't work..... So go here.)

PJ and Bobby are definitely on their way towards the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. But an appearance in some other sitcom would be better....

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Since the sword of Alexander the Great was a prize of contention on 'Burn Notice' two weeks ago, I thought he might make for a good topic in the "As Seen On TV" showcase, Two For Tuesday style....

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

AS SEEN IN:
'Alexander The Great'

AS PLAYED BY:
William Shatner

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

AS SEEN IN:
'The Search For Alexander The Great'

AS PLAYED BY:
Nicholas Clay

Just so's you know.... My bootleg copy of the unaired pilot starring Shatner is incredibly washed-out after many generations of re-duping.....

BCnU!

Monday, July 26, 2010

TELE-QUICKIE: HIT ON THE HEAD LESSONS

My friend Alexis is studying to be a doctor, and I guess she had to work the ER today. Here's what she posted on Facebook:

best admitting diagnosis of the day: "struck in head with television"

BCnU!

LITTLE RED RIDING RUNDGREN

Just a little tidbit to close out the day.....



From Wikipedia:
In the '30 Rock' episode "The C Word", the character Frank says that this is his favorite Todd Rundgren album. Show runner Liz Lemon tries to tell Frank that someone's insulted her with a word that "rhymes with your favorite Todd Rundgren album," expecting him to say "Runt". Frank responds: "It rhymes with "The Hermit of Mink Hollow"?"

BCnU!

PS:

My Iddiot friend Uncle Brian rightly points out that I should mention this is a cover version of the Todd Rundgren song "Onomotopeia". The original is far richer......

THE RAYMOND ST. JAMES FILM FESTIVAL

This week's episode was a boon for the expansion of the TV Universe as far as its trivial content goes. Not only did it provide Toobworld with its official portrayal of Philo Farnsworth, "The Father of Television", but it gave us a number of movies starring a fictional actor named Raymond St. James.

Although played by an American actor (albeit trained in London), St. James had a slight Irish accent with some of the characters he played in these fictional films. Therefore, we could make the assumption that he was, in fact, Irish.

Here are the movies he appeared in back in the 1950's on the Toobworld timeline:

"Sword Of The Gladiator" (pictured above; not one of his best, according to Pete)

"Showdown At Laramie" "Operation: Dragon-Wolf"

"Dark Memento" "Dr. Doomsday"

"I Return To Kill"

There films were shown uncut on Classic Movies Unlimited, which adds another TV network to the Toobworld channel lineup. (I think Agent Latimer claimed CMU was commercial-free, but that was proven wrong when we saw it in operation. It was more like a case of AMC reneging on its commercial-free status.)
BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: PHILO FARNSWORTH

PHILO FARNSWORTH

AS SEEN IN:
'Warehouse 13'

AS PLAYED BY:
Bruce Horak

The man credited as the "Father of Television" and the inventor of the Farnsworth communication devices was at the Wichita Army Proving Site in 1944. There he was testing the Transmutational Delivery Device, which should have transmitted 3-D holographic images at the enemy to convince them that large of columns of tanks were on the way. Instead, there was a huge explosion which shut down the testing on that experiment.

BCnU!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

WNU-TOOB: NERO WOLFE, TWO DIMENSIONAL

One of the members of the core Wold Newton family is Rex Stout's consulting detective, Nero Wolfe. A large man with an amazing intellect who never likes to leave his brownstone, Wolfe may resemble Mycroft Holmes, but he's actually the illegitimate son of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. This was first put forth by William S. Baring-Gould and many Wold Newton scholars as well as some who study "Sherlockiana" have accepted this.

Toobworld Central does as well for the televersion of Nero Wolfe, as there doesn't seem to be any TV productions to negate the idea. ("Sherlock Holmes In New York" takes place in an alternate TV dimension.)

Here are a few YouTube videos dedicated to the Nero Wolfe of Earth Prime-Time, played by Maury Chaykin.

MURDER IS CORNY


THE NEXT WITNESS


THE BABY IN THE VESTIBULE


NO SANDWICHES FOR THE POLICE


THE STALIN STORY


THE COOKIE ACCUSATION


"ARE YOU A DONKEY?"


A NERO WOLFE ENDING


AN ARCHIE GOODWIN MUSIC VIDEO


Maury Chaykin's interpretation of the character is considered the official Nero Wolfe of Toobworld, even though William Conrad's version aired first. That's because the ambience of the novels by Rex Stout is better represented by the characters, the time period, the locations.

William Conrad's televersion is one of those rare examples when the "original" ends up in the remake universe, like Art Carney in "The Strange World Of Horace Ford".

NERO WOLFE INTRO WITH WILLIAM CONRAD


To learn more about Nero Wolfe and his parentage, visit the Win Scott Eckert's Wold Newton Universe site. You'll find the link to the left.

And check out his books "Crossovers", volumes one and two for more information... information... information.....

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: ANOTHER HAT SQUAD TRIBUTE

Probably most of the Inner Toob visitors are unfamiliar with the name Bekim Fehmiu. But if you watched "Spaghetti Westerns"*, you saw his work as an actor....

Bekim Fehmiu, who has died aged 74, was the first Eastern European actor to star in Hollywood during the Cold War, appearing in over 40 films alongside cinematic legends such as Dirk Bogarde, Ava Gardner, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Shaw and Olivia de Havilland.

He also starred on his own side of the Iron Curtain, where he was later respected as one of the few public figures to resist the nationalism that preceded the ethnic wars of the 1990s in the Balkans. As such his death prompted a common outpouring of grief and nostalgia among the peoples of former Yugoslavia, who were united in mourning one of the last icons of their formerly mutual homeland.

He left a note apologizing to his family after shooting himself in the head in his Belgrade apartment on June 15. Formerly in athletic good health, he had suffered a stroke earlier this year that had left him almost paralyzed.

(from the Telegraph in London)

In his memory, and as it is a Sunday, today's "As Seen On TV" spotlight also serves as a "Hat Squad" tribute.....

JOSEPH

AS SEEN IN:
'Un Bambino Di Nome Gesu'

AS PLAYED BY:
Bekim Fehmiu

BCnU!


* I figure Sean Lee knows who he is.....