Saturday, November 6, 2010


Nowadays, the commercials are built right in to the program, with all of the product placements. But once upon a time, when shows were completely sponsored by one company, the TV characters appeared in those blipverts to extol their sponsor's goods.

I find them charming since they help expand the TV Universe.

Here are a couple that came up during my surfing of YouTube for this year's celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of 'The Andy Griffith Show'.....

First up.... How about a little Sanka to help you wake up this morning?

And what would a Saturday morning be like without some cereal to go with your television?



We're heading into the homestretch for 'Boardwalk Empire' with this Sunday's episode on HBO at 9 pm. So here are a few preview clips for this potential winner of a couple of Toobits Awards.

First up a general preview of the eighth episode:

The next one finds Nucky in Chicago for the Republican convention which will ultimately put Warren G. Harding in office.....

And finally, the claws are unsheathed when Lucy and Margaret have a public confontation:

I get this feeling that Lucy will come to a bad end, like Adrianna on 'The Sopranos', before the season is out. Just sayin', is all.....

'Boardwalk Empire' - Sunday nights at 9 pm EST, on HBO.....



Sunday night at 10 pm EST (You should have changed your clocks back, folks!), there's a new episode of 'Bored To Death'. Here are a few clips:

First up, an overall preview.....

George and Ray discuss the type of women that Ray has been snaring:

And finally, Jonathan gets in a little after-class tutoring.....



Here's Drew Barrymore on the talk show circuit, separated only by a decade or so.....

It's like watching two different people!




'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson'


Friday, November 5, 2010


Don't they do quality checks at the companies that put out TV programs on DVD? I don't mean the quality of the sound and picture, but the information supplied on those DVDs.

I just finished watching an episode of 'Foyle's War' on DVD - "Bleak Midwinter". And after it was over, I wanted to learn more about the actress who played Hilda Greenwood in the episode. Having never seen 'Fresh Fields' or any of her other credits, I had no idea who Ann Beach is.

And if I depended on the cast biographies section for the DVD, I still wouldn't.

First off, there is no listing for her among the options, only for Liz Fraser.

But the picture they used for Ms. Fraser is that of Ann Beach: I cross-checked, not just depending on the IMDb, but also a very good website for 'Foyle's War'. Both sources definitely state that Ann Beach played Hilda whereas Ms. Fraser was Mollie Summersgill.

However I don't find any other current pictures of Ann Beach, but I'd hazard a guess that this picture from her rep's site is definitely the same woman.....

This isn't the first time the problem has surfaced. I wish I made note of the last example.

For shame, Acorn Media. For shame.....




Back in September, Inner Toob marked the passing of Edwin Newman. At the time, I wrote:

Putting aside all of the air time he had as a newsman, and even his appearances on talk shows and game shows, Mr. Newman tallied up an impressive number of appearances as himself in several TV movies and sitcoms:

"Elvis Meets Nixon"


'Murphy Brown'


'The Golden Girls'

'Mr. Belvedere'


'Not Necessarily The News'

These programs would serve for him, as well as representing his televersion in Skitlandia:

"Lily For President?"

"Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth 3"

"Mr. Miller Goes To Washington"

'Saturday Night Live'

I think it likely we'll see Edwin Newman joining the ranks of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame next year.

Since then, I decided that I shouldn't put such things off. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? And if I'm not here to run things, that will be the end of the Toobworld concept. (Philip Jose Farmer had Win Scott Eckert to pick up the torch for the Wold Newton Universe......)

So with all of those credits to his credit (Sorry about that, Chief), we're inducting Edwin Newman into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for November - the month traditionally reserved for newsmakers and newscasters.




George "Sparky" Anderson, baseball's first manager to lead teams from both the National and American leagues to World Series titles, died Thursday. He was 76.

Anderson died at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., of complications from dementia, family spokesman Dan Ewald said in a statement. Anderson's family announced Wednesday that he was under hospice care.

Anderson's Cincinnati Reds won championships in 1975 and '76 as one of the dominant teams of its era. Nearly a decade later, his Detroit Tigers won the 1984 World Series. He was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 2000.
- Keith Thursby

Los Angeles Times

Besides the many times he appeared on television in connection to his baseball career, Sparky also made three appearances as his own televersion in the League of Themselves:

'WKRP In Cincinnatti' (A natural fit)

'The White Shadow'


As such, he's qualified for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And I figured, why wait? So along with the previously scheduled inductee, Sparky Anderson is now a member.

Good night, and may God bless.




'Dick Turpin'

Richard O'Sullivan

From Wikipedia:
Richard (Dick) Turpin (bap. 1705 – 7 April 1739) was an English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft. Turpin may have followed his father's profession as a butcher early in life, but by the early 1730s he had joined a gang of deer thieves, and later became a poacher, burglar, horse thief, and murderer. He is best known for his fictional 200-mile overnight ride from London to York on his steed Black Bess, a story that was made famous by the Victorian novelist William Harrison Ainsworth almost 100 years after Turpin's death.

Turpin's involvement in the crime for which he is most closely associated—highway robbery—followed the arrest of the other members of his gang in 1735. He then disappeared from public view towards the end of that year, only to resurface in 1737 with two new accomplices, one of whom he may have accidentally shot and killed. Turpin fled from the scene and shortly afterwards killed a man who attempted his capture, before later that year moving to Yorkshire and assuming the alias of John Palmer.

While he was staying at an inn, local magistrates became suspicious of "Palmer", and made enquiries as to how he funded his lifestyle. Suspected of being a horse thief, "Palmer" was imprisoned in York Castle, to be tried at the next assizes. Turpin's true identity was revealed by a letter he wrote to his brother-in-law from his prison cell, which fell into the hands of the authorities. On 22 March 1739 Turpin was found guilty on two charges of horse theft and sentenced to death; he was executed on 7 April 1739.

Turpin became the subject of legend after his execution, romanticised as dashing and heroic in English ballads and popular theatre of the 18th and 19th centuries, and in film and television of the 20th century.

'Dick Turpin' is a British television drama series starring Richard O'Sullivan and Michael Deeks. It was created by Richard Carpenter, Paul Knight and Sydney Cole and written by Richard Carpenter, John Kane, Charles Crichton and Paul Wheeler, it was made by Gatetarn, Seacastle productions in-association with London Weekend Television between 1978 and 1980. 26 half hour episodes and one feature length episode were filmed on location at Maidenhead in Berkshire, England.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


'The Walking Dead' takes place in a TV dimension in which the world is decimated by zombies. And even though 'Dead Set' from Great Britain came first by two years, both shows are concurrent. (All of that was covered in the first post today for "Zombie Thursday".)

In fact, this deviation from Earth Prime-Time begins with these two shows. Up until the zombie apocalypse begins, this version of Toobworld was probably just like the main Toobworld - with Obama as President (that could change as 'The Walking Dead' continues), with small towns like Fernwood, Cicely, and Hooterville, and with a slightly deranged woman "vlogging" about Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. (Sorry, Thom!)

So why was there a zombie outbreak in Earth Prime-Time/undead and not in Earth Prime-Time? As we saw in the 'Community' episode "Epidemiology" (discussed earlier today as well), the pozz'bility was there for it to happen.

But as I pointed out, the quick fix to the zombie outbreak - by lowering the room temperature - wasn't enough. There had to be a more permanent solution found in the main Toobworld that wasn't available in the zombie Toobworld.

I think it could have been the Doctor.

It's likely that there were other outbreaks of the "zombie virus" in the area surrounding Greendale Community College in Colorado - that's why it took the military six hours to finally show up. And I think in that time, the Gallifreyan Time Lord of 'Doctor Who' was able to come up with a permanent solution to the problem.

So what was it? That's not for me to guess. I'm throwing it out there to the fanficcers; let them explore the pozz'bilities. And it's the type of situation in which you could summon any one of the eleven incarnations of the Doctor - maybe one or more working together! - as well as any characters from other TV shows - past, present or even future! -, to either help out, be a hindrance, or wind up as a victim. Mulder and Scully of 'The X-Files'? Dr. Walter Bishop of 'Fringe'? Maybe Dr. Loveless from 'The Wild, Wild West'? Or a few members of the Carrington family as seen in 'Dynasty' appearing as zombies?

And what happened to the Doctor over there in that dimension? Why didn't Earth Prime-Time/zombie have a doppelganger for the Time Lord?

Maybe over there he actually died instead of regenerating after his eighth incarnation.......

Anything is pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, in Toobworld!

If you enjoy writing that sort of thing, why not take a whack at it? Then give me the chance to read it....



I'm probably one of the few people who didn't really like the Halloween episode of 'Community' last week. I found a lot of "Epidemiology" funny, but I didn't find it very believable and that put me off from fully enjoying it. One of my friends pointed out that it was a lot like the episodes about the paintball war and the space simulator. And I admit that it was, in that they all employed heavy doses of this thing called "meta humor" in their respective parodies of movies and other TV shows. But at least "Modern Warfare" and "Basic Rocket Science" had a foundation in reality, even if it was a bit absurd. With "Epidemiology", I didn't accept the splainin that toxic taco meat could turn people into zombies, which could be then be cured by lowering the room temperature. It felt more like it belonged in an episode of 'Fringe'.

In a way, that bothered me. After all, I'm the guy who says most TV shows should exist within each other's premise - that 'Sesame Street' and 'NYPD Blue' should be able to do crossover episodes, for example. On paper, I can probably sell that concept. (At least I try.) When it's actually played out, sometimes it just doesn't appear feasible.
I think it could have worked, though. It just needed more work on the script for those bookends to the zombie problem. How people turned into zombies, and how to cure the problem, both needed more thought put into them to make possible the "willing suspension of disbelief".

For instance.....

Why was this toxic taco meat, which apparently had been purposely manufactured by the military*, available to the general public at a military surplus store? (At least that detail helped - it could have been just a regular COSTCO-type of store, like the Work Bench as seen in 'Reaper' or the Mega-Mart in 'Monk')?
If they instead wrote it up as a mistake in shipping - that it was meant for a local military installation to be used in testing for its possible warfare applications - then I could have accepted how the situation began, and why the military was quick to jump in to contain the problem. (Or as quickly as possible.... Really? Six hours to reach Greendale Community College? The only reason I could see for taking so long would be that there were other outbreaks in the area to be contained and their personnel resources were spread thin.)
Better yet, it could have been revealed that it had all been deliberate. That it had been a covert operation to study the effects of "Classified: Phoenix" in an enclosed environment that served as a good substitute for the general populace - like a small community college.
And as for the cure that the study group came up with? Basically, every one of the regulars is stupid in their own way (not that it detracts from the enjoyment of their situations as it might in some other show). So it would have been unlikely for them to come up with anything more grandiose and complicated; it's not like any of them could have competed with Dr. Walter Bishop. But making the room temperature colder just didn't seem believable as a "cure" for the zombie effect. It would have been better to make it a means to retard the advancement of the disease, until the scientists brought in by the military could employ the antidote that they came up with back at the lab.
And how was dosing the victims to make them forget going to help with the scars left by the bite marks? I was once bitten by a rabid lesbian at my old job and I'm still carrying the scar from that on my leg - but that's probably more from the burning of the tissue by the ER doctor at Bellevue. (Like the cop who brought me there, the doctor kept saying "I'd rather have been bitten by a dog." And as I told them, she wasn't that good looking, so in a way I was.)

But, all of that is just Toobworld Wish-Craft. The episode has aired and must be accepted into the mosaic that is the TV Universe. There have been plenty of other episodes from other shows which have made far less sense and which are accepted as having happened. And I'm glad that it did because it can play into the last piece I have in mind for this Zombie Thursday here at Inner Toob......
'Better Off Ted'

*It could be that the military wasn't involved - at first - but only called in to handle the situation once the outbreaks began. (This couldn't have been the first case.) And Homeland Security was monitoring all phone calls in the area, if not the entire country, for any mention of the code number for the product once the outbreaks began.

If anything, I think the toxic taco meat (I just like saying that in my head!) was developed by Veridian Dynamic.......


Since the general theme for today is zombies, I figured the "As Seen On TV" showcase should be the same.....

'The Simpsons'
("Treehouse Of Horror III")

Dan Castellenata (probably)

The only word Zombie Einstein says is "Oy!" when Homer shoots him.

Had this happened in real life (as if zombies do exist in real life), Einstein couldn't have risen from the dead (let alone be in Springfield). That's because his brain was removed from his body (thankfully after he died) so there was nothing to reanimate the body.


This is why there will never be a 'Star Trek' episode about zombies on the planet Vulcan. Nobody expects logic in a zombie movie.
Einstein kind of looks like the grandfather in 'Rugrats' here.......



As soon as the show was announced, it was O'Bvious that AMC's 'The Walking Dead' would have to go to its own TV dimension. It couldn't even be allowed in any of the previously established alternate dimensions like the ones for '24', 'The West Wing', and 'Commander-In-Chief' - not unless you wanted to kill off most of their characters.

Or turn them into zombies.

Save for a handful of survivors, that's what has happened in the world of 'The Walking Dead'. But now, at least 'The Walking Dead' has another show which can share its zombie TV dimension of Earth Prime-Time/zombie.

'Dead Set' was a five-part mini-series that told the story of the zombie apocalypse which occurred while Sheriff Lincoln was unconscious at the hospital - but on the other side of the Atlantic. It first aired in Great Britain back in 2008 and finally was broadcast here as a strip, each weeknight leading up to Halloween.

'Dead Set' showed what happened when the zombies over-ran the 'Big Brother' studio on Eviction Night, with the resident contestants unaware of the situation. (As is usual with any of the Toobworld dimensions, a "reality" show like 'Big Brother' (in this case, the UK version) is considered a TV show there as well.)

Best part of all, we got to see the elegant Davina McCall, host of the show, get bitten and turn into a zombie. It was a nice illustration of the fact that nobody would be safe in a zombie attack. ("Zombieland" showed that as well with their celebrity zombie cameo.....)
In this dimension, Charlie Sheen's naked, drunken rampage in the Plaza Hotel could have been played out in this dimension as the transformation of the actor's televersion into a zombie.

Past contestants of the British 'Big Brother' were on hand in the guest lounge, playing themselves, since it was Eviction Night. So most of them have zombie televersions as well (unless they just ended up as snacks for the undead.) I didn't recognize any of them, but I wouldn't know any of the contestants from the American 'Big Brother' shows either.

'The Walking Dead' premiered on AMC on Halloween this year. But 'Dead Set' first aired in 2008. Normally this date would take precedence on the Toobworld timeline, but we have a way to "re-jigger" it so that both shows took place at the same time.

Since both shows take place in an alternate TV dimension, we don't have to adhere to any particular timeline. So 'The Walking Dead' could be happening "now", while 'Dead Set' - like some sci-fi shows - was set in its future.

Zombies don't constitute a large genre in TV, so its not likely there will be many more shows joining 'The Walking Dead' and 'Dead Set' in Earth Prime-Time/zombie. I was toying with the idea that I could toss over the apocalyptic sitcom 'Whoops' and "Time Enough At Last" from 'The Twilight Zone' (since radiation is sometimes given as the root cause of zombie-ism). But I decided to leave them in a TV dimension ravaged by limited nuclear armageddon (throwing in "The Day After" with them.) That's a TV dimension that has a "better" chance of gaining new shows.

One last point - we can't poach "The Living Dead" movies of George Romero from the "Cineverse" to fill out this world. AT one point in 'Dead Set', one of the 'Big Brother' housemates shuffles along the floor and say's "They're coming to get you, Barbara!"

This was a classic line from the first movie, "The Night Of The Living Dead", which means this was a movie reference for them as well.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I no longer do those large-scale "Hat Squad" tributes for everyone who's made their mark in Toobworld - I simply just don't have the time in what passes for a life. But I did want to mark the passing of L.A.-based theater director Robert Ellenstein. (He once mounted a production of "Hamlet" that used only six actors.) Among his films, he appeared in "North By Northwest" and in the fourth 'Star Trek' movie.
In the old days, I would have taken apart his IMDb resume and reassembled it into various categories. But instead, I'll just supply the link to his lengthy list of credits and you can see for yourself how many citizens of Toobworld he's supplied over the years. It's pretty impressive!

But, due to its fan base, I think the roles he might be best remembered for in the future would be those with the 'Star Trek' connections. He appeared in a first season episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' ("Haven", with future 'Prison Break' star Rob Knepper as his son) in which his character was more than happy to follow Betazed tradition and be naked at his son's wedding - since Lwaxana Troi would be in attendance as well.
Any number of his roles from earlier in the Toobworld timeline could be members of Stephen Miller's family tree....
But it would be his appearance as the Federation President in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" that will probably remain his most viewed performance for decades to come. At least, that's my opinion; I could be wrong, as Dennis Miller used to say.
His President, never named in the movie (although outside Toobworld sources give it as either Hyman Roth or Alistair Fergus), may have been in the last phase of his term in office. In 2286, he presided over the court-martial trials of Admiral Kirk and his companions for causing an intergalactic incident with the Klingon Empire after they hijacked the starship Enterprise.
He would be replaced in the sixth movie, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country by the Efrosian Ra-ghoratreii at some point before the year 2293.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Ellenstein.



Serendipiteevee: A D-con blipvert aired just as I discovered I really did have a need for the product.....
The biggest oversight in the history of 'Saturday Night Live' was that Dick Van Dyke never hosted the show......
I've seen the first two episodes of 'Sherlock' and it's brilliant! Sadly, I don't see any way it can be incorporated into Earth Prime-Time. However, I may have a really off-the-wall splainin as to where it fits into the TV Multiverse, which would at least give it some company with four other TV series - 'Lost', 'Life On Mars' (the UK version), 'Ashes To Ashes', and 'Madigan'.
"Celebrity Probation" is a new TV show within Toobworld, courtesy of some cell phone commercial. I don't use cell phones, so the blipvert was a big fail for me. I like the idea of 'Celebrity Probation', though.....
Woke up with the phrase "Opie Dei" in my head. I googled it and found plenty of references so I'm not original with that. But that's okay, I can still use it for a one-liner near the end of my Toobworld novel. (I really ought to actively pursue getting it published before I over-write it to death.....)
I watched "Tommy" on Ovation. Must be thirty years at least since I've seen it last. At one time I thought it was the greatest visual explosion ever. Now? A sad mess of beans and soap and chocolate. But Ann-Margeret still looks good writhing about in that mess.

I wonder if the creators of 'Brothers & Sisters' were thinking of the rock opera when they named "Nora Walker" & "Tommy Walker"?


I think since 'Roseanne' would annually make such a big deal out of the night, Halloween has provided plenty of clever costumes and even plotlines in Toobworld.

But those costumes also turn out to be major sources of Zonks.

This year, we dealt with 'Raising Hope' already and its use of Batman and Robin costumes.

Luckily most of the shows I saw either dealt with costumes based on classic archetypes (Frankenstein's monster, witches, and angels), movies and musicals - or both ("Phantom Of The Opera", "Aliens", and "Rocky Horror Picture Show") or real people (Burt Reynolds, Marilyn Monroe, Justin Bieber, a couple of Gagas, and Peggy Fleming you racist!)

But there was one costume Zonk that was based on a TV show which should have been sharing the same TV dimension as the show that featured the costume: at 'The Office' Halloween party for Dunder-Mifflin in Scranton, Pa, Meredith Palmer was dressed as Sookie Stackhouse, the elfin waitress from 'True Blood', while the costume for Andy Bernard was meant to suggest Sookie's vampire lover, Bill Compton.

There were a couple of other ones for their "Costume Contest" which could have been considered, but "Blackula" (as Michael thought Daryl was) is a movie, "MacGruber" is both from Skitlandia and the movie universe, and Popeye and Olive Oyl are from the Tooniverse, the movie universe, and the comic strip universe - true multiversals.

But it's "Bill and Sookie" that needs the splainin.... I can only figure that with all that has happened over the last three years in Bon Temps, Louisiana, the notoriety of Bill and Sookie must have made the newspapers or some reality show on cable outlet, some kind of true crime investigation.

And that's how both Andy and Meredith learned about the people who inspired their costume choices.

What I want to know is - why was Meredith dressed as Sookie and not Erin? Were we supposed to read something into that?

And before you ask - having Pierce Hawthorne of 'Community' dressed as Captain Kirk of 'Star Trek' was not a Zonk. There's a rational splainin (rational enough for Toobworld anyway) as to why a character from 400 years in Toobworld's future would be known as a TV character today.


How many freakin’ vampires am I supposed to care about?”
'The Office'


It's Wednesday!

And that means 'Modern Family' is on TV tonight!

For Halloween, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa dressed up as Jay and Gloria of 'Modern Family'.....

in character as

'Live! With Regis and Kelly'

Regis Philbin as Ed O'Neill
Kelly Ripa as Sofia Vergara


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Reality shows fly under my radar; I don't even consider them for Toobworld unless they somehow work themselves into another show's plotline. (Like 'Big Brother' [USA] on 'Yes, Dear'. 'Big Brother' [UK] would work because of 'Dead Set', but that goes into the Zombie TV dimension.)

So when DCI Ian Reed said he was going home to watch 'America's Next Top Model' during the second episode of 'Luther', I remembered that 'The Big Bang Theory' had a plotline in which Howard and Raj tracked down the house where the show's models lived.

It made me wonder how many other shows acknowledge 'America's Next Top Model' as being a TV show in Toobworld. And I was surprised by how many.....

"Six Feet Under: The Dare (#4.7)" (2004)

- Edie says she's been watching too much America's Next Top Model.

"Gilmore Girls: Super Cool Party People (#6.20)" (2006)

- Sookie tells Lorelai, that she wanted to film an audition video for the show.

"Veronica Mars: Welcome Wagon (#3.1)" (2006)
- Parker and Mac are gonna watch "top model"

"Heroes: Chapter Twelve 'Godsend' (#1.12)" (2007/II)

- Zach asks Claire if she's auditioning for America's Next Top Model when she asks him to videotape her by the bridge.

"Shark: Starlet Fever (#1.14)" (2007)
- Julie gets asked to try out for America's Next Top Model.

"Family Guy: No Meals on Wheels (#5.14)" (2007)

- The Griffins watch it on TV

"The King of Queens: China Syndrome, Parts 1 and 2 (#9.12)" (2007)
- Deacon and Danny discuss this show

"Psych: And Down the Stretch Comes Murder (#2.5)" (2007)

- "You forget to Tivo 'America's Net Top Model?'"

"Californication: Pilot (#1.1)" (2007)
- mentioned by Hank

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest (#4.3)" (2008)

- Mentioned by the gang throughout the episode

"The Big Bang Theory: The Panty PiƱata Polarization (#2.7)" (2008)
- Penny turns Leonard, Raj and Howard on to it, causing Howard to try to find the house the models stay in

"Smallville: Turbulence (#8.16)" (2009)

- Mentioned by Chloe

"True Blood: Scratches (#2.3)" (2009)
- Arlene tells Sam that Lisa gave Coby a nose piercing after watching America's Next Top Model.

"Nurse Jackie: Health Care and Cinema (#1.12)" (2009)

- mentioned in dialogue

"Gilmore Girls: Go, Bulldogs! (#7.6)" (2006)
- When Luke comes back from date with Susan, April and Lane are watching ANTM on tv.

Of course, 'Family Guy' belongs in the Tooniverse, so there has to be animated versions of Tyra Banks, Nigel Barker, and all the contestants. 'Smallville' takes place in the 'West Wing' TV dimension; and since the "Godsend" episode of 'Heroes' takes place after the show created its own TV dimension timeline with the "Collision" episode, it also has its own version of the modeling show.

I didn't realize there were that many shows, and I saw most of them. I guess with ANTM being a reality competition show, my mind just blocked it out......



From AOL News:

By Deborah Huso
With cold and flu season upon us again, many of us are wondering just how dangerous this year's viruses are following the swine flu scare of last winter. Yesterday, the Daily Mail Reporter claimed an 18-year-old woman in Kent had died at the King's College Hospital in London following a cold virus infection she had had for only two days.

Danielle Booker reportedly complained of normal cold symptoms accompanied by a headache, and within a day had lost feeling in her hands and legs before falling into unconsciousness. Her virus had apparently spread to her brain, and neurosurgeons were unable to save her.

Could it happen to you?

Unlikely, experts say. Dr. Matt Likavec, a neurosurgeon with the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, told AOL Health that he's never seen a cold or flu virus spread to the brain and that when it happens, it's likely because the patient already had other auto-immune complications.

From "The Big Bang Theory":

Oh, I take pacts very seriously. One time at my lab, a petri dish of genetically modified super-virus went missing. That day we made a pinky swear never to admit we crossed Ebola with the common cold.


Why the hell would you cross Ebola with the common cold?


We never did. That would be a terrible, terrible thing......

Just sayin', is all.....



"Unusual weather we're having, isn't it?"
The Lion
'The Wizard Of Oz'


Today is Election Day. I hope you've done your part and gone out to vote. Of course, I have my own preferences as to how you vote, but the important thing is that you go out and exercise that right to vote.

Otherwise, as the popular argument would have it, the terrorists win.

One of the gubernatorial candidates here in New York State is Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. He made quite an impression at the debate and I wouldn't be surprised if he inspired a few Halloween costumes on Sunday night.....


'Saturday Night Live'

Kenan Thompson

From Wikipedia:
James McMillan (born 1946), also known as Jimmy Mack, The Black Hulk Hogan, Papa Smurf, Santa Claus on Venus and Rambo, is a martial arts instructor, former postal worker, Vietnam War veteran, perennial candidate, and political activist from Brooklyn, New York. He is best known as the founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, a New York-based political party. McMillan has run for office at least six times since 1993 and is currently running in the New York gubernatorial election, 2010 on the "Rent Is 2 Damn High" line.

During an appearance at a 2010 gubernatorial debate in which McMillan figured prominently, he stated his views on gay marriage, by saying "The Rent Is Too Damn High Party believes that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you." When asked about his stance on the environment, he stated he will bulldoze all the mountains in upstate New York. After the debate, McMillan garnered significant attention from the media.

McMillan was portrayed by Kenan Thompson on Saturday Night Live. McMillan praised the portrayal, saying that "that put me over the top... this election is over. Jimmy gonna win it."


[Because of today's significance, there is no Two for Tuesday theme. This actually means I couldn't find anybody who played Carl Palladino or Andrew Cuomo on TV; both men are also running for NY governor today. And I already showcased David Paterson and Christine O'Donnell this year as well....]

Monday, November 1, 2010


On Saturday, the "Rally To Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)" was held on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Comedy Central, its figureheads were Jon Stewart of 'The Daily Show' and Stephen Colbert of 'The Colbert Report'.

According to CBS, the rally tally estimate was numbered at about 215,000. (Although, as comedian Andy Borowicz posted on Facebook yesterday, the FOX News estimate had the crowd reaching a total of seven.)

One of my dearest and bestest of friends, Ivy, and her husband Gene attended the rally. And she sent me the following report of the day's proceedings:

And now, I turn this post over to Ivy:

I wouldn't have missed this for the world, and having done it, still wouldn't have missed it for the world. Wish we were still there. The vibes were that good. BTW, because it figures in the stream-of-unconsciousness ramble below (rallying is hard work!), Gene's sign was "Chai Party!" and mine was "Tune out Foreign Owned Xenophobes" --with the F O X part in larger, red letters -- "Tune in Hannity" -- with the H crossed out and replaced with an S, and the second N crossed out entirely. With a postscript in the corner, "Yes We Can" in a circle.

Oh yes, we rallied and restored sanity and a sense of humor to DC yesterday. And it was awesome. No other way to put it. As you can see, there were a LOT of people there -- we arrived at 10:30 a.m. and could only get as close as the very last Jumbotron screen area, and so far off to the side of the screen that we saw almost nothing of the show. They were also having volume issues from that far away, and so the audio took a while to adjust to a level we could hear well. The Four Troops, BTW, sounded wonderful. And audible, too. But, for example, we've only just learned that Tony Bennett was there.

From what we could hear, though, the comedy part was kind of lame. And somebody really needs to retire Father Guido Sarducci. The Roots were great.

It seemed clear that they had underestimated the size of the crowd, because we were in the last section they expected to use, which was full by 11 a.m., and a solid 25% of the audience wound up behind us. As we approached the Mall at 10:30, from every street in every direction, you could see a thick, orderly, and cheerful crowd of people, all heading to the same place. That was pretty amazing.

Cops had to come over to our initial spot to ask some ralliers to get out of the tree they'd climbed for a better view. No problem for the ralliers, who scurried down right away, helped by a human wave of people -- like an aerial mosh pit. Even the cops were smiling and in a good mood.

We wound up pretty hemmed in and yet never had the sense that "being hemmed in" might be a bad thing were some kind of argument to erupt. Not with this crowd -- no worries there -- young guys behind us made plenty of space for the 75-ish woman who'd come by herself, and pretty much adopted her for the afternoon, etc. This by itself was something rare.
Our spot (by the porta-potties, where there were no lines) having gotten too close to breathe in by 2 p.m., we took to the street, where a large and very friendly, mellow, and festive crowd was walking around, looking at all the signs -- and each other -- and high-fiving and thumbs-upping -- people taking loads and loads of photos of signs (This is going to be one of the most well-documented events in history if you count everybody's photos) and enjoying the beautiful day and equally amazing company. We were all kind of wandering around, or looking around, with a bit of a sense of wonderment at the wide-ranging demographic of the crowd, and how nicely everyone was behaving, and how many many ralliers there were!

Gene's sign turned out to be a real winner -- there must be a hundred (at least) photos of him/it/him and it photographed with complete strangers/film, and two interviews -- one by a blogger and the other for The Baltimore Sun (along with Peter).

My sign got loads of photos, too, and a lot of thumbs ups, oddly a large number of those from older women, who seem to particularly detest FOX News. People came in groups of generations -- parents with their kids, and their parents -- babies to people in their 80s, some of whom just wheeled themselves across the lawn. This was astonishing, not only not an audience of college students, but not even close. The over-40 group was represented to a jaw-dropping degree -- people you'd NEVER EVER expect to see at a rally. Ever. For any reason. And they came from all over the country -- we saw signs from Seattle and Iowa, Texas, Florida, Maine, and even Canada. Ran into a group of half a dozen 65-ish women in the rest room of a turnpike stop in south NJ this morning -- they'd all been to the rally -- they were a book discussion group who drove en masse from northern Massachusetts. We saw a car this morning, painted up with "Rally To Restore Sanity Or Bust" and two little old ladies in the front seat and a young guy in the back. Lots of grandparents with their teenaged grandchildren. Loads of families with small kids. The kids had some of the best signs. Pinned to a baby backside "My diaper and Glen Beck are full of the same thing." And on the two-year-old, "I Cry Less Than Glen Beck Does."

Saw a really great sign: "Where are the moderate Muslims?" With an arrow pointed down to the middle-aged couple holding the sign. Was it a political rally? Comedy Central claims that it's not, but to the crowd, it kind of was. There were a lot of people there who probably don't even watch Stewart or Colbert. There was a lot of support for the president. You'd have been hard-pressed to find a conservative in attendance, and the nature of a lot of the signs were clearly of a liberal and reasonable bent. Lots of Republican trashing signs, mostly in a mocking vein. And lots of "Legalize Pot" signs. We have a photo of a guy dressed as marijuana. So many of the signs, and tee shirts, and costumes were clever and really intelligent and/or really funny -- this was the rally for smart people. I saw more than one sign that said, "I See Smart People." It was also telling that people had taken a good deal of time and effort in drawing up their signs -- as we did on Thursday night in an hour-long session with markers and poster boards. This was an event that both Gene and I were very happy to have attended. It was a once-only opportunity, perhaps. But it does give me hope that the country is not going to hell in a handbasket. And it seemed clear that a lot of other people came away with the same kind of hope.

We have never ever been part of such an exceptionally nice, low-key, pleasant and polite group -- which, of course, was the point. People were going out of their way to be pleasant. Which gave the whole thing a wonderful, contagious energy. Once the rally broke up, everyone hit the streets of downtown DC, and in a very friendly, cheerful and respectfully celebratory manner, walked around with their signs, clogging up every food joint in the city within half an hour. Terrified receptionists urging people that they couldn't fit anybody else on the wait list (one poor girl looked like she was about to burst into tears over the stress of a hundred people walking into her restaurant inside of half an hour), and people just saying, "Sure, OK," and walking out, smiling at people. Even little hole-in-the-wall salad places had lines out the door. Au Bon Pain ran out of coffee. Hot dog vendors sold out everything they had, down to the last bag of ancient cashews.

After trying for about an hour and a half of astonished wandering around, and camaraderie with total strangers, our lunch consisted of Doritos bought from a bodega. They'd sold out of water. I don't think DC was prepared for the size of this crowd either. We were up at 8 a.m., and people were already streaming toward the Mall in numbers.
And indeed, since we didn't see much coverage of it last night, this is the first I'm seeing of just how large it was! Wow! We really did something here!

Thanks, Ivy!