On a fairly regular basis, I hang out with two of my best buddies, Mark & Michael, for all night viewing marathons. We are the Bit Torrent Rebel Alliance.
This past week we watched the first two episodes of 'Outcasts', one of the Oscar nominees for B-B-B-Best P-P-P-Picture, an episode of 'Chopped', three episodes of 'Hot In Cleveland', and one of the later 'Columbo' mysteries, from the ABC years.
In "Uneasy Lies The Crown", Lt. Columbo questioned the poker players who supplied the alibi for his main suspect in the murder. Three of them were members of the League of Themselves - Ron Cey, Nancy Walker, and Dick Sargent. (John Roarke should have played himself as he was portrayed as an impressionist, but his character's name was Ted Slate.)
It was Dick Sargent who caused the biggest Zonk, as probably expected because of 'Bewitched'. The show got named when Columbo was having difficulty remembering who he was.
Had this been the only reference ever to the TV show, we'd be okay for Zonks, because no other details were provided about the show. A TV series called 'Bewitched' in Toobworld could have been a "Love At First Sight" rom-com about a woman's effect on the men around her - sort of a sitcom version of "There's Something About Mary".
But 'Bewitched' has been mentioned before in Toobworld - going all the way back to at least 1965! - and Mark, Michael, and I saw a much more detailed Zonk about it earlier in the night during one of those 'Hot In Cleveland' episodes.
Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli) was meeting her boyfriend's mother for the first time (played by Bonnie Franklin who played Bertinelli's "Mom" on 'One Day At A Time'). Franklin's character was a fierce battle-axe from Poland, and when Melanie learned that her name was Agnes, she pointed out that the witch mother-in-law on 'Bewitched' was played by Agnes Moorehead. A sudden outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease! I think we have to rely on that shadowy organization that allows certain TV characters to hide in plain sight by making TV shows and movies about them.
This organization (which I always refer to as "UNReel"), created TV shows and movies in the past about U.N.C.L.E., James Bond, The Munster Family, the threat of the Skynet Terminators, and a Time Lord from Gallifrey, both for hiding their identities and to cover up potential threats that might cause panic.
The existence of witches living in the midst of the general populace would fall into that latter category.
Surprisingly, - compared to the Trueniverse - the US government must have learned something from the history of the Salem trials - that it was wiser to take a hands-off policy when it came to the treatment of witches rather than try to eradicate them. Just like the Commie witch-hunt in the 1950's, where the only ones who suffered were those with no real ties to the threat, the real witches would have been free to seek revenge if the government tried to get rid of them. And you don't want to make someone like Endora angry!
But somebody had to be sacrificed to exposure, so a fictionalized version of the married life of Samantha Stevens on Morning Glory Circle in Westport, Ct., was created to cover up all the misdeeds of witches, so that the general public wouldn't know whether it actually happened or if it was just something they saw on that TV show. (It's a concept I freely admit that I stole from Win Scott Eckert's site about the Wold Newton Universe. You'll find the link to the left.) As for Ron Cey and Nancy Walker......
The former Dodger baseball player also appeared in episodes of 'Hardcastle & McCormick' and 'Simon & Simon'. The Toobworld Dynamic is one of the few places in crossover research which accepts fictionalized appearances by League of Themselves members as being legitimate, so we have connections between these three crime dramas thanks to Ron Cey.
With Nancy Walker, so many of her characters could have been Zonked - Ida Morgenstern of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Rhoda', Nancy Blansky of 'Blansky's Beauties' and 'Happy Days', and Nancy Kittredge of 'The Nancy Walker Show'... not to mention Rosie of the Bounty commercials! One of her TV roles was mentioned, but in a vague, generic way - "that Rock Hudson show".
Columbo meant 'McMillan & Wife', as far as we're concerned in the Trueniverse audience, but the San Francisco police commissioner shared the same TV dimension as the L.A. detective.
So it has to be a TV show starring Rock Hudson which only exists in Toobworld. Maybe - to keep it "all in the family" as it were - maybe it was a TV adaptation of Alan Mallory's movie script, the last thing he ever wrote - as seen in the 'Columbo' episode "Publish Or Perish". If some TV producer decided to continue that movie's storyline with a TV series, we know Rock Hudson's character survived - because as they stated in the episode, you don't kill off Rock Hudson in the movies or on TV.
Only in real life.......
Thanks to Mark & Michael for reminding me of this episode and a happy 9th anniversary to them both!