Friday, October 28, 2011


The tagline I came up with for my Toobworld novel is "An epic of trivial proportions."* And that's the kind of building block upon which the Toobworld Dynamic is founded - it's the bits o' trivia more than the big moments (like episode crossovers, timeline rebooting, the deaths and/or recasting of major characters, and other ratings stunts) which are more important to the expansion of the TV Universe.

A case in point:

In "The Night The World Ended", an episode of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', a wino known as "Johnny Gin" was hoodwinked into believing that Mars would crash into the Earth by 11:45 PM. The proof he was given was a newspaper mock-up supplied by a reporter known for his cruel practical jokes.

Later, he learned the truth when he saw the real headlines on the three major newspapers available - the Daily Gazette, the Star-Dispatch, and the Press Herald; most of which have their place in the great tele-mosaic.

First off though, I should address a comment made by the newspaper vendor....

When "Johnny Gin" wanted to know where the later editions were with the big announcement about the end of the world, the Tom Waits fore-runner** said there was only those three papers available.

The action took place in Manhattan, and New York City was a big newspaper town back in the day. Even outside of Toobworld there should have been the Times, the Post, the Daily News, the Herald-Tribune.... The first three of those are still around and they show up often in TV-NYC. And I've seen Ritchie Petrie reading the Herald-Tribune in the "Word A Day" episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', so it was around at least until the early 1960's. (Within Toobworld, it didn't shut down but instead went back to being just the Herald, which is where Oscar Madison toiled as the sports-writer.)

But in that cathode ray reality of Toobworld there has also been plenty of other papers:

The New York Ledger - the 'Law & Order' franchise, 'Castle', & 'White Collar'

The New York Sun - 'Ink'

New York Express - 'Honestly, Celeste!'

New York Dispatch - 'Ask Harriet'

New York Forum - 'The Andros Targets'

The Daily Bugle - 'The Adventures Of Spiderman'

The New York Register - 'Love & War'

The New York Globe - 'My Friend Irma' & 'The Reporter'

The Reporter - 'New York News'

The New York Herald - 'The Odd Couple'

New York Chronicle - 'Heroes', 'Patty Duke Show', 'McCloud'

The World Chronicle - 'The Chronicle'

New York Daily Record - 'The Roaring Twenties'

New York Bulletin - 'Saints & Sinners'

Plus fictionalized versions of real papers:

New York Observer - 'Sex And The City'

NewsDay - 'Everybody Loves Raymond'

The Village Voice - 'Ned & Stacey'

What I think the vendor was referring to would be the fact that those particular papers were the only late editions to be found that close to midnight before the early editions for the next day were delivere.

As for each individual paper seen in this episode.....

The Press Herald
The only reference I could find to any newspaper by that name was from Maine in the real world. So.... not much call for a Maine paper in the Big Apple. Unless it shows up somewhere else - and the odds are unlikely - then we could consider the New York Press-Herald to have gone the way of the Herald-Tribune.

The Daily Gazette
This could be a sub-edition spin-off of the New York Gazette, the paper at which Frank Flanagan worked in the 1940's and to which Jessica Fletcher would sometimes contribute in the late 1980's into the early 1990's. Or in that time between Flanagan and Fletcher, perhaps the paper changed its name to boost sales with a new image, only to revert back to the traditional moniker once that scheme failed.

The Star-Dispatch
This was the best of the bunch, which is why I saved it for last. As the Star-Dispatch***, an earlier edition of that mast-head from two decades before showed up in one of the greatest TV shows of all time:
We've got a 'Trek' connection!

Extra! Extra!

* I just don't want to say what the title of my novel is because I don't want it stolen. I can't believe no one has used it yet (so far as I know).

** The news vendor may have been related to an old trail hand back in the Wild Wild West days by the name of Wishbone (since both roles were played by Paul Brinegar.....)

*** Decades later, the paper could have changed its name to be just the Dispatch, as seen in the 1998 sitcom 'Ask Harriet'.

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