Saturday, March 19, 2011


Saturday, March 19, 2011:

Both of my locks on my front door bit the dust today. So in order to maintain peace of mind, I had to call out from work tonight. I've only done that once before in the 21 years I've worked there. So my plans are to write up a few posts for future editions of my blog Inner Toob and to listen to "Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight" in real time.
You can as well - Vin is on WFUV 90.7 FM, public radio from Fordham University. And if you're out of the listening range, you can hear him online from at

Streaming content costs money, however, and with the latest idiocy (NOT "Iddiocy"!) from the Republican-controlled Congress slashing all funding for NPR, WFUV could use your help.

But at least consider contributing to the NPR outlet in your area. Don't let "them" kill something so vital!



Stuck at home tonight? On a Saturday?

Well, you're the lucky one, because tonight's the HBO premiere of the 'Pee-Wee Herman Show', as taped on Broadway!
Here are a couple of videos to get you ready.....

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble that there's an alternate TV dimension for theatrical programs recorded live on stage - a world in which productions of Sondheim's "Into The Woods", "Passion", and "Sweeney Todd" co-exist with staged versions of Arthur Miller's "Death Of A Salesman" and many of the Shakespeare plays.

If so, "The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway" would share that world with them.....

See ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya!


This just cracks me up....



Here are three other YouTube videos celebrating "The Celestial Toymaker" story from 'Doctor Who'.......



With the passing of actor Michael Gough, Toobworld Central wants to pay tribute with a few posts about some of the TV characters he played.

Perhaps the most famous is "The Celestial Toymaker" from 'Doctor Who'. It was a multi-part story involving the First Doctor and his Companions Stephen and Dodo, but only the last chapter remains.

Still, YouTube does supply a few summaries for the episodes that are lost. So here's "The Celestial Toymaker" - the first three episodes presented as audio summaries and then the original fourth episode, "The Final Test".




And now, the conclusion, the only episode known to exist....




In his later years, the late Michael Gough's most famous role was that of Alfred Pennyworth, the butler and confidante of Bruce Wayne in three theatrically-released movies. ("Batman", "Batman Returns", and "Batman & Robin")

But the character is a true multiversal, not only exisitng in the Cineverse, but he has a counterpart in an alternate TV dimension - most likely the "Evil Mirror Universe". (It can't be Earth Prime-Time, because he existed on the Main Toobworld back in the 1960's.....

Here's the video evidence:

And here's a behind-the-scenes look at Gough's work in fleshing out the character....



In memory of Michael Gough, who passed away on Thursday.....


"Young Indiana Jones: Travels With Father"

Michael Gough

From Wikipedia:
Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910), was a Russian writer. His literary masterpieces "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina" represent, in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction.

Tolstoy's further talents as essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer made him the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the "Sermon on the Mount", caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as "The Kingdom of God Is Within You", were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world's greatest novelists.

Tolstoy died in 1910, at the age of 82. He died of pneumonia at Astapovo train station, after falling ill when he left home in the middle of winter. His death came only days after gathering the nerve to abandon his family and wealth and take up the path of a wandering ascetic, a path that he had agonized over pursuing for decades. He had not been at the peak of health before leaving home; his wife and daughters were all actively engaged in caring for him daily. He had been speaking and writing of his own death in the days preceding his departure from home, but fell ill at the station not far from home. The station master took Tolstoy to his apartment, where his personal doctors were called to the scene. He was given injections of morphine and camphor.

From the Indiana Jones wiki:
The world-wide trip that Henry Jones, Jr. embarks upon in the early 1900s next takes him and his family to Russia. A fit of clumsiness lands Junior into hot water with his father. Not bearing any more punishment, Indy runs away into the Russian countryside. He encounters an odd, cantankerous old man named Leo Tolstoy, who is in full agreement that hell is other people. Both are running away to seek a simpler life. They cross the countryside, encountering colorful Gypsies and avoiding fierce Imperial Cossack troops. The hardships of the journey make Indy homesick, but he won't soon forget his journey with the stubborn old man.

During that time with Tolstoy in 1910, Jones traded a number of baseball cards with legendary author Leo Tolstoy in return for his family bible.

Here's a detailed description of their meeting, from "The Indiana Jones Timeline" compiled by Allen Lane:

Late Summer (1910):
Indy and his family are staying in Russia with friends of his father's who invited them to their daughter's wedding. Indy tries to behave himself and enjoy the wedding at the same time, but fails to do so. He leans against a cart with crystal on it which send it crashing into a passing waiter. Indy's father takes him out into the hall to reprimand him. He tells Indy that he is to stand in the hall and not move, however, Indy disobeys him. As he walks into an adjoining room, he brushes against a handle attached to the rope a huge chandelier is hanging from. The handle comes unlocked and the chandelier crashes down onto the wedding cake. Indy's parents look on in disbelief and his mother brings him to his room. Indy apologizes to his mother, but she tells him that his father will deal with him in the morning. Indy, feeling he is being treated unfairly, climbs down a gutter drain outside his window and runs away.

The next morning, Miss Seymour wakes Indy's parents to tell them that Indy is gone. Indy's father begins to search for him. Indy, sleeping in a haystack, is awoken by a small weasel. He tries to shoot it with his slingshot, but hits an old man who was also sleeping in the haystack. The old man advances on him swinging a stick and yelling in Russian. Indy says that he doesn't speak Russian, so the man starts yelling at him in English. The man says how he hates young people and walks off with Indy's slingshot. Indy follows him trying to get his slingshot back. The man tells him to stop following him, but Indy refuses. The man gives him back his slingshot and tells him to get off his side of the [road].

Indy walks with him (on his side of the [road]) and explains how he is running away back to America. When Indy questions why the man doesn't want to turn Indy into his parents the man says that he never did what he was supposed to do and he is also running away. Indy doesn't believe him because he's old. The man asks him if he thinks only little boys are driven crazy by their parents.

Meanwhile, Indy's parents are getting extremely worried about him. Indy asks the man if he is going to miss anyone. The man says he'll miss his dogs. Indy says he misses his dog also. Indy's sole comes off his book and the man says he'll fix it. The man shows Indy his prize possession, his bible. Indy shows him his baseball mitt and ball. He explains to him the basics of the game and shows him his baseball card collection. Indy says he wouldn't give up his prize card for all of the gold in China. The man says he feels the same way about his bible. With Indy's boot fixed, the two continue on their way.

They begin to feel hungry and Indy starts eating the apple he brought with him. He offers the man one bite, but the man manages to eat half of the apple with his one bite. Indy complains, but the man tells him that things should be divided each according to his needs. Since he is bigger than Indy, he requires more. Indy states that it was his apple, but the man says that it grew on a tree in the ground and belongs to the world. Indy says he will never share anything with him again. The two continue on in silence as it begins to thunder.

Indy's father says that he should never have brought Indy along on his trip through Europe. Miss Seymour says that every boy runs away at some point; even he did. Indy's father claims that it wasn't the same when he ran away.

Indy and the man reach a village and the villagers rush to great the man yelling, "Tolstoy!" Indy is amazed at how friendly the people are to Tolstoy. The villagers welcome "Count" Tolstoy into their inn and give him food to eat. Indy watches from the window as rain begins to pour down on him. Tolstoy yells at him to get inside and stop making him feel guilty.

Once Indy finishes the meal he asks if Tolstoy is some kind of king in disguise. Tolstoy tells him that he wrote a few books years ago, but they weren't very good. He tells Indy that he is running away to nowhere in particular. He just wants a simpler life, closer to God. Indy tells him he can run away to New Jersey with him and Tolstoy agrees.

The Russian police arrive looking for Tolstoy and tell him they are here to take him back to his family. Indy flips the table up and knocks down the police. In the confusion, he and Tolstoy escape.

Indy's father becomes increasingly worried about the dangers that Indy might encounter and blames himself for Indy running away. As Indy and Tolstoy hide in a barn, they watch as Imperial Cossack troops ride by. Tolstoy tells him that they are ruthless and are used by the government to ride themselves of "certain unfortunate ethnic groups." Indy finally places the name "Tolstoy" and asks if he is the author of "War and Peace". Indy says his father thinks he's great, but Tolstoy says his father is an imbecile.

Tolstoy says they should head for the train station. On the way, they stop so Indy can teach Tolstoy about baseball. Indy says it's too bad Tolstoy wasted all those years writing because he could have been a great hitter. A group of gypsies pass by and give the two of them a ride. That night, Tolstoy tells everyone a scary story around the campfire. While they all dance around the campfire, the Cossacks attack, killing many of the gypsies. Tolstoy is knocked down by a Cossack on a horse, but Indy rescues him. The two flee as the camp is set on fire.

Indy brings Tolstoy to a church, but the monk tries to throw them out thinking they are beggars. Indy tells him that the man is Tolstoy and they try to help him. As Tolstoy comes to, he realizes where he is and runs out. He tells Indy that they drive people away from God and he'd sooner die than receive help from them. Tolstoy falls unconscious in a field nearby and Indy screams for help. Some men hear him and bring Tolstoy inside their house.

The next day, Indy asks Tolstoy why he hates the church so much. He says that they diminish God by claiming to speak for him. He tells Indy not to try to see God through spectacles borrowed from the church, but instead through his own eyes.

Meanwhile, Miss Seymour isn't feeling well from all of the worry. Indy's father just wishes he could talk to him and begins crying. Indy and Tolstoy arrive at the train station just as the train leaves. Indy notices that Tolstoy is not doing too well. He tells him that he doesn't think he is up to the trip. Tolstoy gets angry as Indy tells him that he thinks he should return to his family. Tolstoy agrees to go as long as Indy will return to his family as well.

Indy's father and mother are looking in on Miss Seymour who is bedridden when a hotel clerk knocks at the door to tell them that Indy has been found. Indy's mother makes his father promise that he won't be too hard on him. Indy's parents arrive at Tolstoy's estate and are reunited with Indy. Indy apologizes for running away. Before he can accept, Indy's father spots Tolstoy and is amazed.

Indy introduces his parents to Tolstoy. After they leave, Tolstoy goes inside to rest. Indy's mother asks where Indy got the bible he has. Indy says he traded Tolstoy his baseball card collection for it. Tolstoy takes out the baseball cards and enthusiastically reads through them.

For more of Mr. Lane's excellent work re: Indiana Jones:


Friday, March 18, 2011


Johnny Appleseed died on this date in 1845.....
'Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales And Legends'

Martin Short

From Wikipedia:
Johnny Appleseed (September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845), born John Chapman, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples.

He was also a missionary for the New Church, or Swedenborgian Church, so named because it teaches the theological doctrines contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. There is some controversy and vagueness concerning the date of his death and his burial. Harper's New Monthly Magazine of November, 1871 (which is taken by many as the primary source of information about John Chapman) says he died in the summer of 1847. The Fort Wayne Sentinel, however, printed his obituary on March 22, 1845, saying that he died on March 18:

"On the same day in this neighborhood, at an advanced age, Mr. John Chapman (better known as Johnny Appleseed).

The deceased was well known through this region by his eccentricity, and the strange garb he usually wore. He followed the occupation of a nurseryman, and has been a regular visitor here upwards of 10 years. He was a native of Pennsylvania we understand but his home—if home he had—for some years past was in the neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, where he has relatives living. He is supposed to have considerable property, yet denied himself almost the common necessities of life—not so much perhaps for avarice as from his peculiar notions on religious subjects. He was a follower of Swedenborg and devoutly believed that the more he endured in this world the less he would have to suffer and the greater would be his happiness hereafter—he submitted to every privation with cheerfulness and content, believing that in so doing he was securing snug quarters hereafter.

In the most inclement weather he might be seen barefooted and almost naked except when he chanced to pick up articles of old clothing. Notwithstanding the privations and exposure he endured, he lived to an extreme old age, not less than 80 years at the time of his death—though no person would have judged from his appearance that he was 60. "He always carried with him some work on the doctrines of Swedenborg with which he was perfectly familiar, and would readily converse and argue on his tenets, using much shrewdness and penetration.

His death was quite sudden. He was seen on our streets a day or two previous."


The two-part "Candy Man" episode of 'N.Y.P.D.' had a great guest cast: James Earl Jones, William Devane, Julius Harris, Tom Aldredge, Barbara Colby, and Rudy Bond. (Harris, Devane, and Barbara Colby are pictured above with stars Robert Hooks and Frank Converse.) Devane played a member of Phoenix House named John, a former drug addict trying to get his life turned around after nine years of shooting junk into his arms. Since the episode took place in 1967, that means he had been a drug addict since at least 1958. (Who knows when he actually stopped using the stuff?)

What we didn't know until an episode several months later was that his full name was John Laney and that he was married to a woman named Barbara. Through the auspices of Phoenix House, John Laney straightened himself up enough to land a really good job which took him out of town a lot. At some point in 1968, Barbara Laney thought Detective John Corso had come to her home to investigate her involvement in a ring of housewives turned prostitutes, so once she let him into her house, she ripped her own bathrobe and screamed assault. John Laney howled for Corso's blood over the alleged attack, which may have been fueled by his recognition of Corso from the burglary investigation conducted against Phoenix House members several months earlier. If so, he hid it well. As for the cops, they never recognized him; it's true it had happened some months before and they deal with a lot of people every day. But then again, they might not have seen the Phoenix House members as individuals, just a bunch of addicts.....

'N.Y.P.D.' -
"Candy Man, Parts One & Two"
"The Screaming Woman"



Back in 1968, a couple of NYC housewives on a gentrified street of brownstones was running a prostitution ring out of their homes. At least one of them was doing it without her husband's knowledge and only when he was out of town on business.

But one day he came home early and caught her with a guy who had been sent over by her "pimp" working out of the local bar. Luckily for that guy, the 'N.Y.P.D.' was already there to arrest her, so once they were let into the house by "The Screaming Woman", they were able to stop her husband from beating the "client" to death. It looks like the cops let the "john" get off with a warning, which was a godsend for his future political career. Because that "john" turned out to be a future state governor, Eugene Xavier Gatling (as seen on 'Benson'). BCnU!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Here's a serendipiteeveeious combination for Saint Patrick's Day - the late Irish rocker Rory Gallagher with a song about the Continental Op, Dashiell Hammett's private eye. The Op may not have been the first, but he was the first great one and established the genre for others to follow.

I'm currently doing research into the character's TV versions and I stumbled across this music video:

Here are the lyrics:


Rory Gallagher
Defender - 1988

Well..there's a body in the bay,
The cops are taking it away.
They said this case was closed,
It only shows that you never know.

So who are they gonna get,
When the trouble's gotta stop?
Here's my card,
I'm the Continental Op.

Jane Doe in the bay,
Now that's Exhibit 'A'.
Bloodstains on the dress,
Of the millionairess.

But I saw you leaving town,
I'm gonna have to track you down.
You've slipped through the web,
And you might have dodged the Feds.

Who are they going to get,
When you've outfoxed the Cops?
Here's my number,
I'm the Continental Op.
I'm the Continental Op.....yea

Call the Agency,
We never close.
First consultation is free,
Check my reputation,
Check my pose,
First you ought to check my fee.

There's a menace on the streets,
Offering infants' sweets.
Don't give this man a ride,
Lock your car from the inside.

He's suspect No. 1,
But I guess his race is run.
He left a set of prints,
He's not smart as he thinks

Who are they gonna get,
When you've outfoxed the cops?
Here's my card ,
I'm the Continental Op.

Yea..who are they gonna get,
When you've outfoxed the cops?
Here's my badge,
I'm the Continental Op.


This makes the Continental Op a true multiversal - literature, television, radio, and even the fictional universe for music!


For Saint Patrick's Day, we've got an Irish TV character to showcase:

Wild Eagle:
Sergeant, what happened to you?
You look terrible. You look bad.
You look like you got one foot in happy hunting ground

This ain't Sergeant O'Rourke. It's his father.

Wild Eagle:
Your son should look so good.
Sgt. O'Rourke's father came to visit Fort Courage (otherwise known as 'F Troop') when his son was out of town. He soon turned the place into "Little Ireland" and tried to transform the soldiers into a fire brigade.
He also kept pestering Corporal Agarn if he was sure that he wasn't Irish. Finally exasperated, Agarn declared that okay, he was Irish.
"You don't look it," said Mr. O'Rourke.
Sgt. O'Rourke got back just in time to say good-bye to his father as he was about to go home.
Sure, an' BCnU!


Detective Mike Logan was on 'Law & Order' from the first episode until he was reassigned (for punching a politician) in 1995. In the TV movie "Exiled", Logan was working out of Staten Island with an eye to making his return to a Manhattan precinct. This finally happened when he was assigned to the Major Crimes Squad in the fifth season of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'. (He also made a few appearances down in Baltimore on 'Homicide: Life On The Street', which is why he was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in April of 2006.)

But there is very little we know about Mike Logan's personal life - he was raised by a physically abusive mother; he was sexually assaulted by his parish priest; and his girlfriend got an abortion against his wishes.

Based on his entry in Wikipedia, it sounds like his father was absent from the family for one reason or another. ("My mother beat me with one hand while she held a Rosary with the other." - so where was Dad during all of that?)

Either Mr. Logan died when Mike was very young, or he and his wife were divorced, or he abandoned the family... or "Mrs." Logan was never married in the first place.

But Mike Logan's father may have had a brother who served as a role model for a young Mike. In the 'N.Y.P.D.' episode "The Red-Headed Pigeon", someone named Logan was able to get a plaster cast of a shoe at a crime scene. I don't know if the NYPD had an actual crime scene unit in operation by 1968, or if this was done by one of the investigating officers of the 27th Squad, but Lt. Mike Haines spoke of Logan as if the other detectives knew who he was.

So I'm going to make the claim for a theory of relateeveety - this Detective Logan or CSI officer Logan was the uncle to young Mike Logan, who would have been thirteen years old at the time of that rape case. And he could have been so influenced by this uncle that when he became a detective himself, he made sure he got assigned to the same precinct, the 2-7...... BCnU!



"St. Patrick: The Irish Legend"

Patrick Bergin

From Wikipedia:
Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius; Primitive Irish: *Qatrikias; Old Irish: Cothraige or Coithrige; Middle Irish: Pátraic; Irish: Pádraig; British: *Patrikios; Old Welsh: Patric; Middle Welsh: Padric; Welsh: Padrig; Old English: Patric; c. 387 – 17 March, 493) was a Romano-Briton and Christian missionary, who is the most generally recognized patron saint of Ireland and Nigeria or the Apostle of Ireland, although Brigid of Kildare and Colmcille are also formally patron saints.

Two authentic letters from him survived, from which come the only universally accepted details of his life. When he was about 16, he was captured from Britain by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After entering the Church, he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Most available details of his life are from later hagiographies from the 7th century onwards, and these are now not accepted without detailed criticism. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster would imply that he lived from 340 to 440, and ministered in what is modern day Northern Ireland from 428 onwards. The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty, but on a widespread interpretation he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the 5th century.

Saint Patrick's Day is observed on March 17, the date of Patrick's death.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!
(La ale-lah pwad-rig son-ah jeev!)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I forgot to give an answer to my "Place the Face" ("NYPD Mug Shot") post from Friday......

That was Tom Aldredge as a shopkeeper whose store was burgled. Aldredge was seen last year in 'Boardwalk Empire' as Nucky Thompson's father, and he played Carmela's father in 'The Sopranos'. Recorded for broadcast and available on DVD, he played the Storyteller and the Mysterious Man in "Into The Woods".

The reference to his late wife was to Theoni Aldredge, an award-winning costume designer.......

I'll have another "Mug Shot" on Friday.




It could be that Tom Willis, the father of George Jefferson's daughter-in-law, had a brother who was a captain in the 'N.Y.P.D.' tactical squad. But just because they looked alike doesn't mean they had to be identical twins. There could have been a few years between them.

As seen in the episode "Fast Gun"

The reason Tom never mentioned this brother to 'The Jeffersons', or why the brother never stopped by to visit, could be because the 'N.Y.P.D.' captain passed away a few years before we met Tom, perhaps even in the line of duty.

He shows up later in an episode entitled "The Patriots"
but now he was working a desk job and Lt. Mike Haines had to answer to him, so he was probably still a captain. If he did die in the line of duty, it may have been due to a coronary from all the agita brought on by the job.......

Franklin Cover played Tom Willis and the Captain......



This isn't my collection, but 'twill serve until I load up a few pictures of the "library" at Toobworld Central.....

Here's the latest collection of DVDs to arrive at Toobworld Central....

This is the original version as seen on the BBC, not re-edited to fit the 'Masterpiece Theatre' format. Because my brother enjoyed the series as much as I did, I'm saving this for when I'm on vacation up at the Lake; we can watch an episode each night after he gets out of work at the newspaper.....

'ALIAS SMITH AND JONES' - Seasons 2 and 3
I wasn't sure I really wanted to get this, since Pete Duel committed suicide and was replaced by Roger Davis. (I was pretty distraught over his death back in high school.) But I've reconciled myself to the situation and would like to see how the rest of Davis' episodes played out. (I've only seen a few.....)

I remember this series and enjoyed it when it was on. I've heard the Britcom on which it was based was better, but still - Dom DeLuise was always a fave..... At the very least, it should provide a good diversion during my lunch breaks.

One of the best of the "quirky small town genre" series that should provide some interesting elements for Toobworld research......



On March 16, 37 AD, Caligula became Emperor of the Roman Empire upon the death of Tiberius......


'Xena, Warrior Princess'

Alexis Arquette

From Wikipedia:
When Tiberius died on 16 March AD 37, his estate and the titles of the Principate were left to Caligula and Tiberius's own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 77 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people, while Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the killing, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian. Both Philo, who wrote during Tiberius's reign, and Josephus, record Tiberius as dying a natural death. Backed by Macro, Caligula had Tiberius' will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise carried out Tiberius' wishes.

Caligula accepted the powers of the Principate as conferred by the Senate and entered Rome on 28 March amid a crowd that hailed him as "our baby" and "our star," among other nicknames. Caligula is described as the first emperor who was admired by everyone in "all the world, from the rising to the setting sun." Caligula was loved by many for being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus, and because he was not Tiberius. It was said by Suetonius that over 160,000 animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in the new reign. Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful.

But then......!

From the HercXena Wiki:
Caligula, Emperor of Rome, was a recurring character on 'Xena: Warrior Princess'. He was known for his wild debauchery. He obtained godhood, but killed himself shortly after.

Even early in his life, tales of Caligula's wild antics reached as far as Eire. (HTLJ: "Redemption") Some 28 years later, Caligula succeeded Tiberius as Emperor of Rome. He imprisoned the goddess Aphrodite and stole her godhood. Xena infiltrated Caligula's court and talked him into killing himself. (XWP: "The God You Know")
Caligula, with Aphrodite
After his death, Caligula spent his afterlife in the Greek underworld. (XWP: "You Are There")

She may not have realized it, but the warrior princess Xena was something of a time-jumper, ending up in different time periods between episodes. She may have also crossed over TV dimensions because this story of Caligula does clash with that of the established "history" as seen in 'I, Claudius'.

But as she lived in the "Time of Legend", certain tales of the life of Xena could be exaggerated - embellished in their many re-tellings. And this could be an example.

Personally, I'm going with an excursion into an alternate TV reality. It's the Toobish thing to do.....


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Dan Frazer played the Chief Of Detectives in the 'NYPD' episode "The Witness". His character wasn't given a name and was only referred to as "Chief".

Could he have been Frank McNeil, the Captain who oversaw Lt. Theo Kojak and the other detectives in the 13th Precinct of Manhattan South? Since I had no clue about how rank works in the NYPD, I asked a friend of mine who only recently retired from the force in the last few years......

Captain is the highest civil service title one can achieve in the NYPD. After captain it is discretionary, at the authority of the Commissioner, you can be promoted to deputy inspector (gold leaf), inspector (eagle), deputy chief (one star), assistant chief (two stars) or a super chief (three stars) who usually head a bureau, patrol, narcotics, OCCB, etc. So Chief of Detectives is really a captain ('cause that was the last official test he took, passed and was promoted to) acting in the rank of Chief of Detectives.

Usually ranks after Captain follow that line as I laid out above and don't skip a rank. However, to be a commissioner or deputy commissioner the chain of rank doesn't necessarily hold. Bernie Kerik is the latest example. He was a simple investigator or Detective 3rd grade who was made Police Commissioner by the mayor because it's a civilian title. Do you follow me so far?

So to answer your question which I already have, the Chief of Detectives is a Captain, acting in a higher rank. Which means that if the commissioner wanted to, for disciplinary purposes which I doubt would ever happen, he can bust a Chief down to a Captain, no lower.

Thanks, Mo!
But apparently it must have happened, because by the time we meet up with Frank McNeil again, he's not the Chief of Detecives anymore. Whatever may have caused the change, he's only in charge of the 13th Precinct. Later in the 'Kojak' series, however, McNeil must have finally redeemed himself in the eyes of the Police Commissioner and was once again made the Chief of Detectives. (It was probably a new Commissioner who gave him his old job back.)

And that would have been a perfect "Game Of The Name" theory - had it not been for Dan Frazer's second appearance on 'N.Y.P.D.', in the episode "Cry Brute".

Detectives Peconic and Corso both addressed him as "Captain", so that fits in at least with having the Chief of Detectives holding the rank of Captain. But then Corso actually states his name this time around - he addresses him as "Captain Laney".

(Somebody on that show must like the name "Laney". It was also the name of the couple at the center of the housewives as prostitutes investigation.)

In a way, I'm glad this happened. I wasn't that happy with the splainin for Frank McNeil losing his job as Chief of Detectives in between 'N.Y.P.D.' and 'Kojak' and then reclaiming it years later.

However, I'm not about to give up on the claim that both of these Dan Frazer roles are the same guy. But my new splainin may seem too far out there for such a gritty, "realistic" cop show, especially after I declared that previous splainin not realistic enough, mundane as it was.

You see, I'm going to hit the 'Primeval' reset button.

First off, let me remind everybody that the Toobworld Dynamic is inclusive of all TV show genres - the main Toobworld sitcoms, sci-fi, Westerns, period pieces, legal dramas, medical shows, reality programming, commercials, mini-series, TV movies and some cartoons (those that crossover into the real world.) If a show is banished to another TV dimension, it's only because it clashes with the overall dynamic.

So 'N.Y.P.D' shares the same world as 'Gunsmoke' and 'Star Trek'. Or to keep it all on the same timeline, with 'Family Affair' and 'The Invaders'. And theoretically, since they all share the same world, they should be able to cross over with each other.

The British sci-fi series 'Primeval' serves as a Toobworld "Essential" because of a very important plot point - at the end of the first season, Toobworld's timeline was altered back in prehistoric times and certain changes occurred. Some drastic, others trivial.

Toobworld Central uses the timeline alteration to re-adjust certain problems in other TV shows - like the different President in 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea', a different California governor in an episode of 'Monk', and we're going to use it to fix the difference between the two Dan Frazer episodes.

In 'Primeval', the timeline alteration caused one member of the Anomaly Research team to never exist in the first place. However, although Claudia Brown was now gone, there was a woman named Jenny Lewis who looked exactly like her and served in the same general capacity as Claudia did.
That's the route we're taking here. With the adjustment of the Toobworld timeline, Chief of Detectives Captain Laney no longer existed. Instead, he was replaced by his exact double, Captain Frank McNeil. Only in this new timeline, although he was still a Captain when those 'N.Y.P.D.' stories once again play out, he is no longer the Chief of Detectives. And the only thing that needs to take place off-screen between the two TV series is that he transfers out of the 27th Precinct to the 13th Precinct where he'll work with Lt. Theo Kojak instead of Lt. Mike Haines.

And dat's de name o' dat tune, as Baretta would say!



Thanks to Mark Evanier for finding this!



College basketball's "March Madness" is upon us....

Jay Mohr
Andy Samberg

From Wikipedia:
Richard J. "Dick" Vitale (Dickie V) (pronounced /va?'tæl/; born June 9, 1939) is an American basketball sportscaster. A former head coach in the college and professional ranks, he is well-known as a college basketball broadcaster and for the enthusiastic and colorful remarks he makes during games. He is known for his catchphrases such as "baby" and "diaper dandy".

He has authored seven books and appeared in several movies.

Vitale has authored nine books:
"Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s", Ascend Books (October 2010)

"Living a Dream: Reflections on 25 Years Sitting in the Best Seat", Champaign, IL Sports Publishing LLC (January 1, 2003)

"Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN", Ascend Books (October 6, 2008)

"Time Out Baby!", Berkley (December 1, 1992)

"Vitale", Simon and Schuster; 1st Edition edition (1988)

"Dickie V's Top 40 All-Everything Teams", Masters Press (June 1994)

"Tourney Time: It's Awesome Baby!", Masters Press,(December 1993)

"Holding Court: Reflections on the Game I Love", Masters Press (November 1995)

"Campus Chaos: Why the Game I Love is Breaking My Heart", Sideline Sports Publishing (December 1999)

For More:

Vitale's got his own website:

Go UConn!

Monday, March 14, 2011


Speaking of the family of Lt. Mike Haines.....

I think it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble (as Muskie Muskrat would say) that the 'N.Y.P.D.' detective had an older brother who served in the Navy during World War II, first in the Pacific and then in the Mediterranean. His first name was Joseph, but everybody knew him as "Happy". He was a crew member on board the PT 73, whose crew was known as 'McHale's Navy'.

Whether he had ever been a red-head like his younger brother, it'd be impozz'ble, just impozz'ble to say - since he lost most of his hair at an early age and what was left had turned dark (as happened with my Dad and my sister.....)


I picked up a DVD of 25 episodes of 'N.Y.P.D.' and - like its successor at the 27th Precinct, 'Law & Order' - the show is more concerned with the cases worked by the cops rather than tehir personal lives. So far all I know about Detective Johnny Corso is that he can speak Italian and he has a younger sister; Detective Jeff Ward is married to a school teacher named Ethel; and Lt. Mike Haines has a daughter and a wife named Rosemary.

But what if Mike and Rosemary Haines had more than one child? What if he had a couple of sons as well, one of whom was named after him?

At the time 'N.Y.P.D.' aired on ABC, the character I have in mind to be Michael Haines, Jr. would have been about eleven years old. And Mike Jr. would have been a redhead, just like his old man - a "ginger", as they call them on 'Doctor Who'.

Lt. Mike Haines was a tough, hard-nosed guy, and he may have been as tough on his kids as he was on the detectives who worked for him. ("The people upstairs aren't happy. And when they're not happy, I'm not happy. And I don't think any of you want me to be unhappy.") If so, maybe Mike Jr. - and another brother - stood firm against their father, butting heads with him in family squabbles, proving to be just as stubborn as he was. Things may have come to a head finally, to such a point where Mike Jr. rebelled and changed his name to make a full break from his father.

As for the name change, I think he'd keep it simple, as close to the original as pozz'ble. I'm thinking he legally changed his name to Michael Hayes upon reaching adulthood.

And I think the brother - let's call him Danny, mainly because the character I have in mind has a brother named Danny - also changed his last name to Hayes. But there may have been more to his reasoning. Danny got into trouble with the law and to spare his Dad any grief from the connection, he changed his name. But he may have still wanted to keep close ties to his brother, so he also changed his name to "Hayes".

Here's the plot summary for the TV show 'Michael Hayes' from IMDb:

"Michael Hayes is a tough but sensitive ex-cop who goes to work in the U.S. Attorney's office in New York City. When his boss is seriously injured in a bombing, Hayes becomes Acting U.S. Attorney, and butts heads with a number of enemies, both inside and outside the law. He also cares for his nephew Daniel and his brother's wife Caitlin, while waiting for his brother Danny to settle into society following a jail stint."

As you can see, if Michael Hayes was the son of Mike Haines, the acorn didn't fall far from the tree as far as their career paths were concerned.

I realize this theory of relateeveety is a tough sell, made even more difficult by the addition of other members of the Hayes family in the latter series. But the idea of Mike Haines and Michael Hayes being father and son - especially with Jack Warden and David Caruso being such redheads! - was too tempting to resist.




'Saturday Night Live'

Kristen Wiig

NEW YORK (AP) — Julie Taymor, the Tony Award winning director of "The Lion King," will no longer direct Broadway's troubled "Spider-Man" musical as producers announced a new creative team and postponed the show's official opening to summer.

Taymor, who also co-wrote the book for "Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark," will remain a part of the new team, lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said Wednesday, in announcing an unprecedented sixth delay for the musical.

"Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so," the producers said in a statement.

"Julie's previous commitments mean that past March 15, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening."

On Wednesday, a friend and longtime associate said the lack of time to hone the show had been one of Taymor's great frustrations.

"She's been distraught that there's so little time to rehearse," said Jeffrey Horowitz, artistic director of the Theatre for a New Audience.


Sunday, March 13, 2011


I may have shared this earlier, although I don't see evidence of it......

During one of the episodes of 'Community' this season, Abed was missing from the main storyline, but that's because he had a whole plot going on in the background:



Trust me. Stick with it.....



Thinking long term for Toobworld Central, I may go with an all British theme for next year's inductees into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 - of course, the Mayans may have other plans for us all.

But for January, the theme for which is usually Classic TV Characters, I was thinking Alexander Waverly, one of the five section heads of U.N.C.L.E. Did you know that he has a counterpart in Skitlandia?



Here's a classic League of Themselves appearance by Tom Waits.

It was the perfect song for mining comedy gold, but it's "The Heart of Saturday Night" and "Closing Time", followed by "Tom Traubert's Blues" and "Waltzing Mathilda" for me......



Here's why Kate Winslet will probably snare the 2011 Toobits Award for Best League of Themselves Appearance in a Commercial....



Might as well bash FOX News two Video Weekends in a row.....


'TalkShow with Spike Ferenstein'

Jared Gilmore