Probably the best series of Christmas commercials this year comes from Chevrolet. A Chevy salesman named Nick, who has the most fantastic white beard I've seen, is being confused for the real Santa Claus. The things he says and does give that impression, but his actions also seem to indicate he's just a guy named Nick with a white beard.....
That last one is my favorite of the bunch, because the customer reminds me of a guy I used to work with named Ruxton.
As far as I'm concerned, he is just a guy named Nick and this is the type of confusion he's had to face ever since his hair turned white and he decided to grow the beard. And that takes nothing away from how funny these commercials are.
In this naughty but nice parody of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", most of the voices represent a 'Lost In Space' reunion: Jonathan Harris (his final performance), Marta Kristen, Bill Mumy, and Angela Cartwright. Tress MacNeille tightens the nuts as Cindy Loose Screw.......
Submitted for your approval: Toobworld's greatest serlinguist would have been 87 years old on Christmas Day.....
AS SEEN ON: 'Saturday Night Live'
AS PLAYED BY: Norm MacDonald
TV DIMENSION: Skitlandia
From Wikipedia: Rodman Edward "Rod" Serling (December 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975) was an American screenwriter, novelist, television producer, and narrator best known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and anti-war politics.
On this date in 1970 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City is topped out at 1,368 feet (417 m), making it the tallest building in the world.
THE WORLD TRADE CENTER
AS SEEN IN: 'Life On Mars' (US)
TV DIMENSION: Earth Prime-Time (Induced Dream State in 2035)
From Wikipedia: The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks. As of November 2011, only one skyscraper has been completed, with four more expected to be completed before 2020. One World Trade Center will be the lead building for the new complex and is expected to be finished by 2013. A sixth tower is still awaiting confirmation to be built. At the time of their completion, the original 1 and 2 World Trade Center, known colloquially as the Twin Towers, were the tallest buildings in the world.
Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966. The North Tower (1) was completed in December 1972 and the South Tower (2) was finished in July 1973.
For Sam Tyler to be able to see the Towers, even though he was having a dream in suspended animation, the storyline that was playing out for him took place after July 1973.
From Wikipedia: Barbara Billingsley (December 22, 1915 – October 16, 2010) was an American film, television, voice and stage actress. She gained prominence in the 1950s movie "The Careless Years", acting opposite Natalie Trundy, followed by her best–known role, that of June Cleaver on the television series 'Leave It to Beaver' (1957–1963) and its sequel 'Still the Beaver '(1985–1988, retitled in season two as The New Leave It to Beaver).
In 1952 Billingsley had her first guest–starring role on an episode of 'The Abbott and Costello Show'. The part led to other roles on 'The Lone Wolf', two episodes of 'City Detective', 'The Pride of the Family', 'Schlitz Playhouse of Stars', 'Letter to Loretta', 'General Electric Summer Originals', 'You Are There', 'Cavalcade of America', 'Panic!', 'Mr. Adams and Eve', 'The Love Boat', 'Silver Spoons', 'Parker Lewis Can't Lose', 'Mike Hammer', 'Empty Nest', among many others. She reprised her June Cleaver role three times, in 'Amazing Stories', 'Baby Boom' and 'Roseanne'. She also guest-starred on an episode of 'Make Room For Daddy', in which Thomas's character is a widower. The producers reportedly considered casting her as his second wife, but later decided against it, and Marjorie Lord eventually got the role.
After an absence of 17 years from the public eye (other than appearing in two episodes of 'The F.B.I.' in 1971), Billingsley spoofed her wholesome image with a brief appearance in the comedy "Airplane!" (1980), as a passenger who could "speak jive". She became the voice of Nanny and The Little Train on 'Muppet Babies' from 1984 to 1991.Billingsley appeared with Robin Williams and Pam Dawber in a 1982 episode of 'Mork & Mindy'. She appeared in a 'Leave It to Beaver' reunion television movie entitled "Still the Beaver" in 1983. Hugh Beaumont had died the year before of a heart attack, so she played his widow.
'SCTV' may have been afraid of lawsuits with this sketch, because all the names of the actors were slightly altered, but they were still supposed to have starred in 'Leave It To Beaver'. But Toobworld Central doesn't accept onscreen credits to be part of the Toobworld Dynamic.
From Wikipedia: Jane Fonda (born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda; December 21, 1937) is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as "Barbarella" and "Cat Ballou". She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an actress. After 15 years of retirement, she returned to film in 2005 with "Monster in Law", followed by "Georgia Rule" two years later. She also produced and starred in over 20 exercise videos released between 1982 and 1995, and once again in 2010.
Fonda has been an activist for many political causes; her opposition to the Vietnam War and associated activities were controversial. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women. She describes herself as a liberal and a feminist. In 2005 Fonda worked alongside Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem to co-found the Women's Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Fonda currently serves on the board of the organization. Since 2001 Fonda has been a Christian. She published an autobiography in 2005, and in 2011, she published a second memoir, "Prime Time".
From The Los Angeles Times: REPORTING FROM SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the mercurial strongman extolled at home as the “Dear Leader” and reviled abroad as a tyrant, has died at 69, North Korean media reported Monday.
Kim’s death was announced by state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. No cause of death was reported, but Kim was believed to have suffered in recent years from diabetes and heart disease.
The diminutive leader was believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008 but nonetheless appeared in numerous photos released by state media as he toured state facilities and in recent months embarked on rare trips outside North Korea -– to China and Russia. -- Barbara Demick and John M. Glionna
Interesting how both of these portrayals were by women. Just sayin', is all......
On average, when a TV show does its Christmas-themed episode, they usually do a variation on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" or Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life". Okay, sometimes there's a spoof of the Dr. Seuss character of the Grinch, and 'Dream On' even pulled off the birth in a manger story.
The 'Warehouse 13' Christmas episode this year fell into the "Wonderful Life" category where a character sees what the world would have been like had he never been born. This time, Warehouse agent Pete Lattimer came into contact with a artifact that once belonged to Philip Van Doren Stern. (Stern's story "The Greatest Gift" was the basis for the plotline of "It's A Wonderful Life".)
What was great about the revised timeline for the Warehouse was the shout-out to the rich inventory previously seen in the series - like the bloodstone from the pilot or DeMille's riding crop. Plus there were mentions of other characters like Hugo, Dr. Vanessa Calder, H.G. Wells, Claudia's brother and Artie's father. Best of all, Pete's new timeline brought James MacPherson back from the dead, played by guest star Roger Rees.
At the Warehouse, all of the Christmas-themed artifacts were kept in their own aisle. I would imagine the snow globe from the Christmas episode of 'Haven' will eventually end up there (especially since most of the other Syfy shows, like 'Eureka' and 'Alphas' have made connections to 'Warehouse 13'.) The snow globe would join other artifacts like that brush and a skein of red yarn (properties unknown).
But the best Christmas artifact in that particular section of the Warehouse was the leg lamp from the movie "A Christmas Story". Unfortunately, we never learned its special properties - unlike Stern's brush, there was no problem with Pete making contact with it.
In the TV Universe, the movie "A Christmas Story" is a movie as well - characters from 'One Tree Hill' compared their situation to the movie once, and lots of characters have quoted the classic line: "You'll shoot your eye out, Kid."
But did you know "A Christmas Story", at least within the TV Universe, was based on a "true" story? Back in 1976, we saw the "real" life of Ralphie Parker as a teenager in the PBS production "The Phantom Of The Open Hearth". The basic plotline had Ralphie maneuvering the minefield of prom dates in the late 1940's.
"A Christmas Story" was based on Ralphie's life as a child earlier in that decade. (I figured it to be 1940 or '41, due to the presence of characters from the 1939 movie "The Wizard Of Oz" in the town's Christmas parade.)
The incident with the leg lamp (a major award!), which occurred later in Ralphie's teen years, was appropriated for inclusion in the movie.
The leg lamp we see at the Warehouse is not the "real" lamp from Ralphie Parker's home - that was of a different design. This lamp is one of the standby props used for the movie. (The main lamp was eventually broken in the movie.)
I'm wondering what special property is held by this movie prop now that it's become an artifact.
It only activates on Christmas Eve, when it can make you relive the same two hours of your life over and over again for 24 hours - just like TBS reruns "A Christmas Story" for a full day.
AS SEEN IN: 'Ancient Rome: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire'
AS PLAYED BY: David Warner
From Wikipedia: Appius Claudius Pulcher was a Roman politician of the 2nd century BC.
Son of Gaius Claudius Pulcher (who was consul in 177), he was appointed consul in 143 BC, and, to obtain a pretext for a triumph, attacked the Salassi, an Alpine tribe. He was at first defeated, but afterwards, following the directions of the Sibylline Books, gained a victory.
On his return the celebration of the triumph was refused; but he triumphed at his own expense, and when one of the tribunes attempted to drag him from his car, his daughter Claudia, one of the Vestal Virgins, walked by his side up to the capital.
Next year he was an unsuccessful candidate for the censorship, though he afterwards held that office with Quintus Fulvius Nobilior, probably in 136 BC. He allied with Tiberius Gracchus who married his daughter Claudia. Appius backed Tiberius' land reform bill and in 133 BC with Tiberius and Tiberius' brother, Gaius Gracchus, was chosen commissioner for the division of the lands. Their post allowed them to survey the ager publicus, publicly owned land that Tiberius wanted to distribute among veterans of the Punic War.
Another faction in the Senate opposed them and Tiberius was assassinated in 132 BC. Appius lived at enmity with Publius Scipio Aemilianus. He died shortly after Tiberius Gracchus, probably in 130 BC.
He was one of the Salii, an augur, and princeps senatus. Cicero, says that his style of speaking was fluent and vehement. He married Antistia.
On January 11th of this year, David Nelson passed away at the age of 74. Along with his parents, Ozzie & Harriet, and his brother Ricky, the Nelson family shared their televersions' lives with the Trueniverse audience for more than 14 years on the air. And in that time they had quite a few Christmas episodes.
For our Advent Sunday Christmas episode here at Inner Toob, I'd like to share three of those episodes with you....
Well, this star-studded museum piece full of past members of the League of Themselves belongs in the Cineverse. But since Jackie Cooper passed away earlier this year and he was such a major contributor to Toobworld both in front of and behind the camera, and besides.... 'tis the season......
Since the Christmas season wouldn't be complete without its ghosts of Christmas Past, here's one from the past of recent 'Dancing With The Stars' contestant Chaz Bono, featuring one of my childhood icons - TV Crossover Hall Of Fame member Captain Kangaroo........
From Wikipedia: Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was the first female African-American secretary of state, as well as the second African American (after Colin Powell), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice also served on the National Security Council as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor to President George H.W. Bush during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
Following her confirmation as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered the policy of Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the Greater Middle East. Her emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support. While Secretary of State, she chaired the Millennium Challenge Corporation's board of directors.
In March 2009, Rice returned to Stanford University as a political science professor and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. In September 2010, Rice became a faculty member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy.
* If anybody out there is familiar with this actress from the German comedy series, can you clue me in as to who she is? I get the feeling this is blackface (a la Bernhard Hoecker as Bruce Darnell), but who knows?
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"