Saturday, May 26, 2012


Just a little oddity to close out this first day of the holiday Video Weekend.  This is one of my favorite classical pieces, at least when arranged by Carl Orff, and any movie that uses it in its soundtrack goes up higher in my evaluation because of it.......

From the home office of Toobworld Central....



I've put the spotlight on several friends over the last week who have seen their televersions appear in Toobworld (or in Mel's case, come close to doing so). Today is no different, as we post this video salute to Griff's Chicken Shack in Hamden, Ct., owned and operated by Scott Griffin.

This piece was produced for the local TV show 'Ct. Perspectives', but it won't be running now until June 17th. So I'm going to jump the gun and give them a tip of the hat now here at Inner Toob.

Griff's Chicken Shack is probably best known for their chicken fingers and the wall of fame featuring those hardy enough to eat at least ten (maybe the minimum is fifteen?) And then there's the wrap called the Elvis (as you'll see in the video.) But for me it's the pulled pork BBQ sandwiches!

Anyhoo, if you find yourself in Hamden, Ct. and in need of a bite to eat, drop by Griff's Chicken Shack!



A week ago today, 'Saturday Night Live' televised its season finale. (Their 37th, if I'm not mistaken, and I often am.....)

But it also marked the final appearance by Kristen Wiig as a cast member. After seven years on the show, creating such characters as Kat, Doonie, Gilly, and the Target Lady, she'll probably be seeking to capitalize on her Academy Award nomination for writing "Bridesmaids", in which she also starred.

I never thought I'd ever see an 'SNL' send-off to a cast member that could equal that given to the late, great Phil Hartman. And in this case, I was right. This surpassed that classic good-bye.......

I felt myself get a little misty-eyed during that private moment she shared onstage with Jason Sudeikis - it had an "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow" vibe to it. But when Lorne Michaels came out to dance with her.... 

 Well, as 'Saturday Night Live' would put it, I got verklempt.



Because of the work I'm still doing on the place Long John Silver holds in the TV Universe, I remembered this incredible song by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I introduced my brother Tim to them with a record album (yes, a record album!) I gave him for Christmas one year, and he rewarded me with a copy of a fantastic video of this song underscoring relevant scenes from many a pirate movie.

This isn't that video, but another interpretation using scenes from the movies intercut with the band in performance.

Probably one of the greatest story-telling songs I've ever heard. And my second favorite ELP song.....



Robin Gibb of the BeeGees passed away earlier this week, a victim of the cancer that plagued him in recent years. He was preceded in death by his twin brother Maurice and his younger brother Andy, leaving only Barry Gibb as the surviving musical member of the family.

Gibb was best known for his musical contributions, probably moreso in connection with the disco soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever", but the BeeGees had several great songs in their musical career before that period. Perhaps unfortunately, the BeeGees are famous (or infamous?) in the Cineverse for playing the Lonely Hearts Club Band in the movie based on the music of the Beatles.

But Robin Gibb also carved out a position for himself in Toobworld League of Themselves enough times to qualify for membership in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame. And those appearances don't even take into account the many times he appeared - many times with his brothers - on variety shows and award programs, talk shows and recorded concerts. They even had their own show down in Australia before really hitting it big back in England.

Robin Gibb also has a Skitlandic televersion, as played by Justin Timberlake in several outings on 'Saturday Night Live' as part of his brother Barry's talk show, (Barry Gibb was played by Jimmy Fallon.) And that counts toward his tally for admission.

Here are some other examples:

What I don't have is any video evidence of an unbilled appearance by Robin Gibb in an episode of 'Ellen', the sitcom Ellen DeGeneres starred in before her long-running talk show.

Here's Justin Timberlake as Robin Gibb on 'Saturday Night Live':

Robin also composed a song for the "Sesame Street Fever" album which isn't technically a part of the TV Universe, but there is a nice fan-made video to go along with it:

So in keeping with my new tradition of honoring those individuals who have departed with instant entry into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame if they qualified, I'd like to take this opportunity to sadly welcome Robin Gibb into the ranks.

This may be the first time - outside the four times a month year-long celebration of the Hall's tenth anniversary - in which more than two inductions have been held in the same month. It is also the second one this month triggered by a death here in the Trueniverse.

So much for "the merry month of May"....

Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Robin Gibb. I'm sorry you found yourself a member too soon......

Good night and may God bless.


Earlier this week marked the second anniversary since 'Lost' went off the air. For me personally, the show ranks as my sixth favorite of all Time. (Oh, okay - 'The Prisoner', 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', 'Columbo', 'Doctor Who')

TV columnist Alan Sepinwall (whose HitFix blog is listed to the left as "What's Alan Watching?") posted six key moments in the series that he considered to be the best, as far as characters, events, emotions on the part of the viewer, etc. Out of those six, I'd say these were the top two for me:

After seeing that first season finale for the first time, I sat there and rewound the videotape again and again just to watch the whole sequence again and again. It wasn't just knowing that this would be the last time I'd be seeing these characters until the Fall, but it's the emotional punch of saying goodbye underscored by that swelling orchestral music by Michael Giacchino.

It still packs a wallop for me, as does the flow from the original version of "The Road To Shamballa" to Giacchino's instrumental version.

And in both, it's Sawyer's search of the area for any sign of Kate....




"Alice In Wonderland"
('Great Performances')

Lewis Carroll

Richard Burton



From Wikipedia:
The White Knight is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking-Glass. He represents the chess piece of the same name. As imagined in John Tenniel's illustrations for the Alice stories he has echoes of John Millais's Sir Isumbras at the Ford.

The White Knight saves Alice from his opponent, the Red Knight. He repeatedly falls off his horse and lands on his head, and tells Alice of his inventions, which consists of things such as a pudding with ingredients like blotting paper, an upside down container, and anklets to guard his horse against shark bites. He recites a poem of his own composition, 'A-Sitting on a Gate', (but the song's name is 'Haddocks' Eyes') and he and Alice depart.

The White Knight has been played by other actors in other TV dimensions:
  • "Alice" (2009) Played by Matt Frewer
  • "Alice in Wonderland" (1999 film) Played by Christopher Lloyd
  • "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (1998) Played by Ian Holm
  • "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (1987) Played by Alan Young
  • "Alice in Wonderland" (1985 film) Played by Lloyd Bridges
  • "Alice in Wonderland" (1982) Played by Stephen Boe
  • "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (1974) Played by Geoffrey Bayldon
  • "Alice in Wonderland (or What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?)" (1966) Played by Bill Dana [This is one of the versions from the Tooniverse.]
  • "Alice in Wonderland" (1955) Played by Reginald Gardiner
This may be the first time I've spoken of ToobStage. Like Skitlandia and The Tooniverse, it is a distinct alternative to the main Toobworld, a world in which Time is stagnant. The same events happen over and over again but - as with Skitlandia - the physical appearance of the inhabitants keeps changing. (In other words, this is the TV dimension in which we find the staged theatrical plays which are televised.)

At times, Mr. Sweet the Demon strikes certain events along the timeline......

One thing I liked about this portrayal - it marked one of two chances for Richard Burton to act opposite his daughter Kate (The other being "Ellis Island") just before he died......


Friday, May 25, 2012


'Play Of The Week' - "The World Of Sholom Aleichem" ("Bontsche Shveig")
Lee Grant as the Defending Angel
Jack Gilford as the Defendant
Unknown as the Prosecuting Angel
(Looks like Peter Brocco though.....)

"Defending Your Life"
Buck Henry as the Defending Angel
Albert Brooks as the Defendant
Lee Grant as the Prosecuting Angel

It looks like we have a multiversal appearance by Lee Grant. If so, her character switched sides in the heavenly courts......




Down here, in _this_ world, Bontzye Shweig's death made no impression at
all. Ask anyone you like who Bontzye was, _how_ he lived, and what he
died of; whether of heart failure, or whether his strength gave out, or
whether his back broke under a heavy load, and they won't know. Perhaps,
after all, he died of hunger.

If a tram-car horse had fallen dead, there would have been more
excitement. It would have been mentioned in the papers, and hundreds of
people would have crowded round to look at the dead animal--even the
spot where the accident took place.

But the tramway horse would receive less attention if there were as many
horses as men--a thousand million.

Bontzye lived quietly and died quietly. He passed through _our_ world
like a shadow.

No wine was drunk at Bontzye's circumcision, no healths were proposed,
and he made no beautiful speech when he was confirmed. He lived like a
little dun-colored grain of sand on the sea-shore, among millions of his
kind; and when the wind lifted him and blew him over to the other side
of the sea, nobody noticed it.

When he was alive, the mud in the street preserved no impression of his
feet; after his death, the wind overturned the little board on his
grave. The grave-digger's wife found it a long way off from the spot,
and boiled a potful of potatoes over it. Three days after that, the
grave-digger had forgotten where he had laid him.

If Bontzye had been given a tombstone, then, in a hundred years or so,
an antiquarian might have found it, and the name "Bontzye Shweig" would
have echoed once again in _our_ air.

A shadow! His likeness remained photographed in nobody's brain, in
nobody's heart; not a trace of him remained.

"No kith, no kin!" He lived and died alone!

Had it not been for the human commotion, some one might have heard
Bontzye's spine snap under its load; had the world been less busy, some
one might have remarked that Bontzye (also a human being) went about
with two extinguished eyes and fearfully hollow cheeks; that even when
he had no load on his shoulders, his head drooped earthward as though,
while yet alive, he were looking for his grave. Were there as few men as
tramway horses, some one might perhaps have asked: What has happened to

When they carried Bontzye into the hospital, his corner in the
underground lodging was soon filled--there were ten of his like waiting
for it, and they put it up to auction among themselves. When they
carried him from the hospital bed to the dead-house, there were twenty
poor sick persons waiting for the bed. When he had been taken out of the
dead-house, they brought in twenty bodies from under a building that had
fallen in. Who knows how long he will rest in his grave? Who knows how
many are waiting for the little plot of ground?

A quiet birth, a quiet life, a quiet death, and a quieter burial.

But it was not so in the _other_ world. _There_ Bontzye's death made a
great impression.

The blast of the great Messianic Shofar sounded through all the seven
heavens: Bontzye Shweig has left the earth! The largest angels with the
broadest wings flew about and told one another: Bontzye Shweig is to
take his seat in the Heavenly Academy! In Paradise there was a noise and
a joyful tumult: Bontzye Shweig! Just fancy! Bontzye Shweig!

Little child-angels with sparkling eyes, gold thread-work wings, and
silver slippers, ran delightedly to meet him. The rustle of the wings,
the tap-tap of the little slippers, and the merry laughter of the fresh,
rosy mouths, filled all the heavens and reached to the Throne of Glory,
and God Himself knew that Bontzye Shweig was coming.

Abraham, our father, stood in the gate, his right hand stretched out
with a hearty greeting, and a sweet smile lit up his old face.

What are they wheeling through heaven?

Two angels are pushing a golden arm-chair into Paradise for Bontzye

What flashed so brightly?

They were carrying past a gold crown set with precious stones--all for
Bontzye Shweig.

"Before the decision of the Heavenly Court has been given?" ask the
saints, not quite without jealousy.

"O," reply the angels, "that will be a mere formality. Even the
prosecutor won't say a word against Bontzye Shweig. The case will not
last five minutes."

Just consider: Bontzye Shweig!

       *       *       *       *       *

When the little angels had met Bontzye in mid-air and played him a tune;
when Abraham, our father, had shaken him by the hand like an old
comrade; when he heard that a chair stood waiting for him in Paradise,
that a crown lay ready for his head; and that not a word would be lost
over his case before the Heavenly Court--Bontzye, just as in the other
world, was too frightened to speak. His heart sank with terror. He is
sure it is all a dream, or else simply a mistake.

He is used to both. He often dreamt, in the other world, that he was
picking up money off the floor--there were whole heaps of it--and then
he woke to find himself as poor as ever; and more than once people had
smiled at him and given him a friendly word and then turned away and
spit out.

"It is my luck," he used to think. And now he dared not raise his eyes,
lest the dream should vanish, lest he should wake up in some cave full
of snakes and lizards. He was afraid to speak, afraid to move, lest he
should be recognized and flung into the pit.

He trembles and does not hear the angels' compliments, does not see how
they dance round him, makes no answer to the greeting of Abraham, our
father, and--when he is led into the presence of the Heavenly Court, he
does not even wish it "good morning!"

He is beside himself with terror, and his fright increases when he
happens to notice the floor of the Heavenly Courthouse; it is all
alabaster set with diamonds. "And my feet standing on it!" He is
paralyzed. "Who knows what rich man, what rabbi, what saint they take me
for--he will come--and that will be the end of me!"

His terror is such, he never even hears the president call out: "The
case of Bontzye Shweig!" adding, as he hands the deeds to the advocate,
"Read, but make haste!"

The whole hall goes round and round in Bontzye's eyes, there is a
rushing in his ears. And through the rushing he hears more and more
clearly the voice of the advocate, speaking sweetly as a violin.

"His name," he hears, "fitted him like the dress made for a slender
figure by the hand of an artist-tailor."

"What is he talking about?" wondered Bontzye, and he heard an impatient
voice break in with:

"No similes, please!"

"He never," continued the advocate, "was heard to complain of either God
or man; there was never a flash of hatred in his eye; he never lifted it
with a claim on heaven."

Still Bontzye does not understand, and once again the hard voice
interrupts: "No rhetoric, please!"

"Job gave way--this one was more unfortunate--"

"Facts, dry facts!"

"When he was a week old, he was circumcised...."

"We want no realism!"

"The Mohel who circumcised him did not know his work--"

"Come, come!"

"And he kept silent," the advocate went on, "even when his mother died,
and he was given a step-mother at thirteen years old--a serpent, a

"Can they mean me after all?" thought Bontzye.

"No insinuations against a third party!" said the president, angrily.

"She grudged him every mouthful--stale, mouldy bread, tendons instead of
meat--and _she_ drank coffee with cream."

"Keep to the subject," ordered the president.

"She grudged him everything but her finger nails, and his black-and-blue
body showed through the holes in his torn and fusty clothes. Winter
time, in the hardest frost, he had to chop wood for her, barefoot, in
the yard, and his hands were too young and too weak, the logs too thick,
the hatchet too blunt. More than once he nearly dislocated his wrist;
more than once his feet were nearly frost-bitten, but he kept silent,
even to his father."

"To that drunkard?" laughs the accuser, and Bontzye feels cold in every

"He never even complained to his father," finished up the advocate.

"And always alone," he continued, "no playmates, no school, nor teaching
of any kind--never a whole garment--never a free moment."

"Facts, please!" reminded the president.

"He kept silent even later, when his father seized him by the hair in a
fit of drunkenness, and flung him out into the street on a snowy
winter's night. He quietly picked himself up out of the snow and ran
whither his feet carried him.

"He kept silent all the way--however hungry he might be, he only begged
with his eyes.

"It was a wild, wet night in spring time, when he reached the great
town; he fell like a drop into the ocean, and yet he passed that same
night under arrest. He kept silent and never asked why, for what. He was
let out, and looked about for the hardest work. And he kept silent.
Harder than the work itself was the finding of it--and he kept silent.

"Bathed in a cold sweat, crushed together under heavy loads, his empty
stomach convulsed with hunger--he kept silent.

"Bespattered with mud, spat at, driven with his load off the pavement
and into the street among the cabs, carts, and tramways, looking death
in the eyes every moment--he kept silent.

"He never calculated how many pounds' burden go to a groschen, how many
times he fell on an errand worth a dreier; how many times he nearly
panted out his soul going after his pay; he never calculated the
difference between other people's lot and his--he kept silent.

"And he never insisted loudly on his pay; he stood in the door-way like
a beggar, with a dog-like pleading in his eyes--Come again later! and he
went like a shadow to come again later, and beg for his wage more humbly
than before.

"He kept silent even when they cheated him of part, or threw in a false

"He took everything in silence."

"They mean me after all," thought Bontzye.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Once," continued the advocate, after a sip of water, "a change came
into his life: there came flying along a carriage on rubber tires drawn
by two runaway horses. The driver already lay some distance off on the
pavement with a cracked skull. The terrified horses foamed at the mouth,
sparks shot from their hoofs, their eyes shone like fiery lamps on a
winter's night--and in the carriage, more dead than alive, sat a man.

"And Bontzye stopped the horses. And the man he had saved was a
charitable Jew, who was not ungrateful.

"He put the dead man's whip into Bontzye's hands, and Bontzye became a
coachman. More than that--he was provided with a wife, and more
still--with a child.

"And Bontzye kept silent!"

"Me, they mean me!" Bontzye assured himself again, and yet had not the
courage to give a glance at the Heavenly Court.

He listens to the advocate further:

"He kept silent also when his protector became bankrupt and did not pay
him his wages.

"He kept silent when his wife ran away from him, leaving him a child at
the breast.

"He was silent also fifteen years later, when the child had grown up and
was strong enough to throw him out of the house."

"Me, they mean me!" Now he is sure of it.

"He kept silent even," began the angelic advocate once more in a still
softer and sadder voice, "when the same philanthropist paid all his
creditors their due but him--and even when (riding once again in a
carriage with rubber tires and fiery horses) he knocked Bontzye down and
drove over him.

"He kept silent. He did not even tell the police who had done for him."

       *       *       *       *       *

"He kept silent even in the hospital, where one may cry out.

"He kept silent when the doctor would not come to his bedside without
being paid fifteen kopeks, and when the attendant demanded another
five--for changing his linen.

"He kept silent in the death-struggle--silent in death.

"Not a word against God; not a word against men!


       *       *       *       *       *

Once more Bontzye trembled all over, he knew that after the advocate
comes the prosecutor. Who knows what _he_ will say?

Bontzye himself had remembered nothing of his life.

Even in the other world he forgot every moment what had happened in the
one before. The advocate had recalled everything to his mind. Who knows
what the prosecutor will not remind him of?

"Gentlemen," begins the prosecutor, in a voice biting and acid as
vinegar--but he breaks off.

"Gentlemen," he begins again, but his voice is milder, and a second time
he breaks off.

Then, from out the same throat, comes in a voice that is almost gentle:

"Gentlemen! _He_ was silent! I will be silent, too!"

There is a hush--and there sounds in front a new, soft, trembling voice:

"Bontzye, my child," it speaks like a harp, "my dear child Bontzye!"

And Bontzye's heart melts within him. Now he would lift up his eyes, but
they are blinded with tears; he never felt such sweet emotion before.
"My child!" "My Bontzye!"--no one, since his mother died, had spoken to
him with such words in such a voice.

"My child," continued the presiding judge, "you have suffered and kept
silent; there is no whole limb, no whole bone in your body, without a
scar, without a wound, not a fibre of your soul that has not bled--and
you kept silent.

"There they did not understand. Perhaps you yourself did not know that
you might have cried out, and that at your cry the walls of Jericho
would have shaken and fallen. You yourself knew nothing of your hidden

"In the other world your silence was not understood, but _that_ is the
world of delusion; in the world of truth you will receive your reward.

"The Heavenly Court will not judge you; the Heavenly Court will not pass
sentence on you; they will not apportion you a reward. Take what you
will! Everything is yours!"

Bontzye looks up for the first time. He is dazzled; everything shines
and flashes and streams with light.

"_Taki?_" he asks shyly.

"Yes, really!" answers the presiding judge with decision; "really, I
tell you, everything is yours; everything in heaven belongs to you.
Because all that shines and sparkles is only the reflection of your
hidden goodness, a reflection of your soul. You only take of what is

"_Taki?_" asks Bontzye again, this time in a firmer voice.

"_Taki! taki! taki!_" they answer him from all sides.

"Well, if it is so," Bontzye smiles, "I would like to have every day,
for breakfast, a hot roll with fresh butter."

The Court and the angels looked down, a little ashamed; the prosecutor



'Lanigan's Rabbi'

Harry Kemelman

Bruce Solomon


Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
'Lanigan's Rabbi' is a short-lived American crime drama series that aired on NBC during the first half of 1977.

Based upon a series of novels by Harry Kemelman, the series starred Art Carney as Police Chief Paul Lanigan, who fights crime in a small California town with the help of his best friend, Rabbi David Small (Bruce Solomon). Small's ability in this area was attributed to his "rabbinic mind", and his Talmudic training. However, an added element for the David Small novels and the 'Lanigan's Rabbi' series was that Small was usually trying to balance his crime-solving assistance to Chief Lanigan with synagogue politics, usually involving some congregants who would be happy to see the rabbi lose his position. Co-starring in the series was Janis Paige and Janet Margolin as Mrs. Lanigan and Mrs. Small, respectively. Another regular on the series was Carney's daughter, Barbara Carney.

After a successful pilot film based on "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late", the first novel in the Rabbi David Small series, aired in 1976, 'Lanigan's Rabbi' was produced as a series of 90-minute telefilms beginning in January 1977. For the series, Bruce Solomon replaced Stuart Margolin, who had played Rabbi Small in the pilot. The series was broadcast on a rotating schedule under the umbrella title 'NBC Sunday Mystery Movie'. Other series involved in the scheme were 'Columbo', 'McCloud', and 'McMillan' (formerly 'McMillan & Wife').

'Lanigan's Rabbi' was the last series added to the 'Mystery Movie' format (it replaced 'Quincy, M.E.' at mid-season when that series was spun off into a weekly program); in the spring, NBC cancelled all four series and discontinued the 'Mystery Movie' format. As a result, only four 'Lanigan's Rabbi' episodes were broadcast.

The Rabbi Small series began in 1964 with the publication of "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late", which became a huge bestseller, a difficult achievement for a religious mystery, and won Kemelman a 1965 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The Rabbi Small books are not only mysteries, but also considerations of Conservative Judaism.
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late – 1964
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry – 1966
  • Sunday, the Rabbi Stayed Home – 1969
  • Monday The Rabbi Took Off – 1972
  • Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red – 1973
  • Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet – 1976
  • Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out – 1978
  • Conversations with Rabbi Small – 1981
  • Someday the Rabbi Will Leave – 1985
  • One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross – 1987
  • The Day the Rabbi Resigned – 1992
  • That Day the Rabbi Left Town – 1996

Although Bruce Solomon is the recastaway as Rabbi Small, he still gets to be in the main Toobworld since he was the star of the series. Stuart Margolin as Rabbi Small ends up in that TV dimension in which another Art Carney character can be found - the original broadcast of "The Incredible World Of Horace Ford" on 'Westinghouse Studio One'.


Thursday, May 24, 2012



"Alice In Wonderland" (1966)

Lewis Carroll

Leo McKern

Dream Figure


From Wikipedia:
The Duchess is a character in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", published in 1865. Carroll does not describe her physically in much detail, although her hideous appearance is strongly established in the popular imagination thanks to John Tenniel's illustrations and from context it is clear that Alice finds her quite unattractive.

The Duchess is an antagonist of The Queen of Hearts. In her first appearance, the Duchess seems nearly as unpleasant as the Queen herself, but later on treats Alice with friendliness and respect.

The Duchess lives in Wonderland in a small palace just outside the Caterpillar's forest. She employs a footman who Alice thinks resembles a frog, and a Cook who is addicted to pepper and who throws crockery and kitchen utensils over her shoulder with no concern for those who might be hit. The footman enjoys staring at the sky for days on end, oblivious to most people in or out of the house. The Duchess also has a child and a cat (the Cheshire Cat).

Lewis Carroll is not explicit about her physical attributes, but Tenniel's drawings illustrate an ugly and grotesque woman with an extremely large head. Her character is strongly voluble; at times she even seems to have a double personality. When she first meets Alice in her kitchen, she shows herself to be nervous, aggressive, and not disposed to interact. She recites one of the more well-known rhymes in the book, when she advocates beating a child for sneezing:

Speak roughly to your little boy

and beat him when he sneezes
he only does it to annoy
because he knows it teases.
I speak severely to my boy
I beat him when he sneezes
for he can thoroughly enjoy
the pepper when he pleases

As the Cook has absolutely saturated the kitchen with pepper, and the baby sneezes constantly, one can only conclude he has probably suffered quite a bit at his mother's hands. 

Taking pity on the child, Alice spirits him away, only to find that he has transformed into a pig. It is never explained why this happens, but Alice looks on the bright side, concluding that while the baby wasn't a very attractive baby, it makes for a good-looking pig.

When Alice meets the Duchess for the second time at the Queen's croquet party, the Duchess is much more chatty and almost flirtatious, seemingly determined to charm the young girl for reasons unknown. She repeatedly places her chin firmly on Alice's shoulder, which Alice finds disturbing as well as uncomfortable, as the Duchess has a very sharp, pointy chin. (In Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Breakfast of Champions" he also has a character do this, and Vonnegut breaks the fourth wall to tell readers that it is a direct homage to this famous scene with the Duchess.) Even so, Alice begins to suspect that the Duchess might actually have a pleasant personality after all, and that her earlier ruthlessness was caused by the pepper. In any case, the Duchess has no concern for her baby now that he's become a pig.

The Duchess is often seen as a child's-eye-view of emotionally volatile and mysterious adults, switching back and forth between dark moods and condescending affection at unpredictable times.

I believe that this version of Wonderland was a prophetic dream by this particular Alice, who read the original book. (In Toobworld, Lewis Carroll chronicled real events set in an alternate dimension.) She somehow mentally linked in to the mind of a future secret agent who resigned and was then abducted to "The Village", which was more of a surreal prison resort. There he was to be "broken" so that his captors could learn all of his secrets. (To do so, they first took away his name and gave him a number as his identity.)

The Duchess is the dream avatar for one of many Number Two's charged with getting the first basic answer out of 'The Prisoner' - "Why did he resign?" At first he was antagonistic to the Prisoner, but then joined his side. In much the same way, the Duchess eventually became friendly to Alice in the dream. To the point where she thumbed her nose at the higher authority and was led away by the midget Butler........

I'll have more on this theory soon.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I’m like the Dexter of sex.
I love you and then I will kill you.”
Ellie Torres
'Cougar Town'

I'm not sure how to play this Zonk. Ellie can't be referring to the Dexter Morgan of Toobworld - His identity as a serial killer has not been made public. Adn because he lives in the same TV dimension as Ms. Ellie, she can't be referring to the TV show. And again, he's still not revealed as a serial killer. (That same argument would go for the books, as well.)

Could it be that 'Dexter' is set in the past? Far enough back so that a TV show about him is already being broadcast, yet current enough so that the TV show looks up to date (without fashions and automobiles proving otherwise)?

I don't have Showtime, so I've only seen the pilot episode on a freebie weekend. (I do own the first three seasons in a boxed set, but have yet to watch them.*) I have no clue if current events come up in conversations during the show.

If we can claim that the TV show in Toobworld is based on a recent headline-grabbing story, then there is no Zonk. Otherwise we have to come up with an alternate Dexter.

Here's one possibility:

Dexter mentioned by Ellie is either the last name or the solo name of some pop culture heart-throb who is known for his many sexual conquests. Some of these women may have killed themselves over him. Others might have suffered heart attacks from the excitement of being in his presence. Others could have been crushed to death in a stampede because they all just wanted to be near him.

Here's another possibility - Ellie Torres actually knows Dexter Morgan and knows his secret. She lives in Gulfhaven, Florida, on the middle west coast and he's in Miami down east. But still, it's a small Toobworld, after all, and maybe their paths did cross. It's hard to believe that someone as careful as Dexter is would have let someone as untrustworthy as Ellie learn his secret, but I'm sure some ambitious script-writer could make the scenario work.

Whichever option - or even one I didn't think of - works best, there's enough reasonable doubt that we don't have to assume it's Dexter Morgan.

By the way, if someone really is the Dexter of Sex, would that be considered "dexting"?

If you watch 'Dexter', why not write to me and let me know if my theories have any validity......




Yitzok L. Peretz

Jack Gilford

'Play Of The Week'
("The World Of Sholom Aleichem")

Earth Prime-Time & the After-Life

From The Ohr Torah Stone website:
Isaac L. Peretz, one of the most profound and beloved of Yiddish - Hebrew writers of the last century, authored a magnificent tale called Bontche Schweig, or Bontche the Silent, which illuminates the significance of these words.

The story recounts a heavenly tribunal which judges Bonche, a newly arrived soul who had lived a poverty-stricken pogrom-tortured life with never having uttered a word against G-d or a word against any human being. The defense-attorney angel catalogued his life of super-human piety with great pathos, and even the prosecuting-attorney angel could not express a negative note against this suffering, saintly soul. The Almighty Himself then summons Bontche, expressing His inability (as it were) to properly reward such an exemplary life and offering to grant whatever reward Bontche will choose. "Really?, asks Bontche, 'takeh?' 'Really, takeh!,' responds G-d. 'Then every morning please give me a fresh, hot roll and butter,' requests Bontche.

The last lines of the tale are the most poignant and instructive. "The defense-attorney angel hid his face in shame. The prosecuting-attorney angel smiled a bitterly mordant smile of triumph. And the Almighty G-d wept..." Obviously Peretz's message is that the greatest tragedy of suffering, the worst fall-out of an unjust world, is that it robs its victims of the ability to dream, it makes it impossible for them to have the breadth of vision to even contemplate the possibility of redemption. Poor Bontche. The evil world had so constricted his imagination that the best he could conjure up for himself and for humanity was a hot roll and butter each morning!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Another friend of mine came thisclose to creating a televersion of himself, only this time in the realm of "Reali-TV" as a member of the League of Themselves.  But he missed it by that much........

Mel Redzematovic was interviewed by WABC Channel 7 about one of his neighbors - an artist who was arrested for hanging plastic bags from trees. The "I Heart New York" bags contained LED lights to illuminate them from within and it was all part of his exhibit. But the police said it posed a threat to safety, one that could cause people to panic into thinking they were bombs. The artist will be held for the next 30 days under observation.

So the news crew interviewed Mel about it, as can be seen in the picture above, but when it came time for the actual video on air, the only neighbor who made it on screen was prettier than he was - and she lived in the same building as the artist's studio, so that was a plus.

It's always pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Mel might show up in some future edit of the story to keep it fresh. But otherwise it was just a case of the TV Universe saying, "Shut up, Mel."



Since the mid-1980's, a particular newspaper keeps popping up in Toobworld, in sitcoms as well as dramas (and even in at least one blipvert!)

It doesn't matter what publication it is, or where the show takes place. We never see its masthead, just the same pages with the same layout and stories.

As I said, it's been happening since the mid-1980's. Here are two examples - one of the earliest* and one of the more recent sightings:

I think you can see why I chose those two examples. (If not, may I suggest corrective eyewear?)

Some sharp-eyed viewer has collected plenty of frame grabs of these newspaper pages as they appeared in Toobworld (as well as in a couple of movies.) Here's the link to see the collection.

When other props are purchased from places like Independent Studio Services, there's no need to look for further splainin. A box of Nuts & More cereal shows up in an episode of 'Chuck' or 'Grey's Anatomy' or 'In Plain Sight', we don't go thinking it's the exact same box.

But newspaper layouts change daily all across the country. Since all of these shows take place in plenty of different locations over a long span of time, there's no way that they're copies of the same paper.

I think it has to be just the one copy. And only of those two pages at that. Somehow it keeps reappearing, perhaps as an omen, throughout Time and Space.

I would say magic has to be involved. Not necessarily as an omen of doom, maybe not even as a milder warning. Nothing particularly dire seems to happen after the pages make their appearance. Perhaps some spectral force is using the paper as a cry for help. But so far, nobody seems to have noticed.

I used to run a monthly category called "Fanficcer's Friend" which provided suggestions for those interested in writing fanfic. And to illustrate possible team-ups of TV characters who were not previously connected, I would share frame grabs and other pictures of the proposed actors involved - from any other source except television. I figured those pictures had to be considered set in stone within the realm of Toobworld.

For example, a picture of Peter Falk with Gene Barry had to be from the first 'Columbo' pilot, "Prescription Murder". We couldn't use it again to claim that it was actually a picture of lawyer Daniel J. O'Brien ('The Trials Of O'Brien') with Chief of Detectives Captain Amos Burke ('Burke's Law').

But the rules don't apply to pictures from movies. They come from the Cineverse, not Toobworld. And although there are some overlaps along the "Borderlands" and some movies totally absorbed into the TV Universe (the 'Star Trek' franchise, for example), they are two distinct realms of fictional existence.

So here's a frame grab from the 2003 remake of "A Texas Chainsaw Massacre":

And we can see that the newspaper was used to cover up this poor girl's body. And it's absorbed some of her blood......

The artifacts found in 'Warehouse 13' are imbued with some sort of energy from either their previous owner or from some event with which they were connected. The objects sold out of Vendredi's Antiques, as seen in 'Friday The 13th: The Series', were cursed by the Devil. Either one of these two sources could be the splainin for why this newspaper page keeps maifesting itself all over the country.

Maybe the spirit of that murdered girl has become tied to that newspaper page and as such it has the power to reappear anywhere. And "any-when". (Since we're not taking that frame grab as being literally from that movie, we don't have to be tied down to the murder as having taken place in 2003 when the movie was released.)

AND THIS JUST IN:  Team Toobworld member and Grand Poobah of the TCVU, Robert Wronski, Jr., wrote to me - "If it helps, the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Masssacre remake takes place in the 1970s, not 2003."  So that gives plenty of time for the girl's spirit to begin manifesting as those newspaper pages.......

Property directors on all of these TV shows seem to enjoy making sure those two pages show up in their productions - in much the same way as sound engineers squirrel away the "Wilhelm Scream" into the movies and TV shows they work on. So those newspaper pages will continue to appear in the TV universe, probably long after I'm done as a custodian of the Toobworld Dynamic. And that means we won't see 'Warehouse 13' agents Myka and Pete snag, bag, and tag the phantom newspaper any time soon......


* Although 'Married... With Children' appeared first in 1985, 'Everybody Hates Chris' - which wasn't broadcast until decades later - takes place earlier in the Toobworld timeline. So the appearance of the newspaper in one of its episodes (Click the link above to see it!) may be the earliest sighting within the "reality" of Toobworld.



Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Rosalie Williams

'Sherlock Holmes'


Earth Prime-Time

Una Stubbs




From Wikipedia:
Mrs. Hudson is the landlady of the house 221B Baker Street, in which Holmes lives.

Mrs. Hudson is a woman who wants the home to be clean and tidy and often fights with Holmes for this. Watson describes her as a very good cook; in "The Naval Treaty," Holmes says "Her cuisine is a little limited, but she has as good an idea of breakfast as a Scotchwoman," which some readers have taken to mean that she is Scottish and others that she cannot possibly be. Other than one mention of her "queenly tread", she is given no physical description or first name, although she has been identified with the "Martha" in "His Last Bow".

In film and television adaptations of the stories, Mrs. Hudson is usually portrayed as an older woman; on rare occasions she is presented as a young woman.

Watson described the relationship between Holmes and Hudson in the opening of "The Adventure of the Dying Detective":

Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman. Not only was her first-floor flat invaded at all hours by throngs of singular and often undesirable characters but her remarkable lodger showed an eccentricity and irregularity in his life which must have sorely tried her patience. His incredible untidiness, his addiction to music at strange hours, his occasional revolver practice within doors, his weird and often malodorous scientific experiments, and the atmosphere of violence and danger which hung around him made him the very worst tenant in London. On the other hand, his payments were princely. I have no doubt that the house might have been purchased at the price which Holmes paid for his rooms during the years that I was with him. The landlady stood in the deepest awe of him and never dared to interfere with him, however outrageous his proceedings might seem. She was fond of him, too, for he had a remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Played by Anne Carroll
The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire, The Royal Scandal, The Sign of Four Played by Kathleen McAuliffe
Sherlock Holmes Returns Played by Tish Heaven (as Young Mrs. Hudson)
The Hound of London Played by Sophia Thornley
Incident at Victoria Falls, Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady Played by Margaret John
"Saturday Night Live" Played by Jan Hooks
Hands of a Murderer Played by Faith Kent
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" Played by Bunty Webb
"Meitantei Holmes" Played by Patricia Parris / Yôko Asagami (as Marie Hudson)
Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death Played by Jenny Laird
"The Baker Street Boys" Played by Pat Keen
Priklyucheniya Sherloka Kholmsa i doktora Vatsona Played by Rina Zelyonaya
"Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson" Played by Kay Walsh
The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It Played by Connie Booth
Sherlock Holmes in New York Played by Marjorie Bennett (as Mrs. Martha Hudson)
"Les grands détectives"
- Sherlock Holmes: Le signe des quatre, Played by Gisela Hoeter (as Mme Hudson)
"Sherlock Holmes" Played by Grace Arnold
- The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax Played by Enid Lindsey
- The Retired Colourman Played by Enid Lindsey
"Sherlock Holmes" Played by Manja Kafka
- The Speckled Band Played by Mary Holdertitle
"Die Galerie der großen Detektive"
- Sherlock Holmes liegt im Sterben Played by Annemarie Schradiek
"Sherlock Holmes" Played by Iris Vandeleur

The 'Sherlock Holmes' series starring Jeremy Brett is the official version for Earth Prime-Time. All of these others can be found in alternate TV dimensions, some of which are chosen due to the primary language and country of origin for the production.

Therefore, Rosalie Williams, despite other actresses playing the role before her, is the Mrs. Hudson for the main Toobworld.

As for the landlady played by Una Stubbs in 'Sherlock', that series takes place in Limbo as did 'Life On Mars', 'Ashes To Ashes', 'Madigan', and the final season of 'Lost'. Whereas Sherlock Holmes is the soul of the Jeremy Brett version, Mrs. Hudson could be the soul of any woman with that name who may have passed away in Toobworld within the last decade or so.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.


Monday, May 21, 2012


"What are you?
Columbo, with the third degree?"
Lorelei Martins
'The Mentalist'

We've covered Columbo's fame in Toobworld before.  We've even posted about 'Columbo' in connection to 'The Mentalist' as well.

 I think Red John would have kept himself up to date on the rumpled detective's status there in California, right up until the day Columbo passed away. (Which was not long after the death of an actor who looked very much like the Lieutenant, Peter Falk.) 

 If anything, Red John appreciated the possibility of a worthy opponent and he would have made certain that his identity was safe from Columbo's notice.



Roy Mazzacane wasn't the only friend of mine who was at that ceremony for Jack and Avery on '30 Rock'. But within the "reality" of the Toobworld Dynamic, he wasn't there as himself. Broc Hempel on the other hand appeared as his televersion.

Performing with his bandmates Sam Trapchack (on bass) and Christian Coleman (on drums), Broc played the keyboards at the rooftop reception. They can be seen in several shots (as pictured here) and then can be seen standing in the back of the seating area during the renewal of the vows. (And that's Roy Mazzacane as Rep. Anthony Hanley in the second row, on the aisle to the right.)

Broc and "Broadway Brassy" play the Rum House at the Edison Hotel at least once a month. And if you want to see Hempel. Trapchack.Coleman perform, they play every Sunday night at Dominie's in Astoria. 

Check them out!



I think there must be a LOT more than eight million stories nowadays, especially in Toobworld where there are not only televersions for all of us, but also for so many fictional characters.

All of those atmosphere people we see in the background of our TV shows have lives just as rich as the main characters in the foreground. Think of that old lady who watched Mary Richards toss her hat in the air. (Of course, that was in Minneapolis.) Or that blind man at the curb when a car almost hits Oscar Madison in the crosswalk. (Okay, we're back in the Big Apple.) 

They may have had spouses and children who then had lives that reached out and had an impact on the lives of other characters, even the main characters in other shows.
Let's swoop down with the Inner Toob camera and find somebody completely at random. (Ahem - koff koff!)

Oh, look! There's some kind of roof party going on near St. Patrick's Cathedral. See that man walking by himself - he looks to be a good candidate for this experiment. (He has to be or I've got bupkis!)

We'll just zoom in closer.....

It turns out he was at the rooftop ceremony where Jack Donaghy and Avery Jessup were supposed to renew their wedding vows. Most of those gathered were friends of the bride and/or groom. Considering he was a high level executive with NBC and she was a high profile newswoman, those friends who attended were probably power players themselves from all strata of society.

So Our Man In The Light Colored Suit? I'm going to make the claim that he's the state representative Anthony Hanley from the Providence, Rhode Island, area. It could be that Rep. Hanley knew Jack at Harvard Business School; they may have been brother members of the secretive Twig & Plums Society.

Representative Anthony Hanley
Rep. Hanley must have had a brother also serving in the state assembly. That Rep. Hanley couldn't have been the same guy - they didn't look alike. And I don't think the recastaway theories come into play here.

Why would I make such an assumption about a nameless background character? First off, it helps to condense the Tele-Folks Directory; and in doing so, it provides a link between two shows. But most of all, it's because that wedding guest was played by Roy Mazzacane, who also played Representative Anthony Hanley in an episode of 'Brotherhood'. (The other Rep. Hanley was played by Thomas Tynell in an earlier episode.)

And why did I choose Roy Mazzacane's wedding guest out of all those people seated there?
Because I know him, from back in our UConn days, working together on a production of 'The Hostage'.

You didn't really think I'd pick a background character at random, did you?

As Steve McGarrett once said, "Aloha, Suckers!"