Saturday, June 30, 2012

TVXOHOF, 06/2012-C: HARMON COBB & JUDGE STODDARD BELL


For the month of June, we featured two inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame so far - the first was the Birthday Honors List induction of two characters played by my friend Shirley Jordan. The second one was another Birthday Honors List, but for my brother AJ's birthday - that of Warren Zevon.

But we never did get around to the actual induction for the month of June.

In the past, the June membership had been of the off-beat, mostly of puppets and cartoon characters. In the last few years, however, it has been more in keeping with the spirit of the month, under the sway of the Zodiac sign Gemini - that of the Twins.

And so on this last day of the month, Toobworld Central would like to use this opportunity to induct two men who appeared in a trio of TV movies that provided a good look at the Law, as practiced in the late 40's and early 1950's.

HARMON COBB & JUDGE STODDARD BELL

TV movies are considered independent of each other, unlike episodes of a TV series. There's never a guarantee that a sequel would be made, so to get three in a series is something to be honored. And the fact that it takes a minimum of three qualifying examples to support a candidate's entry into the Hall, then Cobb and Judge Bell are considered eligible in my law book.

These are the TV movies in which they appeared:
  • "Incident In A Small Town"
  • "Against Her Will: An Incident In Baltimore"
  • "The Incident"

(I have refrained from calling these two "The Incidentals".)

It is a case of diminishing returns, but each of these movies still are far superior to some of the schlock that passes for TV movies today. And that first one, "Incident In A Small Town", I will hold up as an equal to the very best episode of 'Foyle's War' in depicting the small events that made up the great panoply of World War II but which have been forgotten as being trivial.

And this induction serves as a nice tip of the Toob Top to two fine actors from whom we'll never get any more characters into the Tele-Folks registry - Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan.

So here's to you, gentlemen. Welcome to the Hall!


BCnU!

"THE TWILIGHT ZONE" - "PEOPLE ARE ALIKE ALL OVER" (THE ENDING)


I'm not sure if I shared this when I wrote about Sam Conrad during my tip o' the hat salute to the late Ray Bradbury (not that he had anything to do with the episode, but you'll have to read the post), but just in case, here's how the episode ended:


BCnU!


KIRK DOUGLAS - AS SEEN ON TV


BEEP BEEP! GOES THE BLIPVERT



The Geico Gekko, even though it is animated by use of CGI, is considered real in Toobworld. 

As to why a gekko can speak in this televersion of the "real world", Toobworld Central has never bothered to think of a splainin - as was the case for 'Mr. Ed' (a refugee from the Island of the Houyhnhm as seen in "Gulliver's Travels".) "For alls I know", he could be an alien from another planet....

At any rate, this blipvert will probably rank as the 2012 Toobits winner for "Best Crossover Between Toobworld and the Tooniverse".

BCnU!

REMEMBERING SUSAN TYRELL



Susan Tyrrell, an eccentric, husky-voiced character actress best known for her Oscar-nominated supporting role as a blowsy barfly in director John Huston's 1972 movie "Fat City," has died. She was 67.

Tyrrell died Saturday at her home in Austin, Texas, according to the Travis County medical examiner. The cause of death was not yet known.

The actress, whose many film credits included "Islands in the Stream" (1977), "Angel" (1984) and "Cry-Baby" (1990), already had played a number of colorful character roles on stage in New York before being cast in "Fat City," a boxing drama starring Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges.


I wrote about Susan Tyrell the other day, mentioning the characters she played on 'The Patty Duke Show', 'Kojak', and 'Wings'.

Here's the full episode of 'Wings' in which she played fishing boat captain Sconset Sal:




Good night and may God bless......

HELLIBORE AND RADULFUS






Unfortunately, I can't embed the video for the 'Cadfael' episode 'Monk's Hood'. But here's the link for the final segment which introduces Abbott Radulfus.

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: SAMMY GLICK


SAMMY GLICK

CREATED BY:
Budd Schulberg

PORTRAYED BY:
Larry Blyden

AS SEEN IN:
"What Makes Sammy Run?"

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
"What Makes Sammy Run?" (1941) is a novel by Budd Schulberg. It is a rags to riches story chronicling the rise and fall of Sammy Glick, a Jewish boy born in New York's Lower East Side who very early in his life makes up his mind to escape the ghetto and climb the ladder of success by deception and betrayal. It was later made into a long-running Broadway musical.

This is the tale of Sammy Glick, a young uneducated boy who rises from copy boy to the top of the screenwriting profession in 1930s Hollywood by backstabbing others.

Manheim recalls how he first met the 16-year-old Sammy Glick when Sammy was working as a copy boy at Manheim's newspaper. Both awed and disturbed by Sammy's aggressive personality, Manheim becomes Sammy's primary observer, mentor and, as Sammy asserts numerous times, his best friend.

Tasked with taking Manheim's column down to the printing room, one day Glick rewrites Manheim's column, impressing the managing editor and gaining a column of his own. Later he steals a piece by an aspiring young writer, Julian Blumberg, sending it under his own name to the famous Hollywood talent agent Myron Selznick. Glick sells the piece, "Girl Steals Boy", for $10,000 and leaves the paper to go to work in Hollywood, leaving behind his girlfriend, Rosalie Goldbaum. When the film of "Girl Steals Boy" opens, Sammy is credited for "original screenplay" and Blumberg is not acknowledged.

Glick rises to the top in Hollywood over the succeeding years, paying Blumberg a small salary under the table to be his ghost writer. He even manages to have "his" stageplay "Live Wire" performed at the Hollywood Playhouse, although the script is actually a case of plagiarism, "The Front Page" in flimsy disguise; strangely enough, no one except Manheim seems to notice. Sammy's bluffing also includes talking about books he has never read.




BCnU!

Friday, June 29, 2012

"CHIEFLY O'HARAS" - HELEN'S LITTLE DIVIDEND


"CHIEFLY O'HARAS"

[EPISODE ELEVEN]
"RUN FOR YOUR LIFE"


It was only a matter of days after Superman's liaison with Helen O'Hara before Helen realized that she was pregnant with the love-child of the Man of Steel. (Had it been a normal human pregnancy it would have taken longer for her to notice.) Something about the fetus bearing Kryptonian genetics caused it to mature faster under a yellow sun.

Using a sudden visit to her father as a cover story, Helen got an examination from a doctor in Gotham City and it confirmed her suspicions. Feeling as though she had no one else to talk to, she poured her heart out to Chief O'Hara, knowing that he loved her too much to judge her for this turn of events, even in that moralistic era.


Miles O'Hara didn't just sympathize. He knew after working with Gotham City's own "Caped Crusader" for just a short time that neither Helen nor Superman would be safe because of this new complication in their lives. She would always be a target by such enemies of Superman as Lex Luthor and Brainiac. And the Last Son of Krypton would be hampered if he had to divide his attentions between Helen and the baby and the latest threat to Metropolis or the world.

Chief O'Hara couldn't speak for the Man of Steel, but he thought it would be better for all concerned if Helen left Metropolis forever. And quickly!


Upon her return to Metropolis, Helen realized that her father was right - her apartment in the Beresford Towers had been ransacked while she was gone. Covering the story for the Daily Planet, Lois Lane mentioned to Helen that a strange little man had been making aggressive inquiries of all the doctors in the city. And many of those doctors later reported that their offices had been burgled and their filing systems rifled.

 At first, Superman thought the description of this dwarf might have been his foe Mr. Mxyzptlk, an imp from another dimension. But witnesses gave a different description - that of an old man with wild white hair and beard. And the dwarf claimed that his name was Dr. Liebknicht.


FBI agent Arthur Dales was called back from a vacation where he was visiting his Kolchak cousins and sent to Metropolis to investigate this inquisitive imp. Now suspicious of everyone, Helen asked Inspector Henderson to have Dales checked out. They learned that he worked in a dusty little basement office full of files. He specialized in the more bizarre cases, which Helen thought made it sound rather like the Department of Queer Complaints at Scotland Yard.

Helen got the chance to sneak a peek at Dales' file on this Dr. Liebknicht, and unbelievably the authorities had been hunting for the dwarf for nearly a century!


Accompanying Agent Dales was an elderly gentleman who looked more like a bank manager than some kind of government agent. He gave his name as Waverly but never specified which government he worked for. Based on the acronym on his business card, Inspector Bill Henderson wondered if Waverly was connected to the United Nations or not. Whoever he was, the Inspector believed Waverly was working long past his age's capabilities - especially after catching the older man whispering into a fountain pen.

Waverly assured the Inspector and Superman that he was merely there as an observer. In fact, he had been called away from a family visit like Agent Dales. (In his case, he was already in Metropolis to meet his long-estranged son Alexander, Junior.)


It turned out that Mr. Waverly knew more than he was revealing to Henderson and Superman. When he finally had a moment alone with Helen, he told her about a rogue group based in Great Britain who operated outside the government and above the Law. He warned her that their motto was "If it's alien, it's ours" and he wouldn't be surprised if they weren't sending a few of their agents to Metropolis as they spoke. Certainly the one with the longest service record and who could easily blend in, being an American, would be on his way......

How they could have figured out her secret, Helen had no idea. But she did know that there were people whose job it was to extrapolate all chains of events based on a certain scenario. And since it had become common knowledge that Superman had "lived" with her during their undercover operation against Mr. X.......

Back at the police department, Helen grabbed a bag of clothing which she kept there in case of emergency and made for the exits. But the desk sergeant stopped her and handed her a large envelope which had just arrived for her. She recognized her brother Frank's handwriting on the package and quickly opened it - finding that it contained several passports, driver's licences and other forms of identification, all with her picture but with different names and addresses. There was also some money and the number for a new bank account with enough money to keep her going for some time.


It was all she could do to maintain her composure. It was proof of how much her father loved her that the Gotham City police chief would mend his long-standing feud with his ne'er-do-well son in order to get Helen the help she needed to go on the run.

Frank O'Hara
Determined to protect her secret and to shield Superman, Helen made a scene at the bus depot as she bought a ticket to Gotham City from the Gotham Bus Company's window. But then under the cover of darkness, she boarded a C.F.&W. train heading southeast. Let her enemies think she was heading home again, running to her father for his protection. Hopefully the Caped Crusader and his young ward would be able to take care of them, with Superman none the wiser.

She found the train's route had a lot of curves, and even more so when she got closer to her destination - a small town to be found between Pixley and Crabtree Corners.......


SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Adventures of Superman'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Colonel March Of Scotland Yard'
  • 'Green Acres'
  • 'The Honeymooners'
  • 'Lois & Clark'
  • 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'
  • 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker'
  • 'Petticoat Junction'
  • 'Psych'
  • 'Smallville'
  • 'Topper'
  • 'Torchwood'
  • 'Vega$'
  • 'The Wild, Wild West'
  • 'The X-Files'
Coming up next: "Once A Hero"

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: MRS. ARIADNE OLIVER


ARIADNE OLIVER

CREATED BY:
Dame Agatha Christie

PORTRAYED BY:
Zoe Wanamaker

AS SEEN IN:
"Cards on the Table"
"Mrs McGinty's Dead"
"Third Girl"
"Hallowe'en Party"
"Elephants Can Remember"
"Dead Man's Folly"

TV STATUS:
Recastaway

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time


From Wikipedia:
Ariadne Oliver is a fictional character in the novels of Agatha Christie. She is a mystery novelist and a friend of Hercule Poirot.

Mrs Oliver often assists Poirot in his cases through her knowledge of the criminal mind. She often claims to be endowed with particular "feminine intuition," but it usually leads her astray. She is particularly fond of apples, which becomes a plot point in the novel "Hallowe'en Party".

In the books, Oliver's most famous works are those featuring her vegetarian Finn detective Sven Hjerson. Since she knows nothing of Finland, Oliver frequently laments Hjerson's existence. In many of her appearances, Oliver — and her feelings toward Hjerson — reflect Agatha Christie's own frustrations as an author, particularly with the Belgian Hercule Poirot (an example of self-insertion). The self-caricature has also been used to discuss Christie's own follies in her earlier novels. For instance, in "Mrs McGinty's Dead", Mrs Oliver talks of having made the blowpipe a foot long in one of her novels, whereas the actual length is something like four-and-a-half feet — the same mistake Christie made in "Death in the Clouds".


This next sentence will be of interest to my fellow crossover fans:
In "The Pale Horse", Mrs Oliver becomes acquainted with the Rev and Mrs Dane Calthrop, who are friends of Miss Marple ("The Moving Finger"); thus establishing that Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot exist in the same world.

In "Cards on the Table", there is a reference to Mrs Oliver's book The Body in the Library; this title was used by Christie six years later, for a novel featuring Miss Marple. Books by Ariadne Oliver and by a number of other fictitious mystery writers are discussed by characters in "The Clocks" (1963).

Like Christie, she is a member of Detection Club. Christie even thought of placing a murder at the Club with Oliver being one of the suspects/detective but it came to nothing ("Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks", edited by John Curran). Oliver also makes an appearance in "Elephants Can Remember".

In a short piece in John Bull Magazine in 1956, Christie was quoted as saying, "I never take my stories from real life, but the character of Ariadne Oliver does have a strong dash of myself." The author of the article went on to state, "It is perfectly true that sometimes she works at her stories in a large old-fashioned bath, eating apples and depositing the cores on the wide mahogany surround."

Even in the one novel in which she appears without Poirot ("The Pale Horse"), Mrs Oliver does not function as a detective, in that she rarely participates in the investigation and contributes only tangentially to the solution. In "Cards on the Table", she does interview some of the suspects, and in "Elephants Can Remember", she again interviews witnesses, but none of the essential ones. She is more usually used for comic relief or to provide a deus ex machina through her intuitive or sudden insights, a function that is especially apparent in "Third Girl", in which she furnishes Poirot with virtually every important clue, or in "The Pale Horse", where she inadvertently helps the investigators to determine the type of poison used to kill the murder victims, saving the life of another character.

Further functions of Mrs Oliver are: to enable Christie to discuss overtly the techniques of detective fiction; to contrast the more fanciful apparatuses employed by mystery authors with the apparent realism of her own plots; and to satirise Christie's own experiences and instincts as a writer. Mrs Oliver therefore serves a range of literary purposes for Christie.

The first appearance of Ariadne Oliver on television was in an episode of 'The Agatha Christie Hour' (1982). In an adaptation of the Parker Pyne story "The Case of the Discontented Soldier", she was portrayed by Lally Bowers.

A 1986 adaptation of "Dead Man's Folly" starred Jean Stapleton as Ariadne Oliver, opposite Peter Ustinov as Poirot.

Zoƫ Wanamaker has played Ariadne Oliver in [six] television episodes of the series 'Agatha Christie's Poirot', starring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.


Even though Lally Bowers was the first actress to portray Mrs. Oliver, Zoe Wanamaker played the part opposite David Suchet who is the official version of Poirot for Toobworld. Therefore Ms. Wanamaker's Ariadne Oliver is the official one of Earth Prime-Time.

BCnU!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

TELE-QUICKIES: A RECOMMENDATION


After posting ten "episodes" so far in the history of the O'Hara Family, I just wanted to point out
that a great source of information has been a book by Vincent Terrace: "Television Character and Story Facts (Over 110,000 Details from 1,008 Shows, 1943 - 1992)".

It's published by McFarland and has proven to be invaluable. So much so that, twenty years on, if Terrace should ever publish an update, I'll buy it - and I should also point out that it doesn't come cheap......

BCnU!

BEAKER PEEK



One of the jokes played in 'Eureka' on Feynman's Day (May 11) this year had Global Dynamics office drone Larry as the target. He was left with a high-pitched squeal of a voice. Zane Donovan told him to relax, that he would be "de-Beakered" in a few days.

In Toobworld, puppets are alive (for the most part.) They are spirit beings who take on the characteristics of the shells they inhabit. So Kermit would be a frog for all intents and purposes. Chairy would be a chair; Miss Piggy would be a pig; the citizens of 'Lidsville' would all be hats.

(Some characters we know to be portrayed by puppets are not - 'Alf' and Rigel of 'Farscape', for example.)

As for Beaker? He's a puppet shaped to look like a science nerd.

Zane may have known about Beaker if the Muppet Labs employee was ever invited to be an intern at Global Dynamics.

Or maybe Zane saw Beaker on 'Muppets Tonite!' (That was a TV show, available to be seen by everybody. 'The Muppet Show' took place in a theater - to have seen anything that happened on that show, a Toobworldling would have had to have been there in person at the theater.)

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: JOHN SELF


JOHN SELF

CREATED BY:
Martin Amis

PORTRAYED BY:
Nick Frost

AS SEEN IN:
'Money'

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
"Money: A Suicide Note" is a 1984 novel by Martin Amis. Time magazine included the novel in its "100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present".

"Money" tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, to shoot his first film. Self is an archetypal hedonist and slob; he is usually drunk, an avid consumer of pornography and prostitutes, eats too much and, above all, spends too much, encouraged by Goodney.

The actors in the film, which Self originally titles "Good Money" but which he eventually wants to rename "Bad Money", all have some kind of emotional issue which clashes with fellow cast members and with the parts they've signed on for - the principal casting having already been done by Goodney. For example: the strict Christian, Spunk Davis (whose name is intentionally unfortunate), is asked to play a drugs pusher; the ageing hardman Lorne Guyland has to be beaten up; the motherly Caduta Massi, who is insecure about her body, is asked to appear in a sex scene with Lorne, whom she detests, and so on.

Self is stalked by "Frank the Phone" while in New York, a menacing misfit who threatens him over a series of telephone conversations, apparently because Self personifies the success Frank was unable to attain. Self is not frightened of Frank, even when he is beaten by him while on an alcoholic bender. (Self, characteristically, is unable to remember how he was attacked.) Towards the end of the book Self arranges to meet Frank for a showdown, which is the beginning of the novel's shocking denouement; "Money" is similar to Amis' five-years-later "London Fields", in having a major plot twist.

BCnU!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

AS SEEN ON TV: MADELINE


MADELINE

CREATED BY:
Ludwig Bemelmans

PORTRAYED BY:
Gilbert Gottfried

AS SEEN ON:
'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'

TV STATUS:
Recastaway

TV DIMENSION:
Skitlandia

From Wikipedia:
"Madeline" is a children's book series written by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian author. The books have been adapted into numerous formats, spawning telefilms, television series and also into a live action feature film. The adaptations are famous for having the closing line, first uttered by actress Ethel Barrymore in a play: "That's all there is; there isn't any more."

The first book in the series, "Madeline", was published in 1939. It proved to be a success, and Bemelmans wrote many sequels to the original during the 1940s and 1950s. The series continues to this day, written by Bemelmans' grandson John Bemelmans-Marciano.

Madeline is the smallest of the girls and the title character. She is about 7–8 years old, and is the only redhead. She had her appendix removed in the first story. She is known for being the bravest and most outgoing of the girls.

The story takes place in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. Contrary to popular belief, the girls are not orphans. In the first book in the series, Madeline's "papa" sends her a dollhouse when she is ill. Also, the girls all go to visit their parents in the Christmas book.

The books all start with the line "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ...". The story is written entirely in rhyme, and the simple themes of daily life appeal to children.

The original series of Madeline books written by Ludwig Bemelmans has six books:

  • Madeline - Madeline gets appendicitis and must go to the hospital to have her appendix removed
  • Madeline's Rescue - Madeline falls off a bridge and is rescued by a stray dog who joins her school.  [Winner of the 1954 Caldecott Medal]
  • Madeline and the Bad Hat - The Spanish Ambassador moves in next door, and Madeline assumes his son Pepito is mean and spoiled
  • Madeline in London - Madeline and Pepito travel around the city of London
  • Madeline and the Gypsies - Madeline and Pepito run away to join a group of traveling gypsies
  • Madeline's Christmas - Madeline celebrates Christmas with her friends
The year is nearly halfway finished, so I thought I might finally use the character (and actor) which first gave me the idea of doing a literary version of the "As Seen On TV" showcase.  Plus it was an easy one to fix up and I had this unfamiliar thing called "a life" which I had to attend......

BCnU!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

THE HAT SQUAD: SUSAN TYRELL


The best blog out there about Classic TV History says it all in its title: "The Classic TV History Blog". (You'll find the link to the left, researchers!)

Last week he posted a nice tribute to the early TV work of the late Susan Tyrell, who passed away on June 16. Tyrell was not one to be afraid to take chances, and is best known for her indie roles that were off the beaten path. (Her best-known movie would probably be "Fat City", directed by John Huston, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.)

Stephen Bowie posted a picture with his testimonial, showing Ms. Tyrell as a young girl behind Patty Duke in her eponymous TV sitcom. I don't think her character had any lines or a name - it's not even listed among her credits at the IMDb! (No surprise there.....)


If you're familiar with my mania, you know these atmosphere people fascinate me. I want to know what happened to them before and after their moment in the sun. What kind of life during prime-time did they have?

As for this girl from Brooklyn Heights, New York, I think our best bet is that she grew up to be Mary Torino, a woman seen in the final episode of 'Kojak', "In Full Command" (which also guest-starred Danny Thomas.) No matter how she was portrayed in that episode, there was a lot of livin' she did between that and her earlier appearance when she was attending Brooklyn Heights High School. Anything could have happened to her over those years.

Another possibility was Sconset Sal from 'Wings', which would at least keep her in the sitcom category (even though both type of shows should co-exist.) But based on the episode, I think Sal lived her whole life on Nantucket.


In both cases, I'd like to think that her characters still live in Toobworld, and that both of them have many more TV seasons ahead of them.

As for "Susu" herself, it's like Red Skelton always said, "Good night and may God bless."

My thanks to the Classic TV History Blog for posting that picture!

BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: RADULFUS & HELLEBORE



For this "Two For Tuesday" edition, we have two characters played by Terence Hardiman.....

ABBOTT RADULFUS

"CREATED BY":
Ellis Peters
(The character is based on an historical character.)

PORTRAYED BY:
Terence Hardiman

AS SEEN IN:
'Cadfael'

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Abbot Radulfus (1138–1148) [is a] real historical figure. [He is highlighted] as the median, the ideal abbot, with whom Cadfael has a deep empathy and understanding.

From Brother Cadfael Characters:
Abbott Radulfus was a lucky choice for the monastery, considering how many positions were filled with the merely ambitious. He has been out in the world enough to recognize Cadfael's worth, and to give him the room Cadfael needs to protect the monastery from scandal or dishonor.

Abbot Radulfus:
"For even the pursuit of perfection may be sin, if it infringes the rights and needs of another soul. Better to fail a little, by turning aside to lift up another, than to pass by him in haste to reach our own reward, and leave him to solitude and despair. Better to labour in lameness, in fallibility, but holding up others who falter, than to stride forward alone."

Apparently I have written about Radulfus in the past......

GRAND WIZARD HELLEBORE

CREATED BY:
Jill Murphy

PORTRAYED BY:
Terence Hardiman

AS SEEN IN:
'The Worst Witch'

TV STATUS:
Recastaway
(Toobworld reason: magical transformation)

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From the "Worst Witch Wiki":
Mr Egbert Hellibore is the Grand Wizard (Chief Magician in the books), and Headmaster of Camelot College. He appears at the Halloween celebrations in the first book. He later appears again in the third book at the Halloween celebrations where he bans Mildred Hubble and Ethel Hallow from attending the celebrations for causing the havoc the previous year. In the TV series, Egbert Hellibore was portrayed by Richard Durden and Terrence Hardiman. He is often referred to as "Helliboring" in the TV series. He is a big fan of crumpets, scones and cream tea. 

From Karl S. Green:
[Terence Hardiman] did a great job in getting across the sheer pomposity of the character, along with the great power and authority that he posesses, and stole most of the scenes that he was in.

Miss Cackle:
"You haven't said what your talk will be about."
Grand Wizard Hellebore:
"A subject of infinite excitement and interest! A history of the Grand Wizard, his power and his glory! In short, Miss Cackle, myself."

What if Hellibore was related to Radulfus?  What a scandal that would be for the Church in Toobworld!

BCnU!

PS:
Both names have alternate spellings: "Radulphus" and "Hellibore".....

Monday, June 25, 2012

"CHIEFLY O'HARAS" - MR. & MRS. SUPERMAN


"CHIEFLY O'HARAS"
[EPISODE TEN]
"HE & SHE"


Although she had been a police detective in Metropolis for only a few years, the "Mr. X" case would signal the end of Helen J. O'Hara's career on the Force. This was not a voluntary decision. And it would cause a major change to her life.

If you check that video of "Superman's Wife", there is no indication of how much time passed between the announcement of Superman's "marriage" to Detective O'Hara and her abduction by the henchmen of Mr. X. I can't imagine it could have been more than a few days, probably soon after Lois Lane's story broke in the Daily Planet.


But until their trap was sprung, Superman and Helen had to live together to maintain the illusion that they were married. In the close quarters of her apartment in the Beresford Towers (built by J. Beresford Tipton and named after his maternal grandfather), the two of them may have succumbed to temptation. If not then, I think the opportunity would have presented itself again after the case was over, and after Superman had saved her life on the bridge.


Nothing like the threat of being blowed up real good by dynamite to quicken the pulse and make one realize that Life is short - carpe diem! And she must have carped his diem all night long.

It's not that hard to picture this happening. After all, Helen O'Hara was a stunningly beautiful woman. (To my mind, the actress playing her, Joi Lansing, was the most beautiful actress to ever grace the small screen.) And Superman was - well, he was Superman. Naturally they would be attracted to each other.

And it would have been more than just a physical attraction. They were both intelligent people with plenty in common to talk about, more than just their common pursuit for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Both of them would have been willing participants who enjoyed the liaison.....

THE MORNING AFTER
 

It might sound like heresy to suggest that a straight-arrow like Superman, in such a wholesome show, should engage in sex. But even though he was super, he was still a man.

That part about him being super.... That's what proved to be the ruin of Helen's career on the police force.

Although human in appearance, Superman was an alien and his biology was not totally compatible with humans. Even on the cellular level, as with sperm, he was far more powerful. No matter what kind of protection they used, nothing was going to withstand the super swimming abilities of Kryptonian sperm.

OF COURSE she was going to get pregnant!

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Adventures Of Superman'
  • 'The Millionaire'
  • 'SCTV'
Coming up next - "Run For Your Life"

BCnU!

PS:
At this point, I'd like to draw your attention to a very interesting essay by my favorite S-F writer, Larry Niven. "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" goes into graphic detail on what would happen if a Kryptonian male had sex with a human female. (It may be grisly, but it's still a hot read!)

For the purpose of the Toobworld Dynamic, however, I'm not going to utilize that study. TV tradition holds that human biology is malleable enough to cross-breed with other species from other worlds. 

And we've seen examples of this in Toobworld since the Age of Legends:
  • Demi-God Hercules ('Hercules: The Legendary Journeys')
  • The Nephilim ('Fallen')
  • Spock, half-Vulcan ('Star Trek')
  • Deanna Troi, half-Betazoid ('Star Trek: The Next Generation')
  • B'elanna Torres, half-Klingon ('Star Trek: Voyager')
  • David Sheridan, half-Minbari ('Babylon 5')
  • Half-demon Doyle ('Angel')
  • Evie Garland, half-Altairian ('Out Of This World')
  • Scott Hayden, Jr. from who knows where ('Starman')
  • Thomas Kinkade Brannigan's clowder of half-cat children ('Doctor Who')
and even
  • Tabitha Stevens, Mistress of Wish-Craft ('Bewitched')

Speaking of Brannigan's kitties, the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as The Doctor claimed that his mother was a human. But as River Song once pointed out, the Doctor lies. And he did so in this case just so he could get into an Earth woman's pants......

AS SEEN ON TV: KAREN STONE


KAREN STONE

CREATED BY:
Tennessee Williams

PORTRAYED BY:
Dame Helen Mirren

AS SEEN IN:
"The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone"

TV STATUS:
Multiversal
(Also in BookWorld and Cineverse)

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
"The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone" is a 2003 TV movie remake of the 1961 film "The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone", based on the 1950 novel of the same title by Tennessee Williams. It first aired in the USA by Showtime Networks on 31 March 2003 and released on DVD by Showtime Entertainment in 2004.

Shot on location in Dublin and Rome, the film was directed by Robert Allan Ackerman and produced by James Flynn and Morgan O'Sullivan from a screenplay by Martin Sherman based on the Tennessee Williams novel.

The film stars Helen Mirren, Olivier Martinez, Anne Bancroft and Brian Dennehy with Rodrigo Santoro, Victor Alfieri and Suzanne Bertish. It is Bancroft's final film appearance.

Karen Stone, an actress, and her businessman husband are off on holiday to Rome. On the plane, her husband suffers a fatal heart attack. Karen decides to stay in Italy and rent a luxury apartment in Rome. The Contessa Magda Terribili-Gonzales soon introduces her to a young Italian man, Paolo. Karen and Paolo embark on a passionate affair, with disastrous consequences.


Here's an interesting review of the book that delves into the story in some detail.....


BCnU!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

PRIDE... IN THE NAME OF LAUGHS



Because everything is funnier when taken out of context.....


(From '30 Rock')

MURPHY'S SECRETARIES


As it turns out, I've totally missed the chance to celebrate "Secretaries' Day" (Office Adminstrators' Day now, I guess, to be PC). So I might as well share this now - a rundown of all the secretaries who ever worked for 'Murphy Brown', including the one played by my friend Mary Cadorette. (She kicks off the roll call.....)






BCnU!

"LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN!"


I can't remember if I've shared this already.  Too bad if I have.....




THE AMAZING BALLANTINE!


For no other reason than that he was always a pleasure to watch in action, here is.....

THE AMAZING BALLANTINE!






The Toobworld ramifications of that last clip......

Puppets are living beings in Toobworld. They are a spirit people from Living Island (aka Yazoo) who possess shells in order to have a physical, "viewable", form. And they take on the characteristics of the shell they inhabit. In this case, because this spirit person looked like Carl Ballantine, he sounded and acted like Carl Ballantine, and thus he keeps the memory of Mr. Ballantine alive......

BCnU!

"IS THIS SOMETHING YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN?"


Movie producer Bob Evans has made an appearance in our look at the O'Hara Family Tree. Here's a look back at his famous catch-phrase (which also made an appearance in the saga.)


BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: TOOBWORLD'S FIRST GAY COUPLE?


ELMER SHAW & CLARENCE FOX

CREATED BY:
Ray Bradbury

PORTRAYED BY:

Clarence Fox - Robert H. Harris

Elmer Shaw - John Qualen

AS SEEN IN:
'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
("Shopping For Death")

BASED ON:
"Touched With Fire"

TV STATUS:
Recastaways (The Originals)

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From TV.com:
Two retired insurance salesmen research the methods of death. One of them proposes a theory that most murders occur in hot weather. They see a potential murder victim in the nagging wife of a longshoreman, Mrs. Shrike.

This episode is based on the short story "Touched by Fire" by Ray Bradbury. This story (as "Shopping for Death") was first published in Maclean's (June 1, 1954.)

The story on which this episode is based was also adapted for an episode, "Touched With Fire" of 'The Ray Bradbury Theater'.




There's a reason why I didn't run this during my tribute to Ray Bradbury. If for no other reason, it might have been welcomed by my readers as a break from all of the characters from 'The Martian Chronicles' who were seen day after day.


But I wanted to save it specifically for today as the country celebrates Gay Pride. That's because I think Elmer Shaw and Clarence Fox may have been one of the first depictions of a gay couple in Toobworld. (It was broadcast on January 29, 1956.)

Mr. Bradbury probably didn't have that intent when he created these two men; I may be the only one who actually thought they were partnered homosexuals on first seeing the episode. If that's the case, so be it. My perceptions are usually what drives the Toobworld Concept anyway, and this interpretation doesn't have to be applied anywhere else... just in my own little sandbox.

But it's hard not to consider them as being homosexuals (the term of the day back then). After years of working together in the same business, they're still together in their retirement years. And it would appear that they live together as they spend so much time together from early morning until late at night. No other mentions of families to whom they have to return at the end of the day.


Who but a committed partner like Elmer would put up with Clarence's obsession with his actuarial statistics about murders taking place when the temperature hitting 92 degrees? (After the heat wave of this last week here in the Big Apple, I wonder if that theory played out in the real world?)

That would take real love on Elmer's part.

 
 

And there's just this sense of tenderness and care shown by Elmer for Clarence. They even walk hand in hand - well, hand on arm, to be precise - that doesn't leave that much room for other interpretations. (There is one - Perhaps Elmer knows Clarence has an inner ear problem with his balance.....)


Like I said, this is my interpretation and Mr. Bradbury probably never meant for that impression to be made. But the inroads toward acceptance had to begin somewhere and I think Clarence and Elmer serve as worthy members of the vanguard.


BCnU!

PS:
It's also the contention of Toobworld Central that Elmer Shaw had a twin brother named Samuel.  And Samuel was probably also gay, in a VERY long relationship with another old man named Max.


Sam and Max can be found in an episode of 'The Odd Couple' called "A Taste For Money".  John Qualen played Sam and Peter Brocco played Max.  (He could be Max Stone, just to make a connection with another NYC-based sitcom, 'That Girl'.  Brocco played "Mr. Stone" in the "Soot Yourself" episode.....)