Saturday, July 7, 2012

ANDY GRIFFITH: GOOD NIGHT AND MAY GOD BLESS




REMEMBERING ANDY GRIFFITH


With the death of Andy Griffith, we've come to the video tributes and remembrances.....




THE NOSTALGIA TOUR


In the 1980s, there was a lot of nostalgia for that Mayberry way of life, and that led to a reunion movie, "Return To Mayberry"......





ECCE PROMO!


And now a little something to cleanse the palate....


THE DARK SIDE OF ANDY GRIFFITH



Andy Griffith was not afraid to take chances. For instance, he risked the good will of his audience by going dark with a few of his characters. And as we already knew from "A Face In The Crowd", he was quite adept at plumbing the depths of evil in those roles......

The best known of these "Movie Of The Week" roles was in "Pray For The Wildcats", which also starred William Shatner, Robert Reed, Marjo Gortner, and Angie Dickinson.







What was inadvertently funny about the tele-flick was that they were all dressed like they were members of 'Star Trek'!

And then there was "Savages", which looks to have been a variation on the "Most Dangerous Game" trope......



That was the first part of "Savages", and the rest can be found on YouTube......


"SALVAGE 1"


Another character Andy Griffith played was junk man Harry Broderick in 'Salvage 1'. The pilot movie showed great potential and I remember it as being really cool. But sadly the TV series didn't live up to the promise.....




"THE NEW ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW"


Andy Griffith also played Andy Taylor's cousin Andy Sawyer in the sitcom 'The New Andy Griffith Show'.

Well, it was never expressed outright that they were identical cousins, but how else to splain away that Andy Taylor's other cousin, Barney Fife, knew him and was not amazed by the resemblance?



That first episode was integral in getting Barney Fife and Goober Pyle inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame this year.......

MAYBERRY, SKITLANDIA


I've shared this video before - proof that Sheriff Andy Taylor also existed in the TV dimension known as "Skitlandia".......


ANDY'S BLIPVERTS


Andy Griffith didn't do too badly when it came to shilling on TV in commercials. Here's a batch of them - some in which he appears as himself and in others he's Andy Taylor. (Those blipverts are considered to be part of Earth Prime-Time......)











"THE CHURCH IN THE WILDWOOD"


There was another song performed on 'The Andy Griffith Show' which had an impact on the plot. I'm presenting that clip here along with another version of the song from one of Mr. Griffith's record albums......



MUSICAL TOOBS


Music played a deep role in 'The Andy Griffith Show' and in the life of Andy Griffith as well.

Here are a few examples:







GOIN' DOWN TO THE FISHIN' HOLE.....


Everybody knows the theme song to 'The Andy Griffith Show', but more as a tune for whistling. But there were lyrics to the song, written by the actor Everett Sloane (who appeared on the show as a moonshiner).


"FLOP-EARED MULE"


Here's why I included that excerpt from the original TV version of 'No Time For Sergeants':





"NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS"


Andy Griffith's first major character was Will Stockdale in "No Time For Sergeants". With this role, Andy proved to be a real Multiversal character. Based on the book by Mac Hyman, it was first adapted into a TV special episode in 1955. Then the script was filled out for a Broadway production with Mr. Griffith once again assaying the role. And then it became a feature film - and who else could have done the part of Stockdale than You Know Who?

Here's Mr. Griffith discussing "No Time For Sergeants":


Now even though this next clip belongs in the Cineverse, I'm including it because it marks the first time Andy Griffith ever worked with Don Knotts:


Finally, I played this on July Fourth when we showcased Will Stockdale as the "ASOTV" character for the day. But I have a good reason for including it again......


ANDY GRIFFITH ON "WHAT'S MY LINE?"



Andy Griffith made four appearances on the game show 'What's My Line?' and at least two of them were before he really hit it big with 'The Andy Griffith Show'.

Here are those two appearances:





ANDY TAYLOR'S LIFE LESSONS


This is going out to Scott Griffin, for whom 'The Andy Griffith Show' was THE guide-book of Life....











Andy Taylor and his son Opie were inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in the summer of 2002, along with Lucas McCain and his son Mark.  (We suggested that they were a combo "born to rerun", from North Fork to Mayberry......)

ANDY GRIFFITH'S RFD COMEDY JAM


Andy Griffith first came to national prominence with a series of comedy routines that gave a backwoods spin to a variety of topics.....




"DOOLEY" BANJOS - THEN AND THEN AGAIN


I shared some videos of the Darlings playing music in Mayberry just a few months ago, but thought this was of interest - the Darlings playing "Dooley" on the old TV show and then again in the reunion TV movie two decades later....



"MAKE ROOM FOR ANDY"


"The Andy Griffith Show" began as a "back-door" pilot on 'Make Room For Daddy' which starred Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord. The differences between life in Mayberry in this show and in the later series included Frances Bavier as a widow needing Andy's help rather than as Aunt Bee, and Frank "Sam Drucker" Cady as the town drunk instead of Otis Campbell (played by Hal Smith.) Of course, a town with so many stills out in the woods probably had more than its fair share of town drunks....



ANDY GRIFFITH TALKS ABOUT "THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW"




PROGRAMMING NOTE: A TRIBUTE TO ANDY GRIFFITH


The rest of Saturday's selections for the Video Weekend will be dedicated to the memory of Andy Griffith, the Television Giant of Small-Town America.....


AS SEEN ON TV: "THE KENT FAMILY CHRONICLES"


Here's the Acorn Media "blipvert" for the TV adaptations of the first three "Kent Family Chronicles" books by John Jakes:


BCnU!

AS SEEN ON TV: PHILIP KENT


Had it not been for the death of Andy Griffith the day before, this would have been my entry for Independence Day......

PHILIP KENT
aka
PHILIPPE CHARBONEAU

CREATED BY:
John Jakes

PORTRAYED BY:
Andrew Stevens

AS SEEN IN:
"The Bastard"
"The Rebels"

TV DIMENSION:
Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
"The Bastard" is a historical novel written by John Jakes and originally published in 1974. It is book one in a series known as "The Kent Family Chronicles" or the "American Bicentennial Series". The novel mixes fictional characters with historical events or people, to tell the story of the United States of America in the time period leading up to the American Revolution.



On his return from Philadelphia to Concord to be reunited with Anne, [Philip Kent] ran into Paul Revere, with William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, on their famous “midnight ride” to warn the patriots that the British army was coming.


"The Rebels" is a historical novel written by John Jakes, originally published in 1975, the second in a series known as "The Kent Family Chronicles" or the "American Bicentennial Series". The novel mixes fictional characters with historical events and figures, to narrate the story of the nascent United States of America during the time of the American Revolution. While the novel continues the story of Philip Kent, started in The Bastard, a large portion focuses on Judson Fletcher, a newly introduced character, as a different rebel. 



"The Kent Family Chronicles" (also known as "The American Bicentennial Series") is a series of eight novels by John Jakes written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. The books became best sellers, with no novel in the series selling fewer than 3.5 million copies. With "The Rebels", "The Seekers" and "The Furies", Jakes became the first author to have three books on the New York Times bestseller list in a single year (1975).

The books describe different members of the Kent family and their connection with historical events around the time of the American Revolution. The first novel begins just before the American Revolution, with Frenchman Phillipe Charboneau, who travels to England and later to the New World, changing his name to Philip Kent along the way and meeting several key figures of the Revolution, including the Marquis de La Fayette, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, and others. The saga ends some generations later, in 1890 with the death of Gideon Kent in The Americans. (It was originally intended to continue until 1976, covering 200 years.) 

The first two novels in the series were made into telefilms in 1978 and 1979, both starring Andrew Stevens as Philip Kent, with the third becoming a 1979 telefilm starring Randolph Mantooth as son Abraham Kent.
  • The Bastard (1974)
  • The Rebels (1975)
  • The Seekers (1975)
  • The Furies (1976)
  • The Titans (1976)
  • The Warriors (1977)
  • The Lawless (1978)
  • The Americans (1979)

Many of the historical characters seen in these TV movies had been well represented on TV in the past.  We can accept these as being the televersions of Toobworld, but only as they are as perceived by Philip Kent.  From his point of view, as it were, even if he is not in the scene with them.

At least one of them is not the actual historical figure, however.  "George Washington" (as played by Peter Graves) was actually an impostor, working with the American rebels to keep the British off-guard as to the location of the real General Washington.  This is a Toobworld splainin to account for the many depictions of George Washington who should be allowed to stay in Earth Prime-Time and not be shuttled off to an alternate Toobworld.  (Washington as seen in 'Bewitched', however, is the living embodiment of an illustration from one of Tabitha's books.)

BCnU!

Friday, July 6, 2012

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM SCHALLERT!


Today marks the 90th birthday of William Schallert, who was called "the hardest-working man in show business" once upon a time by TV Land.  A rundown of just his TV credits would leave you run down!

A few years back I did a tribute to his TV work here at Inner Toob.  I didn't think it right that such a celebration wouldn't come to pass until after he died.  I don't know if he's ever Googled himself and come across the page, but if so, I hope he liked it.  Because it's truly heart-felt.

Thanks for all you've given us to make Toobworld a richer place, Mr. Schallert.  And happy birthday!

BCnU!

THE "DVD SHOW" @ 50 - THE HAT SQUAD


In October of last year, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' celebrated its fiftieth anniversary - which is hard to believe since the humor and characters seem so fresh today. (Yeah, okay there are some parts that are hopelessly dated but still......)

On that day, I posted about 29 stories about the series in that 24 hour time period. And rather than burning me out, I was determined to keep the celebration going. So once a month until this coming October, Inner Toob is publishing a post about the show. And here's the latest entry.

Sadly, it's more of a "Hat Squad" tribute as we look back at two actors who recently passed away and who portrayed characters on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

First up is Richard Dawson who passed away on June 2. He played the Hollywood star Tracy Rattigan, otherwise known as "Racy Tracy Rattigan".


Based on his look, I think Tracy Rattigan was supposed to be based on Richard Burton.

Dawson was better known for 'Hogan's Heroes', 'Family Feud', 'Rowan & Martn's Laugh-In', and 'Match Game', but he also was a regular on Dick Van Dyke's other major sitcom, 'The New Dick Van Dyke Show', in which he played Richard Richardson. (O'Bviously his parents had no sense of an imagination.....)


Twenty-four days later, we lost Doris Singleton, one of the great supporting troupers in the business behind Toobworld. Most of Team Toobworld remembers her as Caroline Appleby in nearly a dozen episodes of 'I Love Lucy'. (She also played Clara Appleby in Skitlandia when she guest-starred in an episode of Red Skelton's comedy show.) For me, the first thing I always think of is an episode of 'All In The Family' - "Edith's Jury Duty". Lillian Stonehurst was Edith's room-mate when they were sequestered while rendering a verdict, and she tried her best to get Edith to change her vote. (As Archie Bunker called her, Edith was the "one lone dingbat" on the jury.) In making her argument, Ms. Stonehurst revealed her own prejudices.

On 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', she played three separate women:


Mrs. Kendall in "The Talented Neighborhood"


Lorraine Gilman in "My Two Showoffs And Me"


Doris Darwell in "Girls Will Be Boys"

I suppose the argument could be made that all three women are related, maybe even sisters (not necessarily triplets). The difference in last names would be due their marriages. 

And as to why Rob never noticed that they all looked alike, we just have to ascribe that to some physical disparity that just isn't noticeable to the audience viewing at home. (I'm also toying with the idea that Doris Darwell could be either a clone or a member from some alien race - a la the Red Lectroids of "Buckaroo Banzai" - who use the code name of "Doris" to identify themselves as being members of the same secret group, just as the Red Lectroids did with all of them being named "John".  If you check her IMDb resume, you'll see Ms. Singleton played quite a few characters named Doris.)

Lorraine Gilman worked for Manhattan Magazine, which was the same publication for which an Art Carney character wrote a piece about an unsympathetic comedian (played by Jackie Gleason.) This happened in "The Laugh Maker", an episode of 'Studion One'. So a connection could be made between both shows.

As the previously mentioned Red Skelton would have said, "Good night and may God bless."

BCnU.......

PS:
All but one of the pictures accompanying today's post are courtesy of Vince Waldron's Facebook page dedicated to his fantastic book about 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. You should not only "like" the page, but you really should get this book if you call yourself a fan of the show!

AS SEEN ON TV: EMMA BOVARY


EMMA BOVARY

CREATED BY:
Gustave Flaubert

PORTRAYED BY:
Nicole Courcel

AS SEEN IN:
"Madame Bovary"

TV STATUS:
Recastaway

TV DIMENSION
Alternate Toobworld
(Earth Prime-Time/Fran├žais?)

From Wikipedia:
"Madame Bovary" (1856) is Gustave Flaubert's first published novel and is considered
by many critics to be a masterpiece. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Though the basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal, the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was a notorious perfectionist and claimed always to be searching for le mot juste ("the right word").


Emma is the novel's protagonist and is the main source of the novel's title (Charles's mother, his former wife and, at the end of the novel, his daughter are also referred to as Madame Bovary). She has a highly romanticized view of the world and craves beauty, wealth, passion, and high society. It is the disparity between these romantic ideals and the realities of her country life that drive most of the novel, most notably leading her into two extramarital love affairs as well as causing her to accrue an insurmountable amount of debt that eventually leads to her suicide.


Nyree Dawn Porter played the role in a four-part TV series a full decade before this French one-shot TV movie (which was followed a year later by another series starring Francesca Annis). An argument could be made that this should be the official entry for Earth Prime-Time because it is in French. However, as the 1964 TV series had four episodes, it had more time to devote to the full story.

I think the "Franco-vision" Toobworld is the better choice for Ms. Courcel's portrayal.

BCnU!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"CHIEFLY O'HARAS" - FRANK'S WILD YEARS


"CHIEFLY O'HARAS"
[EPISODE THIRTEEN]
"FRANK'S PLACE"

FRANK O'HARA
Growing up in Nebraska

For Frank O'Hara, it couldn't have been easy growing up as the youngest in the family - even if Jim was only a few minutes older.

There was no competing with their older sister, of course. Helen J. O'Hara was the apple of her father's eye and could do no wrong - and she never did. Not even the scandal that forced her to go into hiding could diminish her standing with Chief O'Hara.


Frank's twin brother Jim was smart, but he had to work at it. He was a stolid, determined young man, and to Frank's way of thinking, maybe a little too grim. "It wouldn't hurt you to crack a smile now and again," he would often complain to his twin. Frank believed that there would never be another example of a guy just like himself being so close with a guy who was so emotionless and lacking a sense of humor. It would probably take a couple hundred years for it to ever happen again.....


Frank O'Hara considered himself just as smart as Helen, but unlike Jim, he had no intention of working hard to obtain his goals. He wanted it fast and he wanted it easy.

Just like his women. "Hey now!"


Frank managed to get accepted into Channing University, but that was mostly due to his manipulation of his transcripts and his incredible resemblance to another student, Tom Erasmus - he used pictures of Tom in civic undertakings to pad out his extracurricular resume. 

TOM ERASMUS*

(Unlike Frank, Tom was an over-achiever who would one day run for the position of state's attorney. Dean Baker was proud of Tom; Frank... not so much.)


During his sophomore year, Frank dropped out before Channing had the chance to expel him - for dealing in stolen test answers and gambling on the school's football games played against the Blue Mountain State Goats, the California University Condors, and the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles.


By that point Frank knew the regimen of school life was not for him. Instead he set his sights on a journalistic career like his cousin, Tim O'Hara.

But again, he found reporting the news to be hard work and worst yet, it was dull. More fun it would be to make up the news stories, so he went to work where such talents would be appreciated - at the "National Inquisitor".

At the Inquisitor he created out of whole cloth stories about Alien Life Forms, as well as reports on monster sightings in Canada's Possum Lake, among many other fantastical "news" items.

People in the Possum Lake area
still remember the traumatic hysteria caused by
the "Possum Lake Monster" craze.
 
He came to the attention of Donald Stern, the publisher of "The World Chronicle" and they tried to recruit him to work at their paper. But when Frank discovered that their bizarre news stories were real, it only meant that he'd be back to doing the drudgery of real reporting, but with real monsters. And that was a little too dangerous to his way of thinking.

Meanwhile, Frank sought out Tony Fleming, the American cousin in the infamous Fleming-St. Clair family of confidence tricksters and convinced the rogue to take him on as a pupil. Fleming saw a little bit of himself in Frank and agreed to be his mentor, teaching him all the tricks of the trade.


By the late 1960's, Frank came to the attention of the US government. But instead of becoming their target for his misdeeds, instead he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - the Republican party offered him the chance to come work for the Nixon White House. It was felt that Frank's "talents" would come in handy as they prepared for a run at a second term in office.

So Frank moved to the Nation's capital and devised many of the dirty tricks which would soon enough become national headlines. But he always made sure that there was no way it could be traced back to him. This is why the name of "Frank O'Hara" never came up during the fallout from the Watergate scandal.

At least one good thing came out of his time spent in Washington - he met his future wife (the first one), J.J. Drinkwater.....

Coming up next - "D.C. Follies"

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Adventures Of Superman'
  • 'ALF'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
  • "Blind Ambition"
  • 'Blue Mountain State'
  • 'Channing'
  • 'The Chronicle'
  • 'Coach'
  • 'The Governor And J.J.'
  • 'The Larry Sanders Show'
  • 'My Favorite Martian'
  • 'O'Hara U.S. Treasury'
  • 'Psych'
  • 'The Red Green Show'
  • 'The Rogues'
  • 'Star Trek'
BCnU!

* Most mentions of William Shatner in his one episode of 'Channing' only list him as Tom.  But it looks - from the fleeting glimpse of the campaign signs in the YouTube clip - that his last name is Erasmus.  Until proven wrong, I'm going to stick with that.

AS SEEN ON TV (HAT SQUAD EDITION) - REMEMBERING ERIC SYKES


(Reuters) - Eric Sykes, one of Britain's best-loved comedians who forged a career in entertainment by writing for others, has died, his manager said on Wednesday. He was 89.

In a career spanning over 50 years he was a regular collaborator on the popular 1950s radio comedy program "The Goon Show" and became a leading personality after starring in his own television series, "Sykes and a..." in the 1960s.

"Eric Sykes, 89, star of television, stage and film, died peacefully this morning after a short illness," his manager Norma Farnes told Reuters. "His family were with him."


Mr. Sykes' last role was that of a BookWorld character translated to Toobworld......

JEREMY FULLERTON


CREATED BY:

Dame Agatha Christie

PORTRAYED BY:

Eric Sykes

AS SEEN IN:

'Agatha Christie's Poirot'
["Hallowe'en Party"]

TV DIMENSION:

Earth Prime-Time


From Wikipedia:
"Hallowe'en Party" is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in November 1969 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year.

The novel features her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver. The novel focuses on child murder (with its possible sexual motivation), the irresponsibility of teenagers and the crisis in crime and punishment.


Mr. Fullerton was the solicitor for the estate of Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe, the aunt of Rowena Drake's late husband. A later codicil was believed to have been faked by an au pair girl named Olga Seminoff who disappeared after the forgery was discovered. (She was actually murdered and her body hidden. Mr. Fullerton's clerk, Leslie Ferrier, was also murdered for his part in the subterfuge.)

When we see the police inspector take his leave of Mr. Fullerton in church, it just as well have been a farewell to Mr. Sykes as well......

 

There had been several BookWorld characters in Eric Sykes' career, among them Mollocks of 'Gormenghast', Horace Harker in "The Six Napoleons" (as seen in 'The Return Of Sherlock Holmes'), and the Mad Hatter in a 1985 series based on "Alice In Wonderland". 


 But fans of the "Harry Potter" series will probably remember his appearance in the Cineverse as Frank Bryce in "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" as his most famous literary character.


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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

AS SEEN ON TV (THE HAT SQUAD EDITION): WILL STOCKDALE


I think it might have been O'Bvious I'd choose this subject for today.......

WILL STOCKDALE

CREATED BY:
Mac Hyman

PORTRAYED BY:
Andy Griffith

AS SEEN IN:
'The United States Steel Hour'
["No Time For Sergeants"]

TV STATUS:
Multiversal Recastaway

TV DIMENSION:
ToobStage

 


From Wikipedia:
"No Time for Sergeants" is a 1954 best-selling novel by Mac Hyman, which was later adapted into a teleplay on 'The United States Steel Hour', a popular Broadway play and 1958 motion picture, as well as a 1964 television series. The book chronicles the misadventures of a country bumpkin named Will Stockdale who is drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and assigned to the United States Army Air Force. Hyman was in the Army Air Forces during World War II when it was part of the US Army.

Ira Levin adapted Hyman's novel for a one hour teleplay that appeared as an episode on 'The United States Steel Hour' television series in 1955. An expanded version of the play debuted on Broadway later that year. In 1958, a film version was released.

Ira Levin's adaptation of the novel appeared live on 15 March 1955, on 'The United States Steel Hour', a television anthology series.. It starred Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale, Harry Clark as his nemesis and inadvertent mentor Sergeant Orville King, Robert Emhardt, Eddie Le Roy, and Alexander Clark. The kinescope recording of the broadcast is available.

An expanded version of the play opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on October 20, 1955, produced by Maurice Evans and directed by Morton DaCosta. Griffith and McCormick reprised their roles, and Don Knotts made his Broadway debut as Corporal Manual Dexterity. Scenic designer Peter Larkin won a Tony Award in 1956, and Andy Griffith was nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor. The play ran for a total of 796 performances, closing on September 14, 1957.

"No Time for Sergeants" was filmed and released by Warner Bros. in 1958. The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred Griffith, McCormick, Knotts, and most of the rest of the original Broadway cast. Warner Brothers contract stars Nick Adams as Stockdale's fellow draftee Benjamin B. Whitledge and Murray Hamilton as Irving S. Blanchard joined the cast.

'No Time for Sergeants' came to the small screen in the fall of 1964. It starred Sammy Jackson who had one line in the film version. When Jackson read that Warner Brothers was going to produce a television sitcom version of "No Time for Sergeants" for ABC, he wrote directly to Jack Warner saying that he was the best choice for the role and asked Warner to watch a certain episode of the series 'Maverick' as proof. Ten days later Jackson was told to come to the studio to test for the role. Jackson won the role over several actors including the better known Will Hutchins, a Warner Brothers Television contract star who formerly played the sympathetic 'Sugarfoot' and had also been in the "No Time for Sergeants" film.







Andy Griffith played the role on television, on the Broadway stage, and in the movie.  I'm sure that if one reads the Mac Hyman novel today, it would be impossible to not see the mental image of Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale.  So I think we have a rare Christmas Multiversal to induct into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame this year.
  

You can view or download the entire production here.

Good night and may God bless you, Andy Griffith....

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!




BCnU!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"CHIEFLY O'HARAS" - SWEET BABY JAMES... AND FRANK


"CHIEFLY O'HARAS"
[EPISODE TWELVE]
"DOUBLE TROUBLE"


The folks in Nebraska still talk about that night when three pairs of twins were born at the Little Innocence Hospital back in 1931. Three pairs of prospective parents descended on the hospital just as the latest storm of the Dust Bowl barreled down on the facility, choking it off from the outside world.


First to arrive was police detective Miles O'Hara and his wife. As he was so familiar with the area, O'Hara was able to get there safely despite the hellish conditions with low visibility. They were soon joined by the other two sets of expectant parents. Luckily for O'Hara, he left his 1928 Porter touring car in a secluded area of the parking lot - otherwise it would have been struck by both of the other cars as they blindly arrived at the hospital.

Mr. and Mrs. Orwell arrived in a second-hand Stutz Bearcat that had seen better days, while John Hooker and the Missus had an old flivver that probably needed more medical attention than Hooker's wife.


The Orwells and the Hookers had been traveling together across an America deep in the grip of the Great Depression. They were part of a jalopy caravan hoping to find a better life in California.

The maternity ward quickly became a madhouse for young doctor Marc Welby, who was caught unprepared for this chaos. But he was a true professional and handled each emergency with aplomb and a gentle bedside manner. (What kept him going was his dream to one day leave his land-locked state and head to California himself. There he planned to get a boat and sail the ocean. But even with that dream on a continuous loop in his mind, still he focused on each of the three new mothers and helped them bring their new lives into the world.


It was bad enough to be shepherding three women through childbrith during a dust storm; quite another when it turned out that each of the three women were expecting twins. Still, Dr. Welby kept the chaos under control and soon welcomed six new babies into Toobworld.

But no situation is perfect. The trouble lay in the nursery where a frazzled Nurse Tacky was trying to catalogue each baby for the records. It proved to be a daunting task for Tacky and she soong got confused, eventually accidentally switching the babies unknowingly. It proved to be a tragedy of epic proportions, but one which was never discovered by the trio of couples even as they held their babies.


Had the hospital's personnel department bothered to check, it should have been obvious that Nurse Tacky would make such a mistake. The eccentric looniness displayed by Tacky was par for the course in her family - her sister was Grandmama Addams from New York state, as a matter of fact.....


A few days later, each of the families departed the hospital - the O'Haras back to their nearby home while the Orwells and Hookers continued on their journey to California - with no fixed plan on where they would end up.

Not that anybody at Little Innocence Hospital knew, but as it turned out, the Orwell family settled near San Diego while the Hookers moved to an area known colloquially as "L.C."

Many years later, Helen O'Hara arrived in L.C. under the alias of Sarah Mitchell and almost gave herself away when she saw a young policeman who looked just like her brother Frank. She soon found out that he was one of the Hooker twins from that night when her brothers were born in Nebraska. Striking up a conversation with the cop (whose name was Thomas Jefferson Hooker, although he preferred to be known by his initials), Sarah (aka Helen) learned that he had a twin brother who looked nothing like him. 

 Although she never did get the chance to meet TJ's brother, she was convinced that he would prove to be the natural-born son of her parents.  And maybe even resemble her in some way....

But it was not something which she had the time or the inclination to pursue. Her mother may have passed away, but it was something her father didn't need to know, now too late to make any difference in any of their lives.


Helen figured that in this baby mix-up back in 1931, this was how it played out in the distribution of those infants at Little Innocence:

ORWELLS - An Orwell and an O'Hara baby
HOOKERS - A Hooker and an O'Hara baby
O'HARAS - A Hooker and an Orwell baby.

As you can see, the O'Haras didn't even get one of their own children in the mistaken delivery. But they raised those two babies with the same love they would have shown their own children.

They named the Orwell baby "James" and the Hooker baby "Francis" after her father and his mother respectively. But as they grew up, the boys preferred to be known as "Jim" and "Frank".

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'The Addams Family'
  • 'Adventures Of Superman'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Bearcats!'
  • 'Centennial'
  • 'Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal'
  • 'Harry O'
  • 'The Lone Wolf'
  • 'Marcus Welby, M.D.'
  • 'My Mother The Car'
  • 'Rachel Gunn, R.N.'
  • 'T.J. Hooker'
Coming up next: "Frank's Place"

BCnU!