Saturday, January 12, 2013




["Child In Charge"]

A Figure In Dr. Bob Hartley's Dream

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012) was an American historian, author and U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.

McGovern grew up in Mitchell, South Dakota, where he was a renowned debater. He volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces upon the country's entry into World War II and as a B-24 Liberator pilot flew 35 missions over German-occupied Europe. Among the medals bestowed upon him was a Distinguished Flying Cross for making a hazardous emergency landing of his damaged plane and saving his crew. After the war he gained degrees from Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, culminating in a PhD, and was a history professor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956 and re-elected in 1958. After a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 1960, he was elected there in 1962.

As a senator, McGovern was an exemplar of modern American liberalism. He became most known for his outspoken opposition to the growing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He staged a brief nomination run in the 1968 presidential election as a stand-in for the assassinated Robert F. Kennedy. The subsequent McGovern–Fraser Commission fundamentally altered the presidential nominating process, by greatly increasing the number of caucuses and primaries and reducing the influence of party insiders. The McGovern–Hatfield Amendment sought to end the Vietnam War by legislative means but was defeated in 1970 and 1971.

McGovern's long-shot, grassroots-based 1972 presidential campaign found triumph in gaining the Democratic nomination but left the party badly split ideologically, and the failed vice-presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton undermined McGovern's credibility. In the general election McGovern lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslides in American electoral history. Re-elected Senator in 1968 and 1974, McGovern was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 1980.

Throughout his career, McGovern was involved in issues related to agriculture, food, nutrition, and hunger. As the first director of the Food for Peace program in 1961, McGovern oversaw the distribution of U.S. surpluses to the needy abroad and was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations-based World Food Programme. As sole chair of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs from 1968 to 1977, McGovern publicized the problem of hunger within the United States and issued the "McGovern Report" that led to a new set of nutritional guidelines for Americans. McGovern later served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture from 1998 to 2001 and was appointed the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Programme in 2001. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program has provided school meals for millions of children in dozens of countries since 2000 and resulted in McGovern's being named World Food Prize co-laureate in 2008.

McGovern guest starred as himself in an episode of the television series 'Newhart' (original airdate February 5, 1990). He played a dull caricature of himself in that 'Newhart' episode.


Friday, January 11, 2013


Here's a preview of our TV Crossover Hall of Fame entry for March....


["Buddy Hackett"]

2013 TVXOHOF inductee

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Buddy Hackett (born Leonard Hacker, August 31, 1924 – June 30, 2003) was an American comedian and actor.

Hackett was born in Brooklyn, New York, New York, the son of a Jewish upholsterer. He grew up on 54th and 14th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn, across from Public School 103 (now a yeshiva). Living next door was an aspiring baseball player named Sandy Koufax. He graduated from New Utrecht High School in 1942. While still a student, he began performing in nightclubs in the Catskills Borscht Belt resorts. He appeared first at the Golden Hotel in Hurleyville, New York, and he claimed he did not get one single laugh.

Hackett became known to a wider audience when he appeared on television in the 1950s and 1960s as a frequent guest on such talk shows as those of Jack Paar and Arthur Godfrey, telling brash, often off-color jokes, and mugging at the camera. Hackett was also a guest on Jack Paar's last 'Tonight' show in 1962. He was on the Johnny Carson show as a frequent guest.

According to Trivial Pursuit, Hackett has the most appearances of any guest in the history of 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson'. A collection of these appearances are available on YouTube. During this time, he also appeared as a panelist on 'What's My Line?'.

Hackett also guest-starred in two episodes of 'The Rifleman', one as a hillbilly, the other as a mop boy.

Hackett starred as the title character in 'Stanley', a situation comedy that also featured Carol Burnett and the voice of Paul Lynde. Produced by Max Liebman, the series aired live on NBC before a studio audience and was one of the last live sitcoms. Stanley revolved around the adventures of the titular character (Hackett) as the operator of a newsstand in a posh New York City hotel.

In 1960, he appeared as himself in an episode of NBC's short-lived crime drama 'Dan Raven', starring Skip Homeier, set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood. Hackett also appeared many times on the game show 'Hollywood Squares', in the late 1960s. In one particularly notable episode, Hackett was asked which was the country with the highest ratio of doctors to populace; he answered Israel, or in his words, "the country with the most Jews". Despite the audience roaring with laughter (and Hackett's own belief that the actual answer was Sweden), the answer turned out to be correct.

He appeared as Art Carney's replacement on 'The Jackie Gleason Show'. His later career was mostly as a guest on variety shows and prime time sitcoms, such as 'Boy Meets World' in its 4th season.

In 1978, Hackett surprised many with his dramatic performance as Lou Costello in the television movie "Bud and Lou" opposite Harvey Korman as Bud Abbott. The film told the story of Abbott and Costello, and Hackett's portrayal was widely praised. He and Korman did a memorable rendition of the team's famous "Who's on First?" routine.

Throughout the 1970s Hackett appeared regularly doing TV ads for Tuscan Dairy popsicles and yogurt. But his most famous television campaign was for Lay's potato chips ("Nobody can eat just one!") which ran for 3 years, 1968-1971.

Hackett guest-starred in the 'Space Rangers' episode, "To Be Or Not To Be", as has-been comedian Lenny Hacker, a parody of his stage persona. The character's name was Hackett's own real name.

Hackett also appeared in the short term comedy series 'Action' which starred Jay Mohr as movie producer Peter Dragon. He played Dragon's uncle Lonnie. He appeared again with Mohr as a judge in the reality show 'Last Comic Standing'.

He also played a cameo in an episode of 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' in 1998, "My Nightmare, the Car".

In April 1998, Hackett guest starred in an episode of 'LateLine' called "Buddy Hackett." The episode focuses on a news broadcast paying tribute to Hackett following his death, only to discover that the report of his death was a mistake. Robert Reich and Dick Gephardt also appeared in the episode, paying tribute to Hackett.

He also appeared in episodes of 'The Big Valley', 'Get Smart', and 'L.A. Law'.

His 'Space Rangers' character of Lenny Hacker - as far as Toobworld is concerned - will be a descendant of Buddy Hackett in 2104.

If you can, watch this episode of 'LateLine'. You get to see Buddy in a clip from 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson' and singing "Shapoopie" in "The Music Man".


Thursday, January 10, 2013


For years now I've been putting off this induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame; always finding somebody else who - for me, anyway - was always just a little more interesting to add during the month in which we celebrate Classic TV.

And I almost did it again this year, thinking that Barnaby Jones or Frank Cannon would be a good choice. Sadly they're both gone now, so a delay in their entry isn't going to disturb them. While we still have Efram Zimbalist, Jr. with us, I think 2013 should be his year to finally receive this "honor".....


It could be argued that 'Peter Gunn' made the TV private eye cool, but it was Stu Bailey who made the archetype suave - every hair in place and that pipe as necessary a prop as his .45.

Better writers than me have given Stu his due:

From Thrilling Detective:
Roy Huggins' decidedly downscale Chandleresque private eye STUART BAILEY appeared in a pretty good novel and a few short stories and was even brought to the big screen in the now-forgotten but surprisingly effective 1948 film noir "I Love Trouble", which starred Franchot Tone as Bailey, along with Janet Blair, Raymond Burr and a well-rounded cast of crime flick vets.

But it was a few years later, after Huggins' considerable success in the burgeoning TV market, that Bailey really made a splash. Having already created and produced 'Maverick' and 'The Fugitive', Huggins decided to dust Bailey off, move him out of the seedy little office and bestow upon him a fluency in foreign languages, a past as a government agent, a slick wardrobe and a partner. The result was '77 SUNSET STRIP', inarguably one of the most influential TV private eye shows in history -- for better and worse.

So successful, in fact, that Warner Brothers itself began spewing out copy cat versions such as 'Hawaiian Eye', 'Bourbon Street Beat', and 'Surfside Six' almost immediately. Other studios were quick to follow suit, and the formula of handsome male leads, "wacky" characters who drop by and "cool" premises and locations, not to mention the now almost-ubitquious 60-minute format, can be seen in everything from 'Riptide' to 'Magnum P.I.' to 'Las Vegas'.

Private eye Stu Bailey is a suave, cultured former OSS officer who is an expert in languages. His partner, Jeff Spencer, is also a former undercover government agent, and like Bailey, a judo expert. The duo works out of an office at no. 77 Sunset Strip in Hollywood, but their cases lead them all over the world. The Stu Bailey character was originated by Roy Huggins in a story called "Death and the Skylark", published in Esquire Magazine in December 1952. Huggins later adapted this story into an episode of Warner Bros' ABC TV series 'Conflict' entitled "Anything for Money", broadcast on 16 Apr 1957, starring Efrem Zimbalist Jr. This led to the idea of building a series around the private eye character.

These are the appearances which guaranteed Stuart Bailey a place among the other TV Crossover greats:

- "Anything for Money" (1957)

"Girl on the Run" (1958)

'77 Sunset Strip' (166 episodes)

'Hawaiian Eye'
- "Malihini Holiday" (1959)
- "Three Tickets to Lani" (1959)
- "I Wed Three Wives" (1960)
- "Blackmail in Satin" (1962)

For more on Stuart Bailey and '77 Sunset Strip', click HERE and HERE.

Welcome to the club, Mr. Bailey! I'm sorry it took so long......




'It's Like, You Know...'

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Jennifer Grey (born March 26, 1960) is an American actress known for her roles in the 1980s films "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Dirty Dancing", the latter for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She is also known for her 2010 victory in the eleventh season of the American version of 'Dancing with the Stars'. Grey is the daughter of Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey and former actress/singer Jo Wilder.

In the early 1990s, Grey underwent two rhinoplasty procedures–the second of which was necessary to correct problems stemming from the first–that resulted in a nose that caused even close friends to fail to recognize her, and the major change in her appearance negatively affected her career. Of the experience she said, "I went in the operating room a celebrity – and came out anonymous. It was like being in a witness protection program or being invisible." She briefly considered changing her name in order to start her career anew, but ultimately decided against this.

From March 1999 until January 2000 Grey starred as herself in the short-lived ABC sitcom 'It's Like, You Know...', which satirized her much-publicized nose job as a running gag.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013


According to one of my Toobworld advisers, Andy Valentine, cops weren't supposed to moonlight back in the sixties. But many did to do right by their families. We've seen TV cops moonlighting on other jobs all over Toobworld. A common theme has a cop moonlighting on a job where he gets killed.

Lt. Mike Parker of the 65th Precinct in Manhattan (nicknamed 'Naked City') may have found himself in need of some easy cash as well. This would splain why we see him working as a bartender in New York City when Mr. James B.W. Bevis stopped in for a few drinks to "fortify" himself after getting fired from his job.

Unlike "Mr. Bevis", Mike couldn't see the guardian angel who had arrived in the bar from 'The Twilight Zone'.....



Larry Storch turned 90 years old yesterday.....


'Married... With Children'
["Something Larry This Way Comes"]

Earth Prime-Time

From TV Rage:
Kelly is nominated Student of the Month at her acting school by Larry Storch, and they are going to perform the play, "The Phantom of the Opera", together. Larry Storch comes to visit the Bundys, but Al is stuck selling shoes. When Mr. Storch visits the shoe store, Gary punches him for ruining her once, knocking him out. Al tries to fill his role in the play, but his plan doesn't work.

I have no idea what that "Gary punches him for ruining her once" meant. And I didn't get any answers from the episode as seen on YouTube. It's in Hungarian (I think):

No matter!

Happy birthday and all the best, Mr. Storch!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


My brother printed the following "Morning 5" in his newspaper today:

Tuesday, Jan. 8, is Larry Storch's 90th birthday. Here are five memorable roles:

1) In his most famous role, he played Corporal Randolph Agarn on F Troop, the sidekick to Forrest Tucker's Sgt. O'Rourke.

2) Texas Jack in the film, "The Great Race," with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

3) Eddie Spenser in the TV series "The Ghost Busters."

4) Charlie the Drunk in "Car 54, Where Are You?"

5) And, in one of his most prolific roles, he voiced the scientist, Phineas J. Woopee, in the "Tennesse Tuxedo" cartoon.

It's limited to only five entries, much like a Top Ten list or my own Super Six list.  (But then again, I cheat a lot on how many entries show up.)  

Still, here are a few others I would have considered:

  • "Captain Newman, MD"
  • 'The Queen And I'
  • Voice of the Joker in one of those early 'Batman' cartoon series.
  • 'The Doris Day Show' as ex-boxer Duke Farentino
  • The DMV examiner in an episode of 'Columbo'
  • The chimp turned into a human on 'I Dream Of Jeannie'
  • "Angie" the hit man in an episode of 'The Persuaders!'
  • Archie Bunker's old school chum on 'All In The Family' who tried to hang on to his youth
  • The Groovy Guru in an episode of 'Get Smart'
  • and as Himself in an episode of 'Married... With Children', running an acting school.

All the best on your 90th, Mr. Storch.  And for a long time to come!



I don't know how long this can last in this format, but here's our second "Two for Tuesday" of the year!


'The Joey Bishop Show
["Joey And Milton And Baby Makes Three"]

'The Lucy Show'
["Lucy Meets The Berles"*]

Serlinguist & Multiversal (and legendary "swordsman")

Earth Prime-Time
[But also Skitlandia and the Tooniverse]

(With Ruth Berle)
From Wikipedia:
Milton Berle (born Milton Berlinger, July 12, 1908 – March 27, 2002) was an American comedian and actor. As the host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater (1948–55), he was the first major American television star and was known to millions of viewers as "Uncle Miltie" and "Mr. Television" during TV's golden age.

Milton Berle was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in May of 2003, as that year's "May Queen" (because of his willingness to dress in drag).

Here's an example:

The following list covers just the items from his TV resume in which he played himself in sitcoms and dramas. It doesn't even cover all the talk shows and variety programs he appeared on, let alone the other characters he played on TV.

  • 'The Critic' (The Tooniverse)
  • 'Amazing Stories'
  • 'The Lucy Show'
  • 'The Joey Bishop Show'
  • 'I Love Lucy'
  • 'The Fall Guy'
  • 'CHiPs'
  • 'The Muppet Show'
  • 'That Girl'
  • 'Make Room For Granddaddy'
  • 'Joey and Milton and Baby Makes Three'
  • 'Lucy Meets The Berles'
  • 'Jack Benny Program'
  • 'Make Room For Daddy'
  • 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'

*Milton Berle appeared in two other episodes of 'The Lucy Show' as well - "Lucy Saves Milton Berle" and "Lucy And John Wayne"........

Monday, January 7, 2013


Now that 'Downton's Abbey' is back on the air in America, let the fun begin!

My Idiot's Delight compadre "Krippy" pointed out this Tumblr account on Facebook. And she had it right when she said, "Poor Lady Edith can't catch a break."



Season Three of 'Downton Abbey' premiered last night on 'Masterpiece Theater (Classic)'. Viewers in the UK and elsewhere - including those habitues of bit torrents - saw it last year. Not that it matters in terms of the Toobworld timeline - no matter when it was telecast, it's still 1920 in their lives.

As a caretaker of the TV Universe, one line of dialogue in particular leaped out at me. When Lady Cora learned that her husband, Lord Grantham, had lost the bulk of her fortune in an investment scheme, she took the news that they might lose the estate with aplomb: "I'm an American," she smiled sweetly. "'Have Gun, Will Travel'."

To me that meant that all she needed were the bare essentials and it didn't matter where the family ended up - so long as they were together.

But it was the turn of phrase that caught my attention. "Have Gun, Will Travel" was the title of a popular TV Western in the 1950's starring Richard Boone. And a quick search (meaning NOT exhaustive!) of the Internet did not lead to any previous usage from which the series might have borrowed it.

I figured there would be 'Downton Abbey' fanatics out there who might have taken umbrage that this period piece had been sullied by such a reference. So it was off to Google once again, where I found plenty of mentions of that line. Many noted that it was an anachronism from the Future, and worse yet, a reference to a TV shown no less! (Hello? What is 'Downton Abbey' then?)

I suppose it never occurred to them 'Downton Abbey' and 'Have Gun Will Travel' existed in the same TV dimension. Because that way, it's perfectly acceptable that Lady Cora should say such a thing.

'Have Gun Will Travel' was not just the title of that TV Western. It was the motto on the business car of a frontier "equalizer" who called himself "Paladin". (Toobworld Central believes that his real name was 'Hec Ramsey'.)

Paladin was based in San Francisco, working out of the Carlton Hotel. But he traveled all over the American West in order to help those in need. The time period for his adventures was a bit nebulous, but certain episodes locked themselves in to a specific year. For example (since this is a crossover blog) - when Paladin met Phileas Fogg and Passepartout, that had to be 1873.

Lady Cora's mother, Martha Levenson, mentioned that she had homes in New York and Newport, but I don't know if Paladin ever traveled that far east. However, the family began in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Isidore Levenson made his fortune as a dry goods merchant. If he shipped his goods west, perhaps he hired the services of Paladin to protect his shipments en route to San Francisco.

If the mercenary agreed to make the trip from Cincinnati to San Francisco, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Cora and her brother Harry got the chance to meet Paladin when they were children. And that's when she could have seen the business card.

If not?

Ernest Pratt
Paladin, like his contemporaries the Brothers Maverick, was a legend of the West. Surely there had to be at least one writer, one "dime novelist", willing to pay him for the chance to publish his stories. I have three such candidates in mind - Nimrod Bligh, Ernest Pratt, and Tobias Wentworth Finch. But Finch and Bligh were rather unsavory characters so I don't think Paladin would have had any truck with them. So even though Mr. Pratt would have been more focused on his own creation (Nicodemus Legend, whom Pratt sometimes portrayed in the real world), he still might have added Paladin into the narrative.

Young Cora Levenson might have been a prim, young lady in the American version of the Victorian Era, properly trained a finishing school like Brackenridge, but she had a well-hidden rebellious streak which we have seen rise to the fore on occasion in 'Downton Abbey'. It could be that as a young girl she kept a well-worn, dime store novel about Paladin under her mattress.

And emblazoned on the cover of that book?


All that from one line of dialogue.....


  • 'Downton Abbey'
  • 'Have Gun, Will Travel'
  • 'Hec Ramsey'
  • 'Legend'
  • "Around The World In Eighty Days"
  • 'Bonanza'
  • 'Bret Maverick'
  • 'Maverick'
  • 'Benson'


"Hello, Toobworld?  Colonna!"


'McHale's Navy'
["Hello, McHale? Colonna!"]

Played younger than his true age

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Gerardo Luigi "Jerry" Colonna (September 17, 1904 - November 21, 1986) was an Italian-American comedian, singer, songwriter, and trombonist best remembered as the zaniest of Bob Hope's sidekicks on Hope's popular radio shows and films of the 1940s and 1950s.

With his pop-eyed facial expressions and walrus-sized handlebar mustache, Colonna was known for singing loudly "in a comic caterwaul," according to "Raised on Radio" author Gerald Nachman, and for his catchphrase, "Who's Yehudi?", uttered after many an old joke, although it usually had nothing to do with the joke. The line was believed to be named for violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, and the search for Yehudi became a running gag on the Hope show.

Colonna played a range of nitwitted characters, the best-remembered of which was a moronic professor. Nachman wrote:

Colonna brought a whacked-out touch to Hope's show. In a typical exchange, Hope asks, "Professor, did you plant the bomb in the embassy like I told you?", to which Colonna replied, in that whooping five-alarm voice, "Embassy? Great Scott, I thought you said NBC!"

Jerry Colonna also appeared in a 1965 episode of 'McHale's Navy'. In the episode "Hello McHale?-Colonna" McHale's men meet the famous WWII troubadour who promises to do a show for them at their Tarratupa base. However, when the men learn that shows are limited to bases that have a 50-bed hospital, they take steps to correct the shortage. This disrupts Captain Binghamton's base hospital inspection by the Admiral who is looking for overcrowded hospitals and malingering patients, thereby putting Binghamton in the hot seat again.

In 1999, Jeff MacKay portrayed Colonna in the 'JAG' episode "Ghosts of Christmas Past."

We don't see this happen very often - a League of Themselves member not appearing in the timeline contemporary to the broadcast. The 'McHale's Navy' episode took place about twenty years before it aired on TV. But Colonna didn't look too different from his earlier self.
As for the 'JAG' episode, Colonna was seen filtered through someone else's memories, so the recastaway by MacKay is accepted.


Sunday, January 6, 2013


What better TV show  for the first Sunday in the new yarren than an "Angel".....?


["The French Lesson"]

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
James Garner (born James Scott Baumgarner; April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media. He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades. These included his roles as 'Bret Maverick', in the popular 1950s western-comedy series, 'Maverick'; Jim Rockford, in the popular 1970s detective drama, 'The Rockford Files'; and the father of Katey Sagal's character on '8 Simple Rules' following the death of John Ritter. He has starred in more than fifty movies, including "The Great Escape" (1963), Paddy Chayefsky's "The Americanization of Emily" (1964), Blake Edwards' "Victor Victoria" (1982), "Murphy's Romance" (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and "The Notebook" (2004).