Six TV Shows On Which Billy Dee Williams Should Appear As Himself.
1] 'Doctor Who' This goes without saying. The format of 'Doctor Who' can accommodate any genre or guest star. A running gag could be that the Doctor tries to convince him that he knew the actual Lando Calrissian.
2] 'How I Met Your Mother' An encounter between Billy Dee Williams and Barney Stinson would be legen - wait for it......*
3] 'The New Normal' Could even the racist Nana Jane be able to withstand the smooth elan of Billy Dee Williams? I bet he could even talk her into going out with him!
4] 'The Glades' People have appeared as themselves on police procedurals in the past - Kid Rock in an episode of 'CSI: NY' and Frank Gorshin on the original 'CSI', for example. But I think of all the procedurals, 'The Glades' would be the most fun because there could be a reunion between Billy Dee Williams and Kiele Sanchez, whose character of Nikki worked with him in the TV series 'Expose' in an episode of 'Lost'.
5] 'Supernatural' It seems like everybody in Hollywood has inner demons. But this time it could be that Billy Dee Williams needs the help of the Winchester brothers to fight them.
6] 'Franklin & Bash' Who else is he going to call if he needs top legal representation in 'L.A.'? Well, okay, there are plenty of better options in Toobworld, but none quite as current or nearly as much fun!
After a while, having Billy Dee Williams appear in a black-themed sitcom probably became de rigeur. But to be the only celebrity to appear as himself in an episode of 'Lost'?
That's cool, baby!
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS
AS SEEN IN:
Billy Dee played the recurring villain on the show within a show, 'Exposé'. During one episode, he "killed" the guest star played by Nikki Fernandez:
I don't write fanfic that often, but I thought a cool short story would be about Callie Cargill from 'The Glades' having to calm down her young son Jeff when he sees a woman who looks "remarkably" like his mother getting killed by Billy Dee Williams on TV.
Part Two in our salute to the February 2013 inductee into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame!
Usually during Black History Month, TV networks run little inspirational videos during the commercial breaks which showcase some black person, either famous or little-known, who did something commendable in their life. They're meant to instill pride in the black community and perhaps inspire the next generations to achieve their own level of greatness.
But reality must eventually intrude - there are notable blacks with less than stellar histories.
So after doing a Super Six list on Victor Buono villains and since this is Black History Month (AND having seen the 'I Spy' episode with Godfrey Cambridge as the guest villain), I decided to put together a list of six black villains in Toobworld......
1] CATWOMAN - 'Batman' This feline felon is arguably the most famous of the black villains in the TV Universe. Eartha Kitt wasn't the first to assay the role, that honor goes to Julie Newmar. But in the Toobworld mythos, Ms. Kitt is playing a cat burglar named Tina Marie who once worked for the U.S. government and the Impossible Mission Force. She reverted to her old ways after the original Catwoman died in the caverns under the Batcave.
2] CETSHYAYO - 'I Spy' Named for his great grand uncle, the last Zulu king, Cetshyayo saw his work in selling stolen industrial diamonds and isotopes as a strike back against the racism that kept his people in subjugation. He failed to see that his treatment of the people in that Japanese fishing village was just as bad, if not worse.
3] JUBAL EARLY - 'Firefly' Sharing the same name as a Confederate general, Early was a sadistic bounty hunter looking to capture River Tam. After he was tossed off into space out of the Serenity, Early delivered the last line of the series: "Well, here I am."
4] TIP COREY - 'The Rifleman' Corey was a gunfighter seeking revenge for the death of his father and he wanted the chance to either debase Micah Torrance in North Fork by shaming him into giving up his badge (that "Two Ounces Of Tin") or, failing that, to kill him. When Lucas McCain took Micah's place, the deal still held. But it was Tip Corey who paid the price. (This was one of two roles Sammy Davis, Jr. played on the Western; the other was more of a good guy.)
5] MR. METCALF - 'Deadly Games' Levar Burton got the chance to break away from his too-good-to-be-true image in 'Trek' lore by playing this video game character brought to life in the real world. Metcalf was based on Gus' "Boss From Hell" and he would always say "You're Fired" before killing somebody.
6] XAVIER ST. CLOUD - 'Highlander' St. Cloud was not his original name, but that of his mentor in the ways of the Immortals (who was eventually beheaded by his pupil.) Also going by the name Nelson Mfume, Xavier St. Cloud was a Moroccan born in 1160 and suffered his first death in 1192 during the crusades. He was an assassin who was finally beheaded by Duncan MacLeod in 1994. His original name was never revealed.
It was a difficult list to put together. I was looking for unique characters,not the run-of-the-mill murderous rappers, gang members, drug dealers etc that are a dime a dozen in too many of the TV procedurals. But I think a lot of TV shows avoid really notable villains who are black for fear of insulting somebody or alienating part of their audience. (Ever notice that there was never a black murderer on 'Columbo'? The Lieutenant faced off against a Mexican once, and a Suarian Arab, but never a black man. And after the O.J. case, it probably couldn't be done without being called on it.)
A few weeks ago, I was puzzling over the choice for February's inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Following the national tradition, the February entry reflects Black History Month.
I was stumped - until 'Modern Family' had Billy Dee Williams guest starring as himself. Billy Dee has probably come to be better known more for playing himself than for any of his other roles - except of course for Lando Calrissian. Choosing the League of Themselves as this year's daily theme is a bit of a risk that I may not have enough characters for the full year. So since Billy Dee Williams has so many appearances as himself in quite a few shows, I plan to feature each of them in separate showcases throughout the month, interspersed among the other black celebrities, athletes, and politicians who played themselves in Toobworld. To kick things off, here's Billy Dee Williams from his most recent appearance as himself, in the show that inspired his choice as the February 2013 TV Crossover Of The Month:
When 'Mr. Lucky' met a woman named Prudence (no last name given) on board his floating casino Fortuna II, he asked her if she really was prudent. He should have asked her if her name really was Prudence. I believe that she was actually Cinnamon Carter, agent for the Impossible Mission Force, and that she was working the government angle in the investigation into the counterfeit money transfer scheme.
By the time Lt. Rovacs of the NYPD clued Lucky and Andamo in on the plot, "Prudence" had already uncovered that Professor Olander was not hte math professor at Wilbur College as he claimed. In order to protect her cover story, "Prudence" claimed that she was a Wilbur College graduate and that Olander could not have been teaching there for the last fifteen years since the math professor there was a woman. (Pretty small college if they had only one math professor!)
Whether "Prudence" was an alias, or "Cinnamon" was a nickname is unknown. But I'm perfectly happy in thinking her name was Prudence "Cinnamon" Carter.
(As you probably expected, Barbara Bain played both Prudence on 'Mr. Lucky' and Cinnamon Carter in 'Mission Impossible' and one episode of 'Diagnosis Murder'.)
The cast has been announced for the behind-the-scenes docudrama about the creation of 'Doctor Who' and the production of the first episode, "An Unearthly Child". David Bradly, who appeared on 'Doctor Who' last year in "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship", will be playing William Hartnell who was the first actor to play the Doctor. Brian Cox ('Deadwood', 'Kings') will be playing the man usually credited with coming up with the concept, Sidney Newman. (He's a little too craggy for the role. Had this been made decades ago, Patrick Newell, who played Mother on 'The Avengers', would have been perfect.)
And Sacha Dhawan, whom I know from the NBC sitcom 'Outsourced', will be portraying Waris Hussein, who directed that first episode. I'm glad to hear this bit of the story because I thought Dhawan was one of the better elements in 'Outsourced'. It looks like he was able to crawl from that wreckage (not that I found it so bad) and is moving to bigger and better opportunities.
Filming will begin in February and the project will be broadcast in connection to the fiftieth anniversary of 'Doctor Who'.
As for it's position in the Toobworld Dynamic, although there is a TV series based on the Doctor's life (to eliminate all of the Zonkish mentions of the series in other shows), this will be treating the series as totally fictional.
We can't have that.
So this will join other TV movies about the production of classic TV shows like 'Dynasty', 'Three's Company', 'Steptoe and Son' etc.
From the CBS press release: "Double Fault" — The CSIs need to ace the case involving a rising tennis star. Meanwhile, the CSIs are surprised to hear Hodges is engaged to an Italian bombshell, on CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, Wednesday, Jan. 23 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Guest stars include 18-time Grand Slam Champion Chris Evert, three-time Grand Slam Champion Lindsay Davenport, announcer and former tennis pro Justin Gimelstob as themselves and model Catrinel Menghia Marlon as Italian bombshell Elisabetta.
AS SEEN IN: 'The Big Bang Theory' ["The Terminator Decoupling"]
From Wikipedia: George Fitzgerald Smoot III (born February 20, 1945) is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate, and $1 million TV quiz show prize winner ('Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?'). He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with John C. Mather that led to the measurement "of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation." This work helped further the Big Bang theory of the universe using the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE). According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the COBE project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science." Smoot donated his share of the Nobel Prize money, less travel costs, to a charitable foundation. Smoot had a cameo appearance as himself in "The Terminator Decoupling" episode of The Big Bang Theory. He contacted the show as a fan of their often physics-based plots and was incorporated into an episode featuring him lecturing at a fictional physics symposium. From the "Big Bang Theory" Wiki: In "The Terminator Decoupling", George Smoot delivered the keynote address for a symposium that featured discussions on bioorganic cellular computer devices, the advancements in multi-threaded task completion, plus a roundtable on the nonequilibrium Green’s function approach to the photoionization process in atoms. Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard took the Coast Starlight train to attend this "must-see" conference in San Francisco. In the interim, Leonard read Smoot's book, "Wrinkles in Time, and Sheldon fretted over a forgotten flashdrive as he wanted Smoot to light up as he read his brilliant paper on astrophysical "probes of M-theory effects in the early universe which was contained in the storage device. At the conference, Sheldon presumably showed George Smoot his paper, as Penny e-mailed it to him, and suggested a collaboration continuing Sheldon's research, Cooper-Smoot, to bring Smoot back on top with another Nobel Prize; Smoot surmised Sheldon was crazy and walked away, as Sheldon asserted he is a diva and that it could be Smoot-Cooper. Earlier, Sheldon had said Dr. Smoot is one of the great minds of our time and his work in black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation cemented our understanding of the origin of the universe.
I'm still operating without a computer at Toobworld Central, so anything besides the daily League of Themselves will be a little skint. I may be doing a few of these entries - the Super Six List.
I just saw Victor Buono in an episode of 'I Spy' and in the pilot for 'The Wild, Wild West' this week, and it struck me how much I miss his style of acting. So I decided to come up with this Super Six List of his best TV villains.....
1] KING TUT (Professor William Omaha McElroy) - 'Batman' Probably this will be his best-known character for eternity. He played the flamboyance to the hilt and made it seem normal for the character. The added twist that he was a split personality gave it some pathos.
2] COUNT CARLOS MARIO VINCENZO ROBESPIERRE MANZEPPI - 'The Wild, Wild West' Count Manzeppi pales in comparison to Dr. Loveless when it comes to creating a recurring villain for Secret Service agents West and Gordon, but he does fit the steam punk theme well. (In the pilot episode he played a Chinese businessman named Wing Fat, who has inspired another Super Six list, coming soon.)
3] KARAFATMA - 'I Spy' I just saw this one for the first time. The Turkish spy thought he found a way to overcome his shortcomings in espionage, but when he was trumped by Scottie, it probably sealed his doom.
4] BEN HUGGINS - 'Perry Mason' Huggins was an updated version of Fagin from 'Oliver Twist' and it was perfect casting! That episode ("The Case Of The Twice-Told Twist") was also in color, the only one to be seen as such. .
5] COLONEL HUBRIS - 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' [pictured above] Somewhere I have a quote from Hubris in my files, but I haven't been able to find it. Just as one of his henchmen is about to dispatch the other one who failed the Colonel, Hubris says something to the effect of "Do enjoy the journey. They say getting there is half the fun." But don't quote me on that!
Hubris was in the episode "The Deadly Goddess Affair' and could have been in another episode the next season but Buono was unavailable. Jaques Aubuchon filled in as a Colonel Hamid.
6] MR. SCHUBERT - 'The Man From Atlantis' Buono's last great recurring villain for Toobworld. The world's oceans suited his outsized talents.......
BONUS: JULIUS LIMEWAY - "GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE" I really need to find this movie, a fantastic pastiche of old Bogie detective films. With Richard Boone and Michael Dunn as the private eyes (not your usual!), Barbara Bain as the femme fatale, and Buono as the Fat Man. The lingering shot of him left behind in the restaurant booth, knowing that his doom was nigh, has stayed with me.
AS SEEN IN: 'Monk' ["Mr. Monk And The Red-Headed Stranger" From the 'Monk' Wiki: After a rehearsal for his latest concert in San Francisco, Willie Nelson has an argument with Sonny Cross, his road manager, accusing him of embezzling $400,000 worth of money. He warns Cross that if he doesn't pay it back, he may not return to Austin. The next day, Sonny arrives at the radio station where Willie has an interview that morning. He sees a note instructing him to use a side entrance. Two gunshots are heard from inside, rousing a radio jockey, who races outside. A woman, Wendy Mass, is screaming for someone to call for help, and Willie Nelson is standing over Sonny's dead body. Willie informs the jockey that Sonny has been shot, and the jockey asks him about what has happened. Everyone, including Stottlemeyer, is irritated by the fact that Monk refuses to accept the obvious: Willie Nelson is a killer. But both Monk and Trudy were big fans, and Monk can’t believe bad of him. He also notices something suspicious: Cross entered the alleyway because a note pinned on the door told him to use the side door; however, the note was addressed “J. Cross”; Sonny’s real first name was Jason, but Willie and seemingly everyone else has forgotten this.
AS SEEN IN: 'CSI: NY' ["All Access"] From CSI Files: Nick Russo, Kid Rock's limo driver, is found dead outside the venue where Kid is performing, but Mac Taylor barely has time to examine the scene before he hears a disturbing call on the police scanner: shots have been fired and an officer may be down at an address he recognizes all too well: Stella's. He and Flack find Stella in her apartment, unconscious and beaten. The body of her boyfriend, Frankie Mala, lies nearby, dead. Stella is taken to the hospital where she will undergo a complete work up. The CSIs are relieved to learn Stella hasn't been raped, but they need to piece together what led her to kill Frankie, whom she shot three times. Flack sits down with Stella to help her piece together what happened. Danny and Lindsay tackle the Russo case, their suspicions first landing on Blake Mathers, Kid's original limo driver, who was fired for bringing groupies up to the parties. But Blake maintains his innocence, so Danny turns to a CD found in the limo, which contains Kid's new song, and was apparently used by Nick to release the song onto the net. Could Kid have killed him? The rocker denies it; he wanted Nick to release the song, to build buzz for his new album. Two for Tuesday!
AS SEEN IN: 'The Nanny' ["Where's Fran?", "Franny and the Professor", "The Nanny Behind the Man"]
From Wikipedia: Roger Cassidy Clinton (born July 25, 1956) is an American actor and musician and the half-brother of former President Bill Clinton. Clinton has guest-starred on a number of television shows, including The Nanny as himself (neighbor).
1] ROB PETRIE, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' 2] MARY RICHARDS, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
3] ALEX REIGERT, 'Taxi'
4] DAVE NELSON, 'NewsRadio'
5] SAM MALONE, 'Cheers'
6] DR. BOB HARTLEY, 'The Bob Newhart Show'
By Jill Jacobs, Reuters: From "Mary Poppins" to "Night at the Museum" and his own long-running TV comedy, Dick Van Dyke has done it all during a show business career spanning seven decades.
On Sunday, Van Dyke, 87, gets a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles, just a year after his 1960s "Dick Van Dyke Show" co-star Mary Tyler Moore received the same honor.
DICK VAN DYKE
AS SEEN IN: 'The Scooby Doo Movies' ["The Haunted Carnival"]
TV DIMENSION: The Tooniverse
From "Scoobypedia": When the gang arrived at a carnival they discovered it completely abandoned except for Dick Van Dyke asleep in a ticket booth and discovered he owned it. He then disguised himself as a carnival barker and a strongman to make the gang think it was not abandoned. After his strongman disguise failed, he revealed to them that the reason for the carnival being abandoned was that it was haunted by the ghost of a strongman. He then helped Scooby Doo and the gang subdue the ghost.
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"