Saturday, June 15, 2013


It's time to pay the bills........

Remembering to keep within the confines of Toobworld, who could Kurt Russell be in this blipvert?   Wasn't one of his TV characters as a kid a child actor?




I think you'll hear right at the beginning why I chose this version over any of the others (Nyuk nyuk nyuk!)



'How I Met Your Mother'
"P.S. I Love You"

From Wikipedia:
Geddy Lee, OC (born Gary Lee Weinrib; July 29, 1953), is a Canadian musician and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush. Lee joined what would become Rush in September 1968, at the request of his childhood friend Alex Lifeson, replacing original bassist and frontman Jeff Jones. 

In addition to his composing, arranging, and performing duties for Rush, Lee has produced for various other bands, including Rocket Science. Lee's first solo effort, My Favourite Headache, was released in 2000.

An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and skill on the bass guitar have inspired many rock musicians such as Cliff Burton of Metallica, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, John Myung of Dream Theater, and Les Claypool of Primus. 

Along with his Rush bandmates – guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart – Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honoured, as a group. Lee is ranked 13th by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal vocalists of all time.


Friday, June 14, 2013


This question, tied in with Gillette, may be geared to the new movie coming out this summer.  However it would still apply to the Superman of Toobworld, who died back in the early 1960's......

Up, Up, and Away!


If Art Donovan, an editor at the Los Angeles Tribune, ever traced his family tree back, he might have found that one of his ancestors was Corporal Smythe, a Redcoat soldier in Philadelphia in the 1770s.

Like his commanding officer, Captain Thurlow, Smythe also left a local girl (probably a barmaid) with child.  It's only conjecture, but I think Smythe survived the coming Revolution and returned home to England, leaving his illegitimate child behind.

Smythe wasn't back on the "sceptre'd isle" for very long, as he was posted overseas once more.  This time he was deployed as part of the Ambassador's retinue at the Court of St. Petersburg in Russia.

Once again, Corporal Smythe couldn't keep it in his pants and was soon dallying with a peasant woman.  Like the Philadelphia barmaid, she gave birth to a child whom Smythe most likely never acknowledged publicly.

This child continued Smythe's bloodline in Russia, just as his love child in Philadelphia did, until each branch of his family tree produced children in 1940 who not only resembled their ancestor but also each other.

The first of course would be the aforementioned Art Donovan.  And over in the Soviet Union, Smythe's heir would be Chief Inspector Bernicker.  Bernicker was one of the police detectives assigned to investigate a homicide which entangled American novelist Jessica Fletcher.

From Redcoat to Red Square......

The Smythe family tree in America seems to have proven more fruitful than the one in Russia (and it looks as though there have been no issue in Great Britain from his legally established family ties - at least none who bore a resemblance to Corporal Smythe.)  In the United States there are many Toobworld characters who bear a resemblance to Art Donovan, so they could also be related.  And there's even at least one up in Canada.

This theory of relateeveety is to mark the 73rd birthday of actor Jack Bannon today, who played all three of these roles and many others.  He's also the son of Bea Benadaret from 'Petticoat Junction' (on which he made a guest appearance once as Roger Budd - another "Identical Cousin" to Art Donovan.)


  • 'Lou Grant'
  • 'Daniel Boone' - "The Printing Press"
  • 'Murder, She Wrote' - "From Russia With Blood"

* The title of this post comes from a 1993 movie in which Bannon appeared.....



'Just Shoot Me'
"A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn"

From Wikipedia:
Bernard Terry "Bernie" Casey (born June 8, 1939) is a professional actor who initially had a career as an interscholastic, intercollegiate and professional football player. Casey was also a record-breaking track and field athlete for Bowling Green State University. As one of the nation's best high-hurdlers; Casey earned All-America recognition and a trip to the finals at the 1960 United States Olympic Trials. In addition to national honors, Bernie Casey won three consecutive Mid-American Conference titles in the high-hurdles, 1958–60.

Casey began his acting career in the film "Guns of the Magnificent Seven", a sequel to "The Magnificent Seven". From there he moved between performances on television and the big screen such as playing team captain for the Chicago Bears in the TV film "Brian's Song". In 1979 he starred as widower Mike Harris in the NBC television series 'Harris and Company', the first weekly American TV drama series centered around a black family.

1994 saw Casey guest-starring in a two-episode story arc in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' as the Maquis lead
er Lieutenant Commander Cal Hudson, and in 1995 as a guest-star on 'Babylon 5' as Derek Cranston.


Thursday, June 13, 2013




'Just Shoot Me'
"A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn"

From Wikipedia:
Robert Evans (born June 29, 1930) is an American film producer, best known for his work on "Rosemary's Baby", "Love Story", "The Godfather", and "Chinatown".

Orson Welles' unfinished final film, "The Other Side of the Wind" (1970–6), a scathing satire on 1970s Hollywood, has a young studio boss "Max David" played by Geoffrey Land, who Welles admitted was a spoof of Evans. While the film as a whole has never been released, certain scenes have, and numerous well-known internet video sites carry a scene of Land's performance, in which he is skeptically watching an unfinished art-house film.

In the 1997 movie "Wag the Dog", a Washington, D.C. spin doctor distracts the electorate from a U.S. presidential sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood producer played by Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman's character was based directly upon Robert Evans. Hoffman emulated Evans' work habits, mannerisms, quirks, clothing style, hairstyle, and his large square-framed eyeglasses. The real Evans is said to have declared, "I'm magnificent in this film!"

Bob Ryan, a recurring character in the HBO series 'Entourage' is based on Evans. The character, portrayed by Martin Landau, was a successful movie producer in the 1970s who now chafes at no longer being considered a major Hollywood player. While Evans reportedly declined an offer to play the part himself, he did agree to allow his home to be used in the show as Bob Ryan's home.

Evans similarly served as the inspiration for a 'Mr. Show' sketch, in which Bob Odenkirk portrays God recording his memoirs, dressed as and speaking like Evans. Odenkirk also attributes Evans as his primary influence on his portrayal of lawyer Saul Goodman in 'Breaking Bad'.

Michael Douglas' character in the 2009 film "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past", Wayne Mead, is an obvious parody of Evans, capitalizing on his well known hair, glasses, style of dress and reputation as a ladies' man who frequently entertained celebrity performers.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013



TERRY: Now…what about industry in town…?
SAM: Industry…uh…well…uh…we used to have the…uh…the box factory and the ice plant…but, of course, they’ve been closed for years now…

[Thanks to Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.]

It doesn't matter how trivial the information I glean from a TV show - if I can use it to link one show to another, I'll use it!

So when Ivan shared that snatch of dialogue (Heh heh... "snatch".....) from the penultimate episode of 'Mayberry RFD', it set off the bells and whistles in the only organ I have left that's still working half-way decently.

I thought to myself, "Well, this will be something new.  I don't think anybody has ever suggested a connection between 'Mayberry RFD' and 'Lost' before...."

Sam Jones said that the box factory in Mayberry closed down.  So here's the suggested link:

It closed down in Mayberry, North Carolina, but re-opened in Tustin, California.  Costs had become prohibitive in the East, what with all those "skilled" laborers and their union contracts, so the company decided to pull up stakes.  (The kinfolk of the company owner told him that California's the place he ought to be - cheap migrant labor!)

Decades later, the company was bought by lottery winner Hugo Reyes (aka Hurley), and it was the place where John Locke worked in the office.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
As for the ice plant?  I can't figure out why that closed down.  I find it hard to believe that half of those rubes in Mayberry had working refrigerators.  Especially if Emmett serviced them.

But here's an idea.....  Ivan calls the son of Sam (Jones, I say, Jones, that is) "Mike the Idiot Boy".  Played Jodie Foster's brother Buddy, he didn't show up in the last two episodes of the series. 

Why is that?

It could be that the li'l doofus was playing with one of those old fridges and accidentally locked himself into one.  And Sam didn't notice that whole last week because he thought Mike was having a sleepover with his only friend, Fishface Harold......

With a downer suggestion like that, it's probably a good thing that 'Mayberry RFD' didn't survive the CBS purge of rural shows that following season!




'Just Shoot Me'
"A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn"

From Wikipedia:Cheryl Rae Tiegs (born September 25, 1947) is an American model and actress.

Cheryl Tiegs is a model, designer, author, businesswoman, public speaker and avid spokesperson for health and fitness, the environment, and underprivileged children. She is considered America's first supermodel.

Tiegs began modeling at 17, with covers of Glamour, Seventeen, and Elle. She is the first model to appear three times in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue issues, and also made the cover of People (magazine) four times, and did three covers of Time (magazine), most notably for the "All-American Model" cover story. Her 1978 poster in a pink bikini became an iconic 1970s pop culture image.

She was the first supermodel to venture into the retail world by starting a signature line of clothing and accessories for Sears. The Cheryl Tiegs line sold nearly $1 Billion USD of merchandise in its 10-year span.

She is a frequent guest on shows focusing on issues of fitness, fashion and beauty. She was a judge on the ABC series 'True Beauty' that premiered on January 5, 2009.[2]

In 2004, Tiegs entered the "Hall of Fame" in the 40th anniversary of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue.

Tiegs is a sought after speaker on the subjects of health, fitness and the environment. In 2007, she went on an expedition in the Arctic to explore the effects of climate change.

In 2012 Tiegs appeared on NBC's reality TV competition-based program 'The Celebrity Apprentice', where she was the first contestant to be eliminated.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It's summer time and that means Shakespeare in the Park.

Or near as.....

Get thee to Gloucester, Essex. Do thee to Wessex, Exeter. 
Fair Albany to Somerset must eke his route. 
And Scroop, do you to Westmoreland, where shall bold York 
Enrouted now for Lancaster, with forces of our Uncle Rutland, 
Enjoin his standard with sweet Norfolk's host. 
Fair Sussex, get thee to Warwicksbourne, 
And there, with frowning purpose, tell our plan 
To Bedford's tilted ear, that he shall press 
With most insensate speed 
And join his warlike effort to bold Dorset's side. 
I most royally shall now to bed, 
To sleep off all the nonsense I've just said.

They exit. Re-enter all four as rustics.

Is it all botched up, then, Master Puke?

Aye, and marry is, good Master Snot.

'Tis said our Master, the Duke, hath contrived some naughtiness against his son, the King.

Aye, and it doth confound our merrymaking.

What say you, Master Puke? I am for Lancaster, and that's to say for good shoe leather.

Come speak, good Master Puke, or hath the leather blocked up thy tongue?

Why then go trippingly upon thy laces, good Grit.

Art leather laces thy undoing?

They shall undo many a fair boot this day.

Come, let's to our rural revel and with our song enchant our King.

Like all good Shakespeare it ends with a battle.

Enter Cook and Miller, with swords.

Why then was this encounter nobly entertained 
And so by steel shall this our contest be buckled up. 
Come, sir. Let's to it.

:Let's to it. 
Good steel, thou shalt thyself in himself embowel.

Miller:Come, sir. (They fight) 
Ah ha, a hit!

No, sir, no hit, a miss! Come, sir, art foppish i' the mouth.

They fight again. Cook 'hits' Miller.

Oh, God, fair cousin, thou hast done me wrong. (He dies) 
Now is steel twixt gut and bladder interposed.

Oh, saucy Worcester, dost thou lie so still?

Enter Bennett

Now hath mortality her tithe collected 
And sovereign Albany to the worms his corpse committed. 
Yet weep we not; this fustian life is short, 
Let's on to Pontefract to sanctify our court.




'Just Shoot Me'
"A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn"

From Wikipedia:
Donald Hugh "Don" Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career. Henley was the drummer and lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971–1980, when the band broke up. Henley sings lead vocals on Eagles hits such as "Witchy Woman", "Desperado", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", and "The Long Run".

After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Henley pursued a solo career and released his debut album in 1982. He has released four studio albums, two compilation albums, and one live DVD. His solo hits include "Dirty Laundry", "The Boys of Summer", "All She Wants to Do Is Dance", "The Heart of the Matter", "The Last Worthless Evening", "Sunset Grill", "Not Enough Love in the World", "New York Minute" and "The End of the Innocence".

The Eagles have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, won six Grammy Awards, had five #1 singles, 17 Top 40 singles, and six #1 albums. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and are the biggest selling American band in history. As a solo artist, Henley has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, had eight Top 40 singles, won two Grammys and five MTV Video Music Awards. Combined with the Eagles and as a solo artist, Henley has released 25 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. He has released seven studio albums with the Eagles and four as a solo artist. In 2008, he was ranked the 87th greatest singer of all time byRolling Stone magazine.

Henley has also played a founding role in several environmental and political causes, most notably the Walden Woods Project. Since 1994, he has divided his musical activities between the Eagles and his solo career.


Monday, June 10, 2013


Last week I introduced a new feature, probably on a short-term basis, of how the lives of ordinary people might change in the TV Universe.
Some people might not even have any changes to their situation.  Let's say you're a cop.  Do you have a strange last name?  Perhaps a disability of some sort?  At least a unique mode of transport? 
If so, you're ready for your berth in the NBC mystery wheel.
So here's another one of my Facebook friends with speculation about his own life during prime time....

Here he is with Jay Leno, the January, 2010 inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame and soon to be departing host of the 'Tonight' show. And so within the world of the Toob, Brian now has connections to the slew of shows in which Jay Leno appeared as himself. (You can see a partial list of them here.)

Because of Jay's affinity for cars and Brian's interest in motorbikes, I think we'd be more likely to find Brian's televersion in one of those reality shows about such vehicles - 'Top Gear', 'American Chopper', 'Monster Garage', that sort of thing. 
For the title of Brian's show?  I think 'Granite Chopper' would be cool as he's based in New Hampshire.  Or something that uses the name of Meriden - like Yours Truly, Brian grew up in Meriden, Ct., and the village of Meriden is part of the New Hampshire town he currently lives in.
But whatever the title, Jay Leno would definitely be the guest star in the series premiere!
And when Brian gets around to doing helmet safety episode, he can get Gary Busey!
(One O'Bservation - The boys missed a connection to 'Lost' because of that "43".  "Missed it by that much!" as Maxwell Smart used to say.....)



In 2003, several newspapers and magazines to be found only in Toobworld were inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  The L.A. Sun, the L.A. Tribune, Playpen, and the NY Ledger. 
It's the NY Ledger that kept expanding its tally since then with appearances in shows like 'White Collar' and 'CSI'.  And now we have a new one....  But this time it's not on Earth Prime-Time but an alternate TV dimension.
Thanks to my Little Buddy Sean, here's the NY Ledger as seen in 'Elementary':


This has to be an alternate dimension because Sherlock Holmes is considered contemporary rather than the Victorian era consulting detective he should be in the main Toobworld.  (And even then, there's only the one true Holmes - as played by Jeremy Brett.)
It's not the first time the Ledger has appearaed in an alternate dimension - it can also be found in the world of 'Castle' as well.
I'm not sure what other shows should be in this world of Holmes and Joan Watson, but there must be a counterpart to the Ledger's own series 'Deadline', right?



'Just Shoot Me'
"A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn"

From Wikipedia:
Pat Sajak (born Patrick Leonard Sajdak; October 26, 1946, Chicago, IllinoiS) is a television personality, former weatherman, actor and talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show 'Wheel of Fortune'.

In 1981, Merv Griffin asked Sajak if he would be interested in taking over the duties as host on 'Wheel of Fortune' from Chuck Woolery. However, Fred Silverman, then president and CEO of NBC, rejected his hiring, claiming he was too local, and Griffin responded by imposing a moratorium on new tapings until Sajak was hired. The issue became moot when Silverman was dismissed due to repeated programming failures and replaced by Brandon Tartikoff. 

Sajak, who had already hosted a few game show pilots, accepted the position. He hosted both the daytime (NBC) and syndicated evening versions of 'Wheel' from 1983 to 1989, and continues to host the latter version.

When his late-night talk show on CBS premiered in January 1989, he left the daytime version of 'Wheel', and was replaced by former San Diego Chargers place-kicker Rolf Benirschke. Sajak appeared on 'Super Password' several times from 1984–1989, as well as 'Password Plus' in 1981, shortly before taking on hosting duties on 'Wheel'. Other game shows on which Sajak guested were 'Dream House' and 'Just Men!'.

Sajak hosted a late-night talk show on CBS from January 9, 1989 – April 13, 1990. Dan Miller, Sajak's old friend and former anchor at WSM-TV in Nashville, joined Sajak as his sidekick. He later became a frequent guest host forCNN's 'Larry King Live', effective when King himself was unable to attend. Sajak also became a regular substitute host for Regis Philbin on the syndicated 'Live with Regis and Kelly'. Sajak also hosted a program, 'Pat Sajak Weekend', on the Fox News Channel in 2003.


Sunday, June 9, 2013


The existence of Dr. Moreau is only suggested in Toobworld at present.  But he must have once lived on Earth Prime-Time - we saw evidence of this in the portrait of Gomez Addams' business partner.....

I don't know what this video was made for, but as online content it becomes part of Toobworld.  And I'm going to claim that these giraffes are descended from Gomez's partner... and that their intelligence can be attributed to Dr. Moreau.....




"Anthology Of Interest I"

The Tooniverse

With Professor Farnsworth's What-If machine, Fry learns what would have happened had he never been frozen and thawed out in the year 3000.  It's up to former Vice President Al Gore, actress Nichele Nichols, physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, and Gary Gygax (the creator of Dungeons & Dragons) to save the day. 

From Wikipedia:

Ernest Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008)[3] was an American writer and game designer best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson. Gygax has been described as the father of D&D.

In the 1960s, Gygax created an organization of wargaming clubs and founded the Gen Con gaming convention. In 1971, he helped develop Chainmail, a miniatures wargame based on medieval warfare. He co-founded the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with childhood friend Don Kaye in 1973. The following year, he and Dave Arneson created D&D, which expanded on Gygax's Chainmail and included elements of the fantasy stories he loved as a child. In the same year, he founded The Dragon, a magazine based around the new game. 

In 1977, Gygax began work on a more comprehensive version of the game, called Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Gygax designed numerous manuals for the game system, as well as several pre-packaged adventures called "modules" that gave a person running a D&D game (the "Dungeon Master") a rough script and ideas on how to run a particular gaming scenario. In 1983, he worked to license the D&D product line into the successful D&D cartoon series.

After leaving TSR in 1985 over issues with its new majority owner, Gygax continued to create role-playing game titles independently, beginning with the multi-genre Dangerous Journeys in 1992. He designed another gaming system called Legendary Adventure, released in 1999. 

In 2005, Gygax was involved in the Castles & Crusades role-playing game, which was conceived as a hybrid between the third edition of D&D and the original version of the game conceived by Gygax.

Gygax was married twice and had six children. In 2004, Gygax suffered two strokes, narrowly avoided a subsequent heart attack, and was then diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, from which he died in March 2008.

As you may have noticed with yesterday's showcase (Mr. & Mrs. Mel Brooks in honor of tonight's Tony Awards), the theme for these two weeks of vacation won't all be from that episode of 'Just Shoot Me'.  However, even if I had more than enough to cover, I still would have used Gary Gygax for today.

And that's because my cousin Paul Dabkowski is marrying the loverly Angela Jacobs.

Paul owns and manages a company that runs live action role playing game weekends in Massachusetts.  And through that venture he met Angela, a fellow enthusiast who is a brilliant artist and costume designer.  I would imagine she's also a fierce and feisty competitor in the field as well.

So who better than the creator of the Owlbear to be today's showcase to serve as a small tribute to these kids on their special day?

Congratulations and all the best for your own Futurama, Angela and Paul!

Or should I say, "Congratulations, 'Isolinde' and 'Brent'?"