Saturday, August 3, 2013


In 2005, when I reached a particular milestone in my personal chronology, I celebrated by invoking the motto "What I say, goes" when it came to the new members of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  And when it came time to bestow the Birthday Honors, I chose myself to be inducted.

But it wasn't just an ego trip.  At least I fulfilled the membership requirements:

I was a certified citizen of Joyville - not only do I still have my certificate, but I had my name read on the air.

During the summer of 1966, I appeared in the Ranger Station along with two of my brothers, three of my Hansen cousins, and all four of my Smith cousins, along with about thirty other kids.  That so many kids from the same family were on the same broadcast merited a small article in the Winsted newspaper.

Along with many other students in the UConn Drama Department, I spent three days working as an "atmosphere person" for this TV movie, which establishes me with a two degree separation from Kevin Bacon.  It was twenty five dollars a day and for those times, that was pretty sweet money for a college student.

Thanks to my buddy Patrick Scully, we were in the audience for the 100th episode of the show.  And we can be seen as Dave himself came down into the audience to hand out copies of his vacation picture.

But anyhoo, I just wanted to share with you what it was like on the old 'Ranger Andy Show'.  I'm not in this particular clip, but it must have been quite similar.....



Dream sequences aren't always valid crossovers for the Toobworld Dynamic.  With some, as when TV characters dream of interactions with the characters from 'Gilligan's Island' ('Meego', 'Roseanne', 'Alf', 'Baywatch', and even in the Land of Remakes with 'The New Gidget'), there is no Zonk because that TV show was based on the true events dealing with those seven stranded castaways.

But in other cases, we have to consider those dream sequences to be Zonks:

Don't get me wrong, I believe Leon the Lizard and Digit are living puppets in the world of Earth Prime-Time, but I'm not sure if Dr. Huxtable would be aware of their existence.  One way in which that could work is due to a segment of 'The Jim Henson Hour' called "MuppeTelevision", which served as a 'Muppet Show' continuation, after a fashion.

Perhaps Cliff Huxtable saw that independently of the rest while watching TV with his youngest daughter Rudy.

That just might work.  Otherwise, it would have to be considered a Zonk.



It was this episode of 'Maverick' which gained Bart Maverick entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame before Bret Maverick, even though Bret was the original star of the series.....

Technically, there was one more crossover, but with a CBS Western - Prender (Herb Vigran) offers Bart a sawed off Winchester left by a bounty hunter. (To pay his bar tab, I believe.) The name of the gun was "Mule's Leg" or something, says the bartender. It's obviously Mair's Leg, the gun used by Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) in 'Wanted: Dead Or Alive'......



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

Nothing odd about this at all within the context of the Toobworld Dynamic.  It's just another slice of life during prime-time.

It's just two guys in some back alley who were approached by a disturbed individual.  And that oddball had a fixation on either Little Lord Fauntleroy or Buster Brown shoes.

In fact, I think it could be that he was a cosplayer at the San Diego Comic-Con who just happened to stumble across the other guys while on his way to the convention hall.  

Looked at with that sort of splainin, it almost seems mundane.

But yeah.... still pretty weird!




'The Jack Benny Program'
["The Tall Cowboy Sketch"]

From the CTVA:
Jack's guest is 6'6" Western star Clint Walker ("Cheyenne"), who sings a song and banters with Jack. Jack is insulted when the gigantic Walker snubs Jack's suggestion that he play Clint's brother in a movie. But Jack auditions for the part anyway.

Jack’s big guest is Clint “Cheyenne” Walker. Clint allows ? as how he needs a man to play the part of a brother in an upcoming movie, and who should show up on the set the next day but a rebuilt Benny.


Friday, August 2, 2013


In the 'Longmire' episode "Death Came In Like Thunder", the three Vayas brothers had been tending the mountanside where their family had been shepherds for nearly ninety years.  That is, until youngest brother Marco was murdered for trying to sell his share....


The grandparents of Marco Vayas and his brothers Costa and Sal had been the only survivors of their family when Franco allowed Hitler to enter the town of Guernica and use its citizens for "target practice".  The couple escaped and fled to America with nothing to show for their past life in that Basque enclave.

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that they eventually arrived in the area of Stockton, California, where there was a Basque community.  There they would have moved on with other Basque families to Absaroka County in Wyoming.  Once they established their home and began a family, their son may have married into either the Ariata or De Navarre families, both of whom had ancestors who were involved in a controversial court case back in Stockton sometime after 1876.


From 'The Big Valley' - "The Martyr":
Jarrod defends a Basque Sheepherder accused of murder. He is in more than providing a defense when he finds out his client is a political anarchist in a town full of bigotry and hate. (IMDb)

Can't be proven; can't be disproved either.  So it's a viable theory of relateeveety.




From Wikipedia:
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American musician, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. 

While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical composers such as Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, and Anton Webern along with 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands; he later switched to electric guitar.

Zappa was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often difficult to categorize. His 1966 debut album with The Mothers of Invention, "Freak Out!", combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz or classical. 

His lyrics—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.

He was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and worked as an independent artist for most of his career. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. 

Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet and Diva. In 2004, 

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 71st on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

'The Monkees'
"The Monkees Blow Their Minds"

Independent of the episode, the show begins with an "interview" between Zappa and Mike Nesmith, in which they play each other at one point.  

This is the episode in which Burgess Meredith made a cameo appearance as the Penguin.  

Zappa would also appear in the Monkees movie "Head".  There are three options for this movie's consideration relating to Toobworld:
  • It belongs fully to the Cineverse and the Monkees as seen in this film are counterparts to the ones from the TV series.
  • It can be absorbed into the TV Universe.
  • It can be found in the Borderlands.
The transcript for the interview can be found here.


Thursday, August 1, 2013


That's 2 pm EST, folks!  And it WILL be simulcast on BBC-America.......

TVXOHOF, 07/2013 - KBEX

I've spoken of "serendipiteevee" in the past - it's the name I've coined for those moments of TV magic that give me the opportunity to discover something quite by chance as I flip around the dial.  

Here's my latest example - I was watching 'Rizzoli & Isles' and decided to check out the four big retro channels [TV Land, Me-TV, Antenna TV, and COZI-Tv] during the commercial break.  And I tuned in to 'Charlie's Angels' just in time for this establishing shot:

I looked up KBEX in Wikipedia and it has racked up quite a few appearances or mentions in the Los Angeles area:

KBEX-TV (in television):
  • 'Barnaby Jones'
  • 'Brady Bunch'
  • 'Charlie's Angels'
  • 'Columbo' (Season 2, Episode 6)
  • 'Emergency!'
  • 'Mannix'
  • 'Starsky & Hutch'
  • '$weepstake$' (Channel 6, Hollywood)
  • 'What's Happening!!'

KBEX also showed up in 'Mission: Impossible' and 'MacGyver', but I don't know if those particular episodes took place in L.A.

Definitely its use in 'Walker, Texas Ranger' and 'Crazy Like a Fox' were in other locations - Texas O'Bviously for the former and San Francisco for the latter, where it was also on Channel 6 as in '$weepstake$'.

But the splainin for that could be chalked up to KBEX being a "super station" like WGN and TBS here in the real world.  And according to 'MacGyver', it has a sister outlet in a radio station as well.

So while I'm thinking of it before my fading memory forgets, I'm inducting KBEX into the media section of the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, where it can take up space alongside the Los Angeles Tribune, the New York Ledger, and the ever popular Playmate magazine.

[There will be another induction later this month that ties into our TV Western showcase theme for August.]




When Dr. Arcularis said that he was going to take the lessons learned from recent experiments on mice and apply them to human subjects, Secret Service Agent James West pointed out that mice weren't exactly the most intelligent species on Earth.

Over a century later, at least two humans from that same planet learned that mice indeed were the most intelligent species on Earth.

From Wikipedia:
Mice are the physical protrusions into our dimension of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned construction of the Earth to find the Question to the Ultimate Answer of Life, the Universe, and Everything. As such, they are the most intelligent life form on that planet, contrary to what humans think.




'The Jack Benny Program'

From the CTVA:
["Jack Directs A Film"]
Show opens with Rochester preparing a breakfast, for himself, but Jack gets up early and spoils Rochester's plans and eats the breakfast instead. Jack got up early to catch the morning tv show "This Is Hollywood" as his friends, Jimmy & Gloria Stewart are going to be on it. While watching the show, Jack learns that Jimmy & Gloria are filming a movie and this is Gloria's debut film. Jack decides to go down to the studio to wish Gloria good luck. Jack makes his appearance during a filming scene by opening up a door that Jimmy was going to use. Jimmy bends over to pick up a suitcase, Jack opens the door and sends Jimmy flying onto the sofa. A couple of minutes later, Jack sits in the director's chair, stands in front of the camera and stops filming, twice, by yelling cut. Jack each time tries to offer advice to Jimmy and Gloria. Jack then tells Jimmy that he'll show him what he means and assumes Jimmy's role. This time, Gloria opens the door as Jack bends down to pick up the suitcase, sends Jack flying onto the couch and knocks him out. Gloria yells for water but Jimmy says no, lets finish the scene first. They finish the scene, then film the final scene where Jimmy comes in the door, back from Albany where he got his brother, "Henry", off on the charge. He brought Henry back with him to live and goes out the door to bring him in. Jimmy returns with "Henry", who turns out to be Jack. The director then yells cut and wants to know what's going on. Jimmy tells the director that Jack talked him into letting him be in the movie too. The director says no and the episode ends shortly after that.

["The Jimmy Stewart Show"]
This show starts out with Jack reading some fan mail he received, instead of doing a monologue of jokes. One letter asks Jack if he is as stingy and cheap in his personal life and has enclosed a stamped self-addressed envelope. Jack says there is no need to reply and tears off the stamp and sticks it in his pocket. Jack then tells about running into Jimmy Stewart and Jack says that Jimmy "begged him" to come to Jimmy & Gloria's wedding anniversary dinner and the story starts there with the night club scene. Jimmy is telling Gloria that Jack Benny is joining them at the night club and is bringing a date. Jack shows up with "Mildred Meyerhouser", played by Barbara Nichols and Mildred dances, then sings to Jimmy, starts a yelling match with another couple on the dance floor and definitely attracts unwanted attention to the Stewart's. Mel Blanc is the waiter and Richard Reeves plays the part of a second-team Hollywood High football fullback when he shows up with his date, played by Shirley Mitchell. At the end of the show, Jimmy tells Jack that it isn't really their anniversary and when Jack asks when it really is, Jimmy and & Gloria tell him different dates at the same time.

["The Income Tax Show"]
This show has two Internal Revenue Service agents trying to figure out how Jack earned $375,00 last year but only spent $19 for entertainment expenses. $3.90 of that was declared by Jack when he had dinner with his girlfriend and Jimmy & Gloria Stewart. Gloria gets some good one-liners in about Jack during the show. The IRS agents remind Jack that they are there to help him, several times.

And here's the reason I'm running this "League Of Themselves" showcase in August.....

From Wikipedia:
Jimmy Stewart's collaborations with director Anthony Mann increased Stewart's popularity and sent his career into the realm of the western. Stewart's first appearance in a film directed by Mann came with the 1950 western, "Winchester '73". In choosing Mann (after first choice Fritz Lang declined), Stewart cemented a powerful partnership. The film, which became a massive box office hit upon its release, set the pattern for their future collaborations. In it, Stewart is a tough, revengeful sharpshooter, the winner of a prized rifle which is stolen and then passes through many hands, until the showdown between Stewart and his brother (Stephen McNally).

Other Stewart-Mann westerns, such as "Bend of the River" (1952), "The Naked Spur" (1953), "The Far Country" (1954) and "The Man from Laramie" (1955), were perennial favorites among young audiences entranced by the American West. Frequently, the films featured Stewart as a troubled cowboy seeking redemption, while facing corrupt cattlemen, ranchers and outlaws — a man who knows violence first hand and struggles to control it. The Stewart-Mann collaborations laid the foundation for many of the westerns of the 1950s and remain popular today for their grittier, more realistic depiction of the classic movie genre. Audiences saw Stewart's screen persona evolve into a more mature, more ambiguous, and edgier presence.

Stewart's starring role in "Winchester '73" was also a turning point in Hollywood. Universal Studios, who wanted Stewart to appear in both that film and "Harvey", balked at his $200,000 asking price. His agent, Lew Wasserman, brokered an alternate deal, in which Stewart would appear in both films for no pay, in exchange for a percentage of the profits and cast and director approval. Stewart ended up earning about $600,000 for Winchester '73 alone. Hollywood's other stars quickly capitalized on this new way of doing business, which further undermined the decaying "studio system".


Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The Ideal News Story
By John O'Creagh

Tonight we begin as we usually do with something tragic and deadly
It’s the sort of thing our writers can come up with pretty readily
A bus-load of innocent children were returning from church camp
When the driver, suspected of being drunk, sped down the exit ramp
It ploughed into a little old lady pushing a tattered pram
She’d just kidnapped an infant in furtherance of a scam
She and the infant bought the farm. Before the bus got too far
It killed a pair of newlyweds when it landed on their car
The bus broke down a railing and after an awful fall
Destroyed a homeless vet’s wheelchair and burst through a motel wall
Where amidst all of the wreckage and tragic loss of life
A prominent politician was found with someone else’s wife
An ambulance racing to the scene struck and killed a nun
Who was found to have large sums in cash and a very impressive gun
It was subsequently revealed that she was not
A nun at all, but the FBI, foiling a terror plot
But the dog in the bus found its way back home according to reports
To the joy of its grateful family. Here’s Charlie with the sports.

Thanks as always, John!



'Major Crimes'
"The Deep End"

From the KTLA-5 web site:

Ginger joined the KTLA family in March of 2008 as the traffic and news reporter from the helicopter. She currently helps commuters steer clear of accidents and road blocks from KTLA’s Traffic Center, 4:30 – 10a every weekday morning.

Before KTLA, Ginger worked at KIIS-FM as the traffic and fill-in news reporter for Ryan Seacrest and Valentine. She was also was part of the morning and afternoon shows on AM 570 KLAC, working with Fred Roggin, T.J. Simers, Petros Papadakis, and Matt “Money” Smith. Ginger was honored to work with Commander Chuck Street of 102.7KIIS-FM, who has been instrumental in her career. In addition to her traffic duties, she also anchored and wrote the news for the top-rated talk station, KFI-AM 640. Ginger has also worked as a radio personality jocking for stations in Redlands, Bakersfield, and San Diego. She also was a TV reporter in Orange County and Huntsville, Alabama.

From her vantage point in the air, Ms. Chan reported about an intruder shot dead in the home of an internationally famous swimming coach.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Eileen Brennan, a smoky-voiced actress who had worked in show business for more than 20 years before gaining her widest attention as a gleefully tough Army captain in both the film and television versions of “Private Benjamin,” died on Sunday at her home in Burbank, Calif. She was 80.
- Anita Gates
The New York Times

Captain Doreen Lewis is one of those "Borderlands" characters in Toobworld, having an exact counterpart in both Toobworld and the Cineverse.  Ms. Brennan was rewarded for her continuation of the character on TV with an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress. 

It will be one of her movie roles which I will always think of first when I remember Eileen Brennan.  And that's because of this exchange of dialogue from "Murder By Death":

Lionel Twain: I'm the greatest, I'm number one!

Sam Diamond: To me, you look like number two, know what I mean?

Dora Charleston: What DOES he mean, Miss Skeffington?

Tess Skeffington: I'll tell you later. It's disgusting.

She was one hell of a broad, in the best possible use of that term, and she will be missed.

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



Back in 1965, one of the numerals in the Valenzetti Equation showed up during a murder investigation in the general area of Oxford.

Crown Prince Nabil of the United Hashemite Kingdoms was staying in Suite #4 of a local hotel while he was involved in trade negotiations for the Standfast Rocket.

Combined with our previous entry, we have our Two for Tuesday!



There was another point of televisiological interest to be found in the "Rocket" episode of 'Endeavour', seen two weekends ago on 'Masterpiece Mystery':

Crown Prince Nabil was presented as a representative of the United Hashemite Kingdoms.  From what I've read about the Hashemites, they are an Arab dynasty whose power lay in the alliances in the Hejaz region of Arabia.  But their main seat of power could be the Hashemite Kingdoms of Jordan, which before 1966 would have included the West Bank.  

In the TV Universe, the "United Hashemite Kingdoms" could have been more, a confederation of states in which we might situate a fictional Middle Eastern country or two.  Actually it would probably have to be made up entirely of fictional Arab states in the region due to the presence of Crown Prince Nabil.  

Had he been just "Prince Nabil", we could have palmed off as a lesser member of the extended royal family of Jordan, serving as leader of the trade delegation to negotiate for a shipment of Standfast rockets.  But as the Crown Prince, that meant that he was the heir to the throne, and the dictates concerning the correlation of the United States President in the real world to Toobworld must be applied to the televersions of other real countries as well.

But if the United Hashemite Kingdoms is a fictional alliance of states, then we can fit in several Middle Eastern countries that can be found only in TV shows.  And Crown Prince Nabil could be the heir to the throne of just one of them, rather than of the united kingdoms as a whole.

Here is a list of possible candidates, winnowed down from my full list of fictional Middle Eastern countries in Toobworld:
  • Acabia (‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.')
  • Agir ("Mission: Impossible")
  • Aramy ("McCloud")
  • Bahkan ("Mission: Impossible")
  • Baraga ("Banacek")
  • Baracq ("Capitol")
  • Barat ('H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man')
  • Beyaquin ("H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man")
  • Durani ("McHale"s Navy")
  • Elkabar ("Mission: Impossible")
  • Karak ("Mission: Impossible")
  • Phaedira ("The Saint")
  • Qamadan ("Mission: Impossible")
  • QaChi ("The Joey Bishop Show")
  • Suaria ("Columbo")
  • Tahir ("The Beverly Hillbillies")
  • Tankir ("Another World")
  • Zalamar ("The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.")
I removed countries that played a role in 'The West Wing' and in 'The Agency', because both those series take place in alternate TV dimensions.  I also removed Beldad from 'The Adventures of Superman' because it is probably located to the west of Egypt.  For similar reasons I have removed Miristan, visited in an episode of 'CHAOS' (NOT KAOS!), as I think it lies farther east of Iraq, along the southern borders of Russia.

Also, in an earlier post this year, I combined the countries of Barat, Baraga, and Baracq into one.

Even so, the list is still far too unwieldy and one might be tempted to drop the countries mentioned in the various sitcoms.  But there is one country I'd want to see remain no matter what.


Suaria is the country that served as the homeland for the major players in the 'Columbo' episode "A Case Of Immunity'.  What prevented the Lieutenant from making an arrest once he figured out the identity of the killer was his declaration of diplomatic immunity. 

So all of those kingdoms and tribal states that have been mentioned over the years on various TV shows are probably no more than "vest pocket kingdoms" (a phrase coined by John Bellairs in "The Face In The Frost"), which don't take up much room on the map of the Middle East.  And their borders could be dissolved in favor of the one set of boundaries to delineate the United Hashemite Kingdoms.

That way, they're a lot easier to manage than the glut of fictional Middle Eastern countries to be found in the Romance Novel sub-division of BookWorld:

And that's my geography lesson for the day.  

May I have my blue pie slice now?



Today's two examples of the League of Themselves were not technically seen on your TV screens.  But they were heard, in nearly every episode of their respective series.



From Wikipedia:
Shaaron Claridge, now retired, was a second-shift radio-telephone operator or police radio dispatcher at the Van Nuys Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Women were primarily desired as police radio dispatchers because LAPD psychologists thought that women's voices would have a more soothing and calming effect over the airwaves. The idea was that, should an officer (male) have been pinned down by gunfire and/or wounded, yet was still within radio contact, hearing the female dispatcher's tone would help keep the officer from panicking until back-up arrived at the scene. Her husband was an LAPD motorcycle officer.

For a time from the late 1960s into the late 1970s, she was a voice actress credited with primarily providing police dispatch voice work for 'Adam-12' and also a few other television shows (i.e., 'Dragnet', 'Lou Grant' and 'Columbo'). Her voice work as the police dispatcher ("1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12, see the man . . .") was featured in all but one or two episodes of that series. 

And then we have:



From Wikipedia:
LACoFD Dispatcher Sam Lanier portrayed himself in an uncredited voice role (over the radio) throughout the series, and he is also occasionally shown in a brief clip at the dispatch office just before a dispatch is heard in later seasons.

For a more detailed biography of the man, click here.


Monday, July 29, 2013


The new "Star Trek" movie has been out for a few weeks; "The Lone Ranger"* opened a couple of weekends ago to a dismal box office and poor reviews. 

TV shows have been a source for movie material for a couple decades now, but rarely have the original cast been called upon to recreate their roles.  The 1966 "Batman", "Maverick", "McHale's Navy" (the 1960s version), and the first ten "Star Trek" movies are the high points among the exceptions.

But in most cases, the casting starts from scratch - sometimes to invigorate the brand and forge its own identity, but it's out of necessity for the most part: the original actors are usually too old or already dead by the time a movie gets the green light.  ("Sgt. Bilko", "Car 54, Where Are You?", "The Addams Family")

But the stars of those original series are sometimes asked to come back for a cameo in the new film versions.  Sentimentality may play a part, and the need for good karma, but I think the bottom line is that the studios can milk their participation for publicity.

(I think the bad juju incurred by the first remake of "The Lone Ranger" - starring Klinton Spilsbury - was due to the way Clayton Moore was treated.  Not only was he not offered a chance to do a cameo of some sort, but they forced him to stop wearing the mask at public appearances.)

So here's a Super Six list of actors who starred in the original series and who later appeared in the movie remakes - but as different characters......


I never saw this movie, the advance hype kept me away from it.  And I recently saw a scene from it with Sean Connery as the bad guy talking to giant teddy bears.  Uh oh.  (Not that the TV series didn't have more than its fair share of silly concepts.)

But I would have liked to have "seen" the cameo by the original John Steed.  And I put "seen" into quotation marks because he played Invisible Jones, a voice-only role.  (I also would have liked to have seen the movie for Carmen Ejogo, but that's for different reasons entirely...)

In this movie, his character's name was "Armitan", which is an anagram for "Martian".  He also had several lines that could be considered in-joke references to the original series.  I suppose Walston had finally reconciled himself to his sitcom past, having his role on 'Picket Fences' to show as a better example of his Toobworld talents......

When young Clark Kent outraces the train, we see a family watching in amazement from within one of the passenger cars.  The little girl will grow up to be Lois Lane and she's traveling wtih her parents.  Noel Neill keeps her connection to the Lane family by this time playing Lois' mother, Ella.  And her father?  That's Kirk Alyn, the Superman of the 1940s serials.

Along with Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, and David Selby, Frid showed up at a party held in the Collinwood mansion.  Unfortunately, the appearance by the quartet was one of those blink and you miss it moments.  But it did serve for a sweet farewell to Mr. Frid who passed away not long after.

Most of the remaining cast members from the original TV series made appearances in this movie remake - Angela Cartwright, Marta Kristen, and Mark Goddard, plus Dick Tufeld returned as the voice of Robot.  As for the others, Bill Mumy and Jonathan Harris gave it a pass, and Guy Williams had passed away in Argentina when he was 65.

But of those involved, I chose June Lockhart because the movie had the most fun with her cameo.  She played the principal of Will Robinson's school and she appeared to Maureen Robinson as a hologram to complain about Will's behavior in school.  However, Will over-rode the controls on the incoming message and kept putting Ms. Lockhart's head on different bodies, including a gorilla and a Rambo-like mercenary/bodybuilder.

This is my favorite one and I wish I could take credit for remembering it.  But I'm no Milton Berle....

Buddy Ebsen played Jed Clampett in the original series, as well as in a TV movie and reunion special, thus earning him his slot in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  (October 2002, while Toobworld Central was off-line.)  But in the movie remake, the late Jim Varney took on the role of the backwoods multi-millionaire (and I think he effectively erased his image of Ernest in the process.)

What makes Ebsen's cameo in the movie unique from all the others is that he played his OTHER most famous TV role - aged private eye Barnaby Jones.  And that meant that Jones not only had a counterpart in the Cineverse but he was played by the same actor in both universes.

Thanks to my brother AJ and to Hugh Davis for their suggestions!  (AJ gave me Noel Neill; Hugh suggested Buddy Ebsen.)

* Hugh also correctly pointed out that "The Lone Ranger" and "Superman" both began "life" in different fictional universes than TV.  But in the case of "The Lone Ranger", I think his existence in the TV Universe is better known to the general public.




From Wikipedia:
Robert John Wagner, Jr. (born February 10, 1930) is an American actor of stage, screen, and television, best known for starring in the television shows 'It Takes a Thief' (1968–70), 'Switch' (1975–78), and 'Hart to Hart' (1979–84). In movies, Wagner is known for his role as Number Two in the "Austin Powers" trilogy of films (1997, 1999, 2002). He also had a recurring role as Teddy Leopold on the TV sitcom 'Two and a Half Men'.

Wagner's autobiography, "Pieces of My Heart: A Life", written with author Scott Eyman, was published on September 23, 2008.

"Calculon 2.0"

Like many celebrities in the future of the Tooniverse, Robert Wagner was cloned back to life as just a head in a jar, injected with false and/or artificial memory implants of his past life.  

When it was decided that the late robot actor Calculon no longer deserved to have a star on the Walk of Fame in 3013, it was removed and replaced by yet another star for Wagner.


Sunday, July 28, 2013


Page Morton Black passed away earlier this week at the age of 97.  For the younger members of Team Toobworld, that name probably draws a blank.  I would not be surprised if the same holds true for many of the older visitors to Inner Toob.

Ms. Black was the voice for Chock Full O' Nuts, that heavenly coffee*.  She sang the blipvert's jingle for years.

But the commercials also played with variations on that winning formula, with this one that especially caught my eye as a televisiologist:

There have been other versions of Pinocchio in the TV Universe, including 'Once Upon A Time' (in which he's now dead, as far as I know.)  Whichever televersion is the one accepted as the official portrayal in Earth Prime-Time, this blipvert could be considered part of that same story.  Even though he would look differently, the splainin could be that his "spirit" was transferred into the new wooden body carved by Gepetto until repairs could be made to the original.

As for the character played by Ms. Black?  She may be dressed like Snow White, but Pinocchio calls her "Page" in this commercial.  However, based on her fashions and the home's interior design, she must be an ancestor to Page Morton Black, not Ms. Black herself.

Which is a good thing, because we all know why she liked having Pinocchio around, don't we?  Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink! 

And that wouldn't be very respectful if she was supposed to be Page Morton Black.

Awww, who am I kidding?  It's not respectful in any way!


* I'll take the ad's word for it since I don't drink coffee.....