Saturday, August 10, 2013


Art Donovan, the football player and teller of tales, died last week.  He was 89.

In the early nineties, he appeared as himself in an episode of 'The Adventures Of Pete And Pete'.......

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


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

The history behind this blipvert may be fact; it may be legend... in the real world.  But it happened EXACTLY this way in the history of Toobworld......



Karen Black, the bravely offbeat actress who burst into the public consciousness in such iconic counterculture films as "Five Easy Pieces" and "Easy Rider," has died. She was 74.

Black, who was found to have ampullary cancer in 2010, died Thursday at West Hills Hospital, said her husband, Stephen Eckelberry.

With compelling, close-set eyes that gave her a distinctive appearance, Black built a film resume that included prostitutes, murderers, waitresses, transsexuals and thieves. She imbued the portrayals of her often vulnerable, working-class characters with pathos and occasional humor.
- Rebecca Trounson
Los Angeles Times

Most of Ms. Black's best-known work was for the Cineverse - "Easy Rider", "Five Easy Pieces", "Nashville", "Day Of The Locust", and "Airport '75", among others.

But for Toobworld, it was her three roles in the ABC movie of the week, "Trilogy of Terror", that she will be best remembered.

Especially for that last story, "Amelia"......

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



From Wikipedia:
Dimitri Zinovievich Tiomkin (May 10, 1894 – November 11, 1979) was a Russian-born Hollywood film scorecomposer and conductor. He is considered "one of the giants of Hollywood movie music." Musically trained in Russia, he is best known for his westerns, "where his expansive, muscular style had its greatest impact."  Tiomkin received twenty-two Academy Award nominations and won four.

In addition to the cinema he was also active in composing for the small screen, including such memorable television theme songs as 'Rawhide' (1959) and 'Gunslinger'. Although he was also hired to compose the theme for TV's 'The Wild Wild West' (1965), the producers rejected his music and subsequently hired Richard Markowitz as his replacement. A cover version of the theme from 'Rawhide' was performed in the 1980 cult musical film "The Blues Brothers", the in-joke that the composer is a Ukrainian-born Jew being lost on the crowd at the cowboy bar.

Tiomkin also made a few appearances as himself on television programs. These include being the mystery challenger on 'What's My Line?' and an appearance on Jack Benny's CBS program in December 1961, in which he attempted to help Jack write a song.

'The Jack Benny Program'
"Jack Writes A Song"

Today's episode links to tomorrow's presentation (due to that song).


Friday, August 9, 2013


Here's a note from Team Toobworld member and fellow crossoverist Caeric ArcLight:

Reading my first Honey West book. So far she's talked about calling Perry Mason if she has trouble and compares a big dude to King Kong.  It was 'This Girl For Hire.'

Honey West was born in BookWorld, but has her greatest claim to fame in Toobworld, thanks to the portrayal by Anne Francis.  In the TV Universe, Honey West can make connections with 'Burke's Law' and perhaps even with "The Maltese Falcon"!

Those examples supplied by Caeric won't be the only crossovers to be found in BookWorld when it comes to Honey West.  Win Scott Eckert, torchbearer for Philip Jose Farmer's great concept of the Wold Newton Universe, and Matthew Baugh will be teaming up the sultry sleuth with Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat the infamous cat burglar from the TV series 'T.H.E. Cat'.  

You can read about their upcoming Moonstone publication here.

It sounds like a winner!



In a perfect Toobworld, the most light-hearted of sitcoms should be able to co-exist with the darkest of dramas.  What could help to keep it from being too jarring would be the passage of Time between each series.  (And I'm talking about the Toobworld timeline, not the passage of Time in the real world, although that applies in this case as well.....)

In this week's episode of 'The Bridge' ("The Beast"), we learned that Detective Sonya Cross' sister was murdered when she was eighteen years old.  (Sonia was fifteen at the time.)

The killer was a brain-damaged man named Jim Dobbs.  And Sonya now keeps examples of his child-like drawings on her refrigerator.  

I have no idea if we'll learn more about Dobbs, but even if we do I doubt the show will delve into his family tree so far back that we learn about his great-great-grandfather.

So I'm going to make a theory of relateeveety - Jim Dobbs is descended from former US Cavalry soldier Hamilton Dobbs, who was stationed for a time at Fort Courage in Kansas after the American Civil War.

As usual, this is a connection that can't be proved, nor can it be disproved... so far.




From Wikipedia:
Thomas Jane (born Thomas Elliott III; February 22, 1969) is an American actor and comic book writer, best known for his roles in Padamati Sandhya Ragam (1987), Boogie Nights (1997), 61* (2001), The Punisher (2004),The Mist (2007), and Hung (2009–2011).

He has also portrayed a fictionalized version of himself in the Fox television show Arrested Development in which the show's characters have not heard of him, and do not recognize him as the star actor that he is.

'Arrested Development'
"The One Where They Build A House"



Thursday, August 8, 2013


Over in the Television Crossovers Forum on Facebook, Robert Wronski of the TVCU posted this question:

Crossover or no? 'Farscape' - "Different Destinations" (2001) (TV Episode)
When John is tied up and Scorpius has boots on and has them resting on John and he is playing "Home On The Range" on the harmonica, the bottom of his boots say "ANDY". This is from the bottom of Woody's boot in "Toy Story".

For me and the Toobworld Dynamic, that wouldn't work.  Woody and "Toy Story" exist in some kind of off-shoot dimension of the Cineverse.

So I offered Robert a different splainin as to why the letters for "ANDY" were to be found on the bottom of Scorpio's boots:

In the written language of either the Scarrens or the Sebaceans, the glyphs in "ANDY" probably mean something totally different.

It could have been that "ANDY" was the name of the company that made those boots for Scorpius.  Or maybe that's how the name "Scorpius" looks in one of those two languages.  (Scorpius was a Scarren/Sebacean hybrid.)

So that's a nice simple splainin, and Toobworld Central is all about invoking Occam's Razor.

"But where's the sport in that?" as Hank Spim might say in 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'.

Exactly.  Simple splainins are the best, but a lot of the time there's no fun in them.

So here's a different take on those boots - who they originally belonged to, and how Scorpius ended up with them......

Andy Travis used to be the station manager for 'WKRP in Cincinnati' from 1978 until some point before 1990.  ('The New WKRP In Cincinnatti' had Donovan Aderhold as the station manager in 1991, but there was Steve DeMarco in between Donovan and Andy.)

After he left WKRP, Andy Travis probably kicked around in the business for a few more years.  You know, "packing and unpacking, town to town, up and down the dial".  And from this point on it's pure speculation as to what happened to him.

But I'd like to think that he made a sizable sum of money - he could have inherited it, but it's better for Toobworld if he won the money in Vegas, preferably at the Montecito!  (Andy always did look like a gamblin' cowboy!)

With all of that money and still with a love of radio, Andy may have bought his own radio station, perhaps somewhere in the desert of the Southwest where he could hang his Stetson and call it home.

Such a station would be KXKVI in Los Feliz.

This is not the Los Feliz suburb of Hollywood.  It is stated often enough that it's located in the desert country of the American Southwest.  I'm thinking it would be located in New Mexico.  Andy Travis was originally from Santa Fe, where he first got his start in radio and rose to the position of station manager.  (He was also the station manager at a station in Albuquerque.)

Owning a station like KXKVI would have given him the opportunity to take it easy in life and still get what he dreamed of when it came to the perfect radio station.

He just wasn't told about the station's link to one of the 31 planets in the Andromeda galaxy......

The previous owner of KXKVI, Alan Maxwell, once experimented with microwave transmissions at the station back in the early 1960s.  This caused a "Galaxy Being" to cross over through space from his world to Earth Prime-Time.

I think Alan Maxwell eventually died from his exposure to the radiation emitted from the Galaxy Being.  And his widow was convinced by Alan's brother Gene not to say anything about it or risk never making the sale.

So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Andy Travis bought the station.  With others to do the actual work, he was free to putter around in the transmission shed where Alan Maxwell conducted his experiments.  But somehow Andy did something like... oh, I don't know - maybe reverse the polarity of the neutron flow? - and caused the transmission to now beam back to Andromeda instead of the other way around.

Sadly, I think Andy Travis has to be sacrificed in this non-canonical adventure of Toobworld.  Without the protection of a space-suit or a space-ship, Andy would have died in the highly irradiated atmosphere of that Andromedan world.  

(That world was probably Hermethica, which was populated by energy beings.  One of that planet's criminal element, known as The Wire, escaped its own execution by fleeing through the communications device of one of its executioners and then arriving on Earth.  Sound familiar?  Since that happened before the events at the KXKVI radio station, the rulers of Hermethica banned any other citizen of their world from making such a trip.  So the Galaxy Being knew it had transgressed the Law and was as good as sentenced to death.)

So Andy may have perished on Hermethica but his clothing may have proved of interest to the examiners.  And some unscrupulous Hermethican may have stolen them from their version of evidence lock-up (maybe at their version of a Torchwood facility - after all, anything worn by Andy Travis would be considered alien to those energy beings.)  And eventually those boots would be sold to Scorpius during his travels through the galaxy.

And long way 'round, that's how he got the boots marked "ANDY".

Admit it - wasn't that splainin a lot more fun than the simple version?

  • 'WKRP In Cincinnati'
  • 'Farscape' - "Different Destinations"
  • 'The Outer Limits' - "The Galaxy Being"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "The Idiot's Lantern"
  • 'Las Vegas'



From Wikipedia:
Frances Louise "Lu" Parker (born December 3, 1970) is a broadcast journalist and former Miss USA fromSouth Carolina.

Her first television broadcasting job was for WCSC-TV in Charleston, South Carolina, where she was an education reporter and fill-in anchor.

In San Antonio, KABB TV hired Parker to serve as a weekend anchor and reporter. Parker was promoted to main anchor in 2000. In February 2003, she became the host for "Great Day SA", which is San Antonio's top-rated live entertainment morning show. In January 2005, she moved to Los Angeles to join Frank Buckley as co-anchor for KTLA's "KTLA Prime News" on weekends. In 2007, Lu began to co-anchor the weekday "KTLA Morning News" at 5:00 A.M and 6:00 A.M. with Cher Calvin. In January, 2008 she became the main weather anchor for KTLA Prime News. She later returned to anchor the weekend evening news alongside Lynette Romero when Markina Brown was hired as the new weeknight meteorologist. Lu Parker is currently anchoring the KTLA Morning News Weekend edition alongside Chris Burrous.

Parker has made appearances on "Larry King Live" and E! Entertainment Television. 

'Major Crimes'
"The Deep End"

Parker reported live outside police headquarters when an internationally renowned swim coach was arrested for having sex with minors.

Here's Lu Parker's behind the scenes report on her fifteen seconds of Toobworld fame:


Wednesday, August 7, 2013



FBI agent Kate Moretti was highly suspicious when her soon-to-be ex-husband, prosecutor Danny Ryan, teamed up with Dr. Daniel Pierce on a case.  She couldn't understand why "you two are running around like 'Starsky and Hutch'."

We've disabled this particular Zonk in the past.  Here's the basic premise:

Ever since 2004, there has been a movie in Toobworld about two cops named Starsky and Hutch, just as there has been in the real world.  But in Toobworld, that movie is about two "real-life" detectives.

Agent Moretti may not have known about the two "real-life" cops before the movie came out, but it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that she and Danny went to see the flick at some point during their marriage.



On April 14, 1975, Detective Chano Amangual shot and killed two bank robbers who were holding hostages inside the Hamilton Bank branch which was closest to the 12th Precinct.

The Hamilton Bank was part of a national banking firm begun over eighty years before.  Its founder was Scottish-born John Hamilton, who started off with the bank in North Fork, New Mexico, in the 1880s.

At least that's what Toobworld Central is going to claim!

  • 'Barney Miller'
  • 'The Rifleman'



From the L.A. Times:
Art Donovan played pro football for 12 years. He spent the rest of his life telling everyone about it.

Donovan, 89, who died Sunday of a respiratory ailment at a Baltimore hospice, played and talked a great game. He was aHall of Fame defensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts and an engaging raconteur. His cherubic face, adenoidal voice and side-splitting tales of yore captivated generations of viewers who never saw Donovan collar a quarterback or take down a runner.

Donovan appeared 10 times on "Late Night With David Letterman," where he spun yarns about his youth in the Bronx, his hitch in the Marines during World War II and his playing days in the NFL.

- Mike Klingman

'The Adventures Of Pete And Pete'
"Space, Geeks, And Johnny Unitas"

While trying to find the connection between Johnny Unitas and the Universe for a school paper, Big Pete Wrigley interviewed Art Donovan.

By playing himself in this episode, Donovan links 'The Adventures Of Pete And Pete' to an episode of 'Homicide: Life On The Street' ("Hostage Part I").

"You mean Martians are going to see my ugly mug
on some kind of space TV?"
Art Donovan

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Time for a little baseball......

During a transmission bleep-up during a "live" transmission of 'The Jack Benny Program', in which he was supposed to be playing a violin (fiddle) duet with Tennessee Ernie Ford, the signals got crossed and two different camera feeds were suddenly shown to the audience viewing in the Trueniverse.

I'm not sure who the player is, but that's definitely an "8" on his back.  Blame my old lo-def TV and my tablet for the quality of the picture.  





"Maude Meets The Duke"

from "bkoganbing" at the IMDb:
Maude who was NEVER at a loss for words defending her beliefs is reduced to a tongue tied stammering idiot just by the mere presence of John Wayne. And the Duke says some of the things just calculated to outrage her. Had Archie Bunker said them to Maude, she'd have clobbered him with a frying pan. But when John Wayne says to her that it's all right for a woman to have a career just as long as she's got supper on the table for him when he arrives home from work, she just becomes a babbling idiot.

It's the power of celebrity, of being a movie star. Even a liberated woman like Maude Findlay isn't immune from it.


Monday, August 5, 2013


So I'm in one of the markets that no longer has CBS due to the Eye Network's rate battle with Time Warner Cable.  

And you know what?  I don't care.

Negotiations like this during the summer was a big mistake on CBS' part.  Who put that timeline into the last contract?  

And there's nothing on CBS right now that I NEED to see.  

Not even 'Under The Dome'.  We're too many weeks in and the story-telling hasn't imporved.  It isn't compelling TV viewing anymore.  And with CBS showing their greed by announcing they're going to drag out the storyline to return next summer, I was already of a mind to only makes this a one summer only show for me.

That decision only highlights the greed exhibited by CBS which also underscores their conflict with TWC.

I'll get off my soapbox now.


On July 31st, the eve of our annual salute to the TV Western, actor Michael Ansara passed away from complications of Alzheimer's disease.  He was 91.  He was born in Syria in 1922 but his family moved to New England when he was 2, and then from the age of 10 he grew up in the Los Angeles area.

I like to think of Mr. Ansara as the Anthony Quinn of the small screen, in that he played a wide variety of nationalities and ethnic groups, Hispanics, Italians, Jews, Arabs, Hawaiians, Indians of the Sub-Continent, even an English king and a Vietnamese rebel, because he had an indefinably exotic look to his handsome features. 

As Elric the Technomage in
'Babylon 5'
As The Ruler in
'Lost In Space'
As Qarlo in
'The Outer Limits'
As Colonel Hruda in
'The Time Tunnel'
And that served him well for the sci-fi characters he played as well, with roles in such series as 'The Time Tunnel', 'Land Of The Giants', 'Lost In Space', 'The Outer Limits', 'Babylon 5', and 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'.  

"Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" - the Cineverse
Barbara Eden & Michael Ansara... with a puppy
He also appeared in the movie version of 'Voyage' which must be kept separate in the Cineverse.  (As you can see from four of these entries plus the movie, Irwin Allen must have realized that Ansara was tailor-made for his type of shows.)

"Buck Rogers In The 25th Century"
For 'Buck Rogers In The 25th Century', Ansara played Kane in three episodes.  But of course the role for which he'll probably be best remembered was that of the Klingon commander Kang whom he first portrayed in an episode of the original 'Star Trek' series.  He would later return to the character for two other shows in the 'Star Trek' franchise - 'Deep Space Nine' and 'Voyager', thus making him eligible for membership into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  (But I think there's another character for which he'll get in this month as well.....)

Of all those ethnic groups, Mr. Ansara was probably best known for playing Native Americans, and back when they were still being referred to as Indians.  The role that brought him to fame was that of the televersion of Indian leader Cochise of the Apache in the series 'Broken Arrow'.  

"Broken Arrow"
A year after that series ended, he played another Apache, Sam Buckhart, who was a Harvard-educated U.S. Marshal working out of Santa Fe.  That series lasted only one season, but the character was first introduced in an episode of 'The Rifleman'.  And I think I can make the case he appeared one last time on TV so that at the very least he can be an honorary inductee in the TVXOHOF for our Western salute.

As Sam Buckhart in two episodes of 'The Rifleman'
He would go on to play the role in his own series, 'Law Of The Plainsman'
The last great Native American role he would have - as my O'Bservation, of course - would be Lame Beaver in the amazing mini-series made from James Michener's epic tome "Centennial".

Being Syrian-born, perhaps it's no surprise that he played several Arabs over his career in such shows as:
'Hardcastle & McCormack'
'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.'
and for one of his episodes of 'Fantasy Island' he appeared as Ptolemy.

Take a gander at the TV shows he made guest appearances in over the years.  During the 1960s and 70s, he was in great demand!

As we're in August, let's start with the Westerns, those that I haven't already mentioned:

'The Lone Ranger'
'Wagon Train'
As Dr. Adam MacKenzie in
"The Adam MacKenzie Story"
'Barbary Coast'
'The Virginian'
'High Chaparral'
'The Road West'
'The Iron Horse'
'Here Come The Brides'
As Wakando in
"Wives For Wakando"
'A Man Called Shenandoah'
'Tales Of Wells Fargo'
'Wagon Train'
'The Westerner'
'The Rebel'
'Zane Grey Theater'
'Frontier Doctor'
modern Westerns like
'The Wide Country'
and two that were on the Eastern seaboard, but about the frontier life:
'Daniel Boone'
'Hawkeye And The Last Of The Mohicans'

As the evil Ogana in
"Hawkeye's Homecoming"
[Series Premiere]
[It's a shame he never appeared in an episode of 'The Wild Wild West'.  I think he would have been a formidable antagonist against Jim West and Artemus Gordon.  There were several cases of actors being brought back for different roles on that series and surely one of them could have been ably played by Ansara.  (I'm thinking in particular of John Dehner's first appearance in "The Night Of The Casual Killer".)

Ansara was in the Toobworld adaptation of "The Ox-Bow Incident", one of the many Cineverse remakes of movies to be found in 'The 20th Century Fox Hour'.  And the 1950s were the high water mark for anthology series, like 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', 'Family Theatre', and in the 1970s, 'Police Story', which could provide more than one role to an actor like Ansara.  But he also played more than one role on several of the regular series as well.  

As Sammy Warren in
'McMillan & Wife'
In fact, in several series, like 'MacMillan & Wife', 'Dangerous Assignment', and 'Rawhide', he would come back to play three or more roles.  I think the series which he enjoyed returning to the most would have been 'I Dream Of Jeannie', playing three roles on that show and directing another.  Why?  Because the star was his wife at the time, Barbara Eden.

As the Blue Djinn & as King Kamehameha in
'I Dream Of Jeannie'
As for the other shows in which he guest starred, there were a handful of medical dramas:

As Eddie in
'Police Surgeon'
'Ben Casey'
'Police Surgeon'

As Sergio in
'It Takes A Thief'
Spy shows:
'It Takes A Thief'
'Mission Impossible'
and both 'U.N.C.L.E.' series, 'Man' and 'Girl'

As Ed Stoner in
'Mission Impossible'
Private eye shows:

As Joseph DeMinna in
'The Rockford Files'
'The Rockford Files'
'Boston Blackie'
'Simon and Simon'
'China Smith'
'The New Mike Hammer' 
(That would be set in an alternate TV dimension.)

As Nick Rossi in
'Murder, She Wrote'
And there were a couple of mystery shows that didn't quite fit into that category, like 'The Fall Guy', 'Perry Mason', 'Murder, She Wrote', and 'The Name Of The Game'.  As for shows difficult to pigeon-hole, there were also 'The Fugitive', 'Tarzan', 'Cowboy In Africa', 'Fantasy Island', 'The Survivors', 'Tales Of The Bengal Lancers' and 'Terry And The Pirates', based on the comic strip.

But for the most part, Michael Ansara's work outside of Westerns was in cop dramas:

As Piro Manoa in
'Hawaii Five-O'
As Keith McCallum in
'Hawaii Five-O'
'Burke's Law'
'Chopper One'
'The Untouchables'
'The Streets Of San Francisco'
'Mod Squad'
'Naked City'
'Jigsaw John'
As Big Bwana Smith in
'Burke's Law'
As Charlie Steuben in
'The Untouchables'
But don't let all of those dramas fool you into thinking he could only play the heavies.  He had a light touch as well, sometimes playing his tough-guy persona and morphing ethnicity to that advantage, and it was on display in several sitcoms besides 'I Dream Of Jeannie':

'The Farmer's Daughter'
'The Wackiest Ship In The Army'
'The Bill Cosby Show'
'The George Burns Comedy Week'

As the Russian diplomat in
'The Farmer's Daughter'
And for the kiddies, he also appeared twice on 'Reading Rainbow', hosted by fellow 'Trek' alumnus LeVar Burton.

It was on 'Bewitched' where Ansara played an English king, the infamous Rufus the Red.  Partly because of this episode I chose Rufus as the subject of a high school essay when the assignment was to write about somebody in the English monarchy.  (The other reason was because my hair used to be as red as his.)

As Rufus the Red in
Michael Ansara also made his home over in the Tooniverse, and one of his characters will also one day be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. There was more instability in the casting of Mr. Freeze (real name Dr. Victor Fries) in the Tooniverse than in his three appearances on 'Batman' in Earth Prime-Time, but in the end they're all the same guy.  Other big name actors to give voice to Mr. Freeze include Ted Knight, Casey Brown, Keith Szarabajka, Lennie Weinrib, and John DiMaggio (of 'Futurama' fame as Bender).

As Mr. Freeze in
But Ansara played Mr. Freeze in three separate series:
'The New Batman Adventures'
'Batman Beyond'

If Michael Ansara played Mr. Freeze in "real life"
[Image by "Input Jack"]
So Michael Ansara might well become the first actor to have three roles inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

Among other roles in the Tooniverse, he voiced General Warhawk in over sixty episodes of the 'Rambo' cartoon, based on the movie.  (Quite frankly, I didn't even know that show existed!)

Frequent visitors to the Inner Toob blog may have noticed that I have spent far more time on Mr. Ansara's television career than I've probably done in the past for other actors.  I don't think I've done a Hat Squad tribute quite like this since 2005.  Well, you can take that as a sign of how much I enjoyed seeing his performances.  I'm a big fan of character actors and he was a type that was more than just menace and brute force.  There was always the presence of great intelligence behind those dark eyes.

Here's to you, Mr. Ansara!
Plus, so many of his roles are notable for what they can bring to the Toobworld Dynamic.  O'Bviously this includes his portrayal of Cochise, the official televersion for Earth Prime-Time.  (His Rufus the Red is also the official televersion.)  Three of his roles are worthy of the TVXOHOF - Kang, Sam Buckhart, and Mr. Freeze.

But there are also shows in which he appeared that have connections to other fictional universes, like BookWorld, the Cineverse, and the Comic Strip Universe.  There are other historical portrayals like Ptolemy, and King Kamehameha (although both were technically recreations).  And some of those other series are just ripe for making theoretical connections to other shows.

Just one last Toobnote - long before he died, I tipped my hat to Mr. Ansara by making his last name part of the Telvish language.  Telvish was created for the TV elves that show up at the end of my Toobworld novel, where it sounds a lot like English, but with actor names substituting for our words.  

As an example, "ansara" means "answer".  Only a handful of Telvish words will make it into the novel and "ansara" is one of them.

Usually when I sign off on a Hat Squad tribute, I co-opt Red Skelton's signature farewell, "Good night and may God bless."  But in honor of Mr. Ansara's memorable turn as Kang, I shall say instead:

bomDI' 'IwwIj qaqaw

"The memory of you sings in my blood."