Saturday, March 8, 2014


From the L.A. Times:

Sheila MacRae, 92, a versatile actress and singer who performed in a popular 1950s nightclub act with her husband, Gordon MacRae, and appeared opposite Jackie Gleason in his late '60s revival of "The Honeymooners," died Thursday night at the Lillian Booth Actors Home of the Actors Fund in Englewood, N.J. She had undergone surgery a few weeks ago and had apparently been recovering well until this week, said her daughter, actress Heather MacRae.

Mrs. MacRae was Alice Kramden in the Skitlandia version of 'The Honeymooners'.  Pert Kelton was the wife of Ralph Kramden in Pre-Toobworld, and of course, Audrey Meadows is the definitive Alice for Earth Prime-Time.  (Sue Ann Langdon played the role in yet another alternate TV dimension.)  She would also appear on other TV shows like 'Murder, She Wrote' and the first incarnation of 'Parenthood' (both of which exist in the main Toobworld.)


But she also added her own self to the population of Toobworld with an appearance on 'I Love Lucy':

Good night and may God bless....



In this Dannon Greek Yogurt commercial, two women thought that in a perfect world, all men would look like John Stamos.

So what happened?  There was a flash of light and suddenly every man on the street became John Stamos.

To me, it means one of those women had to be a witch with the ability to transform or metamorph the physical appearance of a human being.

(And I think only one of them was a witch; the other would be the best friend in whom she confides - classic sitcom trope!)

But here's the thing: those women talked about a perfect world in which every man looked like John Stamos.  So even though we only saw the thirty or so men on the street, every guy out there just out of camera range that day - including my own televersion! - looked like Stamos.

Like Howard Beechcroft and the Master before him, this qualifies John Stamos for the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame.  That's because for the duration of that spell, everybody around the Toobworld globe was the televersion of John Stamos.

Like who?

'DON MATTEO'                   'INSPECTOR LEWIS'
'DOC MARTIN'                    'THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E'
'BECK'                                 'WALLANDER'
BRUCE WAYNE AKA 'BATMAN' (retired)              

Here are some others who were John Stamos for less than a minute:




(It's a shame the picture somehow got cropped - a-henh!  You would have seen that Detective Eliot Stabler also looked like John Stamos.  Really.)



(Sampling the meth....)






(This spell would have even affected the League of Themselves!)



(This only works if Draper survives the 1960s and that's looking dicey at present.  But if he does he could still be alive in 2013, albeit very old....)

I have no idea what effect this magic spell would have had on those Toobworldlings who already resembled John Stamos somewhat - like Jesse Katsopolis, Blackie Parrish, Matt Willows, Jake Phillips, Connor McClane, Gino Minnelli, and Dr. Tony Gates, among others.

It's really not so much a tradition, but if I'm going to induct a member of the League of themselves into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, I do prefer that it happen in March.  (It just feels like the right month to do so, and besides - every other month is booked!)  And so now's as good a time as any to have John Stamos join the team.

Based on one commercial with a storyline that lasted less than one minute, but combining so many shows.  What I say goes!


Friday, March 7, 2014


Here's a picture of Roger Lloyd Pack as a young actor.  He's best known as Trigger in "Only Fools And Horses" and recently passed away.

With this picture, he reminded me of somebody else and I thought it might be another TV actor.

I asked on Facebook and got a lot of entertaining replies:

The Rolling Stones
A young Ted Cassidy
Joey Ramone
Nora Ephron
The love child of Peter Tork & Bruce Lee

But Peter Salamone nailed it:

Adam Lanza

That monster is probably who I was thinking of. But that's all the typing I'll waste on him......


Thursday, March 6, 2014


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

I don't know how I managed to miss this while watching the Super Bowl.  Oh, wait.  There was that extended bathroom break after eating the Chinese food....

Moving on......

This is not another example of living food; rather, it's an example of the personification of the spirit to be found in an inanimate object.  (Like the long-haired bully who's really a cigarette.)

In this case, we see it's mostly about chocolate and peanut butter getting into a threesome with the skeevy Mr. Butterfingers. (He looks as though his name should have been "Buttered Fingers".)

Technically they should have included the corn flakes to make the three-way.  And finally they're all blended together to create Mr. Butterfinger.  But that's just my O'Bservation.....

If the makers of Butterfingers really wanted to make something that would have caused controversy, they should have made Chocolate black.  (Look at the outcry that was raised when Cheerios showed that sweet, blended family in their ads....)

Then again, the actress playing Chocolate is the best thing in these blipverts.

In the teaser commercial, we see other personified spirits - for Fish, Chips, Cheese, Crackers, Oatmeal, and Raisins.  

I'm glad I can't eat candy anymore.  Because this would have put me right off.....

[My thanks to Thom Holbrook for letting me know about the existence of these blipverts!  Thom's fabulous website about TV Crossovers, "Crossovers & Spin-Offs" can be found at the top of the blogroll to the left.]



Edward W. Hatter Sr. posted this question to the Classic Television page on Facebook: 

Who is your favorite TV banker - Theodore J. Mooney or Milburn Drysdale?

My answer: 

Mr Mooney!  Let's see Drysdale do a cartwheel!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


A preview for tonight's episode, if I'm not mistaken.......

Lots of tele-translations from the Comic Book Universe thanks to this series.  

As long as an 'Arrow' episode doesn't have characters previously seen on Earth Prime-Time, that episode can remain on the main Toobworld.  That's why anytime we see Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (and soon as the Flash), the Trueniverse audience has switched over to another TV dimension.

I don't think any of these characters have appeared yet in Earth Prime-Time, so this is good to stay.

Here's Rob Buckley's run-down of the DC Comics characters in the promo:
  • Green Arrow
  • Black Canary
  • Deathstroke
  • Huntress 
  • Amanda Waller
  • The Suicide Squad (Deadshot & Bronze Tiger)
  • Sebastian Blood
  • Speedy
However, you don't get the Dark Archer or China White this time.

(Rob Buckley's TV blog "The Medium Is Not Enough" is linked to the left.....)



In "The Disappearance Of Lady Frances Carfax", one of the last "official"* stories about Sherlock Holmes, "Lady Frances is a lone, unwed woman denied a rich inheritance on account of her gender." (from Wikipedia)

* By "official", I mean those stories edited and represented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the literary agent for Dr. John Watson. 

However, in Toobworld, "Lady Frances Carfax is a charming, emancipated suffragette who wishes nothing more than to live her own life on her own terms despite interference from a domineering brother, the Earl of Rufton, and a would-be suitor, Phillip Green." (from TVRage)

The short story, even though it came first, is the fictionalized version of what actually happened in Toobworld. (This is a good example of Conan Doyle's revisions as Watson's editor.)

Part of that inheritance Lady Frances lost would have included Carfax Manor in London, which instead fell into the possession of Sir Clive Dawson.  Count Dracula gained possession of the manor after killing Sir Clive. 

When Bram Stoker wrote his fictionalized account of Dracula, he had the Count living at Carfax Abbey which Stoker located in the Yorkshire  town of Whitby.  But in Toobworld's reality, Carfax Manor was located in London. 

And should have belonged to Lady Frances Carfax.  


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


"When Larry King died, they didn't just cancel his show; 
They got Piers Morgan to come in and do his show."
Michael Scott
'The Office'

Say so long to "Piers Morgan Live".  CNN has cancelled the prime-time news program after three years on the air.  Larry King's show had been yanked to put this on the air. but Morgan was never able to match the king's ratings.  And King was already being bested in the ratings by other cable news companies in that 9 pm slot.

But "Piers Morgan Live" is confirmed as being part of Earth Prime-Time as five Toobworldlings made appearances on the show:

'Franklin & Bash'
"Coffee and Cream"
  • Peter Bash
  • Jared Franklin
  • Rachel King

'2 Broke Girls'
"And the Tip Slip"
  • Max Black
  • Caroline Channing
Since the show appeared in those two shows, not just the fictional televersion of Piers Morgan, then 'Piers Morgan Live' would count towards Morgan's requirements for membership in the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.

Not that he needed it, because he also portrayed himself in the fourth episode of 'The Dame Edna Treatment'.  In this series, Dame Edna Everage and her daughter Valmai ran Spar Edna, a health facility.

'The Dame Edna Treatment'
"Episode #1.4"

Plus there's the quote at the top of the page.  Being recognized by a Toobworldling confirms one's existence in the TV Universe.

Luckily I have Hap Richards talking about me on camera and I could be seen with David Letterman in the 100th episode of 'The Late Show', so I'm good.....


Monday, March 3, 2014


I spent Oscar Sunday alone in my apartment because of my current incapacity (incapacitation?)  But then again, I'm not sure I would have been invited to any parties had I been able to travel......

Watching the Oscars on the Toob is definitely better when among friends, because you can get all snarky about every little detail, inappropriate comment, and snafu and even engage in a snark-off against the other party-goers.

I was still able to do that, thanks to Facebook!

So I thought I'd share with you most of my thoughts about this year's presentation.  Not all of them were winners (I could never hope to equal the bon mot bombs lobbed by Cynthia Heimel in the pages of the Village Voice in years past.)  One comment I had to delete because it was mean-spirited.  But my friend Ivy thought I was hitting on all cylinders most of the night and her opinion means the world to me.

I didn't bother with the Red Carpet crap.  My friend Ivy Hurley thinks that the pre-show lead-up is the Super Bowl for women, but I think it's more like the McLaughlin Group in drag.  I didn't even bother with Ellen's monologue and wasn't inspired until Jared Leto won.....

Jared Leto is dressed to play Jesus Christ, secret agent.

And when he brought up the current crisis in Ukraine:

Woohoo! Politics! Bring on Vanessa Redgrave!

I've seen the name "Pharrell Williams" in print, but never actually saw him before and never heard any of his songs.  I gotta tell you - that name made me think he was a woman.

When he came out to sing the song from "Despicable Me 2":

Hey, Pharell Williams! Ranger Smith wants his hat back.

This dance number would have been more fun if they were all dressed like minions.

Samuel L. Jackson was one of the presenters for costumes.....

I hope the costume design winner is a major upset, so we can hear Samuel L Jackson say "Oh HELL no!"

The animation awards.  I didn't see any of the nominees for Animated Short, but just the quick clips decided my favorite even if it didn't win:

I want to see "Get A Horse".......

And then it was time for the Animated Feature:

I guess "the Croods" is the only nominated film I've seen this year and that's only thanks to a seven-year-old nephew with a Redbox account.

Mention of the latest "Star Trek" fiction during the nominees for Special Effects made me realize:

Cumberbatch is in three nominated movies this year. Does anybody know if that's a record?

Best Red Carpet moment:
Benedict Cumberbatch photo-bombs U2

(By the way, they are "Star Trek: Into Darkness", "August: Osage County", and "12 Years A Slave".)

Edited moments from the earlier awards ceremony were shown.....

Do you know why they gave Angela Lansbury her award in a separate ceremony? They didn't want somebody murdered on live TV......

I don't even remember what Ewan MacGregor and Viola Davis were presenting; it didn't matter.....

And now presenting: Obi Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu in drag.....

Not all of the nominees were seated down in the orchestra section of the theater.....

All of these Oscar winners in the balconies.... I keep expecting John Wilkes Booth to show up.....

As far as I can remember, this was the first goof-up of the night:

Reading the nominees is pre-recorded. Wasn't anybody there who could have told Charlize Theron how to pronounce "Smaug"?

I think she made it sound like "Smoge".....

My friend Tay Mueller responded:

Thank God she didn't have to say "Moriarty"...

When Bill Murray mentioned the late Harold Ramis during the presentation of the Cinematography award:

Reminds me of when Ayckroyd snuck in the reference to Belushi ( "He was a special effect.")

Lupita Nyong'O won Best Supporting Actress.....

Will Jack Nicholson be hitting on Lupita this year?

As a presenter, Whoopie looked out over the crowd and proclaimed it to look like "Sunset Boulevard".  Was she talking about the Wax Museum group from that movie?

Whoopie? How can it be like Sunset Boulevard? I don't see many old faces there in the crowd…..

I suppose it's a realization with each new generation of the Awards, but we're losing all touch with the Hollywood of old.

Ellen went down into the audience to greet Judy Garland's kids for a weak tribute to the 75th anniversary of "The Wizard Of Oz"......

Don't keep the lights on Liza Minnelli for too long!

From Tay Mueller:
They'll melt all her beautiful wickedness!

Alan Sepinwall made a good point in his HitFix column:
"a lengthy tribute to only one of the many iconic films of 1939 (a year that gave us "Gone with the Wind," "Stagecoach" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," to name just a few others) on the 75th anniversary felt much too random."

And then Pink came out to sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow".....

The ruby slippers as a dress – I like it!
The cleavage of Oz.

The song began with some new material and I would have preferred a whole new song with scenes from the movie rather than invite comparisons to the original recording.

It took over two hours before the first major snafu at the Oscars. Somebody forgot to drop a house on Liza Minelli...,..

The commercials didn't escape my O'Bservations.....

The family plan from Sprint – Sketchy Jeff looks like the descendent of Tyrion Lannister.....

"The Great Gatsby" was up for a costume award and there was a quick shot of the orchestra members at some party....

"Gatsby" had fezzes? Fezzes are cool.  Ehhhh, I still wouldn't have seen it.

There was a meandering montage of clips about "heroes", which made no sense.  In the broadest terms which they seemed to be operating under, the Three Stooges could have been shown as an example!

I wonder if the inclusion of the "Ghostbusters" was a last-minute addition because of Ramis' death?

Then it came time to do the annual "In Memoriam" segment, which usually sets me off on a rant.....

Okay, A better montage for the tribute segment than I've seen in years. However, Peter O'Toole should've been the capper, not Philip Seymour Hoffman.

But upon further review, there is a minor rant: why was Sid Caesar included and not Jonathan Winters.  Winters made more movies, and based on Sid's "The Spirit Is Willing", funnier ones.  If the Academy tries to claim it's because Winters is known more for TV work (as they did to Oscar nominated Patrick McGoohan!), then the same standard applies even moreso for Sid.  

You know why he was in there?  His death was recent and maybe still on the minds of the jerks in charge of this "tribute".  Sid's spot should have been used instead for Ed Lauter.  A lot more people could have been included if they cut out Bette Midler singing AFTER the tribute!  Oh, wait.  She was singing that "Heroes" song and the theme was "Heroes".....

Rant over.

Maybe it was just under the wire before the commercial break, but at least Sarah Jones got a mention this year. Good night and may God bless…

During the course of the night, two members of the same family were trotted out......

Here's Goldie Hawn, doing her impersonation of Kim Novak….

Being an Oscar winner herself, I bet Goldie was only up onstage with Hollywood's Young Turks because most people today know her as Kate Hudson's mother.

The sponsor for the night's proceedings should have been......

 20 Mule Team Botox

Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn should've teamed up to sing the song from "Frozen".....

"Gravity" won the most Oscars, but I think voters had gone into lock-step when filling out their ballots.....

Okay, I think this musical score award is just overkill for "Gravity".

I think the producers of the telecast knew in advance that "12 Years A Slave" would be the big winner of the night.....

It's not just me, right? There are a lot of black and white pairs for presenters?

I'm getting the feeling that Price Waterhouse spilled the beans…

Cate Blanchett won for Best Actress and she accepted her award from Daniel Day Lewis.

Blanchett: "Thank you, Mr. Day Lewis.  Getting this award from you, it exacerbates this honor....."

"Exacerbates"? I don't think that word means what you think it means.....

From Merriam-Webster:
"to make (a bad situation, a problem, etc.) worse"

The roll-call of nominees for Best Actor.....

I would have no problem with Leonardo Di Caprio becoming the next Peter O'Toole, if you know what I mean.....

There really is a paucity of the Hollywood Old Guard for the presentation of the Big Award.....

Does Will Smith have the stature to be presenting the best picture award?

I guess they couldn't ask Sidney Poitier to do it.  He looked a bit infirm when he presented an earlier award, and he needed coaching from his co-presenter.

And then "12 Years A Slave" was announced as the winner.

Oooooohhhhhh, that's why…. I knew Price Waterhouse had loose lips.


Ended right at Midnight. Impressive. But they'd have been done by 11:30 if they started at 8 pm. Earlier if they skipped the pizza bit.

Good night, everybody! I'll be performing all week at Stumpy's Chuckle Hut. Try the squab! (You thought I'd go with "veal", didn't you?)



There is a Toobworld version of the characters and situations from the "Back To The Future" film trilogy.  We saw Doc Brown in the live-action segments of the "BTTF" cartoon series, practicing his serlinguism.  (He started off doing full on-camera appearances but gradually it just became his voice and probably a stunt arm underneath the DeLorean.)

Doc Brown has taken his serlinguistic skills on the road - a couple of years ago, the scientist showed up in Argentina where he schilled products for the Garbarino electronics chain.

The Earth Prime-Time version of the DeLorean has reappeared in a new GE commercial.  And with the voice-over by Michael J. Fox, it can be assumed that the driver of that time-travelling vehicle is Marty McFly.

This isn't the first time we've seen GE commercials using characters from other TV shows and movies: Lt. Commander Data of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', KITT from 'Knight Rider', and Robbie the Robot, who could be from any number of TV productions - from 'The Thin Man' to 'Columbo' - instead of from the movie "Forbidden Planet".  (It's apparently a common casing for robots; it's the software that is different in each.)

And that's our March salute for "Toobworld Goes Hollywood"......


Sunday, March 2, 2014


On December 15, 2013, actress Joan Fontaine passed away, making it the last time she would achieve something before her sister Olivia de Havilland would.  (Both won Oscars in their careers, but Joan was the first to do so.  However, Olivia won two - for "To Each His Own" and "The Heiress" while Joan only won once, for "Suspicion".)

Joan Fontaine established her Toobworld presence in two productions - an episode of 'Mr. Adams And Eve' and in the anthology series 'Climax!' which was about the televersion of Louella Parsons (played by Teresa Wright.)

Olivia de Havilland had plenty of TV credits herself, but none in which she played a fictional version of herself.  However, over in the Tooniverse, it's inferred that she exists:

In an episode of 'Rocky & Bullwinkle', Boris and Natasha had suspended Bullwinkle over a snake pit.  Luckily Rocky flew in and rescued his friend and they ran off.  But Bullwinkle came back,looked down into the hole in the floor and said "So long, Olivia!"

Ms. de Havilland starred in the movie "The Snake Pit".....


In Toobworld, the rivalry between actress siblings has had a few variations on the Joan & Olivia theme.  Chief among them were the rash of murders in the village of Midsomer which centered around Stella Harris and her more successful sister Diana Davenport, a Hollywood superstar.  Stella was supposed to get her big Hollywood break with an adaptation of "The Fall Of The House Of Usher", but producer Cy Davenport fell in love with her sister Diana (and married her) and then gave the role to Diana instead.  But Stella became the Toobworld version of Hazel Court - the British Scream Queen of the 1960s with the movies "I Thirst For Blood", "Death And The Diva", "The Mummy Rises", and "Torment".  Meanwhile, Diana went on to a fabulous career but one in which she lost out on the Oscar for "By Love Divided".  ("I was robbed," she told Stella.)

Toobworld Central has another pair who never appeared together in a television episode and never referred to each other in the shows in which they did appear.  (But that would be expected if there was a heightened rivalry between them.)


The more famous of these two (and the more talented) was Nora Chandler.  She starred in a lot of classic Hollywood movies in the forties and fifties, but her star was definitely on the wane by the early 1970s when she murdered her personal assistant.  As often happened with Lt. Columbo's murder suspects, it was something she treasured which finally tripped her up.  In her case, it was a scene in one of her old movies in which she dressed like a man she had killed and then took his boat out into rough waters to make it look like he died at sea.  Unfortunately for her, Columbo happened to catch that scene on the late show.


Magda Blaine was the less talented of the two, but she still made her fair share of movies.  (Two of them were "Perilous Voyage" and "Bleeding Heart".)  Her main problem was that she was a terrible over-actor and did so even in real life.  (Magda was prone to inserting quotes from her old movies into her conversations.)  She became an active player in the 1970 military coup which temporarily overthrew the government of President Ben Kaliman in Bhasa.  This was not her first time involved in such a venture: two years earlier she was caught up in the machinations of Herman Allison, a multi-millionaire who plotted to bring down the United States government.