Tuesday, November 3, 2015


As I've mentioned quite a bit lately, I've relaxed my rules about ALL elected officials in the United States of Toobworld reflecting exactly the office-holder in the Real World.  The President and Vice President, as well as the heads of state in other countries should remain the same, as mirror televersions.  But beyond that?  It's a case by case basis.

Thanks to many shows taking place in New York City, and the active participation of the City's mayors, there has not been any Zonk to worry about since the days of Rudy Giuliani.  (Currently several shows have marked Bill DeBlasio as the mayor - 'Constantine', 'The Mindy Project', and 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'.)

Especially when Rudy was mayor, any show which deviated from that basic truth had to be banished to an alternate TV dimension.  This was easy enough with 'Spin City' - they had Randall Winston as the mayor at the same time when 'Seinfeld' and 'Mad About You' showed Giuliani was mayor.  No contest!  And at least we had a Toobworld in which to place 'Spin City' - the same sitcom world in which the POTUS could be found in such shows as 'Nancy', 'Mr. President', 'Hail To The Chief', 'Corey In The House', and 'The First Family'.  (The suggested crossover with 'Family Ties' in the last episode with Michael J. Fox is no deterrent.  'Family Ties' could have taken place in more than one TV dimension.)

It gets trickier when we head to the Midwest, to that toddling town of Chicago......

'Chicago Fire' snared Rahm Emanuel to play himself in the pilot episode, but that happened at the same time as Kelsey Grammer's Tom Kane was supposed to be the 'Boss' of Chicago.  Easy enough to deal with - for Toobworld only, Emanuel won election over Kane; the overlapping episodes were at different points on the Toobworld timeline.

So that was easy enough to handle.

The problem for Chicago mayors in Earth Prime-Time happens at the end of the turbulent 1960s.....


From the IMDb:

Mayor John Adrian has a squeaky-clean image and has been endorsed by Howard Publications. Might he be too good to be true? Publisher Glenn Howard investigates.

It was bad enough that Adrian was the mayor at a time when Richard J. Daley held sway over Chicago.  But the episode also featured John Adrian's predecessor in office, Mayor Edward Brock known to all as Ed Brock. 

Brock was a Daley type - knew all the "little people" in all facets of the city government.  (We saw that Brock still remembered the name and details of a matron at the jail.)  He was gruff and not afraid to get his hands dirty in order to get what he wanted done.

John Adrian on the other hand was a young idealist and former prosecutor who epitomized the image left behind by John and Bobby Kennedy, with whom Adrian must have been friends.  (Their portraits were displayed prominently in Adrian's office.)

I could have easily altered the historical timeline for Toobworld so that Mayor Daley's reign ended in 1964 rather than in 1976 (when he died in office.)  I've changed such timelines in the past, most recently to accomodate Dwight Sinclair, the former mayor of San Francisco.

But there's a problem with that.  The true history of Chicago blends with television, the basic reality of Toobworld, with Richard Daley at the heart of it: the 1968 Democratic convention.

From Wikipedia:
While trying to interview a Georgia delegate being escorted out of the building, CBS News correspondent Dan Rather was grabbed by security guards and was roughed up. While Rather was reporting from the convention floor, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite turned his attention towards the area where Rather was reporting from.

Rather was grabbed by security guards after he walked towards a delegate who was being hauled out, and asked him, "What is your name, sir?" Rather, who was wearing a microphone headset, was then heard on national television repeatedly saying to the guards, "Don't push me" and "Take your hands off me unless you plan to arrest me" to the guards.

After the guards let go of Rather, he then told Cronkite, "Walter... we tried to talk to the man and we got violently pushed out of the way. This is the kind of thing that has been going on outside the hall, this is the first time we've had it happen inside the hall. We... I'm sorry to be out of breath, but somebody belted me in the stomach during that. What happened is a Georgia delegate, at least he had a Georgia delegate sign on, was being hauled out of the hall. We tried to talk to him to see why, who he was, what the situation was, and at that instant the security people, well as you can see, put me on the deck. I didn't do very well." Cronkite then replied by saying, "I think we've got a bunch of thugs here, Dan."

It was gripping television, to be sure, but it epitomized the problems that tolled the death knell for the Democratic party's chances that year.  And Daley, along with the "police riot", was featured prominently in the coverage, with plenty of signs reminding the delegates that he was the mayor of the host city.

As that all played out in August of 1968, 47 years ago, it doesn't leave much time for Ed Brock to be the mayor before Adrian assumed office.  And since Toobworld is such a fictional universe that depends so heavily on visuals, we can't play it as if "Ed Brock" was a roman a clef name to hide the identity of Mayor Daley, as Doctor Watson was able to do with the "King of Bohemia" being a stand-in for the future Edward VII.

As a matter of fact, if anybody back then wanted an actor to play Mayor Daley in Toobworld, my suggestion would have been Kermit Murdock.....  (The ghost of Richard J. Daley showed up in Skitlandia, played by future ghost John Belushi in a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch.)

So here's what I'll have to propose.....

After the debacle of the Democratic convention, Daley resigned from office.  One of his inner circle, Ed Brock became the interim mayor due to a special appointment (but everybody knew Daley was still pulling the strings.)  Such an interim set-up isn't entirely impozz'ble - David Duvall Orr served as the mayor of Chicago in 1987 - for only eight days!

However, Brock only lasted a few months, until a special election could be held in February, at which time John Adrian swept in with his promise for a new direction in Chicago politics.

Brock liked his much-too-short taste of being the mayor of Chicago and so he teamed up with a convicted mobster named Vince Leonard (identical twin to a Vegas casino owner named Carl Cappi) to bring about the downfall of John Adrian through  political scandal and a smear campaign.

Vince Leonard must have really hated Adrian to go to such troubles.  Adrian wasn't going to be tied down too long to the mayor's job in Chicago; he was being groomed for loftier ambitions awaiting him in Washington D.C.  He honored his commitment to the people of Chicago and served out his term, but he did not seek re-election.

Ed Brock may have seen this as his chance to regain the office for himself, but he didn't count on Richard J. Daley rising like a phoenix to seek another term as the Boss of Chicago.

And that brings the timeline Earth Prime-Time back around to mirror the events of Earth Prime.  We needed Daley to be mayor at the time of his death in 1976 since it would be heavily covered on television - making it, as the Doctor might say, a fixed point in Prime-Time.....

And that's our election day blog post.

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