Friday, March 4, 2016


For the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in 2016, the whole year has been given over to the theme of the League of Themselves.  Even with our (hopefully) only memorial induction - David Bowie* - we kept to the theme.
But March is the month in which we traditionally induct a member of the League of Themselves, so I'm afraid it would have been lost in the sauce unless I chose someone with "the goods".  Someone who was best known for so many appearances as themselves in a variety of shows.  Celebrities like Jay Leno, Milton Berle, and a certain gasbag of questionable hair who is currently running for President, etc.  

So for this year, I've chosen a television personality who easily straddled the worlds of the real world and Toobworld.....


I've written about Mr. Linkletter in the past, but here's a look at his biography (care of Wikipedia):

From Wikipedia: 

Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter (born Gordon Arthur Kelly, July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio and TV for 19 years. 

Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on 'House Party' and 'Kids Say the Darndest Things', which led to a series of books quoting children. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1942.
In 2005, at the age of 93, he opened the Happiest Homecoming on Earth celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Half a century earlier, he was the commentator on the opening day celebrations in 1955. For this, he was named a Disney Legend.
He received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy award in 2003. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.

He was perfect for that amiable, somewhat bland, raconteur who could be beamed into America's living rooms and unite the audiences with his comfortable "conversations" with them.
His best known shows in which he was the genial host were:
  • 'Life With Linkletter'
  • 'House Party'
  • 'The Linkletter Show'
  • 'People Are Funny'
  • 'Hollywood Talent Scouts'
  • 'Kids Say The Darnedest Things'
Here are the shows in which his fictionalized televersion put him above many other celebrities known for talk shows and variety programs only: 
'The Jack Benny Program'
- "Peggy King & Art Linkletter" (1955)

Art Linkletter reprises his role as a children's interviewer from his show "House Party" and asks four youngsters about their romances. He then interviews Don Wilson, Peggy King, Rochester Van Jones and Jack Benny who pretend to be nine-year-olds.

'Make Room for Daddy'
- "A Promise Is a Promise" (1962)  

Linda promised she wouldn't touch Danny's tape recorder. Danny promised Linda could go on Art Linkletter's show Kids Say the Darndest Things. When Danny discovers Linda has recorded over all the material for his new act, she gets a spanking and grounded for the weekend: a promise is a promise. Linda tells Danny she can't stay in her room the ENTIRE weekend, she's supposed to be on the show Saturday. Linda is mad and repeats back to him: a promise is a promise. Now Danny's worried what she might say.

'The Lucy Show'
- "Lucy and Art Linkletter" (1966)

As a contestant on Art Linkletter's television show, Lucy is offered $200 if she can shut up for 24 hours. Art sends along another audience member, Ruth, to see how she does. Ruth's a plant from the show who tries her best to make Lucy scream, as are the one-armed "fugitive" and cop who shoot it out in her apartment, and the guy in the gorilla suit that attacks her. Ruth is played by Doris Singleton who played 'Carolyn Applebey' on I Love Lucy. 

- "Catwoman Goes to College" (1967)  

Catwoman is released from prison, and claiming she wants to enrich her education, enrolls at Gotham City University. She dresses one of her own henchmen as the Caped Crusader in order to frame him for a robbery. With Batman in jail, she goes ahead with her plan for a mass sit-in at Chimes Square. Catwoman is more than surprised when Batman himself shows up at the event.  (While scaling the building, they encounter Linkletter in one of the series' famous window cameos.)

'Here's Lucy'
- "Lucy Loses Her Cool" (1970)  

Lucy is chosen on an audience participation game show. The host, Art Linkletter, offers her $500 if she won't lose her temper for 24 hours. When she's escorted off the stage, the host then brings out Harry, Mary Jane, & the kids, offering them $250 each if they can make Lucy lose her temper! They do everything possible to make Lucy lose it, but she overcomes temptation. Lucy manages to demolish a grocery store!
'Small Wonder'
- "Come Fly with Me" (1988)
The Lawsons' plane is hijacked.  (And one of the other passengers is Art Linkletter.)
Unfortunately I couldn't find the screencaps I made from this episode years ago.  And the YouTube video is gone now.....

[All plot summaries come from the IMDb....]
So he wasn't just called upon in Toobworld to host a few TV shows as he did in the Trueniverse.  Instead, Linkletter was a victim of an act of terrorism; he got to meet a couple of costumed vigilantes as well as an android.  And he's also a member of a very exclusive club of celebrities who got to meet more than one character played by Lucille Ball... and survived!  (He also had Lucille Ball as herself on his own show as well.)

Although it doesn't count towards his inclusion in the Hall, Mr. Linkletter appeared in several TV productions as other characters, adding to the citizenry of Toobworld.  Two of these were in 'Wagon Train' (in which he was taking care of some orphans, including one played by Rusty Stevens - better known in Toobworld as Larry Mondello of 'Leave It To Beaver'), and as "The Bible Man" in an episode of 'The Zane Grey Theater' in which his real-life son Jack played his son as well.

So here's to you, Mr. Linkletter.  In keeping with today's date being National Pun Day, March Forth into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame!

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