Friday, November 4, 2016


For years now in my TV Universe blog "Inner Toob", I have been keeping track of those in the television industry, both in front of and behind the cameras, who passed away during that year.

There have been many during that time who saddened me because I enjoyed their work so much: Patrick McGoohan, Peter Falk, Don Knotts, Walter Cronkite, Charles Lane, Lis Sladen.....

Never expected I would have to write about someone I actually knew....

John O'Creagh was married to one of my dearest friends, Mary Brooks.  I was honored to attend their wedding (on a day when I went to two wedding ceremonies and receptions!) and I got to see John in a play in New York.

He did a few movies, but focused mostly on theatre, in national tours and regional showcases. But as I am an archivist for the Toobworld Dynamic, I want to salute John for his work on the small screen. For many of these roles, I was able to find at least one televisiological O'Bservation.

Here's how I described actor-poet-musician John O'Creagh after he did a very funny fake commercial on 'Late Show with David Letterman':

From Tobipedia:
John O'Creagh is an actor based in New York who has appeared in productions of "Anything Goes", "Pirates of Penzance", "The Fantasticks", "Equus", "King Lear", "Twelfth Night", "Peter Pan", and "Perfect Crime", in productions at the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Goodspeed Opera House, New York's Irish Rep, and at the Roundabout Theatre.  He toured around the world in "West Side Story" as Doc, and played Ben Franklin in countless productions of "1776".

Our focus however is the fantasy realm of Toobworld, that fictional dimension in which every TV series should be connected and everything we see happen on TV actually takes place. And "Earth Prime-Time" has several of John's characters as citizens of that world.

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

Sheriff Bailey
- Informed (2006)

O'Bservation:  It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble (as Muskie Muskrat would say), that Sheriff Bailey was the identical cousin of Chief Ferguson. [See his entry below.]  Bailey was in Pawling, NY; Ferguson lived in Litchfield, Ct. - far from an insurmountable geographical distance for a family.


- Front Page (2007)

O'Bservation: Dealing with a nameless character is actually an advantage for a televisiologist.  John's bartender could be descended from an official at Tammany Hall at the turn of the 20th Century, for example.  Or he could be a security guard moonlighting at the bar to make some extra cash. (See the entries below.)

'John Adams'

Stephen Hopkins
- Independence (2008)

O'Bservation: For television, this is the only Real World televersion John played. (Unless his unnamed official from Tammany Hall was supposed to be based on an actual historical person.)  Hopkins is famously depicted as wearing his hat in the Trumbull painting. And although John did not play Hopkins as doing so, it's there in full view on his table.

Bonus for John - he is the official portrayer of Hopkins in Toobworld. But then, he's the only Stephen Hopkins as seen on TV so far. (Roy Poole played him in the movie "1776" and in an excerpt performed on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' which doesn't count.)

'Life on Mars'

Drunk Petey
- All the Young Dudes

O'Bservation: This is the only one of John's characters who does not actually exist in any of the Toobworlds in the Multiverse. Due to a computer glitch, he was created as part of a virtual reality program implanted in another character's mind.  (Drunk Petey is my second favorite TV role of John's.) I am unsure if this is John as Drunk Petey, but it's a good representation of what the character was like.

'Master of None'

- Finale (2015)

O'Bservation: I'll let John do the talking here...

'The Knick'
Tammany Hall Official

You're No Rose (2015)

John's Politico was as corrupt as they come, but he thought Teddy Roosevelt had been more so. He came right out and told Cornelia that he would never allow a certain corpse to be exhumed because there were Powers That Be who paid him quite well to make certain of it. 

Will you consider an exhumation? 

See that bulldog, Mrs. Showalter? A gift. $5,000. 10 times a cop's annual salary. Now who would pay that for this? I'll tell you. The people who are making sure Speight's body stays in the ground. 

Who would ask you to do that? 

Unless you can buy me a better dog, I'm afraid our business here is done. 

- Wonderful Surprises (2015)

Herman Barrow sought out John's Politico at Tammany Hall to work out a kickback scheme involving the construction of the new Knickerbocker Hospital. For John's character, the amount involved was more of a trifle. 

Every man has his talents. Finding gold in the river, that's mine. 

And how much gold have you... strained into your pan? 

So far? In the range of $12,000. 

(laughs) That's a sardine in a fisherman's net. We here at Tammany, we prefer whales. But it's not a bad thing to hold on to a sardine now and then. So, from now on, 15% of your construction costs before your skim comes to us.

Whiplash (2015)

As you can see, John was listed in this episode, but I couldn't find him. He was pretty far down the list of supporting players. (This was the third screen "page" of credits.). But even so, how come I didn't see him?  My theory?  His role for this episode was greatly reduced and all that survived was his blurry presence in the background at the restaurant. 

But I could be wrong. I often am. 

O'Bservation: John's character in 'The Knick' is not named, which in a way benefits my theories of "relateeveety".  If we don't know his name, we can make the claim that the Tammany Hall official was the forefather to any of John's modern Toobworldlings, but especially the other two characters known only by their positions: the Bartender and the Administrator.

'Orange Is the New Black'
Chief Ferguson
- The Animals (2016)

Since John was such a keen observer, as seen in the poems he wrote on Facebook, I'm sure he was aware that Chief Ferguson lived in the same area where his loverly wife Mary grew up.  (And in Toobworld, those kids he was "scaring straight" might have gone to school with the televersion of John & Mary's nephew, Mike.)

'Frank and Ernie'
- Pilot - Downtown (2015)
- Dinosaurs (2015)
- Rhubarb (2016)
- Frank and Ernie Get on TV (2016)

Web TV is considered part of Toobworld and so these four episodes are a valid part of Earth Prime-Time.  Here's the pilot:

'Red Oaks' 
- Father's Day (2016)

O'Bservation: Unfortunately, this episode won't drop until next week on Amazon Prime. So all I can say about the Administrator at this time is that he could be descended from the corrupt official from Tammany Hall. After all, the Red Oaks country club seems to be located in the greater New York environs.

John also played a security guard in a commercial for a furniture/bedding company in New York. He didn't look much different than he did here in Switzerland playing Officer Krupke in "West Side Story".  

Characters in "Blipverts" have just as much validity in Toobworld.  So I would have no problem in suggesting this security guard, probably a retired cop, also would moonlight as a bartender in that 'Kidnapped' episode.

So there aren't that many Toobworld citizens, but then John's soul probably burned brightest for his work on stage.

Or maybe when he had a mandolin in hand.....

My condolences to my dear friend Mayr on her loss, and to all of John's family and friends. And based on what I've seen the last few days on Facebook, they are legion; hIs expansive spirit touched so many.  His appearances on screen will keep him in sharp focus for everyone, but that will never compare to the memories of those lucky enough to have known him.

As I usually do in my Hat Squad posts, I find that Red Skelton's classic sign-off helps me to say good-bye.....

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

Backstage at
'The Late Show with David Letterman'

Simplus Europe commercial
John as a farmer with 100 alien coccoons his barn. Mulder and Scully obviously were an influence even in Romania. 

No comments: