Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I even dream Toobworld nowadays.  As I slept Sunday night, this theoretical connection came to me......

In this episode, Kramer was hired to be an "under-five" in the latest Woody Allen project....

Well, you know they're making that Woody Allen movie in the block, and all
those people and trucks everywhere, when I saw him I must have got a little

You know I'm in that movie?

You are?

Yeah, I'm an extra.

How'd you get that?

Well, I was just watching them film yesterday and some guy just asked

Right out of the clear blue sky?

Clear blue sky!

Well, why didn't they ask me?

I got a quality.

He was given one line:

I got a line in the movie!

Get out!

That's great!

You got a line in the Woody Allen movie?

Pretty good, huh?

You're in the movie? Is he in the scene?

Oh yeah, yeah, it's me and him. I might have a whole new career on my
hands, huh

You mean *a* career.

So was Mia Farrow there?

Uh, I didn't see him.

What's your line?

Oh, well uh, okay I'm there with, uh, Woody, you know, I'm at this bar
and, uh, I'm sit-- you know it's Woody Allen, did I mention that
So I'm sitting there with Woody and I say, I turn to him and I go,
"Boy, these pretzels are making me thirsty."

But eventually he was fired because of a combination of events:

1]  Because of George's inept management of Sid's car parking business, there were accidents and traffic jams that tied up the location where Woody Allen wanted to film.  It was so bad that the director vowed never to film in New York City.  

2]  During the filming of his scene, Kramer slammed down his beer stein so hard that it shattered and one of the shards injured the director.

I got fired from the movie.

Get out of here, why?

Well, you know they were gonna shoot it today, and uh, we rehearsed it
twice, then Woody yells 'Action!' and I turn to him and I say, 'These pretzels
are making me thirsty' and I took a swig of beer, ya know, and I slammed the
glass down on the bar and it shattered.


Well, one of the pieces must have hit Woody. He started crying. And
he yells out, 'I'm bleeding' and he runs off. Anyway, this woman, she came up
to me and she says, 'You're fired.' Boy I really nailed that scene.

Since he was fired after the scene was filmed, maybe Woody used the footage rather than waste time and money in recasting and re-shooting the scene.  So Cosmo Kramer did appear in a Woody Allen movie, to go along with his turn as a secretary on the fictionalized sitcom about the life of newswoman Murphy Brown.

The question then is: what Woody Allen movie could this have been?

I don't think it's for any Real World movie that he was making at the time.  That 'Seinfeld' episode aired in 1991, which was the same year in which "Shadows And Fog" was released and while "Husbands And Wives" was being filmed.  Both movies were of a more serious nature than his earlier comedies, showing some influence from Ingmar Bergman.  So I don't think either of those two movies had a scene similar to the one Kramer described.  (Of course, the scene could have been deleted, but where's the sport in that?)

And as everything was taking place in Toobworld, I think the movie would have to be fictional.  We've seen precedence for this in 'Seinfeld':
  • "Sack Lunch" - an escapist comedy starring Dabney Coleman
  • "Firestorm" - an action movie starring Harrison Ford
  • "The Other Side Of Darkness" - in which Eric Roberts played the husband of a coma victim
  • "The Muted Heart" - a chick flick with Glenn Close and Sally Field, which I would think had a similar theme to "The Children's Hour"
They do like their fictional movies on that show!

But there are other examples, one being an Army hygiene film, "Of Ice And Lice" starring ice skater Sonje Henie which was shown in the 'M*A*S*H' units during the Korean Conflict.  And then there was an Alan Mallory novel, "Sixty Miles To Saigon", optioned by Universal as a Rock Hudson project which was a key plot point in the 'Columbo' episode "Publish Or Perish".  If they were willing to give Hudson an advance of $100,000 for the movie, I'm pretty sure it got made.

I ended with that example because I'm going to utilize a Wish-Craft here.  I think the movie was based on a different episode of 'Columbo', that Woody Allen was directing a film based on a case solved by the Lieutenant back in the early 1970s......


Dr. Bart Keppel develops an intricate plot to kill Vic Norris. Keppel specializes in motivational research and sales promotion and had arranged to show his latest promotional film to a small group of people that includes Norris. While supposedly narrating the film "live" from behind a curtain, he uses a prerecorded narration while waiting for Norris to step out to get a drink of water whereby he can then shoot him. He knew Norris would do so, as he had fed him salty caviar before the showing and then inserted subliminal messaging into his film to heighten his thirst. He further tries to blame Norris' wife for the crime, but Keppel must act fast when an employee catches on to his scheme. As for Lt. Columbo, he suspects Keppel is responsible and uses his own subliminal messaging techniques to trap him. 

As time passed, the investigations by Lt. Columbo became more and more newsworthy.  After all, he was proving world-renowned architects, senatorial candidates, famous actors and symphony conductors were guilty of murder so his fame was spreading beyond the Los Angeles area.  I think the televersion of Woody Allen learned of the Keppel investigation and found his use of subliminal influence to lure his victim away interesting enough to make a movie about it.

I even wrote about the fame of Lt. Columbo among other TV characters in the blog before.  Click here for that article. And the most damning of all is from "Stronger Than Steele", an episode of 'Remington Steele':

Laura Holt: 
Columbo... Peter Falk... Universal Studios... 1975!

In an episode entitled "Playback", Oscar Werner kills his mother-in-law. He seems to have the perfect alibi until Columbo discovers he used a video tape to alter the apparent time of the murder. 

Now all we need to do is find that tape. If Columbo can do it so can we!

Woody Allen's version would have been a very loose adaptation of the Vic Norris murder, and perhaps Allen's screenplay played out with a light-hearted tone.  In his adaptation of the facts, Woody could have taken on the role of the murderer based on Dr. Bart Keppel, but I think it more likely he would choose the role of the bumbling detective based on Lt. Columbo.  (Obviously liberties were taken.  I'm sure he gave his detective a name similar to ones he used in other films, like Melish or Zelig.)  

As for Cosmo Kramer, he was probably playing one of the other people in the screening room who were subjected to the subliminal yearnings meant for the murder victim.  It really affected his character because he had been eating dry pretzels.

Just one more thing.....*

The movie could have been filled out with any number of TV characters who were actors.  Bobby Wheeler of 'Taxi' for one.  Perhaps Mary McKinnon from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Hour' as another.  And who knows?  Maybe Colt Seaver worked on the movie as a stunt man; you know... 'The Fall Guy'.

It's all conjecture, of course, but when has that ever stopped me in the past?


* Come on!  You knew I had to say it!

This marked the 10,500th post here at Inner Toob.

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