Friday, December 9, 2016


When his bell-shaped capsule splashed into the ocean after orbiting Earth again and again, John Glenn emerged an instant hero — the fighter-jock pilot of few words who in just five hours of circling the planet helped cement America’s faith that it could lead the race into outer space.

Decades later, at the age of 77, Glenn would return to space on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery after selling himself as a human guinea pig who would demonstrate the effects of space travel on the elderly.

Glenn, who also served for 24 years as a U.S. senator from Ohio, died Thursday at the age of 95, a day after being hospitalized in Columbus, Ohio.

[From The Los Angeles Times]

Being the caretaker of the Toobworld Dynamic, and the leading - well, only - voice on the board of governors for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, membership in the Hall is left to my discretion.  And I've come up with a lot of crazy splainins to at least convince myself that many previous members deserved entry in the Hall.

John Glenn is no exception.

The TVXOHOF doesn't rely on appearances in variety programs, talk shows, and news reports for a candidate's qualifications.  There should be something more... Toob-worthy.  

For this legend of a man, this modern Columbus, there were two actual appearances:

- "Docu.Drama" (2001)

and this game show:

'Name That Tune'
- Episode dated 4 October 1957 (1957)
as a contestant (as Maj. John H. Glenn Jr.)

Normally, game shows wouldn't count either unless their existence can be proven in Toobworld.  This usually happens by characters appearing on those shows.  The best examples are 'Jeopardy!', 'Wheel of Fortune', and 'The Price Is Right'.  (And 'Password' and 'Let's Make A Deal' for fans of 'The Odd Couple'.)

For 'Name That Tune', there are references in episodes of 'M*A*S*H', 'Psych', 'Cheers, and 'Daria' over in the Tooniverse.  So I would count Major Glenn's appearance as a contestant.

When it comes to the fictionalized televersions of astronauts, Buzz Aldrin has a better resume.  (And I will get around to inducting him eventually.)  But I knew that for a man of John Glenn's stature, there would be references to him made by other fictional characters of Toobworld that would verify that he existed in the Television Universe.  And luckily, there was just enough to put the Senator over the top in qualifications.  (Per the charter rules, one needs three appearances and mentions in other shows and commercials to be eligible for membership.)

Here are the two times in which John Glenn's televersion was mentioned:

Episode: "The One with Joey's Bag" (1999)
Phoebe Buffay was talking to her twin sister on the phone:

"Ursula, I have the most amazing news! I found our dad.... Phoebe, your sister. And I've found our dad! John Glenn? John Glenn is not our dad. No, I'm not gonna join you in a lawsuit against him. It doesn't matter that he wasn't there when we were growing up, he's not our father! What do you mean that's for a jury to decide?"

'Hot in Cleveland'
Episode: "The Fixer" (2013)
The girls hired Danny Doyle, a sleazy lawyer, to help their friend Emmett....

Victoria Chase: 

Are you really as good as they say you are?

Did John Glenn go to jail for murder?

Joy Scroggs: 
What murder?

I rest my case.

So in both cases, it wasn't just mentions of Senator Glenn.  They were both references that could only have involved the former astronaut in fictional scenarios.  As far as I'm concerned, they are both Toobworthy.

After that, we can then consider John Glenn "as seen on TV" - that is, played by other actors.

Of course, we have to ignore "The Right Stuff" as that's in the Cineverse.  (That movie was based on the Tom Wolfe book, so that makes John Glenn a true Multiversal.)

But there are these two portrayals to consider:

'The Astronaut Wives Club' 
Played by Sam Reid in 10 episodes
'Hotel Secrets & Legends'
    - "Space Race, Ghosts of Silver City, Surviving the Everglades" (2014)
Played by George Stumpf

Whether they belong in Earth Prime-Time or in some other TV dimension becomes a moot point since we already have enough other shows for his membership as a citizen of the main Toobworld.

Maybe the Television Crossover Hall of Fame is as cool as being inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame as he was in 1990, but it's the best I can offer in remembrance of this legend.

Godspeed, John Glenn.  Good night and may God bless.....


Jerry House said...

The only astronaut senator? You forgot Jake Garn.

Toby O'B said...

Forgot him? I didn't even know about it! I knew I was asking for trouble with that headline. Thank you Jerry. I'm going to change it now.