Friday, June 16, 2017

DATELINE TOOBWORLD: 50 YEARS AGO, AJ O'BRIEN WAS BORN!


A few days ago on my own birthday, I mentioned how I was surprised that I didn't post a picture already which showed what was happening in the TV Universe on the day my youngest brother was born.  Two years had passed in which I could have marked the occasion with that screencap.  

But now as I write this up (a year in advance - and so this could be posted by a ghost!), I realize why I held off.

This year marks AJ's fiftieth birthday!

In my mind's eye, he's still a goofy little kid.  Even when I see him in person, I still see just a kid, at best still in college.  The reverse holds true for him: when he used to see me as a kid, he was already seeing a fat old man.....

So let's take a look at what was going on in the Trueniverse on the day he was born:

The Monterey Pop Festival began on that day.  The performers included were Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, and The Mamas & the Papas.  (The Monkees were not invited, but Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork showed up anyway.)

The two notable births - aside from AJ's of course! - were of two international footballers: Charalambos Andreou of Cyprus and J├╝rgen Klopp of Germany.

The one death of note on that day was of the actor Reginald Denny, who made a slew of silent pictures before making the transition to talkies.  In the silent movies, he appeared in 1922's "Sherlock Holmes" with John Barrymore and Roland Young as Holmes & Watson, with William Powell and Hedda Hopper also in the cast.  Once the use of sound was ushered in, Denny switched to being more of a supporting player rather than a leading man.  His more famous films from that point on were Hitchcock's "Rebecca", "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House", "Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde", "Around The World In 80 Days", "Assault On The Queen", and "Cat Ballou" (in which I first saw him).  He had another encounter with Sherlock Holmes, this time with the team of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as the Detective and the Doctor - "Sherlock Holmes And The Voice of Terror".  And for my Wold Newton friends, he was in a series of "Bulldog Drummond" movies as Algy Longworth, Drummon's sidekick of questionable worth.

 
Our main concern is the TV Universe, of course, and Denny provided plenty of Toobworldlings in shows like 'Topper', 'Adventures In Paradise', 'Please Don't Eat The Daisies', 'Tales Of The 77th Bengal Lancers', 'Private Secretary', 'The Burns And Allen Show', and seven episodes of 'The Red Skelton Show'.  He played himself in an episode of 'My Hero' with Robert Cummings, thus ensuring his televersion's existence in Toobworld.  And for 'Batman', he was King Boris in two episodes of the TV series (featuring the Riddler as the guest villain) and as Commodore Schmidlapp for the 1966 movie which has been absorbed into the TV Universe.

Wait a minute....  This was supposed to be a salute to my brother AJ on his birthday!

So what happened in the TV Universe on the day AJ's televersion was born?

'RUN FOR YOUR LIFE'
"DOWN WITH WILLY HATCH"


This episode was broadcast on November 1st, 1967, but it had occurred months earlier beginning Friday, June 16th.  Lawyer Paul Bryan, who had been diagnosed as having less than two years to live, had taken time out of his chance to life what life he had left to the fullest in order to help an old pal.  Nightclub comic Willy Hatch, who once had his own late night talk show, had been arrested in a small Southern town on a morals charge.  It turned out the complaint was bogus, but the emotional strain on the comedian, along with an actual physical assault, left Hatch in a catatonic state.  It's unclear that he ever recovered.

By the way, the calendar on the Sheriff's wall marks June 16th as "TODAY", not "TUESDAY".  I'm sorry I couldn't get a clearer image.

So happy birthday, Andrew.  I'm sure your arrival in the world was a happier occasion than what happened to Willy Hatch.  But at least that was better than what happened in Toobworld on the day I chose to represent my birthdate!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DREW!

I loves ya, Brothermine!

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