Friday, January 11, 2019


For this second week in the first month of the last “teen” year of the 21st Century, the Friday Hall of Famer will celebrate the second duo of the month, perhaps the first doubles to come to mind when thinking about lookalikes in the TV Universe.


Usually I go to Wikipedia to provide the description of the honorees, but in this case they had their own identities listed in their theme song:

Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere, 
From Zanzibar to Berkeley Square 
But Patty's only seen the sights 
A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights -
What a crazy pair! 

But they're cousins, 
Identical cousins all the way. 
One pair of matching bookends, 
Different as night and day. 

Where Cathy adores a minuet, 
The Ballets Russes, and crepe suzette, 
Our Patty loves to rock and roll, 
A hot dog makes her lose control - 
What a wild duet! 

Still, they're cousins, 
Identical cousins and you'll find, 
They laugh alike, they walk alike, 
At times they even talk alike - 

You can lose your mind, 
When cousins are two of a kind. 

What the heck.  Let’s go wiki!

Patty Lane (Duke) is a normal, chatty, rambunctious teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City, although the setting and characters resemble more simple Middle America (United States). Her father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), is the managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle; Patty affectionately addresses him as "Poppo."

Her "identical paternal cousin," Cathy Lane (also played by Duke), is sophisticated, brainy and demure and her father, Kenneth (also played by Schallert), Martin's identical twin brother, also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent. Cathy moves to the United States from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend Brooklyn Heights High School. While both girls are identical in physical appearance, their style, tastes and attitudes are nearly opposite, which is responsible for some of the comedic situations on the show.

Though the character of "Cathy" received first billing over the character of "Patty" in the show's opening credits, virtually all episodes centered around Patty's misadventures, with Cathy often only playing a minor supporting role. The remarkable physical resemblance that Patty and Cathy share is explained by the fact that their fathers are identical twins. While Patty speaks with a typical American accent, Cathy speaks with what is supposed to be a slight Scottish accent (though in fact it has little resemblance to one); not surprisingly, however, both cousins are able to mimic each other's voice. Patty and Cathy also have an additional identical cousin, the Southern belle Betsy (also played by Duke), featured in the season two episode "The Perfect Hostess." 

The show's theme song, "Cousins," which has since been parodied many times over in pop culture, illustrates the two girls' differences: "...where Cathy adores the minuet, the Ballet Russe and crêpes Suzette, our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll, a hot dog makes her lose control..." The song was performed by a five-voice vocal ensemble called "The Skip-Jacks," which featured actress and Playboy model Stella Stevens and also performed The Flintstones' theme song.

A few celebrities appeared as themselves during the course of the series’ run, most notably an early entrant in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Sammy Davis, Jr.  But there weren’t any real crossovers save for this tie-in commercial:


However, from the show itself I was able to find plenty of theoretical crossovers thanks to the newspaper being the New York Chronicle.  That broadsheet (and sometimes tabloid) has appeared in a lot of other TV shows.  (I also made a theoretical claim that the paper was owned by a Ray Milland character from a ‘Columbo’ episode.)

So that Breck blipvert was the second qualifier for the Lane girls’ induction into the Hall.  Their next qualification came 33 years after the show was cancelled.


On April 27, 1999, the 33rd anniversary of the ABC cancellation of The Patty Duke Show, rival network CBS aired the TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' In Brooklyn Heights, which reunited Duke, Schallert, Byron (in her final on-screen role, as she died in February 2006 of complications following hip replacement surgery), O'Keefe and Applegate. In Still Rockin', Patty and Richard married after high school, had a son, Michael (Alain Goulem), who in turn married (his wife Nancy is mentioned but is not seen as she is out of town on business), and had a daughter, Molly (Jane McGregor).

Patty and Richard were amicably divorced after nearly 27 years of marriage, but towards the end of the movie, they reconcile. Cathy is a widow living in Scotland and has a teenage son, Liam McAllister (Kent Riley). Martin and Natalie moved to Florida after Martin retired from The New York Daily Chronicle. Most of the plot revolves around Patty's old rival, Sue Ellen Caldwell (portrayed by Cindy Williams [since] Kitty Sullivan, who played Sue Ellen Turner in 14 episodes over the first two seasons, was unavailable to reprise her role for the movie, yet Sullivan does appear as Sue Ellen in one of the segments from the TV series), who is planning on buying Brooklyn Heights High School (where Patty works as a drama teacher), razing it and replacing it with a mall, which is opposed by Patty, Cathy and the rest of the Lane family. 

Only three separate shows, movies, and commercials are needed to qualify for membership in the Hall.  But they weren’t done yet.


In 2009, Duke reprised her dual roles from the show in a public service announcement (PSA) for the Social Security Administration, in which Patty asked Cathy about where she got her information about how to get Social Security benefits and other questions, such as how to apply online. The PSA was targeted toward baby boomers who were born or who grew up in the 1960s.

In 2010, the main cast of The Patty Duke Show (except Byron, who, as stated above, died in February 2006 from complications from hip replacement surgery) reprised their respective roles in a series of PSAs, again for the Social Security Administration. 

I suppose this counts as well, marking Patty and Cathy as serlinguists:


And then there are the ancillary qualifications in which references to Patty and Cathy Lane in other shows could verify their existence in Toobworld.  And even if it is O’Bvious that these citations are about the TV show, that’s still not a Zonk.  It has become a Warhol-like mantra that everybody in Toobworld could eventually have a TV show made about them.  In this case, how could any TV producer resist the possibility of a TV show about identical cousins, one of whom is from Scotland?

If those references in other shows mention the title as “The Patty Duke Show” then my splainin would be that the televersion of Patty Duke was the star of that show in much the same way as it was established that Peter Falk’s televersion was the star of the Toobworld version of ‘Columbo’.  But if the show was never named, then I’d like to think that the show was actually a reality documentary series that was pretty popular back in the day.

It would be a stretch, but even that documentary series could have had the theme song which has been the most cited source of pop culture references over the years.

Patty Duke died two years ago.  Normally, that means TV characters indelibly identified with a certain actor should be considered as having died as well.  That’s to hopefully discourage anybody from thinking about rebooting the show with a new actor.

But should both Patty and Cathy be considered as having passed away?  I could see Patty having passed away – all those hot dogs over the years couldn’t have been good for her.  (They sure as bleep haven’t been for me!)  Cathy could be living back in Scotland and so we wouldn’t expect to see her in New York based TV shows as a cameo crossover. (I can’t speak for Scottish-based TV series.)

At any rate, Cathy and Patty Lane are now members of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  They even get inducted alike.

Welcome to the Hall!

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