Friday, November 15, 2019


As you can imagine, with November chosen to be the monthly theme of “Newsmakers” with it being the time of year we go to the polls, it’s the month when we induct politicians into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, both real and fictional.

And so for the latest Friday Hall of Famer, we’re welcoming one of the greatest politicians of Toobworld, who is also in my Top 20 favorite TV characters  (Just barely.)

Here’s to Hizzoner…..

Mayor of Fernwood, Ohio

From the ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman’ pages of the Mary Kay Place Place:

Merle entered Fernwood with an eight-year-old evangelist son and a scam called “Condos for Christ.” Neither made it very far. The Reverend Jimmy Joe Jeeter was electrocuted in his bathtub, and Merle’s plans for the condos dissolved.

Merle and the little reverend had attracted singer Loretta Haggers to their causes. Loretta was oblivious to Merle’s attraction to her...but not for long.

Merle tried to seduce Loretta in his motel room, but Loretta would have none of that. Just in time, Charlie Haggers arrived with his shotgun, which went off in the confusion. Unluckily for Charlie, the gun was aimed at his testicle. Ouch.

Merle was married to Wanda Rittenhouse Jeeter. Wanda was just about the only person who could outfox Merle. He sometimes treated her like dirt, but she often ended up on top.

Merle was Fernwood’s mayor and lived up to the negative stereotype of the crooked politician. Scandal after scandal kept viewers loving to hate him.

Merle was played by Dabney Coleman

Jimmy Joe warned Charlie Haggers that Merle had designs on Loretta when she was just about to fall into Merle’s lecherous clutches. Charlie showed up at Merle’s motel room with a shotgun and accidentally shot off his own testicle.

Soon after, Jimmy Joe was hoping to find one uplifting story on the evening news, but unfortunately the news schedule conflicted with his own bath schedule. Merle rigged a tenuously roped TV over Jimmy Joe’s bath and it was not long before Jimmy Joe gave his life for the 6:30 news.

For more about the series, click here.

Here we see Merle Jeeter in action, campaigning to weasel his way into the mayor's office.

Here are the shows which qualify Mayor Jeeter for membership in the TVXOHOF:

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
148 episodes

Fernwood Tonight
- Talk to a Jew
- Episode #1.33 (1977)

Forever Fernwood
Unknown number of episodes

Finally, here’s his appearance on Fernwood 2 Night:

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Mayor!

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