Friday, October 16, 2020

FRIDAY HALL OF FAMER 10/16/2020 - MARGARET H. WITCH

 


Last year I had considered Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard Of Oz” as a candidate for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  I don’t remember what my reasoning was to bypass her – it could be that I was already inducting a more tele-worthy witch and wanted to spread the witchy wealth out.

But she does have her advocates….



Hugh Davis:
Don't forget her part in The Paul Lynde Halloween Special. She shares scenes with The Wicked Witch of the West, played once again by Margaret Hamilton. This connects, of course, to the film The Wizard of Oz, but, thanks to Hamilton's guest appearance, also connects to Sesame Street, tying together the worlds of Sid & Marty Krofft and the Worlds of Jim Henson.

Thus….

MARGARET H. WITCH

Welcome to the TVXOHOF!

From Wikipedia:
The [Wicked Witch of the West’] most popular depiction was in the classic 1939 film based on Baum's novel, where she was portrayed by Margaret Hamilton. Hamilton's characterization introduced green skin and this has been continued in later literary and dramatic representations, including Gregory Maguire's revisionist Oz novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” (1995) and its musical stage adaptation “Wicked” (2003), the 2013 film “Oz the Great and Powerful”, and the television series ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Emerald City’.

On a 1976 episode of the American television program ‘Sesame Street’, the Witch, once again played by Hamilton herself, drops her broom and falls onto the street. Big Bird and a Sesame Street resident, David, have the broom and refuses to give it back to her because he remembers who she is and what she did to Dorothy and Toto. In retaliation, she tells them she would turn them into a basketball and feather duster if they do not give it back and adds rain to Mr. Hooper’s store. In order to get the broom back, she must prove that she can be nice and she turns into an old lady. The Muppets, Susan, Gordon, Bob, Luis, and Hooper express fears of her, except for Oscar the Grouch, who develops a romantic relationship with her, and Big Bird.

After she proves that she is nice and she turns back into the Wicked Witch, Big Bird is upset when the time comes for her to leave. She reassures him that one day she will return (only to drop her broom yet again). The episode was not immune to negative reception.

Following the episode’s airing, the show’s production company The Children’s Television Workshop and series creators Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett received numerous complaints from parents, who claimed that the episode was frightening to young children, and was never aired again.

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City screened part of the Wicked Witch episode on November 24, 2019, as part of a "Lost and Found" event celebrating ‘Sesame Street’'s 50th anniversary. It was accompanied by many other clips, including the unaired episode "Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce", along with a discussion panel with Jim Henson Legacy president Craig Shemin, former ‘Sesame Street’ head writer Norman Stiles, and Sesame Workshop's Rosemarie Truglio.


Hamilton also played the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special” (1976), and reprised her role several times on stage, most notably at the St. Louis Municipal Opera.


Hamilton also appeared as herself on ‘Mister Rogers' Neighborhood’ three times between 1975 and 1976. In these appearances, she demonstrated how her costume and acting skills made her appear to be the Witch, and assured her young viewers that there was nothing about her to be feared, because her portrayal in the film was only make-believe.

With all the appearances on TV plus in the Cineverse and the World-Stage, Margaret H. Witch is a multiversal, not just a multidimensional.  Within the realm of Earth Prime-Time, the 1939 movie has to be considered a movie since, unlike the original books and other adaptations, the adventure is treated as a concussion dream of Dorothy Gale’s.

So the televersion of Margaret Hamilton could be looked upon as a witch who became an actress.  It’s not so much of a stretch when you remember that in Toobworld, Emma Thompson was born in Akron, Ohio; Billy Martin burned down Studio 8-H, the ‘Saturday Night Live’ soundstage; Jack Benny was a robot; Dennis Rodman is an extraterrestrial; Dick Van Patten died of a heart attack while making a sitcom pilot; and Jean-Claude Van Damme was killed in a movie stunt and replaced by a robot.  (Probably made by the same company which made the “Jackbot”.)

So for Toobworld, Margaret H. Witch adopted the stage name of “Margaret Hamilton” and appeared as the Baum character, even though her portrayal maligned her people.

And by appearing in those other shows, she showed that she was also a serlinguist and apparently had the ability to change the color of her skin.

Here are the shows (and the ) which qualified Margaret H. Witch for the TVXOHOF as a multidimensional:



The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West


Mister Rogers Neighborhood 
Margaret H. Witch
- 1454 (1975)
- 1459 (1976)
O'Bservation - Margaret H. Witch in both



Sesame Street
- Episode #7.52 (1976)
Wicked Witch of the West


The Paul Lynde Halloween Special
 
(1976)
Housekeeper / The Wicked Witch of the West

So we’ve adapted Margaret Hamilton’s televersion to link all of her appearances together.  Not the weirdest thing I’ve done to get a favorite into the Hall.  Heck, I created a whole character from third-party mentions to forge a connection between ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Torchwood’!  What can I say?  It’s my sandbox even if these aren’t my action figures.

At any rate….

Welcome to the Hall, Ms. Witch!





Monday, October 12, 2020

MONDAY MEMORAL TVXOHOF TRIBUTE - WHITEY FORD

 


From ESPN:
Whitey Ford, a Hall of Famer for the New York Yankees who won more World Series games than any other pitcher, died at the age of 91, the Yankees announced Friday.

A family member told The Associated Press on Friday that Ford died at his Long Island home Thursday night. Ford had suffered from the effects of Alzheimer's disease in recent years.

Manager Aaron Boone told reporters Friday that Ford died, with his family by his side, while watching the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of the ALDS.

"I feel like there was some comfort in that," Boone said.


From Wikipedia:
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (October 21, 1928 – October 8, 2020), nicknamed "The Chairman of the Board", was an American professional baseball pitcher who played his entire 16-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees. He was a ten-time All-Star and six-time World Series champion. In 1961, he won both the Cy Young Award and World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Ford led the American League (AL) in wins three times and in earned run average (ERA) twice. He is the Yankees franchise leader in career wins (236), shutouts (45), innings pitched (3,170 1⁄3), and games started by a pitcher (438; tied with Andy Pettitte). Ford was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

The Yankees retired his uniform number 16 in 1974 and dedicated a plaque in his honor in Monument Park in 1987.

Ford died on October 8, 2020, at the age of 91.


In the greater tele-mosaic of the TV Universe, Whitey Ford was a multidimensional.  (In fact, he’s a multiversal as he appeared in a few movies, placing him in the Cineverse.)

It's always better for an inductee to enter the Television Crossover Hall of Fame based on the appearances of their televersion in TV shows set in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld.  So we’ll acknowledge Whitey Ford’s presence in the dimensions of the Tooniverse and Toobworld’s Toobworld, but we have enough roles to fulfill the tally requirements of three separate televised appearances.

Here are the appearances which qualified Whitey Ford to become the second Chairman of the Board to enter the TVXOHOF (after Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra….)



Post Grape-Nuts Commercial
(Several in the 1950s, maybe 1960s, at least one with his son.)

O’Bservation – These are the first indication that Whitey Ford’s televersion is a serlinguist, able to talk to the Trueniverse audience.


The Phil Silvers Show
- Hillbilly Whiz (1957)

From the IMDb:
After getting beat 24-0 by the WAC Baseball Team, Bilko's latest addition to the troop is Private Hank Lumpkin - a man who killed a mountain lion with a Baseball.

O’Bservation - Hoping to make some money off Lumkin by signing him to the Yankees, Bilko is stymied by the Southerner’s aversion to the idea of joining the Yankees.  So the team representatives try to convince Hank that they’re all from the South.  Whitey was one of those reps, along with Phil Rizzutto and Yogi Berra.


I've Got a Secret
- Episode dated 23 September 1959
O’Bservation – Ben Gazzara and Whitey did a little boxing (with gloves on) and then Gazzara brought out another sports figure to spar with moderator Garry Moore – Joe Louis!


The Jackie Gleason Show
- Jackie Gleason's 51st Birthday Celebration (1967)
O’Bservation - In this special episode of ‘The Jackie Gleason Show’, Whitey appeared with two actual members of the TVXOHOF – Ed Norton and Lucille Ball – and with the actors who played other member of the Hall – Danny Thomas (Danny Williams) and the Great One himself, Jackie Gleason (Ralph Kramden.)

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
- Episode dated 10 August 1967

O'Bservation - This is a stronger entry than appearances on ‘The Mike Douglas Show’ or ‘The Dick Cavett Show’ because the televersion of ‘Tonight’ was inducted into the Hall earlier this year.


Miller Lite Commercial
O'Bservation - Numerous light beer commercials in the 1970s and 80s.  These are another example of Whitey’s serlinguistic ability.


Remington Steele
- Second Base Steele (1984)

From the IMDb:
A high school baseball team alumnus hires The Remington Steele Agency to find out who is responsible for a series of accidents at a sports camp which his old team is attending.


The Billy Martin Celebrity Roast (1987)
O’Bservation – Whitey appeared with several other TVXOHOF members, like Sammy Davis, Jr., Mickey Mantle, and that other Chairman of the Board, plus potential members like Howard Cosell and Billy Martin himself.


I mentioned earlier that Whitey Ford was a multidimensional.  In the Tooniverse, he voiced his "tooniversion" in an episode of 'The Simpsons' in which he was knocked unconscious after being pelted with pretzels.


And then there's Toobworld's Toobworld.  This is the alternate TV dimension in which we got to see the dramatized stories about the making of various TV shows.  But that could be expanded to include the tele-biographies of other people as well.  There are so many retellings of the life of JFK that one of them has to located in this dimension, for example.  And then there's the TV movie about Roger Maris' race to break the home run record established by Babe Ruth - "61*".  Anthony Michael Hall portrayed Whitey Ford in that.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Ford.  

Welcome to the Hall, sir.  You should find plenty of friends in the Sports Wing….



Friday, October 9, 2020

FRIDAY HALL OF FAMERS 10/09/2020 - EDDIE MUNSTER

 
With this week’s Friday Hall of Famer, we complete the inductions of the Munster family into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  (Herman Munster was inducted three times – once as himself, once as part of all of Dr. Frankenstein’s creations, and once in Skitlandia.)

I wasn’t sure Eddie Munster could get into the Crossover Hall of Fame except as a multidimensional, as he only had the TV series and the movie with Butch Patrick playing the role. (All other actors as Eddie are banished to other Toobworlds.)

But one good thing to come out of 2020 was a third appearance of Eddie Munster in Toobworld.

So let’s complete the set!


EDDIE MUNSTER

From Wikipedia:
Eddie Munster is a fictional character on the CBS sitcom ‘The Munsters’. He was portrayed by Butch Patrick in all episodes of the original series except for the pilot, where he was portrayed by Happy Derman. The only child of Herman and Lily Munster, Eddie is a werewolf. The role was later played by Jason Marsden in ‘The Munsters Today’.  

Eddie is a typical all-American boy apart from being a werewolf and, in some episodes, showing some signs of being part vampire. Most noticeable is the fact that he sleeps in a chest of drawers. He has a stuffed toy werewolf named Woof-Woof, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Lon Chaney, Jr.'s portrayal of Larry Talbot in the 1941 feature film, “The Wolfman”. He attends elementary school, and aside from his pointed ears, severe widow's peak, and Fauntleroy suit, he is a normal kid.

Eddie is very proud of his father, to the point of bragging about Herman's abilities and deeds to his friends... although these boasts are often outright fabrications. In fact, Eddie volunteering Herman for a heroic deed (which is clearly beyond Herman's capabilities, but one Herman nonetheless undertakes for Eddie's sake) is a central theme in many episodes.


Here is the tally of appearances which qualifies Eddie Munster to join the rest of his family in the TVXOHOF.  (Yes, even Marilyn is in the Hall – being played by three different actresses has a good splainin – she wasn’t so normal after all.  Marilyn Munster was a shape-changer.)

The Munsters
71 episodes
1964-1966



Munster, Go Home!
The Munsters travel to England after Herman discovers he's the new Lord of the Munster Hall.  


TV Therapy
- Eddie (2020)
Eddie from THE MUNSTERS has a therapy session with Dr. Nielsen. Growing up a Munster has its issues.

Maybe so, but at least it got him into the Crossover Hall of Fame.

Welcome to the TVXOHOF, Eddie! Enjoy the family reunion….    




Friday, October 2, 2020

TVXOHOF, OCTOBER 2020 - THE BODY OF ROBBY THE ROBOT


Because Halloween caps October, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame usually inducts “monsters” as the monthly showcase.  Now, these could be friendly monsters, like the Munsters, classic monsters as seen in Toobworld (like all of the Frankenstein’s Creature variations), even real-life monsters like Hitler and Lee Harvey Oswald.  On occasion, the TVXOHOF has inducted a monster who is a combination from both Earth Prime and Earth Prime-Time – like Jack the Ripper AKA Redjac from ‘Star Trek’.

And so for this year’s October showcase, we’re going with a less organic “monster”, but one who often is considered “cuddly” albeit clunky.

ROBBY THE ROBOT'S CASING

From Wikipedia:
Robby the Robot is a fictional character and science fiction icon who first appeared in the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet”. He made a number of subsequent appearances in science fiction movies and television programs, usually without specific reference to the original film character.

Robby was reused by MGM in “The Invisible Boy” (1957) and then made several further appearances in other films and TV shows during the next few decades; these include episodes of ‘The Gale Storm Show’, ‘The Thin Man’, ‘Columbo’, ‘The Addams Family’, and ‘Lost in Space’ where he battles The Robot.

The original Rod Serling incarnation of ‘The Twilight Zone’ - which was substantially filmed at MGM Studios - made extensive use of props and costumes originally created for “Forbidden Planet”, including Robby. The Season 5 episode "Uncle Simon" (1963) featured Robby, although his appearance was considerably different, combining the familiar body with an alternative head. According to Robby's current owner, director William Malone, the head used in this episode was a prototype created during Robby's original construction. It featured a highly simplified and rather old-fashioned cylindrical "oil can" robot head with stylised 'eyes' (that were illuminated and movable) and a circular 'mouth'; this was enclosed under the distinctively-shaped conical plexiglass dome, but this head's front grille also did not have the blue neon tubes and lacked the rotating external 'ear' pieces seen in “Forbidden Planet”. It is not known whether this internal "oil-can'" head was original, but its rather rudimentary design and appearance is clearly not of same exacting MGM standards that are evident in all other “Forbidden Planet” props, and suggests it may have been custom-made for the filming of this ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. However this version of the prop survives and is currently also owned by William Malone.

In other appearances, Robby usually retained the moving parts inside his transparent dome, although the details of his "brain" and chest panel were sometimes altered; in ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ episode "The Bridge of Lions Affair", only Robby's head dome was used as part of a regeneration machine. Robby also appeared in the ‘Mork & Mindy’ second-season episode "Dr. Morkenstein", this time representing a character called Chuck (voiced by actor Roddy McDowall) whom Mork befriends while working as a security guard in the science museum where Chuck is on display. Robby was given a major 'makeover' for his appearance in the TV series ‘Project U.F.O.’ (1978). The original head was removed and replaced with a newly constructed "Cyclops" head that had new internal 'brain' fittings, a much squatter (roughly hemispherical) perspex dome, and a large circular glowing green 'eye' on the front, mounted in a protruding triangular panel. The front panel on Robby's torso was also modified with the addition of a new protruding panel, and additional appliances and cables were added to the front of both legs. This 'Cyclops' version of Robby was also used in the 1977 TV series ‘Space Academy’. All appearances of Robby after 1971 are a replica, as the original was retired and on display in a museum.

He was also featured in a 2006 commercial for AT&T.

Robby the Robot was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2004.

With all of the TV episodes in which Robby appeared, I think it would be ridiculous to consider them all to be Robby.  There’s no way the robot menace in that ‘Thin Man’ episode could be the same robot built by tween genius Stevie Spelberg in the ‘Columbo’ episode fifteen years later.

O’Bviously, the scenario I’m going to suggest won’t satisfy everybody; it can’t be considered canon.  But it works for Toobworld and I’m only concerned with pleasing my needs.  LOL

As was the case in the real world, the televersion of Robert Kinoshita built the original body of Robby for the movie. (We know “Forbidden Planet” exists in Toobworld thanks to references in ‘Cheers’, ‘The Big Bang Theory’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘Gilmore Girls’, ‘Six Feet Under’, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Fringe.’

But in Toobworld, tele-Kinoshita then made custom copies of that casing to sell. It turns out that it proved to be a popular casing for scientists to house the computer systems they developed, to make their computers mobile. (Stevie Spelberg bought one with funding from the Cybernetics Institute for the seventh incarnation of his MM series of robot.)

Some were maybe bought for cosplay, as seen in that ‘Wonder Woman’ episode; others were ordered only for parts, like that headpiece used for the regeneration machine in ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’.  As I mentioned, they were customized, some with different heads, at least one with no legs. 

Tele-Kinoshita even sold use of the miniaturized model to a toy company for a line of toy robots.

Eventually, scientists in the future would hew to the tradition of using that body form.  Aliens on Earth, probably disguised as humans, must have stolen the basic design and took it back to their home planet to use in their creation of that robot which faced off against B9.

Here are the TV appearances which can be considered linked via the theory I suggested above.



The Thin Man
"Robot Client"
February 28, 1958


The Gale Storm Show
"Robot from Inner Space"
December 13, 1958



The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 
"Beethoven, Presley, and Me"
March 13, 1963


The Twilight Zone

"One for the Angels" (1959)

"Uncle Simon" (1963)
"The Brain Center at Whipple's" (1964)


Hazel
"Rosie's Contract"
September 27, 1962



The Addams Family
"Lurch's Little Helper"
March 18, 1966



The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
"The Bridge of Lions Affair"
(1966)

Lost in Space

"War of the Robots"
(1966)

"The Condemned Of Space"
(1967)

Ultraseven (1967)
A race of Robots called the 'U-Toms' bear Robby's likeness in one episode.

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour 
"The Coronation of Bakaar"
(1968 and 1970)

Columbo
Mind Over Mayhem
(1974)


Ark II
"The Robot"
(1976)

Holmes & Yo-Yo
(1976)
O'Bservation - There is debate over whether or not a Robby copy appeared in an episode.

Music Machine
(1977)
K-tel compilation LP, photographs featured on both the front and back of the cover. In the commercial for the LP, Robby dances to some of the album's songs.

Project U.F.O. 
"Sighting 4010: The Waterford Incident"
(1978)
Here, the costume has a different, flatter head and 'brain' elements with a large "Cyclops" eye, a modified torso panel and assorted add-ons to the legs.

Television commercial for Starlog Magazine
(1978)

The New Adventures of Wonder Woman
"Spaced Out"
(1979)
O'Bservation - This was one of those times the casing was sold to be a cosplay costume.

Mork & Mindy 
"Dr. Morkenstein"
(1979)
O’Bservation – “Chuck” may have been built by young Stevie Spelberg five years earlier.

Space Academy 
"My Favorite Marcia"
(1979)
This program used the 'Cyclops' head variation previously seen on ‘Project U.F.O.’.

Pink Lady 
Episode 5
(1980)

Charmin Television commercial
(1981)

The Love Boat
"Programmed for Love"

Likely Stories, Vol. 3
(1983)

Stacked 
"Gavin's Pipe Dream"
(2005)

Television commercial for AT&T
(2006)

Television commercial for General Electric
(2012)

The Big Bang Theory 
"The Misinterpretation Agitation"

(2014)

O'Bservation - Supposedly, a statuette of Robby is on the right-side night stand.  It could be of the same toy line as seen in 'The Twilight Zone'.  


But in this episode, Robby is in the basement playroom of Dr. Lorvis.  It can be seen in the back and to the left ("back and to the left") behind Billy Bob Thornton. 

So, it’s not exactly Robby the Robot who’s being inducted.  But whether it's Bix, Smiley, Squeezax, Alphie, Arnold, Chuck, Mildred, or Uncle Simon, the shell which was custom-built for all the examples listed here is based on that original model.

Welcome to the TVXOHOF, "Robby"!