Friday, October 18, 2019


Alfred Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980)

Save for the behind the scenes talent who are inducted in September, I try to limit the League of Themselves inductees to March.  It's a pitiable month with only one decent holiday to it; and I thought it could be livened up a bit with its own theme for the Television Crossovers Hall of Fame.

But when it comes to THIS guy, what better month is there to induct the legendary…..


Best known as a film director, he is probably the most recognizable of movie directors of all Time.  And that was certainly fueled by his cameos in his own movies as well as hosting several TV anthology shows – one even after he was dead!

From Wikipedia:
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential and extensively studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965). His films garnered a total of 46 Oscar nominations and six wins.

From 1955 to 1965, Hitchcock was the host of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. With his droll delivery, gallows humour and iconic image, the series made Hitchcock a celebrity. The title-sequence of the show pictured a minimalist caricature of his profile (he drew it himself; it is composed of only nine strokes), which his real silhouette then filled. The series theme tune was "Funeral March of a Marionette" by the French composer Charles Gounod (1818–1893).

His introductions always included some sort of wry humour, such as the description of a recent multi-person execution hampered by having only one electric chair, while two are shown with a sign "Two chairs—no waiting!"

He directed 18 episodes of the series, which aired from 1955 to 1965. It became 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour' in 1962, and NBC broadcast the final episode on 10 May 1965.

In the 1980s, a new version of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' was produced for television, making use of Hitchcock's original introductions in a colourised form.

Here are the credits which earned Hitch membership in the Hall:

268 episodes

93 episodes

77 episodes

“You, Murderer”

With that last one, again it was digital resuscitation like the 1985 coninuation of his series.  And since that ran for four years, I can’t see how it can be protested that he was brought back for a miniscule cameo.

Considering this occurred in ‘Tales From The Crypt’, I like to think that it was Hitchcock’s ghost we were seeing.


At any rate, welcome to the Hall, Sir Alfred!

Thursday, October 17, 2019


I’ve been slacking off for the last few months in posting to the Inner Toob blog, but at least I’ve been keeping my hand in by continuing up the inductions into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame every Friday plus the monthly showcases.

It’s been twenty years for the TVXOHOF and about twenty-two years for the site in general which began as a website called “The Toobworld Dynamic” published via the late lamented AOLPress.

So, after all that time, yeah, I got burned out from the daily grind of posting every day.  (In the beginning it was several times a day!)  

And let’s face it, all that time I had pretty much covered every aspect of the Television Universe.  I didn’t think there would be anything to spark my interest anymore.

But last night, something came along which fired up the tele-synapses.

S07, E04

From the IMDb:
Barry decides to rush a fraternity, but it doesn't quite work out as he expects.

The one frat Barry wanted to get into was Beta Zeta, but they wanted nothing to do with him.  He was looking for a fraternity which would help him to recreate the adventures from the movie “National Lampoon’s Animal House”.

And he had a checklist – food fights, smashing beer cans against his head, riding a motorcycle into a crowded frat party, putting a dead horse in the dean’s office.  (Scenes from the movie were shown at the beginning of the episode.)

The thing is, Barry had the chance to join the actual Delta House, but he blew them off.  He failed to recognize Robert Hoover and Eric Stratton as they basically looked from the movie… albeit forty-one years later.

Within Toobworld, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” is well established as a movie.  Even when we leave out those shows which lifted quotes from it or aped specific moments like the toga party, going with those shows that mentioned it be name or showed the poster or the videotape or DVD, we’ve rounded up the usual suspects:

‘Undeclared’, ‘NCIS’, ‘Diff’rent Strokes’, ‘Brothers & Sisters’, ‘Gilmore Girls’, ‘The Office’, ‘Freaks & Greeks’, ‘Charles In Charge’, ‘ER’, ‘Valerie’, ‘Southland’, ‘Cougar Town’, ‘Supernatural’, ‘Stranger Things’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’, ‘Glee’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Warehouse 13’, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’, ‘Sabrina The Teenage Witch’, ‘The Zack Files’, ‘Popular’, ‘Farscape’, and ‘Alf’.

Even ‘The Goldbergs’ had referenced it in past episodes – in one, Adam wanted to rent the video.

So this might look like a Zonk, having characters from the movie appear as “real” people in Toobworld.  But Toobworld has provided for us!

One year after the movie came out, a sitcom based on it aired on ABC.  It was called ‘Delta House’ and carried on the adventures of the frat boys at Faber College.  Because of censorship and a crappy time period (Saturday nights at 8 PM, Family Viewing Hour), the show only lasted thirteen weeks.

They at least had the benefit of being connected to the movie, whereas CBS and NBC rushed out TV shows “Inspired” by it – you know, rip-offs) ‘Co-Ed Fever’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’ respectively.

Several in the cast recreated their roles from the movie:

  • James Widdoes as Robert Hoover
  • Bruce McGill as D-Day
  • Stephen Furst as Flounder
  • John Vernon as Dean Wormer
Other actors were found to replace the original actors in key roles, most of which were just plain recastaways:

Eric Stratton of Toobworld
  • Peter Fox as Eric “Otter” Stratton (Original: Tim Matheson)
  • Richard Seer as Pinto (Original: Thomas Hulce)
  • Gary Cookson as Niedermeyer (Original: Mark Metcalf)
  • Brian Patrick Clarke as Greg Marmalard (Original: James Daughton)
  • Susanna Dalton as Mandy Pepperidge (Original: Mary Louise Weller)
  • Peter Kastner as Professor Jennings (Original: Donald Sutherland) – This role did nothing to erase memories of Kastner’s lead role in ‘The Ugliest Girl In Town’
There was no way the producers could recast John Belushi as Bluto Blutarski.  Belushi was an indelible force of nature.  But they cleverly did the next thing – they cast Josh Mostel as Blotto Blutarski, Bluto’s brother.  (Bluto got drafted into the Army.)

So here’s the thing – “National Lampoon’s Animal House” was a movie in Toobworld.  But it was based on a “real life” event that happened at Faber College in 1962.  Barry Goldberg’s a bit thick and so couldn’t comprehend that he had come face to face with the actual Robert Hoover and Eric Stratton during the frat rush.

When John Landis and Universal were casting the actors to play the original students of Delta House, their casting department did an incredible job in finding actors who looked their inspirations.  But in taking ‘Delta House’ as real life, there were a few times in which the movie actors didn’t exactly look like the people they were playing.  The case in point as far as the ‘Goldbergs’ episode is concerned is Eric Stratton.

In making the movie sixteen years after the events at Faber College, Tim Matheson came reasonably close to looking like the real Eric Strattion.  (Remember, with the Toobworld Dynamic, we look at what happens on television as being the reality of the TV Universe.  So that WAS Eric Stratton in ‘Delta House’, not Peter Fox.)  And yet when we were reunited with the real Eric Stratton, he now looked like the actor who portrayed him in the movie (although older.)

For this Zonk, there’s a splainin for that.  But first we have to look at something else which happened in the Real World because of the movie.

In a showcase role, DeWayne Jessie played the band leader of the Knights, Otis Day.  The band played at the Delta House toga party and the frat members later went to see Otis Day and the Knights play at a blacks-centric club, which led to an uncomfortable situation.

The singing was actually done by someone else and then Jessie lip-synched to that recording.  Years later, he bought the rights to the band name of Otis Day and the Knights from Universal and put together his own band.  Now going by the name of Otis Day, DeWayne Jessie too the group on tour and they recorded an album which of course was called “Shout”.  It included that number as well as “Shamma Lamma Ding Dong”, both featured in the movie.

So using that as inspiration, the Eric Strattion of Earth Prime-Time – who once resembled actor Peter Fox of Earth Prime – decided to capitalize on his fame from the movie’s success and undertook plastic surgery to further his resemblance to the actor who played him in the film, Tim Matheson. Maybe he figured it would help his career as a Beverly Hills doctor.

So in the “Animal House” episode of ‘The Goldbergs’, we were seeing the “real” Eric Stratton of Toobworld and not the “fictional” portrayal from the movie, even though here in the Real World, both versions of the character were played by Tim Matheson.

Confused?  Think how it was for me to write that!

One last thing to address: In 2003, a mockumentary was included in the 25th anniversary reissue of the movie which supposedly brought “Where Are They Now” updated for everybody as seen in the movie.

The basic premise for the bonus feature was that the 1978 movie was actually a documentary filmed as it happened back in 1962.

If so, then there had to be reasons within the “reality” of Toobworld as to why so many of the Deltas then looked different in ‘Delta House’, not just Otter.  Within a “Cineverse” (and they are plentiful), it could work that the two movies are real but the 1978 sitcom was “fake media”.

But that won’t fly from the Toobworld perspective.  That’s mainly because Toobworld has to follow the lead of the Real World when it comes to who is occupying the White House as the POTUS.  And the Real World never had a President Blutarski.

So there yuh go.  Keep checking back as the TVXOHOF inductions will continue.  As to regular posts like this?  Maybe once I FINALLY watch my copy of that all-star vampire episode of “What We Do In The Shadows” I may be inspired yet again.


Friday, October 11, 2019


Beginning with the TV movie “The Night Stalker” and its follow-up, “The Night Strangler,” leading into the TV series ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’, Carl Kolchak rightfully took his place in the TVXOHOF last year. 

But while Darren McGavin did all of the heavy lifting as Kolchak, he wasn’t alone in the endeavor - Tony Vincenzo as played by Simon Oakland was right there with him through both TV movies and the one season of the series. 

From Wikipedia:
Tony Vincenzo - Kolchak's bellicose editor, and one of the only people willing to tolerate Kolchak's antics, despite their frequent arguments. Vincenzo has a grudging respect for Kolchak's reporting skills, but often finds himself caught between Kolchak's zeal and his own management responsibilities. Vincenzo's hot temper often affects his blood pressure and digestion and he sometimes laments that he did not go into his family's Venetian blinds business.

And so with this week’s Friday Hall of Famer in the Halloween-capped month of October, we’re inducting Tony Vincenzo into the Television Hall Of Fame.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Vincenzo!

Thursday, October 10, 2019


In the first decade of the 20th Century, twin sisters were born in Central City: Winifred and Lillian (their last name unknown.)  Little is known of their early life before both of them got married, save that they had a brother named Carlyle (who married a Communist whom he called "Big Red".)

Winnie married her childhood sweetheart, a WWII vet named Herbert T. Gillis.  He owned and operated his own grocery store in Central City (which by coincidence was not too far from the Twin Cities.)  Herbert and Winnie started a family there, having two sons, David and Dobie.  (If "Dobie" is some sort of abbreviation for a nickname, I have yet to find it out.  I've read the first story about Dobie by Max Schulman, which inspired the series, and he's only known as Dobie in that.  My personal opinion - based on real people named "Dobie" - is that "Dobie" is short for "W" in much the same way "Dub" and "Dubya" serve that same purpose.)

Meanwhile, Lillian married Earl Bakerman and moved with him back to his hometown, that toddlin' town of Chicago.  There she got a job at a supermarket to which she took the bus.  As a reference on her job application, Lillian put down Herbert's name, having worked for her brother-in-law at his grocery store back in Central City.  

By the time we met Mrs. Bakerman in 1972, she had been working at that supermarket as a checkout lady for 26 years, which means she had been there since 1946.  (And she never thought the job would last!)

At some point after we first met her, Mrs. Bakerman was rewarded for her years of service by being promoted to the express checkout register.  

In December of 1988, the two sisters decided to go on vacation to London so that they might experience a Dickens Christmas.  By that time, both Lillian and 
Winifred were widowed - Earl Bakerman had died at some point before 1972, while Herbert T. Gillis passed away in 1985.  After being apart for so long, Lillian and Winnie reconnected at Mr. Gillis' funeral and eventually Lillian moved back to Central City to be closer to her sister as they were getting on in years.

Unfortunately, neither of them lived long enough to see Christmas in London.  They never even got out of Great Britain alive.

From Wikipedia:
December 12 – The Clapham Junction rail crash in London kills 35 and injures 132.

On the morning of 12 December 1988, a crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal, just south of Clapham Junction railway station in London, and subsequently sideswiped an empty train travelling in the opposite direction. A total of 35 people were killed in the collision, while 484 were injured.

The collision was the result of a signal failure caused by a wiring fault.

The sisters had been in Basingstoke as part of their tour of Great Britain.  It had been a whim on Winnie's part - after hearing it mentioned by a character in the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta "Ruddigore" performed by the theater group of S. Peter Pryor Community College, she found the sound of the name magical intriguing.

On that fateful morning of December 12, they boarded the 07:18 in Basingstoke, heading to London-Waterloo.  But at Clapham Junction, the signals crossed and the engineer got the red light warning of danger.  And at some point between 08:10 and 08:15, while the Basingstoke train was idling on the track waiting for the confusion to be sorted, the 06:30 from Bournemouth collided with it, causing the wreckage from both trains to then hit an empty train coming from the opposite direction.

Lillian Bakerman was killed instantly.  Winnie Gillis, however, escaped with minor, non-life threatening injuries.  Her sons cajoled their mother to come home to them in Central City for Christmas once she felt strong enough.  Nine days later, she did just that.

She would have lived to see Davy and Dobie again had she just taken any other flight.....

From Wikipedia:
December 21 -- Pan Am Flight 103 is blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing a total of 270 people. Those responsible are believed to be Libyans.

Pan Am Flight 103 was a regularly scheduled Pan Am transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York. On 21 December 1988, N739PA, the aircraft operating the transatlantic leg of the route, was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew, in what became known as the Lockerbie bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 more people on the ground.  

And so, as the year 1988 drew to a close, Winifred Gillis and Lillian Bakerman, twin sisters from Central City, Minnesota, both passed away within days of each other in transportation disasters while in Great Britain.  

Coincidentally, a character actress named Florida Friebus (known only for a small role in a movie entitled "Jennifer") also passed away in the spring of that same year.  It was noted by Maynard G. Krebs, a friend of Dobie Gillis, that Ms. Friebus looked remarkably like Dobie's mother and his aunt.  (He had seen "Jennifer" on a double bill with his favorite horror movie, "The Monster That Devoured Cleveland," in the late 1970s.)

Good night and may God bless all three of those women......

1]  So far I have not found any pop culture, TV specifically, references to the rail crash at Clapham Junction.  However, 'Justified' did verify that the tragedy of the Lockerbie crash of Pan Am 103 did happen in Toobworld as well.

Raylan Givens: 
I once met a man who made model reconstructions of famous aviation disasters.  Tenerife. Sioux City. Lockerbie. Scaled down fuselages blackened and torn. Little engines and furrowed earth. I don't know. I figure people are entitled to their hobbies and I'm entitled to think those people are creepy.

2]  The TV movie "Bring Me The Head of Dobie Gillis" aired on CBS in February of 1988.  And in that film it was considered that both Herbert and Lillian Gillis were already deceased. 

As I established above with my theory, Mrs. Bakerman died on December 12, 1988 and Mrs. Gillis died nine days later.  I stand by that because of a real life fact: Florida Friebus, who played both women, died on May 27 of 1988.  So even she outlived the events of that TV reunion flick.  Had she actually appeared in the movie, I might have reconsidered my options.

To solve this quandary, the easiest splainin is that "Bring Me The Head of Dobie Gillis" did not take place on the Toobworld timeline at the same time as its broadcast.  The movie must be considered to be a revelation of future events, as with many sci-fi series.  On the timeline, we're putting the events of the movie exactly one year later, in February of 1989. 

3]  If it turns out that anyone in "Bring Me The Head Of Dobie Gillis" mentions the year as being 1988, then it was a case of them having misspoken.  It was early in the new year and they were probably also still dating their checks wrong as well.

4]  If the 1988 date shows up on screen at any point, that will also be discounted.  Onscreen graphics have no bearing on the "reality" of the events in the narrative.

5]  Also on board the Pan Am 103 flight was the televersion of puppeteer of Bill Mack.  Mr. Mack, both on Earth Prime as well as Earth Prime-Time, had been in the Drama Department of the University of Connecticut and had been a friend of Yours Truly (as well as of my televersion, a 2005 member of the Television Hall of Fame.)  Miss ya, Bill.....

6]  This biographical telemythos for Mrs. Bakerman and Mrs. Gillis is a celebration of actress Florida Friebus.  Today we are remembering her on the 110th anniversary of her birth.

From Wikipedia:
Florida Friebus (October 10, 1909 – May 27, 1988) was an American writer and actress of stage, film, and television. Friebus's best-known roles were Winifred "Winnie" Gillis, the sympathetic mother of Dwayne Hickman's character Dobie Gillis on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and as Mrs. Lillian Bakerman on 'The Bob Newhart Show'.

7] Apparently, Ms. Friebus only had the one theatrical movie to her credit.  Much like Allan Melvin, most of her roles were in television.  The woman gave Winnie and Lillian plenty of identical cousins!

"Isn't that nice?"
Mrs. Bakerman
'The Bob Newhart Show"


Friday, October 4, 2019


So if you’re inducting TV characters into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame and it’s October, who should you consider?

How about a witch?

To be specific:


From Wikipedia:
[‘H.R. Pufnstuf’] centered on a shipwrecked boy named Jimmy, played by teenage actor Jack Wild. He is 11 years old when he arrives on the island and turns 12 in the episode called "The Birthday Party". Jimmy and a talking flute named Freddy take a ride on a mysterious boat, but the boat was actually owned by a wicked witch named Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo (played by Billie Hayes) who rode on a broomstick-vehicle called the Vroom Broom. She used the boat to lure Jimmy and Freddy to her castle on Living Island, where she was going to take Jimmy prisoner and steal Freddy for her own purposes.

The Mayor of Living Island was a friendly and helpful anthropomorphic dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf, performed by Roberto Gamonet and voiced by the show's writer Lennie Weinrib, who also voices many of the other characters.

The dragon rescued Jimmy and protects him from Witchiepoo, as his cave was the only place where her magic had no effect.

Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo (portrayed by Billie Hayes) – The primary antagonist of the series; a wicked but ineffective witch who has been targeting Freddy the Flute to use him in her own agendas. She rides a large rocket-powered broom with a steering wheel called the Vroom Broom.

She is mean to everyone around her, even her henchmen, whom she constantly whacks with her wand. Yet when faced with failure, she usually starts to pity herself, by asking "Why me?"

Here are Witchiepoo’s credits, including a movie which has been absorbed into the TV universe of Earth Prime-Time.

H.R. Pufnstuf
17 episodes

[1970 movie]

- Hansel and Gretel in Samanthaland
... Witch

O’Bservation: She looks different, but I think it’s still Witchiepoo.  She is probably wearing a glamour to hide her true looks in order to lure Hansel and Gretel into her clutches.

- Have I Got a Girl for Hoodoo
(1971) .
.. Weenie the Genie & Witchiepoo

The citizens of Lidsville are in for double trouble when Hoodoo starts dating Witchipoo.

 Weenie the Genie is Billie Hayes’ regular role on this series.

The Bay City Rollers Show
- Episode #1.1
... Witchiepoo / Weenie the Genie

O’Bservation: This should probably be in Skitlandia.

The Bay City Rollers Meet the Saturday Superstars
(TV Movie)

O’Bservation: From the Promoverse?  Skitlandia definitely. But it could be both.

Welcome to the Hall, Witchiepoo!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


We’re down to our last three monthly showcases for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in this 20th anniversary year in which the overall theme has been superheroes and super-villains.  As this is October, who better to salute than….


From Wikipedia:
John Constantine is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics and its alternative imprint Vertigo. The character first appeared in “The Saga of Swamp Thing #37” (June 1985), and was created by Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette, John Totleben, Jamie Delano and John Ridgway. He serves as the lead character of the comic books “Hellblazer” (1988–2013), “Constantine” (2013–2015), “Constantine: The Hellblazer” (2015–2016), and “The Hellblazer” (2016–2018).

The titular Hellblazer, Constantine is a working class warlock, occult detective and con man stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan snarking, ruthless cunning and constant chain smoking, but he's also a passionate humanitarian driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in his life.

Originally a supporting character who played a pivotal role in the "American Gothic" Swamp Thing storyline, Constantine received his own comic in 1988. The musician Sting was visual inspiration for the character.

A live-action film was released in 2005, in which an Americanized version of the character was played by actor Keanu Reeves. Welsh actor Matt Ryan was cast in the role of Constantine for the 2014 NBC television series, a role he reprises on The CW series ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, and voicing the character in the animated film “Justice League Dark”, and again in the ‘Constantine: City of Demons’ series on CW Seed.

The “Hellblazer” series was the longest-running and most successful title of DC's Vertigo imprint. Empire ranked Constantine third in their 50 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time, while IGN ranked him No. 29 in their Top 100 Comic Book Heroes, and the character ranked No. 10 in Wizard's Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time.

A live-action ‘Constantine’ TV series was developed for NBC with Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer writing and executive producing the series. Welsh actor Matt Ryan was cast in the title role, for which he adopted Constantine's blond hair. The show, which lasted thirteen episodes before cancellation, followed John's journeys across America alongside his friend Chas and a young woman named Zed who is being hunted down by a demon. Along the way, he solves supernatural mysteries, vanquishes demons, and clashes with officious angels sent to watch over him.

Despite a positive reaction from fans, poor ratings led to the show not being renewed. A decision not to explore Constantine's bisexuality in the show caused some consternation with fans, although the character continued to be portrayed as bisexual in the comics.

Following the cancellation of ‘Constantine’, a crossover episode with The CW's TV series ‘Arrow’ aired, with Matt Ryan reprising his role as John Constantine in the episode "Haunted" as a guest star. In flashbacks, he first meets Oliver Queen on the island Lian Yu where he introduces Oliver to magic and gives him a tattoo for magical protection after Oliver saves his life. In the present-day narrative, set five years later, Oliver calls in a favor from John, who helps him restore the soul of his friend Sara Lance after she is resurrected by the Lazarus Pit. Constantine's off-screen adventures are subsequently referred to in the episodes "Taken" and "Genesis" including Oliver's announcement that Constantine is in Hell.

Matt Ryan reprises his role in the third season of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ in a recurring capacity. Aboard the Waverider, John Constantine requests Sara Lance's help in performing an exorcism on a young girl possessed by what turns out to be Mallus, the Legends' current demonic adversary, and offers the Legends advice on how they might be able to overcome their enemy.

Constantine's bisexuality is acknowledged in the episode "Daddy Darhkest" when he flirts with Leo Snart / Captain Cold and sleeps with Sara Lance. The episode "Necromancing the Stone" sees Constantine spontaneously kiss Time Agent Gary Green. In season 4, Constantine joined the Legends with Ryan as a series regular.

As with several other superheroes in this year-long celebration, Constantine is a resident of an alternate Toobworld, not the main Earth Prime-Time.  Being a multiversal, he has looked different in various universes (and in the case of the Tooniverse, sounded differently.)  But so far, it’s possible to assume that he remains looking the same in various TV dimensions.

I like to consider his NBC incarnation is separate from his CW character.  Why should Earth Prime-Time be denied its own John Constantine?  Therefore we’re inducting Constantine as a multidimensional.

Welcome to the Hall, Mage….

Image result for john constantine legends of tomorrow