Saturday, March 4, 2006


What good is having a blog about TV if you can't use it to trumpet the upcoming work of friends in the business?

Thomas J. O'Leary, who played "The Phantom Of The Opera" on Broadway, has moved out to the City of Angels to try his hand at the work to be had out there.

Here's a little heads-up he sent along regarding this coming Monday:

My first TV audition in LA actually yielded a job! I have a cute scene in the first half hour of this Monday night's episode of Related, an hour-long show on the WB channel that's about four sisters growing up in Manhattan -- sort of a toned-down version of Sex in the City.

I play the role of Mark, of Mark and Mike's Catering Service. We have a short and, maybe, funny scene with one of the sisters. You can always get more info on the show at


Enjoy! --Tom

Tom has played a psychiatrist on 'Law & Order', and appeared as himself - in "Phantom" garb - to do an outro for 'Wheel Of Fortune' during one of their Broadway weeks. (That was about five or six years ago, I think.)

So this will "mark" my first time watching 'Related'. I should have done it sooner if I'm ever going to sample all the offerings that go into the fabric of the TV Universe. But better late than never, and at least I'll have one good reason to enjoy the experience!



Several former stars of NBC's 'The West Wing' will make cameo appearances for the show's final segments, including the Emmy-nominated Rob Lowe, Mary-Louise Parker, Anna Deavere Smith, Emily Proctor, Marlee Matlin, Gary Cole, Tim Matheson, Timothy Busfield and Annabeth Gish.

Maybe it's because they're not considered "stars", but I hope this list doesn't mean we won't be seeing Nina Siemaszko Elizabeth Moss in the run-up to the finale as well. As the Bartlet daughters Ellie and Zoey, respectively, I would have thought that in the final days of their father's administration they'd both be there - if just for the obligatory photo op sessions which will end up in the Bartlet Library.

Speaking of the Bartlet family, I just wish we got the chance to see President Bartlet's mentioned but never seen brother. A great opportunity for storylines was squandered when he never showed up on the series. We didn't necessarily have to have another Moon Reagan or Billy Carter or Roger Clinton, but surely something could have developed by his presence in the White House.

There's another reason we should be seeing Zoey again - where in Sam Hill (or rather, Capitol Hill) has Charlie Young been for most of this season? He still works in 'The West Wing', and that's the name that the show bears, so let's get back to the people we know who still work there!

I also hope we'll see Allison Smith one last time. I would think that as Leo McGarry's daughter, Mallory O'Brien might put in an appearance in tribute to her father's memory. It would also be nice if this sad event brought her back into contact with the returning Sam Seaborn; I always had hopes for that relationship.

Two other names I'm hoping will show before it's all over - Lily Tomlin and Roger Rees. Surely Debbie Fiderer has to be involved, as she is the President's personal secretary. But I'd also like the one last chance to see British Ambassador Lord John Marbury bound into the room half-crocked to pay his respects to the memory of Leo, a wonderful butler.


Friday, March 3, 2006


The Academy Awards, the Oscars, will be handed out Sunday night, and one of the films up for awards is George Clooney's production of "Good Night And Good Luck". Clooney co-wrote the script, co-stars in the picture, and directs the movie. "Good Night And Good Luck" is his look at a pivotal piece of Television history: Edward R. Murrow's confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy, played out over the airwaves on 'See It Now'.

David Strathairn has been nominated for Best Actor for his uncanny embodiment of the newsman Murrow. That his portrayal's only quibble could be that even though he nails the modulation in Murrow's voice but not its timbre shows that he really captured the essence of the man.

More than likely he'll lose to an actor playing another real-life figure - Philip Seymour Hoffman as "Capote", a role that is flashier and eye-catching and supposedly a risky one to have taken. Maybe so; I've seen how the Academy gestalt has voted in the past. But for my part, I think Clooney's production has done a better job in bringing an historical period, and the people who lived it, back to life.

Based on the movie, Clooney would seem to have a normal, healthy ego as he's willing to let the others, most notably Strathairn as Murrow, shine in the scenes in which he also appears as producer Fred Friendly. He understands the true meaning of the role he is playing, had he been nominated for this rather than for his work in "Syriana": he is supporting the lead.

But the contributions Friendly made in the battle against McCarthy's demagoguery in real life should not be discounted. His role was just as important as Murrow's. Murrow's face led the charge and was on the front lines on people's TV sets; Friendly marshaled the troops and the resources to back him up. And when the bleep inevitably hit the fan, even though they were successful in their goal, Friendly stood with Murrow to take the heat equally.

I'm bringing this up because today marks the eighth anniversary of Fred Friendly's death. I never met the man, but my brother did in 1988-89, when Bill was going to Columbia for his master's in journalism.

To mark his passing, I'd like to share a few paragraphs from his obituary in the New York Times, written by Eric Pace:

As a CBS News producer, Mr. Friendly and his longtime partner, Edward R. Murrow, virtually invented the news documentary on television, pioneering such techniques as the use of original film clips, live, unrehearsed interviews, and the use of field producers who supervised reporting on location. He won 10 Peabody Awards and numerous other prizes for television journalism.

A big, imposing man who hurled ideas and opinions around like Olympian thunderbolts, Mr. Friendly, as both producer and president of CBS News, stood at the center of some of the most influential and contentious moments in the early history of television journalism. His work included the best-remembered documentary ever produced, Mr. Murrow's dismantling of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his demagogic anti-Communist campaign inside the United States Government.

He also produced Mr. Murrow's other groundbreaking documentaries including ''Harvest of Shame'' in 1960, an expose on the hardships of migrant workers.

Later, as president of CBS News from 1964 to 1966, he clashed frequently with the network's management over his efforts to get more news on the air. His often caustic criticisms of what he maintained was the television networks' lack of commitment to quality news coverage continued through the years.

''TV is bigger than any story it reports,'' he said in a 1966 interview. ''It's the greatest teaching tool since the printing press. It will determine nothing less than what kind of people we are. So if TV exists now only for the sake of a buck, somebody's going to have to change that.''

In his post-CBS career, as a professor at Columbia University and a writer on television affairs, Mr. Friendly was a forceful defender of the First Amendment and argued in favor of fairness and integrity in electronic news coverage. As broadcast consultant to the Ford Foundation on television, he strove to improve news coverage by public television stations.

As "Good Night And Good Luck" heads towards the Oscars ceremony on Sunday night, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't just Murrow that was remembered.



I've often (too often?) stated that one of the basic tenets of Toobworld is that life continues in the TV Universe even when we can't view it. During the commercials, after cancellation, and even before a series is first broadcast.

And it's always nice when somebody else echoes that sentiment.

This is from "Feathers McGraw", a poster at 'The Fuselage' which is the official bulletin board for fans of 'Lost':

*I always hope that they are exploring off-camera. I hope Kate at least took all of the flashlights. I would hope that they at least opened all the doors! *

Feathers was referring to the third Dharma Initiative hatch discovered by Claire, Kate, and Rousseau in this week's episode "Maternity Leave".

I second the suggestion, and would only add that sooner or later I wish the characters would all just sit around the campfire and share the bits of knowledge that they each have. Kate should tell them all about the fake beard and filthy clothes found in that hatch; Charlie, Locke, and Mr. Eko should all tell about their encounters with the "monster"; Jack and Sawyer should describe Alex so that Claire might tell if it was the girl from her memories, etc.



Before he was seen skipping down the woodland path in the first episode of 'H.R. Pufnstuf', we knew nothing about the earlier life of Jimmy; we didn't even know his last name! (According to the 1970 movie version, "Pufnstuf", Jimmy was having a bad day at school; getting kicked out of the school band by the witch of a band director.)

And once he was whisked off to Living Island by Witchiepoo's boat, we never learned anything more about his past life back home in England.

I'd like to make the suggestion that his name was Jimmy Fulton.

In 1967, Jack Wild played "Jimmy Fulton" in a two-part episode of 'Z Cars': "You Want 'Em, You Get 'Em". I'm still searching for details about the story, but according to the BBC Online archive, the episode no longer exists. Its tape was probably wiped clean like so many episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

"Auntie Beeb" was a right bitch back then.

So far I've only found an extensive cast list courtesy of the and this summary from

"DCS Miller has forced DI Hudson, under the threat of being sent back to a little desk job at H.Q., to tell him about an armed attempt to 'knock off' a prison van and release its occupant."

In the cast listing, Jill Riddick is listed as "Marilyn Fulton", and Barry Linehan played "Arthur Fulton". Since Linehan was born in 1925, and Ms. Riddick was one of the three children in 'Not In Front Of The Children' in 1970, I'm assuming Marilyn was Jimmy's sister and Arthur was their father.

Perhaps Jimmy knew something, saw something in connection to the attempted hijacking of the prison van; maybe the family was being held hostage by those involved.

Unless Jimmy Fulton died at the end of that two-parter, I see no reason why he can't be the same character to be found later hanging out with H.R. Pufnstuf and Ludicrous Lion. Even if he had been leading a life of crime, the supposition could apply; juvenile delinquents can mend their ways.

Let's say Jimmy Fulton was in trouble with the Law, and Detective Chief Inspector Charlie Barlow nicked him for it. There's still a two year stretch where he could have served his time in a juvenile hall, giving him plenty of time to be out gamboling in the glade.

And if he had been represented by Horace Rumpole down at the Old Bailey, chances are good he'd have served even less time, if at all.

If Jimmy Fulton was a street urchin-thief, that could splain how he came into possession of the magically alive flute named Freddie. But from wherever Jimmy may have filched the flute, Freddie must have been glad to be free of the place - from the first moment we saw them together in 'H.R. Pufnstuf', Jimmy and Freddie were already fast friends.

Maybe Freddie just liked the way Jimmy blew him......

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

So. If Jimmy is the same character in both shows, do you know what this means? 'Z Cars' can be linked to 'CHiPs'!

It's twue! It's twue! In an episode of 'CHiPs', Mayor H.R. Pufnstuf had traveled to America from Living Island and was pulled over by Jon and Ponch for driving without a license. And it had to be the REAL H.R. Pufnstuf and not some guy in a suit, because in the real world the guy in the suit (Robert Gamonet) only provided the bodily movements; Lennie Weinrib supplied the vocals. Here we had both in the same package and so therefore it's the real deal.

And with all the connections to other shows made possible by members of the League of Themselves, especially Milton Berle, 'H.R. Pufnstuf' and 'Z Cars' can be officially considered linked in the TV Universe, and not just floating about randomly in the cosmos.

I KNEW you knew that.


"Well, I'll be hornswaggled!"
H.R. Pufnstuf
'H.R. Pufnstuf'

Thursday, March 2, 2006


I think most people know that Chris Carter gives credit to 'The Night Stalker' as the inspiration for 'The X-Files'. And in the past decade and a half, that inspiration was then passed down to other shows - 'Strange Luck', 'Strange World', and currently, 'Supernatural', among others.

But it wasn't just the rumpled hero bucking against the system in a search for the dark Truth that has inspired other TV series. The villain of 'The Night Stalker' has also served as a "role model".

In 1987, the creators of 'Werewolf' named Chuck Connors' character "Janos Skorzeny" as a tip of the hat to the vampire played by Barry Atwater.

That's the Trueniverse story. Here's how it could have played out in Toobworld......

Captain Janos Skorzeny had been "embraced" into the werewolf bloodline by Nicholas Remy less than two thousand years ago. Skorzeny must have been from the Balkans, perhaps of coarse peasant stock. Unlike Remy, he didn't use the immortality he gained to better himself, but instead he became as hardened and depraved and as vile as the most rabid of beasts.

At the same time, the Family Skorzeny must have prospered in Romania over the centuries, so that by the end of the 19th Century, there was some fortune attached to the name as well as prominence.

However, the Skorzenys tempted Fate when they named their child after the legendary forebear who mysteriously disappeared more than a millennia before - Janos.

If the records cited in the TV movie 'The Night Stalker' wre to be taken at face value, Janos Skorzeny II was born in 1899, making him over seventy years of age when Kolchak confronted him in Las Vegas. But if Skorzeny's physiology was preserved at the time he was "embraced by the Kindred", then it must have happened back in the 1950s, as Skorzeny had the appearance of a man no older than in his mid to late fifties.

I may be wrong on this, but I think Janos Skorzeny had been a vampire for far longer than just a couple of decades, perhaps even a century or more. So I believe that he created his own paper trail back in 1899, choosing that date to be "born" with an eye to the future. He must have foreseen, perhaps after an encounter with Sherlock Holmes, that eventually everyone would be filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, and numbered.

So it's possible that he had already been a vampire for centuries, but not documented by the modern world until 1899. As such, it makes for interesting speculation that at some point in the long stretch of their "lives", the vampire Janos Skorzeny eventually crossed paths with the werewolf Janos Skorzeny. But even though they may have been bound by blood, each of them would have realized that their own existence in the shadows of the human world could be compromised by any notoriety attached to the other's identity.

If they did meet, I doubt that it would have been a very amicable family reunion.

And even though "Underworld" exists in the comic book and movie universes, perhaps this encounter sparked the long-running enmity between these two supernatural races.

It's interesting that within the framework of this theory, the character who was created first in the real world came into existence after his namesake in Toobworld.



The BBC Online is reporting that Jack Wild died just after midnight at the age of 53. Wild had been suffering from mouth cancer and his tongue and voicebox had been completely removed. Nourishment had to be injected through a tube into his stomach.

At the age of 16, Jack Wild was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, having played the Artful Dodger in 'Oliver!'. It's a sad run-up to this coming Sunday's Oscar telecast, and I wonder if they'll be fitting him into the memorial segment.......

But for those of us who visit Toobworld, and especially those of us of a certain age, he'll be best remembered as Jimmy in 'H.R. Pufnstuf', that trippy puppet/live action sojourn on a real 'Fantasy Island' known as "Living Island".

We started off the week losing a Fife; we come to the end losing the friend of a flute......

The show has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity, thanks to exposure on TV Land a few years back, and the release of a DVD boxed set. (The character of H.R. Pufnstuf will one day be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, most likely via the Birthday Honors.

Our memory of Jimmy will be a lasting image in tribute to Jack Wild.

I would hope the picture of him in his later years, which can be found at the BBC Online obituary, spurs people to either give up smoking or not take up the habit at all. (I would have thought it was a picture of Zelda Rubinstein had I not been informed otherwise......)

Said his friend and agent, Alex Jay: "Even in his drinking days, he was always very careful about being photographed with a drink or cigarette in his hand because he didn't want to encourage young people."


"The Ravelled Thread" (1980) TV Series .... Gegor
"H.R. Pufnstuf" (1969) TV Series .... Jimmy
"Knock Three Times" (1968) TV Series .... Jack

"Our Mutual Friend" (1976) (mini) TV Series .... Charley Hexam

Pufnstuf (1970) .... Jimmy

"Unsolved Mysteries"
- Agatha Christie (1994) TV Episode .... Passerby

The Queen & the Welshman (1966) (TV) .... Edmund Tudor

"The Onedin Line"

- A Woman Alone (1972) TV Episode .... Peter Thompson
- Cry of the Blackbird (1972) TV Episode .... Peter Thompson

"Thirty-Minute Theatre"
- First Confession (1969) TV Episode

"Z Cars"
- A Matter for Thought: Part 2 (1968) TV Episode .... Boy
- You Want 'Em - You Find 'Em: Part 2 (1967) TV Episode .... Jimmy Fulton
- You Want 'Em - You Find 'Em: Part 1 (1967) TV Episode .... Jimmy Fulton

"George and the Dragon"
- The Season of Goodwill (1966) TV Episode .... The Carrol Singer

"The Wednesday Play"
- A Game, Like, Only a Game (1966) TV Episode .... Peter

"Out of the Unknown"
- Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...? (1965) TV Episode .... Danny

"Sigmund and the Sea Monsters"
- The Wild Weekend (1973) TV Episode .... Himself

The World of Sid & Marty Krofft at the Hollywood Bowl (1973) (TV) .... Himself

"The Red Skelton Show"
- Episode dated 15 December 1969 (1969) TV Episode .... Himself

[Thanks to the]

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


'Happy Days' has joined 'The Brady Bunch' and 'Gilligan's Island' in crossing over from the TV Universe into the fantabulous universe of musical theatre.

For alls I know, this could be the dimensional point of origin for the demon Sweet, from that musical episode of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. (Crossover Hall of Fame inductee, October 2005)

I have to admit that I was never a fan of 'Happy Days', at least not after the first year when it was revamped to play to its fan fave strengths. So I don't think I'd really enjoy seeing a musical version of those characters played out on stage.

And based on the review by Charles McNulty in the Los Angeles Times, I don't think I'm the only one.....

"[The] photo-album prelude turns out to be the show's high point. The problem rests largely with [Garry] Marshall's book, which stretches the sappiness of a reunion special to the marathon length of five episodes, enough to make anyone long for the reprieve of commercial breaks."

But if you do want to see it and you're in the LA area.....

"Happy Days"
Where: Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank
When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays
Ends: March 12
Price: $25 to $37.50
Contact: (818) 955-8101
Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


TV CROSSOVER NEWS (now with snarky flavoring)

According to a report from, 'Joey' will appear on 'Inside the Actor's Studio' with James Lipton during an upcoming episode.

When I read that, I quickly pushed myself away from my desk before the expected cry of "Lipton sold out!" (I get banged up pretty badly from those knee-jerk reactions.)

But surprisingly, nothing happened.

And then I remembered - Lipton already sold out by having people like Barbara Walters as a guest on his show.....



I picked up for myself the new 'Action' boxed set of the first (and only) season. From what I've been reading, this will be one time when I actually listen to the commentary tracks - the backstory dish on what went wrong sounds like it'll be really interesting.

Ileana Douglas might disagree, though, from what I'm hearing....

That was all I got for myself this trip. It was more of shopping excursion for others. For my year old nephew, I picked up "Bambi II" and "Lady And The Tramp", both of which came with goodies: a "Bambi II" poster and a Lady stuffed doll.

I asked for a Tramp toy, but apparently they ran out of them yesterday! It makes sense to me - like the scalawag characters played by Clark Gable and others, Tramp makes for a great icon for how America sees itself.

As for the poster, Tommy's dad can probably use it for target practice when he's not hunting for the real thing.....

I also picked up an Alec Guinness classic - "The Man In The White Suit". Not for myself, although I should get a copy someday, but for a Korean professor of fabrics and textiles whom I met a month ago. Figured I'd better get it for her before she returns to her homeland this summer.

I didn't think of it until long after leaving FYE, but I should have checked to see if they had "Duel" in stock. There's a Dennis Weaver project that would be worth repeated viewings. (I do have the first season boxed set of 'McCloud' in the Toobworld library.)



Darren McGavin had the face for hard-boiled, inner-city stories, drama and comedy, which could also work well in period pieces of Americana (most notably "A Christmas Story" and "The Natural").

Even with the "Westerns" in which he was involved, his characters didn't seem to have lost touch with the influence of Life back East.

But it's hard to picture him doing all-out, star-hopping science fiction. The sci-fi subsets of horror and the supernatural... of course, he was a natural fit. But on board a rocket ship to outer space?

He did have a big part in the adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles", but even then his storyline played out more like a modern Western.

Still, out of all the many guest appearances he made in TV series, I was surprised that with all the 'Trek' shows, they never got around to casting him in any of them. It's not like they never used actors you'd never expect to see in a space saga - Brian Keith, Jason Alexander, Sarah Silverman. And I think Darren McGavin might have played some kind of character, be it human or alien, who would fit right into the environs of 'Deep Space Nine'.

At any rate, Toobworld believes that in a small way, one of Darren McGavin's characters played a role in the heritage of 'Star Trek'.

Captains of the various incarnations of the starship "Enterprise" have mentioned the many ships of the past which bore that name. They speak of these past vessels as thought it is a family tree, and their starship is the latest in that lineage.

In "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", the Enterprise crew even got to visit one of those earlier ships - the aircraft carrier Enterprise which was docked in 1980s San Francisco when they journeyed back in Time.

Whether it be clips during the opening credits for 'Enterprise', or artwork decorating the captain's quarters in a later starship bearing the name, we've seen that aircraft carrier displayed; as well as a clipper ship and others who were known as "Enterprise".

But they always seem to overlook the 'Riverboat' which was piloted by Grey Holden. Trueniverse splainin? Economics. Somebody would have to be paid for the rights, I imagine. (That's also the reason why they never could just come right out and say that 'The Prisoner' known as Number Six was actually the 'Secret Agent' John Drake.)

But I'm under no such constraint here in Toobworld. And although we didn't see the particular illustration of the riverboat adorning the captain's walls, that doesn't mean he wasn't aware of the contribution made by the "Enterprise" to the expansion of the West.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I'm not sure if this story holds water - The Outpost Gallifrey website seems to think so - but The Sun newspaper is reporting that 'Doctor Who' will do another crossover with 'EastEnders'. (The first one was a charity telethon sketch called "Dimensions In Time" back in the early 1990s.)

This time around, the TARDIS will land in Albert Square and the Doctor and Rose will find themselves inside the Queen Vic pub. So far, the only character from 'EastEnders' who's expected to be seen is Peggy Mitchell, but others may be seen among the pub's regulars.

Apparently Peggy Mitchell gets to call "Time, Gentlemen, please!" to the Time Lord.

I'm going out on a limb here, but here's what I think may be behind this. The crossover will serve either as the way for the Doctor to be reunited with Sarah Jane Smith (She and K9 are slated for a return visit this season!), or it will be the scene where the Doctor and Rose make their goodbyes to her.

We shall see what we shall view.......



You know how the details in the lives of the televersions for certain celebrities may change from the Trueniverse to Toobworld?

Here's what I mean - in the Trueniverse, Larry David is married to Laurie David. (Maybe he married her because it would be easy to remember her name?)

But in Toobworld, Larry David is married to Cheryl David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'.

In Toobworld, Tim Russert is related to a former police captain in Baltimore, according to 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. Art Carney was related to a waitress in Phoenix, as seen on 'Alice'.

In Toobworld, there are two Drew Careys. One is a known comedian and actor who hosted a couple of improv shows ('Whose Line Is It Anyway?' and 'Green Screen'). The other was a middle-management schlub at a department store in Cleveland, according to 'The Drew Carey Show'.

Dick Van Patten was killed off in an episode of 'Cybill', and Jean-Claude Van Damme was murdered in an episode of 'Las Vegas'. (Of course, there's a good splainin for both - android duplicates! I could have just let the Van Patten reference go, if it weren't for the special he did about life in 'TV Land'.)

Obviously with most of these examples, there was a willing participation by those involved. When it comes to fictionalized versions of real-life companies however, that's not always the case....

There's a company in Boston that makes electronics test equipment called "Teradyne". But in the alternate TV dimension in which '24' takes place, "Terra-Dyne" might have been the company that produced the nerve gas which was used on a California shopping mall.

As printed, the names are different, but that's small comfort to the real company when "Terra-Dyne" is only heard by the audience. Might as well be "Teradyne" then.

And the problem may become compounded when the parent company is revealed to be "Omnicron". Here in our world, that's the name of a company back in my home state of Connecticut which makes voice recorders.

Duhn dunh DUNH!

Teradyne spokesman Tom Newman said, “It makes you wonder if they ever tried to vet anything like that. You’d think they could just Google it in this day and age.”

No word yet whether or not the company will sue. I guess it all depends on whether or not the name is used so much that it becomes a problem with their corporate identity.

(NOT Tele-Tubby.....)


With the triumvirate of giants named Don, Darren, and Dennis passing away this past weekend, it would be understandable if the death of Rickie Layne at the age of 81 on 2/11 went without notice. It may have done so, anyway, I don't know.

Rickie Layne was a ventriloquist who frequently appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' with his Yiddish-accented dummy Velvel.

Nat "King" Cole discovered Layne in 1955 and urged Ed Sullivan to put the act on his popular Sunday night variety show.

Cole even made an unusual guarantee: if Layne bombed, Cole would appear on the show for free.

Layne made his Sullivan debut on Jan. 1, 1956, and returned several dozen times. Sullivan was such a fan that he often got into the act himself, serving as straight man for the dummy that called the typically stone-faced host "Ed Solomon."

During one appearance, Sullivan told Velvel that he had bought him a dog as a gift, but Velvel said he hated dogs.

"I used to be a tree!" Velvel explained.

In 2002, the International Ventriloquist Association gave Rickie Layne a lifetime achievement award.

"Night Court"
- The Next Voice You Hear... (1986) TV Episode .... Morry
"The Jimmy Stewart Show"
- Pro Bono Publico (1971) TV Episode .... Fred Shimmel
"The Thin Man"
- The Painted Witnesses (1958) TV Episode .... Carl

"Toast of the Town"
... aka The Ed Sullivan Show

[Thanks to the]



Now that the Olympic farce is over, I was going to suggest that Bode Miller should do the honorable thing and fall on his ski pole.

Instead, there's a more fitting punishment for him that is worthy of Toobworld.....

Bode Miller should be forced to participate in the Claudine Longet Invitational.....

The Claudine Longet Invitational ..
written by: Michael O'Donoghue

Tom Tryman.....Chevy Chase
Jessica Antlerdance.....Jane Curtin

Tom Tryman: Good afternoon, this is Tom Tryman!
Jessica Antlerdance: And this is Jessica Antlerdance!
Tom Tryman: And, of course, we're here in Vale, Colorado, to cover the Claudine Longet Invitational! This is, of course, a men's freestyle skiing competition!
Jessica Antlerdance: So, without further ado, let's go to the slopes. Well, we certainly have a beautiful day for it, Tom.
Tom Tryman: Right you are, Jessica. And, of course, first out will be Helmut Kindle. Helmut is a 24-year-old Frenchman - I'm sorry, he's a West German. And this is his second run of the day, I believe. He had an initial time of 41.8. Looking very good here.
Jessica Antlerdance: That's right, Tom. But Helmut injured his ankle last month, and that's bound to affect his performance here today.
Tom Tryman: He caught an edge there, but he seems to be okay, he's in good shape.. actually, I think he's a little..

[ a shot rings out, as Helmut falls into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: Uh-oh! He seems to have been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet! Yes.. and I'm afraid Helmut Kindle is out of this race!
Jessica Antlerdance: Yes, it's a shame, but that's all part of the exciting world of professional skiing, Tom.
Tom Tryman: Well, he definitely seems out of it, Jessica, and I couldn't agree more. Now, here comes the man to beat - we're going to be seeing him in a second. Of course, Jean-Paul Baptiste. A 28-year-old civil engineer from Verne, Switzerland. And he's strong, he's agile, he's got a great deal of power, Jessica.
Jessica Antlerdance: He'll need all the power he's got on those mobiles, Tom.
Tom Tryman: Look at the way his legs absorb those shocks, as he manuevers his way down this bumpy terrain. There's a very nice move there, a lot of spring, he's really playing this hill.
Jessica Antlerdance: It's easy to see why he won a Bronze Medal in Innsbrook. He's a strong skiier, and a fierce competitor.
Tom Tryman: Mmm-hmm! Well, I would have to say, it's a very fast time up to this point. Uh.. he's doing very well - and there's a very nice move - uh.. I would say, at this halfway point, he's gonig to take third, or maybe even a second-place..

[ a shot rings out, as Jean-Paul falls into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: Uh-oh! Uh-oh! It looks to me like he's been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet!

[ Jean-Paul regains balance on his skis ]

Jessica Antlerdance: Just grazed, I think, Tom..

[ second shot rings, as Jean-Paul falls back into the show ]

Jessica Antlerdance: Oh, no! That one got him, he's down! No, he's down this time.. no, no! No, he's getting up!

[ Jean-Paul continues to ski downhill, albeit a little awkwardly ]

Jessica Antlerdance: Always the mark of a fine athlete is the ability to recover in diffivcult situations.
Tom Tryman: I can't believe he's going for the finish line.. and -
[ third shot rings out, Jean-Paul is down for good ]

Tom Tryman: Oh, no! Again.. again, he's been accidentally shot by Claudine Longet, and, this time, I think he's down to stay, Jessica.
Jessica Antlerdance: We're running a little late, Tom, so let's just cut to a few highlights of this event.
Tom Tryman: Alright, let's do that.

[ show skiier falling into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: Uh.. here, she mistakenly dropped her gun and it went off.

[ show skiier falling into the snow ]

Jessica Antlerdance: Uh.. here, she was just showing the gun to a friend.

[ show skiier falling into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: Yeah.. I think she was just cleaning her gun here, wasn't she?

[ show skiier falling into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: And, once again, of course, showing the un to a friend.

[ show skiier falling into the snow ]

Tom Tryman: Here, I think she just put the gun down in the snow, and it went off by mistake.
Jessica Antlerdance: That looked almost like skeet shooting!

[ Tom and Jessica laugh playfully ]

Tom Tryman: You must mean ski shooting!

[ Tom and Jessica laugh more sardonically ]

Tom Tryman: Oh, well. This has been Tom Tryman.
Jessica Antlerdance: And Jessica Antlerdance.
Tom Tryman: Here in Vale, Colorado, at the Claudine Longet Invitiational.
Jessica Antlerdance: Ski shooting, that's very funny! [ laughs ]

[ fade ]

(Many thanks to the 'SNL' Transcripts Site, and to Claudine Longet - for making it all possible.......)



I can finally report on my own a crossover that I missed on its first-go-round, but which my crossover compatriots at Tommy Westphall's mind (Link @ Left) reported. I finally saw it two Sundays ago.


During her investigation into the disappearance of Abel Koontz's daughter, 'Veronica Mars' snooped around the Neptune franchise of the "Lariat" car rental agency.

FBI agents Mulder and Scully sometimes used Lariat's services during their investigations around the country.

Although it would have to be consigned to an alternate universe, it would have been nice if we could have spotted a Lariat counter during the nerve gas attack on the airport, in those first few hours of '24' this season.



The Tooniverse had a full crossover this week, not just the 'Family Guy' immersion into Earth Prime-Time on 'The Late Show'.

(Actually, it happened a few weeks back, as it aired in Ireland first.)

The Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy (now known as "Arsenal" in the DC comic book universe) showed up to give his mentor and a lot of the non-super-powered heroes in the 'Justice League Unlimited' a hand against a demented military officer who was threatening to go all hulkish on Metropolis.

Speedy has been a recurring team-mate in 'The Teen Titans', and so that makes a crossover between 'The Teen Titans' and 'Justice League Unlimited'.

Some might argue the point because the artistic rendering of the two shows is so radically different. But I think the denizens of the Tooniverse are "real"; it's just our perception of their depictions vary from those characters we see in the live-action TV dimensions.

Besides, as Thom pointed out in his coverage of this crossover in his "Crossovers & Spinoffs" page, (Link to the Left), both portrayals of Speedy were voiced by Mike Erwin. I have no bias towards voice actors; I think they do a lot of work in creating a character and stamping it with their imprint.

So if Mike Erwin plays Speedy on both shows, than that's what marks him as the same Speedy in both shows, not his artistic rendering.

Nuff said! (Oops! Wrong comic book company. Sorry, True Believers! Damn!)


Monday, February 27, 2006


Don Knotts passed away.

He acted in "No Deposit, No Return" with Darren McGavin.

Darren McGavin passed away.

He acted in "Mastergate" with Dennis Weaver.

Dennis Weaver passed away.

I don't put any stock in such synchronicity, but I can't help but notice them when I'm putting together the "Hat Squad" tributes.



Dennis Weaver has passed away at the age of 81 at his home in Colorado, a home made of recycled aluminum that reflected his concerns for Spaceship Earth.

From 'Gunsmoke' to 'McCloud', with stops along the way in 'Centennial', 'The Lone Ranger', and 'Lonesome Dove: The Series', Dennis Weaver was the essence of Toobworld's Westerner. Long, lonesome, lanky, a man of few words but choice, he achieved his greatest fame as Deputy Marshall Sam McCloud, the Taos, New Mexico lawman who was on special assignment in New York City.

But even his other great milestone, as the beleaguered motorist in Steven Spielberg's early triumph "Duel", could be seen as a man of the West, facing off against his adversary in a stickshift showdown.

He first came to true Toobworld prominence in the greatest TV Western of them all, 'Gunsmoke'. He played Marshall Dillon's sidekick, the lame, drawling Chester Goode. And even though he left the show at the height of its fame in a move worthy of McLean Stevenson or Shelley Long, he was able to overcome the stigma to go on to forge a long and successful career in both TV series and TV movies.

One of my favorites among these was as RJ Poteet, the man who led the cattle drive to 'Centennial'. Not only was that a great series, but one of the best adaptations I've ever seen of a novel. (At 26 hours, I consider that to be a true TV series and not a mini-series. 'Emily's Reasons Why Not' is a mini-series!),

Weaver was married to his wife, the former Gerry Stowell, since 1945. Sixty years married to the same woman (I just heard her say on 1010 WINS that they were together sixty-three years.), and still in the thick of it in Hollywood... that in itself shows that he was an uncommon man.

"Wildfire" (2005) TV Series .... Henry Ritter (2005)
"Buck James" (1987) TV Series .... Doctor Buck James
"Emerald Point N.A.S." (1983) TV Series .... Rear Adm. Thomas Mallory
"Stone" (1980) TV Series .... Detective Sergeant Daniel Stone
"McCloud" (1970-1977) .... Sam McCloud
"Gentle Ben" (1967) TV Series .... Tom Wedloe
"Kentucky Jones" (1964) TV Series .... Kentucky Jones
"Gunsmoke" (1955-1964) .... Chester Goode (1955-1964)

"Lonesome Dove: The Series"
- Down Come Rain: Part 2 (1994) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody
- O Western Wind: Part 1 (1994) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody
- When Wilt Thou Blow: Part 3 (1994) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody
- Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (????) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody
- Last Stand (????) TV Episode .... Buffalo Bill Cody

"Pearl" (1978) (mini) TV Series .... Col. Jason Forrest
"Centennial" (1978) (mini) TV Series .... R.J. Poteet

High Noon (2000) (TV) .... Mart Howe
The Virginian (2000) (TV) .... Sam Balaam
Stolen Women, Captured Hearts (1997) (TV) .... Captain Farnsworth
Seduction in a Small Town (1997) (TV) .... Sam Jenks
Greyhounds (1994) (TV) .... Chance Wayne
Mastergate (1992) (TV) .... Dale Burden
Disaster at Silo 7 (1988) (TV) .... Sheriff Ben Harlen
Bluffing It (1987) (TV) .... Jack Duggan
A Winner Never Quits (1986) (TV) .... Mr. Wyshner
Cocaine: One Man's Seduction (1983) (TV) .... Eddie Gant
Don't Go to Sleep (1982) (TV) .... Phillip
The Day the Loving Stopped (1981) (TV) .... Aaron Danner
Amber Waves (1980) (TV) .... Elroy 'Bud' Burkhardt
The Islander (1978) (TV) .... Gable McQueen
Intimate Strangers (1977) (TV) .... Donald Halston
Cry for Justice (1977)
Terror on the Beach (1973) (TV) .... Neil Glynn
Female Artillery (1973) (TV) .... Deke Chambers
Rolling Man (1972) (TV) .... Lonnie McAfee
Duel (1971/I) (TV) .... David Mann
The Forgotten Man (1971) (TV) .... Lieutenant Joe Hardy

Stone (1979) (TV) .... Daniel Ellis Stone
McCloud: Who Killed Miss U.S.A.? (1970) (TV) .... Sam McCloud
Gentle Giant (1967) .... Tom Wedloe

The Return of Sam McCloud (1989) (TV) .... Sam McCloud

Headin' Home for the Holidays (1986) (TV)
Swing Out, Sweet Land (1970) (TV) .... Tom Lincoln
The John Denver Special (1976) (TV)

Dragnet (1954) .... Captain R.A. Lohrman

"The Simpsons"
- The Lastest Gun in the West (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... Buck McCoy
"Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (1990) TV Series (voice) .... Dusty, Josh

Subdivide and Conquer: A Modern Western (1999) (TV) .... Narrator

"The Great Battles of the Civil War" (1994) (mini) TV Series (voice) .... R. E Lee
Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story (1985) (TV) .... Wally Johnson
The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (1980) (TV) .... Dr. Samuel A. Mudd
The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (1979) (TV) .... Charles Bates
Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (1978) (TV) .... Professor Benjamin Fuller
The Great Man's Whiskers (1972) (TV) .... Abraham Lincoln

"Touched by an Angel"
- The Good Earth (2003) TV Episode .... Emmett Rivers
"Family Law"
- Sex, Lies, and Internet (2001) TV Episode .... Judge Richard Lloyd
"The Beast"
- Travinia: Part 2 (2001) TV Episode .... Walter McFadden
- Travinia: Part 1 (2001) TV Episode .... Walter McFadden
"Magnum, P.I."
- Let Me Hear the Music (1985) TV Episode .... Lacy Fletcher-present Day
"The Virginian"
- Train of Darkness (1970) TV Episode .... Jed 'Judge Harker' Haines
"The Name of the Game"
- Give Till It Hurts (1969) TV Episode .... Walter Grayson
"Judd for the Defense"
- The View from the Ivory Tower (1969) TV Episode .... Professor Robert Beardsley
"Gallegher Goes West"
- Showdown with the Sundown Kid (1966) TV Episode .... George Tucker, the Sundown Kid
- The Crusading Reporter (1966) TV Episode .... George Tucker, the Sundown Kid
- The Farmer (1965) TV Episode .... Noah
"Dr. Kildare"
- A Reverence for Life (1965) TV Episode .... Wayne Wandemeir
"The Twilight Zone"
- Shadow Play (1961) TV Episode .... Adam Grant
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
- Insomnia (1960) TV Episode .... Charles Cavender
"Playhouse 90"
- The Dungeon (1958) TV Episode .... Karl Ohringer
- Burst of Fire (1958) TV Episode .... Steve Maclyn
"The Lone Ranger"
- The Tell-Tale Bullet (1955) TV Episode .... Jeb Sullivan
- The Big Screen (1955) TV Episode .... Dave Rotbart
- The Big Bible (1954) TV Episode .... Sergeant Jay Allen
- The Big Present (1954) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Dick Whitley
- The Big Bar (1954) TV Episode .... Russ Camp
- The Big Plant (1954) TV Episode .... Officer Boone
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Underground (1955) TV Episode .... Ben

CBS at 75 (2003) (TV) .... Himself
"The Big Show"
- Episode #1.8 (1980) TV Episode .... Host
"The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries"
- The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom (1977) TV Episode .... Dennis Weaver
"What's My Line?"
- Episode dated 22 April 1962 (1962) TV Episode .... Guest Panelist
"Toast of the Town"
- Episode #12.23 (1959) TV Episode .... Himself
"This Is Your Life"
- Dennis Weaver (1957) TV Episode .... Himself

[Thanks to the]

Usually I end the "Hat Squads" with my usual "BCnU....", but Mr. Weaver himself provided the perfect sign-off.

There yuh go......


The other day I hinted that this week's top crossover would involve squirrels and Martians.

There's been a change in plans; something better has come along.

The good thing is, that other crossover was from a commercial, so I can use that at any time as it's not locked down to any one week of broadcast as would be a TV show episode.

And besides, this crossover is so good, it probably would have trumped everything else that might have come along this week.

On Feb. 23rd, a special guest delivered the Top Ten list on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' - Peter Griffin of Quahog, Rhode Island.


Toons cross over from the Tooniverse into the live action Earth Prime-Time all the er, time. Best. Example. Ever. - the animated Man of Steel hanging out with Jerry Seinfeld in Metropolis for that American Express blipvert. My second favorite was Daffy Duck's job interview at Winfred-Louder on 'The Drew Carey Show'.

This appearance by Peter Griffin wasn't even the best example of a crossover between a cartoon show and 'The Late Show'. That honor would belong to those two jerks from 'Beavis and Butthead', who actually interacted with Dave during an interview.

I'm not a fan of those two jerks, but Dave has noted that he is. When it comes to Peter Griffin, however, I'm not too sure Letterman was all that enthused over the appearance by 'The Familiy Guy'. He seemed to have the same lack of spirit he displays when the humor in a Top Ten segment is going south.

I thought it was funny, however, and I've been using a variation on Number Two in my conversations at work since it aired.

Besides, having a cartoon character on a live action show is all that was really needed to make this the Crossover of the Week.

And as for that Top Ten list.......?

Top Ten Things I, Peter Griffin, Would Like To Say To America

10. "If George Bush had Dick Cheney's first name, his name would be Dick Bush; and I'll tell you I'd listen to a lot more of his speeches."

9. "Did the Patriot Act take care of Mujibur and Sirajul?"

8. "Shouldn't Crystal Bernard be in 'Playboy' by now... ? I mean we did our part and sat through seven seasons of 'Wings'."

7. "Laura Bush killed a guy."

6. "This is the best moment in television since Mr. Belvedere sat on his own nuts and fainted."

5. "Did you know Jim Belushi had a brother who was in TV, too?"

4. "Hey, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon! We're all still waiting on that second Oscar-winning script....."

3. "I have always wanted to do this...ladies and gentlemen, the Max Weinberg Seven!"

2. "If Jay Leno makes you laugh, chances are I don't care for you as a person."

And the Number One Thing That I, Peter Griffin, Would Like To Say In America....

1. "We should all buy more American-made products.... Which at last check are down to porn and cheeseburgers."

I think that beats a combination of squirrels and Martians, don't you?


"Thank you, Toby."
David Letterman
'The Late Show With David Letterman'

Sunday, February 26, 2006


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Darren McGavin was painting a movie set in 1945 when he learned of an opening for a small role in the show, climbed off his ladder, and returned through Columbia's front gates to land the part.

The husky, tough-talking performer went on to become one of the busiest actors in television and film, starring in five TV series, including ''Mike Hammer,'' and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic ''A Christmas Story.''

McGavin, 83, died Saturday of natural causes at a Los Angeles-area hospital with his family at his side, said his son Bogart McGavin.

McGavin also had leading roles in TV's ''Riverboat'' and cult favorite ''Kolchak: The Night Stalker.'' Among his memorable portrayals was Gen. George Patton in the 1979 TV biography ''Ike.''

Despite his busy career in television, McGavin was awarded only one Emmy: in 1990 for an appearance as Candice Bergen's opinionated father in an episode of ''Murphy Brown.''

He lacked the prominence in films he enjoyed in television, but he registered strongly in featured roles such as the young artist in Venice in ''Summertime,'' David Lean's 1955 film with Katharine Hepburn and Rosanno Brazzi; Frank Sinatra's crafty drug supplier in ''The Man with the Golden Arm'' (1955); Jerry Lewis's parole officer in ''The Delicate Delinquent'' (1957); and the gambler in 1984's ''The Natural.''

In a morbid case of synchronicity, he also starred alongside Don Knotts, who died Friday night, in the 1976 family comedy ''No Deposit, No Return.''

Throughout his television career, McGavin gained a reputation as a curmudgeon willing to bad-mouth his series and combat studio bosses.

McGavin starred in the private eye series ''Mike Hammer'' in the 1950s. In 1968 he told a reporter: ''Hammer was a dummy. I made 72 of those shows, and I thought it was a comedy. In fact, I played it camp. He was the kind of guy who would've waved the flag for George Wallace.''

Born in Spokane, Wash., McGavin was sketchy in interviews about his childhood. He told TV Guide in 1973 that he was a constant runaway at 10 and 11, and as a teen lived in warehouses in Tacoma, Wash., and dodged the police and welfare workers. His parents disappeared, he said.

He spent a year at College of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., taking part in dramatics, then landed in Los Angeles. He washed dishes and was hired to paint sets at Columbia studio. He was working on ''A Song to Remember'' when an agent told him of an opening for a small role.

''I climbed off a painter's ladder and washed up at a nearby gas station,'' McGavin said. ''I returned through Columbia's front gate with the agent.'' The director, Charles Vidor, hired him. No one recognized him but the paint foreman, who said, ''You're fired.''

McGavin studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio and began working in live TV drama and on Broadway. He appeared with Charlton Heston in ''Macbeth'' on TV and played Happy in ''Death of a Salesman'' in New York and on the road.

"Miracles & Other Wonders" (1992) TV Series .... Host
"Small & Frye" (1983) TV Series .... Nick Small
"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974) TV Series .... Carl Kolchak (1974-1975)
"The Outsider" (1968) TV Series .... David Ross
"Riverboat" (1959) TV Series .... Captain Holden (1959-1961)
"Mike Hammer" (1956) TV Series .... Mike Hammer (1958)
"Crime Photographer" (1951) TV Series .... Casey (June 1951-1952)

Mysteries of the Ancient World (1994) (TV) .... Host

"Around the World in 80 Days" (1989/I) (mini) TV Series .... Benjamin Mudge
"Freedom to Speak" (1982) (mini) TV Series
"The Martian Chronicles" (1980) (mini) TV Series .... Sam Parkhill

Derby (1995) (TV) .... Lester Corbett
Fudge-A-Mania (1995) (TV) .... Buster
A Perfect Stranger (1994) (TV) .... John Henry Phillips
Mastergate (1992) (TV) .... Folsom Bunting
Perfect Harmony (1991) (TV) .... Mr. Hobbs
Clara (1991) (TV)
By Dawn's Early Light (1990) (TV) .... Condor - Secretary of Interior
Child in the Night (1990) (TV) .... Os Winfield
The Diamond Trap (1988) (TV) .... Chief Walter Vadney
Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson (1987) (TV) (as Darren McGaven) .... A.D. Nathan
Tales from the Hollywood Hills: A Table at Ciro's (1987) (TV) .... A.D. Nathan
The Baron and the Kid (1984) (TV) .... Jack Beamer
Waikiki (1980/I) (TV) .... Captain
Love for Rent (1979) (TV) .... Coach John Martin
Not Until Today (1979) (TV) .... Chief Jason Swan
Donovan's Kid (1979) (TV) .... Timothy Donovan
A Bond of Iron (1979) (TV) .... William Weaver
The Users (1978) (TV) .... Henry Waller
Law and Order (1976) (TV) .... Deputy Chief Brian O'Malley
Something Evil (1972) (TV) .... Paul Worden
The Death of Me Yet (1971) (TV) .... Joe Chalk
Tribes (1970) (TV) .... Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Drake
Berlin Affair (1970) (TV) .... Paul Killian
The Challengers (1970) (TV) .... Jim McCabe
The Challenge (1970) (TV) .... Jacob Gallery
The Forty-Eight Hour Mile (1970) (TV)

The American Clock (1993) (TV) .... Older Arthur Huntington
Inherit the Wind (1988) (TV) .... E.K. Hornbeck
"Studio One"
- Macbeth (1951) TV Episode .... Macduff

"Night Stalker"
- Pilot (2005) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Reporter Standing at Desk
Kojak: It's Always Something (1990) (TV)
The Return of Marcus Welby, M.D. (1984) (TV) .... Dr. David Jennings

The Six Million Dollar Man (1973) (TV) .... Oliver Spencer
The Night Strangler (1973) (TV) .... Carl Kolchak
Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole (1972) (TV) .... Dr. Lou Grazzo
Here Comes the Judge (1972) (TV) .... Judge
The Rookies (1972) (TV) .... Sergeant Eddie Ryker
The Night Stalker (1972) (TV) .... Carl Kolchak
Banyon (1971) (TV) .... Lieutenant Pete Cordova
The Outsider (1967) (TV) .... David Ross

Captain America (1991) .... Gen. Fleming
A Christmas Story (1983) .... The Old Man (Mr. Parker)
Mooch Goes to Hollywood (1971) (uncredited) .... Himself

My Wicked, Wicked Ways... The Legend of Errol Flynn (1985) (TV) .... Dr. Gerrit Koets
"Ike" (1979) (mini) TV Series .... Gen. George S. Patton
Ike: The War Years (1978) (TV)
Brinks: The Great Robbery (1976) (TV) .... James McNally

- The Silver Falcon (1995) TV Episode (voice) .... Dominic Dracon

"The X Files"
- Agua Mala (1999) TV Episode .... Arthur Dales
- Travelers (1998) TV Episode .... Agent Arthur Dales
"Murphy Brown"
- I'm Dreaming of a Brown Christmas (1992) TV Episode .... Bill Brown
- Full Circle (1991) TV Episode .... Bill Brown
- Brown Like Me: Part 1 (1989) TV Episode .... Bill Brown
- Brown Like Me: Part 2 (1989) TV Episode .... Bill Brown
"Dr. Kildare"
- With This Ring (1965) TV Episode .... Felix Holman
- When Shadows Fall (1965) TV Episode .... Felix Holman
- In the Roman Candle's Bright Glare (1965) TV Episode .... Felix Holman
- From Nigeria with Love (1965) TV Episode .... Felix Holman

- Midnight of the Century (1997) TV Episode .... Henry Black
"Touched by an Angel"
- Missing in Action (1997) TV Episode .... George Zarko
"Grace Under Fire"
- Take Me to Your Breeder (1996) TV Episode .... Dad
"The Commish"
- Father Image: Part 2 (1995) TV Episode .... Terry Boyle
- Father Image: Part 1 (1995) TV Episode .... Terry Boyle
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed the King of the Country Club? (1995) TV Episode .... Conrad Hill
- Judgment Day (1995) TV Episode .... Judge Harrison Bradford
"Murder, She Wrote"
- Angel of Death (1992) TV Episode .... Martin Tremaine
"Civil Wars"
- Shop 'Til You Drop (1992) TV Episode .... Noah Caldecott
- If I Only Had a Dad (????) TV Episode
- Portrait of the Artist (1989) TV Episode .... Hubert
"Highway to Heaven"
- The Correspondent (1988) TV Episode .... Hale Stoddard
"Worlds Beyond"
- Voice from the Gallows (1986) TV Episode
"Tales from the Darkside"
- Distant Signals (1985) TV Episode .... Van Conway
"The Hitchhiker"
- Nightshift (1985) TV Episode .... Old Man
"Tales of the Unexpected"
- Heir Presumptuous (1983) TV Episode .... Sheriff Milt Singleton
"Magnum, P.I."
- Mad Buck Gibson (1981) TV Episode .... Buck Gibson
"Nero Wolfe"
- Gambit (1981) TV Episode .... Philigree
"The Love Boat"
- Promoter, The/The Judges/The Family Plan/Forever Engaged/May the Best Man Win: Part 1 (1980) TV Episode .... Lawrence Evans
- Promoter, The/The Judges/The Family Plan/Forever Engaged/May the Best Man Win: Part 2 (1980) TV Episode .... Lawrence Evans
"The Evil Touch"
- Gornak's Prism (1974) TV Episode
- George (1973) TV Episode
- A Game of Hearts (1973) TV Episode
"Police Story"
- The Ripper (1974) TV Episode .... Matt Hallett
"Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law"
- A Foreigner Among Us (1974) TV Episode
- Cop Killer (1974) TV Episode
"The Bold Ones: The Lawyers"
- The Invasion of Kevin Ireland (1971) TV Episode .... Kevin Ireland
"Cade's County"
- Homecoming (1971) TV Episode .... Courtney Vernon
"Matt Lincoln"
- Billy (1970) TV Episode
"Bracken's World"
- Infinity (1970) TV Episode .... Max Lassiter
"The Name of the Game"
- Battle at Gannon's Bridge (1970) TV Episode .... Eddie Gannon
- Good-bye Harry (1969) TV Episode .... Sam Hardy
- Shine On, Shine On, Jesse Gil (1968) TV Episode .... Jesse Gil McCray
- A Ticket to the Eclipse (1970) TV Episode .... Mark
"Love, American Style"
- Love and Double Trouble/Love and the Fly/Love and the Millionaire (1970) TV Episode .... (segment "Love and the Fly")
- Desperate Mission (1967) TV Episode .... Jeb Powell
"Mission: Impossible"
- The Seal (1967) TV Episode .... J. Richard Taggart
"The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
- The Deadly Quest Affair (1967) TV Episode .... Viktor Karmak
"The Virginian"
- The Deadly Past (1967) TV Episode .... Sam Evans
- The Intruders (1964) TV Episode .... Mark Troxel
"Cimarron Strip"
- The Legend of Jud Starr (1967) TV Episode .... Jud Starr
- Gunfighter, R.I.P (1966) TV Episode .... Joe Bascome
- The Hostage (1965) TV Episode .... Lon Gorman
- Twenty Miles from Dodge (1965) TV Episode .... Will Helmick
"Felony Squad"
- The Streets Are Paved with Quicksand (1966) TV Episode .... Leslie Gorman
"Court Martial"
- All Roads Lead to Callaghan (1966) TV Episode
"Confidential for Women"
- Episode dated 25 April 1966 (1966) TV Episode .... Andy
"The Rogues"
- The Diamond-Studded Pie (1965) TV Episode .... Amos Champion
"Ben Casey"
- Kill the Dream, but Spare the Dreamer (1964) TV Episode
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" - Parties to the Crime (1964) TV Episode .... Joe Masson
- The Game with Glass Pieces (1964) TV Episode .... Franklin Carson
"The Defenders"
- A Taste of Ashes (1964) TV Episode .... Marty Wisnovsky
- Everybody Else Is Dead (1963) TV Episode .... Howard Potter
"The Nurses"
- Hildie (1964) TV Episode
- Episode #3.6 (1964) TV Episode .... Fitz Condon
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"
- A Matter of Murder (1964) TV Episode .... Sheridan Westcott
"The United States Steel Hour"
- Marriage Marks the Spot (1962) TV Episode
"Purex Summer Specials"
- The Problem Child (1962) TV Episode .... James Carlisle
- The Sendoff (1961) TV Episode .... Jed Hadley
"Route 66"
- The Opponent (1961) TV Episode .... Johnny Copa
"Death Valley Days"
- The Stolen City (1961) TV Episode .... Zacharias Gurney
"Stagecoach West"
- A Place of Still Waters (1961) TV Episode .... Pierce Martin
"The Islanders"
- Island Witness (1961) TV Episode .... Phil
- Man Against Crime (1958) TV Episode .... Dan Garrett
"Studio One"
- The Fair-Haired Boy (1958) TV Episode .... Tom Kendall
- First Prize for Murder (1957) TV Episode .... Johnny Quigg
- Fandango at War Bonnet (1954) TV Episode .... Will Sorrell
"The Alcoa Hour"
- The Original Miss Chase (1957) TV Episode .... Arthur Bryan
- The Archangel Harrigan (1956) TV Episode .... Harrigan
"Robert Montgomery Presents"
- Sunset Boulevard (1956) TV Episode
- Night of the Heat Wave (1956) TV Episode .... Walter
"It's Always Jan"
- Episode dated 12 May 1956 (1956) TV Episode
"Armstrong Circle Theatre"
- Terror at My Heels (1956) TV Episode .... Lieutenant Melvin Shadduck
- The Town That Refused to Die (1955) TV Episode .... Carl Broggi
- Recapture (1952) TV Episode
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
- The Cheney Vase (1955) TV Episode .... Lyle Endicott
- Triggers in Leash (1955) TV Episode .... Red Hillman
"Kraft Television Theatre"
- Blind Alley (1954) TV Episode
- Unequal Contest (1954) TV Episode
- Episode dated 28 May 1954 (1954) TV Episode
"Campbell Playhouse"
- XXXXX Isn't Everything (1954) TV Episode
- An Affair with a Ghost (1954) TV Episode
- For the Love of Randi (1952) TV Episode
"The Philco Television Playhouse"
- The Rainmaker (1953) TV Episode
"The Revlon Mirror Theater"
- The Enormous Radio (1953) TV Episode
- Hand Me Down (1953) TV Episode
- The Thread of Scarlett (1952) TV Episode
"Short Short Dramas"
- The Double Cross (1953) TV Episode
"Goodyear Television Playhouse"
- Better Than Walking (1952) TV Episode
- The Witness (1952) TV Episode
"Tales of Tomorrow"
- The Duplicates (1952) TV Episode .... Bruce Calvin

"Don Adams' Screen Test"
- To Have and Have Not (1975) TV Episode .... Humphrey Bogart
"It's Your Bet"
- Kathie Browne vs. Darren McGavin (1973) TV Episode .... Panelist
"It Takes Two"
- Episode dated 1 June 1970 (1970) TV Episode .... Himself
- Just Be Normal (1954) TV Episode

[Thanks to the]



When it comes time to memorialize the greats of Toobworld, I usually freeze up and depend on the already published obituaries found online to make sure that justice is served their tributes. I'm more comfortable in writing up reports and studies of their actual work.

And so it is with the "Hat Squad" bios for both Don Knotts and Darren McGavin, although I have contributed a few o'bservations throughout them.

There will be more posts in my voice to come when I examine their work in shows like 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker', 'Three's Company', and 'Riverboat'.

Don Knotts, who kept generations of TV audiences laughing as bumbling Deputy Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show" and would-be swinger landlord Ralph Furley on "Three's Company," has died. He was 81.

Griffith, who had visited Knotts in the hospital before his death, said his longtime friend had a brilliant comedic mind and wrote some of the show's best scenes.

"Don was a small man ... but everything else about him was large: his mind, his expressions." He truly was a giant in Toobworld, having won five Emmy awards for his performance as Deputy Barney Fife.

Griffith told The Associated Press on Saturday, "Don was special. There's nobody like him. I loved him very much. We had a long and wonderful life together."

The actor's half-century career included seven TV series and more than 25 films, but it was the Griffith show that brought him TV immortality.

The show ran from 1960-68, and was in the top 10 of the Nielsen ratings each season, including a No. 1 ranking its final year. It is one of only three series in TV history to bow out at the top: The others are "I Love Lucy" and "Seinfeld." (Although to be fair, Don Knotts was no longer in the cast by the time the show signed off.) The 249 episodes have appeared frequently in reruns and have spawned a large, active network of fan clubs.

As the bug-eyed deputy to Griffith, Knotts carried in his shirt pocket the one bullet he was allowed after shooting himself in the foot. The constant fumbling, a recurring sight gag, was typical of his self-deprecating humor.

Knotts, whose shy, soft-spoken manner was unlike his high-strung characters, once said he was most proud of the Fife character and doesn't mind being remembered that way.

In 1979, he joined the cast of "Three's Company," also starring John Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt.

Early in his TV career, he was one of the original cast members of "The Steve Allen Show," the comedy-variety show that ran from 1956-61. He was one of a group of memorable comics backing Allen that included Louis Nye, Tom Poston and Bill "Jose Jimenez" Dana.

As such, it's a shame that we never got to see him appear in an episode of 'St. Elsewhere' as the father to one of the main characters, as did many of his fellow alumni from the 'Steve Allen Show'.

He became well-known for his "nervous man" shtick in the "Man-on-the-Street" segments that were a staple of Allen's show. His character in the segments was a very nervous man obviously uptight about being interviewed on camera. He developed this into the fidgety, high-strung persona that he limned successfully for the rest of his career.

When "The Tonight Show" moved to Hollywood in 1959 with new host Jack Paar, Don also moved to California as a regular. However, he was soon cast in Andy Griffith's new TV series about a small-town sheriff in the role that would make him a legend.

For playing Deputy Barney Fife, Don was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor five times from 1961 to 1967, winning each time,

In the part-animated 1964 film "The Incredible Mr. Limpet," Knotts played a meek clerk who turns into a fish after he is rejected by the Navy. When it was announced in 1998 that Jim Carrey would star in a "Limpet" remake, Knotts responded: "I'm just flattered that someone of Carrey's caliber is remaking something I did. Now, if someone else did Barney Fife, THAT would be different."

Although Don Knotts made a lot of movies, (and one - "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" - is one of my favorites), only one film has a true Toobworld feel to it. In 1998, he had a key role in the back-to-the-past movie "Pleasantville," playing a folksy television repairman whose supercharged remote control sends a teen boy and his sister into a TV sitcom past.

However, another movie and the Broadway play it was based on, also served a vital role in connection to his career in Toobworld. Destiny intervened when he was cast in the small role of the psychiatrist in the Broadway play "No Time For Sergeants," which starred Andy Griffith, who would play a large part in Don's future career. Don also appeared in the film adaption of the play with Griffith.

About five years after his arrival in New York City came his series TV debut on "The Steve Allen Show." In recent years, he said he had no plans to retire, traveling with theater productions and appearing in print and TV ads for Kodiak pressure treated wood.

He treasured his comedic roles and could point to only one role that wasn't funny, a brief stint on the daytime drama "Search for Tomorrow." "That's the only serious thing I've done. I don't miss that," Knotts said.

His favorite episodes, he said, were "The Pickle Story," where Aunt Bee makes pickles no one can eat, and "Barney and the Choir," where no one can stop him from singing.

"I can't sing. It makes me sad that I can't sing or dance well enough to be in a musical, but I'm just not talented in that way," he lamented. "It's one of my weaknesses."

But he was wrong, of course. His performance as Barney was pure music, a character symphony.
Associated Press writer Vicki Smith in Morgantown, W.Va., contributed to this report, as did John C. Hopgood in a biography for the

"What a Country" (1986) TV Series .... Principal F. Jerry 'Bud' McPherson (1987)
"Three's Company" .... Ralph Furley (1979-1984)
"Laugh Back" (1975) TV Series .... Various
"The Don Knotts Show" (1970) TV Series .... Host
"The Andy Griffith Show" .... Deputy Barney Fife (1960-1965)
"The New Steve Allen Show" (1961) TV Series .... Regular
"The Steve Allen Show" (1956) TV Series .... Mr. Morrsion
"Search for Tomorrow" (1951) TV Series .... Wilbur Peterson (1953-1955)

"Matlock" .... Les Calhoun (1988-1990)

Quints (2000) (TV) .... Gov. Healy
I Love a Mystery (1973) (TV) .... Alexander Archer
Cinderella at the Palace (1978) (TV) .... Himself

Return to Mayberry (1986) (TV) .... Barney Fife

- The Second Family (2005) TV Episode (voice) .... Mr. Mauzer
Jingle Bells (1999) (TV) (voice) .... Kris
"101 Dalmatians: The Series"
- Shake, Rattle and Woof/Cadpig Behind Bars (1997) TV Episode (voice) .... Dog Catcher
Timmy's Gift: Precious Moments Christmas (1991) (TV) (voice) .... Titus
The Little Troll Prince (1985) (TV) (voice) .... Professor Nidaros
"Inspector Gadget"
- Ghost Catchers (1985) TV Episode .... Male M.A.D Agent
"Wait Till Your Father Gets Home"
- Don Knotts, the Beekeeper (1974) TV Episode (voice) .... Himself
"The New Scooby-Doo Movies"
- The Spooky Fog (1972) TV Episode (voice) .... Himself
- Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner? (1972) TV Episode (voice) .... Himself

The 3rd Annual TV Land Awards (2005) .... Paul Young ("Desperate Classic Housewives" skit

"Hallmark Hall of Fame"
- The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972) TV Episode .... Dr. Bradley

"Robot Chicken"
- Operation Rich in Spirit (2005) TV Episode (voice) .... Himself
"Las Vegas"
- Hit Me! (2005) TV Episode .... Himself
The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry (2003) (TV) .... Himself/Barney Fife
"8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter"
- Come and Knock on Our Door (2003) TV Episode .... Himself
Andy Griffith Show Reunion (1993) (TV) .... Himself
"George Burns Comedy Week"
- Disaster at Buzz Creek (1985) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Muppet Show"
- Episode #2.1 (1977) TV Episode .... Himself
Joys (1976) (TV) .... Don Knotts
"The Late Summer Early Fall Bert Convy Show"
- The Premiere Telecast (1976) TV Episode
"The Captain and Tennille"
- Episode #1.11 (1976) TV Episode
Dinah Shore: In Search of the Ideal Man (1973) (TV) .... Himself
"The Flip Wilson Show"
- Episode #3.22 (1973) TV Episode .... Himself
- Episode #3.1 (1972) TV Episode .... Himself
"Make Your Own Kind of Music!"
- Episode #1.1 (1971) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Hollywood Palace"
- Episode #7.16 (1970) TV Episode .... Himself - Host
- Episode #5.24 (1968) TV Episode .... Himself - Host/Singer/Comedian/Sketch Actor
- Episode #1.5 (1964) TV Episode .... Himself - Comedian
"The Andy Williams Show"
- Episode dated 18 October 1969 (1969) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Leslie Uggams Show"
- Episode dated 5 October 1969 (1969) TV Episode .... Himself
Rowan & Martin at the Movies (1968) .... Himself
"The Andy Williams Show"
- Episode dated 15 January 1967 (1967) TV Episode .... Himself
- Episode dated 10 December 1963 (1963) TV Episode .... Himself
"American Bandstand"
- Episode dated 2 April 1966 (1966) TV Episode .... Himself
"The Danny Kaye Show"
- Episode #1.3 (1963) TV Episode .... Himself

"Odd Job Jack"
- American Wiener (????) TV Episode .... Dirk Douglas
"Burke's Law"
- Who Killed Good Time Charlie? (1994) TV Episode
"Step by Step"
- Christmas Story (1993) TV Episode .... Deputy Fief
- Seein' Double (1990) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Iron
"She's the Sheriff"
- Hair (1988) TV Episode .... Moe
"The Love Boat"
- Crew Confessions/Haven't I Seen You?/Reunion (1979) TV Episode .... Herb Grobecker
"Fantasy Island"
- Pentagram/The Casting Director (1979) TV Episode .... Felix Birdsong
- Trouble, My Lovely/The Common Man (1978) TV Episode .... Stanley Scheckter
"Here's Lucy"
- Lucy Goes on Her Last Blind Date (1973) TV Episode .... Ben Fletcher
"The New Andy Griffith Show"
- Pilot (1971) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Barney Fife
"The Bill Cosby Show"
- Swann's Way (1970) TV Episode .... Leo Swann
"Mayberry R.F.D."
- Andy and Helen Get Married (1968) TV Episode .... Barney Fife
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre"
- The Reason Nobody Hardly Ever Seen a Fat Outlaw in the Old West Is as Follows (1967) TV Episode .... Curly Kid
"The Joey Bishop Show"
- Joey's Hideaway Cabin (1964) TV Episode .... Barney Fife
"The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis"
- Rock-A-Bye Dobie (1960) TV Episode
"The Bob Cummings Show"
- Bob and Schultzy at Sea (1958) TV Episode

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