Saturday, September 2, 2006


When Tommy Gavin wanted the chance to talk to his ex-wife about getting their stories straight in the season finale of 'Rescue Me', he left his two daughters in the other room under the supervision of Lou. His oldest daughter Colleen interrupted her parents' discussion with complaints about the smell of Lou's feet and the choice of 'Big Love' as a viewing option. Tommy yelled out to Lou that there would be NO 'Big Love', so Lou made the girls watch a documentary about Hitler.

For us at home, 'Big Love' was the latest dramatic series to be found on HBO, about a polygamist in Utah with three wives.

But 'Big Love' and 'Rescue Me' should exist in the same TV dimension. So the 'Big Love' mentioned in 'Rescue Me' can't be the exact same show we watch here in the Trueniverse.

It could be a porno title, or even a game show. But it could also be a real-life movie from 2001 which starred Sam Rockwell and Mary McCormack. And whether or not it's any good, Tommy apparently hates it enough to deny his daughters from seeing it.

Later in the same episode, while having dinner with Sheila on the porch of her new beachfront home, Tommy agreed to come inside and watch 'Meerkat Manor' with her.

'Meerkat Manor' is a docu-drama series on the Animal Planet that presents footage about the lives of meerkats in such a way as to create an actual storyline - with names and personalities given to each of the little Timons.

I don't see this as any type of Zonk since it's the kind of documentary show that could exist in both the real world and Toobworld and not cause any kind of dimensional disturbance.



In the season finale of 'Kyle XY', Amanda Bloom (the girl next door and Kyle's secret crush) used her faith to help Kyle sort out his inner conflicts once his "real" parents came to claim him.

She told him about how her religion (Roman Catholicism) has a patron saint for just about everything and that Kyle should seek out a saint of his own for his unique situation. Among the examples she listed for what's "protected" by a patron saint, she listed cab-drivers, stomach-aches, and geese.

There are actually two patron saints for geese - Gall, and Martin of Tours. (Those are two more than my uncle and my brother would like, as Canadian geese really foul up the water and the front lawns of our cottages up at "The Lake" in Connecticut. Geese don't deserve patronage in their opinion.)

There are quite a handful of patron saints in connection to stomach-aches, or in a more general sense, stomach illnesses:

Charles Borremeo

Amanda may have been pulling these categories out of thin air as just guesses that they have patron saints. Her Catholic faith is very strong though, stronger than mine ever was, and maybe she really does know a saint for each item. If so, I'm thinking she would have been thinking of St. Emerentiana when it comes to stomach-ache. She just sounds like someone Amanda might have taken an interest in.

It's the taxi drivers category that most interested me once I began research on this bit of TV trivia. As with the others, there is more than one saint watching out for cabbies; four in all. The most probable one that Amanda had in mind would likely be St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. Also included in this very select club are St. Frances of Rome and once again, St. Fiacre.

But it was the fourth one that I found most exciting from a Toobworld perspective - St. Eligius!
Here's what I found at a Catholic website:

St. Eligius
He has become the traditional patron of all smiths, metal workers, and craftsmen. His patronage of horses and the people who work with them stems first from his patronage of smiths and craftmen, but also from his having left a horse to a priest at his death. The new bishop liked the horse, and took it from the priest. The horse became sick, but recovered immediately when it was returned to the priest that Eligius had chosen.

There is also a legend of Eligius removing a horse's leg in order to easy shoe it. In some places horses are blessed on his feast day.

Through the years, horse-drawn cabs were replaced by motorized ones, and stables were supplanted by garages and gas stations, but the patronage of the people who do those jobs and work in those places has remained.

Cool beans, huh? Amanda lives out in Seattle and probably has no idea that there is a St. Eligius Hospital back in Boston. (For the record, I don't subscribe to the snowglobe interpretation of the 'St. Elsewhere' finale.) But it's nice to know the saint still carries some influence over a Toobworld character after nearly twenty years......


There is a patron saint for Toobworld and all things Television: St. Claire. I have a small plastic statue of her standing by my VCR.

And when you turn off the lights, she glows!

Now THAT's Catholicism, baby!


For over ten years now (using the OJ Trial as the kickoff), a lot of attention has been given to the role that the media plays in a trial. "A case tried in the media" is a phrase I'm sure we've all heard.

The latest courtroom drama is using this fixation as their angle. 'Justice' will follow the law firm of Trott, Nicholson, Tuller, and Graves as they employ all the tactics at their disposal to sway public opinion in their favor before a jury is picked.

If 'Justice' is to be compared to any other show currently on air, it won't be 'Boston Legal' or some other legal series; it'll be 'House', a medical drama.

Think about it. It's all in the dynamic of the team. The leader, Ron Trott, is a genius in his field with a few personality quirks and individualistic traits. Unlike Dr. House, Trott enjoys being out in the public eye in order to sway and shape the opinion of his client before trial. But when it comes to the actual trial, he takes second chair. (Juries don't seem to like him....)

As for the other members of his team, there's a handsome young guy, a pretty young woman, and a black guy - just like the team on 'House'. Throw in a female antagonist - the hospital administrator for House, the host of 'American Crime' for Trott, - and all you're missing is the Dr. Watson/Wilson confidante and a cane.

It's a shame the show has such a bland title - 'Justice'. Zzzzzzz. And what's to keep the audience from thinking it's ABC's 'InJustice' brought back from the dead? I don't trust audiences. (And I liked 'InJustice' a lot, by the way. I wish somebody would bring it back, especially for Kyle MacLachlan's character of David Swain!)

Too bad Bruckheimer's crew couldn't find a title that evoked the law, the media and the relationship between the two. This generic title suggests nothing except outcomes in favor of their clients on a 'Perry Mason' scale.

'Justice' has a gimmick - each episode will end with a depiction of what really happened. (Earlier this year, 'InJustice' began with a depiction of what the jury believed to have happened.) With the first episode, I was expecting their client to be found guilty. Thirty years ago that would have been a shocker of an ending in TV. But it's been so overdone since then that the option that they did go with in this case was the twist I wasn't expecting. So it worked for me.

The producers apparently promised that some of the TNT&G clients will be guilty and shown to be so in that finale. I'd like to see one of their clients get found guilty and then the finale shows them to have been innocent after all. That'd be a nice twist.

'Justice' is fast-paced and full of style and flash. This doesn't mean that it lacks substance. Victor Garber's performance is what drives this show on such high energy. He's got a good team of actors as his partners, of whom I'm sure we'll learn more about as the series progresses.

For that Wednesday night timeslot, I'll be tuning in again to 'Justice' - at least for the next few weeks until 'Lost' returns on October 4th. I'd like to continue watching 'Justice' as well, (remember, I'm several steps behind the technological advances in life - I just have a VCR without even an A/B switch!), so I hope FOX brings it back after the baseball playoffs in a different timeslot.....

Now, let's get on with a few Toobworld issues from the pilot episode......

Although they didn't actually appear in this episode, Dominick Dunne and Robert Downey Jr. - at least their televersions - were mentioned as being involved in the fictional life of Ron Trott.

Trott planned to offer Dunne one of the defense spaces in the public seating area at the trial even though Dunne hates him (and probably for what he stands for). It was Trott's way of using the writer as a pawn in his attempts to make the public think the defense team had nothing to fear by Dunne's presence at the trial.

As for Downey, Trott claimed that he helped the actor out at one of his re-arrests at the Malibu sub-station for the Police Department. However, Downey was only identified as just "Downey". This gives the legal department an out should the actor ever raise an objection to the inference to his past, even if he really has been in a lot of trouble over the years.

When Ron Trott made an appearance before the reporters camped outside the home of his client, one of the TV stations represented there was KTML. Back in 1998, this L.A.-based TV station had a reporter named John Malone who was at the forefront in the coverage of the hole in the ozone layer that was fixated over the City of Angels. ("The Sky's On Fire")

Malone just happens to look exactly like Danny Tripp, the returning producer/director of NBS's late night comedy show 'Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip'. And over in the TV dimension for 'The West Wing', he also looks exactly like political advisor Josh Lyman.

Speaking of the 'West Wing' dimension, KTML is a TV station located in Smallville, Kansas there.

I'll be working out the kinks to another theory, one of "Relateeveety", in regards to firm partner Tom Nicholson, that's a bit off the wall, but it all depends on whether or not we ever get the chance to meet his parents in this show.

Hopefully we won't. And that way I can link the show to another classic TV legal drama from forty years ago, and one which I've been developing a wide-spanning link to many other TV series that reach back to the beginnings of the 20th Century.

But I'll keep that close to the vest for now. There's no way I can be forced to turn over that information... information.... information in Discovery right now!


Thursday, August 31, 2006


For this week's entry in her "Is It Just Me?" for the TV Guide Blogs, Rochell Thomas wonders why the new head of the Jeffersonian Institute's Forensics department wasn't able to follow along with what Zack was describing about the dead body found at a train crash site:

"Jagged edges to the breaks. Small fragments. Lack of circular or radiating fracture...," Zach says, going on and on.

"What does that mean?" Cam asks.

"That this man was dead for several hours before the train hit him," Bones answers.

Um, this may be a small thing, but shouldn’t new super-expert Cam have known that?

It could be that Dr. Camille Saroyan did know that. I'm betting she knew exactly what he was saying. What she was hoping to accomplish was getting Zack to say the exact same thing, but in terms a lay person would understand. That way Zack would one day be acknowledged as being ready to appear before a jury to give testimony.

(It was apparent from this episode, and if I'm not mistaken, in at least one episode last season, that Zack doesn't do well under scrutiny while sitting in a witness box.)

Too much technobabble and you're going to lose the jury. Dr. Saroyan understood that. And she also understood that badgering Zack about the way he relays information wasn't going to help the young scientist.

So she used this subtle way to help Zack through the process, hoping it would simplify his reply with layman's terms.

Unfortunately, blunt, clueless Bones jumped in and answered for him.

This would be a good example why Saroyan got the job as the department head and not Bones. Dr. Brennan lacks the inter-personal skills needed for the position.



"Everything was a film set, and you were an actor....
Like Dr. Kildare."
Kulvinder Samar

Kulvinder Samar was a ruthless Indian businessman running several factories under sweatshop-like conditions. Mickey's gang of grifters had targeted him for the long con, but he caught on to their scheme before paying off. However, he got injured in a car crash and was suffering amnesia.

The above quote was said to the "roper" of the gang, Albert Stroller, whom he thought was a doctor. Pre-amnesia, Albert used the old bump/"Is this your wallet?" scam to make the introductions and then lead Samar into the bigger con. So Samar's subconscious was interpreting these differing views of Albert to the basics of grifting: ACTING!

It's obvious that Mr. Samar was referring to the series of "Dr. Kildare" movies of the 1930s/1940s with the above quote. After all, the Dr. Kildare of Toobworld, as good as he might have become in his profession, probably never became famous enough for Samar to know of him in India or in England.

And we know he couldn't be referring to the 'Dr. Kildare' TV show, since that show is just as much a part of the TV Universe as 'Hu$tle' is.

It's a good thing Samar didn't invoke the names of Drs. Casey, Welby, or closer to home, Findlay. With Kildare, there's a film pedigree that gives us the out from getting Zonked.

It was just some kind of cosmic kismet that the character in the movie played by Lew Ayres, Dr. James Kildare, had the same name as a young man in the TV Universe who would also become a physician.

But in the Real World, it could be that the reference was added as a tip of the hat to Richard Chamberlain, who played the role on Television, and who appeared in the previous episode of 'Hu$tle' as a legendary grifter.

Young Dr. Kildare (1938)
The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)
Calling Dr. Kildare (1939)
Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940)
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)
Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940)
The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941)
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941)
Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942)
Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942)



There was a big stink about the opening sketch on the Emmy Awards telecast Sunday night. It started off with host Conan O'Brien flying out to Los Angeles and then the plane crashes.

This happened on the same day a plane crashed in Kentucky, killing all but one on board.

From my limited perspective, the only complaints I saw came from a Kentucky NBC affiliate executive and a few TV columnists whom I suspect just wanted to stir up controversy in order to sell more papers. I don't mean to sound insensitive about the situation, but I would think that most of the people truly affected by the tragedy weren't settled down to watch the Emmys that night; they had far more pressing matters to attend to.

Based on the comments left at the TVSquad forum, I don't think many people made the connection to the tragedy in Kentucky. Instead, they saw the logical reference to how it all began on 'Lost', one of the most talked-about TV series in the last few years. I didn't get to see it until Tuesday morning, and I didn't feel any resonance from the real-life tragedy; I saw it for what it was - a spoof of 'Lost'.

And yet, NBC apologized.

Even so, they reran the entire skit as it was on BRAVO the following night. Luckily for me, as my tape screwed up on Sunday and I missed it.

Okay, so I feel lucky that I got to see it after all in its entirety. So maybe I am an insensitve lump. So sue me.

But even if NBC had edited out the offending 15 seconds or so of the plane crash footage and started with Conan washing up on the beach, it wouldn't have mattered from a Toobworld perspective. It had already been broadcast and so it was already entrenched in the mythos of Toobworld, Skitlandia division.

Orwellian denial doesn't apply in Toobworld.

With this opening film on the Emmy telecast, several other TV series were given counterparts in the dimension based on comedy sketches. Conan O'Brien ended up interacting with several characters from other TV shows:

'The Office'
'24' (with a phone exchange between an O'Brien and an O'Brian!)
'South Park'
even 'Dateline'!

This wasn't the first appearance for 'Lost' in the comedy sketch world. Many of the cast appeared in an opening sketch for 'Monday Night Football', as did several 'Desperate Housewives' in another one and Sydney Bristow of 'Alias' in a third.

When Conan hosted the Emmys back in 2002, he did the same kind of opening on a smaller scale: he was living with 'The Osbournes' and first ended up on the stage of 'The Price Is Right', so those shows are also a part of the comedy sketch dimension.

"Cousin" Conan is a true Skits-oid Man.

For ABC's fiftieth anniversary special, a similar sketch added Peter Falk as 'Columbo' to the cast of 'Alias'. Because the script made references to Michael Eisner and hinted that they were all just TV characters, I can't claim them to be part of the main Toobworld as I once hoped.

One such comedy sketch that combines two different TV shows and which was presented as though it could be the real deal was on 'Saturday Night Live' when Jerry Seinfeld was hosting. In a filmed short, 'Seinfeld' was transferred to the Oswald State Correctional Facility, better known by its nickname of 'Oz'. Actors from the actual series played their characters from the prison drama and the mix of their intensity with Jerry's humor worked.

The only thing that might prevent it from being considered the real deal is the opening narration detailing how NBC wanted to find a way to keep 'Seinfeld' going while at the same time juicing it up.

At any rate, Jerry was sentenced to only a year in prison for his violation of Massachusetts "Good Samaritan" law, so he's been out on the streets since about 2000.

Hopefully, when it rolls around to being NBC's turn again to host the Emmy Awards telecast, Conan O'Brien will once again be chosen to host the show.

At the very least, they should get these same writers to come up with another great filmed opening like this year's.

One can only imagine what the big shows might be four years or so down the road which could be added to the roster of the Sketch World.....



Another of the great classic screen actors has passed away.

Glenn Ford, who played strong, thoughtful protagonists in films such as "Blackboard Jungle," "Gilda" and "The Big Heat," died yesterday, police said. He was 90.

Ford appeared in scores of films during his 53-year Hollywood career. (The Film Encyclopedia lists 85 films from 1939 to 1991.)

He was cast usually as the handsome tough, but his acting talents ranged from romance to comedy. His other famous credits include "Superman," "The Teahouse Of The August Moon," "The Gazebo," "Pocketful of Miracles" and "The Rounders." He made quite a few Westerns, including "3:10 To Yuma", which was produced by David Heilweil, my college screenwriting teacher.

On television, he appeared in "Cade's County," "The Family Holvak," "Once an Eagle" and "When Havoc Struck."

He starred in the feature film "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," which later became a TV series featuring Bill Bixby. (Another connection to Bixby today in the Hat Squads - Joseph Stefano wrote the screenplay for Bixby's pilot of 'The Magician'.)

Director Ricardo Cortez told Ford he would never amount to anything.

Now who remembers Ricardo Cortez?

"The Family Holvak" (1975) TV Series .... Rev. Tom Holvak
"Cade's County" .... Sam Cade (1971-1972)
"The Faith of Our Children" (1953) TV Series (producer)
"Friends of Man" (1974) TV Series (voice) .... Narrator

"Once an Eagle" (1976) (mini) TV Series .... George Caldwell

The Greatest Gift (1974) (TV) .... Rev. Holvak

"Police Story"
- No Margin for Error (1978) TV Episode .... Hayes
"The Dick Powell Show"
- The Rage of Silence (1963) TV Episode .... Guest Host

When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion (1979) (TV) .... Himself

Final Verdict (1991) (TV) .... Rev. Rogers
Law at Randado (1989) (TV)
My Town (1986) (TV) .... Lucas Wheeler
The Gift (1979) (TV) .... Billy Devlin
Beggarman, Thief (1979) (TV) .... David Donnelly
The Sacketts (1979) (TV) .... Tom Sunday
Evening in Byzantium (1978) (TV) .... Jesse Craig
No Margin for Error (1978) (TV)
The 3,000 Mile Chase (1977) (TV) .... Paul Dvorak/Leonard Staveck
Punch and Jody (1974) (TV) .... Peter 'Punch' Travers
The Disappearance of Flight 412 (1974) (TV) .... Colonel Pete Moore
Jarrett (1973) (TV) .... Sam Jarrett
The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970) (TV) .... Prof. Andrew Patterson

The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) .... Tom Corbett

Earlier this summer, an onscreen tribute was given to Mr. Ford in the movie "Superman Returns" when his picture (as Jonathan Kent) was seen in the Kent Family home. For me, his final scene in the original "Superman" movie is still one of the most moving moments I've ever seen in film.



Joseph Stefano was the producer and and one of the writers for 'The Outer Limits', probably second only to 'The Twilight Zone' among the great science fiction anthology series from the 1960s. He was responsible for three of my favorite episodes: "The Zanti Misfits", "The Galaxy Being" and "The Architects Of Fear".

He is probably better known for writing the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Psycho". And that is mentioned here since that movie bleeds into Toobworld with Mr. Stefano's script for the TV movie "Psycho IV: The Beginning".

That movie first aired on Television in 1990, about three decades after the original movie was released in theatres, and yet it could be said that's where it all began for Norman Bates.

He also wrote an episode of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and wrote the pilot movie for the Bill Bixby series 'The Magician'.

The Galaxy Being (16 September 1963) - Producer
The Hundred Days of the Dragon (23 September 1963) - Producer
The Architects of Fear (30 September 1963) - Producer
The Man with the Power (7 October 1963) - Producer
The Sixth Finger (14 October 1963) - Producer
The Man Who Was Never Born (28 October 1963) - Producer
O.B.I.T. (4 November 1963) - Producer (1963-1964)
The Human Factor (11 November 1963) - Producer
It Crawled Out of the Woodwork (9 December 1963) - Writer
Tourist Attraction (23 December 1963) - Producer
The Zanti Misfits (30 December 1963) - Writer, Producer
The Mice (6 January 1964) - Writer, Producer
Don't Open Till Doomsday (20 January 1964) - Writer, Producer
ZZZZZ (27 January 1964) - Produ
The Invisibles (3 February 1964) - Writer, Producer
The Bellero Shield (10 February 1964) - Writer (story) (teleplay), Producer
The Children of Spider County (17 February 1964) - Producer
Specimen: Unknown (24 February 1964) - Producer
Second Chance (2 March 1964) - Producer (1963-1964)
Moonstone (9 March 1964) - Writer (story), Producer
The Forms of Things Unknown (4 May 1964) - Writer (writer)

"The Outer Limits" (1990s version)
- Feasibility Study (1997) TV Episode (writer)
Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990) (TV) (written by)
"Swamp Thing" (1990) TV Series (writer)
"Star Trek: The Next Generation"
- Skin of Evil (1988) TV Episode (story) (teleplay)
Snowbeast (1977) (TV) (written by)
Aloha Means Goodbye (1974) (TV)
Live Again, Die Again (1974) (TV)
The Magician (1973) (TV) (story)
Home for the Holidays (1972) (TV)
A Death of Innocence (1971) (TV)
Revenge (1971) (TV)
The Unknown (1964) (TV)
- The Young Juggler (1960) TV Episode (adaptation)
"Playhouse 90"
- Made in Japan (1959) TV Episode (story)



Gerald Green was a best-selling author and screenwriter whose screenplay for the NBC television miniseries “Holocaust” (1978) received an Emmy Award. His novel of the same title, derived from the screenplay and published by Bantam Books that year, sold more than two million copies and earned Mr. Green the Dag Hammarskjold International Prize in 1979.

In July 1979 the West German Parliament voted to revoke the statute of limitations on murder, allowing the prosecution of Nazi war criminals to continue indefinitely. Though similar proposals had been debated for years, “Holocaust,” which had recently been broadcast there, was widely credited with having solidified public opinion.

Gerald Green died of pneumonia on Tuesday in Norwalk, Conn. He was 84 and lived in New Canaan, Conn., and Boca Raton, Fla.

Green's most famous novel, “The Last Angry Man,” was the basis for the 1959 film starring Paul Muni as an altruistic doctor in a downtrodden Brooklyn neighborhood. The novel was later made into a TV movie starring Pat Hingle, Sorrell Brooke, Paul Jabara, Lynn Carlin, and Andrew Duggan which served as a pilot for a possible TV series.

His other TV screenplays were for "Fatal Judgment", "Kent State", and "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story". His books "Tourist" and "The Hostage Heart" were adapted for Television as well.

Originally named Gerald Greensberg, he was a former writer and producer at NBC News where he was also one of the creators of the 'Today' show, first broadcast in 1952.



Welcome to "Talk Time USA"! Hi, I'm Amber-Louise. And this is Jack.
Today's special guest got his name in outer space,
but back here on Earth, he is legendary ladies' man and pro-life activist--
No! I won't do it! George Takei is a prancing, giggling queen!
And I will not slander his good name by implying he's straight.
You were right, Will!
Live long and prosper, Jack!
'Will & Grace'

During the entire year of 2004, even before "Inner Toob" had started up, the TV Crossover Hall of Fame celebrated/mourned the 35th anniversary of the cancellation of the original 'Star Trek' by inducting an original 'Trek' character (plus creator Gene Roddenberry) into the Hall each month.

But for the Birthday Honors that year, I inducted the original cast members into the hall based on their collective League of Themselves standings.

This year George Takei, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu, added to his roster of appearances as himself in the season finale of 'Psych'. He was the guest of honor at Tri-Con, a comic book convention held in Santa Barbara. (The timing for the episode wasn't bad - just a few weeks earlier here in the Trueniverse, the San Diego Comic-Con was held.)

Mr. Takei has to be saluted for poking fun at himself with his fictional televersion. In fact, he mentioned that aspect in an interview he did for a great online site called TVSquad (link to the left):

Joel Keller:
So I saw you guest star on 'Will & Grace' not too long ago.
I've seen you guest on other shows,
and one of the things I like about you is that you make fun of your own persona…
George Takei:
The characters are named "George Takei", but it isn't me.

Of course not. It's his televersion.

In the 'Psych' finale, Mr. Takei was easily agitated over the smallest detail snafu or personal affront. For example, he was as obsessed over his choice of blueberries as Captain Queeg had been for his strawberries. Of course, he had been treated shabbily in the past when it came to the amenities for his personal appearances. When he appeared on Jack MacFarland's last episode of "JackTalk" (retitled "Talk Time USA") on OutTV, he was given a gift bag that contained only a half-eaten muffin and a dirty freezer bag. And Jack even took back the gift bag itself for his own use. ('Will & Grace')

Mr. Takei finally lost his cool when Gus deliberately called him "Chekov" as an insult. At least when Shawn referred to the actor as "Scotty" or "Bones", he was genuinely mistaken.

It seems sci-fi and comic book conventions have been the best way to see the televersion of George Takei in Toobworld:

"3rd Rock from the Sun"
- Hotel Dick (1996) TV Episode .... Himself
Aghast at the treatment of aliens in a hit science fiction movie, the Solomons attend a science fiction convention to try to set the record straight -- and Sally's first experience of hotels get her hooked on room service.

"Brotherly Love"
"The Comic Con" gs: George Takei [ Himself ]
Lies and deceptions multiply "like tribbles" when Lloyd meets a potential sweetheart on the Internet, and Matt tries to hid a blemish in anticipation of a first date.

As we don't always see what happens outside the camera's range in any particular TV show episode, it's always possible that Mr. Takei also appeared at a Miami 'Star Trek' convention during an episode of 'Nurses', at a Seattle sci-fi convention in a 'Frasier' episode, and at the San Diego Comic-Con when Dharma's friend Jane left "Mr. Whiskers" in Dharma's care.

Here are a few other shows in which George Takei appeared as himself, but for which I don't have the specifics for most of them as to how the actor fit into the episodes......

"Will & Grace"
- Buy, Buy Baby (2006) TV Episode .... Himself
George Takei makes a cameo appearance playing himself as a guest on a gay-themed talk show hosted by Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) on the fictional "OutTV" network.

- The Weekly Inquisitor (2004) TV Episode .... Himself
After a supermarket tabloid publicizes the family's abductions, a crowd shows up at the Blundell house, hoping to be abducted.

"Watching Ellie"
- Fruit Shots (2003) TV Episode .... Himself
Ellie reluctantly takes a gig doing a commercial for a fruit juice containing alcohol that seems to be targeting teenagers. Meanwhile, Don Zimmerman and Ingvar get Ellie and Ben in on a sure bet - a race horse who is certain to win at the track thanks to a special veterinarian "elixir" that causes the horse to bolt.

- A.I. Highrise (2001) TV Episode .... Himself
V.I.P. are hired by Wilton Knight, the head of Trans Global Internet Finance, to test out the new security system on one of his buildings. While there Val, Quick, Kay and Dave, Wilton Knight's software developer, get trapped in the building with a group of thieves when the artificial intelligence program Dave created locks them in and tries to kill them because he thinks they're trying to destroy him. Meanwhile Tasha, Nikki and Johnny try get back a car that was stolen from the parking lot at Foam and discover that it was used to smuggle Viagra from Mexico into the states.

"Muppets Tonight"
- Episode #2.11 (1998) TV Episode .... Himself

"Homeboys in Outer Space"
- The Adventures of Ratman and Gerbil or, Holy Homeboys in Outer Space (1997) TV Episode .... Himself
gs: John Astin [ Rhymer ], Burt Ward [ Gerbil ], George Takei [ Himself ], Peter MacKenzie [ Ratman ]
Ty and Mo purchase the Ratman and Gerbil superhero franchise; little realizing the evil Rhymer has a villainous coalition ready to destroy them.

"Brotherly Love"
- The Comet (1996) TV Episode .... Himself

In addition, George Takei has a pen and ink identical twin over in the Tooniverse.....

- Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... Himself
As opposed to the future of 'Homeboys From Outer Space', Takei survives as just his head by the year 3000.

Don't read anything more into that.....


This is Sulu. An original member from a show called 'Star Trek'.
Do you know what that show was about?
Paper-mache rocks and Christmas lights poking through cardboard?
It was about tolerance and acceptance, no matter what your color, species, or hairstyle.
Did Spock hide his ears? Did Uhuru hide her femininity? Did Sulu hide his?
Yes, he did. But it was a different time, we forgive you.
The point is that no one on that bridge compromisedwho or what they were.
That's what the show was about? Well, now I'm glad I did it.
'Will & Grace'

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Two of the mourners at the wake for Johnny Gavin on the penultimate episode of this season's 'Rescue Me' were played by big names in sports: Phil Esposito, former hockey player on the Bruins, and Bill Belichick, head coach of the Patriots.

Gee, two Massachusetts-based teams represented on a Denis Leary show.... Who'd-a thunk it?

But neither of them were playing themselves. Phil Esposito plays Rocco, the chief at another fire house, and had been on the show at least once before. Belichick's character was never named, but it's hard to think that he was playing himself. First off, where would the connection be in which he even knew anybody in the Gavin Family? (Maybe his televersion "knew" Maggie Gavin in the past, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge, wink wink!)

The temptation is there, though, to think that Belichick is playing himself. While talking to Espo's character, Rocco asks him if he likes sports. You expect him to say football, but instead he replies, "I like lacrosse."

And that's pure Belichick, since he was the team captain when he played for Wesleyan University back in the day. (And now his daughter plays for W.U. as well.)

So if Bill Belichik should ever appear on another TV series as the fictionalized version of himself, I'm not even going to bother trying to jump through the hoops to make a connection between that show and 'Rescue Me', since that would be a totally different character who just happens to be the identical twin of the Pats coach.

I'm just glad, no matter who he was playing, we didn't see him later in the show down the hall in a side bedroom with Probie......

Not that there's anything wrong with that.....



Today I'm posting my first blind item!

What Television personality shares something in common with one of MIranda's boyfriends on 'Sex And The City'?

(What's another way of saying "Donkey Booze"?)



Based on the pilot, I see no reason why 'Studio 60' can't be a member of Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld. Aaron Sorkin's previous series, 'The West Wing' had to be set up in its own TV dimension obviously, since Jed Bartlet was President and not George W. Bush. But at least it wasn't alone in that dimension; 'Mr. Sterling' and 'Smallville' also reside there.

So if 'Studio 60' is part of the main Toobworld, I think it's pozz'ble, jez pozz'ble, that we've already seen one of the characters on another series.

Cal Shanley is the director of the NBS late-night comedy show. But he almost got fired because he left the former producer of the Friday night hit on the air delivering his rant for 53 seconds. (Had he left him on the air for 54 seconds, the new producers would have given Cal a raise.)

But had he been fired, Cal Shanley could always have gone back to his other TV directing job, that for made-for-TV movies.

It looks as though Shanley used his 2005 summer holiday from 'Studio 60' to direct a TV movie starring Brooke Shields. It probably was a fairly smooth shoot, except for one problem - at Brooke's insistence, Cal had to fire Johnny "Drama" Chase who had been playing Brooke's brother. According to the actress, during a tender hug between the two siblings, Johnny got a hard-on while filming the scene.

With 'Studio 60' (the show within the show), Cal shanley may be facing a season full of turmoil and upheaval. So he'll probably take his next summer holiday break and just relax.


'Studio 60'/"Pilot" - Cal Shanley
'Entourage'/"Blue Balls Lagoon" - TV Director

Timothy Busfield played both roles......

Monday, August 28, 2006


'Columbo' was cited twice in TV series this past week, which in the old days would be a Zonk, as the rumpled detective (Isn't he always described that way?) should exist in the same TV dimension as the characters in those shows.

First up on 'Rescue Me', Tommy Gavin mentioned the show when he pointed out that if his life had been an episode of 'Columbo', he'd be soiling his underwear by that point.

And then on the season finale of 'Psych', Shawn Spencer referred to his partner Burton Guster as the "Chocolate Columbo" when Gus crowed that he knew where they could find a missing teenager.

Because both of the references were based on detective skills, the other characters in those scenes must have understood the mention of 'Columbo' to be about a detective as well. So we have to concede that the Toobworld version must be about a police detective and not, say, an Italiano vintner, for example.

But just because the references work for us in the Trueniverse as tributes to the show starring Peter Falk, that doesn't necessarily mean the TV viewers within TV Land are watching that same show. For them, 'Columbo' could star other actors in the title role aside from Falk.

And their 'Columbo' doesn't even have to be a dramatization of the life of that particular Lt. Columbo (even though on other shows, we've seen TV characters adopt the same mannerisms as Peter Falk's version.)

That's because Toobworld has two other Lt. Columbos' who served in the L.A. police department. Perhaps the show is about one of them.

The first one was on the case back in the 1950s, and he investigated a murder case very much like the one solved by the second 'Columbo' in the first pilot for the eventual series. In it, the murder was committed by psychiatrist Dr. Ray Flemming who killed his wife with the help of his actress mistress.

That Lt. Columbo was a big, burly man and not the type to really instill a false sense of superiority in his suspects. And there wasn't much about him that suggested he was a Columbo of Italian descent; rather, that he may have had an Irish heritage in his background instead.

(This suggests that this 'Columbo' was more in line with the original who could be found in the creative universe based on the theatre, as Messrs. Levinson and Linke originally created the character for the stage. Thomas Mitchell played an older, Irish-American Columbo in a lead-up to a Broadway run, but I think he died while on the road with "Prescription: Murder".

When the piece was being developed for Television, I think they were keeping that Irish flavor alive by approaching Bing Crosby to take on the role. Eventually Peter Falk got the part and made him more of a son of Sicily, perhaps of Tuscany, rather than of the old sod.)

The third 'Columbo' was never seen in Toobworld, but he existed, all right! Sadly, he existed......

After Peter Falk announced his intention to leave the series back in the late 1970s, NBC and Universal decided to keep the heart of the series alive by creating a show revolving around his never-seen-before wife and their daughter as well.

After voicing their reluctance to see their creation be brought back at all, Levinson and Linke at least offered to create the character to be actually seen. And they even suggested an actress to fill that function - Sada Thomspon. Based on the descriptions over the years, she best fit the look needed for Mrs. C.

However, the network overruled them and hired Kate Mulgrew instead. She's a fine actress, don't get me wrong, but she negated the whole idea that Columbo and the Mrs. went to high school together back in New York.

Instead, nobody could buy the idea that this was 'Mrs. Columbo', at least not the one married to the Peter Falk character. Eventually, she divorced him and went back to her maiden name of "Callahan".

Ayyyyy, Mrs. C!

So we have to assume her husband was yet another L.A. detective by the name of 'Columbo'. That police department is pretty big; it doesn't seem so unlikely a possibility to have three lieutenants named Columbo .....

Either one of those other two guys could have been the topic of a TV show called 'Columbo' which would have been seen by Tommy Gavin and Shawn Spencer during the last quarter century.

By the way, that crack about "Chocolate Columbo" might prove to be a reference someday to yet another Lt. Columbo, who would be found in the alternate TV dimension of Earth Prime-Time/BET. There, all of the classic TV characters we knew growing up would be black.

Those that we've seen so far have been Kojak, Felix & Oscar, and 'The Honeymooners' (albeit in a theatrical movie). There was also a black Sheriff Andy Taylor, but he was in the main Toobworld and living in Home, Pennsylvania, not Mayberry, North Carolina. And the black Gallifreyan Time Lord was found in the TV dimension of comedy sketches, which I've dubbed "Skitlandia".

Lt. Columbo might be found there in Earth Prime-Time/BET as a black man, along with a black Mary Hartman, a black Bret Maverick, and a black Gilligan. Beaver Cleaver's first name might be "Eldridge" over there, rather than Theodore.

And conversely, that JJ Walker would be white.....



Shows cited for this essay:

'Rescue Me'
'Suspense' - "Prescription: Murder"
'Mrs. Columbo'/'Kate Columbo'/'Kate Loves A Mystery'
'The Odd Couple'
'The Honeymooners'
'Leave It To Beaver'
'Doctor Who'
'Maverick'/'Bret Maverick'
'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
'Gilligan's Island'
'The X-Files'
'The Andy Griffith Show'
'The Lenny Henry Show'
'Good Times'

Sunday, August 27, 2006


My second anniversary as a blogger slipped right past me this week; came and went on Thursday without my noticing. And that was the day I was trapped here in Toobworld Central due to the painter taking over my long hallway, and so I spend the day blogging. I posted eleven times, my new personal best.

I could have made it an even dozen had I remembered the anniversary!

Here again as a rerun is an excerpt from my second post, which was posted on that first day of 8/24/04:

Toob's World is Toobworld
The TV Universe is my version of collecting tin foil: a minor hobby that has been growing larger than I can control!

I like to look for the type of TV trivia that can help me link various TV shows together so that eventually they're all sharing the same universe. It doesn't matter if it's a cop drama or a sitcom or a cartoon or a mini-series or a Western or a space opera or even a commercial; it's my take that everything we see on TV shares the same alternate universe.

Sure, there are a lot of obvious links - the crossovers and the spinoffs that are actually designed by the producers to help boost ratings.

But I look for thematic crossovers as well - certain situations, locations, products, and characters which can bind shows together. As I continue with this blog, I'll elaborate on that topic, as well as post what "crossovers" I've found so far this year, entrants into the Crossover Hall of Fame, and what crossovers I'd like to see.

And as you watch TV, let me know whenever you might find a possible crossover that might be of interest!


I've pretty much held true to that declaration for the last two years - it's quite a big ball of tin foil! I hope none of the Creators mind about my suppositions and theories about their characters and who else they may be related to, what else they may have done in their lives, etc.

I'm not fanficcing, honest! I'm not so much playing with their action figures as I am making sure they all can use the same sandbox for their stories.

And God willin', I hope to keep doing that for a long time to come.

Stay Tuned!



This week on 'Rescue Me', Mike Gavin decreed that the funeral for his son, NYPD detective Johnny Gavin, should be a celebration of his life, not a mournful remembrance of his death. And what capped the ceremony off at the graveyard was the impromptu wedding of Sean Garrity to Maggie Gavin, the new Mr. & Mrs. Gavity.

Rosemary Gavin, a Gavin sibling who had been shunned by her parents most of her life because she had been born a deaf mute, flew in from California. (But that was more for the chance to piss off her Dad than to say good-bye to her brother Johnny.)

Rosemary, a character we've never met before, one who was never mentioned on 'Rescue Me' previously, was able to show up for the funeral, but Johnny's other brother (and brother cop) Timo and Johnny's ex-wife Angie couldn't make it? They were apparently missing not only from both of the graveside services as well as from the wake/wedding reception afterwards.

Timo hasn't been seen on the show for several seasons; he probably got less screen time than his cousin Eddie the lawyer. We were introduced to Angie this season when she and Tommy hatched a plan of revenge against their exes (Johnny and Janet) for dating each other.

Now I said "apparently missing" earlier for a reason. We don't see them at the cemetery because neither actor involved, James Badge Dale and Marisa Tomei, was hired just for the cameo appearance.

But that's the cost-cutting Real World splainin, and where's the sport in that?

It's my contention that both of them were there at the service. It's just because of the size of the crowd and due to camera angles that we never saw them. The exact same situation occurred (will occur?) this year in the alt. dimension of 'The West Wing'. We never saw Jordan Kendall during the funeral for Leo McGarry, but that was a huge cathedral filled to capacity.

And the classic example is that of Ensign Pavel Chekov of 'Star Trek'. The character didn't appear in the episode "Space Seed", yet Khan Noonian Singh claimed to remember Chekov from that encounter when they met in the movie "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan".

O'Bviously, they ran into each other on a different deck and during the commercial breaks.

Now, as to why we didn't see Timo or Angie at Tommy's apartment? That place is like a rabbit warren! Full of corridors and plenty of bedrooms. And several of those had visitors squirreled away during the party already (Mike and the priest; Maggie and Sean consummating their marriage... in a bunk bed).

I'm not suggesting that the two of them might have slipped off together for a quick one, but hey! You never know. Especially with this family! Hell, I'm expecting that during the fourth season, Damian Keefe will end up banging his second cousin, Colleen Gavin. (Now that he no longer has Mrs. Turbody as an outlet for release, Damian's going to need to bust a nut soon. And let's face it, that Bible-thumping storyline for Colleen wasn't going anywhere.......)

So Timo and Angie were there at the funeral, and probably at the wake afterwards as well.... at least for a little while. (Timo might have gone to work at the precinct after the funeral instead, and perhaps Angie just didn't want to face her former in-laws at such a difficult time.)

You just didn't get to see them.