Sunday, May 4, 2008


Traditionally, May is the month during which we honor the women of Toobworld in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Queen of the May and all that, you see. And this May we want to pay tribute to a sultry sitcom star who passed away earlier this year. In another role, Suzanne Pleshette was the Queen of Mean, but as Emily Hartley she ruled equally with Bob Newhart in his eponymous series.

And with single appearances of perhaps just two minutes duration each, Emily Hartley was able to claim an entire sitcom and an episode of a variety show for herself to qualify for the Hall of Fame.

In the final episode of 'Newhart', we learned that the entire run of that sitcom was no more than a dream by Dr. Bob Hartley brought on by eating Japanese food late in the evening. And after Bob Newhart hosted 'Saturday Night Live' for a second time, we found out that actually it had been another dream by Dr. Hartley in which he capitalized on his resemblance to the comedian with the buttoned-down mind.

Both times Bob Hartley woke up from these experiences to find himself back home in his bed in Chicago, beside his beautiful wife Emily.

One added bonus, we got to meet Emily again in an off-year reunion special in which the old gang got together to reminisce. Although it was presented as a clip show in which they just had to be themselves and tape off the top of their head anecdotes, instead the actors stayed in character.
And that's all it takes to make Suzanne Pleshette's character a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

From there, we can make hypothetical links for her charater outside of the Newhart-sphere. For instance, we could make the claim that when Emily Harrison (her maiden name) was at college studying to become a teacher, one of her classmates was John Novak (James Franciscus in 'Mr. Novak'). And then there are all the possibilities to be found in Chicago, characters that she may have known.....

It may not be the greatest of tributes to such a lovely person, but 'twill serve......

Toby OB

1 comment:

Terence Towles Canote said...

I have to confess I always had a big crush on Suzanne Pleshette. She was a truly great actress.