Saturday, February 9, 2008


My Little Buddy Sean and his wife Gosia are living in Taiwan with their three kids (one of whom is my god-daughter Rhiannon). According to their blog, they are labeling themselves as a Catholic Anarchist Clan.

The other night they stayed in for the Chinese New Year. They celebrated the incoming Year of the Rat by watching what Taiwanese TV had to offer.

Hoo boy!
These are a few pictures from what they saw, but to get the full, gaudy, colorful, crazy sense of just a small portion of their boob tubery, check out this entry at
"The Cur Family Blog". (Apparently "Cur" is how their last name gets mangled over there.)

Warning! If you're addicted to TV but hate Karaoke, Taiwan is NOT the place for you!

Toby OB


Sir George Carrington:
Froggie thinks he knows who did it.
Hercule Poirot:
Froggie does know who did it!
Flip the switch, Froggie!
'Late Show with David Letterman'

Toby OB


In 1987, Irish butler Bernard Lafferty arrived on the doorstep of tobacco heiress Doris Duke. Fresh out of rehab and without a penny to his name, he faced an uphill battle in convincing his notoriously demanding boss to keep him on staff. A mere six years later, he had not only managed to remain employed but had been granted control over Duke’s billion dollar fortune.

Tonight, HBO Films is presenting "Bernard And Doris", a fictionalized look at the life they led together for six years - ending in her death in 1993. The televersion of Doris Duke is being portrayed by Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes embodies the televersion of Bernard.

Here's the official synopsis from the HBO website:
Highlighted by award-caliber performances by two of Hollywood's most acclaimed actors, this intimate HBO Films drama tells the hypothetical, behind-the-scenes story of tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her Irish butler Bernard Lafferty, showing how their relationship could have morphed from a strict employee-employer contract into something much deeper. As the film speculates, after arriving at the doorstep of Duke's mansion in 1987, Bernard slowly earned his way into the heiress' confidence, becoming her confidante and flamboyant companion at home and on trips, all while handling the affairs of her household. Their bond became so strong that it even survived Bernard's relapse into alcohol abuse, during which he was forced to take a sabbatical to go into rehab. By the time Duke died in 1993, Bernard was back at her side, remaining her most trusted advisor and dearest friend, despite skepticism about his financial motives from businessmen, lawyers and doctors in her inner circle.

A fictional drama that explores a relationship which took place primarily behind closed doors, Bernard and Doris offers an intriguing scenario that might explain how Doris Duke - the world-famous heiress and socialite who controlled a billion-dollar empire - might have decided to give posthumous control of her fortune to Bernard Lafferty, a homosexual and alcoholic who had been her personal butler for only six years.

Money, class and sexuality are among the issues explored in the movie, but at its core, Bernard and Doris is the imagined story of an extraordinary and intimate relationship between two real-life individuals who don't appear to fit into each other's worlds. While Duke's decision to name Lafferty her estate executor may have been the subject of multiple lawsuits and headlines, Bernard and Doris reaches beyond this sensationalism to render a witty, endearing tale about the unconventional, private bond between a society "princess" and her flawed-but-devoted "pauper" of a butler.
So two more famous - or in this case, infamous - people from the Trueniverse are freely adapted for Toobworld. Not to the point where fictional characters from other TV shows meet them, but this opens the door.

Who knows? Maybe someday the Doctor intrudes upon a chapter in their lives. Perhaps it could be an episode of 'Doctor Who' in which we find that fleshy trampoline of a bitch Cassandra trying to lay her hands on Duke's fortune.....

Who wouldn't like to see Susan Sarandon and Zoe Wanamaker going "face to face", as it were?
Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB


Often during the course of the 'Poirot' series, people often mistook the Belgian detective for a Frenchman; and as such, they would derogatorily refer to him (usually within his hearing) as "Froggie" or as a "frog".

Here's the description from the "Stupid Questions" site:

The use of “frog” against French people is generally dated to a quote in Fanny Burney’s 1778 novel “Evelina”: “Hark you, Mrs. Frog…you may lie in the mud till some of your Monsieurs come to help you out of it.”

Some sources attribute this to the Parisian coat of arms, which depicts three toads. But it’s now accepted that it comes from the French habit of eating frogs, which the British consider strange. This theory finds support in the related slur “frog-eater,” dating to the early 1800s.

“Frog” entered US slang during World War I.

And Poirot entered the United Kingdom just after that war....

Toby OB


Usually with the theories of relateeveety for Toobworld, I focus on familial relationships. But today I've got something different in mind - that of a mentor and his student, a classic right out of the "hero's journey" mold.

Unless otherwise stated, I've always believed that a character's age should be the same as that of the actor playing the role. Robert Lindsay was 56 when he started work on the 'Jericho' mysteries, which were set in 1958. Therefore, Michael Jericho was most likely born in 1902.

Jericho was about 12 years old when he saw his father gunned down in his own home - that would then be circa 1914 or so. I believe he did some time in military service before he joined the police department in London, with an eye on becoming a detective working out of Scotland Yard.

Perhaps there was a senior detective there at the Yard who recognized Jericho's abilities and talent as a detective, who took the young policeman under his wing and tutored him in the finer points of detection. This friendship and tutelage probably began around 1930, after Michael Jericho spent enough time as a bobby and then began working his way up through the ranks.

And if we're to keep this in the Toobworld family, then there should be a senior detective in the Toobworld timeline around the middle 1930s who might have kept an eye on the lad.

I've got the perfect candidate - Chief Inspector James Japp of the 'Poirot' series, based on the works of Agatha Christie. Japp could have taken an avuncular interest in Jericho, which would give him the excuse to take pride in his own skills. Japp could demonstrate them to the younger officer by relating his exploits. (Of course, these would be exploits that were only successful due to the little gray cells of Hercule Poirot, but there's no reason Jericho had to know that!)

By the time of the 'Jericho' series, Chief Inspector James Japp most likely was retired. So there's no reason why we should have seen him during the too-short run of the show. But who knows? Maybe we saw Michael Jericho in one or more of those episodes of 'Poirot' - so long as they were situated in London. Anyone of those police officers seen at the scenes of the crimes - especially those not closely seen by the camera! - could have been Michael Jericho.

Like I always say, can't be proven; can't be disproved.

Toby OB

Friday, February 8, 2008


Following soon after the departure of Doug Elfman from the Chicago Sun-Times as their TV critic (not to be replaced) came word that Melanie McFarland was leaving the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as their TV critic to take a job at as their TV editor. As for her replacement? Stuff lifted from blogs, reader submissions, items culled from

Liz Lemon had it right on '30 Rock': "Blurg."

But what Ms. McFarland had to say in her final column caught my eye and I'd like to share it with you here:

"Television happens to be going places we're only beginning to get a glimpse of. On screens that transform our sets into vivid windows into other existences, or on our phones, iPods and computers. The industry is changing rapidly, and it's imperative that the people who love television are ready to change with it."

Makes me feel better about including online content into the morass that is Toobworld.....

Toby OB


Let's say there's an awards show for the Super Bowl commercials. One of the categories should be Best Cameo by an SNL Player.
Andy Samberg would definitely win. It was a funny and unexpected cameo in the Pepsi commercial starring Justin Timberlake (who collaborated with Samberg on the "Dick In The Box" music video for 'Saturday Night Live'). And he got a nice close-up for his troubles.

As for Chris Kattan in the Diet Pepsi Max blipvert (O'Bviously both ads were the brainchild of some 'SNL' fan)..... I'm a big fan of Kattan from his days on the show, but honestly, I had to be told in some blog that he was in the ad! I never made the connection that it had to be him and that he was fed up with the over-use of the song that underscored his best-known character on the show. I just figured that it was some guy who, like me, is sick of the song's extended shelf life.
What he needed was a good close-up to establish his identity.

Toby OB


As we all know, the Island in 'Lost' is the place where Daddy Issues wash up on shore. With last night's episode, "Confirmed Dead", four new cast members were introduced and each got their own flashback. So far, none of them seem to be encumbered with such baggage.

But there's something funky about Daniel Faraday's reaction to the news that the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 was found in the Sunda Trench near Indonesia. He didn't even know why he was crying as he watched the TV coverage.

Perhaps it all ties in with his father.....

Every so often I like to toss off a suggestion to the Powers That Be, no matter what the show, in regards to casting characters. So I'd like to suggest who could be cast to play Pere Faraday in Daniel's next flashback:
Tom Skerritt.

There is enough of a similarity there to suggest that they could be father and son, with enough DNA contributed from good old Mom so that the resemblance can be blurred.

The next big mystery is: who was playing Daniel's wife in his flashback? We couldn't see her - so is that because we've seen her before? Cassidy Philips is the first possibility that springs to mind, but I'm sure there are more viable candidates.

What do you think?

Toby OB

Thursday, February 7, 2008


From last week's 'Lost' episode, "The Beginning Of The End":

In the flash-forward at the beginning, Hurley drove on a rampage through a produce loading zone. We saw the artwork on the side of the truck, but no real logo.....

Could it be that Hurley was crashing through one of the shipment sites for Ojai Foods, as seen in 'Brothers & Sisters'? It did kind of look like the same style of design on their trucks.
Even if it can't be proven, can we at least say it was?

It would make for nice ABC synergy......

Toby OB


The tagline for the commercial during the Super Bowl was "Follow Your Heart".

Well, little lady, you better get bookin'! It's halfway down the hallway and she's probably still sitting at her desk with that hole in her chest and her insides pooling up with blood.
But surprisingly, she looked to be still alive and no worse for the experience - she was already "lifeless" at that job before her heart took a powder.

How was she able to do this?

It could be that she read the book "Anything's Possible" by Dr. Vinpur Narpudan, and mastered the art of manipulating the cells of her body with the power of her mind.

It wouldn't be the first time it happened.

In the first season of 'Angel', the vampire detective's client was a woman who was convinced she was being spied upon by the neurosurgeon who saved her life. ("I Fall To Pieces")

It turned out that Dr. Ronald Meltzer pioneered work in reattaching body parts and fixing nerve damage. But no one in the medical community seemed to know how he accomplished all of the radical surgeries that he claimed to have done.

Angel got in contact with the author of “Anything’s Possible”. Dr. Vinpur Narpudan revealed that Meltzer attended many retreats with famous yogis, and was able to master a combination of psychological and physical techniques that made the neurosurgeon an expert in "psychic surgery" as well. He could send his body parts elsewhere and then reattach them to his body.

Angel was able to defeat Dr. Meltzer, but that doesn't mean somebody else couldn't come along and follow in Meltzer's footsteps. The book was available at the local libraries at least, if not still in print. And maybe the young woman in the commercial did all of her "training" with yogis via the internet.

Now, my reasoning in this splainin may seem crazy, but remember the reason I had to come up with it - a living heart burst out of a young woman's chest, walked around, carried a sign... and didn't get a single drop of blood on the keyboard when it landed.

I am the voice of reason compared to that!

Toby OB


During the Super Bowl, we saw promos for "Leatherheads" and "Wanted" from Universal, Sony's "You Don't Mess With The Zohan", and "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian" from Disney.

This doesn't make them part of the TV Universe.

At best, it was some kind of dimensional vortex, a window into the Movie Universe.

"The Chronicles Of Narnia" by CS Lewis are part of the TV Universe, however. "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe" was produced in 1988, with "The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader" broadcast the following year, and "The Silver Chair" in 1990.

And the Tooniverse had its own version of the first book back in 1979.

Toby OB


The Garmin GPS
The ad for the Garmin GPS showed Napoleon racing through the streets of Paris on his way to meet up with his troops. Not on a horse, but in some clunky, old-style car (a Peugeot, maybe?), and he was so height-challenged that it looked like the car had nobody in it!

The knee-jerk reaction after long-term exposure to Toobworld is that somehow Napoleon fell through a worm-hole in Time and landed in the Future. Stuck in the Present, he quickly adapted and learned how to drive, le yada, le yada, le yada.

But sometimes you just have to go for Occam's Razor - the simplest theory is the best.
This Napoleon is a role player enacting the part of Bonaparte. In costume, he's racing through the Parisian streets to reach the site of an historical re-enactment, and thanks to his Garmin GPS, he gets there in time.

Simple and doesn't fray the believability of Toobworld.

As if a world with talking horses can be believable!

Say, I wonder if that's one of Mr. Ed's cousins in the background?

Toby OB


At one point during the season of 'Odyssey 5', Dr. Kurt Mendel mentioned that he had seen "three hundred hours of 'Star Trek'."

Apparently Kurt didn't see the whole output of the franchise.

When Kurt said that, it was 2002, but in his revised timeline. His consciousness had been sent back from 2007, so he had the opportunity to have seen the full output of all the 'Star Trek' shows as well as the movies:

Star Trek - 79 episodes (plus the original pilot)
The Animated Series - 22 episodes (11 hours)
The Next Generation - 178 episodes
Deep Space Nine - 176 episodes
Voyager - 172 episodes
Enterprise - 98 episodes
the movies - 10 (20 hours plus)

So if my math is right - and just because I'm an auditor, there's no guarantee! - there's about 735 hours of 'Trek' that would have been available to Kurt.

I don't think he was a geek - that would have been Neil. So I doubt he watched the cartoon version, and probably turned his nose up at 'Enterprise'. Probably bailed out on 'Voyager' like I did.

Then again, maybe he saw them all and just didn't realize that there had been so many hours of 'Trek' under his belt!

More than likely he had something better to do than watch 'Trek' all day........
Toby OB


On January 20th, actor Kevin Stoney passed away. He would have been 87 this year. For fans of 'Doctor Who' he would be best known for his work in three of the serials from the original run of the series:

"The Daleks' Master Plan" from 1965
"The Invasion" three years later
"Revenge Of The Cybermen" in 1975.

For me, it was his role as the Colonel towards the end of "The Chimes Of Big Ben" - my favorite episode of 'The Prisoner' - that first made an impression on me.
[The Colonel holds up a decanter of Scotch. Number Six mutters to himself...] Number Six : Twenty four work units.
Colonel J : What?
Number Six : That's how much it - cost in the Village.
Colonel J : Ah, yes! The "village."
Number Six : Surely you know about it.
Colonel J : All I know, old boy, is that you resigned from a post of the highest possible secrecy in this country. Refused to give your reasons, and then promptly vanish.
Number Six : I was kidnapped.
Colonel J : Oh, really? How dramatic. And then, after a gap of months, we suddenly receive a suitably coded message that you're coming back! From the other side of the Iron Curtain!
Number Six : You think I've gone over?
Colonel J : And come back here to carry on the good work!
Number Six : No.
Colonel J : "No", he says? "NO"? NYET! NYET! What sort of imbeciles do you think we are?
[Number 6 quietly takes his Scotch from the Colonel, and listens to some more chimes]

And then I was introduced to TV - that is, Tobias Vaughn - from "The Invasion" serial of the Second Doctor's. Those who only know the new version of 'Doctor Who' and thought John Lumic was aces, should check out this storyline for a truly ruthless businessman in league with the Cybermen and see how it was originally done!

Stoney also served as an important link in the Toobworld of the Classic Roman age. He portrayed Thrasyllus in the 1969 production of 'The Caesars', a role he returned to more memorably seven years later in 'I, Claudius'. (Thrasyllus was the "oracle" who accompanied Tiberius into exile and had to do what he could to make sure he wasn't tossed down the cliffside for his terrible interpretations of omens and portents.)

Once I can score a picture of Stoney as Thrasyllus, I'll do up a blog post on the character.

For the full run of Mr. Stoney's credits, visit the

My Toob Hat's off to you, Kevin Stoney. As Red Skelton would say, "May God bless....."

Toby OB


"Bob and Millie Frazier, average young New Yorkers who attended a party in the country last night and on the way home took a detour. Most of us on waking in the morning know exactly where we are; the rooster or the alarm clock brings us out of sleep into the familiar sights, sounds, aromas of home and the comfort of a routine day ahead. Not so with our young friends.

This will be a day like none they've ever spent--and they'll spend it in the Twilight Zone

From Wikipedia:
A married couple wake up in an unfamiliar house, remembering only that they had both drank too much at a party the night before, and that on the way home, a large shadow had appeared over their car.

They soon discover that the house is mostly props—the cabinetry is merely glued-on facing; the refrigerator is filled with plastic food. Outside, the town is deserted. They find a stuffed squirrel in a fake tree, search for help in a vacant church, and discover that the grass is papier-mâché.

Desperate to escape, they hop a train, only to find that the train departs from and arrives at the same station.

They eventually discover that they have been abducted by a giant alien father, who has chosen them as toys for his daughter's dollhouse neighborhood.

It's been 44 years since "Stopover In A Quiet Town" first aired on 'The Twilight Zone'. The "little" girl is probably a grandmotherly gigantess herself by now.

And her collection of Earthlings to fill her dioramas probably grew as well - sort of a human version of an ant colony mixed with model train displays.

The Zantac Ad
We see a suggestion that this is what happened in the commercial for Zantac. If we adhere to the Toobworld concept for this blipvert, then the giant is making sure everything is just so in his recreation of a human-sized restaurant. It looks to be a male hand, and an adult at that, so it's possible that this is the son of that original little girl and he not only had his own human-stocked playset, but he carried on the tradition into adulthood.
Not all of the people in the Zantac blipvert have to be kidnap victims from Earth. Some of them could be descended from Bob and Millie and any other humans snatched away during Big Daddy's later business trips to that third rock from the Sun. They act cool, calm, and collected because this is the only life they've ever known. And for them, the giant is their master and they're actually more like his pets.

I'm not too comfortable with the whole Zantac product and I can trace it back to its name. Makes me think of that episode from 'The Outer Limits' about the Zanti Misfits.....

"The moral of what you've just seen is clear. If you drink, don't drive. And if your wife has had a couple, she shouldn't drive either. You might both just wake up with a whale of a headache in a deserted village in the Twilight Zone."

Toby OB


There's been this list floating around for years - you've probably seen it - about the top movie and TV cliches.

Telephone numbers begin with "555" (at least since 1970, I think).

Girls become gorgeous when they take off their glasses and let down their hair.

When somebody says something incredible over the phone, the listener pulls the phone away and stares at it.

You know the stuff I mean.

Well, two of the Super Bowl ads each employed a classic movie/tv cliche......

The ad & the Garmin GPS ad

The blipvert related the story of Chester Pitts, now a player on the Houston Texans, but who was "discovered" as a bag boy in a local supermarket.

In one scene, we know he's carrying out the bags of groceries to Ephraim Salaam's car because the bag contains a couple of loaves of French bread. Whenever anybody goes to the store in Toobworld, they always bring back French bread. And usually some kind of leafy stalk veggie - like celery.

Wellllll doggies! And don't they show up in the grocery bag as well!

Another movie cliche is that whenever a scene is set in an apartment in Paris, no matter where that apartment is, you can always see the Eiffel Tower.

Eventually you also see it from inside your car while you're driving as well, as seen in the Garmin GPS commercial.

There will be another post about that blipvert later....

Toby OB


The USA Network may have mistak- misguid- stupidly canceled 'The 4400', but its mythos lives on in Toobworld!

From the '4400 Wiki':

"Promicin is a neurotransmitter - a chemical produced in the brain that relays, amplifies and modulates signals between neurons and other cells. It is set apart from the normal four that control and regulate the human body, providing access to an unknown area of the cerebellum and giving the person access to extra-human abilities."

The Brewmeisters of Bud Light (in the TV Universe only, hopefully!) may have been experimenting with Promicin, manipulating its basic compound so that it can trigger one specific extra-human ability - the ability to breathe fire.

The Bud Light Ad
This specific recipe for Promicin would have been added to the mix for the televersion of Bud Light so that no matter who you were, the ability to breathe fire would be triggered in your genetic makeup. (It's probably buried in our DNA along with so much other genetic junk which the Doctor warned about in the episode "The Lazarus Experiment"; probably an ability we might have developed while we still shared the same evolutionary path as the dragons.)
If this is so, it looks as though it was unfortunately marketed before full product testing could be completed. But as we have seen in the commercial itself, the beer company pulled that specific mixture off the shelves and it is no longer available for general consumption.

So this is a blipvert with a specific place in the Toobworld timeline; what we saw was a historical replay of events which probably occurred over the last twelve months - the new beer was announced; the adverse effects began to appear; and it was taken off the market to avoid further bad publicity.

This type of splainin might also work for the other Bud Light blipvert in the series - in which the beer takes credit for the ability to fly. But I think there's more to the story than that, which I'll get to in another post.

Oh, and just to be as crystal clear as gravy - we are talking about a fictionalized version of Bud Light, not the actual suds you can pick up at the store.

Toby OB


The rumors are abound that the writers' strike may soon be over. With that in mind, and with an eye towards the Toobworld calendar and what's coming up in March, allow me to make the following Wish-Craft:

To the producers of 'The New Adventures of Old Christine':
Take a look at that picture. Don't you think it would make sense to hire Betty White to play the mother of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss' character?

Just sayin', is all.....

Toby OB


It's been a long-held theory at Toobworld Central that squirrels are the fifth most intelligent life form on Earth Prime-Time (after the mice, the dolphins, the humans, and the talking horses of Houyhnhm). This is due to the transformation of a California red squirrel into a human back in the 1960s, thanks to a Martian device (as seen on 'My Favorite Martian').

Even though the squirrel was returned to his normal self, he retained his human intelligence, and that boosted IQ was passed down to his descendants. And as red squirrels can inter-breed with the greys (although rare), it was transferred to them as well. (And it's a major reason as to why the grey squirrels are crowding out the red squirrel population.)

We've seen signs of their intelligence in Toobworld before - in blipverts for car insurance, breakfast cereals, and storm drain guards. They force cars off the road, change road signs, and lately they jump into your SUV to sing Andy Kim songs.

The Bridgestone Ad

With the Bridgestone ad that was featured in the Super Bowl, there really isn't much sign of intelligence on the part of the squirrel who ran out into the road for one acorn. That act alone was pretty stupid, but then again... we've seen humans do the same thing. And that he would freeze up and scream because of the onrushing car? That was instinctual.
Still, there's nothing to say this squirrel isn't one of the millions with heightened intelligence. More than likely the squirrel scarpered home to hide his prize and then write up a Post-It Note to remind him of its location.

And why not? Let's also say that he lived in that same enchanted forest from the Jeep Liberty commercial where all the animals can talk and sing!

I'm feeling magnanimous... and a little nutty.

Toby OB

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


This year I didn't tape the Super Bowl in order to just get the commercials to watch the next morning once I got home from work. Now that I've got Artemus, a fantastic computer which I'm told gives me more capabality than most small businesses, I figured I'd just watch them online.

Maybe I needed that bumper of a football game instead of relentlessly wading through all of those blipverts! By the time I was done watching them twice - once to get the feel of it, the second time for frame grabs - I felt like that squirrel in the Bridgestone ad!

Slowly but surely I'll work my way through the Blipvert Jungle to analyze those with Toobworld potential and eventually I'll blither on about them here in my Inner Toob Sanctum Sanctorum.

First up:

The Geico Ad
Those original Geico commercials about the cavemen living in modern society were pretty funny. Just about every one of them had their moments - "It's my mother. I'll put her on speaker phone." "Tina's here. We're getting back together." Those two still crack me up!

But then the guy who created the concept thought it might be fun to expand the premise into a sitcom.

I saw only a couple of episodes and while they weren't chock-full of chuckles, they were at least well-written. The one with the cavewoman had some exchanges of dialogue that might have been at home in a Woody Allen or an Ed Burns movie - without the hairy knuckles.

But overall? Not one of ABC's shining moments last season.

Based on the tableaux in the opening credits, these cavemen had been around in pivotal moments of History, so that might have meant trying to find a splainin as to why we hadn't seen them over the years (in real time as well as in toob time) in shows like 'Rome', 'The Adventures of Sir Lancelot', 'Gunsmoke', 'Banyon', 'The Mod Squad' and 'Seinfeld'. (Well, maybe the case could be made for Kramer.....)

Whereas with the cavemen in the commercials, they seem to have only recently found themselves thrust back into the real world and are still struggling to adapt. The guy in the second commercial (third? fourth?) even said that he didn't know those guys were still around.

So along comes this Super Bowl ad to reclaim the heritage of the commercial cavemen. As it turns out, the ABC sitcom 'Cavemen' was a TV show and not part of Toobworld's inner reality. We see these two cavemen hanging out after having just watched what was probably the premiere episode.

One of them is disgusted outright by what he saw; his friend takes a more philosophical approach to what the concept could turn out to be.

So now we can go back to the time before the series and proclaim that any future cavemen from the Geico ads are in Toobworld. Those from the series 'Cavemen' are not.

Toby OB

I can't speak with certainty on this, but it could be that the Geico Cavemen have been around long enough in Toobworld to have sired children by Homo Sapien females.

If so, I think we saw one of those hybrid female offspring in the Planter's ad.....


Out of nowhere at work last night, the name "Hotblack Desiato" popped into my head.

That's how bored I was.

He was the lead singer of "Disaster Area" seen in the fifth episode of 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'. Douglas Adams was stuck on a name for the character and when he saw a sign for an estate agency in Islington named "Hotblack Desiato", he nearly crashed his car.

Here's what the late Mr. Adams once had to say on the subject:

I came across the name Hotlblack Desiato when I was driving along Upper Street in Islington, and there it was on a house For Sale sign. It was the name of a new (real) estate agent . I thought it was the most wonderful name I'd ever seen, and wished I could come up with names as good as that.

I couldn't get the name out of my mind, and when I was trying to figure out the name for the rockstar who was spending a year dead for tax reasons, every name I thought of was not nearly as good as Hotblack Desiato. So in the end I gave up and phoned the agency and spoke - as it happened - to Geoff Hotblack. I asked him if I could use their name and he was, as you might imagine, quite surprised but said I certainly could.

And so I did. I spoke to Geoff quite often after that, in his capacity as an estate agent. And one day he told me that they had had quite a few calls from people saying hadn't they got a bit of a nerve naming their agency after a
character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

The same kind of thing happened when the first "Lord Of The Rings" movie came out. There were kids who never read the Tolkien trilogy who thought Gandalf was a ripoff of Dumbledore!

Toby OB


A friend of mine, Ms. I.V., suggested a primer of 'Lost' for Idiots.

This would be my contribution:

This little piggy went to Portland.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had Dharma beer.
And this little piggy had none.
And this little piggy drove his Dharma bus all over the Others,
Squealing Wee wee wee wee, Dude.
All the way home.

Toby OB

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Here it is, only February 5th, and already I think we have a winnuh for the 2008 Toobits Award for Best Crossover of the Year!
Last night, the ongoing feud between Conan O'Brien ('Late Night with Conan O'Brien'), Stephen Colbert ('The Colbert Report'), and Jon Stewart ('The Daily Show'/'A Daily Show') came to a head. Each of them argued as to who could take responsibility for the creation of Mike Huckabee as a serious contender for the Republican nomination to be President of the United States. It took an all-out brawl between those three stooges before we found out the truth from Huckabee himself:

"This great nation made me."

Each of the three "combatants" showed up on the others' shows over the course of two hours. Starting on 'A Daily Show', continuing through 'The Colbert Report' - both on Comedy Central - the argument spilled over into the corridors of NBC. During the knock-down, drag-out fight, old alliances were broken and new partnerships were formed until all three knocked each other out at the same time.

My one Wish-Craft - that when they were struggling over the gun, it would have actually gone off and "shot" somebody else - like Jay Leno, maybe even Ed McMahon or better yet, Chris Hanson! (Please?)

I think it's going to take a lot to top that effort for the honor of Best Crossover of the Year, because Daddy likes a three-way!

I guess you didn't need to know that.....

Toby OB


There was a time when I spent many afternoons in Port Charles, NY. Back in high school, I really didn't have much choice - Mom was a nurse and she liked to watch 'General Hospital' just before she went to work on her shift. (This was back in the BC days: Before Cable and in a house with only one set.)

Then in 1980, I began a summer job doing the night audit for one of the properties belonging to a Westhampton Beach resort. Many of the afternoons were spent on the beach - getting my first exposure to REAL ocean waves after only a few visits to Misquomicut and Hammonassett (nearly killed me that first time). But most weekdays I found myself falling back under the spell of the soap opera. Especially since they amped up the excitement with the Ice Princess storyline.

And it was during that time when I first "met" Amy Vining.

SoapCentral has a nice biography for her character which I'd like to quote here:

"Amy Vining is the daughter of Jason and Barbara Vining. Barbara's child died at birth and her baby was switched with Leslie Faulkner's daughter, Laura. When Leslie tracked down her daughter it was in the nick of time. Leslie rescued her daughter from a cult and brought her back to Port Charles. In 1979, 16 year old Amy tracked down her big sister, Laura, who had just married Scotty Baldwin. Amy turned out to be quite a bit of trouble. She had a knack for discovering everyone's secrets and loved to gossip. Putting a strain on Laura and Scotty's rocky marriage, Amy went to live with Leslie Webber and her second husband, Dr. Rick Webber.

In 1982, Amy fell for handsome boxer Johnny Morrissey. He broke her heart when he decided to leave town after his manager, Packy, succumbed to a heart attack.Through the years, Amy and Laura's sisterly bond remained firm. Amy loved her sister's family and was always there for Laura when times became difficult. Unfortunately that was frequently. The biggest strain on their relationship occurred when Laura faked her death and didn't tell her sister Amy who deeply mourned her loss. When Amy found out that Laura was alive she was initially overjoyed but then profoundly hurt. Eventually Laura and Amy worked through it and Amy was able to forgive Laura.

Even through Amy has remained single, over the years she's flirted with quite a few of Port Charles's eligible bachelors. She also developed a friendship with Elton Herbert, Laura's office manager at Deception but she abhors his tendency to gossip. She continues to work at General Hospital."

Then there's this one from GHFF, an

"In all her years of nursing at General Hospital, Amy Vining has dished out a lot of medicine. But those figures pale in comparison to the quantities of gossip that she's administered. The biggest talker in Port Charles, Amy keeps a running commentary going on the lives of everyone around her, often to the detriment of her own life. She'd have a terrible reputation as a gabber (instead of the merely dubious one that she does endure) were it not for the fact that one thing about her is bigger than her mouth - her heart.

Amy's parents, Barbara and Jason Vining, raised her with her big sister, Laura. Barbara's baby had died in childbirth and was switched with Lesley Faulkner's newborn, Laura. Years later, after Jason died, Lesley tracked down Laura and saved her from a Canadian cult.

After Laura wed Scotty Baldwin in 1979, 16-year-old Amy showed up on their doorstep in Port Charles and never left. The incorrigible teen put an added strain on a union that was shaky from the start. Eventually, Amy came to reside with Lesley and her second husband, Dr. Rick Webber.

In 1982, Amy was swept up in an unlikely romance with handsome boxer Johnny Morrissey. But the pinings of her heart weren't enough to overcome the aching in the heart of Johnny's manager, Packy. After the older man succumbed to a heart attack, Johnny departed Port Charles, delivering an emotional knockout to Amy.

Over the years, Amy has been a source of endless aggravation for her big sister, Laura. At times, it's seemed like they still were teenagers. But Amy also has been there for her sibling in her hours of need - and there have been plenty of them. As a result, the bond between the women is strong and true, if occasionally strained. Thus, when Laura faked her own death in 1996, Amy was deeply hurt that Laura didn't let her in on the scam. She mourned for her sister and was as furious with her when she turned up alive as she was overjoyed to see her.

Through it all, Amy has had flirtations with some of Port Charles's most eligible bachelors, such as Damian Smith, and famous saxophonist Dave Koz, and has exchanged a flirtatious smile or two with Lt. Marcus Taggert.

Amy found a friend in Elton Herbert, Office Manager for her sister Laura's company, Deception, but one thing she can't stand about Elton is his tendency to gossip!

Amy continues to work as a nurse at General Hospital. With her ear always on the gossip mill, Amy is the prime source of "unofficial" news around the hospital."

I left in those last few lines because until 'General Hospital' decides to address the issue, Amy Vining will continue to live on in Port Charles. However, the actress who portrayed her, Shell Kepler, passed away on Friday at the much too young age of 49.

The Pure Prairie League song is now playing in my head in her memory.......

Toby OB


February 2nd, 2008 - the day the living stopped for Lt. Philip Gerard.

When an actor dies in the Trueniverse, it's not always a given that his most famous characters died as well. Some of them have already predeceased their portrayer; others may not even be born yet.

Even if they are never seen again, many TV characters can be considered as still being alive in Toobworld even if they are contemporaries of the late actor. But I think that when Barry Morse passed away on Saturday, Lt. Gerard died as well.

At least his dogged pursuit of 'The Fugitive' Dr. Richard Kimble across America finally led to the revelation of the real killer of Kimble's wife. A cop more obsessed with the case may not have cared to hear Kimble out at the end, despite the new evidence. But Gerard did the right thing and helped clear Kimble's name as well as save his life.

As for the character Morse created for 'Space:1999', it's unknown here at Toobworld Central as to whether or not Dr. Victor Bergman is still alive. First off, a splainin had to be found for that show since the events that launched the series never took place. The Moon never broke free of its orbit around the Earth back in 1999 in the TV Universe - we see it all the time in current TV shows.

So it was decided that the nuclear fuel dumps for the secret lunar colony still exploded (probably sparked by the use of lasers during a 1999 7-Up blipvert). Many of the scientists who living a covert life on the Moon at that time may have died - and Dr. Bergman may have been among them.

But in the mind of Commander Koenig, who was thrown into a coma by the devastation, Bergman and the others were still alive. Koenig was trapped in a coma-induced fantasy world in much the same way as a certain copper from Manchester.

If Bergman did survive that lunar catastrophe, he'd be about sixty-six today. And if he should live as long as Barry Morse, he'll be around in Toobworld for another 20 years at least.
I think it will be a VERY long time before Martian Chief Inspector Phobos passes away, as the humanoid Martians have quite extended lifespans (as seen with Exigius 12½ on 'My Favorite Martian'). Of course, it would depend on him being off-planet (Mars, that is) when the population was wiped out by the Martian Sentience seen in the final episode of 'Odyssey 5'. (It's likely that he was on Earth when that happened, probably conducting some kind of "Controlled Experiment" with fellow Martian Deimos.)

Fitzgerald Fortune was a Broadway critic; in age, he would have been a contemporary of Barry Morse. But I think he passed away quite some time ago, and probably by his own hand. This would have happened sometime after he brought "A Piano In The House", as seen on 'The Twilight Zone'.

Another resident of Toobworld who probably took his own life would be Peter Pell. Pell was a photographer who discovered the ability to disfigure his enemies by altering their photographs with some kind of solution. Unfortunately for him, he was subjected to that "Soft Focus" treatment as well when he spilled the solution all over his own photograph - which left him with a 'Way Out' horror of a face!
Alec Marlowe, code-named "The Tiger" when he was a member of the Allied Resistance group known as 'The Zoo Gang', would have been a contemporary of Barry Morse as well. However, he more than likely died back in the 70s while trying to right the wrongs committed by those outside the grasp of Justice in the Cote d'Azure. Sadly, I think all the members of the reunited 'Zoo Gang' have passed away by now.

Mr. Parminter used to work for US Intelligence as the liaison with secret agent Gene Bradley while 'The Adventurer' lived the high life around the world. (Their cover identities were that of a movie star and his agent. I don't think I have to tell you who was who.) Considering how dangerous their lifestyle was, I think it's likely that Mr. Parminter didn't get to enjoy retirement from the spy games.

It could be argued that Mr. Parminter might be the grandson or great-grandson of Wilton Parmenter and Jane Thrift (the family name going through some kind of alteration along the way).

Thanks for being there when you were needed, Mr. Morse.

'The Fugitive'
'Space: 1999'
'The Zoo Gang'
'The Adventurer'
'The Twilight Zone'
'The Outer Limits'
'Way Out'
'My Favorite Martian'
'Odyssey 5'
'F Troop'
'Life On Mars'
7-Up commercial

Toby OB


Finally got around to watching the second episode of 'Breaking Bad'....

I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I'll continue watching it, and I think it will be lost forever if the strike is settled and my regular line-up of shows all return.
I'll be taking 'Breaking Bad' on a week by week basis.

In the meantime, the second episode featured a prop link that showed up often on 'Journeyman'. A quick check at Wikipedia showed that it has been seen in quite a handful of recent series. Like Morley Cigarettes previously, it goes a long way towards fusing those shows together.

Finder-Spyder, the computer search engine was used by teacher and meth "cook" Walt White's wife Skyler. She easily looked up info on the young man who was making strange calls to her husband.

But it also appeared in these other TV series:

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation:
Finder-Spyder is used in the episode "Time of Your Death."


Hidden Palms:
Finder-Spyder is used in the episode "Party Hardy."

Journeyman: Dan Vasser (played by Kevin McKidd) frequently uses Finder-Spyder.
It appears in the episode "A Love of a Lifetime," "The Year of the Rabbit," and "The Legend of Dylan McCleen."

Finder-Spyder is used in the episode "12:04 AM."

Prison Break:
Finder-Spyder is used in the "Pilot" episode and "Dirt Nap."

Without a Trace
Of them all, 'Prison Break' is the only one which does not take place on Earth Prime-Time, because of its discrepancy as to who occupies the White House.

Toby OB

[Thanks to Wikipedia for the info and images.]