Saturday, September 20, 2008


TV Newser (link to the left, Newsies!) published this picture of the 'Good Morning, America' mini-bus, saying:

Good Morning America had the
Little Juniata Rapids train, GMA Weekend has a 1962 VW minibus. The crew hit the road this weekend, broadcasting live from the University of North Carolina campus as part of the "50 States in 50 Days" initiative. Unlike the train, as far as we know there is no control room in the minibus. It looks like it doesn't have a bathroom, either. I don't know who the blonde is, but man! She really needs to go weeee!

Toby O'B


This is for all of you out there who know your TV theme songs.....

Is it me? Or does the theme music for 'Real Time With Bill Maher' sound an awful lot like the 'MadTV' theme music?

Just askin', is all.....

Toby O'B


This could make for an interesting, full-bore cross-over.....

'The Sons of Anarchy' "club" talked about the L.A.-based bikers known as the "One-Niners". Here's what the wiki for 'The Shield had to say about this fictional gang of black bikers:

The One-Niners is an African-American gang that is central to the plot of Season Four.

The One-Niners were the target of coordinated efforts by Captain Monica Rawling to bring them down, using asset seizures and court injunctions, [and by] using an Anti-Gang Task Force coordinated by Vic Mackey.

Toobworld doesn't really need anymore than that to establish this as a link between 'The Shield' and 'The Sons Of Anarchy'.

Toby O'B


Jay Ward was born on this date in 1920. He passed away from liver cancer in 1989. And for more about his life in between, I'll turn it over to my old pal Wiki J. Pedia:

J Troplong "Jay" Ward (September 20, 1920 – October 12, 1989) was an American creator and producer of animated television cartoons. He is known for producing animated series based on characters such as Crusader Rabbit, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, Hoppity Hooper, George of the Jungle, Tom Slick and Super Chicken. His company, Jay Ward Productions, also designed the trademark characters for Cap'n Crunch, Quisp and Quake breakfast cereals and made commercials for those products, among others. Ward produced the non-animated 'Fractured Flickers' series that featured comedy redubbing of silent films.

Jay Ward was married to Ramona "Billie" Ward. He had three children: Ron, Carey, and Tiffany.

Ward moved into the infant medium of television with the help of his childhood friend, animator Alex Anderson. Anderson was the nephew of Terrytoons founder Paul Terry, and had unsuccessfully tried to sell Terry a concept for a cartoon series made specifically for the new medium. Together, Ward and Anderson took the character, Crusader Rabbit, to NBC and pioneering TV-program distributor Jerry Fairbanks. They put together a pilot film, 'The Comic Strips of Television', featuring Crusader; a parody of Sherlock Holmes named "Hamhock Bones"; and a bumbling Mountie named Dudley Do-Right.

NBC and Fairbanks were unimpressed with all but Crusader Rabbit (though Dudley would make his appearance, finally, 10 years later). Crusader Rabbit premiered in 1949 and ended its initial run in 1952. Adopting a serialized, mock-melodrama format, the series followed the adventures of Crusader and his dimwitted sidekick Rags the tiger. It was, in form and content, much like the series that would later gain Ward fame, 'Rocky and His Friends'.

Ward and Anderson, through a series of legal maneuvers against them, lost the rights to the character, and a new color Crusader series under a different producer premiered in 1956. An unsold series idea from his Crusader Rabbit days would eventually earn Ward a permanent place in animation history. Taking place in a TV studio in the North Woods, the series featured a cast of eccentrics such as newsman Oski Bear and two minor characters named Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle, described in the script treatment as a "French-Canadian moose." This was the genesis of what would become 'Rocky and His Friends' and later, 'The Bullwinkle Show', when NBC gave Rocky's sidekick top billing.

Premiering on ABC in 1959 (and moving to NBC two years later) the series reached a level of sophistication in its humor rarely seen in cartoons before. Thanks to Ward's genial partner Bill Scott (who contributed to the scripts and voiced Bullwinkle and other characters) and a corps of top comedy writers, puns reached new heights (or depths) of shamelessness: in a "Fractured Fairy Tales" featuring Little Jack Horner, upon pulling out the plum, Jack announced, "Lord, what foods these morsels be!"

Jay Ward is seen here on the right, with Bill Scott
and an unidentified kids' show host in the center.

Self-referential humor was another trademark: in one episode, the breathless announcer (played by William Conrad) gave away the villain's plans, prompting the villain to grab the announcer from offscreen, bind and gag him, and deposit him visibly within the scene. It skewered popular culture mercilessly, taking on such subjects as advertising, college sports, the Cold War, and television itself. The hapless duo from Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, blundered into unlikely adventures much as Crusader and Rags had before them, pursued by "no-goodnik" spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, perennially under orders to "keel moose and squirrel."

The segments were serialized, generally ending with a cliff-hanging peril; the announcer would urge the viewer to "tune in next time" for the next adventure, featuring two dreadful puns in the titles, like "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Gory, or Moose's in the Cold, Cold Ground" and "When a Felon Needs a Friend, or Pantomime Quisling," or "Portrait of a Moose, or Bullwinkle Gets Framed."

In a running joke tribute to Jay Ward, many of his cartoon characters had the middle initial "J.", presumably standing for "Jay" (although this was never stated explicitly). One contributor to this entry wrote to Jay Ward in 1961 and asked him what the J stood for in Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. Ward wrote back that the J stood for George. The cartoonist, Matt Groening, later gave the middle initial "J." to many of his characters as a tribute to Jay Ward.

In 2000, he was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, paid for as part of the publicity for the live-action and animation film "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle".

Of course, that entry was a bit too dry to serve as a fitting tribute to Jay Ward, so let me steer you to three other sites:




And from those you'll find plenty of other links to specific characters in the Jay Ward gallery.

Jay Ward would have been 88 today. Rocky, Bullwinkle, and all their friends are ageless.

Toby O'B

Friday, September 19, 2008


In the mid-season finale of 'Burn Notice' this week, Michael Weston was checking out the mysterious fourth floor and realized that Carla's hitman was going to use it as a sniper's nest. His buddy Sam Axe was downstairs, acting as look-out, and was in contact with Mike through his ear-piece.....

"What do you see up there?" asked Sam. "A mastermind petting a Persian cat?"

Of course, Sam was referring to Blofeld, the villain from the James Bond movies. And those are movies in Toobworld as well, even though James Bond existed in the TV Universe.

But TV's Bond, James Bond, was an American operative back in the 50s who was often called Jimmy Bond. We only saw him once on the TV screens, in a 1954 adaptation of "Casino Royale" in an episode of 'Climax'. Barry Nelson played Bond and is officially the first actor in the role.

All of those movies, even the books by Ian Fleming, we can make the claim that they're all based on the exploits in Jimmy Bond's life. (And "Casino Royale" - at least in Toobworld - wasn't published until after the events of that TV show.)

Toby O'B


While putting together a tribute to the late Jeff MacKay, I tarried in the episode guide for 'Tales Of The Gold Monkey'. And according to the back-story, Ron Moody originally played Bon Chance Louie in the pilot for the series. However, there were "differences of opinion" between Moody and the producers about how the role should develop and be played. So for the series itself, the late and legendary Roddy McDowall was brought in to play Louie. (And according to MacKay, McDowall brought real class to the role.)

As much as I have enjoyed Ron Moody in the few productions I've seen, Roddy McDowall would always win out [in my opinion] as the real Bon Chance Louie. I'm that big a fan. However, I shouldn't be playing favorites with the Toobworld concept. (Although, let's face it, I do!)

Therefore, Ron Moody must be considered the true Bon Chance Louie. So a splainin must then be found to satisfy Toobworld's inner reality as to why Roddy McDowall was a recastaway.

I'm tossing out plastic surgery right away. For the times and the location, surgery of that sophistication would have been impossible. They would have been performing 'M*A*S*H'-quality "meatball surgery" (and not even on a par with the "skills" of Frank Burns!) on those islands.

Another possibility that came to me would have been Dr. Jonathan Willoway of 'Fantastic Journey'. He could have found a dimensional escape route and used it to save himself. And having once arrived back on Earth Prime-Time in 1938, he would have dispatched Louie and taken his place.

But he was a bit of a con man and something of a coward, and I don't see him staying long there. There were too many other con men and thieves all around him at the Monkey Bar, and not enough chance for making a fortune for himself.

There's only one character he could be - Edward St. John V, from the 'Quantum Leap' episode "A Leap For Lisa". In that storyline, Dr. Sam Beckett leaped into the life of a much younger Al Calavicci, which caused a disruption in Al's personal history. And until Sam could fix the problem, the future history was also altered so that Al was no longer his personal guide through the past. Instead, he was replaced by Edward St. John V, who had no clue who Al Calavicci was supposed to be.

We know from other episodes of 'Quantum Leap' about that evil Queen Bitch leaper that the technology for leaping would be greatly improved so that a leaper could pinpoint their destination and have control over it. So I'm thinking that Edward St. John V, who probably worked on the Quantum Leap Project staff regardless of Al's fate, eventually was called upon to accept a long-term leap assignment....
He was probably asked by the government to step in and replace Bon Chance Louie, for at least the duration of the coming World War II. The idea could have been that this operation would ensure that History in that region would continue on its prescribed destiny. As the original Bon Chance Louie had been a thief sent by the French to keep an official eye on other thieves, I'm thinking the "Timecops" of the future couldn't take the chance that Bon Chance would hold up his end of the bargain.

So Roddy McDowall may not have been the original, but his character of Edward St. John V proved to be the better Bon Chance Louie.
Toby O'B

[My thanks to
Al's Place, a 'Quantum Leap' website, and the 'Tales Of The Gold Monkey' fansite for their unwitting contributions to this piece.]


Soon after the events began in the second episode of 'Fringe', Homeland Security boss Philip Broyles addressed a secret committee made up of more than just security experts, scientists, and elected officials.

"Thank you all for convening at this late hour. 43 minutes ago, we were alerted to an incident at the Wallace Bromley Medical Center. While the details are still coming in, it appears to be another anomaly whose mysteries and origins remain the sole purpose of this committee."

I assumed that the hospital in question was in Boston, Massachusetts, - after all, that's what those giant block letters are for in establishing each scene. And yet the only "Wallace Bromley" of real note that I can locate so far is the 14th District's Republican representative in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who resigned on May 31st, 1927.

There was a Wallace Bromley who was born in Charleston, NY in 1824 and died February 14th, 1874. He married and had children in Charleston, so again, it doesn't look like he would have had any impact in Boston to be so honored with a medical center named after him.

From 1880 Michigan records, there's the listed marriage of Wallace Bromley, a 23 year old laborer from Foley to Mary Ann Francom, a 19 year old from Bridgeport and Foley on October 18th. I don't think there's anything there to suggest he would one day have a hospital in Boston named after him, either.

I did find this Google entry amusing: "Any opinion, fify fat nude women give and the the, fat nude women Society, Wallace Bromley great latterly submitted have than of doctrine call on, ..." I imagine it used to be just a come-on link (literally) but now it doesn't open to anything.

So the Wallace Bromley Medical Center appears to be a fictional creation for the show 'Fringe', which is named after some fictional Wallace Bromley who meant something to the city of Boston or to the state of Massachusetts.

I'd be curious to know where JJ Abrams and his writing team got the inspiration for the name. But then, I'm freakish that way.....

Toby O'B


A bit of serendipiteevee: the other morning at work, I was up in the operator's dungeon where the overnight operator was watching an episode of 'Quantum Leap'. And I passed by just as Sam said that the only thing he knew about the Law came from a TV show whose name he couldn't even remember. At that point his holographic companion Al showed up to say "It's Perry Mason!"

It's not the first time Erle Stanley Gardner's famous literary creation cum TV character legend was cited in another TV show. In the second pilot for 'Columbo', "Ransom For A Dead Man", Leslie Williams sneered at the Lieutenant, "I'm familiar with the 'Perry Mason' school of justice." And on 'Dream On', Toby Pedalbee exclaimed, "I watched 'Perry Mason' a hundred and eighty times and this has never happened!"

This is all easy enough to splain away, Your Honors.

Perry Mason shares the same TV dimension as Toby, Ms. Williams, Dr. Sam Beckett and Al. And as Perry Mason made quite a name for himself as a lawyer in Los Angeles, Colorado, and across the nation, they must have read about him in the papers over the years. It could be that Mason became so famous as a lawyer with such a high recognition factor, that some network executive must have figured he could pull in the ratings with his own show about the law.

And I can cite precedent from the real world proving that lawyers have heeded the lure of a television appearance - William Kunstler, Melvin Belli, Gerry Spence, F. Lee Bailey, Johnnie Cochran, and Robert Shapiro.

So when TV characters talk about Perry Mason being on TV, they're not talking about the TV show we know starring Raymond Burr*. They're talking about the actual character as a "real" person showing up on TV.

As for Leslie Williams' crack about the "Perry Mason School of Justice"? Maybe he had a law school named after him.

Hey; you never know.....

The Defense rests.

Toby O'B

*The Monte Markham version of 'Perry Mason' does not belong in Earth Prime-Time. Although in the Toobworld novel I've been working on, I got some splainin to do about why he existed. And the answer lies in his little finger......

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Earlier today I wrote about the possibility of "Hellboy" coming to Television, and thus, officially to Toobworld. (He's got a few TV commercials to his credit so far.)

And as I wrote it up, I wondered who might be a good choice to play the demonspawn working for the good guys. Ron Perlman plays him in the movie franchise, but I don't think he'd want to be tied down under all of that make-up, week after week in order to do a TV series.

Later in the day I finally got around to finishing off the run of 'Generation Kill' and it was in the ranks of Bravo Company marines that I found the actor who might be a good fit for the role of Hellboy.

Meet Marc Menchaca.

Getting the chance to play Hellboy could be a big step to stardom for Menchaca. Aside from playing Gunnery Sgt. Mike "Gunny" Wynn in 'Generation Kill', there isn't that much of note yet in his resume. "Business Guy" on an episode of 'Guiding Light'; "Store Assistant" in the TV movie "Beyond The Prairie, Part Two"; even the episode he did for 'Arrest And Trial' doesn't give him much of a name - "Junior"

And his movie roles don't fare much better - Interrogator, University Cop, Shipping Clerk.

He's young though, plenty of time for him to fill out his resume.

So I think he'd jump at the chance to play Hellboy!

And look at this picture of Marc Menchaca as Gunny in 'Generation Kill':

Doesn't it remind you of the way Hellboy shaves down his horns?

Just sayin', is all......

Toby O'B


I saw the first episode of 'Raising The Bar' when it premiered a few weeks ago and I wasn't impressed. I was kind of bored, and was able to guess a few twists before it ended. But I may have stayed with the show if only Currie Graham wasn't playing Nick Balco as the District Attorney of New York City.

Right now, Jack McCoy is the DA (acting DA, I think) on 'Law & Order'. No matter who held the job in the past on that show, that's who would be the NYC DA for Earth Prime-Time, just from the sheer volume of episodes racked up over the years.

For the purposes of Toobworld, my virtual sandbox where every TV character is part of my army of action figures, I could have accepted Nick Balco as another Executive ADA, or in charge of one particular sub-set of ADA supervisors (if there's even such a thing). In fact, since his office is open to view by everybody else in the communal office, I would have thought Balco is some kind of middle management in the DA's office. But if he is the District Attorney when it should be Jack McCoy holding sway in the top spot, the entire show has to be bagged.

Like I said, I wasn't keen on the show personally, but I've always liked Steve Bochco's work in the past. So I want to make sure we find 'Raising The Bar' a good home, preferably in a nice neighborhood.

So I'm thinking the same alternate TV dimension which houses 'The West Wing', 'Mr. Sterling', and 'Smallville' (because 'The West Wing' couldn't be in a TV dimension in which Clark Kent was already operating as Superman.)

I'll think they'll make 'Raising The Bar' feel at home.

And if 'The West Wing' ever showed a character who was the Manhattan District Attorney or even just mentioned his or her name, no worries. We can just say that since that time, Nick Balco was elected to the job.

And of course, I can easily reverse my decision if it turns out Nick Balco isn't the District Attorney but a glorified office manager.

Toby O'B


Last Sunday I DVR'd the 'Remington Steele' episode "Small Town Steele" so that I could get the name of that small California town to add to the Toobworld map. It showed up within five minutes, so I was tempted to just delete the rest of the show. Instead, I saved it to watch at some later time - which was today.

And I was glad I did! At the very end of the episode, Remington Steele is seen in the office reading the Los Angeles Tribune, which had their case plastered across the front page as the headline.

Of course, the major source for the Los Angeles Tribune is 'Lou Grant', but it also showed up in:

'Burke's Law II'
'Matt Houston'
"The Chinese Typewriter", a TV movie
'Lookwell', a pilot for a show that never got made
and '24', but that's in an alternate universe.
Toby O'B


Another actor who recently died too soon was Jeff MacKay, who passed away of liver failure in Tulsa at the age of 59. The cousin of Robert Redford, he got his start with a role in "All The President's Men", but made his mark playing easy-going rogues in Toobworld.

From a Toobworld vantage point, his most interesting character would have been Lt. MacReynolds on 'Magnum, P.I.' Mac was a Naval intelligence officer who loved his doughnuts, and would occasionally help Magnum out as an old Navy buddy with some information. However, in 1982, Mac was killed... or so Magnum thought until he ran into a con man named Jim Bonnick (but could also be spelled as Bonig; I've found both online and in my source books). Bonnick was Mac's exact double and actually was passing himself off as the Navy lieutenant when Magnum first met him. (In two episodes, Jeff MacKay played both roles, so I guess Mac had to be a flashback/dream sequence.)

At Toobworld Central, we're also making a theoretical link of "relateeveety" with the claim that Corky of 'Tales Of The Gold Monkey' was the older - and identical! - cousin of Lt. Don French who served in the 'Black Sheep Squadron'.

Here are Jeff MacKay's contributions to the Toobworld citizenry:

"Berlin Break" (1993) TV series .... Mitch

"Magnum, P.I." (1980-1987) .... Lieutenant 'Mac' MacReynolds, USN
"Magnum, P.I." (1987-1988) .... Jim Bonnick

"Tales of the Gold Monkey" (1983-1984) .... Corky

"Baa Baa Black Sheep"/"Black Sheep Squadron" (1976-1977) .... Lt. Don French

"The Krofft Supershow" (1976) .... Gordon 'Gordie' Masterson (in 'Dr. Shrinker')

"JAG" (2000-2005) .... Big Bud Roberts

"Battlestar Galactica" (1978-1979) .... Cpl Komma

Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982) (TV) .... Corky

Baa Baa, Black Sheep (1976) (TV) .... Lt. Donald French

"Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" .... Doc Kline
- May I Talk with You (1997)

The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979) (TV) .... Hugo Kaufman

"Oklahoma Passage" (1989) TV mini-series .... Wiley Post

"Transformers" (1984) TV series .... Fireflight

"Diagnosis Murder" .... Paul Pishny
- Frontier Dad (2000)

- Madril (1987)

"Hardcastle and McCormick" .... Nick Farrell
- The Game You Learn from Your Father (1985)

- Sweet Britches (1984) TV episode .... Buddy
- To Snare a Wolf (1984) TV episode .... Sgt. Willie Nash

"The Rousters" .... Gandy
- Everybody Loves a Clown (1983)

"The Greatest American Hero"
- The Beast in the Black (1981) TV episode .... Doctor Weinstein
- The Greatest American Hero (1981) TV episode .... Officer Cowan

"The Duke"
- Nothing 'Cept Noise (1979)

Trials of Life (1997) (TV) .... The Hobo

Midnight Offerings (1981) (TV) .... Herb Nemenz

May God bless, as Mr. Skelton would say.....

Toby O'B


Actually, it would be vice versa.....

Universal's President of Production, Donna Langley, has said the studio wants to work with Guillermo del Toro (who's booked through 2017) on more "Hellboy" projects - including a TV series and online segments which could be added to the Toobworld version of the "Hellboy" franchise.

Right now, "Hellboy" does have a televersion also played by Ron Perlman in a blipvert that showed him interacting with others from the NBC/Universal stable of Toobworld characters, like 'Chuck' Bartowski. But should a TV series ever come to fruition, I don't think Ron Perlman will be involved in playing the role. Not that he'll be too busy playing Clay in 'Sons Of Anarchy' - I think that's going to be a "one and done" series - but because he may want to only play Hellboy on the big screen and save his demonic mojo for that last hurrah in the movie franchise.

So if there ever should be a Hellboy on TV - and that's a big IF - and he is played by some other actor, I can launch a pre-emptive strike against the Zonk of him being a Recastaway.....

We'll just say that it was due to some alien/mystical/demonic force that caused his facial features to change (and his voice along with it).

Toby O'B


In 2009, 'Red Dwarf' will be back with four new episodes. Well, four episodes which combine a new storyline with archival material. Basically, it'll add up to a two hour clip show to celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary for the comedy sci-fi series.

I'm just not sure if it's supposed to be on the network "Dave" (once known as UKTV) or on its off-shoot GOLD (which stands for "Go On, Laugh Daily"). I've seen several different news reports listing it as either one or the other......

Toby O'B


David Hinckley of the 'New York Daily News' wrote up a review of the eighth season opener for 'Smallville' and began with this salvo which could have been directed at his own bosses:

In Thursday's season premiere of "Smallville," young Clark Kent reconsiders his reluctance and decides he will become a reporter at the Daily Planet.

It's nice to know someone in the newspaper biz is still hiring.

Had the Daily News considered the position of TV critic so important in its line-up, David Hinckley would still be the pop culture columnist at large and the fantastic David Bianculli would still be at the paper writing up his reviews and collections of TV in-jokes which he calls "Extras".

It's a growing problem which I've addressed before, earlier this year in fact.

Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant thinks his job is not long for this world. After all, the newspaper's way of thinking is that they just have to pick up TV news stories off the wire and who needs a local voice on the topic? And now it looks like one of my other favorites, Alan Sepinwall of the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, may find his job in peril, along with everybody else at the paper.

"Editor & Publisher" has obtained a recent memo from George Arwady, the paper's publisher:

To: All Star-Ledger Employees
From: George Arwady
Date: September 16, 2008
Re: Update

As I have previously told you, there are three conditions that must be met in order for The Star-Ledger to remain in business under its current ownership. Although we are making progress toward meeting two of our three conditions (the Mailers have a ratification vote scheduled for September 22), we still are far from an agreement with the Drivers’ union.

Accordingly, since it is doubtful that the Drivers will ratify an agreement by October 8, 2008, we will be sending formal notices to all employees this week, as required by both federal and New Jersey law, advising you that the Company will be sold, or, failing that, that it will close operations on January 5, 2009.

It is most unfortunate that we have to send out this notice, but the Drivers have left us with no choice.

George Arwady, Publisher

Meanwhile, McClatchy Co. announced another round of staff reductions which will cut the work force by 10%. And this comes three months after an earlier 10% cut was announced. On top of this, Gannett Co. which is the largest newspaper company in the United States, reported a third straight month of steep advertising declines in its publishing branch.

My brother is an editor at a paper in Connecticut; one of my best friends is an editor at the New York Times. So news like this is upsetting to me on a deeper level than just losing TV columns I enjoy reading.

As this economy seems to be getting worse, I can only hope everybody involved survives this downturn.....

Toby O'B


I'd apologize for that heading because it's rude and sexist... but I find it funny. So bleep off! (Besides, the episode was about dogs!)

At one point during "The Finger In The Nest", 'Bones' and Angela were getting their knickers in a twist (There I go again!) over the disgusting brutality of dog-fighting and condemning men in general for the barbaric - I don't know, I can't even bring myself to call it a "sport".

Agent Booth tried to nip it, nip it in the bud by warning them not to "go all Xena, Warrior Princess" on him.

For the audience viewing at home? This was a reference to a TV show.

Within the context of Toobworld's reality? It was a reference to an historical figure.

Even if she started out in the Age of Legend, and even though her soul was totally dispersed after death so that there was never any hope of reincarnation, the name of Xena, the "warrior princess" echoed down through the millennia. And as she somehow was able to pop up at various points in the Toobworld timeline - the Roman Empire, France in the 18th Century - Xena was sure to be remembered by History as well as in Legend. (Getting involved in adventures with Julius Caesar doesn't hurt, either!)

For alls I know, Booth knew about Xena by watching the History Channel, as manly men do - like Tony Soprano.....

And so Xena is de-Zonked.

Toby O'B


Cesar Millan, celebrated as "The Dog Whisperer", is 2/3rds of the way toward completion of his requirements to join the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, League of Themselves Division.

Wednesday night he appeared in an episode of 'Bones' ("The Finger In The Nest") as himself as the forensics team of the Jeffersonian Institute helped FBI agent Booth solve another murder.

Last year he appeared as himself in "Children of Ghost", an episode of 'The Ghost Whisperer'. So now he just needs one more fictionalized televersion of himself to complete the trifecta.

Too bad Vincent wasn't one of the Oceanic 6 - he could finally have that 'Lost' episode focused on him that he's so long deserved!

Toby O'B


Less than a month ago, I was shocked to read this in TVSquad:

[Julius Carry] was probably best known for his role as Lord Bowler on 'The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.' Carry was also a regular on 'The District', 'Doctor, Doctor', and 'Do Over', and had recurring roles on 'Murphy Brown', 'Boy Meets World', and 'Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place'. He also did guest spots on many other shows, including 'Columbo', 'Diagnosis Murder', 'Spin City', 'Caroline in the City', 'Earth 2', 'Grace Under Fire', 'Hill Street Blues', 'Empty Nest', 'Tales from the Crypt', 'Murder, She Wrote', 'Moonlighting', and many others. His last role was on an episode of 'The Unit'.

He died of pancreatic cancer at age 56.

I think they're right that Carry will be best remembered in Toobworld as Lord Bowler, one of his few characters who predeceased him. (Bowler probably died nearly one hundred years ago.)

Here are the other characters he contributed to a more contemporary Toobworld:

"Do Over" .... Principal Glen Rudd (2002)

"Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" .... Bill

"Misery Loves Company" (1995) TV series .... Perry

"Cutters" (1993) TV series .... Troy King

"Doctor Doctor" .... Dr. Abe Butterfield

"The District" .... Reverend Garvey
- Payback (2002)
- Twist of Hate (2002)
- The Project (2001)
- Lost and Found (2001)
['The District' takes place in an alternate Toobworld.]

"Boy Meets World" .... Sergeant Moore
- Angela's Ashes (2000)
- Angela's Men (1999)

"Murphy Brown" .... Mitchell Baldwin
- Old Flames (1996)
- Black and White and Read All Over (1993)
- Two for the Road (1993)
- Night of Living News (1992)
- Black, White & Brown (1992)

"227" .... Dale Evans
- How the West Was Fun: Part 2 (1989)
- How the West Was Fun: Part 1 (1989)

"It's a Living" .... Reggie St. Thomas
- Wedding, Wedding (1989)
- The New Guy Show (1988)

"The Unit" .... Colonel George
- Eating the Young (2006)
['The Unit' takes place in an alternate Toobworld.]

"The 12th Man" .... Sonny
- Pilot (2006)

- Camp Delta (2004) TV episode .... Maj. Gen. Paul Spinoza
- Baby, It's Cold Outside (2001) TV episode .... Alton Foreland

"Half & Half" .... Earl
- The Big Forbidden Fruit Episode (2003)

Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) (TV) .... Policeman

"The Hughleys" .... Marcos
- Smells Like Free Spirit (2002)

"Men, Women & Dogs" .... Stan
- Top Dog (????)

"Nikki" .... Frank Schisler
- Schisler's List (2001)

"Diagnosis Murder" .... Roger Calender
- No Good Deed (2001)

"Strong Medicine" .... Art Lewis
- Performance Anxiety (2000)

"Boy Meets World" .... Professoer Michaels
- Fraternity Row (1997)

"Spin City" .... Nick
The Mayor May Not (1999)
['Spin City' takes place in an alternate Toobworld.]

"Grown Ups" .... Mr. Richmond
- Bachelor Auction (1999)

"Moesha" .... Mr. Filmore
- It Takes Two (1999)

- This Old Friend (1998) TV episode .... Robert
- Brave New Hilton (1997) TV episode .... Bradshaw

"Caroline in the City" .... Reggie
- Caroline and the Wayward Husband (1997)

"Maybe This Time" .... Brock
- Break a Leg (1996)

"Empty Nest" .... Bo
- Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Pain (1994)

"Earth 2" .... Les Firestein
- A Memory Play (1994)

"Grace Under Fire" .... Ted Larkin
- Ka-Boom (1994)

"Tales from the Crypt" .... Detective Connors
- Creep Course (1993)

"Dinosaurs" .... Mudbelly
- Swamp Music (1993)

"Murder, She Wrote" .... Sergeant Bill Davis
- Double Jeopardy (1993)

"Family Matters" .... Oscar
- Dance to the Music (1992)

"A Different World" .... Larry Beaujolais
- Baby, I'm a Star (1991)

"227" .... Franklin "Rocketman" Garvard
- Slam Dunk (1986)

"Tanner '88" .... Secret Serviceman
- The Great Escape (1988)

- Cool Hand Dave: Part 2 (1987)

"Fame" .... Billy Waters
- Pros and Cons (1987)

"The A-Team"
- There Goes the Neighborhood (1985)

"Misfits of Science" .... Odor Williams
- Three Days of the Blender (????)

"The Jeffersons" .... Bobby
- Off-Off-Off-Off Broadway

- Tommy Hyatt, Business Consultant (1983)

"Newhart" .... Celtic
- A View from the Bench (1983)

- Pen Pal (1982)

"Hill Street Blues" .... Cab Customer
- A Hair of the Dog (1982)

"The White Shadow" .... Basketball Player
- Feeling No Pain (1980)

Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin (1989) (TV) .... Temple Brown

Police Story: Monster Manor (1988) (TV) .... Aaron

"Still the Beaver" .... Don St. Don
- Home for Christmas (????)
- Perfect Harmony (????)

Schimmel (2000) (TV) .... Doctor

Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989) (TV) .... Lenny

Goldie and the Bears (1984) (TV) .... Walker Johnson

Here's one possibility: it could be that the basketball player Julius Carry played in 'The White Shadow' went on to become a player for the Boston Celtics. Dr. Bob Harltey may have known about his career as a basketball player and that's why he incorporated him into the dream we know as the series 'Newhart'.

As Red Skelton would say, May God bless.....

Toby O'B

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


FOX has a pilot being developed which for now is being called 'Georgia And The Seven Associates'. It's a contemporary reworking of "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" in which a young lawyer named Georgia Barnett is driven out of a top law firm by her stepmother. Georgia ends up working in a storefront law office (into the 'hood?) with seven "quirky" co-workers - lawyers, a bike messenger, perhaps a secretary and some paralegals maybe.

It's being described as "The Devil Wears Prada" meets "Taxi" set in Los Angeles' legal circles. (Did they throw in the 'Taxi' reference in hopes of landing Danny DeVito?)

Those she works with will have the personalities of the Seven Dwarfs, like Doc the ambulance chaser and Sleepy who naps in the office. (Is Happy hopped up on goofballs?) And their cases take on the aspects of classic fairy tales - for instance, three people (perhaps all of them overweight?) will have their homes taken away by the Wolf Corporation.

Bleep! I would so love it if the company name was "Bad Wolf Corporation"!
Not that it matters. It'll probably never see the light of day.....

But here's an idea I'll toss out to them for free: what if Georgia gets 3 clients with medical issues? One needs brain surgery, another needs a heart transplant, and the third suffers from nerve damage. And Georgia helps them to battle the wicked HMO "Well-FABA". (It's a play on Elphaba, the name of the Wicked Witch in "Wicked".)

Toby O'B


According to a new commercial, Sebastian is a romance novel hero who lives in a fantasy world somewhere between desire and heartache. But now he's in the "real world" (but actually in Toobworld, of course) to spread the word about Airborne, a "unique blend of vitamins and nutrients to help support your immune system".

There must be some kind of fissure between the dimensions of Toobworld and the literary universe, because this marks the second incursion into Earth Prime-Time in about as many weeks from the literary universe. In 'Lost In Austen', which
I posted about last week, we saw Elizabeth Bennett leave the world of "Pride & Prejudice" and exchange places with Amanda Price.
Adaptations of novels for Television don't count when it comes to these types of characters. They are distinct from their original versions in the books; they mirror each other for the most part. Sebastian and Elizabeth are the actual characters from the books given form in Toobworld, by crossing the dimensional barrier between the two worlds created by Mankind's imagination.

But what novel could Sebastian be from? I'm not so lost in my own madness that I don't know he was created out of whole loincloth for the blipvert. But who knows?

Anybody familiar enough with such bodice-rippers to know of any book that might have a character who looks like this, going by the name of Sebastian?

If you do, let me know!

See the Airborne commercial here.

Toby O'B


In episode four of 'Gavin & Stacey', Smithie coaxed Gavin and his parents into a game of "Marry, Cruise, or Shag" in which you're given the names of three people and you have to decide which one you would marry, which one you'd take on a cruise (but with no sex), and which one you'd just shag.

Smithie said Sonia of 'EastEnders' would be his choice to shag.

The prime-time soap from the UK is not something I haven't seen before as a Zonk, and I know I've brought it up here at "Inner Toob" in the past.

Here's just a partial list of all the TV shows that mentioned 'EastEnders' when they should be sharing the same TV dimension:

"Inspector Morse"



"Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Deadly Bees"

"Spaced: Beginnings"

"Little Britain"

"Only Human"


"Red Dwarf: The Tank"

"Gimme Gimme Gimme"

"Hot Metal"

"Doctor Who"

And I'm not just talking about that Children in Need story in which many of the former Doctors met charactes from 'EastEnders', either. In the story "The Impossible Planet", the Doctor said, "This'll be the best Christmas Walford has ever had".

I'm thinking the Toobworld TV show of 'EastEnders' is a docudrama about the real life residents of that neighborhood, since specific actors - like Ross Kemp in 'Extras' - are linked to particular roles. It's probably the only way to disable the Zonks.

Toby O'B
"The winners have all the brains of Albert Einstein,
And the losers have all the brains of Albert Square
Angus Deayton
'Comic Relief Does University Challenge'


HBO's new series, 'True Blood', added a new tick to the Toobworld timeline: in 2006, the human blood substitute drink "Tru-Blood" was introduced on the market. The intention was that it would eliminate the need for vampires to feast on humans for their sustenance.However, as we saw in the cliff-hanger ending for the second episode, some vampires still prefer the real thing.

I think this could be analogous to a chain smoker not getting enough of a fix from the nicotine patches and gum.

So this suggestion could help splain away a potential Zonk outside of the show and in the TV Universe at large. If "Tru-Blood" existed in Toobworld by 2006, then why didn't we see private eye/vampire Mick St. John drinking it in the CBS show 'Moonlight'?I think the answer is that Mick may have had the drink in his fridge, but we just never saw it. (Although when we did get to see inside his refrigerator, he must have been fresh out of Tru-Blood.) And he obviously preferred the real thing anyway, because we did see that he drank from the supply that he bought off an inside source at the blood bank.
Toby O'B


I'll admit to having a crush on Ms. Crowley back when I was ten years old, when she was starring in 'Please Don't Eat The Daisies'.

I should say that's when it started.....

All the best!

Toby O'B

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


From Alan Sepinwall:

"Make Room for Daddy" was the sitcom that Bobby and Sally were watching when Jimmy's Utz ad came on the screen at the exact wrong moment for Betty. The sitcom was better (or at least longer) known as "The Danny Thomas Show," but "Make Room for Daddy" was its original title, and the one used when NBC was airing reruns from earlier seasons (which this almost certainly was, based on the age of Danny's son Rusty) in daily syndication from 1960-65.

Once again, 'Mad Men' presented a Zonk that probably can't be splained away. Betty Draper was watching an episode of 'Make Room For Daddy' and we got to see it too - a scene between Danny Williams and his son Rusty (who was our January inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, by the way). Unlike the scenes we saw earlier this season from an episode of 'The Defenders' in which we knew it was 'The Defenders', which episode was being shown, and who was in it, no one onscreen mentioned that this was 'Make Room For Daddy', nor that the characters were Danny and Rusty Williams, nor that they were played by Danny Thomas and Rusty Haber. So it could be argued that they were indeed Thomas and Haber, but that they were playing characters from some other TV show... one which could only be found in the Twi- er, in Toobworld.

The 'Mad Men' episode also had mention of 'As The World Turns', so that would need a splainin as well since the soap operas we watch have characters who exist in the same universe as the characters from 'Mad Men'.

I enjoy watching 'Mad Men', even if I do find myself checking the info readout to see how much longer the episode is going to run. I'm mostly in it because of the time period, of which I only have the vague memories of a child from that era and more focused on my own small-city home-life. (I was seven in 1962.)

Because very little about the world in which the show takes place is fictionalized - save for Jimmy Barrett and his TV show "Grin and Barrett" - there's not much chance to find very much in the series which I can then link to other programs. So as it continues to showclips from actual TV shows (which may only increase as Harry Crane's TV department taps further into the future of advertising), I'm wondering if it's even worth it to find ways to dismiss the discrepancies and contradictions caused by those clips. It might be better to just chuck the whole thing into some other TV dimension and be done with it.

As far as Toobworld analysis goes, that is. Like I said, I still enjoy watching it even if it does become a chore because I detest Don Draper so much. [Which can be taken as a testament to the writing and the acting skills of Jon Hamm.] But the dislike of the major character - that's always a detriment in my TV viewing pleasures.

Toby O'B

(Alan Sepinwall writes the blog "What's Alan Watching?" You'll find the link to the left.)


In this past Sunday's episode of 'True Blood', we learned that the vampire - Bill Compton - was turned in 1865 when he was 30 years old.

This means he is currently 173 years of age and that he was born in 1835.

Bill Compton shares his birth year with two other TV characters from classic TV shows.

Caroline Quiner was born in the year of 1835. When she was older, she married Charles Ingalls. ('Little House On The Prairie')

A son named Daniel was born into the Caine family that year; he was the half-brother to Kwai Chaing Caine. (Kwai Chaing's mother was Kwai Lin, while Danny's mother was named Elizabeth Chambers.)
Toby O'B

Monday, September 15, 2008


"I love drama.
Remember when Locke blew open the hatch finally?

Sometimes I wonder if a hit show is mentioned on another TV series just to help that show gain some cool cred. If so, then I'll be disabling Zonks about 'Lost' until I've gone on the Big Hiatus.

'Lost' Zonks are particularly difficult to deal with because of the show's content and structure. Even though it is now aligned with all the other shows in present day Toobworld on the timeline, the Oceanic Six created a cover story in which there is no mention of the Island. And without the Island, there's no Hatch. In fact, John Locke should have drowned when the plane crashed according to their story.

But with this quote by Cappie, there is no mention of 'Lost' itself. And Locke's first name is not mentioned either. Now, most folks would see the combination of "Locke" and "hatch" as a gimmee, that it definitely refers to 'Lost', I think we can work around that.

By the way, we may have heard the name as "Locke", because we're accustomed to that spelling due to 'Lost'. But what if it was spelled as "Lock"? Plenty of TV characters named Lock, mostly from the UK, spell their last name without the "E". So combined with other citizens of Toobworld named "Locke", we have quite a few options to avoid using John Locke from 'Lost'.

Now, as for the hatch being blown open......

What if Cappie was talking about a game show?

People have had to do a lot of things on game shows in order to win the competition - pick the right key to start a car's ignition, choose the right numbered briefcase, go for what's behind Door Number Three. Right now, people have to squeeze through odd shapes on 'Hole In The Wall'.

So what if a contestant had to complete the course in order to get the chance to "explode" a hatch, behind which would be, let's say, a million dollars. And if he didn't succeed the first time, he's back for the next installment of the game to play against new challengers. What if that contestant kept coming back again and again, to the point where he broke the record of appearances - in much the same way Ken Jennings did on 'Jeopardy'?

I'd say that would constitute as "drama" to the audience viewing at home. And the ratings would be so high that everybody could probably remember where they were when the contestant Lock(e) finally blew the hatch open.

I'm not sure this splainin could be used again the next time Locke and the hatch are mentioned, but at least for now that should disable the Zonk.

Like I said, it doesn't have to be totally plausible; it just has to provide an alternative to the obvious reference.

Toby O'B


When I try to find a splainin which can disable a Zonk - you know, those references to other TV shows when both shows should be sharing the same TV dimension - I'm not going to worry if it's 100% believable. My peeps, we're dealing with a universe in which your Mom could be reincarnated as a car!

I just need that splainin to satisfy the basic requirements in neutralizing the Zonk.

Having said that, here's the first of two Zonks for today:

Tony: I say this world extends way beyond this little field of dreams we're dancing in, and I wanna see that world.

Chris: What the feck's he on about?

Jal: He's quoting, Chris. It's a literary reference.

Chris: What do you mean, like Shakespeare and shit?

Jal: 'Dawson's Creek'.

Chris: Never heard of it. Don't watch telly - it's shit.

(I didn't bother to bleep the word "shit" as it goes out regularly now from BBC shows as well as from our own FX. As for the F-bomb, I substituted Father Jack's favorite expression from 'Father Ted'. I saw no need to over-use the 'Battlestar Galactica' substitute.)

The key to splainin away this reference to 'Dawson's Creek' is right there in the dialogue. Jal referred to 'Dawson's Creek' as a "literary reference".

Therefore, in Toobworld 'Dawson's Creek' is a book; a novel which is apparently so popular that Tony can quote from it. (Then again, Tony is a well-read fellow. In the same episode, he was seen reading "La Nausée" by Jean-Paul Sartre in the bathroom.) However, it looks like Chris doesn't read as much as the others, and he just figured it to be a TV show. And since he has such a low opinion of my favorite medium, who cares what he thinks?

What's great about this splainin is that we can now call upon it for any future reference to 'Dawson's Creek'!

Toby O'B


It's been a banner year for Toobworld when it comes to historical presentations and biographical portrayals. The mini-series 'John Adams' serves as the high water mark, but we've also seen 'Mad Men', 'New Amsterdam', 'Generation Kill' (albeit recent history), even 'Primeval', and an interstitial recreation of "the shot heard round the world" on ESPN.

This weekend brought the televersion of Coco Chanel in a new TV production starring Shirley MacLaine as the French designer. I won't lie - I didn't see it. But I've seen plenty of reviews around the web and she seems to have received a lot of positive reviews for her acting, even if she didn't attempt a French accent.

Here's a bit of info about Coco Chanel from the old standby, Wikipedia:

Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (August 19, 1883 – January 10, 1971) was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her arguably the most important figure in the history of 20th-century fashion. Her influence on haute couture was such that she was the only person in the field to be named on TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Coco Chanel's stylish, elegant designs revolutionized fashion during the 1910s, freeing women from the uncomfortable and stiff apparel worn at the end of the 19th century. Chanel furthered her own image: the woman of the 20th century, embodying independence, success, personality, style, and confidence.

The influential Chanel suit, launched in 1924, was an elegant outfit composed of a knee-length skirt paired with a trim, boxy jacket, traditionally made of woven wool with black trim and gold buttons and worn with large costume-pearl necklaces.Chanel also popularized the little black dress which had a blank-slate versatility that allowed it to be worn for both day and night. The black Chanel dress was strapless, backless and more than a little risqué. It shocked the general public at large but quickly became a fashion sensation. The Chanel dress premiered in the third-ever edition of Playboy. This added to the controversy surrounding the Chanel name.

Much imitated over the years, Chanel's designs were manufactured across more price categories than any other in the high-fashion world. It was Chanel who also introduced costume jewelry to the fashion world, using a variety of accessories such as necklaces, chains or pearls of several strands. A bag with golden handles, an elegant pearl necklace, a tailored dress in black are the symbols of elegance and status that marked forever the history of fashion.

But it was Chanel No. 5 - considered the number-one selling perfume in the world - which helped her become a millionaire. The perfume was created in 1921 by Ernest Beaux at the request of Chanel, who said that it was "a woman's perfume with the scent of woman." Its Art Deco bottle was incorporated into the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York, in 1959. Chanel No. 5 was the first synthetic perfume to take the name of a designer. One of her most famous quotes is, "This perfume is not just beautiful and fragrant. It contains my blood and sweat and a million broken dreams."

Toby O'B

I almost named this post "Coco by A Cuckoo Poof", but that wouldn't have been quite right......
I'm not that crazy.