Saturday, October 18, 2008


Last night, NBC debuted 'Crusoe', loosely based on the Daniel Dafoe classic "Robinson Crusoe". The novel has been adapted many times before, but mostly in the movies.

These were the three TV adaptations:

Stanley Baker (Robinson Crusoe)
. . . "Play of the Month" (1965) {Robinson Crusoe (#10.4)} TV Series

Colin Blakely (Robinson Crusoe)
. . . "Play for Today" (1970) {Man Friday (#3.4)} TV Series

Jean-Luc Boutté (Robinson Crusoe)
. . . "Cent livres des hommes, Les" (1969) {Robinson Crusoe} TV Series

Because of my travel schedule and how full my DVR will be next week, I didn't record the two-hour premiere last night. But I can always catch it on, I expect.

I think that even though this series will probably veer off the path laid out by the book just to keep it supplied in scripts to last for years (as the producers hope), I think it might be the version to keep in the main Toobworld. But things like this sometimes need to wait until the series ends, just to examine the overview.

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

Toby O'B

Friday, October 17, 2008


On this week's 'Fringe' episode, "Power Hungry", Joseph Meegar displayed an uncontrollable power over electrical machinery. If he had the power at all from the beginning, it was augmented by experiments conducted by Dr. Jacob Fischer.

Forty years ago, another TV character exhibited the same powers. But for Bartlett Finchley, they came naturally; although he was just as incapable of controlling them. (This happened in "A Thing About Machines", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.)

Finchley was full of self-loathing and his sub-conscience turned this power against himself. His typewriter typed out threatening messages; his electric razor attacked him as if it was a snake. Finally his own car chased him into his swimming pool, where he drowned. (Although the car could have been some former enemy reincarnated, a la Mrs. Crabtree in 'My Mother The Car'.)
It's another example of mutant powers manifesting long before 'Heroes' or 'Mutant X' or 'The X-Files'.....

Toby O'B


"All those years with Ernie taught me
how to hold my own in a roomful of comics
Edie Adams

As I mentioned yesterday, the lovely Edie Adams passed away yesterday at the age of 81. I have in my Toobworld library the Ernie Kovacs collections in which she was featured, as well as the soundtrack album for his shows on which you can hear her singing a few novelty numbers, and the movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World" - which was the genesis for that quote above.
Mark Evanier gave her a nice tribute in his "News From ME", and he links to the New York Times obituary. (It's in his post where I found that quote.) Make sure you check both of them out.

The following is a list of the characters she provided for our enjoyment in Toobworld, with a few of her variety show contributions as well. More of those, plus talk show and game show appearances can be found at her listing at the

But I would also like to point the way to a beautiful rendition of "That's All", which she performed in the final episode of 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' in which she and her husband Ernie Kovacs appeared as themselves.
By this point in time, the principal cast members weren't talking to each other anymore. The marriage between Lucy and Desi was kaput. But when Ms. Adams sang this song, she brought several of them to tears.

Check out
the video of that segment here.

"Here's Edie" (1963)

"The Ernie Kovacs Show" (1952) TV series .... Regular

"Ernie in Kovacsland" (1951) TV series (as Edith Adams)

"Tales of the City" (1993) TV mini-series .... Ruby Miller

"As the World Turns" (1956) TV series .... Roseanne (unknown episodes, 1982)

"Designing Women" .... Edie
- La Place sans Souci (1990)

"It's Garry Shandling's Show"
- Chester Gets a Show (1990) TV episode .... Edie Adams-Stravely
- Dinner at Eddy King's House (1989) TV episode .... Clair King

"Trapper John, M.D." .... Edie Marks
- Muddle of the Knight (1985)

"Murder, She Wrote" .... Kaye Sheppard
- Capitol Offense (1985)

"CBS Children's Mystery Theatre" .... Madame Zenia
- The Haunting of Harrington House (1981)

"Fantasy Island" .... Liz Fuller
- The Man from Yesterday/World's Most Desirable Woman

"Vega$" .... Angela
- Sourdough Suite (1981)

"Bosom Buddies" .... Darlene
- Pilot (1980)

"Mrs. Columbo" .... Joanne Huston
- Word Games (1979)

"The Eddie Capra Mysteries"
- How Do I Kill Thee? (1978)

"The Love Boat" .... Sharp Tongued Wife
- Marooned: Part 1 (1978)
- Marooned: Part 2 (1978)

"Police Woman" .... Lorenza
- Blind Terror (1978)

"Rosetti and Ryan" .... Evelyn Albert
- Is There a Lawyer in the House?

"The Blue Knight"
- A Slower Beat (1976)

"Harry O" .... Kate Roberti
- Past Imperfect (1976)

"Joe Forrester"
- The Return of Joe Forrester (1975)

"McMillan & Wife" .... Louise Montgomery
- Blues for Sally M (1972)
(Being in San Francisco, it could be that Louise Montgomery might have been related to the Montgomery family of 'Dharma & Greg'.)

"Love, American Style"
.... (segment "Love and the Hotel Caper") (1971)

"The Lucy Show" .... Nanette Johnson
- Mooney's Other Wife (1968)

"The Dick Powell Show" .... Model
- Thunder in a Forgotten Town (1963)

"The United States Steel Hour"
- Private Eye, Private Eye (1961) TV episode
- The American Cowboy (1960) TV episode

"The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" .... Herself
- Lucy Meets The Mustache (1960)

"The Red Skelton Show" .... Ruby
- San Fernando in Alaska (1959)

"General Electric Theater" .... Sue Ellen
- The Falling Angel (1958)

"Suspicion" .... Gloria Chrystie
- If I Die Before I Live (1958)

"Appointment with Adventure"
- The Royal Treatment (1955)

- The Girl in Car Thirty-two (1954)


Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989) (TV)

Adventures Beyond Belief (1987) (TV) .... Flo

Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984) (TV) .... Mae West

Shooting Stars (1983) (TV) .... Hazel

A Cry for Love (1980) (TV) .... Tessie

Portrait of an Escort (1980) (TV) .... Mrs. Kennedy

Make Me an Offer (1980) (TV) .... Francine Sherman

The Seekers (1979) (TV) .... Flora Cato

Fast Friends (1979) (TV) .... Connie Burton

Cop on the Beat (1975) (TV) .... Massage Parlor Owner

Evil Roy Slade (1972) (TV) .... Flossie

The Spiral Staircase (1961) (TV) .... Blanche


"Great Performances" .... Fairy Godmother / ... (1 episode, 2004) - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'Cinderella' (2004) TV episode (also archive footage) .... Fairy Godmother / Herself

Cinderella (1957) (TV) (as Edith Adams) .... Fairy Godmother

Yesterday I wrote about Edie Adams' work in commercials for Muriel Cigars, so please check that out as well for more videos.

She will be missed......

Toby O'B


In "The Day Of The Clown", the latest of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures', Ms. Smith and her young friends had to battle Elijah Spellman aka Odd Bob the Evil Clown, who also claimed that he had once been the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

His account of the legend matches that to be found in Wikipedia, and I quote:

In 1284, while the town of Hamelin was suffering from a rat infestation, a man dressed in pied garments appeared, claiming to be a rat-catcher. He promised the townsmen a solution for their problem with the rats. The townsmen in turn promised to pay him for the removal of the rats. The man accepted, and thus played a musical pipe to lure the rats with a song into the Weser River, where all of them drowned. Despite his success, the people reneged on their promise and refused to pay the rat-catcher. The man left the town angrily, but returned some time later, seeking revenge.

On St. John's Day while the inhabitants were in church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again. Depending on the version, at most two children remained behind (one of whom was lame and could not follow quickly enough, the other one was deaf and followed the other children out of curiosity) who informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out of the church.

Other versions (but not the traditional ones) claim that the Piper lured the children into the river and let them drown like the rats or led the children to a cave on Köppen Hill or Koppelberg Hill outside of Hamelin) or a place called Koppenberg Mountain and returned them after payment or that he returned the children after the villagers paid several times the original amount of gold.

The earliest mention of the story seems to have been on a stained glass window placed in the Church of Hamelin c. 1300. The window was described in several accounts between the 14th century and the 17th century, to have been destroyed in 1660. Based on the surviving descriptions, a modern reconstruction of the window has been created by Hans Dobbertin (historian). It features the colourful figure of the Pied Piper and several figures of children dressed in white.

This window is generally considered to have been created in memory of a tragic historical event for the city. Also, Hamelin town records start with this event. The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from 1384 which states:

"It is 10 years since our children left."

Although research has been conducted for centuries, no explanation for the historical event is agreed upon. In any case, the rats were first added to the story in a version from c. 1559; they are absent from previous accounts.

This watercolor, which was based on a stained glass window from a local church of that time, is the earliest known depiction of the Pied Piper. And it too makes an appearance in Elijah Spellman's Museum of the Circus.
Toby O'B

(Everything floats down here....)


Happy belated birthday to Angela Lansbury, who turned 83 on Thursday!

Ms. Lansbury's character of Jessica Fletcher from 'Murder, She Wrote' was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame in May of 2001, not only for her own series and the collection of TV movies which followed, but also for appearances in the crossover with 'Magnum, P.I.' and its spin-off, 'The Law And Harry McGraw'.

I have no excuse for being late with this notice. My friend Kelly posted her own salute on her Facebook page yesterday, and I had plenty of time to doff my cap to her. I'm just inherently lazy......

Nevertheless, I wish Ms. Lansbury well and I hope we'll see her again in Toobworld again someday, no matter what the role! (But one last appearance of JB Fletcher and the folks in Cabot Cove would be nice!)

Toby O'B


Before DI Alex Drake was shot in February, 2008, (as seen in the first episode of 'Ashes To Ashes', she must have enjoyed at least one meal at the restaurant Capriccio's in Essex, perhaps several. And it made such an impression, that her sub-conscious mind put the Capriccio's owner/manager Bepe into her imaginary world of Gene Hunt. Only now, Bepe was known as Luigi and he ran a restaurant in London.
By the way, within the reality of Toobworld, the fact that both Luigi and Bepe were played by Joseph Long has no bearing on the situation.

I probably should have used the post title to invoke the old TV show 'Life With Luigi'......

'Ashes To Ashes'
'Gavin & Stacey'

Toby O'B

Thursday, October 16, 2008


You had to make it all the way through the last debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain to get to the best image. Made me think of Grima Wormtongue......

Otherwise, it was going to be this picture from the very beginning of the debate:

Toby O'B


Edie Adams has passed away at the age of 81 in Los Angeles. Many tributes to her will be about her life with her first husband Ernie Kovacs and the travails she went through after he died because of his debts. Others will talk about her movie career (including "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Apartment") or her Tony-winning role as Daisy Mae in the Broadway production of "Li'l Abner". Still others might talk about how she broke down racial barriers on television by performing with Duke Ellington and Sammy Davis, Jr.

But I'd like to concentrate on her status as the queen of blipvert sex symbols due to her 19 year association with Muriel Cigars.

This is an excerpt from "Might Minutes" by Jim Hall. It's an excellent book about TV advertising that came out back in 1984:

"The first lady of TV commercial sex, Edie Adams, began her long reign in 1960. Before Adams suggestively sang, "Hey big spender, spend a little dime on me," her sponsor, Muriel Cigars, had fallen on hard times. Sales had drastically decreased. Muriel's first commercials of the fifties featured an animated cigar with Mae West's face and insinuating voice. Edie Adams was recruited to play essentially the same type of character in the flesh.

Adams's first appearance for Muriel was on her husband's hit television program 'The Ernie Kovacs Show'. A rival cigar manufacturer, Dutch Masters, sponsored Kovacs's show, but needed to sell off some surplus commercial time. An account executive at the Dutch Masters ad agency phoned a friend at Muriel's agency and, as a joke, offered the commercial slots. Muriel called his bluff and bought into the program. Then, to heighten the irony, Kovacs's wife was hired as Muriel's singing and dancing spokeswoman.

Edie Adams's hip-grinding, sultry-voiced performances were goodnatured but provocative. She was seen singing the Muriel jingle in Broadway-style production numbers shot in a jazz nightclub, a Western rodeo, and other settings. Adams was the first of the great, attention-getting "stoppers", as sexy spokeswomen are known, and she helped Muriel's sales to regain lost ground."

Here are a few of the many blipverts she made for Muriel:

With the "Adams Sisters"
(Edith, Editha, and Edie)

With her name up in lights

Toby O'B


House Peters, Jr. has died at the age of 92. Despite the many roles he played on TV and in the movies, especially as the heavy in Westerns, that name might not mean anything to you. The picture might not make a difference either.

But you can certainly picture what he must have looked like back in the 1950s to the early 1960s as the original Mr. Clean in TV advertising!
Here's a picture of him from the "Flash Gordon" serials, which is the best that I can find to represent what House Peters Jr. must have looked like in the role of Mr. Clean.

Unlike many roles closely associated with the actors who played them on TV, Mr. Clean cannot be considered dead as well. Mr. Clean is no ordinary human; he's immortal. Mr. Clean is a magical being, sort of a cleaning genie, who magically appears when needed.

Here are the other roles he played in Toobworld. And those who were his contemporaries, we can now consider them to have passed away as well......

"Perry Mason" (2 episodes)
The Case of the Drifting Dropout (7 May 1964) - Plainclothesman
The Case of the Paper Bullets (1 October 1964) - Lt. Jeffers

"77 Sunset Strip" (1 episode)
The Dark Wood (30 November 1962) - Sheriff Goodson

"The Roaring 20's" (1 episode)
So's Your Old Man (2 December 1961) - Bert Kemper

"Lawman" (1 episode)
Trapped (17 September 1961) - Joe Poole

"The Twilight Zone" (1 episode)
Mr. Bevis (3 June 1960) - Policeman

"Bat Masterson" (1 episode)
Shakedown at St. Joe (29 October 1959) - Marshal

"M Squad" (1 episode)
The Dangerous Game (5 June 1959) - Jess Reinger

"Colt .45" (1 episode)
The Saga of Sam Bass (17 May 1959) - Sheriff

"Zane Grey Theater" (1 episode)
Hanging Fever (12 March 1959) - Harvey

"Gunsmoke" (2 episodes)
The Coward (7 March 1959) - Nat Swan
About Chester (25 February 1961) - Jake Wirth

"Buckskin" (1 episode)
Who Killed Pat Devlin? (16 February 1959) - Pat Devlin

"The Rough Riders" (1 episode)
The Counterfeiters (11 December 1958) - Pete Terrell

"Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse" (1 episode)
The Night the Phone Rang (17 November 1958) - Association Man

"Northwest Passage" (1 episode)
Break Out (19 October 1958) - Pvt. Zach Miller

"Bronco" (1 episode)
The Besieged (23 September 1958) - Ben Cabot

"Sugarfoot" (1 episode)
Mule Team (10 June 1958) - Turner

"Wagon Train" (3 episodes)
The Charles Maury Story (7 May 1958) - Matt Goslett
The Artie Matthewson Story (8 November 1961) - Ick Fears
The Jeff Hartfield Story (14 February 1962) - Link Hartfield

"Broken Arrow" (1 episode)
Bear Trap (29 April 1958) - Captain Rowan

"The Californians" (2 episodes)
The Regulators (5 November 1957) - Jacob Johnson
An Act of Faith (26 May 1959) - Actor

"Boots and Saddles" (2 episodes)
Terror at Fort Lowell (31 October 1957) - Actor
Weight of Command (27 May 1958) - Actor

"Tales of Wells Fargo" (1 episode)
The Feud (14 October 1957) - Actor

"Telephone Time" (1 episode)
Stranded (9 May 1957) - Actor

"The Adventures of Jim Bowie" (1 episode)
The Intruder (26 April 1957) - Hagar

"Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" (1 episode)
Scourge of the Wilderness (11 January 1957) - Monk Larson

"The Gray Ghost" (1 episode)
Sealed Orders (1 January 1957) - Hollingshead

"Lassie" (12 episodes)
Fish Conservation (18 November 1956) - Sheriff Jim Billings
Goodbye Forever (6 January 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
Vigil (27 January 1957) - Sheriff Benson
The Search (24 March 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
The Harvesters (19 May 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
The Runaway (8 September 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
The Berrypickers (6 October 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
The Elephant (27 October 1957) - Sheriff Billings
Transition (1 December 1957) - Sheriff Jim Billings
Runaround (11 April 1965) - Sheriff Jim Simmons
Charlie Banana (10 October 1965) - Sheriff
The Friendless (27 February 1966) - Tom

"Navy Log" (1 episode)
In the Labonza (14 November 1956) - Actor

"The Roy Rogers Show" (3 episodes)
His Weight in Wildcats (11 November 1956) - Leo Driggs
Tossup (2 December 1956) - Bill Wheeling
Portrait of Murder (17 March 1957) - Dave Shelton

"Fury" (1 episode)
Joey Sees It Through (21 January 1956) - Actor

"You Are There" (1 episode)
Spindletop - The First Great Texas Oil Strike [January 10, 1901] (4 December 1955) - Bruce Greeves

"The Adventures of Champion" (1 episode)
The Medicine Man Mystery (15 October 1955) - Ote Bledsoe

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (4 episodes)
Wyatt Earp Comes to Wichita (4 October 1955) - Dave Bennett
The Man Who Lied (11 October 1955) - Dave Bennett
The Gambler (18 October 1955) - Actor
The Killer (25 October 1955) - Actor

"Buffalo Bill, Jr." (4 episodes)
Legacy of Jesse James (23 June 1955) - Actor
The Little Mavericks (1 August 1955) - Actor
The Golden Plant (15 May 1956) - Actor
Kid Curry - Killer (18 May 1956) - Actor

"Annie Oakley" (4 episodes)
The Dude Stagecoach (30 January 1954) - Wiley
Annie and the Lily Maid (27 March 1954) - The Lily Maid's Chief Henchman
Outlaw Brand (16 September 1956) - Willoughby
Treasure Map (30 December 1956) - Sully Martin

"Hopalong Cassidy" (1 episode)
New Mexico Manhunt (22 January 1954) - Dakota

"Ramar of the Jungle" (2 episodes)
Blind Peril (1 January 1953) - Dick Webley
Call to Danger (21 November 1953) - Dick Webley

"Death Valley Days" (2 episodes)
Self-Made Man (12 December 1952) - Actor
Land of the Free (26 May 1953) - Actor

"The Cisco Kid" (2 episodes)
Pancho and the Pachyderm (5 October 1952) - Joe Shadden
Dutchman's Flat (9 November 1952) - Curt Hansen

"Sky King" (1 episode)
Desperate Character (26 July 1952) - Matt Durkin

"Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (2 episodes)
Ex-Convict Story (16 December 1951) - Stevens
Wrestling Story (19 May 1952) - Jason

"The Range Rider" (6 episodes)
False Trail (1 January 1951) - Actor
Indian Sign (1 January 1951) - Actor
Dim Trail (1 January 1951) - Actor
Shotgun Stage (1 January 1952) - Fake Austin
Convict at Large (1 January 1953) - Bill Martin
West of Cheyenne (1 January 1953) - Larry Rand

"The Gene Autry Show" (3 episodes)
Head for Texas (23 July 1950) - Lou Phelps
The Silver Arrow (6 August 1950) - Myron Foster
The Star Toter (20 August 1950) - Reynolds

"The Lone Ranger" (12 episodes)
Jim Tyler's Past (16 February 1950) - Blackie Kane
Man Without a Gun (15 June 1950) - Slack
Desert Adventure (30 November 1950) - The Yuma Kid
Mr. Trouble (25 January 1951) - Pierce
Best Laid Plans (25 December 1952) - Slim Gordon
Prisoner in Jeopardy (20 August 1953) - O'Neil
Diamond in the Rough (27 August 1953) - Bat Anders
Ex-Marshal (16 September 1954) - Chick Compton
Gold Freight (28 April 1955) - Jake Ronson
Outlaw Masquerade (3 January 1957) - Frank Cameron (as House Peters)
Breaking Point (24 January 1957) - Mark Slade (as House Peters)
Ghost Town Fury (28 March 1957) - Vic Clanton (as House Peters)

"Gang Busters" (2 episodes)
O'Dell-Griffen (????) - O'Dell
The Blonde Tigress (????) - Comm. Timothy J. O'Connor (unconfirmed)
House Peters, Jr., seen here with his father,
House Peters, Sr.
I'll have more on several of these appearances later.....

Toby O'B


So many people connected to Toobworld have passed away over the last few days, and I know if I don't give them their proper dues now, I'll probably be overwhelmed as time goes by......

Game show host and announcer Jack Narz died at the age of 85, after suffering a couple of massive strokes in the last month. He's probably best known for hosting 'Dotto' at the time of the big quiz show scandal (I think 'Dotto' was the first show to be outed, but his career was not damaged by the association.)

Narz was also the announcer for 'Space Patrol' and for the first episode of 'The Adventures Of Superman', as well as for TV Crossover Hall of Famer Betty White's sitcom from the early 1950s, 'Time For Elizabeth'.

Technically, many of these shows are not exactly part of Toobworld. But they may have been mentioned in various shows of the era as TV characters would watch many of the same game shows that we do here in the Trueniverse. So Jack Narz would still be counted among Toobworld's League of Themselves.

For a better and personal tribute to Jack Narz, visit Mark Evanier's "News From ME". Click here to go directly to the story, but his site is also at home to the left.....

"The Farmer's Daughter" (1 episode, 1966)
- My Papa, the Politican (1966) TV episode

"The Spike Jones Show"

"Life with Elizabeth"

"Adventures of Superman"

"Space Patrol"

"Password Plus"

"Card Sharks"

"Beat the Clock"


"Now You See It"

"Match Game 73"


"The Movie Game"

"I'll Bet"

"Seven Keys"

"Video Village"


"The Price Is Right"

"The Bob Crosby Show"

"Place the Face"

"Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge"

Toby O'B


Hollywood composer Neal Hefti has died at the age of 85. He's best known for the Toobworld themes for 'The Odd Couple' and 'Batman'; but he was also the musical director for 'The Fred Astaire Show' (1968) and the orchestra leader on 'The Kate Smith Show' (1960).

He also composed the theme for the TV series version of 'Barefoot In The Park' and for the TV movies "Conspiracy of Terror" and "The 500 Pound Jerk".

Toby O'B


Actress Eileen Herlie has passed away at the age of 90 in Manhattan. She was perhaps best known to TV viewers as Myrtle Fargate, the matronly role she played on 'All My Children' for 32 years. But she also played Queen Gertrude in Laurence Olivier's movie version of 'Hamlet" and appeared often on Broadway and on the London Stage.

Sadly, it took Ms. Herlie's death for me to find out that she is eligible for membership in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame as Myrtle Fargate. The character appeared in an episode of 'One Life To Live' in 2000, and for an unknown period of time on 'Loving' as well. I think she'll find herself welcomed into the ranks during next year's weekly 10th anniversary celebration for the Hall of Fame.
As theater and 'All My Children' so occupied her time, her list of Toobworld characters are few. But as you'll see, there are two heavyweights in there.....

"All My Children" .... Myrtle Lum Fargate

"One Life to Live" .... Myrtle Fargate

"Loving".... Myrtle Lum Fargate

Lemonade (1975) (TV)

The Woman I Love (1972) (TV) .... Queen Mary

"BBC Sunday Night Theatre" .... Regina Giddens
- The Little Foxes (1951)

As Red Skelton would have said, May God Bless......

Toby O'B


About five sites around the internet have been given access to a different picture each for the next 'Star Trek' movie (about the younger versions of the original crew), which is due out May of 2009.

I thought the one given to looked the best:
From left to right: Anton Yelchin as Chekov, Chris Pike as James T. Kirk, Simon Pegg as Lt. Montgomery Scott, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. (I think they may all be checking out Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock.)

But if you want to see the other pics available,
click here for a round-up.

Toby O'B

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Charlie Sheen qualified for membership in the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame Monday night. He made a cameo appearance as himself in "The Griffin Equivalency", the latest episode for 'The Big Bang Theory'.

Add to this his cameo (along with Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones) in an episode of 'CSI' last year entitled "Two And A Half Murders", and his work in "Drew Live II", an episode of 'The Drew Carey Show', and he meets the requirements for induction into the Hall.

Toby O'B


When Morris Moss, better known just as Moss, made a video for himself to use at an online dating service, he taped it while in his mother's bathroom. He explained his reason as being his mother's fascination with 'Diagnosis Murder', which she had the volume cranked up.

No mention of Dick Van Dyke or his character of Dr. Mark Sloan (a TV Crossover Hall of Fame member). So it doesn't have to be the actual show that we know from the Trueniverse. And with such a generic title, 'Diagnosis Murder' doesn't even have to be an American TV production. It could have been home-grown in the United Kingdom. Perhaps it's a show that deals with murder cases like all of those documentaries you see on Tru-TV.

Definitely not a Zonk!

'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' isn't a Zonk either. It exists in the real world and Toobworld as well. Most game shows do. And if Chris Tarrant has appeared as himself in other fictional settings, then his membership in the League of Themselves can link those shows to 'The IT Crowd'.

Toby O'B


Continuing with my salute to the contributions William Schallert made to Toobworld, today we're taking a look at those characters he contributed to the Tooniverse, the dimension of animated television.

"What's New, Scooby-Doo?"
- Farmed and Dangerous (2005) (voice) .... Farmer P./Neville Popenbacher
- Big Appetite in Little Tokyo (2003) TV episode .... Professor Pomfrit

"The Zeta Project" .... Judge Linden
- The River Rising (2002)

"The Angry Beavers" .... Dr. Cowtiki
- The Day the Earth Got Really Screwed Up (1998)

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1990, Animated Series) (additional voices)

David and Goliath (1986) (V) (voice)

Galtar and the Golden Lance (1985, Animated Series) (additional voices)

"Smurfs" (1981) TV series .... Additional Voices (unknown episodes)

Of those, two are of particular interest. Professor Pomfritt of the Scooby adventure "Big Appetite In Little Tokyo" is most likely the cartoon version of Leander Pomfritt from 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis'. But his personality is different in the Tooniverse; he's an agent for evil. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!

And then of course, there's Milton the Toaster. Milton is either a dimensional crossover from the Tooniverse, like Superman (the American Express ads), Daffy Duck ('The Drew Carey Show') or Cap'n Crunch, or he's a spirit who's animated a live-action toaster.
At least in the 1975 frame grab here of Milton talking to a little girl, it looks like Milton is a real toaster. But in later ads, and in the print advertising for Kellog's, Milton took on a more toonish look.

Either way, I don't think he's a native of the main Toobworld....

Toby O'B


It looks like the Energizer Bunny has some competition over in France, from a VERY athletic toy rabbit - courtesy of Duracell. I think the point of the commercial, without mentioning or showing the Energizer rabbit, is that the old model is an antique, and slow, and really not good for anything save for banging his drum. Slowly. (The Energizer Bunny is seen here from his first appearance in 1989.)

Energizer's battery bunny makes a cameo appearance in my Toobworld novel. (It's not named as such, of course; wouldn't want to get sued!) But I think this little guy could fit right in to the Toobworld concept as is. A cuddly cybernetic spy, or a toy thief, he'd also be perfect for that type of monster on 'Doctor Who' that might look cute, but turns out to be deadly.

Remember the Adipose babies? Or even those little rock-men in the movie "Galaxy Quest".....

Toby O'B


In one of my posts yesterday, I combined a look at the New York Chronicle as the link between 'Heroes' and 'The Patty Duke Show' with my splainin as to why 'Heroes' no longer takes place in the main Toobworld.

But now I think I can find an actual way to meld them together.

In the 'Heroes' episode "Truth & Consequences", Alejandro saw the Chronicle's story about Gabriel Gray (whom we know better as Syler) having murdered his mother.

Take a closer look at the photo in the lower right-hand corner of the front page. It's a picture from a video on pause!

In the 'Journeyman' episode "The Hanged Man", we saw that Dan's alteration of the Past created a Present in which technology was so advanced that newspapers were more like flexible videos - vidpapers. This looks to be similar: set in the same time period, but not at the same level of technological advancement.

As I postulated earlier, when Ando and Hiro returned from their trip into the Future, I think they jumped a time-stream or two and wound up in a different version of their own reality. But it's one with such small and subtle differences that they haven't noticed that it's not their original Earth. In fact, if they have noticed this new process of embedding videos into newspapers, it in such an early stage of development that they've probably accepted that they're witnessing the invention at the get-go.

As for what happened to the Ando and Hiro native to that dimension, I think it's like that 'Mirror, Mirror' episode of 'Star Trek' - as they "slid" into the new dimension, their counterparts ended up in theirs. Or it could be a dimensional leap on a cosmic scale; every variation on Hiro and Ando leaped at the same time and and returned to a different dimension at the same time so that the cosmic balance was maintained.

Say! These are good shrooms!

Toby O'B

By the way, even as an early example of vidpaper, that's a poorly designed front page for the paper!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Because of that previous piece about the New York Chronicle, and because he's been in the last two episodes of 'True Blood' as the Mayor of Bon Temps, Louisiana, I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to William Schallert.

TV Land - back when they really cared about our Television heritage - used to run a bumper celebrating Schallert as the hardest working man in television. And it's nice to tip my hat to the man's contributions to Toobworld before it becomes necessary with a Hat Squad Tribute.

I compiled the list of his TV credits from the After removing all of the theatrically released movies, there were about 250 credits to his name. And that's just for the main show itself, not counting the multiple episodes he appeared in. For 'The Patty Duke Show' alone, there were nearly ninety episodes; another twenty for 'The Torkelsons' and eleven turns as Nancy Drew's Dad. And then there are his recurring roles in shows like 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis' and 'Get Smart'. (Admiral Harold Harmon Hargrade is my favorite of his many roles.) Many long-running shows can count at least two different roles created by William Schallert. For 'Gunsmoke' alone, he played seven distinct characters.

If I tried to post his complete resume, of just the TV credits alone, I'd have to split the post up to fit it all. That hasn't happened since I ran the Hat Squad tribute for Lloyd Bochner. So instead, I'm going to post some pictures to show the range of roles he played throughout the Toobworld timeline.....

Martin Lane
'The Patty Duke Show' and the reunion movie "Still Rockin' Brooklyn Heights"
'The Nancy Drew Mysteries', 'The Torkelsons',
and Milton the Toaster for Kellog's Pop-Tarts
'Bewitched' and 'Lou Grant'
'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'Leave It To Beaver'
(a role he reprised in the sequel, 'Still The Beaver')
'Gunsmoke', 'Dr. Kildare', 'Philbert'

Three different characters from 'The Rifleman'Frank Harper, 'The Wild, Wild West'
(Harper could have been the ancestor to Warden Harper in an episode of 'Stoney Burke')
'Star Trek', 'True Blood', 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'
I'll have to do a bit more research, but I think Martin Lane could end up being inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. But that depends on how his episode of 'Roseanne' played out. It could have been part of that disastrous final season which was all part of a novel Roseanne Conner had been writing.

So here's to you, William Schallert! Thanks for so enriching the world of Toob!

Toby O'B