Saturday, January 24, 2009


While watching all of the coverage on Tuesday for the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President of the United States, my mind began to wander - where else but to Toobworld. In Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, Obama is also the POTUS. Mark my words, you'll be seeing lots of shows make reference to him being the president, if not try to have their characters interact with him (either off-screen or via a double).

So that means that the TV Earth had its inauguration of Obama as president last Tuesday just as we did. And since it was televised, then most of the details would be exactly the same as at ours. (Except maybe Dick Cheney was probably more like Dr. Strangelove than just by being in that wheelchair, thanks to all the jokes the image inspired.)

But there could be and should be some subtle differences because Toobworld is different from the real world. For instance, out of the estimated two million that were in Washington that day to witness the event, surely some of those gathered were aliens, some cyborgs or androids, still others could have been visitors from the Future.

I had a more specific thought about what could have been different in Toobworld at the inauguration. Watching the Obamas leave Blair House for the 45 second ride to the morning church service, the CNN anchors talked about the new presidential limousine, which was nicknamed "the Beast".

Here's a description of it from the Telegraph:

It reportedly has armour eight inches thick, tear-gas cannons and Kevlar-reinforced tyres that resist attack. For security reasons, most of the details remain confidential.

The latest Cadillac Presidential Limousine, nicknamed "The Beast", is a completely new design, succeeding the DTS Presidential Limousine that appeared in 2004. Although it incorporates styling from contemporary Cadillacs, the heavily armoured limousine has been tailored to exacting specifications befitting its high-profile role.

For largely functional reasons, such as optimal outward visibility, the car is slightly more upright than its predecessor. The rear passenger area includes an extensive executive compartment with ample seating space, outward visibility and useful mobile office features. Much of the finishing is hand-cut and sewn.

An embroidered presidential seal is positioned in the centre of the rear seat back panel, as well as on each rear door trim panel. The rear doors are also adorned with presidential seals, while the US flag is mounted on the right front wing. The presidential standard flies from the left front wing when the president is on board. At night, the flags are illuminated by on-board spotlights.

Pretty cool details, but not nearly good enough for Toobworld. I'm thinking we could turn to TV for further upgrades......

The technology for the mobile artificial intelligence known as KITT has been available from Knight Industries for two decades. Even if they are top secret and are still conducting research, I would think it likely that by now the government has demanded their own version of KITT, at least as part of the security detail guarding the president.

As such, the Toobworld version of "the Beast" could be a modified KITT, based on the same template (including the appropriated Cylon technology - thanks to Medium Rob for pointing that out to me!), but including upgrades more in keeping with the needs of a president in transit.

The interior could probably double as an Oval Office on wheels, and the on board AI might be accepted as another member of the Obama team. I've even come up with a KITT-like name for the AI: KOOL (Knight Oval Office Limousine).

Okay, so maybe that might need work.

But it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble.

Toby O'B


Continuing our salute to the Presidents of the United States, or at least to their tele-versions, today we're featuring Tricky Dick, Richard Milhouse Nixon.

Nixon was the only president to resign from office (for his involvement in the Watergate coverup). Of all the presidents, Nixon has to rank up there as one of the top three to be portrayed the most often on television. (John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln being the other two.) He's even been the inspiration for presidents in alternate TV dimensions, like Richard Monckton of "Washington: Behind Closed Doors" (from the Movie of the Week dimension), and Charles Logan from the '24' dimension.

365 days is a long time to run a daily feature like "As Seen On TV". Even so, I'm sure there will be more than enough pictures to be found of famous people being portrayed in Toobworld. But just in case, I'm not going to run all of the possible portrayals of Nixon now. I've already go three others ready to go, but I'll save those for sometime in the future. Maybe for his birtday, or the anniversary of his death.

In the meantime, here's Nixon as he looked in the 1989 TV movie "The Final Days":

Toby O'B

Friday, January 23, 2009


The other program that I saw at the Paley Center of Thursday was a Jackie Gleason production for CBS called "The Million Dollar Incident". Gleason came up with the story but it was written by three others and it was directed by Norman Jewison.

"The Million Dollar Incident" was pure Toobworld - the fictional exploits of a real world character. In this case it was Gleason as Gleason, with Ed Sullivan and Georgie Jessel from the League of Themselves as well. The other people in Jackie's life, who worked for him behind the scenes on the show, were portrayed by actors like Harvey Lembeck as Jackie's manager Freddie and William Redfield as producer Jack Philbin. I know Philbin was real, not sure about Lembeck's character, or his secretary Lee Bevins (played by Millette Alexander). And I have a feeling none of the CBS executives in the show were actually based on real people - except maybe as roman a clef characters.

(Harry Winston the famous jeweler was invoked as being a friend of the CBS bigwig, so that would count towards his League of Themselves references.)

"The Million Dollar Incident" aired in April of 1961, but it told a story from seven years earlier. It begins with Ed Sullivan hanging out at Toots Shor's (and providing the opening narration) when a disheveled Gleason walks in and proceeds to tell "Smiley" about what happened to him. (After a shot of whiskey to fuel the furnace, of course. How sweet it is!)

The program begins as though it's going to be a look backstage at what happens during the week's run-up to the Saturday night show, done live. Posing for publicity pictures with Miss Pizza 1954, listening to a little boy from the old neighborhood audition, accepting a commendation from a local Boy Scout troop for his charity work, choosing a new "How Sweet It Is!" girl, arguing with his producer over the budget, and fending off the sponsor who wants him to shave off his mustache. (The client was a razor company.) And all the while suffering from a hangover from carousing until 6:15 AM!

But then we meet Mr. Bannister, an elderly, white-haired gentleman who wants Jackie Gleason to show up at a Heart Fund benefit in Westchester on Saturday night after the show. Big-hearted as Gleason has shown himself to be, he agrees.

On the way to the benefit that following Saturday, Mr. Bannister asks if they can stop by his house so that his children can meet Gleason. (That's when I would have been suspicious - Bannister should have mentioned his grandkids instead.) Gleason reluctantly agrees and they go inside Bannister's house - where the "old man" pulls out a gun and informs the Great One that he's being kidnapped for a million dollar ransom to be paid by CBS!

Everett Sloane played Bannister and showed that his make-up was used to throw off the police. His two henchmen were brothers-in-law named Charles and Sammy, played by Jack Klugman and Peter Falk, respectively.

Now looking like himself, Sloane as Bannister seemed personable enough, but there was an undercurrent there which suggested why Charlie was so afraid of him. Klugman put his hangdog expression to good use as Charles and showed us his manic side as well when he got into a martini mixing (and drinking!) contest with Gleason.

As played by Falk, Sammy showed some comedic touches that suggested his Joyboy in "Pocketful of Miracles" or Max in "The Great Race". But there was an air of menace not far removed from his Kid Twist in "Murder, Inc.", just enough to keep his own brother-in-law scared for his life.

The supporting cast was filled with other great character actors: Bill Zuckert, Sorrell Brooke, Woodrow Parfrey, Michael Higgins, Barnard Hughes, and Salome Jens (whom I know from 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman' and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'). Harry Dean Stanton was also listed on the as network suit Mr. Bentley, but I think this may have been a mistake (big surprise there!) since I didn't recognize him.

While watching the lengthy scene between Gleason and Klugman before Falk makes his first appearance, I kept thinking that the whole thing could be mounted as a stage play - so long as you could find somebody who resembled Gleason. (I'd discard Brad Garrett as a possibility - technical tricks could hide the fact he was too tall to play Gleason, but you couldn't do that onstage.)

Also, one of the most fascinating aspects was a scene in which we saw Gleason in action doing his show. A lot of behind-the-scenes footage and of the guys at work in the control booth as Gleason (playing Reggie Van Gleason) did a wild dance in front of a White House backdrop - I think! - to close out the show.

The quality of the Paley Center's tape was pretty good, some transmission glitches that could just reflect the quality of the tape. So I'd suggest this might be a good candidate for somebody to acquire the DVD rights. I know there's a market out there for all things Gleason. But then again, who listens to me!

If you get the chance to visit the Paley Center, and you're a Gleason fan, check it out!

Toby O'B


On the day before President Obama's inauguration, we featured an "As Seen On TV" picture of John Adams as played by Paul Giamatti last year on HBO. But back in 1976, George Grizzard played out the entire life of our second president in 'The Adams Chronicles'.
PBS provided this picture about a year and a half ago to mark the passing of George Grizzard, who played Adams. John Adams is shown here as a young man arriving in Boston in 1758, as seen in the first chapter of the mini-series.

Toby O'B

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Thanks to 'Doctor Who' blogger Combom for leading me to this video mash-up of 'Doctor Who' with three other TV series: 'Heroes', 'Supernatural', and its own spin-off, 'Torchwood'. It's a preview for a VERY special episode that can never be - except in Toobworld!

Toby O'B

Doesn't the music - from the mid-season trailer for season 4 of 'Doctor Who' - remind you of the theme music for 'Alien Nation'?


I went to the Paley Center today and watched two programs featuring Peter Falk. I went there with a whole shopping list of programs I wanted to see from the past (or particular actors - like Martin Gabel, especially as Hercule Poirot), but I came up empty. The only show from my list that they had - "Men Of Crisis - The Harvey Wallinger Story" by Woody Allen - was already signed out by somebody else.

Next time I go, I'll be watching "Best Of Friends" with Patrick McGoohan as George Bernard Shaw, but today it was early Peter Falk.


First up was an episode from the anthology series 'The Dick Powell Show' called "The Price Of Tomatoes". Falk played a trucker named Aristede Fresco from Cincinnatti who picked up a load of tomatoes in El Paso, Texas, and needed to get back home with them before his rivals, the Sindell Brothers.

Along the way, he reluctantly ends up with a pregnant Romanian woman, Ana Bezr (played by Inger Stevens), as a passenger and has to get her to the hospital before she goes into labor. It was mostly a character study with a touch of social relevance.

But it reminded me of how beautiful Inger Stevens was. I had a crush on her as a kid, from watching 'The Farmer's Daughter', and I was pretty upset in 1970 when she took her own life......
Toby O'B


Having just watched 'Lost' only a few hours ago (We didn't start until 2:30 am!), I thought it might be fun to salute a President who manifested himself as a ghost - like Charlie and Ana Lucia and Libby.....

Continuing our salute to the Presidents of the United States, or at least to their tele-versions, today we have the 16th President Abraham Lincoln.

In the last few days we've seen a few of our presidents as they looked earlier in their lives - Jackson, John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt. But today we're looking at Lincoln as he appeared after he was president. And in his case, since he went right from being president to being dead, we see him here in the Afterlife - courtesy of "The Passersby" episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.
When it comes to the official portrait of Lincoln, we've chosen actor Ford Rainey to represent him as he appeared as Lincoln in three different TV productions. Many of the other Lincolns, especially those in TV movies (and especially so from 'The Secret Files Of Desmond Pfeiffer'!), would be relegated to alternate Toobworld dimensions. But we could accept this ethereal emanaton of the Great Emancipator because a spirit can alter its appearance. And even though in this case the change was slight, it was still enough to alter the way he looked in Life. (This will be the reasoning I use to splain away the recastaway Annie between the pilot and the first episode of the new British series 'Being Human'.)

This wasn't the only time that the ghost of Abraham Lincoln has shown up in Toobworld. Paired up with George Washington, he often shows up in car commercials around Presidents' Day. (But as for his appearance in the current blipvert for a bank with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa? That's just some poor delusional guy who thinks he's Lincoln that the talk show hosts are exploiting for their morning show.)

Here's another classic appearance by Abe Lincoln's Ghost, from the opening monologue in a 'Saturday Night Live' which was hosted by Tom Hanks.
Tom collapsed on stage due to a knee injury and his spirit left his body to explore the backstage area. There Tom Hanks met Abraham Lincoln, who told Tom that he wasn't dead; he was just an incredible pussy.

Toby O'B

My thanks to my good friend NYMarkie, who donated his collection of 'Twilight Zone' DVDs to the Toobworld Central library. Because of that, I was able to get a much better frame grab
from this episode than is usally found from the internet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So I'm watching last night's episode of 'Leverage', an excellent caper show from TNT.

Most of the team was rushing to LAX airport to catch a certain flight and they needed access to the plane with less than an hour to spare. Their tech geek back at home base had two first class tickets he could score with online chicanery and Timothy Hutton took that for himself and the sexy British con artist (Gina Bellman from 'Coupling'). The other two would get on board as a flight marshall and as a stewardes- oops, flight attendant.

Tech guy asked Timothy Hutton and Sophie if they had any fake IDs already on them. Timothy Hutton looked through his wallet and he had three ID cards:

Peter Davison
Sylvester McCoy
Tom Baker

Sophie: Oh! I have a Baker too! Sarah Jane Baker!

Hardison the Tech Guy: Well, then, Baker it is. I know pronounce you husband and wife.

This is the type of 'Doctor Who' reference I love! It didn't destroy the illusion that it could be real in their world. No mention of the male names as even actors, let alone various incarnations of the Doctor! And no reference to the mixture of character (Sarah Jane) with a real name.

What do you think it might say about the scriptwriter though? Did he have fantasies that the Fourth Doctor would marry Sarah Jane Smith?

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

Toby O'B


Genetically engineered tomatoes, that’s one thing.
But carrot on the cob?
That’s gonna scare some people, brother
Alec Hardison

my look at the latest episode of 'Monk', I wondered who the potential investors were that visited Dean Barry's lab about his altered corn seed. I suggested that it might have been Widmore Labs, but now we have a better candidate: GenoGrow, a major corporation seen in "The Mile High Job" of 'Leverage'.

Not that their money would have been any good, once the Leverage, Inc. team got through with them!

Toby O'B


In the series finale for 'Stargate Atlantis', it looked like the Wraith threat to the Earth was eliminated in several ways*, and the city-ship of Atlantis left the Pegasus galaxy and was now nestled in the San Francisco Bay with a cloaking devie to protect it from the prying eyes of the local residents.

For only a moment, it was nice to think that perhaps the presence of the city-ship in the Bay was a Toobworld reason as to why the city was chosen to be the home for Earth's Starfleet headquarters - keep such a prize close to a base of operations.

Unfortunately, such musings lasted only a minute, because the 'Stargate' franchise long ago cast itself off into a different TV dimension than the one in which the rest of Earth Prime-Time existed. We know this from the episode which introduced William Devane as President Hayes.

It's a basic Toobworld tenet that the President of the United States in any TV show must reflect the actual POTUS. Too many shows are going to make references (or jokes at his expense), and they can't ALL be tossed off into their own dimensions. Where's the sense in even playing along at home if everybody has their own dimension?

That the Earth as seen in the 'Stargate' dimension seemed to have weaponry and aircraft far more advanced than we do in the current timeline wasn't a deterrent. Like the Valiant, which belonged to UNIT, in 'Doctor Who', all of the aircraft seen battling the Wraith ships in the finale over the skies of Earth could have been kept secret from the general populace of the planet, even from other branches of the military. This would be why even their prototypes were never mentioned in episodes of 'Pensacola: Wings of Gold'.

But Henry Hayes throws the show's timeline off-kilter from the rest of Toobworld. And the blame for that can probably be laid back in the second season of 'Stargate SG-1', when four members of the SG-1 team went back in Time to "1969".

Here's a relevant bit of information from the Gateworld Wikia:

The time travel theory that is implied here (and in many science fiction shows) is that alternate universes exist for every moment of time. SG-1 could travel into its own future because somewhere, in some dimension, all the intervening moments had occured. On some "version"of Earth it was decades past 1999. You would not "blink" out of existence if you went back in time and killed your grandfather, because you would be travelling to a different version of reality. The reality from which you come would remain the same (though getting back to it after altering the past would be a problem).

The paradox aside, it should suffice to say that altering the past can have tremendous ramifications on the future.
Although in the grand scheme of things O'Neill and his team did not change anything, just by hitching a ride with those hippies to Woodstock may have been the significant factor. What if, by traveling and talking with the SG-1 team, one of the hippies was influenced not to vote for a particular candidate in some future election; perhaps even be convinced to actively campaign for some other candidate, which could lead to a groundswell of support which altered the state of politics from the established timeline?

Whatever happened, the SG-1 team returned to a future they didn't know. It could be they never realized it; maybe the significant alteration didn't occur until Henry Hayes was elected President.

But whatever the case, I think General Hammond watched his team go into the Stargate during that solar flare, but he never saw them return. Instead, they found themselves in a parallel dimension.

So whenever we've seen scenes set at the San Francisco headquarters for Starfleet in any of the shows in the 'Star Trek' franchise, we can't imagine the city-ship of Atlantis parked just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge.

Pity, that.....
But at least we can say that the 'Stargate SG-1' series began in the main Toobworld, and that most of the characters we knew before the "1969" episode do still exist there. But O'Neill, Carter, Jackson, and T'ealc are no longer on Earth Prime-Time, and every character we've met since then are from the same alternate dimension where they found themselves. (As are the doppelgangers of the characters they once knew.)

Toby O'B


In the 'Stargate SG-1' episode "Full Alert", three members of "The Trust" revealed themselves to be controlled by the Goa'uld. The names they were using could have been aliases, or they have been their real names. But they presented themselves as Mr. Parker, Mr. Wayne, and Mr. Kent.

For us viewing at home, this was an in-joke reference to three of the best-known superheroes: Spiderman (Peter Parker), Batman (Bruce Wayne), and Superman (Clark Kent).

But within the reality of Toobworld, there may not have been any intention to make such a reference; they could have been three surnames chosen at random. And I don't think The Trust would have known about the secret identities of those heroes. Well, maybe Superman's, as he passed away back in the early 60's according to established Toobworld conjecture.

Unlike their original comic book counterparts, none of these three super-heroes were at their prime at the same time as the others. Peter Parker made his mark during the 1970's ('The Amazing Spiderman'); 'Batman' protected Gotham City during the 1960's, and Metropolis was under the auspices of Superman back in the 1950's ('The Adventures Of Superman').

Both Spiderman and Batman - well, at least Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne - are still around in Toobworld. Whether they're still swinging away on their webs and bat-ropes after all these years, I have no idea.

Toby O'B


I'm thinking that just because Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States yesterday, we shouldn't just abandon this theme of showing the tele-versions of our former presidents. After all, this feature of "As Seen On TV" has to run through the whole year and I'm gonna have to fill up the other 300 plus days with somebody!

So today, we have Andrew Jackson, as he looked during the War of 1812. A few minutes after we see him here, two time-travelers by the names of Phineas Bogg and Jeffrey Jones would come into his life with the intent of altering History so that it would revert back to the original timeline.

This tele-version of Andrew Jackson was played by Lance LeGault in 'Voyagers!', but others who have played Old Hickory in other Toobworld productions have included Victor Jory, J.D. Cannon, John Anderson, and McLean Stevenson. Not having seen any of those other productions, I can't speculate on why their physical features were altered within the reality of Toobworld. But I can offer up a splainin for our seventh president looking as he does here.

First off, Phineas and Jeffrey went back in Time and changed history so that Jean Lafitte would come to Jackson's aid, which would then provide the ripple effect leading to Jackson's presidency. So at this juncture in Time, Andrew Jackson is the focal point for two dimensional divergences. And as he could be seen as the Jackson who would end up in an alternate TV dimension, we're not going to get all flustered about his looks.

Added to that is that he's about to come into contact with time travelers. The time differential could have been shorted out by their arrival and that would have an effect on his physical appearance.

We have precedent for that in last year's 'Doctor Who' sketch from the "Children In Need" telethon, in which the tenth Doctor met his earlier incarnation as the fifth Doctor:

"Mind you, bit saggier than it ought to be, hair's a bit grayer. That's because of me, though, the two of us together has shorted out the time differential, should all snap back in place when we get you back home."

Just a theory, of course.....

Toby O'B

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Continuing with our weekly inductions into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame during 2009 to celebrate the Hall's tenth anniversary, this week we're offering up our January selection from the Tooniverse. And since January is dedicated to Classic TV, and since it's hard to think of one from the other, we're inducting both Fred Flintstone and his best buddy, Barney Rubble.

Here's just a partial reason as to why they so deserve this honor:
'The Flintstones'
Commercials for Pebbles cereal
Commercials for Flintstones vitamins
Commercial for Winston cigarettes
Flintstones: On the Rocks, The (2001)
"Flintstone Comedy Show, The" (1980)
"Flintstones Comedy Hour, The" (1972)
"Fred Flintstone and Friends" (1977)
"Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo" (1979)
"Fred and Barney Meet the Thing" (1979)
"New Fred and Barney Show, The" (1979)
Flintstone Christmas, A (1977)
Flintstones Christmas Carol, A (1994)
Flintstones Christmas in Bedrock, The (1996)
Flintstones Family Christmas, A (1993)
Flintstones Little Big League, The (1979)
Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone, The (1979)
Flintstones' New Neighbors, The (1980)
Flintstones: Fred's Final Fling, The (1980)
Flintstones: Jogging Fever, The (1981)
Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby (1993)
I Yabba-Dabba Do! (1993)
Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, The (1987)
Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982)
I know. They should have been inducted a long time ago.

Fred's daughter Pebbles joined the Hall of Fame during 2000, the Year of the Woman. And someday their spouses Wilma and Betty - and probably Bamm Bamm Rubble as well - will join them as well.

Toby O'B


The most recent episode of 'New Tricks' to be broadcast in the United States was "Magic Majestic"; only two more to go before the American audience (at least in the NYC area) are caught up with the British run of the series.

Here's an online description of "Magic Majestic" episode:

"The team investigates the death of a man originally thought to have been killed by his hypnotised wife. Brian confronts the magician named in a tip-off and becomes embroiled in a battle of wits, while Gerry, sceptical of the phenomenon, agrees to be put under the spell of an expert at the Magic Circle - with unspeakable results."

While the UCOS squad was at the Magic Circle (a London club for magicians), they learned about Chung Ling Soo, a legendary magician who may or may not have been Asian. Chung Ling Soo died in 1918 while trying to perform the "catch a bullet in your teeth" trick. But he was also known for having faked a disability all of his adult life, and having the discipline to maintain the illusion, just so he could eventually pull off a master-stroke of a trick.
General rule of thumb - any time you are given extraneous information in an episode (or a movie), it will come into play before the story plays out. I'm just sayin', is all.

In the days since I've seen that episode, I've realized that I can apply that information to an episode of 'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.', one that was fairly entertaining until the finale, when it finally just ended - and badly.

"The Little John Doe Affair" was about a high-stakes gambler named Joey Celeste who was in deep to the Mob. In order to save himself, he offered to spill the beans on his associates to U.N.C.L.E., provided they were able to protect him. But the Mob sent a contract killer named "Little" John Doe to eliminate him... and anyone else who was proving to be a problem.

You can't judge a book by its cover, they say, and the same could be said about Little John Doe. He looked to be a milquetoast mouse of a man from Middle America, more likely to be a CPA than a hit man. And he had a club foot, which meant that he walked slowly and with some difficulty. Despite that, Little John Doe proved to be a proficient assassin.

At the end of the episode, Little John Doe failed to kill Joey Celeste, and he was in a stand-off with U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer - a stand-off in which he had the upper hand.

And he simply gives up!

I was flabbergasted when I saw that. Granted, April Dancer was the main character - she dies, the show is over. (Not that it mattered, really - it only lasted another 9 episodes or so.) But at the very least, she shouled have used some fancy martial arts skill or a techno-gizmo from the agency's labs to capture Little John Doe.

I hated that ending so much, I would have much rather had Little John Doe kill April. But then, he was portrayed by Wally Cox, and I was a big fan of his.

That ending always bothered me; it could have been so much better and it just didn't make any sense. I know - a world where cars, dogs, horse, and toasters can talk isn't really going to be known for logic, but still!

And now with this revelation about Chung Ling Soo, I think I may have an answer to splain away that terrible ending. Of course, it can never be proven, as it would have happened after the final credits ran. But as it is a staple of Toobworld that Life continues even after the show is over, that sort of hurdle isn't going to stop me!

I'm thinking that Little John Doe considered all of his options, and he wasn't sure whether or not there was another U.N.C.L.E. agent in the vicinity, perhaps even more than one. He probably figured it was better to surrender, because he had one last trick up his sleeve.
I think Little John Doe knew of Chung Ling Soo's deception about his disability when he was younger, and decided to pull off the same stunt himself. It meant that he had to fool his family all of the time as well, but there must be something to the cliche that assassins are disciplined.

I think Little John Doe may have even made his "club foot" more pronounced as he was brought in to the Italian prison, so that everyone saw it and noted it. That way, when he simply escaped from his cell and then proceeded to walk out as though his foot was normal, no one gave him the slightest notice.

True, he had used up his one ace in the hole, but it was the kind of situation he could have been saving it for.

This way we at least have a logical splainin as to why he would simply surrender to April Dancer.

Toby O'B


And here we are! Inauguration Day!

We're still hours away from President-Elect Obama becoming President Obama, but no matter. Obama is The Man and we can put The Shrub out of our minds. That may take awhile, but I think it's worth the effort.

O'Bviously we can't show a picture yet of someone playing Obama as the POTUS, and even once he's in office, we're still going to be using the same source for a picture - until there's a mini-series, a movie of the week, perhaps an impersonation for a TV commercial or a cameo in some sitcom.

Until such time - if any! - the go-to guy for an Obama tele-version is Fred Armisen on 'Saturday Night Live'. And here's a shot of him as "Senator Obama" looked during one of the Democratic debates with "Senator Clinton":

Here's a bit of wish-craft for our 44th President to succeed in these difficult times over the next four years!

Toby O'B

Monday, January 19, 2009


With much thanks to Hugh - who's been such a huge help behind the scenes over the years! - we know have a picture of Edgar Allen Poe as he was seen on TV, just under the wire to celebrate his 200th birthday:
He was summoned forward by a magical computer in an episode of 'Mentors' to help the kids realize that we shouldn't be governed by our fears.

Toby O'B


We've got an extra "As Seen On TV" for today, but it has nothing to do with the Presidency......

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allen Poe. So far, I haven't found any indication he was actually portrayed on TV, but in "A Tale Of Poes And Fire", a 'Gilmore Girls' episode, a Poe Society met at the Inn. And when that caught fire, their celebration of the author moved on to Lorelei's house.

Here are a couple of frame grabs from that episode:
Toby O'B


Recognize this man? His name is Bob May. He was an iconic figure from 1960's television, although in the Toobworld timeline his show didn't take place until 1997.

Perhaps it helps if you see who he's partnered up with in the next picture. On 'Lost In Space' you would never have seen them in the same scene, because Bob May inhabited the robot shell.
He passed away on Sunday of congestive heart failure at the age of 69. He and his wife lost their home in November to the California wildfires.

After years of work as an actor and a stuntman for other TV shows as well as in the movies (and even on the vaudeville stage - his dad was comic Chic Johnson), Bob May got the role of Robot (it was never "the Robot", just Robot) mainly because he could fit inside the outfit.

When the series debuted in 1965, Robot was on board the Jupiter 2 spaceship, but had been re-programmed by Dr. Zachary Smith to be a threat to the Robinson Family. But as the series progressed, it became a loyal ally and a good friend and bodyguard for young Will. And its AI programming evolved so that it actually took some kind of delight at needling Dr. Smith.

He learned all of the lines of every character in his scenes so that he knew when to make the
appropriate movements for Robot.

I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know the basic quotes from Robot: "Danger! Danger!" and "It does not compute!" But Bob May provided only the movements for Robot; Dick Tufeld supplied the vocals. Still, you just aren't getting the whole picture unless you also add in those flailing arm movements as Bob May waved Robot's pincers about as his midsection spun about and his plastic dome rose up in agitation.

To Dr. Smith, Robot was a bubble-headed booby. For me, and countless others who watched him every week on 'Lost In Space', Bob May was an unsung hero for bringing Robot to life.

As Red Skelton said, Good night and may God bless....

Toby O'B


Here we are, Inauguration Eve, just one day away from Barack Obama becoming the 44th President of the United States! Exciting, isn't it? (Suddenly I feel like the Inauguration should be kicked off by Hank "Hey Now!" Kingsley.....)

We're counting down to the Inauguration in the "As Seen On TV" segment of Inner Toob, in which we show famous people as they look portrayed by actors on television. And for the last twelve days or so, we've been spotlighting only past Presidents of the United States.

Today, since it's the day before the Inauguration, we're showing a scene of an inauguration; the first one, as a matter of fact. From last year's big Toobits Awards winner in the mini-series category, "John Adams", we have George Washington as he became the first President of the United States. Beside him is Adams, who would one day become president as well. But for this moment in Time, he would serve as Washington's vice-president.
Now, you might think that I would save such a picture for Inauguration Day itself. However, tomorrow will be a showcase for Barack Obama. And I think most of you can guess where I'm going to get THAT picture!

Toby O'B


Because five of my friends on Facebook had done so (including my sister), I also joined the fan page for Captain CB Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully brought down his damaged airliner into the Hudson with no loss of life.

When I joined the group, there were about 249,000 people already members. I just checked now, less than 24 hours after I joined and there are more than 352,000!

In the message boards, there are suggestions for who should play "Sully" in the inevitable movie. I think this will be a great TV movie and there were two suggestions in casting that I liked:

JK Simmons and William H. Macy.

We'll have to see who eventually scrambles to get the rights to his story and that of the rest of his heroic crew. But if it is made for television rather than for the cinema, it'll be a great addition for Toobworld!


Toby O'B


In this week's episode of 'Monk' ("Mr. Monk On Wheels"), agro-genetic scientist Dean Barry demonstrated his altered corn seed to some investors. It was supposed to begin producing within 20 minutes, but the experiment proved to be a terrible disaster. Without a word, the three representatives of the potential investors left the lab.

But who were they representing?

I'm thinking that it's always pozz'ble, just pozz'ble (as Mushrat would say in those old 'Deputy Dawg' cartoons) that they were from Widmore Labs on 'Lost', an off-shoot of the DHARMA Initiative, perhaps.

One never knows, do one?

Toby O'B


I've started getting an e-newsletter from a group called CliqueClaque TV; pretty interesting stuff and I'm enjoying it so far.

The latest edition contained a remembrance of 'thirtySOMETHING' and linked to a youtube clip from the show, a real gut-wrenching moment from the episode in which everybody found out the happy news that Nancy was cancer free.

I never saw the show when it originally ran on ABC; instead I watched it on a daily basis when it went into syndication on Lifetime. And I became addicted; these were people that for a brief time became a part of my life. Back during a time in TV viewing when the characters I used to "hang around with" were a little more based in reality than at most other times in my so-called life.

And when I first saw this scene, it hit me as hard as the time when Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix was neutralized in 'The X-Men' comics; when Gandalf faced the Balrog on the Khazad-dum bridge in "The Fellowship Of The Ring"; when James Garner as 'Nichols' faced off against a drunk cowboy in the show's final episode... and I didn't even get the chance to see that one happen!

Here's the link to the clip, if you want to see it. It's the type of moment that unfortunately can happen to any of us, unlike those examples above. If you've seen the series, you'll know what it's about. And the name of the clip will give it away as well. If you don't want to know, just in case there's ever a chance it might show up as a DVD collection someday, then I'd suggest not clicking on the link.

Toby O'B

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The 'Leverage' team of con artists were scrambling to find an alternate scam to use on their mark when the original version of "The Two Horse Job" fell through. And one of the ideas they came up with was to sell the guy on a talking horse. And they even mentioned the one, the only, Mr. Ed.

Luckily for Toobworld purposes, they never referred to the talking horse as a TV show. The only difficulty presented by his mention since they share the same TV dimension is that Ed and his "owner", Wilbur Post, tried to keep his ability to talk a secret. So how did Nate Ford and Co. learn about him?

Who knows what may have happened after the series ended? I don't know if Ed would have
finally published his memoirs - it would have been a guaranteed best-seller. After all, how many talking horses ever escape from the Island of the Houyhnhm and come to live in the land of the Yahoo? But it could also be that someone finally discovered the truth and exposed Mr. Ed to the world.

And that's how Team Leverage knew about him.

If this had taken place in the sketch comedy TV dimension of Skitlandia, we'd know how Mr. Ed's story turned out. Until his death, Ed was a right-wing radio talk show host in North Carolina. We learned that from an unsold, but broadcast, pilot for a show called 'What's Alan Watching?' - which is where Alan Sepinwall got the name for his blog.

Toby O'B


Here we are on the last Sunday before Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th President of the United States!

Ahhhh, Sunday.... A day of rest. A day when not many people will be checking out my blog, having far more important and relaxing things to do. (Actually, not much different from any other day of the week.) Whatever I post today will pretty much be ignored....

So what better time than today to post a picture of Obama's predecessor in the Oval Office, George W. Bush.

Here's a picture of the Shrub as he looked in 'That's My Bush!', the sitcom by the brains behind 'South Park'. The show came out during Bush's first year in office on Comedy Central, and was a spoof more on the cliches and conventions of the sitcom using Bush as the focal point. They portrayed him more as the stumbling bumbling father figure that had been a staple of sitcoms from Stu Erwin to Homer Simpson.... Who knew he'd turn out to be far worse?

Timothy Bottoms played Bush again in a more serious vein for a TV movie about 9/11, but hopefully this will be the image that remains in people's memories.

The sitcom was yanked soon after 9/11, and finally Bush will be as well.

Toby O'B


From my brother:


It's historic TV.


In my bedroom...

I'm watching SNL via rabbit ears!

I figured since the days of analog broadcasting are winding down, I'd actually experience this childhood form of cathode ray delivery just one more time.

I'm actually going to miss it, since the number of channels I get via rabbit ears roughly matches the number of channels I get from cable. LOL!


p.s. boring show so far, so that's a bummer.