Saturday, February 14, 2009


Just wanted to share one more picture of E.J. Peaker as Natalie Schaefer as Lovey Howell in "Surviving Gilligan's Island". She's pictured here with Steve Vinovich, who played Jim Backus (who played Thurston Howell on 'Gilligan's Island'.)

Toby O'B


In the 'Cheyenne' episode of "War Party", Cheyenne Bodie found himself attracted to the wife of a man he had shot in self-defense. Her name was Jeannie, and she felt the pull as well, offering herself to him willingly.

Cheyenne backed off at the last moment; however, he admitted that he wasn't strong enough (morally) to do so. It was just the thought that her husband, Morgan, was lying in the next room, a man he shot, that kept him from taking her.

Having seen "Missouri Breaks", I find it hard to believe now that any cowboy would resist the temptation to have his way with a lonely frontier wife. (Well, maybe Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, but that's about it....) And I think that with the threat looming over them from the three bad guys bunking down in the barn, as well as the imminent danger from the Sioux tribe on the warpath, Cheyenne and Jeannie did succumb to their passion during the night. (At one point we see Willis Peake - played by James Garner - watching the cabin window.... But what can he hear from there as well?)

When Morgan confronted Jeannie the next day that he heard them in the other room the night before, I think it could be interpreted that he meant more than their earlier conversation.

We never learned the last name of Morgan and Jeannie, just that they grew up together in Virginia. So.... let's suggest the surname of "Whitman"......

And we never learned where they ended up after abandoning their cabin because of the Indian uprising. Maybe they continued West towards California; maybe they headed back East. If so, perhaps they went home to Ol' Virginny, or maybe they decided to buy some farmland in the mid-west, maybe Ohio or even western New York state.

If Jeannie became pregnant by Cheyenne (and this being TV, of course she would!), we could make the suggestion that the descendants of that brief coupling could show up anywhere - anywhen! - in Toobworld.

One possible suggestion?
Don Draper, AKA Dick Whitman, could be their great-grandson!

Just suggestin', is all.....

Toby O'B

And that's the best I can muster for such a dreary "holiday"...... Bah, humbug!


After dealing with a monster like Hitler for Friday the Thirteenth, I thought something different was in order, to cleanse the palate for the "As Seen On TV" feature. And for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd 'fess up to a teen-age crush (one of many)......

With the musical sitcom 'That's Life', I fell hard for E.J. Peaker. And I followed that up with the TV movie "Three's A Crowd", in which she and Jessica Walter were both the wives of Larry Hagman's character, living in different cities. (Eventually, as expected, romantic hilarity ensued.)

But I lost track of her for years, and with no internet to apprise me back then as to what TV shows she'd be making guest appearances in. So basically thirty years later, it was a surprise to finally see her again; this time playing another actress from that same time period, but now closer in age to that actress back then: Natalie Shaefer of 'Gilligan's Island'.

In 2001, Ms. Peaker appeared in the TV movie "Surviving Gilligan''s Island: The Incredibly True Story Of The Longest Three-Hour Tour In History", which I think was either based on the memories of Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann, or was produced by her. This TV movie falls into that dimension in which our TV shows are seen by fictional characters. It's populated by other such TV movies like those that depict the behind the scenes drama for other programs like 'Dynasty', 'Three's Company', 'Charlie's Angels', and British offerings like 'Steptoe And Son' and 'Up Pompeii' (in connection to the life of Frankie Howerd).

So Thomas Wolfe be damned, it was still nice to see E.J. Peaker again....
Toby O'B

Friday, February 13, 2009


As Adolph Hitler is in the spotlight today for our "As Seen On TV" feature, I thought we'd take a look at the man in Toobworld, specifically the reason why his appearance kept changing......

There's a 'Twilight Zone' episode called "The Man In The Bottle" in which a genie grants a curio shop owner and his wife four wishes. But the wishes were booby-trapped, so that Mr. and Mrs. Castle came to regret each one. And with the penultimate wish, when Arthur Castle desired to become the ruler of a foreign country in the 20th Century who couldn't be voted out of office, the genie turned him into Adolph Hitler at the end of WWII.

Hitler is one of those real-life historical figures who prove to be irresistible to screenwriters, like Lincoln or JFK. He's made an appearance in many TV shows as well as TV movies which could have caused a zonkish headache due to all those recastaways.

The TV movies and many of the mini-series aren't really a problem; there are plenty of alternate TV dimensions which should have their own Hitler. But the series - including 'Highlander', 'Red Dwarf', and 'The Time Tunnel (all pictured below) - should all be sharing the same dimension, so having so many different incarnations of Hitler could have been a problem.
This is why "The Man In The Bottle" is part of the Toobworld Essentials collection. It provides the splainin as to why Hitler's appearance kept changing in Toobworld - that genie (or another one from a different bottle) kept replacing the Fuhrer with men who wished to be a man of power in the world.

Really, look at the "Hitler" with Tony and Doug from 'The Time Tunnel'; that's got to be a wannabe! And the same goes for that "Hitler" who survived the explosion in 'Highlander'. (As for that scene in 'Red Dwarf', that's stock footage into which Dave was inserted. However, Kenneth Hadley did portray Hitler in an episode.)

For a little variety, of course, we could always claim that a few of those Hitlers were quantum leapers from the future, when the technology was more stable.

So, unless Adolph Hitler is played by Michael Sheard on TV (and sadly, that's no longer possible), then we're seeing an imposter transplanted there by a 'Quantum Leap' or by a genie's magic.

And many of those imposters would handle the opportunity far better than Arthur Castle... of 'The Twilight Zone'.

Toby O'B
An interesting side-note, outside of Toobworld..... Luther Adler, who played Arthur Castle in this episode of 'The Twilight Zone', also played Hitler in two movies as well. However I don't think we should be dragging them into the TV universe since he was in command of himself as Hitler in those films. Arthur Castle was shocked by the realization that he had become Hitler in the bunker near the end of Hitler's life.


My blogging buddy Mercurie, who runs "A Shroud Of Thoughts" (Look to the left for the link!), clued me in to a campaign being run by Pillsbury - "Home Is Calling". In the commercial, people are clicking their heels and thinking there's no place like home - for fresh out of the oven biscuits.

So there's another blipvert for 'The Wizard of Oz'! Thanks, Merc!

Toby O'B


For Friday the Thirteenth, we needed a right bastid for the "As Seen On TV" feature. After all, thanks to the movie franchise, it's a day given over to the monsters. And no bigger monster existed in history than Adolph Hitler. Michael Sheard's portrayal of Hitler stands as the official one for Toobworld. He played the role of the Fuhrer in the TV movies "Rogue Male", "Hitler Of The Andes", and "The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission", and in two episodes of the series 'The Tomorrow People'.

Sheard also played Hitler in "Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade", a theatrical release. But it has been absorbed into the TV Universe because of the series 'The Indiana Jones Chronicles' and a TV movie extension of that series starring Harrison Ford again as Indy, "Young Indiana Jones And The Mystery Of The Blues".

Well, that's enough of this monster... for now. I'll have more later today, but in the meantime.....

To Hell, Hitler!

Toby O'B

Thursday, February 12, 2009


On this date 200 years ago, it was not only Abraham Lincoln's birth date, but that of Charles Darwin as well. So we have a double feature today for "As Seen On TV".

These are three views of Malcolm Stoddard as Charles Darwin: Top left - as a young man, pondering his future in his father's study

Top right - during his voyage with the HMS Beagle

Bottom center - as an old man poring over his manuscripts and maps of South America

These were from the mini-series 'The Voyage Of Charles Darwin' from just over thirty years ago on the BBC.

Toby O'B


In August later this year, we'll be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the movie version of 'The Wizard Of Oz'. And as far as commercial tie-ins go, the celebration has begun a little bit early.

GE has a blipvert using the vocals of Ray Bolger singing "If I Only Had A Brain" while a wired-up scarecrow dances on an electrical grid. (Not sure you want little kids getting ideas from that....)

The Wicked Witch of the West has a new BFF, a girl named Vicky, as seen in the new spot for Orange, a French-based mobile phone service over in the UK*. There's also a cameo by Nikko, the Flying Monkey. (And for you fans of 'Gavin & Stacey', James "Smithie" Corden does the voice-over at the end.)

And then there's my favorite of the batch - the batch of cookies, that is. Even in the Wonderful Land of Oz, Chips Ahoy cookies aren't safe from human-sized munchkins! This ad has incredible detail in the little realm of Munchkinland as well.

Who knows what else we'll see as the anniversary gets closer.....?

Toby O'B

* I thought Orange was a cinema chain; the commercial still doesn't make it clear for those out of the loop, like me. But thanks to Medium Rob for alerting me to my mistake!


Phil Carey has passed away at the age of 83. Most of the obituaries I've seen have focused on his role as Asa Buchanan, the transplanted Texan whose family eventually took over most of the major venues in Llanview, Pennsylvania. (It amazes me how many women fell under Asa's spell over the years, all the while his first wife was locked away in the attic, I think. But it's Victor Newman on my Mom's favorite soap, 'The Young & The Restless', who really surprises me with the number of women who are caught up in whatever machismo he's peddling.)

Carey died of lung cancer, which has taken out so many other men who, like Carey, projected such a strong, powerful image; as someone who should have been invincible: John Wayne, Chuck Connors, my Dad........ Some of my blogging buddies also remembered Carey as Captain Parmalee in 'Laredo', but that show never crossed my radar, much as I love TV Westerns. (I'll have to check to see if they have any episodes at the Paley Center.) Carey shows up in one of my TV history books with a picture from his 1950's series 'Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers'. That one was before my time and not something that would have been widely available in syndication even back in the 1960's.
But on a personal level, my first introduction to Philip Carey was in February of 1971. At the time, I was big into a show called 'Room 222' and it was one of the many shows for which I monopolized the family TV.

However, on this particular night, my Dad said that he'd been hearing about this show from the guys at the Post Office, one that had only begun about a month before. And he wanted to check it out. Reluctantly I went along with his request, convincing myself in advance that no matter what it was like, I would hate it because it was keeping me from watching 'Room 222'.

The show was 'All In The Family' and the episode was "Judging Books By Covers", in which Archie's friend Roger was a big "fruit". He said as much to his buddy Steve down at the bar. Steve was a big, strapping former pro football player (Maybe for the Condors? LOL!) who finally had to step in as Archie continued his rant about Roger. Steve told him that he knew Roger, and he knew Roger wasn't gay. And who better to know than himself - as Steve finally revealed to Archie, he was gay.
I think my Dad regretted introducing me to the show, but it was too late for all of us; 'All In The Family' became a staple in the household after that. I think I gave up 'Room 222' for good soon after as well; the allure of sitcoms changed with 'All In The Family'. (Philip Carey showed up in an episode of 'Room 222', coincidentally.)

I didn't see Phil Carey again until May of 1980 when I was visiting my friend Beth back in Connecticut. (At least not in anything that made an impression on me. Based on the many credits listed below, I know I've seen him many times over.)
Beth's sister Mary was saddled with entertaining me at their mother's condo while Beth was at work; so while she worked on some photo albums, she explained to me about all of the characters and plotlines on 'One Life To Live' (still one of her favorite shows). I still remember to this day that most of that hour concerned Dorian Lord and her husband and Cassie, but that oilcat billionaire Asa showed up during the episode and I remembered him from 'All In The Family' episode from nearly a decade before.

(And thanks to Mayr's tutorial, I became hooked into "OLTL" for at least the next eight years, maybe longer.....)
Here are Mr. Carey's television credits:

"One Life to Live" .... Asa Buchanan

"All My Children" .... Asa Buchanan [crossover!]

"Little House on the Prairie" .... Commander Kaiser
- The Halloween Dream (1979)

"The Betty White Show" .... Larry
- Joyce's Wedding (1977)

"The Bionic Woman" .... Major Andrews
- The Vega Influence (1976)

"The Blue Knight"
- A Slight Case of Murder (1976)

Crackle of Death (1976) (TV)

"Police Story" .... Captain Ben Johnson
- The Execution (1975)

"McCloud" .... Howard Barnett
- The Man with the Golden Hat (1975)

"Kolchak: The Night Stalker" .... Sgt. Mayer
- Firefall (1974)

"Police Woman" .... Walter Grainger
- Anatomy of Two Rapes (1974)

"Wide World Mystery" .... Detective Arnburg
- Hard Day at Blue Nose (1974)
- Shadow of Fear (1973)

"Banacek" .... Art Gallagher
- Rocket to Oblivion (1974)
Scream of the Wolf (1974) .... Sheriff Vernon Bell

"Room 222" .... Benjamin Evans
- I've Got the Hammer, If You've Got the Thumb (1973)

"Bright Promise" (1969) TV series .... Bob Corcoran

"McMillan & Wife" .... Arthur Kendall
- The Night of the Wizard (1972)

"Gunsmoke" .... Bannion
- Trafton (1971)

"All in the Family" .... Steve
- Judging Books by Covers (1971)

The Rebel Rousers (1970) .... Rebel

Once You Kiss a Stranger... (1969) .... Mike

- Goodbye to Yesterday (1969) .... Vic Richards
- Barbara Who (1968) .... Dick Richards
[That has to be a misprint. I'm betting they're the same character.]

Three Guns for Texas (1968) .... Capt. Edward A. Parmalee
[This is a couple of episodes from 'Laredo' stitched together.]

"Cimarron Strip" .... Kallman
- Knife in the Darkness (1968)

"Felony Squad" .... Tillery Gage
- No Sad Songs for Charlie (1967)

"Custer" .... Benton Conant
- Massacre (1967)

"Laredo" .... Capt. Edward Parmalee
[It's the Toobworld Central contention that Parmalee was the great-grandfather of Asa Buchanan from 'One Life To Live'.]

"Daniel Boone" .... Gordon Lang
- The Necklace (1967)

"The Virginian"
- We've Lost a Train (1965) .... Captain Edward Parmalee [crossover!]
- Siege (1963) TV episode .... Duke Logan

"Kraft Suspense Theatre" .... Edgar Martin
- My Enemy, This Town (1964)

"G.E. True" .... Pete Foley
- Nitro (1963)

"77 Sunset Strip"
- Flight 307 (1963) .... Charles 'Brick' Garrett
- The Night Was Six Years Long (1963) .... Chris Benton
- Flight from Escondido (1962) .... Captain Shore
- Violence for Your Furs (1962) .... Mac Maguire

"The Nurses" .... Ernie Bass
- The Thunder of Ernie Bass (1963)
[Hard to imagine he might be related to Ernest T. Bass of 'The Andy Griffith Show'!]

"The Gallant Men" .... Sgt. Matt Barragan
- The Leathernecks (1963)

- Johnny Brassbuttons (1962) .... Marshal Frank Nolan
- One Way Ticket (1962) .... Cole Younger

"Bronco" .... Josh Glendon
- Until Kingdom Come (1962)

"Lawman" .... Barron Shaw
- Change of Venue (1962)

"The Roaring 20's" .... Tim McCool
- Kitty Goes West (1961)

"Tales of Wells Fargo" .... Joe Squire
- The Dodger (1961)

"The Asphalt Jungle" .... Tennessee
- The Professor (1961) .... Tennessee

"The Rifleman" .... Dr. Simon Battle
- Death Trap (1961)

"Stagecoach West" .... Major Ralph Barnes
- The Root of Evil (1961)

"Thriller" .... Darryl Hudson
- Man in a Cage (1961)

"Zane Grey Theater" .... John Baylor
- One Must Die (1961)

"Michael Shayne" .... Brad Harper
- Shoot the Works (1960)

"Philip Marlowe" .... Philip Marlowe

"Lux Playhouse" .... Robert Garvin
- A Deadly Guest (1959)

"Lux Video Theatre"
- Edge of Doubt (1957)

"The Ford Television Theatre"
- Torn (1957) .... Dr. Douglas Gregg
- Duffy's Man (1956) .... Duffy's Man
- Panic (1956) .... Wayne Douglas
- Twelve to Eternity (1955) .... Bill Adams
- Second Sight (1955) .... Dr. Ed Marshfield

"Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers" .... Lieutenant Michael Rhodes

"Celebrity Playhouse"
- I'll Make the Arrest (1956) .... Police Lt. Mike O'Shean
- Known But to God (1955) .... Police Lt. Joe Karns

"Four Star Playhouse"
- Eddie's Place (1955) .... Dr. Ed Marshfield

"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Two Lives Have I (1953)

As Red Skelton used to say: "Good night and may God bless....."

Toby O'B


The year is still young and I think we've already got a lock for the 2009 Toobits Award winner for Biggest Zonk. Actress Summer Glau, who plays Cameron the Terminator protecting John Conner in 'The Sarah Conner Chronicles' will play herself in the March 9th episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'.

Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj will be riding the train to San Francisco when they discover that their current fave sci-fi actress is also on board the train. This sounds like one massive headache for Toobworld Central - I don't think there'll be any way to find a splainin that can smooth over the discrepancies. I'm sure there will be non-stop references to her cyborg role on the show, when the sitcom and the sci-fi actioner should be sharing the same dimension. I'd be a lot happier if they found Cameron on the train instead.

Oh well. As a fan of both shows, I'm still going to enjoy the ride!
Toby O'B


We did a run of US presidents a few weeks ago in the "As Seen On TV" feature to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama. And at the time, we showed Abraham Lincoln as he looked in the afterlife on two different TV shows.

But even so, we're turning our attentions to our 16th president once again, because today marks the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Just about everywhere else you visit today online will have some solemn observance of the man. But not in Toobworld. We thought - hey! It's his birthday! Let's have a little fun! So we're back in the Tooniverse, and this time it's the 31st Century, in which the hologram of Evil Lincoln is running amok on an episode of 'Futurama'!

Toby O'B

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I'm really late with this, but then my reluctance to do obit posts has been known around here at Toobworld Central for some time......

James Whitmore passed away last week at the age of 87. His last major role which will have resonance for future generations of movie audiences was in "The Shawshank Redemption", but of course he was working quite often after he made that film. He made a lot of movies of all genres, and appeared often in theater; and he combined the two with the film translations of his one-man shows about Harry Truman and Will Rogers.
But as this is a blog about the universe of television, his TV credits are what's important here.....

"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" .... Milton
- Ending Happy (2007)

"Mister Sterling" .... Retired Governor William Sterling Sr.
- Statewide Swing (2003)
- Next Question (2003)
- Pilot (2003)

"A Minute with Stan Hooper" .... Dr. Goldman
- The Good Doctor (2003)

"The Practice" .... Raymond Oz
- Oz (1999)
- Legacy (1999)
- Hide and Seek (1997)

Swing Vote (1999) .... Daniel Morissey

Sky High (1990) .... Gus Johnson

Glory! Glory! (1989) .... Lester Babbitt

"Favorite Son" .... President Sam Baker

"Riptide" .... Ben Wilkenson
- Home for Christmas

"George Burns Comedy Week" .... Ebenezer Scrooge
- Christmas Carol II the Sequel (1985)

"Celebrity" (1984) .... Clifford Casey

Mark, I Love You (1980) .... Dwight Hamilton

"The White Shadow" .... Jake Reeves
- Reunion: Part 1 (1980)
- Reunion: Part 2 (1980)

Rage! (1980) .... Borski

The Golden Honeymoon (1980) .... Charley Tate

"Comeback" .... Host
- Freddy Fender Story (1979)

"The Word" (1978) .... George Wheeler

I Will Fight No More Forever (1975) .... General Oliver O. Howard

The Canterville Ghost (1974)

- Women for Sale: Part 1 (1973) .... Fitzpatrick
- Women for Sale: Part 2 (1973) .... Fitzpatrick
- The Reward (1965) .... Jim Forbes
- Dry Road to Nowhere (1965) .... Amos Campbell

"Temperatures Rising" (1972) .... Dr. Vincent Campanelli (unknown episodes, 1972-1973)

Will Rogers' USA (1972) .... Will Rogers

If Tomorrow Comes (1971) .... Frank Phillips

"The Virginian"
- Lady at the Bar (1970) .... Marshal Krug
- A Flash of Darkness (1969) .... Carl Kabe
- Paid in Full (1967) .... Ezra Hollis
- Nobody Said Hello (1966) .... Capt. Piper Pritican

"Then Came Bronson" .... Wilson Ford
- The Mountain (1970)

The Challenge (1970) .... Overman

"The Name of the Game" .... Dr. Harry Roarke
- Good-bye Harry (1969)

"My Friend Tony" .... Prof. John Woodruff

"Bonanza" .... John Postley
- To Die in Darkness (1968)

Madigan (1968) .... Chief Insp. Charles Kane
(This could be considered part of the TV Universe, as the sequel to the series, even though the movie came out first.)

"The Danny Thomas Hour" .... Professor John Woodruff
- My Pal Tony (1968)

"Cowboy in Africa" .... Ryan Crose
- First to Capture (1968)

"The Big Valley"
- Shadow of a Giant (1968) .... Marshal Seth Campbell
- Night in a Small Town (1967) .... Tom Wills
- Target (1966) .... Joshua Hawks
- The Death Merchant (1966) .... Handy Random

"Custer" .... Eldo
- Spirit Woman (1967)

"Judd for the Defense" .... John Patrick McKenna
- The Money Farm (1967)

"Tarzan" .... Cliff Stockwell
- Tiger, Tiger! (1967)

"The Invaders" .... Harry Swain
- Quantity: Unknown (1967)

"12 O'Clock High"
- The Ace (1966) .... Col. Harry Connelly
- The Hero (1965) .... Col. J. Paul 'Pappy' Hartley

"The Monroes" .... Blackmer
- The Hunter (1966)

"Shane" .... Harry Himber
- Day of the Hawk (1966)

"T.H.E. Cat" .... Arnie Ludock
- Little Arnie from Long Ago (1966)

"The Loner" .... Doc Fritchman
- The Mourners for Johnny Sharp: Part 1 (1966)
- The Mourners for Johnny Sharp: Part 2 (1966)

"Run for Your Life" .... Chief Jim Holland
- This Town for Sale (1965)

"For the People" .... Hillard Vance
- Any Benevolent Purpose (1965)

"Burke's Law" .... Joe Piante
- Who Killed Cop Robin? (1965)

"Combat!" .... Hertzbrun
- The Cassock (1965)

"Disneyland" .... Captain Ewell
- The Tenderfoot: Part 1 (1964)
- The Tenderfoot: Part 2 (1964)
- The Tenderfoot: Part 3 (1964)

"Kraft Suspense Theatre"
- A Lion Amongst Men (1964) .... Will Stanton
- The Long, Lost Life of Edward Smalley (1963) .... J. Marvin Bean

"Slattery's People" .... Representative Harry Sanborn
- Question: What Is Truth? (1964)

Death at the Stock Car Races (1964) .... Buck Larsen

"The Greatest Show on Earth" .... Marsh
- Love the Giver (1964)

"Arrest and Trial" .... Martin Burnham
- My Name Is Martin Burnham

"Dr. Kildare" .... Henry Clay Kincaid
- If You Can't Believe the Truth... (1963)

"The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters" .... Foxy Smith
- The Day of the Golden Fleece (1963)

- Incident of Iron Bull (1963) .... Colonel John Macklin
- Incident of the Dogfaces (1962) .... Sergeant Joe Duclos

"The Twilight Zone" .... Captain William Benteen
- On Thursday We Leave for Home (1963)

"Ben Casey" .... Dr. Donald Forrest
- Father Was an Intern (1963)

"Route 66" .... Ralph Vincent
- A Gift for a Warrior (1963)

"Going My Way" .... Dr. Corden
- Tell Me When You Get to Heaven (1963)

"The United States Steel Hour"
- Big Day for a Scrambler (1962)

"The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor" .... Francis Xavier Murphy
- Act of God (1961)

"Checkmate" .... Detective Lt. Dave Harlan
- Nice Guys Finish Last (1961)

"Alcoa Premiere" .... Fred Collins
- The Witch Next Door (1961)

"Frontier Justice" .... Jeb
- Fearful Courage (1961).... Jeb
- The Fearfull Courage (1958) .... Jeb
[These probably are the same episode.]

"The Law and Mr. Jones" .... Abraham Lincoln Jones

"The Chevy Mystery Show" .... Philip Selby
- Thunder of Silence (1960)

"Sunday Showcase" .... Ulysses S. Grant
- Our American Heritage: Shadow of a Soldier

"Zane Grey Theater"
- Wayfarers (1960) .... Jonas
- Checkmate (1959) .... Joel Begley
- Debt of Gratitude (1958) .... Ben Kincaid
- The Fearful Courage (1956) .... Jeb
[Again, that title and character show up....]

"Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse" .... Lee Anderson
- The Hanging Judge (1959)

"Playhouse 90"
- The Sounds of Eden (1959) .... Mr. Anderson
- Dark December (1959) .... Major Abe Kasner
- Free Weekend (1958) .... Guy Cato
- Galvanized Yankee (1957) .... Capt. Miles Shay

"Alcoa Theatre" .... Earl Sherwood
- The Town Budget (1958)

"Decision" .... Danny Cochran
- Fear Has Many Faces (1958)

"Wagon Train" .... Gabe Carswell
- The Gabe Carswell Story (1958)

"The 20th Century-Fox Hour" .... Jake Flannigan
- Deep Water (1957)

"The Alcoa Hour" .... Warden Lightfoot
- Nothing to Lose (1957)

"Panic!" .... Father Dolan
- The Priest (1957)

- The Stalker (1957) .... Tom Miller
- The Fog (1956) .... Stash Prohaska

"The Ford Television Theatre"
- Fear Has Many Faces (1957) .... Danny Cochran
- For Value Received (1954) .... Joe Green

"Kraft Television Theatre"
- Out to Kill (1956)
- A Profile in Courage (1956)
- The Devil as a Roaring Lion (1956)

"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
- Midnight Kill (1956) .... Joe Benson
- The Big Payday (1956) .... Tommy McDermott
- Captain in Command (1954)

"Lux Video Theatre"
- The Quick and the Dead (1956)

"Studio One" .... Sam
- A Favor for Sam (1956)

"Playwrights '56" .... David
- This Business of Murder (1956)

"Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre"
- The Velvet Trap (1956)

"Chevron Hall of Stars"
- A Man Named March (1956)
- The Bequest (1956)
- The Tough Haul (1956)

"Damon Runyon Theater" .... Starker
- Blonde Mink (1955)

"Crossroads" .... Chaplain
- The Good Thief (1955) I'll have more on certain characters played by James Whitmore to come.

As Red Skelton would say, "Good night, and may God bless...."

Toby O'B


Back in the mid-1980's, five friends met regularly in New Jersey to play poker. They were Pete, Jake, Marty, Tony, and Norman; all but Norman as seen in "Dealer's Choice", an episode of 'The New Twilight Zone'. We don't know their last names, but we can make a guess as to who Marty was... and what other TV show he came from.

Actually, there are two theories about Marty's identity, but both of them lead back to the same show..... With the first theory, Marty is actually Morty Seinfeld, Jerry's dad on 'Seinfeld'. Although everybody called him Marty in the 'T-Zone' episode, it was just a play on his name Morty. There may have been some private joke between the friends that served as the reason for the name change, but to everybody else in his life, he was still Morty.

With the second theory, his full name is Martin Seinfeld, and he was the twin brother of Morty Seinfeld, which makes him Jerry's uncle. With the similar names of "Marty" and "Morty", and the fact that both characters were played by Barney Martin, the twin brother theory has more heft. Even though making Marty into Morty creates a stronger link to 'Seinfeld', the twin brother theory is simpler to present. (Occam's Razor: "When multiple competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities.")

If you ever get the chance to see "Dealer's Choice", do so. It's not the greatest of stories - a lot of those episodes feel more like they were left over from 'Tales From The Darkside'. But this episode had a great cast - Barney Martin, of course, as Marty, M. Emmett Walsh as Pete, Morgan Freeman as Tony, Garrett Morris as Jake, and Dan Hedaya as Nick... the Devil. Oh, yeah. The Devil. Didn't I mention the Devil? Well, it had to have some kind of 'T-Zone' twist, right? Otherwise, it would be just an 'Odd Couple' poker game.....

Toby O'B


Ted Baxter:
"If you don't love somebody you don't get rejected."
Mary Richards:
"You don't get loved, either."
'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' - "Ted Over Heels"

Nola Goldstone:
And if you never have happiness,
you don't know what it's like to lose it
'The New Twilight Zone' - "Her Pilgrim Soul"

Toby O'B
[Special thanks to Michael Kelley for tracking down the exact MTM quote....]


'American Masters' on PBS looked at the life and work of silent movie-maker DW Griffith and has this to say about him on their website:

Griffith played a number of roles as an actor before agreeing to move behind the camera as a director at the Biograph Company. During his five years at Biograph, Griffith took the raw elements of moviemaking as they had evolved up to that time -- lighting, continuity, editing, acting -- and wrought a medium of extraordinary power and nuance. Early short films such as A CORNER IN WHEAT (1909), FIGHTING BLOOD (1911), and UNDER BURNING SKIES (1912) show the hallmarks of Griffith’s style already emerging: crosscut editing to build tension, acute observation of details to heighten reality, and the use of the camera as a vehicle for expounding his views on society. Determined to get beyond the short format films, he left Biograph and began working on what would be his most famous production.

Made in 1915, BIRTH OF A NATION was the first masterpiece of cinema, bringing to film the status accorded to the visual and performing arts. A story of the Civil War, BIRTH OF A NATION captured the violence, the spectacle, and the excitement of the war. Using extreme and dramatic camera angles and complexly interweaved edits, the film brought an event to life unlike any film had done before. The film, however beautiful, was a sad testament to the deep prejudice of the times and black audiences were outraged by the racist distortion of history. Viewed as a contributor to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the film caused riots in a number of black communities.

Griffith’s next film, INTOLERANCE (1916) was, paradoxically, a plea for brotherhood and understanding as well as a polemic against the radical social reformers who had demanded that THE BIRTH OF A NATION be censored. The film marked a new standard in film spectacle and in narrative complexity, intertwining four separate stories from four different historical eras.

Following INTOLERANCE with BROKEN BLOSSOMS (1919) and WAY DOWN EAST (1920) Griffith solidified his reputation as America’s preeminent director. He continued to reinvent the language of film, astounding people with epic stories, simultaneous narratives, sophisticated set design, and extensive traveling shows which accompanied his films city to city.

BROKEN BLOSSOMS was the story of a tender love between a Chinese man and a young girl with a brutish and bigoted father. The beautiful and emotionally explosive film was the first from Griffith’s new production company, formed that same year. The company, United Artists, brought Griffith together with the three greatest performers of the day; Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and Mary Pickford. Griffith would spend the next ten years making films with United Artists and Paramount, but would never again reach the fame of THE BIRTH OF A NATION or INTOLERANCE.

As the 1920s roared on, Griffith’s films seemed more and more old-fashioned, and no longer appealed to the younger audiences. A Victorian storyteller, he had become temperamentally and artistically out of sync with his times. Though he had almost single-handedly invented the art of modern cinema, Griffith spent the last fifteen years of his life unable to find work. On July 23, 1948 he died in a small Los Angeles hotel. In the wake of his death and the coming of age of the movie industry, D.W. Griffith has taken his place in American cultural history as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

D.W. Griffith is pictured here as he was seen in the HBO movie "And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself".....

Toby O'B

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Ausiello reported this two weeks ago:

If you blink while watching Worst Week's Feb. 9 season finale there's a very good chance you'll miss Zach Braff, who makes a split-second cameo. CBS' freshman comedy was shooting on Scrubs' vacant hospital set the same day Braff was there looping dialogue for an upcoming episode. "He appears very briefly in the background of a scene," says a source. "He just did it for fun."

But with President Obama's first news conference last night, 'Worst Week' got bumped, so hopefully that makes up for the fact that I forgot to alert you in the first place about this possible crossover - an epic of trivial proportions.

Toby O'B


I'm wondering if 'Law & Order' will be ripping from the headlines to do a story that's loosely based on the crash of the USAir flight into the Hudson. Because of all the media coverage and fighting over who got the first interview, I'd have the crash be part of the background; the real story would kick off when somebody gets murdered while trying to nail down the rights to the first interview.

One show that should have a plot about USAir crash should be 'Eureka', the show set in Eureka, Oregon, a top secret town full of super intelligent geniuses with high government clearance.

They had a sub-plot two seasons ago about Taggart's android geese..... I think 'Eureka' could tweak the original news story to be about another flight which was downed intentionally by nefarious parties unknown. And because an android goose was used to do the dirty deed, Taggart would be the obvious suspect.

I think Matt Frewer as Taggart and the series have parted company, but this might be a good way to bring him back for the special guest spot in one episode.

Just throwin' the ideas out there, free of charge!

Toby O'B


We're back in the live-action TV universe for the "As Seen On TV" feature, but we're in the sketch comedy dimension known as Skitlandia.

On 'Saturday Night Live' this past weekend, "James Harrison" showed up during the Weekend Update segment. Just about a week since the Super Bowl, and Harrison was still out of breath and sucking down oxygen because of that 100 yard run he made during the game.....

Toby O'B

Monday, February 9, 2009


"I don't know who that owl is,
But I'd sure like to shake his hand."
Cheyenne Bodie

"The owls are not what they seem."
Major Garland Briggs
'Twin Peaks'

Toby O'B


Cleaning out my hard drive of collected pics, I found this newspaper clipping (from the NY Post, ugh). It's from May of 1996, I guess, since that's when 'Murder, She Wrote' came to an end as a series. (There would be several more TV movies a few years later.)
In my open letter contribution, in case the print is too small for you to read, I wrote: "Even though your show boasted over 280 murders in 12 years, it was always a gentle, classy puzzler that never stooped to using shock instead of suspense. But even so, if I was at a party and you showed up, I'd get out before I ended up as the corpse of the week!"

Toby O'B


In keeping with today's induction of Rosa Parks into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, we're showcasing Ms. Parks for the daily "As Seen On TV" feature:
Here is her younger self, and the mode of transport that catapulted her to fame.

Angela Bassett is appearing as Rosa Parks.

Tob O'B


We've got an early contender for "Best Crossover From Another Medium" with the introduction of the Legion of Superheroes in 'Smallville'. However, they weren't identified as Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl; instead they gave Clark Kent their given names of Rokk Krinn, Garth Ranzz, and Irma Ardeen, respectively.

It's a shame that 'Smallville' takes place in the 'West Wing' universe (where Superman hasn't yet made his official presence known), because I'd love to see the Legion of Superheroes operating in the main Toobworld... especially Brainiac 5! I've always thought he'd be perfect as a TV character - super-intelligent, green-skinned, and blonde. He'd certainly have a striking visual quality.

Toby O'B


One picture we found of last week's inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame showed Snoop Dogg wearing a football jersey emblazoned with the number "15".
This is one of the numbers in the sequence from 'Lost' which has had so much significance in the lives of the Oceanic 815 survivors.

Toby O'B


For Toobworld to be a truly cohesive universe, situations that occur in one TV show should be recognized in all other TV shows, and that goes for TV commercials as well.
When 'Fringe' premiered last fall, one of its signature features were the giant block letters that appeared at the beginning of each scene to establish the location. But these weren't just graphics that were super-imposed on the scene. They were an actual presence within the shot. From the ground in Iraq, one could have looked up at the underside of the letters to spell out "Baghdad"; "Middletown, Ct." had rain bouncing off of it.

We've yet to encounter a character who can actually see those letters, but it may happen... especially if that character turns out to be tele-cognizant. (That he knows he lives in the TV Universe.) Although I'm two weeks behind in my viewing, so for alls I know, it may have happened!
It's certainly happened in TV commercials, that I know. In a recent Volkswagen blipvert, a new VW model drove through a series of words floating in the air. Some fluttered due to the car's air-stream; others separated to let the car through. And finally, the car just burst right through them, much to the amazement of the sentient VW bug that was observing.

So both 'Fringe' and Volkswagen belong in the same TV dimension.

Toby O'B


To mark February as Black History Month during our tenth anniversary celebration of Toobworld's TV Crossover Hall of Fame, this week we're inducting Rosa Parks as our historical figure.

In the 'Touched By An Angel' episode "Black Like Monica", Ms. Parks appeared as herself back in 1999. But she's also been played by several actresses in different projects:

Jonelle Allen
. . . American Woman: Portraits of Courage, The (1976)

Angela Bassett
. . . Rosa Parks Story, The (2002)

Yolanda King
. . . "King" (1978) {(#1.1)}

Iris Little Thomas
. . . Boycott (2001)

And she's even been portrayed in the Tooniverse....

Michele Morgan
. . . "Boondocks, The" (2005) {Return of the King (#1.9)}

We're honored to add her to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.....

Toby O'B

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I've come to the realization that high-definition television is going to ruin a lot of childhood memories of old shows.

I had lunch this week with one of my friends, someone I've known since high school. After we ate the repast set by his wife, we settled down to watch three episodes of 'The Wild, Wild West'.

I chose two from the first season - "The Night Of The Druid's Blood" with Don Rickles and the "computer" made up of living brains, "The Night Of The Puppeteer", perhaps my favorite with Lloyd Bochner as Zackariah Skull, and "The Night Of Miguelito's Revenge". Michael had requested a Dr. Loveless episode, and I wanted it to be a Jeremy Pike episode rather than Artemus Gordon, just for the variety. So that last one was the perfect choice.

As I said, "TNOT Puppeteer" is probably my favorite episode of 'The Wild Wild West'. Upon learning the truth about Zachariah Skull, and seeing that miserable creature in its spider web of steam pipes - a combination of the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom of the Opera - well, it made quite an impression on a kid of eleven.

And for the most part, it still does. It now has the added benefit from an adult perspective of admiring the cinematography and comparing it to an episode of 'The Twilight Zone', "The Obsolete Man", and early German cinema.

But with the high-def capability of Michael's new TV.... We got to see Skull's pate for what it was: a rubbery bald cap, poorly fitted. The grotesquerie of his features were muted. Zachariah Skull was not nearly the hideous monster of my youth.

Even with reruns you can never go back....

Toby O'B