Saturday, February 21, 2009


A computer hacker used the administrative password of "LeonardSheldon4A" in last week's episode of 'Numb3rs', the show whose title I hate to type.

The audience viewing at home - if they're loyal viewers of the Eye Network - would have recognized that password as the names of the two main characters in the sitcom 'The Big Bang Theory'. And "4A" was the number of their apartment.But that doesn't apply within the "reality" of the TV Universe. Maybe whoever created that administrative password actually knew Sheldon and Leonard, and figured their home address wouldn't be associated with him (or her). Or following Occam's Razor, maybe it was just totally at random; maybe it was the password for somebody named Sheldon Leonard (I mean, someone else besides the late actor/producer) who was too stupid to come up with something original.

Ergo, no Zonk.

However, I did not see the episode in question. And it seems to be some sort of Murphy's Law for me that when I try to splain away these Zonks, it always turns out that there was always more information provided in the scene than was relayed to me. So it could be that somebody in the show actually pointed out that the password was a reference to 'The Big Bang Theory'.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least. Most scriptwriters today don't trust their audience to understand their pop culture references and have to ram home the splainin for the in-joke. Which makes me wonder why they even bother using it if they had to splain it.

Toby O'B


This week's episode of 'Bones', "The Princess And The Pear" centered around a Washington, D.C. sci-fi convention called ImagiCon. As one would expect, 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek' got name-dropped, but we de-Zonked those long, long ago. But twice the name of Xena was invoked, once by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Sweets and the other time by Mr. Fisher, the rather morose lab assistant.

Fisher lumped Xena into a list of subjects around which ImagiCon was focused, and Dr. Sweets explained to Dr. Brennan who Xena was when he admitted that she reminded him of the warrior princess. But neither one of them spoke of her as a fictional TV show character.

I have no problem with the idea that Xena would be a TV character. Plenty of TV shows were centered around historical figures out of the past - Wyatt Earp, William Tell, Emperor Claudius, Annie Oakley, and Frank Serpico. And just based on these mentions, we don't even have to assume that the full title of her show was 'Xena, Warrior Princess'.

So no Zonk here, fanboy......
Toby O'B, Warrior Viewer


From that same "Insane Clown Poppy" episode of 'The Simpsons' in which we've already seen John Updike, Saddam Hussein, and Tom Clancy, we're now showcasing the master of horror, Stephen King.

Although when he appeared at the Springfield Book Fair, he told Marge that he was now writing an historical biography of Benjamin Franklin. And he revealed that Franklin's key, used to summon the lightning, would open the gates of Hell!

King provided his own voice for his toon self, as did Updike and Amy Tan.

Toby O'B

Friday, February 20, 2009


"You, Ben Finney, are under arrest."
FBI Agent Felix Lee
'Eleventh Hour'

Agent Lee was arresting a Fish and Wildlife agent named Ben Finney for poisoning the Great Lakes with mercury. His motive? Some deluded belief that it was the only way to raise awareness of the dangers the Earth was facing.

These words were spoken in Toobworld at some point recently in 2009. But they might still be spoken again in about 260 years. That's when it will be discovered that Starfleet officer Ben Finney had faked his own death and framed Captain James T. Kirk for his "murder".

Outside of the motives of the scriptwriter, could these two men be related?

Why not?

Nearly three centuries separate the two men; in the TV Universe the "heritage trail" that might connect the two men will probably be so muddied that their relationship could never be confirmed.

At the end of the 'Eleventh Hour' episode, Ben Finney's wife Debbie gave him back her wedding ring because his actions repulsed her. After all, a friend of hers died from his actions. And as she walked away, Ben shouted after her, claiming that he did it for the kids that they might one day have. But it looked as though those children were never going to be.

But that doesn't mean Debbie might not have already been pregnant with their child; she may have in her first trimester and not even aware that she was with child.

If so, that child could begin the family tree that would lead from that disgraced Fish & Wildlife officer to that disgraced Starfleet officer......

'Eleventh Hour' - "Minimata"
'Star Trek' - "Court-Martial"

Toby O'B


First off, I have to give credit to my blog buddy Thom Holbrook (Crossovers & Spinoffs, to the left) for suggesting this post. When I posted Deep Six Wish-List of "Return Engagements", he revealed one of his own on my Facebook page: Seth Green's character of "Oz" from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' should team up with the Groosalugg, a recurring character from the spin-off 'Angel'. It would be a buddy road trip show - sort of a cross between 'Supernatural' and 'Route 66'. (Too bad the title of "Route 666" was used for a TV movie.)

I think it's a great idea! The "Buffyverse" created by Joss Whedon is rich enough to support a continuing franchise like 'Star Trek' or the 'L&O'/'CSI' shows. And this permutation would prevent it from becoming formulaic.

You wouldn't need either Sarah Michelle Gellar or David Boreanaz to sell the idea; the fans are out there to welcome any of their old faves back to Toobworld. (But it would be nice if Buffy and Angel could make a special guest appearance during a Sweeps period.) Seth Green certainly has a following, especially as Oz, and Mark Lutz proved the Groosalugg popular enough to last for awhile on 'Angel'.

But in the meantime, in traditional Toobworld fashion, I have another suggestion.....

Anytime Mark Lutz appears on a TV show as a one-shot character, we could make the claim that he was appearing as the Groosalugg - under an alias. (Of course, there's a proviso: the character must still be alive by the end of the episode. We'd like to see Groo live to show up again on TV.)

So far I've got two candidates:

1) 'What About Brian?' - "Moving Day"
According to, Lutz was uncredited as Mitchell Piedmont, and there was no further information to be found at However, this summary excerpt from Wikipedia might be a clue: "Deena is torn between staying home with her sick child or accepting a date from the cute divorced dad she met at her daughter's school."

Not sure Groo would be posing as some kid's dad though. Unless maybe she was part demon too.....?

2) 'Twins' - "Blonde Ambition"
In this sitcom, Mark Lutz showed up as Trevor, who was dating Farrah, and her father wasn't too pleased about it. Now, that could be Groo, bouncing back after realizing he was never going to win Cordelia's heart.

Two one-shot appearances, and Groo could walk away to appear on some other TV show.

If Mark Lutz's career can keep providing these one-shot roles, one day the Groosalugg might be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame on the Birthday Honors list.

Thanks again, Thom!

Toby O'B


Since I chose that image of Saddam Hussein for yesterday's "As Seen On TV" showcase out of pure laziness, I figure I might as well just run with it and finish off the series of appearances by famous people in that episode of 'The Simpsons', "Insane Clown Poppy".

First up, author Tom Clancy, who wrote the series of Jack Ryan novels that were adapted into a successful string of movies (for the most part).
Toby O'B

Thursday, February 19, 2009


In the last forty years since 'The Time Tunnel' was produced, Doug and Tony have been falling through Time for alls I know. They might have been rescued, maybe not. But I think the technology of Operation Tick Tock did get the bugs out and was finally operating the way it was meant to. And I think others who worked on the project used the Time Tunnel to go back and correct things in the past, in much the same way the 'Quantum Leap' project was used and the Omni of 'Voyagers!' as well.

I think we saw one example in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'.....

In 'No Time Like The Past', a man created his own time machine and went back to the 1880s to live. I think Dr. Raymond Swain went back in Time as well to interfere in Paul Driscoll's life there, in order to make sure that the chain of events in that town's history played out.

Posing as a horn player in the local community band which would play on the town green, Dr. Swain gave Driscoll enough clues for him to remember that the school would burn down. Had he never shown up, Driscoll would not have remembered, and thus he wouldn't have set in motion the events that caused the fire.

It seems heartless to think that the Time Tunnel was utilized to make certain that a handful of children died; but what if an alternate timeline was created in which those children lived? And perhaps one of those children may have grown up to become the American equivalent of an Adolph Hitler.......

We can't even prove Zaremba's horn player in that 'T-Zone' episode was his character of Dr. Ray Swain from 'The Time Tunnel', much less declare the reason why he would have gone back in Time to interfere in Driscoll's life.

But it would be a cool link to fill in the blanks!

Toby O'B


Every year I put together a list of TV characters and locations that I'd like to see make a return appearance on TV, even if the shows that spawned them no longer are broadcast.

It's not as difficult as it sounds. There have been instances in the past where TV characters from shows long gone have appeared in other programs.

A few examples:

Dr. Bob Hartley ('The Bob Newhart Show') - 'Murphy Brown'

Elliot Carlin ('The Bob Newhart Show') - 'St. Elsewhere'

Warren Coolidge ('The White Shadow') - 'St. Elsewhere'

Alan Brady ('The Dick Van Dyke Show') - 'Mad About You'

Cinnamon Carter ('Mission: Impossible') - 'Diagnosis Murder'
Here is the list of characters I've suggested in the past whom I'd like to see return for one more turn in the Toobworld spotlight:

Zoe Heriot, 'Doctor Who'
Gotham City, 'Batman'
Dr. Joel Fleischman, 'Northern Exposure'
'Honey West'
Mrs. Emma Peel, 'The Avengers'
Agent Dale Cooper, 'Twin Peaks'
James West, 'The Wild, Wild West'
Ford Prefect, 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'
Brother 'Cadfael'
'The Time Tunnel'
Dr. Sam Beckett, 'Quantum Leap'
Ann Marie (Hollinger), 'That Girl'
John Drake, 'Secret Agent'
Dr. Miguelito Loveless, 'The Wild, Wild West'

We have to amend that list this year. Patrick McGoohan died over a month ago, so there goes the chance to see John Drake come out of retirement. (I was hoping to see him give assistance to 'Spooks'/'MI-5'.) And in an interview marking her 70th birthday last year, Dame Diana Rigg expressed disdain for those who approach her about nothing else but her work as Mrs. Emma Peel on 'The Avengers'. So with respect to her feelings, I'm removing her from the list as well.

You'll note that Dr. Loveless is still on the list, even though Michael Dunn has been dead for over thirty years. But it's the Toobworld Central contention that Dr. Loveless was part Gallifreyan and that he could regenerate. Although most of the time when he did so, he kept the same body, eventually he could transfer his intelligence to another person, or regenerate his own body to a new form. (I think Warwick Davis would make for an excellent new incarnation of the not-so-good doctor.)

So here is this year's list of the TV charactes I'd like to see make a return appearance on our screens:

Adam Cartwright, 'Bonanza'
While we still have Pernell Roberts with us (and I have no idea how he's faring in real life), we should get the chance to see the last original member of the 'Bonanza' cast in action. The timeline for the series was roughly 100 years before each episode was broadcast. So to see Adam Cartwright now, it should be set in 1909; and as Adam left the Ponderosa behind to seek his destiny elsewhere, the opportunities are endless as to where the story should be set and what it should be about. But as cultured as Adam was, I think everybody would still like to see him in a Western setting or something akin to that, say in Australia or Africa.

And as such, there's an opportunity in the timeline that might be perfect for inserting Adam Cartwright.

Best option for a return engagement?
This is the ultimate Wish-Craft, in that there's nothing on TV currently to insert Adam Cartwright. So instead, I'd like to see a TV movie about the adventures of Teddy Roosevelt in Africa. We've seen him there before, on an episode of 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles'; but this time the story doesn't necessarily have to stick so closely to established history.

On March 23rd, 1909, former President Theodore Roosevelt left New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society. So why can't we claim that Adam Cartwright accompanied the former president and see what adventures they got into there in Africa? I'm not saying Adam has to be the center of attention, just an added bonus in the cast.

Depending on how outlandish the script goes, it could appear on niche cable outlets as extreme as the National Geographic Channel (if they wanted to go for close to realistic) or Sci-Fi (if they wanted to get into Burroughs or Haggard territory).

Kevin Arnold, 'The Wonder Years'

If Kevin's to return in the present day, Fred Savage wouldn't be old enough to take on the role again; the recastaway card would have to be played. And we couldn't cast Daniel Stern, even though he was the voice of the older Kevin because they don't resemble each other.

Instead, I'd suggest Tom Hanks for the role; play out a storyline similar to John Updike's "Rabbit Angstrom" series in which a middle-aged Kevin Arnold has to take stock of his life in the new millenium....

Best option for a return engagement?
An HBO mini-series produced byas well as starring Hanks.

Andromeda, 'My Favorite Martian'
"Andy" was the 400 year old nephew of Exigius 12½ (AKA Martin O'Hara) on 'My Favorite Martian'. (I don't think he was on for more than one episode, But he was probably introduced as a test: to inject a new aspect to the series or as a prospective spin-off.) Although he was 400 years old, he looked to be only 12. Forty plus years onward and we could make him a recastaway with an older actor... say, about sixteen years of age.

Best option for a return engagement?
A teen-oriented sitcom like 'The Suite Life On Deck'.

The Tenctonese, 'Alien Nation'
In the general community of Toobworld, the Tenctonese must have found some way to finally leave the Earth and be relocated to a new planet to be their New Tencton. After all, we don't see them around anymore in TV shows set in Los Angeles, do we? But I imagine there would be a few that might have stayed behind, preferring their life on Earth.

I'd like to think Cathy Frankel and the Francisco family would be among them, but as there were thousands of Tenctonese to choose from, the roles could be completely new - so long as they still had those interesting names given them upon their arrival. (My own choices- Button Gwinnet and the married couple Tip and Brandy Snifter.)

Best option for a return engagement?
As recurring characters on 'Eureka' or 'Sanctuary'.

Alicia, 'Flying Blind'
My all-time favorite Tea Leoni character, and one who was cancelled from our TV screens far too soon. Not sure if she could still handle the fast-paced dialogue still, but as I think she'd like to find a project to take her mind off the events in her life of the past few years, I'm sure she'd give it a shot.

Best option for a return engagement?
Episodes on shows like 'How I Met Your Mother' or '30 Rock' to re-introduce the character, and then a sitcom of her own.

Lorne, 'Angel'
Lorne was too visually striking and too bitchily witty to be left off the small screen; he was the Clifton Webb of the demon world.

Best opton for a return engagement?
Helping out the Winchester brothers on an episode of 'Supernatural'.

Toby O'B


Sked Alert!

Starting tonight on SOAPnet, the CBC drama 'Being Erica' begins airing for the American audience. It's the story about a woman who's able to go back in Time hoping to change "years of bad decisions".

Here's an excerpt from a press release:

“Being Erica” follows the life of 32-year-old Erica Strange, a highly educated, underachieving single woman who struggles to understand why her life is heading nowhere and why she has not found her right path “yet.” She’s made years of bad decisions and has a list of regrets several pages long as a result. Enter Dr. Tom, a mysterious man who is part therapist and part rogue. In each episode he enables Erica to go back in time and re-live an event from her past that caused regret. This time she makes different choices and, in return, gains a new perspective that helps her with her present day life.

Dr. Tom is played by Michael Riley, and Erin Karpluk stars as Erica.

My Brit blog buddy Rob of "The Medium Is Not Eough" (link to the left!) has seen the series and he reviewed it, in case you wanted to learn more about the show.

Rob's review of the first episode

Rob's patented "Carusometer"
(A look at how the show's doing after three episodes)

Again, the show begins tonight at 10 pm EST on SOAPnet......

Toby O'B


I'm a little under-inspired today. I've been up waaaay too long, but it was worth it! I went out to eat at Sardi's and then saw "The 39 Steps" next door.

So because I'm pretty sleepy, I decided to run a quick check of the pics still on my hard drive to find today's "As Seen On TV".

And whaddya know? We're back in the Tooniverse!

Here's Saddam Hussein as he was seen in a sniper's sights in the "Insane Clown Poppy" episode of 'The Simpsons'.....BCnU!
Toby O'B

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Over in Alan Sepinwall's blog, "What's Alan Watching?" (see the link to the left), a commenter named Andrew needed a place to vent about 'Leverage', and no 'Leverage' post to do so:

Andrew said...

I just needed to post this somewhere: On this week's "Leverage" they made the whole mission a metaphor for chess (or chess was a metaphor for the mission) and their opponent said that she can see every angle and plans for every contingency. As if this metaphor wasn't lazy enough, she has a chessboard just sitting on the table nearby.

But then they have her randomly come up to the board, ponder a moment, and then move a pawn diagonally into an empty square. This is not how pawns move. Ever. I am not a fanboy nitpicker, but if you are going to beat the viewer over the head with chess as a metaphor, you'd think someone would have caught that, no?

Andrew is right; that's why they have continuity people and script supervisors. But since it wasn't caught, we have to come up with a reason why it happened within the reality of the show itself.
And my thinkin' is that Lauren Holly's character really didn't know chess at all; she was a poseur. And also so powerful that if anybody standing there with her saw it happen, they'd be too afraid for their jobs to mention it.

Toby O'B


I reported on this Ausiello item a few weeks back:

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."

As it turned out, the finale was shown on Presidents' Day because President Obama's first news conference preempted it. So I watched my DVR copy of it this morning, solely for the chance to spot Braff and although plenty of candidates passed by in the background dressed in the requisite dark blue scrubs, I couldn't tell if any of them was the actor who plays JD on 'Scrubs'.

Here's an example of such an intern passing by in the background:
If I had to choose one of the scenes with a possible candidate, it would have been when Kurtwood Smith flung Sam's wheelchair into the elevator and he whizzed right out the other side. But I'm probably wrong.

Not that it really matters as far as crossovers are concerned. On 'Scrubs', JD is employed at Sacred Heart Hospital somewhere on the West Coast, near a SeaWorld. I'm not sure but I think 'Worst Week' takes place in New York City. At any rate, the hospitals involved were Saint Sebastian and Saint Ann. This would have been just another doctor who looks like Zach Braff.

If anybody learns where he showed up, let me know!

Toby O'B


For our "As Seen On TV" feature today, we're taking a look at how the TV Universe can idealize the way real people look. Examples in the past have been Judith Light as the mother of Ryan White, and Richard Crenna as H. Ross Perot. That casting would never fly if "On Wings Of Eagles" had been made after Perot made himself recognizable to the whole country by running for president.

But for today the subject is Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington, the main character from 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' back in the late 1970s. Here we have a side-by-side comparison of the real Boyington and of Boyington as played by Robert Conrad.
If someone had to look exactly like Boyington to play the role, then it would have to have been an actor along the lines of Simon Oakland (who also appeared in the show as General Thomas More, one of Boyington's superiors). If we were casting the role today, maybe James Gandolfini might fit the bill.....
Just one other note regarding that series - halfway through its run, the show changed its title to 'The Black Sheep Squadron'. Had it used that name right from the beginning, they would have had a larger audience straight off.


Toby O'B

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Usually we only see Casey and Sarah protecting and working with 'Chuck' on the various missions where his Intersect "talents" come into play. But in "Chuck vs. The Suburbs", we met another agent assigned to work undercover on Chuck's assignment to root out a terrorist in the Meadow Branch cul-de-sac... We don't learn the dog's name, but it looks like his chief duties - aside from posing as the Carmichael family pet - was to be Chuck's personal bodyguard, protecting him while he slept. And it looks like he took up a surveillance position at the front of the house while Chuck and Sarah hosted a cook-out for the neighbors in the backyard. As an espionage pooch, this dog follows in the tradition of Fang from 'Get Smart'. He may have been partly bionic, like Maximillian from 'The Bionic Woman'. Or he may not even have been a real dog, but fully robotic - one of the government's little side benefits from funding the research done by Global Dynamic in 'Eureka', Oregon......

Toby O'B


There seemed to be a suggestion at the end of "Chuck vs. The Suburbs" that there might be a connection to be assumed between 'Chuck' and the FOX series 'Fringe'.

It looks like most of the Fulcrum agents may have survived the brain blast from their own experiment, caused by Casey starting up the program. However, the Meadow Branch team leader Brad appeared to have been killed by the mental onslaught - we saw him getting zipped up into a body bag. But as Casey was snarling orders to get the living Fulcrum agents to detention, he had special instructions for Brad's body....

"That one goes to the Agency's morgue. We're not done with him yet."

It reminded me of the ending of the pilot episode for 'Fringe', in which Nina Sharp wanted the memories extracted from the corpse of FBI Agent John Scott, and a little thing like Death wasn't going to stand in her way.

Could the CIA and the NSA have access to the same technology that was developed at Massive Dynamics? BCnU!
Toby O'B


After writing up that theory about the procedure used in 'Dollhouse' to implant false personalities and memories into their Actives, and how it may have been developed originally for the government, along comes last night's episode of 'Chuck' in which we see that the government is definitely far behind private industry when it comes to the research for such a project.

The rogue organization known as Fulcrum had stolen its design from the government, and as Sylvia explained to Chuck, "The CIA designed it to implant intelligence directly into agents through encoded images." But they had abandoned their experiments in the technology to fight terrorism with old Cold War methods. Compared to what the Dollhouse agency used on their Actives, the Fulcrum equipment, even though developed farther than the official government experiments, was still significantly inferior.

I smell the influence of Dr. Miguelito Loveless behind all of this.....

Toby O'B


I watched the premiere of 'Dollhouse', and although I found it a bit underwhelming and somewhat timid in its execution, I have faith in Joss Whedon's abilities. I'm sure that once he has the concept firmly established, the show will begin to kick ass. (The premise: operatives known as "Actives" are mind-swiped to be blank slates until they're needed for a mission; and then they are given a whole new identity installed with false memories mixed and matched from a data bank collection stolen from thousands of other people's minds.)

First off, no complaints on this end as far as star Eliza Dushku, who plays an Active named Echo, is concerned. And hopefully we'll get to see Toobworld Central fave Reed Diamond as more than just an obstructive head honcho of the corporation that runs the "Dollhouse". Harry Lennix provides a solid base as Echo's handler, and the guy who implants the false memories and personality quirks into the Actives (Topher Brink, played by Fran Kranz) looks to be the wellspring for the wiseguy humor on the show, to keep it from getting too oppressive.

I think 'Dollhouse' has the potential to be one of Toobworld Central's Essentials. The concept of the Actives could be used to splain away multiple appearances by actors either in the same series (if it's long-running enough) or across a variety of shows. This would be applied to those actors who are making one-shot guest appearances (to cut down on prolonged exposure to the nature of their characters) and whose characters survive the end of the episode (to live again with their minds swiped of their previous existence and new false memories implanted).

Just based on this one episode so far, the corporation that runs the "Dollhouse" activities is relatively new, probably no more than a few years in operation. (At least long enough to have a rogue Active on the loose in the outside world.) But that doesn't mean the process hasn't been in existence for quite some time before that. It's the type of science that would have been used by the government since the "glory days" of the early Cold War. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Cigarette Smoking Man and Deep Throat of 'The X-Files' had their fingers in that pie.....

These Actives seem to be all young and quite... healthy, but if some other agency - the Bureau, the Committee, the Workshop, Toobworld has its fair share of shadow ops groups! - was using the process, their version of Actives could be of any age or type.

And with that type of concept at hand, Toobworld Central could make even more theoretical links between TV shows that might not otherwise have any discernible connections.

'Dollhouse' may not last more than the amount of episodes needed to make a decent DVD boxed collection (The ratings for this past Friday on FOX were apparently cause for alarm.), but it doesn't need more than one episode - even just one commercial! - to make for a Toobworld Essential.

Toby O'B


I suppose it's going to look either like quite a stretch that I've chosen Daffy Duck to induct into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as the cartoon character for the third week in February - Black History Month - or as being racist.

Sorry, but technically, Daffy Duck is a black character. And because of his appearance on an episode of 'The Drew Carey Show', one of the more deserving animated characters to be chosen.

He's had several of his own shows, especially 'Duck Dodgers' and 'The Daffy Duck Show' and something of a TV movie with "Daffy Flies North". And the feathered wack-job has also been involved in several major projects that involved crossovers - like the theatrical releases "Space Jam" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" as well as the PSA special "Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue".

And he's appeared in TV commercials for products like Tang and Post cereals.
So when it comes to induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, February is definitely Duck Season!

The Daffy Duck Show
The Bugs Bunny Show
The Bugs 'n' Daffy Show'
Duck Dodgers
The Drew Carey Show
Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue
Bugs Bunny In Space
Daffy Flies North
Space Jam
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Toby O'B


It's the day after Presidents' Day, so who better to get the "As Seen On TV" spotlight than a bunch of presidential losers?

In that same 'Futurama' episode in which we got a short tour of the Hall of Presidents in the Head Museum, we also got a quick glimpse into the Closet of Presidential Losers. These heads included:

Bob Dole
Walter Mondale
Rob Reiner
H. Ross Perot
Michael Dukakis
Lyndon LaRouche

Apparently, Rob Reiner is included because the show's producer, David X. Cohen, HATED the movie "The American President", which was directed by Reiner. But even though it was tossed in as a joke for the show, it becomes fact in Toobworld. At some point in the Tooniverse, Reiner will or did run for President.

The head that interests me is the one facing away from the camera. We have no clue as to whom it might be - it can't be John Kerry and certainly not John McCain. I'd like to think that it's a head of somebody yet to run for the highest office in the land, say... in four years - Mitt Romney. But hey, that's just me.

Toby O'B

Monday, February 16, 2009


My favorite TV quote so far for this week comes from the premiere of 'Eastbound & Down'....

"I know it's our Christ-given duty to help family,
But can't we just kill him?"
Cassie Powers

It kinda hits home.....

Toby O'B


'Eastbound & Down' stepped up to the plate on HBO last night and although the first episode may not have hit one out of the park, it did slide into home for official membership into Toobworld.

Yeah, about those baseball metaphors.... Sorry about that, Chief.

At one point in the episode, former ballplayer Kenny Powers was wallowing in self-pity in the room he had at his brother's house. And there on the nightstand by his bed, close to his head, was an issue of Playpen Magazine.

Other shows in which Playpen has appeared:


'In Plain Sight'

'Homicide: Life On The Street'


'Ally McBeal'

'Kyle XY'

'Family Guy'

And those are just off the top of my head. I'm sure you can find the full list at Wikipedia.

What? I have to lead you there by the hand? Big babies......

Toby O'B


Every year I chose one or two characters from other media, usually novels or comic books, whom I think should be translated into the universe of television. Some of my past choices have been Harry Flashman from the George McDonald Frasier historical novels (although originally from "Tom Brown's School Days", so Flashie has actually been made a TV character) and Zatanna from the Justice League. And from what I've read, Zatanna either has already or will be showing up in an episode of 'Smallville'.

I have two suggestions for this year - one from the movies (and a LOT of ancillary tie-ins!) and the other from a series of novels and short stories which led to a movie back in the early 1970's.

First up is Silver John, or John the Balladeer. He's a wandering folksinger created by Manly Wade Wellman who battles the dark forces with simple homespun magic during his travels through the Appalachians. When Wellman created John, he was a veteran of the Korean Conflict, but that could always be updated if a producer didn't want to have to deal with the constraints of a period piece (old cars, products etc.) Now it could be said that this type of show already exists with 'Supernatural' and maybe they don't want to look like copycats. Well, first off, television is the sincerest form of imitation as Fred Allen once said. And in a tv landscape of procedurals, why should such a similar show matter? Besides, a series about 'Silver John' would be slower-paced and even gentler than the grisly events usually seen in 'Supernatural'.

The other character I'm nominating to be adapted for television is one of the biggest stars to come out of the class of 2009: "Wall-E". Produced with CGI as far as Wall-E was concerned, mixed with live-action characters, I think this would make for a great show for the kids... and for a lot of the adults as well!

Toby O'B


Today is Presidents' Day, when we honor those men who've held the office of Commander in Chief... even William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, Martin Van Buren, Franklin Pierce, and W.

For the "As Seen On TV" feature, it wouldn't be fair to just single out one POTUS for the spotlight today. But you don't see groups of more than one president in Toobworld outside of car commercials. And since it's a day in which we should honor the whole motley crew, we'd have to jump over to an alternate TV dimension, the Tooniverse, and then skip ahead one thousand years.

In 'Futurama', a running gag was the Head Museum, where the craniums of famous people were cloned and kept alive in jars of liquid. (It was the best way to get famous guest stars to play themselves in the cartoon.) And in the Head Museum was the Hall of Presidents, complete with Secret Service agent heads to protect them. (Those are the jars just above the rows of Presidential heads.)

Based on this frame grab, I'm assuming that Barack Obama is just out of camera range.......

So here's to one of the most exclusive boy's club in the world (right up there with the Papal fraternity). If a woman ever does get elected president, I guess she has to be considered outside of the shot like Obama......


Toby O'B

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We've yet to meet many other scientists besides Walter Bishop who have been involved in the "fringe" sciences on 'Fringe' - a few who work for Massive Dynamics, a couple of rogue researchers working on their own. But twenty years ago, we may have seen two scientists who not only dabbled in the fringe science of virtual reality, but may have also known Dr. Bishop.
"Her Pilgrim Soul" was an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' from the mid-1980s in which Kevin Drayton and Daniel Gaddis made contact - via their experimental holographic technology - with the spirit of a woman who lived in the first half of the 20th Century.
Several times during the episode we saw signs that they were in the state of Massachusetts, and I think the inference was that they were working at MIT. The fraternity of scientists, in the grand scale of the general population, is a small one; so I think it would be highly probable (or as Mushrat would say, "It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble.) that Drayton and Gaddis knew Walter Bishop twenty years ago when he was a younger man... and of course, before he got locked up in the St. Claire's mental institution.
The actors who played Drayton and Gaddis, Kristoffer Tabori and Gary Cole, respectively, have aged right along with those characters. So they could easily slip into those roles again for an episode of 'Fringe', one that might have something to do with reincarnation and virtual reality just as that 'Twilight Zone' episode did.

It won't happen, of course. But here at Toobworld Central, we "dream-view" television.....

Toby O'B


For today's "As Seen On TV" feature, we have Walter Winchell, as portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the HBO picture "Winchell":
Tucci won the Emmy and the Golden Globe for the role of the radio powerhouse who wouldn't hit the head before he went on the air, in order to add more urgency to his style of broadcasting.
Toby O'B