Saturday, March 28, 2009


Something a little different to end the week......

On Thursday night's episode of '30 Rock' ("Apollo, Apollo"), we got the chance to see the world through Kenneth Parcells' eyes. And in his world, everybody looks like a Muppet. At the top of the post is a picture of Jack Donaghy, the NBC vice president, and his tailor. And this is how Kenneth sees 'TGS' producer Liz Lemon.He also sees Tracy Jordan, one of the stars of 'TGS', as a Muppet as well. On the other hand, in the way Tracy Jordan sees the world, everybody else is Tracy Jordan as well. This is how he sees Kenneth and Jack: BCnU!
Toby O'B


There's a small subset of TV shows in which their creators get to inhabit their invented world. The most recent example is Ron Moore, who "re-imagined" 'Battlestar Galactica'. He can be seen in the series finale, reading a "National Geographic" magazine at a Times Square news stand, 150,000 years after the main events of the series. Aaron Sorkin, creator of 'The West Wing', had a quick cameo in the final episode of the series - "Tomorrow". He's seen in the viewing stands for the inauguration of Matt Santos to be the President Of The United States.

And although "Gus And Shawn Of The Dead" is not a series finale for 'Psych', it is a season finale and its creator, Steve Franks, was seen visiting the museum. (But the picture I have here is a behind the scenes shot with series star James Roday.) The three of them join a pretty select group, and luckily for them, they're at least still alive to enjoy it. Most of the other members of this group were dead long before TV started adapting their works - Mark Twain, Shakespeare, etc. - and so when they show up in a program, it's as a tele-version.

Another who fits the bill (and still alive) would be Neil Simon, who appeared in an episode of 'The Odd Couple'. Stephen King has shown up in adaptations of his works, but usually as a character not as himself. ('Kingdom Hospital' and 'The Stand' are two examples.)

There's no great significance to this, really. But when has that ever stopped me before?

Toby O'B

Friday, March 27, 2009


I have a soft spot (in my head) for those TV commercials which feature actors as their TV characters for the product spokesmen:

Sheriff Andy Taylor for Sanka
Clark Kent for Kellog's Corn Flakes
'The Farmer's Daughter' for Lark cigarettes
'Hogan's Heroes' for Jell-O

Thanks to, there's now another one posted at YouTube.......

Lou Ferrigno appears as 'The Incredible Hulk' in some kind of Italian phone service blipvert for a company called "TIM". Apparently, the Hulk has been goaded into some kind of wrestling match with a little weasel of an Italian. However, the Hulk's opponent holds things up with a phone call - I think from his mother - which goes on for at least 400 minutes.

Fitting this into the grand scheme of Toobworld, David Banner was somehow able to get to Italy without detection. But I'm sure he would have known it was too risky to go by plane.

He was probably in Italy to follow up on a lead to the cure for his condition. Or maybe the promoters of this nether world of illegal wrestling kidnapped him and shipped him over, heavily sedated. At any rate, the Hulk was more than likely forced into this illegal death-match. And even so, they must have found some way to keep him docile, without going beserk because of his circumstances... perhaps with a threat to somebody else.

And it could be that O'Bviously reincarnated dog is behind the whole scheme......

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Toby O'B


I went to the theater this evening and saw Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit". The stars were Rupert Everett, Jayne Atkinson, Christine Ebersole, and Angela Lansbury as Madam Arcati, with Simon Jones and Deborah Rush co-starring. (Susan Louise O'Connor was making her Broadway debut to round out the cast.)

It's a fun production, but I still see Margaret Rutherford in the Madam Arcati role and I refuse to believe that Simon Jones is getting older. If he is, it must mean I am too! And having once dabbled in theater off-off Broadway a long time ago, I was really impressed with the set and the lighting design and the special effects.

But there's a reason I'm posting this in the "As Seen On TV" showcase.....

Sitting in front of us was Donatella Versace and two rows nearly filled with her entourage.

Donatella gained some free publicity (although it could be seen as notoriety) a few years back when Maya Rudolph was still a member of the cast of 'Saturday Night Live'. She played Donatella as hosting a talk show, with the famous guest hosts appearing as other famous celebrities. Above is a picture of Maya Rudolph as Donatella with host Matt Damon playing Axl Rose, demonstrating her latest invention, microwave-able Versace Pockets.

And this is a picture of Maya in character, posing with the real deal herself: BCnU!
Toby O'B

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I don't know how limited the talent pool is for actors in the NYC region as compared to LA, but it seems as though a lot of faces are seen over and over again in the various 'Law & Order' series. What always gets me is when these actors play similar characters, especially the judges, but are given different names. I'd think at least the actor could speak up and say, "Hey, you must have my nameplate still hanging around from the last time in the prop room. Why spend the money on a new one?" And what's it going to take for a slight name change in the script, anyway? Probably some wrangling with the WGA......
I dealt with one such case, two judges played by David Lippman: Morris Torledsky on 'Law & Order' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury', and Arthur Cohen on 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'. In his case, I said that Lippman was playing identical half-brothers who went into the same field of endeavor. (Not so far-fetched in a world where there are identical cousins a la 'The Patty Duke Show'!)

There's a web page dedicated to the many actors who have played more than one role on the original 'Law & Order' series,
"Repeat Offenders". I was looking through it today with the idea that maybe some of these repeat performers in different roles were "Actives" from a New York-based 'Dollhouse'. O'Bviously you couldn't make that claim for characters who were related to the victim or were defendants, and pretty much all of the defense attorneys. But there are a few options still available. I also noticed that a lot of actors appeared twice, with one of those roles being that of a jury foreperson. So I figure - why not just have both characters be the same person? Eventually everybody in NYC gets called upon to serve on a jury, and the fact that they may have been involved in a previous case (or in some cases, are later involved in a case after their jury service).

By combining these characters, we're at least cutting down on the population in Manhattan who resemble each other. And when none of their characters are identified by name, all the better! That way we can claim a character played by that same actor on some other show was the same person...... So, thanks to "Repeat Offenders", here's a sampling of such characters:

Carole Troll
9-194, "Hunters," Hospital Receptionist
11-231, "Turnstile Justice," Jury Foreperson

Kay Walbye
4-074, "American Dream," Jury Forewoman
11-241, "Teenage Wasteland," Neighbor

Yvonne Warden
10-217, "Mother's Milk," Mrs. Watkins
4-078, "Snatched," Jury Forewoman

Mary Ellen Ashley
11-242, "Phobia," Jury Foreperson
12-259, "Formerly Famous,"

Elaine Paul Eichel
3-046, "Conspiracy," jury foreman
8-172, "Faccia a Faccia," Manny Ebbs

Frank Guy
6-130, "Slave," Court Clerk
11-237, "Thin Ice," Jury Foreperson

C. C. Loveheart
5-107, "Cruel and Unusual," Receptionist
13-284, "Open Season," Jury Foreperson

William Pitts
4-069, "Discord," Jury foreman
8-158, "Thrill," Phone company worker

Mark Plastrik
1-010, "Prisoner of Love," Investigator
2-033. "His Hour Upon the Stage," Jury foreman

Buzz Roddy
8-179, "Damaged," Moskowitz
10-221, "Trade This," jury foreperson

So say we all!

Toby O'B

[The pics are from the first season L&O episode "Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die"]


Lee Goldberg found this on YouTube.

Mark Evanier stole it from him.

I'm stealing it from Mark.

the 'All In The Family' cast singing about the "Family Hour" in 1975. I'd say they have to be dopplegangers from another TV dimension, but I'm not sure which one.....

Toby O'B


For the final season of 'Monk', Bitty Schram will be returning as Sharona for one last episode. It will be an opportunity for some closure to the relationship she once had with Adrian Monk as her boss.

No clue as to what the reason may be for the character's visit; it may be a while before we get some spoilers.

But I'd like to think they'll be using the plotline from Lee Goldberg's tie-in novel, "Mr. Monk And The Two Assistants" (a reference to both Sharona and current assistant Natalie).

I haven't read the book yet, but I plan to. Although I've burned out on tie-in novels for any series after years of reading them, this one just sounds like it could be part of the show.

However, if I had to come up with a scenario in which Sharona came back into Monk's life, I'd go for one in which she's accused of the murder of her husband Trevor.

Her departure from the show was splained away with her reuniting with her ex-husband and moving back to New Jersey with him and her son Benjie. But that just felt wrong; from what we saw of Trevor when he appeared on the show, there was nothing about the guy that indicated he might change his ways.

Whether or not I'd want her to be end up being really guilty of the crime or not, I'm still kind of torn on that idea.....

But I can't wait for a screen capture showing Natalie and Sharona sharing a scene together!

Toby O'B


In a recent interview with a gay news web site, Rep. Barney Frank labeled Antonin Scalia as a "homophobe" because the Supreme Court Justice believes that cases involving gay rights and abortion should not come before judges. And he voted against the Court's 2003 decision which struck down state laws banning consensual sodomy.

But in Toobworld, Antonin Scalia has shown that his objections don't outweigh his observance of the law. If two men came before him in a state where it was legal to marry and they loved each other, then Scalia would preside over that union - provided they had the proper paperwork.

And that's just what he did while he was on a fishing vacation; he officiated over the wedding of Denny Crane and Alan Shore, "As Seen On TV" in the series final of 'Boston Legal'..... BCnU!
Toby O'B

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Jean Claude Van Damme is dead.

It's more than likely Alec Baldwin is dead as well.

And I think we can count Elisha Dushku of 'Dollhouse' and Seth MacFarlane, the mastermind of 'Family Guy', among the deceased as well.

And yet Dennis Rodman lives.

Of course, I'm talking about the televersions of these actors, their fictional selves as seen on TV. The incredible simulations, not the real things.

Gee, I'd hate to think that I caused mass panic in the streets, or - in the case of Alec Baldwin - joyous celebrations among the conservative groups.


This all begins with an episode of 'Las Vegas' from its first season, "Die Fast, Die Furious". (Has a nice Quinn Martin feel to it, don't you think?) Van Damme was at the Montecito to film a movie and he decided to do his own stunt in which it would look as though he rode a motorcycle off the roof. However, something went wrong and he ended up sailing off the roof to his death. (Sailing off the Montecito roof wasn't all that uncommon, as we'd later see....)

My blog buddy and fellow crossoverist* Thom Holbrook has run with this in his Crossovers And Spinoffs site (top o' the links to the left, folks!). He's started his own Westphallian-like subset of shows that are connected because of mentions of Van Damme and/or his movies or - in the case of 'Friends' - appearances by Van Damme as himself. Thom says that within this mini TV universe, Van Damme must be considered dead.

For the longest time, I wanted to think there had to be another splainin, that Van Damme had to still be alive and that somebody - or something - died in his place in Vegas. So I rounded up the usual suspects - aliens, cyborgs (aka Skinjobs), magical creatures, evil twins - but there was always the sticking point caused by another TV series - 'CSI'. If anybody but Van Damme died in that fall, the forensic scientists working for the Las Vegas Police Department would surely have noticed during the autopsy.

So I accepted at least that part of the premise - that in Toobworld, the real Jean Claude Van Damme is dead.

But I don't hold that he's dead in all those other shows that mention him. I think that he's still alive and making movies. (The latest of which - "JCVD" - has a song performed by my friend Marie Mazziotti playing over the end credits!)

Okay, what I mean is that someone is impersonating him and keeping his career going.

And I'm turning to a series of ads for to back up my claim. They kicked off during the Super Bowl (Not sorry about that, Chief!) with a blipvert featuring Alec Baldwin performing serlinguistic duties as he took the audience on a tour of Hulu's secret headquarters. And he revealed to the real world that he was in fact an alien - using the TV content providing online service to prepare our brains for alien consumption.

This has been followed by ads starring Ms. Dushku and MacFarlane. They too are revealed to be aliens (although all three are of different species, but maintain human guises.) So I'm thinking the Muscles from Brussels - if he's seen in Toobworld or if his films are mentioned - is an alien as well. Whether or not he belongs to one of those races or of yet another one, I don't know.

As to how this can be if he supposedly died in Vegas, well.... Okay, the alien version could simply tell the media that it was somebody (O'Bviously human) who went to great pains to pass himself off as Van Damme. As for Dennis Rodman, we know he's an alien because of an episode of '3rd Rock From The Sun'. But the inference there is that he's always been an alien; I don't think he replaced the original (unless it was in childhood).

Might have to do a McCarthy-style witch hunt and look through the League of Themselves rolls to see if anybody else playing themselves on TV could actually be an alien.

I'm looking at you, Carol Channing. How else can it be splained that she showed up in Stalag 13 with 'Hogan's Heroes' looking exactly the same age as she was back in the mid to late 1960's (as seen in a Jell-O commercial)? BCnU!
Toby O'B

* I no longer use the term "crossoverian". It sounds disturbing.....


One of my favorite 'Doctor Who' bloggers, Combom, has posted a link to an audio-play about the Fifth Doctor. The story's title is "The Haunting Of Thomas Brewster" .

I haven't heard it, but I'm fairly certain it has nothing to do with Tom Brewster of 'Sugarfoot'! But what a crossover that could have been, right? And Sugarfoot had enough "book-larnin'" and an open mind willing to accept the many wonders he might have seen of the Universe, had he tagged along as a Companion.

I'd definitely put 'Sugarfoot' in my list of "Other TV Characters as Companions".......

To have done such a crossover "realistically" (as if such a thing could be found at Toobworld Central!), I suppose we'd have to have Tom Brewster flitting about Time and Space with the First Doctor. But I think he'd get along much better with the Seventh, for some reason...... BCnU!
Toby O'B


Today's spotlight will mark the end of "The Scarlet And The Black" theme for "As Seen On TV"......


Heinrich Luitpold Himmler (October 7, 1900 – May 23, 1945) was a Nazi German politician and head of the Schutzstaffel (SS). He was the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, after Adolf Hitler. As Reichsf├╝hrer-SS he oversaw all police and security forces, including the Gestapo.

As overseer of concentration camps, extermination camps, and Einsatzgruppen (literally: task forces, often used as killing squads), Himmler coordinated the killing of millions of Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Roma, many prisoners of war, and possibly another three to four million Poles, communists, or other groups whom the Nazis deemed unworthy to live or simply 'in the way', which included homosexuals and those with physical and mental disabilities.

Shortly before the end of the war, he offered to surrender to the Allies if he were spared from prosecution. After being arrested by British forces, he committed suicide before he could be questioned.
[from Wikipedia]

Toby O'B

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


'How I Met Your Mother' may have won another Toobits Award for Best Online Crossover last night with their new fictional website:

Go ahead. You can check it out if you're at work. It's safe. Trust me. Have I ever lied to you....?

May I particularly recommend the "Two Girls, One Stanley Cup" option....?

Toby O'B


Recently I wrote about the upcoming 'Bones' episode in which Booth would unconscious and he'd hallucinate an encounter with Stewie Griffin of 'Family Guy'.

Although it's probably the first time such a team-up has happened in a murder mystery on TV, it wasn't the first time somebody came up with the idea.

On his own blog, William Rabkin relates his experience while working on 'Diagnosis Murder' with Dick Van Dyke':

"I supposed we were talking about teaming Dick up with another classic TV character, but we’d already brought back both 'Mannix' and Barbara Bain as Cinnamon Carter from 'Mission: Impossible'. It was beginning to feel like a well we’d been to an awful lot. Then someone had the idea — and I’m pretty sure it was me, because I’d been watching a lot of Dennis Potter at the time — that we should team Dick up with the greatest sleuth ever to grace a television set… Scooby Doo.

After a long bout of giggles, the story fell into place almost immediately. Dick’s character, Dr. Mark Sloan, would witness a crime, but before he could get away the criminal would attack and leave him in a coma. While the rest of the team searched for his attackers, Dick would be solving the crime in a series of hallucinations… with the help of Scooby Doo. There was one little problem, of course — we didn’t really have a lot of money in our budget for animated sequences. Fortunately, Lee can pull up TV trivia faster than Google, and he remembered that an animated version of Dick had “guest starred” in a Scooby Doo episode back in the 70s. All we’d have to do was get the rights to the footage, then write new dialogue, with our supporting cast doing the voices for Shaggy and the rest."

It would probably fall under the umbrella of unwritten fanfic, - and I know how Rabkin's fellow writer on that series feels about fanfic! - but why can't we just assume that Dr. Mark Sloan did have such an experience? It certainly doesn't cause a Zonk, as splained away in that previous article about 'Bones'/'Family Guy'.

It's a shame that the deal with Hanna-Barbera ultimately fell through because I think it could have been a TV classic. And H-B could certainly have ridden the publicity to bolster their dream to have a live action movie years earlier than it turned out.

Toby O'B

My thanks to Mark Evanier for pointing the way to this story......


For the fourth week of March, the "Location, Location, Location" week in our 2009 inductions into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, we're keeping it simple: we're taking a trip to Fernwood, Ohio.

Fernwood is best known as the home of Mary Hartman in her doubly eponymous series, but it also got worked into the title of a spin-off and a sequel - 'Fernwood 2Night' and 'Forever Fernwood', respectively. ('Fernwood 2Night' had its own sequel, 'America 2Night', as well.)

It would be nice to see another series, not necessarily a stripped soap opera, take place in that quirkiest of TV's small towns. At the very least it should be mentioned in other TV series. (Maybe some have, and I just haven't picked up on it.) But no matter, Fernwood has three series to its credit, the number needed for induction, plus an offshoot as well.

Toby O'B


Continuing with the showcase of historical figures from the 1983 TV movie "The Scarlet And The Black", today's "As Seen On TV" spotlights Colonel Herbert Kappler, the Gestapo SS officer in charge of security during the occupation of Rome in 1943 until the end of the war. Once Kappler was imprisoned after the war ended, his only visitor was Msgr. O'Flaherty, his opponent regarding the search for escaped prisoners of war. Msgr. O'Flaherty visited once a month, every month, and by 1959 he baptized Colonel Kappler into the Catholic faith.

Toby O'B


Because of the eventual turn of events within 'Yes, Minister' - to the point where the show was re-titled as 'Yes, Prime Minister' - I've always thought that perhaps the series should be located within the same alternate TV dimension as our own 'Spin City', perhaps even sharing the same world as our 'Hail To The Chief' and 'Mr. President'.

The format of the show has been sold to Turkey, India, and now to The Netherlands, where the main character - the power behind the throne, so to speak - has been refashioned to be a woman. And there will be a Moroccan assistant private secretary as a character as well.

"The themes that form the basis of the series are still very much relevant: Bureaucratic red tape, political deal-making and the closed ranks in the civil service." said Pita de Leeuw, head of drama production at Dutch broadcaster VPRO.

The idea that the theme of the original series is being repeated around the world is nothing new in greater Toobworld. There are several versions of 'The Office' being produced globally, and the same is true for the 'Ugly Betty' format. We can go back to 'All In The Family' taking 'Til Death Us Do Part' as its inspiration, probably even further.

There's no way I could keep track of the dramatic series produced in Holland, India, or Turkey, so I don't know whether the leaders of their respective countries are referenced in any of their other programs. (This is usually the standard I use as to whether or not an American series can remain in Earth Prime-Time.) So I'm just going to assume that these other versions of 'Yes, Minister' will exist in the same alt. Toobworld as the original.

Toby O'B

Monday, March 23, 2009


A question for the writers of 'Supernatural' and 'Reaper', and any other show that delves into the lore of angels:

Even if it's not seen on the screen, do they consider there to be life on other planets? Does the Heavenly Host take any interest in the intelligent life on those other worlds?

This week, 'Supernatural' seemed to suggest that God isn't even paying attention any more to the grand scheme of things on Earth. Could He have moved on to a new plaything, say the planet of Ork or Melmac, and has tossed aside our 'Big Blue Marble'?

It's certainly not like the Vatican isn't ready for the revelation that there are other intelligent life forms out there. Last year, Vatican chief astronomer Father Jose Gabriel Funes was interviewed by the L'Osservatore Romano newspaper in which he said there is a certain possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and that such a possibility "doesn't contradict our faith."

"How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere? Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'?
It would still be part of creation," he said.

So, even though horror and science fiction rarely mix, maybe 'Reaper' and 'Supernatural' should remember that God's not going to be so focused on just the Earth or its billions of souls....

Just sayin', is all....

Toby O'B


Jade Goody, the controversial reality TV star who brought her terminal cancer battle before the cameras, has died in the United Kingdom at the age of 27.

After gaining her initial fame as a member of the 'Big Brother' (UK) house in its third series (I believe she made it to the Final Four), Jade created a wildstorm of negative publicity over her racist feud with a Bollywood actress while they were competing in 'Celebrity Big Brother'. Jade later apologized and appeared on the Indian version of 'Big Brother' ('Bigg Boss') to make amends.

It was there - on camera - that she learned that she had cervical cancer.

Returning home, Jade Goody decided to make her battle a public one, and used her notoriety to spread the word about the disease in order to help others. At the same time, she parlayed these appearances to make enough money to provide for her two small boys after she passed away.

Even her wedding in her final months became fodder for the reality TV cameras.......

Among her most prominent appearances on television are:

"Bigg Boss" (2008)

"You Can't Fire Me, I'm Famous" (2007)

"Celebrity Big Brother" (2007)

"Jade's P.A." (2006)

"Just Jade"(2006)

"The Weakest Link"
- Celebrity Reality TV Special (2006)

"Stars in Their Eyes"
- 2006 Celebrity Special 1 (2006)

"Big Brother's Efourum"(2 episodes, 2005-2006)

"Jade's Salon" (2005)

Death of Celebrity (2005)

UK Radio Aid (2005)

I'll Do Anything to Get on TV (2005)

"Big Brother Panto" (2004)

"Hell's Kitchen"(2004)

"Back to Reality"(2004)

2003 TV Moments (2004)

"Liquid News" (7 January 2004)

"Astounding Celebrities"

"Wife Swap"
- Celebrity Wife Swap (2003)

"Tabloid Tales" (2003)

"Boys and Girls"

"Celebrity Driving School" (2003)

The New Jade Dance Workout (2003) (V)

"Big Brother" (2002/Series III)

She made her first appearance on TV in 1988, when she was just a child, in an episode of 'London's Burning'.

Plus, there were the many talk show appearances with Ant and Dec, Richard and Judy, Anne Robinson, Graham Norton, Paul O'Grady, Kelly Osbourne, Davina McCall, and many others.In the end, for all of her outrageous behavior, Jade's influence on young women across Great Britain to get tested for cervical cancer was phenomenal. Doctors referred to it as "the Jade Goody Effect", and Prime Minister Gordon Brown even lauded her for her efforts.

Her life - born of drug-addicted parents; the father gone early from her life; the mother losing an eye and a limb due to a motorcycle accident; a relationship with a famous TV presenter that produced her two sons; the reality shows; the racism charge; the cancer; and marriage a month before her death to a man who once beat a teenager with a golf club - is surely material for a TV mini-series; a TV movie at least.

And it would bring her life full circle in front of the camera - from a reality TV star to a tele-version of herself in Toobworld.

I never saw anything that Jade Goody did, but she still deserved my respects for what she accomplished by the end.

Toby O'B


Betsy Blair, once nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Marty" and once married to Gene Kelly, before moving to London because of the Hollywood blacklist, has died at the age of 85. This picture is from a movie she made that was based on the story of Othello ("All Night Long"). But it has Patrick McGoohan in it as well (as the Iago-like character), so I'm running it as an example of the connections that run through the obituary tally each year. (McGoohan passed away back in January.)

After moving to London, Ms. Blair continued to act even as she gained her degree to become a speech therapist. Eventually she came back to America on occasion to create more characters for Toobworld.

Good night, and may God bless....

"Scarlett" (1994) .... Sister of Mercy

Marcus Welby, M.D.: A Holiday Affair (1988) .... Grace Simpson

Suspicion (1987) .... Lady McLaidlaw

"thirtysomething" .... Marjorie Warren
- Payment Due (1989)
- No Promises (1989)

"Tales of the Unexpected" .... Mrs. Wilbur
- Vengeance Is Mine Inc. (1980)

"BBC Play of the Month"
- The Wings of the Dove (1979) .... Susan Stringham
- Summer and Smoke (1972) .... Mrs. Winemiller
- Death of a Salesman (1966) .... Linda

"Shades of Greene" .... Bobbie
- The Blue Film (1975)

"ITV Play of the Week"
- Come Back Little Sheba (1965)

"ITV Television Playhouse"
- The Ponyman (1958)

"Goodyear Television Playhouse"
- A Will to Live (1957)

Othello (1955) .... Bianca

"The Ford Theatre Hour"
- The Married Look (1950)

"Kraft Television Theatre"
- The Luck of Guldeford (1950)

"The Philco Television Playhouse"
- The Charmed Circle (1950)

Toby O'B


Since we tapped into "The Scarlet And The Black" for yesterday's "As Seen On TV", we might as well continue in that vein...... This is Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who became known as "the Pimpernel of the Vatican". He was the leading force behind a scheme to smuggle out of Rome over 4,000 Allied POWs who escaped from the Nazis.

In order to do so, the Irish priest eventually had to adopt disguises to elude the Nazis himself, as there was a standing order to capture him should he step out of the diplomatic safety of the Vatican territory. This order finally became one of assassination, no matter where the chance arose. Among his disguises were a cart-pusher, a Gestapo SS officer, a nun (top row), a street-sweeper, a one-eyed peddler, and a mailman (bottom row).

Toby O'B

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I'll have to check at the Paley Center for Media to see if they have a copy of that 'Colgate Theatre' episode. It sounded like something I'd enjoy....

Based on a character created by Arthur Cheney Train and written by Ellis Marcus and Harold Swanton, "Strange Counsel" was a pilot for a proposed series starring Walter Brennan as lawyer Ephraim Tutt. Mr. Tutt was probably the 'Matlock' of his day, with 'Hawkins On Murder' as an intermediate series about crafty old lawyers.

In "Strange Counsel", Tutt's client was a young woman who believed that somebody had tampered with her late grandfather's will. Vera Miles played the client.

'Colgate Theatre' burned off the pilot by broadcasting it on September 10, 1958.

Now I'm in the mood for some city slicker Walter Brennan.... If the Paley Center doesn't have that episode, maybe they'll have something from 'The Tycoon' or even 'To Rome, With Love'.....

Toby O'B


Another Lenten Sunday, and so I thought it would be appropriate to showcase another of the Church's Holy Fathers.....

This week, we have Pope Pius XII, "As Seen On TV" in a TV movie from 1983 called "The Scarlet And The Black". The movie starred Gregory Peck as Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty and Christopher Plummer as SS Colonel Herbert Kappler. And co-starring as Pius is Sir John Gielgud.
I wish I had the photo of my father standing next to the real Pius XII, just to make the comparison... and to show off, of course.

Toby O'B


Here's another theory of "relateeveety" that's a bit easier to sell.....

For the first season of 'Bracke's World' (something of a prime time soap opera about the people who worked - and loved - at the Century movie studio), we never saw John Bracken, the absolute ruler of the studio. (We did get to hear his voice however, via speakerphone and intercom, and it was provided by Warren Stephens.) By the second season, we finally got to see John Bracken, but he was played by Leslie Nielsen.

The Toobworld reasoning for the vocal recasting? Bracken's voice was distorted by the audio technology of the day.

Around the same time, both in real time and in the Toobworld timeline, the IMF was working to expose a major drug ring in a 'Mission: Impossible' episode entitled "Flip Side". One of the major players was Mel Bracken, a record producer who was also the major supplier for the drug ring in Los Angeles.

It's the contention of Toobworld Central that Mel was probably the nephew of John Bracken, who got him a job in the music industry by pulling a few strings. But no amount of influence was going to save Mel from the IMF!

Toby O'B


When "The Bounty Hunter" Josh Randall was introduced to the real world in an episode of 'Trackdown', he was hunting for an outlaw named Nate Phillips (played by George N. Neise).

More than half a century later in the Toobworld timeline, George Weiss played a Nate Phillips in an unsold pilot that was burned off as an episode of 'Colgate Theatre'. "Strange Counsel" (AKA "Mr. Tutt") was based on a series of stories about Ephraim Tutt, a country lawyer working in Manhattan (although his tele-version worked out of a small upstate New York town.)

I suppose it's a common enough name to be duplicated in families without connections to each other. I have such a name (There were three of us in my homeroom!), which is why I go by my initials, making me "Toby".

But this being Toobworld, where the wildest of coincidences are commonplace, I'd like to think that the outlaw Nate Phillips out West could have been either the grandfather or grand-uncle of the Nate Phillips back East.

And who's to say tain't so?

Toby O'B