Saturday, July 18, 2009


I'm always finding strange patterns in the Hat Squad list each year, those who have passed away who had connection to television.

Just this year, we've had Molly Sugden and Wendy Richard, both from 'Are You Being Served?'; Patrick McGoohan and Ricardo Montalban, both on the same day and both having played murderers on 'Columbo'.

Walter Cronkite and Irving R. Levine both passed away in 2009; Cronkite just yesterday. But they have more in common than just being newsmen. They both appeared in a 'Murphy Brown' episode from November of 1989 - "Roasted", the ninth episode of the second season.....



I always say that TV can be a learning tool, no matter what the show. And aside from being an anarchist's cookbook, 'Burn Notice' is also good as a substitute for Berlitz.

On Thursday night I learned that the Russian word for "hardass" is "yctynkи". However, I checked it out at Babel Fish and it's actually more like "трудный ишак".

Meh. It's all geek to me......



Mark and Michael, sadly encumbered with the task of being friends of mine, went to an event on Wednesday night to celebrate the new Titanic exhibit in Times Square (in the building that once housed the New York Times). So that's reason enough for me to feature an historical figure connected to that doomed ship in the "As Seen On TV" showcase.

'The Time Tunnel'

Michael Rennie

"Rendezvous With Yesterday" was the first episode in the series, and the producers went all out to make the Operation Tick-Tock base of operations look like there was more to the underground facility than would be seen through most of the series.

Captain Smith is listed in the end credits for the episode as "Captain Malcolm Smith" instead of as "Edward John Smith" which was his real name. However, Toobworld Central has made the determination in the past that names listed in the credits but not mentioned in the show itself can be discounted if trumped by either fact or by an onscreen contradiction. (I can't figure out how the continuity team on this production could have made such a glaring error.) It wasn't the only discrepancy in the episode to separate Toobworld from the real world. According to records, the entire complement of passengers and crew totalled 2,228. But for 'The Time Tunnel', there was a manifest listing 2,300. That means Toobworld can have plenty of elbow room for another 72 fictional characters to be on board the ship. Among them would be Miss Althea Hall - played by Susan Hampshire - and three senior officers who didn't exist in the real world: Mr. Grainger, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Thomas.

I'd like to think Mr. Grainger was the father to Ernest Grainger of 'Are You Being Served?" And as that Mr. Grainger was probably as old as the actor who played him (Arthur Brough was born in 1905.), then the ship's officer didn't need to survive in order to bring about that theory of "relateeveety"......

Earlier this year Toobworld Central featured the captains of the Lusitania and the Mary Celeste as they were portrayed on television. The captain of the Titanic completes the trifecta...... BCnU!


Even the quirkly little hamlet of Market Shipborough, seen in 'Kingdom', is a breeding ground for Zonks. In the second episode of the first season (another Brit show with no episode titles - I HATE that!), Peter Kingdom was trying to get information out of a phone company about who made a call to his brother's cell phone. But because he wasn't his brother Simon, they wouldn't give him the information - even though Simon had been missing for six months and presumed dead.

But they'd probably give it to him if he was Inspector Frosty-Morsey, Peter said.

It's O'Bvious to us as the audience viewing at home in the Trueniverse that he was making a reference to the TV and/or book characters of Inspector Frost and Inspector Morse (played respectively by David Jason and John Thaw in their separate series0.

But that can't be assumed for characters living in Toobworld, sharing the same plane of existence with those two detectives.

I doubt that Peter was referring to an actual Detective Inspector named Frosty-Morsey. Not even if that was a variant of the real name. (Frostimorcie? Really?) I'm going to say that within the reality of the TV Universe it was just a nonsensical name that the lawyer thought up (being too polite to say what he really wanted to.....)


Friday, July 17, 2009


Two images in remembrance of Walter Cronkite....

From his career as the CBS anchorman, this may be one of the most enduring - as he announced the death of President John F. Kennedy: And playing himself in an episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show': Mr. Cronkite passed away today. He was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in November of 2001 in celebration of his 85th birthday.

I know most writing about his death will use his famous phrase "And that's the way it is" in marking his passing. But Mr. Cronkite refuted that in later years as being too pompous, that it was presumptuous of him to think his network's broadcast was the only way in which events were to be interpreted.

Instead, I'll once again use Red Skelton's sign-off: "Good night, and may God bless."



(with Gia Carangi)


Faye Dunaway

From Wikipedia:
Wilhelmina Cooper (May 1, 1939 – March 1, 1980) was a model who began with Ford Models and, at the peak of her success, founded her own agency, Wilhelmina Models, in New York City in 1967.

Born Wilhelmina Behmenburg in Culemborg, the Netherlands, she was known professionally simply as "Wilhelmina," or "Willy" to intimates. She moved with her family to Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1954. She became one of the most famous models of the 1950s and 1960s. During her career as a model she was on the cover of 255 magazines.

Cooper was portrayed by Faye Dunaway in the 1998 movie "Gia", which tells the story of Gia Carangi, a model who was discovered by Cooper and later died of AIDS.

In the picture above, that's Gia Carangi on the right. Wilhelmina was only forty years old when she died of lung cancer in Connecticut.....



Two series came back in my personal viewing area this week, which made me a very happy Vidiot.

First up, the second season of 'Leverage' on TNT, with the gang now working out of Boston (although it's filmed in Portland). And then there's the return of 'Kingdom' on WLIW-21, the Long Island PBS station.

'Kingdom' showed the first two episodes from the first season this week, but that's fine with me - I only first saw the show with the last episode of Season One on the last go-round. I fell in love with the quirky little town of Market Shipborough (reminiscent of Cicely, Alaska, ['Northern Exposure'] and Rome, Wisconsin, ['Picket Fences']).

And because I watched the episodes from both shows, it put me in mind of this possible Theory of Relateeveety Wish-Craft:

Should an episode of 'Leverage' ever need to cast someone to play Sophie Devaraux's mother on 'Leverage', then they should bring over Phyllida Law, who plays Aunt Auriel in 'Kingdom'.
Hopefully somebody out there will see this and take me up on the idea!


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Trying my best to clean out my DVR and to stay cool this muggy day, and I'm not very successful at either.

But I have found yet another combination of "The Numbers" from 'Lost'.

And best of all, it's the most famous of the combinations from the sequence:

On the TV screen, the door-plate was pretty clearly seen as "815", but I can see from trying to make the image clearer that it could be interpreted as "813". I just can't seem to grab a copy of it precisely before she gets to this point in opening the door. At an earlier angle, it's more visible as "815".

And besides, wouldn't it be considered bad luck to label any apartment with a "13"?

[From 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' - "Passion"]



I recorded 'Lie To Me' this week, even though it was a repeat because I missed the first half of the show when it first aired. I wanted to see how it all began.

And lucky me! I found another example of "The Numbers" from 'Lost' in the first two minutes, right there on one of the coroner wagons..... BCnU!


Ten years ago: John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

"American Prince: The John F. Kennedy, Jr. Story"

Kristoffer Polaha BCnU......

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


After going down to the East Village to see the final chapter of the 'Torchwood' mini-series*, I headed back to mid-town to meet up with some friends for drinks at the Ava Lounge in the Dream Hotel. And thanks to a bit of serendipiteevee, I arrived in time for a concert by Paul McCartney on the overhang of the Ed Sullivan Theatre.

Just by chance I was wearing my CBS visor, so a few folks I talked to thought I was out there shilling for the network!



For the second week of July, 2009, our TV Crossover Hall of Fame inductee is an historical personage as per our 10th anniversary theme this year. And since July is one of the months in which we celebrate the Western, I've chosen Lew Wallace as the inductee.
I wrote about Wallace last year as part of the salute to Charlton Heston after he died. Wallace had written the novel "Ben Hur" which was made into a movie starring Heston.

As Governor, General, or author, Lew Wallace has been portrayed on television several times over:

Rene Auberjonois (Gov. Lew Wallace) . . . Longarm (1988) (TV)
Wilford Brimley (Gov.Lew Wallace) . . . Billy the Kid (1989) (TV)

Matt Crowley (I) (General Lew Wallace) . . . "Philco Television Playhouse, The" (1948)
{The Death of Billy the Kid (#7.23)} TV Series
Frank Ferguson (I) (Lew Wallace) . . . "Tall Man, The" (1960)
{The Great Western (#1.37)} TV Series

Len Hendry (General Lew Wallace) . . . "Branded" (1965)
{A Destiny Which Made Us Brothers (#2.19)} TV Series

Forrest Lewis (Gen. Lew Wallace) . . . "Bronco" (1958)
{Death of an Outlaw (#2.13)} TV Series

Dayton Lummis (Lew Wallace) . . . "Death Valley Days" (1952)
{Shadows on the Window (#8.19)} TV Series
Cameron Mitchell (I) (Gen. Lew Wallace) . . . Andersonville Trial, The (1970) (TV)

Robert Warwick (I) (Governor Lew Wallace) . . . "Law of the Plainsman" (1959)
{Amnesty (#1.27)} TV Series



Was 'The Closer' channeling their inner 'Psych' this week? Near the end of the "Tapped Out" episode, a pineapple was prominently displayed in the Major Crimes squad room. It was all thanks to Lt. Provenza, who was trying to change his diet to include more fruit in order to please his new girl-friend.....

This does NOT mean 'The Closer' and 'Psych' can be linked, however. When all is said and done, sometimes a pineapple is just a pineapple......



Last night the All-Star game was played, and today is a day of rest before the 2009 baseball season begins its second phase. So I thought it might be nice to take this opportunity to salute one of the first baseball stars......

"The Winning Season"

Matthew Modine
From CNN:

The turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop known as "The Flying Dutchman," was one of baseball's all-time greats: an original Hall of Famer and revered player and coach, not to mention a feared hitter. He's still in the top 10 in several all-time hitting categories almost 100 years after he retired.

"The Winning Season," based on a children's book by Dan Gutman, concerns a teenager named Joe Soshack (Shawn Hatosy) whose family is in a financial bind. When Joe comes across an extremely valuable Honus Wagner baseball card in the garage of an elderly neighbor, he realizes that he may have the ticket to solve his family's financial problems.
However, the magical card has other ideas. Joe mysteriously finds himself in 1909 and meets the actual Wagner, whose Pirates team is taking on Ty Cobb's Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Through his relationship with Wagner, Soshack learns what is truly valuable.

In the pilot episode of 'Royal Pains', we saw that the Marshall family owned two copies of the Honus Wagner baseball card; a great example to show just how rich the family really was!

From Wikipedia, about the baseball card:

The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts, Pittsburgh Pirates', Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 50 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.

In 2007, the card was sold to a California collector for $2.8 million. These transactions have made the Wagner card the most valuable baseball card in history. From TNT for "The Winning Season":

Honus Wagner was born Johannes Peter Wagner on Feb. 24, 1874.

Wagner made his major league debut in 1897.

He batted .344 his first year.

During his career, Wagner played shortstop for the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wagner's nicknames include "The Flying Dutchman," "Hans" and "Honus."

Wagner batted .300 in 17 consecutive seasons, finishing his career with a .329 lifetime average.

Wagner was batting champion for the National League seven times.

Leading the league six times, Wagner stole 722 bases during his 21-year career.

Wagner retired with more hits, runs, RBIs, doubles, triples and stolen bases than any other National League player.

After retiring, Wagner became manager of his old team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1936, Wagner was among the first five players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I haven't done a Fanficcer's Friend post in a while; but with the passing of Karl Malden two weeks ago, I think I've found a good example to revive the theme.....

I've seen fanfic out there for 'The West Wing', a lot of it of course by shippers dedicated to Josh and Donna. But should anybody be inspired to write about the life of Jed Bartlet before he became President in his alternate TV dimension, then they might consider using Father Tom Cavanaugh as one of the characters.

Father Tom was the Bartlets' parish priest back in New Hampshire who was summoned to advise President Bartlet in the episode "Take This Sabbath Day". But how long has he known Jed Bartlet? Could it go back to the 1950s? If somebody wants to write fanfic about those younger days of Jed Bartlet in which he first met Father Tom, here's a picture of Karl Malden from "On The Waterfront", which could be used to illustrate the story.

With "Fanficcer's Friend", we never use pictures from other TV shows and then claim that it's for a different character played by that actor. (Although it is tempting sometimes.) But as most movies are from a different universe born of Mankind's creative spark, then they're fair game.

One last tip of the hat to the late, great Karl Malden.......



My subway rides home in the morning are a great source of inspiration when it comes to Toobworld ideas. Which helps keep me from falling asleep and missing my stop!

Today I came up with a great way for HBO to cross over two of its sitcoms, which I'm throwing out there for some network suit to come along and steal. I'm just in it to better the world of the Toob, baby. Let somebody else grab the glory. (Before they're nibbled to death by ducks.)

'Entourage' takes place mostly in Hollywood, sometimes back home in Queens for the lads, and 'Hung' is set in the suburbs of Detroit. But the characters don't even have to meet to make this crossover work!

On 'Hung', I figure eventually Ray Dekker's moonlighting as a male escort will get him into trouble with the Law. It will probably lead to his exposure as a high school teacher and coach, and word of his huge tool will probably leak out as well.

It might not get much public notice outside of the Detroit area, but I think E, Vince Chase's manager, will somehow see the news coverage and realize that here's a story which would be perfect to develop into a movie for his boy Vince. A deal would be brokered by Ari with Ray's "pimp" Tanya for Ray's life story, and hopefully a movie could be made in which Vincent Chase plays Ray Drecker.
There ya go, HBO. Run it up whichever pole you like....



In celebration of Bastille Day, here is a special guest appearance from DVD Toile's site about the 'Columbo' episode "Columbo Goes To The Guillotine":

De AlHolg, le 19 juillet 2007
Note du film : 4/68.1

Le télépathe britannique Elliott Blake tente d'aider l'Anneman Institute dirigé par son amie le dr Paula Hall à conserver le financement gouvernemental dont il bénéficie pour mener ses recherches sur les ressources psychiques. Il accepte de se soumettre au test de vision à distance proposé par M. Harrow et organisé par Max 'The Magnificient' Dyson, un célèbre magicien en croisade contre les faux voyants. Le résultat est concluant et le soutien à l'institut est prolongé. Blake se rend alors dans l'atelier de Dyson avec lequel il a, plusieurs années auparavant, partagé les geôles ougandaises. Convaincu d'avoir été trahi par son complice pour obtenir la liberté, Blake décapite Dyson avec la guillotine que celui-ci mettait au point.

Premier épisode de la seconde époque de la série, Columbo Goes to the Guillotine est diffusé le 6 février 1989, soit presque onze ans après The Conspirators (13 mai 1978) dirigé par le même Leo Penn. Sans cesse sollicité pour revêtir à nouveau l'imperméable du célèbre inspecteur, Peter Falk, dont les apparitions au cinéma dans l'intervalle ont, à l'exception de celle dans Der Himmel über Berlin, été plutôt décevantes, finit par accepter avec, à la clé, un traitement revu à la hausse (six millions de dollars par épisode) et un statut de producteur lui permettant d'avaliser le choix des scénaristes, réalisateurs et acteurs.

Pour son retour sur le petit écran, Columbo renoue avec l'univers des magiciens qu'il a déjà fréquenté dans Now You See Him. Le lieutenant n'hésite pas à mettre sa tête en les mains du meurtrier joué par le Londonien Anthony Andrews, interprète notamment du demi-frère du personnage tenu par Albert Finney dans Under the Volcano de John Huston.
Vive le Toob!

My thanks to the best 'Columbo' site on the Internet for the picture!


I think enough time has passed this year to talk freely about the finale for the American version of 'Life On Mars'. I know I've already done so in the past. But just in case, let this stand as a spoiler, please walk away if you haven't seen it already.......

'Life On Mars' (US)

Don Puglisi

In the episode "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?", Sam was at a nightclub in 1973, technically on business, when he spotted Jim Croce on the dance floor. Sam was actually an astronaut on a mission to Mars in 2035, but his stim program for his hibernation cycle had him living in 1973 as a NYC detective.

Actually, he originally was programmed for a stim dream as a 2008 NYC cop, but a meteor strike on the ship caused damage to the system and threw him into a new program. (I think he was getting bleed from one of the other simulation programs, probably Annie's or his Dad's.)

And that's why he saw Croce, whom he tried to warn about getting into small planes - not that it would do any good, being an incredible simulation and not the real thing. From Wikipedia:

James Joseph Croce (January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973), popularly known as Jim Croce, was an American singer-songwriter.

Croce scored a handful of hit songs in the first half of the '70s, but died in an airplane crash just as he was beginning to capitalize on his success. He is probably best remembered for the songs "Operator [That's Not The Way It Feels]", "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", "Time in a Bottle", and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," both #1 hits in 1973.

I went looking for that scene of Sam Tyler and Jim Croce to embed for you to see. I found it, but with no ability to embed it.
I do have the link, but it's not in English. Still you'll get the idea of what's going on.....

The real Jim Croce....

Now, in the original series from the UK, the same scene had the British Sam Tyler meeting Marc Bolan of T. Rex... and giving him a similar warning about riding in minis.....
Again, from Wikipedia:

Marc Bolan (born Mark Feld; 30 September 1947 – 16 September 1977), was an English singer, songwriter and guitarist whose hit singles, fashion sensibilities and stage presence with T.Rex in the early 1970s helped cultivate the glam rock era, though he preferred to call his music Cosmic Rock, and made him one of the most recognisable stars in British music. (The real Marc Bolan is pictured to the right.)

Bolan died on 16 September 1977, two weeks before his 30th birthday. He was a passenger in a purple Mini 1275GT (registration FOX 661L) driven by Gloria Jones as they headed home from Mortons drinking club and restaurant in Berkeley Square. Jones lost control of the car and it struck a sycamore tree after failing to negotiate a small humpback bridge near Gipsy Lane on Queens Ride, Barnes, southwest London. Bolan died instantly, while Jones suffered a broken arm and broken jaw and spent time in the hospital; she did not learn of Bolan's death until the day of his funeral. Neither were wearing seat belts. Bolan's home, which was less than a mile away at 142 Upper Richmond Road West in East Sheen, was quickly looted.


'Life On Mars' (UK)

William Matheson

And at least in this case, I can embed the original scene:

Two For Tuesday!


Monday, July 13, 2009


I've added the Chris Carter series 'Harsh Realm', based on a comic book, to my Netflix queue after reading this excerpt from John Kenneth Muir's overview of the series:

This "Harsh Realm" game - a simulated war scenario -- was created by the Pentagon in 1995. Utilizing information from satellite cartography and the latest U.S. Census, the war gamers have created a duplicate of America, down to every last location, person and even pet. But there's an important difference between the worlds. In this virtual version of America, a suitcase nuke was detonated in New York City at noon on October 31, 1995 ("Camera Obscura"). Four million Americans died in 2.5 seconds. "Ground Zero" was located... in Manhattan. The game developers hoped to test American military (and civilian peace-keeping) capabilities after such a catastrophic terrorist attack, but they never could have anticipated what occured next.

The link for John Kenneth Muir's site can be found to the left, virtual readers!

The world of Harsh Realm sounds complex enough so that we might consider it a new location in which TV shows can be placed, TV series which can't fit into Earth Prime-Time without creating a massive bleepload of Zonks.

First among these shows would be anything set in a post-apocalyptic world of the near future - 'Whoops', for example. That episode of 'The Twilight Zone' in which Burgess Meredith lost his glasses, "Time Enough At Last".

I won't speculate further on what other TV series could be relocated there until I've actually seen the series. But it does sound promising, a nice alternative to the same old same old - "create a new alternate dimension" - kind of option.

I'm even kind of hoping it might solve the niggling 'Hi Honey, I'm Home' Zonk effect....

Thanks for that essay, JKM!



In the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed His Royal Highness?", Sgt. Les Hart bemoaned the youth of Detective Tim Tilson with the observation that Tim probably didn't even know who William S. Hart was.

From Wikipedia:

William Surrey Hart (December 6, 1864 – June 23, 1946) was an American silent film actor, screenwriter, director and producer. In his twenties, Hart began his acting career on stage and would not consider acting in movies until he was 49 years of age. A successful Shakespearean actor on Broadway who had worked with Margaret Mather and other stars, [Hart] appeared in the original 1899 stage production of "Ben-Hur".

Hart went on to become one of the first great stars of the motion picture western. Fascinated by the Old West, he acquired Billy the Kid's “six shooters” and was a friend of legendary lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. He entered films in 1914 where, after playing supporting roles in two short films, he achieved stardom as the lead in the feature The Bargain. Hart was particularly interested in making realistic western films. His films are noted for their authentic costumes and props, as well as Hart's extraordinary acting ability, honed on Shakespearean theater stages in the United States and England.

But that's not why I bring it up....

We've seen fictional characters in Toobworld turn up to be related to real life celebrities in the past - Megan Russert of 'Homicide: Life On The Streets' and Tim Russert; Vera of 'Alice' and Art Carney are two good examples.

So couldn't it be possible that Les used William S. Hart as an example because he was the cowboy star's nephew or cousin? (I don't want to push it, but the age difference is right for William S. Hart to have been Les Hart's father!)

Just something to consider in tele-genealogy.....



One last tip of the fedora to Harve Presnell.....
"Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women Of Camelot"

Harve Presnell


Sunday, July 12, 2009


Five minutes ago I finished last night's season finale of 'Harper's Island'. As regular visitors to "Inner Toob" may remember, I declared my suspect on June 17th and re-affirmed that belief twelve days later even though the odds and facts were against me.

So I was proven wrong.

However, I just want to say that even though I did enjoy the way this played out, I will always think my idea was better. The only reason I didn't want to consider the actual scenario is because to my mind, it was too easy. But I know that will come off sounding like sour grapes.

And no, I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't seen the ending yet. (Same reason I haven't said anything yet about 'Torchwood: Children of Earth'.......)



Okay, I do a lot of theorizin' and splainin' here at "Inner Toob". But this time I'm going to throw out a Toobworld situation and ask for your opinion.

Those who made TV shows in the past never saw the future of what they were creating. They had no conception that their shows would be shown constantly in syndicated reruns. A major downside for them personally was that they've been shafted out of any kind of reward from those early works when it comes to residuals. I remember hearing the heartbreak in Jim Backus' voice in his last years as he spoke on a talk show about the lost money from 'Gilligan's Island'.

From a Toobworld perspective, the creators of these shows - actors, directors, writers, etc. - didn't think continuity would matter. They though their shows would be run, re-run and then done. Who could have guessed that 'I Love Lucy' would be so enduring? And so we have the number of the Ricardos' apartment changed from episode to episode because they didn't bother to follow through with what was established. They even deliberately changed it for a plot point: "I've been in 3-D." she once said to maintain her adherence to the Truth.

And they certainly had no clue hi-def, DVRs and computers would come along, in which somebody could freeze an image and capture it to check out every detail.

In the last year or so, an image of a letter from 'Leave It To Beaver' was magnified so that we could really see what Beaver's teacher had written. It turned out to be an amusing anecdote on the part of the actress about the fact that she had to write the letter for the show.

Which brings me round about to this image: There it is, for all to see, the police I.D. for Lt. 'Columbo', a man who went through his entire series of TV movies (which sadly are probably finished) without ever revealing his first name. In fact, he was once asked what his first name was and he replied "Lieutenant".

And yet this I.D. has him listed as "Frank Columbo". Nobody making that episode ever suspected that the audience would be able to capture so quick a shot and see what was on the card.

I'm not going to try to splain it. Should it even be splained away? What do you think? Is the rumpled detective's first name actually Frank? Short for Francis? Maybe "Frank" is a nickname totally unconnected to his real first name. Or was it a fake, for some reason? And thus we still have no idea what his first name is....

I'd like to hear your ideas, what do you think?


[posted for my buddy Michael.....]


I think Vito Corleone of "The Godfather" is a good example of someone who took the name of their hometown as a new identity, to start a new life. (And perhaps - as was the case with Don Corleone - to avoid scandal or even worse trouble!)

With the recent passing of Gale Storm, I think we have another example from Toobworld itself of a character whose family took the name of their hometown for a new identity. Not that Gale Storm's character did it, but someone in the past from her husband's family.

In the "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue" episode of 'Murder, She Wrote', Gale Storm played Maisie Mayberry. She was the mother of Donna, who was going to marry Jessica Fletcher's nephew Grady.

Her husband was Franklin Mayberry and there was an Uncle Ben Mayberry there as well.

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble (as Mushrat would say), that the Mayberry clan was descended from a former resident of Mayberry, North Carolina, who was forced to leave his hometown and take an assumed name. Wanting to keep ties to his background, that ancestor chose "Mayberry" as his new moniker.

Nothing to prove that this is what happened, but there was nothing in the episode to dispute the theory either.....



I was going to say that save for 'Benson', Jerry Seinfeld has only played himself in Toobworld, but a quick look at his IMDb page shows otherwise: a sitcom I never heard of from 1999 called 'Pros & Cons', a TV movie titled "The Ratings Game", and over in the Tooniverse, he made a guest appearance on 'Dilbert'.

But generally, Jerry Seinfeld plays himself in Toobworld, with his own series, several cameo guest spots like on 'Mad About You', 'NewsRadio', '30 Rock' and most recently 'Head Case'. (Apparently the entire cast of 'Seinfeld' will be reunited in an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' coming... whenever.)

Seinfeld's also made his mark in TV commercials, which can be included into his Toobworld tally - especially his tour of Metropolis with the Tooniverse Superman seen in a classic American Express blipvert.

And now, apparently, Jerry Seinfeld is on the road in Australia, looking somewhat like a high-tech street person as he travels about with his shopping cart to promote Greater Building Society.

Here's the commercial, entitled "60 Sec. Minimum":



'Eureka' returned last night, after nearly a year off the air. (Okay, about ten months, but you could have gone through a whole pregnancy in that time!) When it last aired, it was on the Sci-Fi Channel only to come back to its new home, SyFy. (I'm not sure, but that name may end up growing on me. Which may not be a good thing... toe fungus could do the same thing.)

But within the "reality" of Toobworld, the timeline is much different. "Welcome Back, Carter" (nice play!) picked up just a few days after the events of "From Fear To Eternity" - Sheriff Carter had been fired by the Department of Defense and was now searching for a new job with Homeland Security. And although Deputy Jo Lupo (former sister-in-law or maybe a cousin to Detective Cyrus Lupo of 'Law & Order'?) wanted the sheriff's job, the DoD had other plans.

They hired an android.

"Sheriff Andy" didn't last long in the job, however. Artificially produced gravity wells caused him nothing but trouble - from getting sliced in half by a falling telescope dish to being squashed inside the sheriff's vehicle. By the end of the episode, Sheriff Andy found himself an out to leave the job - there was an item in the town charter that allowed the mayor of Eureka to over-ride the DoD's decision to fire the sheriff.

"Sheriff Andy", being an android, doesn't have any rights of his own, really. He's nothing more than property of the DoD. They could force him to go to war in Afghanistan, for instance; really get their money's worth with him fighting the Taliban. (Andy cost about 1.6 billion dollars to build.)

But if the producers of 'Eureka' are smart, they'd keep Andy around - as another deputy to work with Sheriff Carter. His pre-programmed down-home bon homie works in small doses and that's perfect for the role of deputy. I'm not sure Ty Olsson is available or not - he is in at least the pilot for 'Defying Gravity' on ABC later this summer. But once his schedule is clear, he and the producers should give Sheriff Andy a permanent home in the town of 'Eureka'. By the way, there's no Zonk to be found in naming him "Sheriff Andy". The DoD probably gave him that moniker because "Andy" could be considered a nickname for "android". And as there was no mention of Andy Taylor, sheriff of Mayberry, we're in the clear!

Andy was called "Robo-Cop" and "Tin Man", but we can scratch those off as references to the movies "Robo-Cop" and "The Wizard Of Oz", without even worrying about any Zonk connections to the TV version for "Robo-Cop" (which may be set in an alternate TV dimension - I'll have to do some research on that.....)