Monday, February 14, 2011


When a TV show mentions another TV show AS a TV show, even though they should be sharing the same TV dimension, that's what we all a Zonk (from 'Let's Make A Deal!')

One way to disable those Zonks is to claim that those mentioned TV shows were based on actual events. A lot of the subjects in those TV shows were based on newsworthy events - for example, 'Gilligan's Island'. When they were eventually rescued in the mid-1970's, I'll bet there were plenty of producers vying for their story. 'The Brady Bunch' may not have seemed newsworthy, but a blended family of a widower with three boys and a widow with three daughters (the youngest one in curls) would be a good human interest story.

Some of these TV shows based on TV shows/"real life" were produced while the original TV shows were on the air. 'Lost' inspired several references during its six year run, but that was set mostly in the past so that's a ready-made excuse.

The best example with visuals up to now was seeing Kramer of 'Seinfeld' working as a secretary in the TV adaptation of the life of 'Murphy Brown' (which starred Candice Bergen, who bore an amazing resemblance to the newswoman.) But I've now found what may be the oldest example of this form of Zonk-disabler - and it comes from within the referenced TV series!

At the end of the "Who Killed Cynthia Royal?" case in 'Burke's Law', Captain Amos Burke shared a TV dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes, and succotash with a "Sweet Young Thing". (That's how she was listed in the credits!)

And the TV show chosen by that Sweet Young Thing in the back of Burke's Rolls Royce? That Gene Barry was cast as Amos Burke means the millionaire detective had more than one doppelganger in Toobworld. There was also Snooky Martinelli, a wealthy playboy who would soon be the late Snooky Martinelli; and there was also Gene Bradley, a movie star who worked undercover for the government on missions located near the shooting locations for his films. For a while, 'The Adventurer' Gene Bradley would use "Amos Burke" as his alias,
which I covered in the blog some time back.

And of course, the characters played by Gene Barry in such shows as 'The Name Of The Game', 'Our Miss Brooks', and guest spots in shows like 'Columbo' were also look-alikes for the millionaire police captain. BCnU!

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