Saturday, December 17, 2011


As a finale for today's edition of the Video Weekend......

The big Toobworld news this week was that two long-lost episodes of 'Doctor Who' have been found and will soon be available to the public. They've already had at least one public showing at the BFI festival last week or so.

One of the episodes is from the story "Galaxy 4" which was an adventure with William Hartnell as the First Incarnation of the Doctor.

Here's a clip:

The second missing episode came from "The Underwater Menace" starring my favorite Doctor, Patrick Troughton, the Time Lord's Second Incarnation.

And we have a clip from that as well:



Another series I can't wait for - 'Sherlock'. But at least it'll be here a lot sooner than 'Game Of Thrones'.

And since I always like to have some 'Doctor Who' content on the weekend, here's a couple of mash-ups for you:



The new season of 'Game Of Thrones' can't come soon enough for me....



Here's one of my favorite of the SNL Digital Shorts. I can't get the tune out of my head!



It's not often we get to see the original actor play his Toobworld role in Skitlandia; usually that falls to the members of the variety show's cast. A good example had Vinnie Barbarino and Lennie & Squiggy, all in a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch about a Tarantinoesque version of 'Welcome Back, Kotter'.  Everybody else in the sketch was played by a member of the show's cast.

But here's another - Balok from 'Star Trek', as played by Clint Howard:



Since we were talking about the new version of 'Hawaii Five-O' the other day, here are a few clips from the true successor to Jack Lord's original series.....



'Saturday Night Live'

Bill Hader

Taran Killam

Kristin Wiig

Kristin Wiig

Abby Elliott
Jay Pharaoh

Bobby Moynihan

 Fred Armisen

Jason Sudeikis

Katy Perry


Friday, December 16, 2011


Here are both versions of "The After Hours" episode of 'The Twilight Zone'. First up, the original with Anne Francis:

And here's the remake from the 1980's incarnation of the Rod Serling classic:

I shouldn't call that a remake. I feel it's more of a continuation, with a different mannequin named Marsha. Apparently, the loss of memory as to their true identities is a common occurrence. And Marsha Cole had a different reaction to that realization than Marsha White. The second Marsha resisted, while the first Marsha resigned herself to her fate.

This is another reason why 'The Twilight Zone' is one of Toobworld's "Essentials". These episodes established the premise that mannequins are alive in the TV Universe. And we continue to see them as such in those Old Navy blipverts.

And the Hilfiger's Christmas commercial from the earlier post today.....



Of all the seasonal words I could use to decribe Tommy Hilfiger's Christmas blipvert - Happy, Merry, Holly-Jolly - I think the best I could do would be "festive". But not in an Andy Williams kind of Christmas way.

The words I would use would be "deviant", "saturnalian", "orgiastic".... Word which certainly give me tidings of great joy - in my pants.

It's certainly a bizarre and diverse/perverse bunch at the Hilfiger mansion for the holidays - a Scorsese family member dressed for a low-rent 'Playboy After Dark', an Ecstasy-fueled raver in a bathing suit..... You know these people are going to be tossing off all their clothes by midnight, so it's a good thing one of Cleo's descendents is there to pull the plug on the lights so that we might avert our eyes.

But within the scope of Toobworld, where might the televersion of Tommy Hilfiger find such an eclectic bunch of friends?

Well, considering he's a fashion designer, I'd say from some department store's basement where they keep all the mannequins.

I think what we're seeing is a variation on those 'Twilight Zone' episodes of "The After Hours"* with all of the mannequins still draped in what they wore while on display at the store.

Of course, having all of these mannequins at his beck and call could cast the TV version of Mr. Hilfiger (NOT the real one, as my legal advisers urge me to mention) as a slave owner on his plantation. 

(One O'Bservation: Rolling up the mannequin from the boys' department in the carpet can't be a good sign......)

I wonder if the 'Party Down' caterers are in a backroom wearing pink bow-ties, or if they're mannequins as well?


* Because both versions of "The After Hours" have alternate endings from each other, I think we can include them both in the main Toobworld. You can judge for yourself in a few minutes.....


There's a Steely Dan song running through my head......


'Switch Reloaded'

Bernhard Hoëcker


From Wikipedia:
Bruce Darnell (born July 19, 1957) is an American model and choreographer based in Germany.

Darnell was born in New York City and grew up in Colorado. After studying sociology, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served six years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1983 he began his career as a model in Germany. During the following years he modeled for Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Hermès and Calvin Klein in Paris, Milan, Tokyo and New York. Darnell has also worked since 1990 as a choreographer and coached models for the catwalk.

He attained public fame in Germany when he took part in 2006 in the ProSieben show 'Germany's Next Top Model' as a juror. In connection with advertisements for this show he became famous for his typically American accent and his effeminacy. He has also become famous for his mistakes in spoken German, most notably "das ist der Wahrheit" (English "this is the truth", whereas it should be "die Wahrheit"), which he has since taken as a trademark expression.

He has appeared in television advertisements for C&A and O2. From February to March 2008 he hosted his own fashion-themed television show, called 'Bruce', on Das Erste, but the show received poor ratings and was canceled after the initial run's 20 episodes.

While Darnell does not appear in 'Germany's Next Top Model' anymore, he is still a coach on the Swiss edition of the show as well as a judge on 'Das Supertalent', the German incarnation of the 'Got Talent' franchise.


Thursday, December 15, 2011



'Switch Reloaded'

Martina Hill


From Wikipedia:
Heidi Samuel (née Klum; born June 1, 1973), better known by her birth name Heidi Klum, is a German model, actress, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and occasional singer. In 2008 she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship. She is married to English musician Seal.

Klum has been the host, judge and co-producer of Germany's Next Topmodel the German version of the internationally successful reality television show, since 2006. All five seasons aired on the German TV station ProSieben.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The return of that screen credit in 2012 fills the hearts of this televisiologist with dread.

If it had not been for the amazing discovery of two long-lost episodes of 'Doctor Who', the Toobworld news story of the week would have been the casting of Ed Asner in a Spring episode of the 'Hawaii Five-O' reboot.
By itself, that's no big revelation - Asner is still a big get for a guest star at 82; and he's just come off a recurring gig as Dr. Hank's grandfather in 'Royal Pains'. (That means he's the father of Henry Winkler's character.)
But Asner is going to be reprising a character he played on the original 'Hawaii Five-O' thirty-six years ago. In "Model Of A Wooden Rat", Asner played August March, a construction magnate who proclaimed himself to be a patron of the arts. But in fact, it was all a front - March made his money in smuggling Asian art pieces, mostly netsuke figurines. As such, he was a ruthless businessman who was responsible for the deaths of at least two men.

But that was in the classic 'Hawaii Five-O'. And as far as Toobworld Central is concerned, that took place in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld. The new 'Hawaii Five-O' reboot was placed in the alternate TV dimension for remakes because each of the characters was a revamp of the originals. (With Kono now being a girl!)

I championed the hope that the show would be a continuation and not a reboot, much like 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' was the heir to 'Star Trek', only eighty years later.

The new 'Hawaii Five-O' could have been about the state police Five-O squad forty years on, but with all new characters performing the same duties as the guys who previously worked there. And if any of the original actors were still alive, then they could have made guest appearances in episodes like DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, and Leonard Nimoy did in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation', and George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney did in 'Star Trek: Voyager', while William Shatner made his grand departure from the canon in the 'Star Trek' movie "Generations".
There had been a news story about James MacArthur making a guest appearance on the new version of 'Hawaii Five-O', but sadly, he passed away before that could happen. I don't know who he would have played - the rumor I heard was that he would have been the father of the new Dann-O - but if they tried to pass him off as the old Danny Williams, they would have had to take into account that in Toobworld he had gone on to become the governor of Hawaii. This happened in a TV movie pilot for a new series by Stephen Cannell and starring Gary Busey. For the most part, this TV movie treated the show's legacy right - save for bringing back Kam Fong as Detective Chin Ho Kelly. The problem with that? Chin Ho Kelly was killed off at the end of the tenth season in "A Death In The Family".

My knee-jerk response would have been to keep this pilot's standing in Toobworld firmly planted in a more realistic setting with Chin Ho Kelly's death really a ruse; that Chin was only badly wounded, which was overlooked by the bad guys before they tossed him out of the car. And then, once he recovered, he went into witness protection to protect him. But I've seen the relevant clips from that episode on YouTube (the death of Chin Ho Kelly, McGarrett consoling Chin's daughter Suzi Kelly, and McGarrett capturing the dirt-bag who killed Chin Ho), and I realize that just wouldn't work. Maybe he would still have vehemently beaten the bleep out of the perp (What's Hawaiian for "skel"?), but how could he have been so cruel as to let Suzi think her father was dead? No, I think we have to forsake "realism" and go for a more ghostly splainin, perhaps even an alien impersonating Chin Ho and fiddling with everybody's perception fields to cover up such a discrepancy.
Getting back to the new 'Five-O'..... Had they gone for a continuation rather than a remake, they could have mined the show's history to bring back guest stars. Again, to bring it around to 'Star Trek', there was that episode of 'Deep Space Nine' which "reunited" the three main Klingons from the original series - Kor, Kang, and Koloth, as played by John Colicos, Michael Ansara, and William Campbell, respectively. 'Doctor Who' has also done this, with the return of Lis Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith (with K-9!), the Fifth Doctor in the "Children In Need" short "Time-Crash", and Davros (albeit with a different actor). Jo Grant and the Brigadier returned in a roundabout fashion on the spin-off "The Sarah Jane Adventures".

And failing the chance to get some of those great guest stars, many of them passed away now after so many years, there were still plotlines that could have been resurrected as 'Enterprise' did with the rich 'Star Trek' backstory.

But the producers didn't bother with a continuation and instead they "created" new versions of Steve McGarrett, Danny Williams, Chin Ho Kelly, Kono (now a girl a la Starbuck in the reboot of 'Battlestar Galactica'), and even villain Wo Fat. And so Toobworld Central had no choice but to declare it banned from Earth Prime-Time and banished to the world of the remakes.

And yet, here comes Ed Asner as a character he played in the main Toobworld.
Just based on that, there's no need for this TV Universe caretaker to panic. Every TV character - even the ones which are just guest stars - have counterparts in the other TV dimensions. So this could be an August March who may have been arrested once upon a time for the same crime but not by Steve McGarrett and the Five-O team. (In fact, in this dimension, there was no Five-O team - at the end of the first episode, the quartet sat around drinking beers and trying to come up with a name for themselves.)

But if August March does mention the original McGarrett and Dann-O? What are we supposed to say? "Oh, these new characters just happen to have the same name"? or "Those people who arrested you way back when were related to us"?
Either one of those is too coincidental, even for TV. As for the relations aspect, the original Dann-O had only a daughter and the new Danny Williams grew up in New Jersey - he only came out to Hawaii because his little girl was being raised there by his ex-wife and her new husband. And when McGarrett was consoling Suzi Kelly over the death of her father, he implied that he had no children at all. And if he did, why didn't we ever see the kid who would grow up to be William Sadler's character, the father of the new Steve McGarrett?

Only theories of relateeveety for the new Chin Ho and Kono would be believable, if only because those characters rarely had the spotlight on them in the original series.
Then there's the matter of film clips to be used in the new episode. Hopefully, they'll only use clips from those moments when March was dealing with Lupin the museum curator or with the Japanese professor or with Cesari, his hired gun. However, I can't see them resisting the temptation to use a long tracking shot where Ed Asner walked with James MacArthur and expounded on "Who Is August March?" The way the camera was set up, they might be able to get away with it, since you couldn't see MacArthur's face for most of it.

But what if they wanted to show the moment when August March was arrested? How are they going to splain away that square-jawed All-American standing behind him?
If they do show the original characters, perhaps they can claim that they had different names in their alternate dimension. (Although that might be too much to process for the average viewer. Yeah, I don't have too high an opinion of the average viewer.....)

But a video clip like this would just bleep that all to hell:

All I can do now is just wait and view, I guess. This is going to be the type of episode which will be shown either in February or May because of its Sweeps-worthiness. So until then, as Steve McGarrett once said....

"Aloha, Suckers."


Nostradamus was probably born on this date.......


'Switch Reloaded'

Bernhard Hoëcker


From Wikipedia:
Michel de Nostredame (14 or 21 December 1503 – 2 July 1566), usually Latinised to Nostradamus, was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. He is best known for his book Les Propheties (The Prophecies), the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Since the publication of this book, which has rarely been out of print since his death, Nostradamus has attracted a following that, along with the popular press, credits him with predicting many major world events.

Most academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. Moreover, none of the sources listed offers any evidence that anyone has ever interpreted any of Nostradamus's quatrains specifically enough to allow a clear identification of any event in advance.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Today is the celebration of Wold Newton Day, the anniversary of the cosmic event which spawned many of the great heroes in fiction.

Here's a quick rundown on the details from Wikipedia:
The Wold Newton family is a literary concept derived from a form of crossover fiction developed by the science fiction writer Philip José Farmer. Farmer suggested in two "biographies" of fictional characters ("Tarzan Alive" and "Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life"), that the (real) meteorite which fell in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795, was radioactive and caused genetic mutations in the occupants of a passing coach. Many of their descendants were thus endowed with extremely high intelligence and strength, as well as an exceptional capacity and drive to perform good, or, as the case may be, evil deeds. The progeny of these travelers were purported to have been the real-life originals of fictionalized characters, both heroic and villainous, over the last few hundred years, such as Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, and Lord Peter Wimsey.

Other popular characters included by Farmer as members of the Wold Newton family are: Solomon Kane; Captain Blood; The Scarlet Pimpernel; Sherlock Holmes's nemesis Professor Moriarty; Phileas Fogg; The Time Traveller (main character of "The Time Machine" by H. G. Wells); Allan Quatermain; A.J. Raffles; Professor Challenger; Richard Hannay; Bulldog Drummond; the evil Fu Manchu and his adversary, Sir Denis Nayland Smith; G-8; The Shadow; Sam Spade; Doc Savage's cousin Patricia Savage, and one of his five assistants, Monk Mayfair; The Spider; Nero Wolfe; Mr. Moto; The Avenger; Philip Marlowe; James Bond; Lew Archer; Travis McGee; Monsieur Lecoq; and Arsène Lupin.

The Toobworld Dynamic is not the Wold Newton Universe, even though many of those characters mentioned above do reside in the TV Universe as well. But their televersions are often far afield of their literary counterparts in their original sources which the WNU adheres to even as they create new adventures and connections between those characters.

I wrote about Wold Newton Day last year......

This year, rather than rehash the same old story about the differences and similarities between the TwD and my worthy allies of the WNU, I thought I'd mark Wold Newton Day by focusing on one particular member of the Wold Newton Family. And this year, I've chosen Arsène Lupin.

Who's he, you may ask? Then you've never heard of the gentleman thief who held the same popularity as Sherlock Holmes, but in France.

Again, here's from Wikipedia:
Arsène Lupin is a fictional character who appears in a book series of detective fiction / crime fiction novels written by French writer Maurice Leblanc, as well as a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television such as "Night Hood", stage play and comic book adaptations.

Arsène Lupin is a literary descendant of Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's Rocambole. Like him, [the gentleman thief] is often a force for good, while operating on the wrong side of the law. Those whom Lupin defeats, always with his characteristic Gallic style and panache, are worse villains than he. Lupin is somewhat similar to A. J. Raffles and anticipates characters such as The Saint.

For the WNU, the literary stories hold more weight, but they also include any new adventures that might have been created for the movies and television, so long as they don't contradict the established narrative. With the Toobworld Dynamic, we can only use the TV plots and even then only from the first version of Arsène Lupin's adventures to be broadcast. All other "televersions" must be relegated to alternate TV dimensions.
Therefore, it is the Lupin who was seen on French TV back in the early 1970's, as played by Georges Descrières, must be considered THE Arsène Lupin of Toobworld. There were 26 episodes in all, which in America would have been considered a single season for the series, but which were spread out over several years in France:

Le bouchon de cristal (18 March 1971)

Victor de la brigade mondaine (25 March 1971)

Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes (1 April 1971)

L'arrestation d'Arsène Lupin (8 April 1971)

L'agence Barnett (15 April 1971)

La fille aux yeux verts (22 April 1971)

La chaîne brisée (29 April 1971)

La femme aux deux sourires (6 May 1971)

La chimère du calife (13 May 1971)

Une femme contre Arsène Lupin (20 May 1971)

Les anneaux de Cagliostro (27 May 1971)

Les tableaux de Tornbull (3 June 1971)

Le sept de coeur (10 June 1971)

Herlock Sholmes lance un défi (18 December 1973)

Arsène Lupin prend des vacances (20 December 1973)

Le mystère de Gesvres (22 December 1973)

Le secret de l'aiguille (25 December 1973)

L'homme au chapeau noir (27 December 1973)

L'écharpe rouge (29 December 1973)

La demeure mystérieuse (5 January 1974)

Les huit coups de l'horloge (12 January 1974)

La dame au chapeau à plumes (19 January 1974)

La danseuse de Rottenburg (26 January 1974)

Le film révélateur (2 February 1974)

Double jeu (9 February 1974)

Le coffre-fort de madame Imbert (16 February 1974)

(You'll notice there were a couple of episodes in which Lupin encountered someone named "Herlock Sholmes". O'Bviously he was an impostor of Sherlock Holmes, since it couldn't have been Jeremy Brett playing the role. Holmes had many imitators in Toobworld, trying to cash in on his celebrated deduction skills.)

Having never seen the series, I can't say how faithful it was to the original source material of the stories by Maurice LeBlanc. But at least from the pictures I've seen of Descrières in the role, I think it's safe to assume that he was in the correct time period - unlike the official TV portrayal of Tarzan of the Apes.

I'm working on an Inner Toob post about Ed Asner and 'Hawaii Five-O' and that's what triggered the idea to focus on Arsène Lupin today. When Asner was in the 'Five-O' episode "Model Of A Wooden Rat", there was a character named Gustave Lupin (played by Richard McKenzie.)

Gustave Lupin was the curator for a small museum in Hawaii, but he was of European birth. Because of his very expensive heroin habit, Lupin ran afoul of a ruthless smuggler who blackmailed him into doing his bidding in exchange for the money needed to support his habit. But when Lupin finally rebelled at being involved any longer back in 1975, the smuggler had him killed and made it look like he hanged himself.

So it's going to be the Toobworld Central's "theory of relateeveety" that Gustave Lupin was the grandson of Arsène Lupin.

If you want to learn more about the concept of the Wold Newton Universe, I can't recommend highly enough a visit to the site maintained by Win Scott Eckert. But I should warn you - once you enter, you may be lost in there for hours!

Enjoy. And happy Wold Newton Day!




"Who Is The Black Dahlia?" (alive)

'American Horror Story' (undead)

Lucie Arnaz (living)
Mena Suvari (ghostly)

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
"The Black Dahlia" was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 - January 15, 1947). She was an American woman and the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. Short acquired the moniker posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly colorful. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short's unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story.
Ghosts have the capability of altering their appearance in Toobworld. Therefore we can accept Mena Suvari's appearance as Elizabeth Short in the new TV series to be the same as that of Lucie Arnaz's portrayal in the TV movie.

As for the flashbacks in 'American Horror Story', those would be phantasmic recreations.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Immersed as deeply as I am in writing about Toobworld, I find it affecting me and how I view the world, to the point where even my dreams are about the TV Universe, sometimes even with end credits.

I hear a character's name on TV and I begin calculating the family tree, linking him to other TV characters with that name. I envision what happens to those walk-ons who enter a scene, and where did they come from in the first place?

And I won't get into elevators with pregnant women.

So it's nice to find out that I'm not the only one who goes through this.....

Yesterday, after we ran around taking care of errands and then, to get our minds off a failed attempt at recording the audio-play the previous evening, we stayed in to watch various things on television.

After watching documentaries about slasher movies, holocaust atrocities, serial murderers, Michael Powell’s ‘Peeping Tom’, and the eighth Harry Potter film, I turned to a later episode of ‘Soap’. One of the characters was carrying a roast or something from an oven and all the other characters were talking about it.

Anyhoo, I don’t remember it being funny at all, but the audience was laughing at all the appropriate cues. I kept waiting for the audience to get the joke that I was in on. I grew frustrated with the audience missing the great big and obvious punch-line.

Then I thought, “Oh well, the audience is just not understanding that the roast in the pan is actually a human torso.”

Oops! It wasn’t a human rib cage at all. It was just me. Goes to show you how twisted my mind was, by the end of the day.
- Pat Coleman
Rude House Studio



'Saturday Night Live'

Maya Rudolph


From Wikipedia:
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston is also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 180 million albums and singles worldwide.


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Tonight is the second season finale for HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire'!

Episode #24: “To the Lost”
Debut: SUNDAY, DEC. 11 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Written by Terence Winter; Directed by Tim Van Patten

Here are a few clips from the episode:

That's Sunday night - tonight! - on HBO at 9pm.....


Thanks to the Crossovers Forum over in Facebook, here's a Children in Need telethon crossover music video from decades ago, predating that great video put together by Peter Kay a few years back....



Alistair Sim's portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1951 movie production of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is my all-time favorite, to the point where I wish it had been a live-action production for television instead so that I might fully embrace it into the Toobworld Dynamic*.

However, back in 1971, at least the Tooniverse got the chance to have a performance by Sim in the role included in its dimension:

And that will serve as our Sunday offering of a Christmas TV episode.....


* As it stands right now, I'm torn between the portrayal by George C. Scott and that of Patrick Stewart to be the official Toobworld Scrooge, even though both of them were far from the first. Both of them are fully realized versions of the original story (by not cutting major characters), but Patrick Stewart's version has the added benefit of an unofficial tie-in to the TV series 'Dallas'.......
I'm willing to hear arguments for either one or for a different production......


Zdenek Miler, the Czech animator who created the famous (everywhere but America, apparently) cartoons about Krtek the Mole, passed away on the 30th of November.

Here was Krtek's contribution to the Christmas cartoon collection......



Also from that 'Community' Christmas episode:



Alan Sepinwall mentioned this pilot in his review of the 'Glee'-inspired Christmas episode of 'Community' because of the involvement by Taran Killam in both. And although it does play havoc with the Toobworld Dynamic, it is pretty funny....




"Last Dictator Standing"


P.W. Botha
Saddam Hussein
Moammar Qaddafi
Idi Amin

Also Unknown

From Wikipedia:
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 21 February 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980. He served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, and as the first executive head of state since 1987.

Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the white-minority rule government of Ian Smith. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974. Upon release with Edgar Tekere, Mugabe left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle (Rhodesian Bush War) from bases in Mozambique.

At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans. He won the general elections of 1980, the second in which the majority of black Africans participated in large numbers (though the electoral system in Rhodesia had allowed black participation based on qualified franchise). Mugabe then became the first Prime Minister after calling for reconciliation between formerly warring parties, including white Rhodesians and rival political groups.

Since 2000, the Mugabe-led government embarked on a controversial fast-track land reform program intended to correct the inequitable land distribution created by colonial rule. The period has been marked by the deterioration of the Zimbabwean economic situation. Mugabe's policies have been condemned in some quarters at home and abroad, especially receiving harsh criticism from the British and American governments arguing they amount to an often violent land seizure. Eventually a wide range of sanctions was imposed by the US government and European Union against the person of Mugabe, individuals, private companies, parastatals and the government of Zimbabwe.

In 2008, his party suffered a tight defeat in national parliamentary elections, but after disputed presidential elections, Mugabe retained presidential power with the signing of a power-sharing deal with opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party.

From the Christian Science Monitor:
by Scott Baldauf
Those were the days, Mr. Mugabe.

A South African satirical television commercial, for the Nando’s Chicken restaurants, has captured the South African imagination, depicting Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s difficulty in coming up with enough dictators to come to a Christmas Party this festive season.

Called “The Last Dictator Standing,” the commercial imagines Mugabe and Muammar Qaddafi having a watergun fight; Mao Zedong and Mugabe singing karaoke; Saddam Hussein and Mugabe making snow angels, in the sand, in their boxer shorts; Mugabe and Idi Amin mimicking that front-of-the Titanic “flying” scene aboard a tank; and most improbably of all, Mugabe pushing apartheid defender P.W. Botha in a swing.

Alas, whether by NATO bombs or natural causes, all are now dead. It’s going to be a lonely Christmas.

Though quite popular – the commercial went viral on youtube – Nando’s has since withdrawn the commercial, citing physical threats to staff and customers at the Nando’s fanchises inside Zimbabwe. Apparently, youth members of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party had begun to protest outside Nando’s chain stores in Harare and elsewhere in the country.