Saturday, November 3, 2012


I'm not letting the last weekend before the election slip by without some political content.

Here's my favorite speech from the Democratic National Convention:


One of the great crossover promos from the Cartoon Network which helped gain induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for Michael Ouweleen.....


Look-see what detritus washed up after Hurricane Sandy......


We've got a double-feature today for Toobworld Theater, as a tribute to today's special guest in the "As Seen On TV" showcase......


All week I've been showcasing the dolls in the 'Twilight Zone' episode "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit" - looking for another TV character for whom each doll was made in his or her likeness.

And even though there are only five dolls mentioned in the title, there was a sixth doll in that episode......

Rod Serling is omnipresent, perhaps omniscient.  (But certainly not omnipotent if the events at the end of "A World Of His Own" are any indication. Click here to see how that ends.)

Serling was a tele-cognizant who knew he was in the TV Universe, and he lent his name to the art of serlinguism, even if he didn't originate the practice. (A serlinguist is one who talks to the audience viewing at home in the Trueniverse.)

Although he could be in the location as the subjects in a particular episode, they are unaware of his presence - except for Gregory West in the aforementioned "A World Of His Own".

The tele-version of Rod Serling can adapt himself to the situation at hand. Gregory West didn't really "create" and then "un-create" him, but Serling let him believe so.

And when it came to "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit", Serling transformed himself into a doll to make his introduction.

He has to be doll-sized - look at his proportions in comparison to the top of the barrel. And then look at the little girl who also leaned over the edge:

But the Rod Serling doll was not made by the doll-maker who created the other ones. Serling knows who he is and he exhibits powers far beyond the capability of the other dolls. So it must be that Serling adapted himself to the situation.

At least Rod Serling is a doll - excuse me, "action figure" - who is available for purchase in the real world......




'Hallmark Hall Of Fame'
"Peter Pan"

J.M. Barrie

Danny Kaye


Alternate Toobworld
Alternate Neverland
[One "infected" by Sweet The Demon]

From Wikipedia:
The novel was first published in 1911 by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom and Charles Scribner's Sons in the United States. The original book contains a frontispiece and 11 half-tone plates by artist F. D. Bedford (whose illustrations are still in copyright in the EU). The novel was first abridged by May Byron in 1915, with Barrie's permission, and published under the title "Peter Pan and Wendy", the first time this form was used. This version was later illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell in 1921. The novel is now usually published under that title or simply "Peter Pan". The script of the play, which Barrie had continued to revise since its first performance, was published in 1928. In 1929, Barrie gave the copyright of the "Peter Pan" works to Great Ormond Street Hospital, a children's hospital in London.

Captain James Hook (his name sometimes shortened to 'Jas') is the main antagonist of J. M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" and its various adaptations. The character is a villainous pirate captain of the Jolly Roger brig, and lord of the pirate village/harbour in Neverland, where he is widely feared. Most importantly, he is the archenemy of Peter Pan. It is said that Hook was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared. His only two fears are the sight of his own blood (which is supposedly an unnatural colour) and one fateful crocodile.

Hook wears a big iron hook in place of his right hand, which was cut off by Peter Pan and eaten by a saltwater crocodile, who liked the taste so much that he follows Hook around constantly, hoping for more. Luckily for Hook, the crocodile also swallowed a clock, so Hook can tell from the ticking when he is near. Hook hates Peter obsessively due to his cockiness (and the removing of his hand), as well as the way he always seems to have "good form" without trying or even realizing, which is the best "form" of all, and lives for the day he can make Peter and all his Lost Boys walk the plank.

In the novel "Peter and Wendy", Hook is described as "cadaverous" and "blackavized", with blue eyes and long dark curls which look like "black candles" at a distance. In most pantomime performances of Peter Pan, and in the film Hook, Hook's hair is simply a wig. He has a hook in place of his right hand (this is often switched to his left hand in film adaptations) and can use it as well as, or instead of, a sword when fighting. He is also described as having a "handsome countenance" and an "elegance of [...] diction" – "even when he [is] swearing".

Barrie states in the novel that "Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze." He relates the tale of how Peter Pan cut off his hand and fed it to the crocodile, setting up the rivalry between them. Barrie explains that "he was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared". It is implied that he attended Eton College and Balliol in the play; Hook's final words are "Floreat Etona", the College's motto. Barrie confirmed this in a speech delivered in 1927 to the first hundred at Eton College entitled "Captain Hook at Eton".

In Barrie's story, Hook captures Wendy Darling, the girl who loves Peter and whom Peter views as his surrogate mother, and challenges the boy to a final duel. When Hook is beaten, Peter Pan kicks him overboard to the open jaws of the waiting crocodile below. Just before his defeat, however, he takes a final jab at Peter by taunting him about his "bad form". Peter, with the callousness of youth, quickly forgets Hook and finds a new nemesis, but as Hook made a stronger impression on the public, most sequels brought him back one way or another.

Cyril Ritchard is the official Captain Hook for Toobworld, and for two other TV dimensions as well, since he portrayed the role in three different productions.  Variants were due to at least two of them being live stage productions.  So one of those first two would probably be the "Peter Pan" for the dimension of ToobStage.

As was the case with our featured ASOTV character today in the mid-1970's, these were musical adaptations.  This means that Sweet the Demon visited the Neverland of all those TV dimensions and caused everyone to break out in song.


Friday, November 2, 2012


In the previous post, I discussed the Clown doll from "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit", an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'. My claim was that it was one of several dolls, more than a dozen, that were commissioned by a criminal as omens of death for those people responsible for putting him in prison.

That criminal was THRUSH agent Victor Gervais, but one day he would gain "superstar notoriety" as the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker.

And having made that claim, it made me wonder who else might have been the target of Gervais; who else might have had clown dolls made in their likeness.

And that's what inspired this Super Six List:



Although he was living in Los Angeles by the time we saw him, Mortimer Lovely might have resided in New York City more than a decade before. If so, he would have eventually been called to jury duty.


When we met Oliver, he was living in New Jersey with his grandson who was attending Sheffield College. But that doesn't mean he couldn't have been a resident of Manhattan decades before. So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he served on the Gervais jury.


There's no doubt that Manny was a resident of the Big Apple. He worked as a doorman in Manhattan for decades! I think he would have made a good choice for the jury foreman.


Besides his work on his own variety show and appearances on variety programs and talk shows, we know there is a televersion of the great Stoneface thanks to his appearances on 'The Phil Silvers Show' ('Bilko') and 'Mr. Adams And Eve'. Many times celebrities are excused from jury duty, but this may have been a case where he was allowed to serve.


Sgt. Doheny was the detective who caught Victor Gervais for whatever crime it was that got him sent to prison. He was a young, up-and-coming detective at the time and this was his first big case.


Gervais' plans for revenge weren't limited to the judge, the prosecutor, the detective, and the jury - he also blamed his own defense attorney for his being convicted.

Since all of these characters were seen on TV after the aborted attempt by Victor Gervais to kill them all, it's likely he never got the chance to carry out the death sentence on the others who were not listed here.



"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."

The Clown

Dr. Strang

Murray Matheson

Victor Gervais, agent of THRUSH

Accidentally left behind, part of a larger order

The Clown was the last of a set of twelve, perhaps even more. Each doll in the order was dressed as a clown, but each was modeled after different real people from New York.

Twelve of those dolls were based on the people who served on a jury which convicted THRUSH operative Victor Gervais and sent him to prison. Gervais intended for each of those dolls to be sent to each corresponding juror who condemned him.  The dolls would serve as a warning, a threat, that he would have his revenge on them.

Apparently the clown has a long history of being a symbol of death. (I don't know why, but that's what it says in Wikipedia and they're always trustworthy......)

His plan was to get revenge on the people responsible for his incarceration once he got out, which is why I think there was more than just the twelve juror dolls. He probably ordered clown dolls who resembled the judge, the prosecutor, the detective who arrested him, and perhaps even his own defense attorney.

However, when the dolls were picked up, the clown doll that resembled Dr. Strang was accidentally left behind. And Gervais didn't notice the omission until it was too late. By then he had already been arrested again for his attack on U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo and Mandy Stephenson (who would go on to work for CONTROL as Agent 99.)

Sending such warnings happens every now and then in Toobworld, going back to at least the 1870s. Then an artist named Jeremiah Skull sent puppets in the likeness of his intended targets, the people responsible for his incarceration and eventual disfigurement. Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter, abducted the jurors in his case and put their hats on display.

The difference between the puppet people made by Skull and these clown dolls commissioned by Gervais was that Skull's creations were all dressed as their inspirations, while Gervais turned each of his potential victims into clowns.

Why did I choose Victor Gervais as the likely culprit for this client? Clowns may have been an obsession for Gervais, as previously pointed out by Toobworld Central. Eventually he came to embody the moniker of "Clown Prince Of Crime".

I don't know if he was able to kill any of his intended targets or if he ever got to deliver any of the dolls. I know some of my choices for other clown dolls survived long after the dolls were picked up by Gervais (as will be seen in the next post on this topic, a Super Six List!) But when it comes to this doll that was left behind and which ended up in the donation bin, it may have proven difficult for him to track down the intended target.

Dr. Strang had spent most of his career in New York City as a doctor, but he felt as if there was something more he could have been doing to help the human race. And so he finally uprooted his life and moved to the West Indies to help the poor and downtrodden there. He also became an outspoken critic of the belief in voodoo, which ironically killed a man he came to call a friend.

Dr. Strang would have been both amused and disgusted had he learned that a doll was meant to be instrumental in his death as well......

You don't know how much I really wanted the clown without pity to have been based on Felix Mulholland from 'Banacek'. But Felix's bookstore of rare prints was a part of the Boston arts scene for many decades and it would have been harder to make the case for his relocation from Manhattan to Boston than it was for Dr. Strang's move to the West Indies.

However, I think Dr. Strang could still be an identical cousin to Felix Mulholland, perhaps to every contemporary character played by Murray Matheson.

  • 'Night Gallery' - "The Doll of Death"
  • 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' - "The Never-Never Affair"
  • 'Get Smart' - "The Reluctant Redhead"
  • 'Batman'
  • 'The Wild Wild West' - "The Night Of The Puppeteer"
  • 'Banacek'



As a tip of the hat to King Friday, today's showcase features another Emperor on a Friday.......


"Gulliver's Travels"

Jonathan Swift

Peter O'Toole


Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Lilliput is said to be ruled by an Emperor, Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue. He is assisted by a first minister (who carries a white staff) and several other officials (who later bring articles of impeachment against Gulliver on grounds of treason): the galbet or high admiral, Skyresh Bolgolam; the lord high treasurer, Flimnap; the general, Limnoc; the chamberlain, Lalcom; and the grand justiciary, Balmuff.

The Emperor of Lilliput is described as a partisan of the Low-Heels, just as King George I employed only Whigs in his administration; the Emperor's heir is described as having "one of his heels higher than the other", which describes the encouragement by the Prince of Wales (the future George II) of the political opposition during his father's life; once he ascended the throne, however, George II was as staunch a favorer of the Whigs as his father had been.

The novel further describes an intra-Lilliputian quarrel over the practice of breaking eggs. Traditionally, Lilliputians broke boiled eggs on the larger end; a few generations ago, an Emperor of Lilliput, the Present Emperor's great-grandfather, had decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end after he cut himself breaking the egg on the larger end. The differences between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-Endians had given rise to "six rebellions... wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown". The Lilliputian religion says an egg should be broken on the convenient end, which is now interpreted by the Lilliputians as the smaller end.

In the novel, Gulliver washes up on the shore of Lilliput and is captured by the inhabitants while asleep. He offers his services to the Emperor of Lilliput in his war against Blefuscu, and succeeds in capturing the (one-twelfth sized) Blefuscudian fleet. Despite a triumphant welcome, he soon finds himself at odds with the Emperor of Lilliput, as he declines to conquer the rest of Blefuscu for him and to force the Blefuscudians to adopt Little-Endianism.

Winterfeld's sequel children's chapter book Castaways in Lilliput provides further details of Lilliputian history. The Emperor of Gulliver's time, Mully Ully Gue, is said to have reigned 1657-1746. (This contradicts Swift's account, in which the Emperor is only 28 years old and has reigned about seven years when Gulliver arrives in 1699.)

Here is the Emperor of Lilliput as seen in the Tooniverse:


Thursday, November 1, 2012


"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."

The Bagpipe Player

A Guitar Player

Clark Allen

An unknown girlfriend (the one in NYC)

Mistake in design/jealousy

We never learned his name, only that he made his living as a guitar player. He was never in one place very long, working in clubs up and down the East Coast, from New York to Miami. And he may have had a girlfriend in every one of the cities he played.

The girlfriend in New York City visited the doll-maker and commissioned the doll based on him.

That the doll-maker crafted the doll into a bagpipe player instead of a guitar player could be due to:

1] The doll-maker was not fluent in English.
2] The doll-maker was hard of hearing.
3] The doll-maker was old and senile.
4] The client had a nearly unintelligible accent.

The guitar player may have been married to a woman in Mexico City. She was a flamenco dance and his former partner in an act that worked some of the bars and clubs down there. And he probably never bothered to get a divorce before he abandoned her for a life in the United States.

The girlfriend in Manhattan probably found out about his deception and decided he wasn't worth such a nice gift as a doll in his likeness. (Personally I would have picked it up and when I saw that he was a bagpipe player, I would have sent it to him with a note attached: "I know you're married. Go blow yourself.")

Nightclub owner Clark Allen only had three TV shows, four roles, to his credit in Toobworld. Except for the T-Zone episode "Five Characters In Search Of An Exit", in each of them he is listed only as "Guitar Player".

  • 'Peter Gunn' - "The Coffin"
  • 'Peter Gunn' - "Mask For Murder"
  • 'Michael Shayne' - "A Shroud For Shayne"

[Today's entry in this series is dedicated to Joe Beninghof, who teaches guitar in Colorado.  He does NOT have a girl in every port because he got it right and married the perfect girl.]




'The Father Dowling Mysteries'

Ralph McInerny

Tom Bosley

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
'Father Dowling Mysteries' (also known as 'Father Dowling Investigates' in the UK) is an American television mystery series that aired from January 20, 1989 to May 2, 1991. Prior to the series, a TV movie aired on November 30, 1987. For its first season, the show was on NBC; it moved to ABC for its last two seasons. It is based on the adventures of the title character created by Ralph McInerny, in a series of mystery novels.

The series was produced by Viacom Productions (now known as CBS Television Studios).

Father Frank Dowling is a Catholic priest who continually stumbles over murders, abductions, and other high crimes in his hometown, Chicago, Illinois. He is assisted by Sister Stephanie "Steve" Oskowski, who does much of the legwork for Frank. Sister Steve is a streetwise nun who grew up in a rough housing project nearby, so she can hotwire a car and handle firearms with ease. She knows the language of the streets and converses in it fluently.

Father Philip Prestwick is the ladder-climbing assistant to the Archbishop, who just happens to drop in before meals, prepared by housekeeper Marie Murkin, who provides comic relief.

Father Dowling has a brother, Blaine, who, although they are different ages, looks exactly like him (also played by Tom Bosley). Blaine appeared in only three episodes: "The Face in the Mirror Mystery," "The Woman Scorned Mystery," and "The Fugitive Priest Mystery." Blaine Dowling is a thief and con artist who isn't above framing his brother for his crimes.

A famous catchphrase of Father Dowling is when he is recorded asking Father Phil: "Father Phil, could you take 10 o'clock Mass? I've got a murder to solve."

[Today's ASOTV showcase is dedicated to Father Robert Tucker of the St. Anthony of Padua parish in Litchfield, Ct., who once spared a quarter for an old altar boy......]


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Here's a Halloween entry in the collection of "The Numbers" from 'Lost', only this one comes to us from the sketch comedy dimension Skitlandia:

(From 'A Bit Of Fry And Laurie')

[Thanks to Rob Buckley.] 



"Mockingbird Lane" showed the dark side of the 'Munsters' mythos, but that's not how it was in the original series. Except for maybe Marilyn, each of them was a benign representation of their monstrous origins.

Herman may have been a bit thick, but at least he didn't have the brain of "Abby Normal" knocking about in his noggin. He was reasonably intelligent and only suffered through tantrums more than rampages.

Being born a werewolf, Eddie had far greater control over his condition than someone who was later bitten by a werewolf - like Quentin Collins, Daniel Osbourne, and George Sands.

Lily and Grandpa may have been vampires, but we never saw them draining anyone of blood. (Grandpa trying to bite Lily in the opening credits was probably just a momentary lapse in discipline.) They probably "lived" like the vampire detective in 'Moonlight' and the vampire who worked at the blood bank in an episode of 'Tales From The Crypt'. They availed themselves of blood supply donations.

(I've written about Grandpa and his contradictory life last Halloween. Here's a rerun.)



Wednesday's Child is full of woe.....

"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."

The Ballerina

Susan Harper

Susan Harrison

Mr. & Mrs. Harper

The death of Susan

The Harpers thought it might make for a nice 18th birthday present to give their daughter Susan a ballerina doll that looked like her.

Sadly, Susan was murdered by a masked mad man in the park, in the small-town New York suburb where she lived. The killer was a copycat, taking advantage of the original "crime" in which Susan was attacked in that same park.

The thing was.... Susan was never attacked in the first place. She faked it all just for the attention. And when the publicity began to fade, and instead revert back to Marjorie Stone, the popular girl in class, Susan killed Marjorie so that the attention would once again be hers alone. She hoped that Tom, the "big man on campus" who was going to be the prom king, might even ask her to the prom now that her rival Marjorie was dead.

After her death, Susan's parents could not bear to be reminded of her, and so they never went back into Manhattan for the doll.

'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' - "The Gloating Place"



So it's Halloween! And as far I know now - two days prior - I survived Hurricane Sandy. If not, then I guess you'll be seeing sporadic postings from me through New Year's Day (unless my family pulls the plug on my Blogger account.)

But since it's Halloween, it's time to make the official announcement of the October inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. And in keeping with tradition, that special someone has a connection to the Supernatural, the Monstrous, and/or all things dealing in Horror.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to present to you.....


Here's a quick history of Elvira, courtesy of Wikipedia:

In the late spring of 1981, six years after the death of Larry Vincent (who starred as host Sinister Seymour of a local Los Angeles weekend horror show called 'Fright Night'), show producers began the task of bringing the show back. Deciding to use a female host, producers 'sent out a casting call. Cassandra Peterson auditioned against 200 other horror hostess hopefuls and won the role. Producers left it up to her to create the role's image. She and her best friend, Robert Redding, came up with the sexy punk/vampire look after producers rejected her original idea to look like Sharon Tate in "The Fearless Vampire Killers".

What followed was 'Elvira's Movie Macabre', featuring a quick-witted Valley-girl-type character named Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. With heavily applied, pancake-horror make up and a towering black beehive wig to conceal Peterson's flame-red hair.

The Elvira character rapidly gained notoriety with her tight-fitting, low-cut black gown which showed ample cleavage. The movies featured on 'Elvira's Movie Macabre' were always B grade (or lower). Elvira reclined on a red Victorian couch, introducing and often interrupting the movie to lampoon the actors, the script and the editing.

Adopting the flippant tone of a California "Valley girl", she brought a satirical, sarcastic edge to her commentary. She reveled in dropping risqué double entendres and making frequent jokes about her display of cleavage. In an AOL Entertainment News interview, Peterson said, "I figured out that Elvira is me when I was a teenager. She's a spastic girl. I just say what I feel and people seem to enjoy it." Her campy humor, sex appeal, and good-natured self-mockery made her popular with late-night movie viewers as her popularity soared.

Elvira was a frequent guest on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' and other talk shows. She also produced a long-running series of Halloween-themed television commercials for Coors Light Beer and Mug Root Beer (her trademark cleavage was concealed for the Coors campaign). She appeared in guest roles on television dramas such as 'CHiPs', 'The Fall Guy' and 'Last Man Standing' and appeared on numerous awards shows as a presenter.

The Elvira character rapidly evolved from obscure cult figure to a lucrative brandname and "Mistress of all Media", spawning many products throughout the 1980s and 1990s including Halloween costumes, comic books, action figures, trading cards, pinball machines, Halloween decor, model kits, calendars, perfume and dolls. She has appeared on the cover of "Femme Fatales" magazine five times. Her popularity reached its zenith with the release of the feature film "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" (co-written by Peterson) in 1988.

Here's a list of some of her appearances in Toobworld:

"Last Man Standing" 
Last Halloween Standing (2011)

"Parker Lewis Can't Lose"
Boy Meets Girl II (1992)

"The Fall Guy" 
- October the 32nd (1985)
- October the 31st (1984)

- Things That Go Creep in the Night (1983)
- Rock Devil Rock (1982)

"NFL Monday Night Football"
- Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings (1996)
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos (1988)

"Space Ghost Coast to Coast"
Switcheroo (1996) … Elvira

Of course, I only cover Toobworld. But Elvira is the Queen of all Media, appearing in various worlds of the Multiverse. Not being one to be that knowledgeable in those areas of her "life", I'd like to direct you to the TVCU blog of my crossover comrade, Robert Wronski, who has examined Elvira's career in all its glory.

And so the TV Crossover Hall of Fame welcomes Elvira to its ranks, clasping her to our bosom just as we wish she would do the same for us....



Today's Halloween entry for the "ASOTV" showcase is dedicated to Mary Nabozny and Ivy Hurley, two big fans of Stephen King, and to Mark Thompson, who LOVES clowns.......



Stephen King

Tim Curry

The Multiverse
Earth Prime-Time
[Derry, Maine]

From Wikipedia:
"It" (also referred to as "Stephen King's IT") is a 1990 miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to transform itself into its prey's worst fears allowing it to exploit the phobias of its victims. It mostly takes the form of a sadistic, wisecracking clown called "Pennywise the Dancing Clown".

The main protagonists are "The Losers Club", or "The Lucky Seven", a group of social outcasts who discover Pennywise and vow to destroy him by any means necessary. The series takes place over two different time periods, the first when the Losers first discover Pennywise as children, and the second when they're called back as adults to defeat Pennywise, who has resurfaced.

It aired as a two-part television movie on November 18 and November 20, 1990 on ABC, and loosely follows the plot of the novel. The miniseries was filmed in New Westminster, British Columbia in late 1989. The film's all star cast includes Dennis Christopher, Annette O'Toole, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Michael Cole, Richard Masur, and Tim Curry as the evil Pennywise. Argentinian actress Olivia Hussey appears as Audra, Bill Denbrough's wife.

From the Stephen King Wiki:
It (also known as '''Pennywise'' or '"Bob Gray") apparently originated in a void containing and surrounding the Universe, a place referred to in the novel as the "Macroverse" (a concept similar to the later established Todash Darkness of the "Dark Tower Novels"). Its real name (if, indeed, It has one) is unknown—although at several points in the novel, It claims its true name to be Robert Gray—and is christened It by the group of children who later confront it.

Throughout the book, It is generally referred to as male; however, late in the book, the protagonists come to believe that It may possibly be female (due to Its manifestation as a large female spider). Despite this, Its true form is never truly comprehended. Its final physical body is that of an enormous spider; this is, however, the closest the human mind can get to approximating its actual form. Its natural form exists in a realm beyond the physical, which It calls the "deadlights".

Bill Denbrough comes dangerously close to seeing the deadlights, but successfully defeats It before this happens. As such, the deadlights are never seen, and Its true form outside the physical realm is never revealed, only described as writhing, destroying orange lights. Coming face to face with the deadlights drives any living being instantly insane (a common H. P. Lovecraft device). The only known person to face the deadlights and survive is Audra Phillips.

Its natural enemy is "The Turtle", another ancient Macroverse dweller who, eons ago, created our Universe and possibly others. The Turtle shows up again in King's series "The Dark Tower". The book suggests that It, along with the Turtle, are themselves creations of a separate, omnipotent creator referred to as "the Other". The Turtle and It are eternal enemies (creation versus consumption). It may in fact be either a twinner of or the actual one of the six greater demon elementals mentioned by Mia in "Song of Susannah", as the Spider is not one of the Beam Guardians. It arrived in our world in a massive, cataclysmic event similar to an asteroid impact, in the place that would, in time, become Derry, Maine.

Through the novel "It", some events are described through Its point of view, through which It describes himself as the "superior" being, with the Turtle as someone "close to his superiority" and humans as mere "toys". It describes that it prefers to kill and devour children, not by nature, rather because children's fears are easier to interpret in a physical form and thus children are easier to fill with terror, which It says is akin to marinating the meat. It is continually surprised by the children's victories over It and near the end, it begins to question if It is not as superior as It had once thought. However, It never believes that the individual children are strong enough to defeat It, only through "the Other" working through them as a group.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


"Clown, hobo, ballet dancer, bagpiper, and an Army major -
a collection of question marks.
Five improbable entities stuck together into a pit of darkness.
No logic, no reason, no explanation;
just a prolonged nightmare in which fear, loneliness,
and the unexplainable walk hand in hand through the shadows.
In a moment, we'll start collecting clues as to the whys, the whats, and the wheres.
We will not end the nightmare, we'll only explain it - because this is the Twilight Zone."

The Tramp

Mark Byron (Name is conjecture.)

Kelton Garwood

Mark Byron

Too Expensive and/or Memory Lapse

During the Great Depression, Mark Byron worked as a magician with a traveling circus which toured the country. However, this meant that he would be away from his wife and five year old son in New York City for a long period of time and that thought depressed him.

"Marko The Magnificent" with Tom Trimble and Pete Harris
On the night before he was to leave for the next leg of the circuit (in the Spring of 1933), Byron got drunk. He happened upon the doll-maker's shop and went in to order a special doll for his young son. He commissioned it to be in his likeness so that his son could have something tangible to remember him by.

The only problem was that a tuxedo for the doll would have made the doll too expensive. However, Byron also worked in that carnival as a back-up clown - he would perform his magic act early in the line-up and then join the main clowns Pete Harris and Tom Trimble for a series of routines to entertain the crowds.

Byron performed as a hobo clown, also known as a Tramp. But he instructed the doll-maker to leave the doll free of the clown make-up so that his son would have an unobstructed view of his Daddy's face.

Unfortunately, Byron sobered up the next morning as he rejoined the circus caravan and promptly forgot about the doll.

By the time he remembered about it, he was too far away from home. Not that it would have mattered, because he just wasn't bringing in enough money to pay the balance on such a "luxury" item. Most of his money he was already sending home to support his family.

When Mark Byron finally could afford to purchase the doll, he realized he might as well not bother in picking it up. His son was a surly pre-teen who had no interest in playing with dolls.  ("Action Figure" was not yet a term in vogue.)

In order to preserve his precarious paternal bond with his son, Byron quit the circus life on the road and came back to New York City to live. He got a job at a midway carnival (probably at Coney Island) as a magician. But in the meantime, his son was old enough by the 1950's to strike out on his own in Life. He headed to California, where he fell into the bohemian arts scene.

He tried his hand at being an abstract, expressionist painter, but was unable to find a patron in the Los Angeles area like Mrs. Van Martin was for Arthur Reynolds. It was during an altercation at a coffee-house with a patron that the son realized that not only was there no money in being a struggling painter, but that it could be dangerous as well.

Byron the Younger - who was known to his friends as "The Hermit" - turned his interests to beat poetry (nearly a decade too late) and fell into the crowd that followed the Beatles and rock and roll. He joined the entourage for the Standells and traveled with them back across the country to the New York area. There they rented out the Munster home in Mockingbird Heights where The Hermit recited his most famous poem. (At least, the only one we know about in Toobworld Central.)

This doll had been on the shelf far longer than the others.

As a magician, Mark Byron performed as Marko the Magnificent while with the carnival, and as Noryb the Great while with the Midway Carnival. (Noryb being his last name spelled backwards.)

The claim that he was a clown in the circus as well is my own suggestion. To keep his two characters separate, the clown would need a name different from Marko. Might I suggest Byro the Clown?

Mark Byron had that Cary Grant quality in which he looked ageless. Twenty years after being stranded by the circus near Walton's Mountain, West Virginia, he looked even better while performing as Noryb the Great. This could be due to the toll taken by life on the road.

Kelton Garwood also played Mark Byron's son, The Hermit. (Two for Tuesday!)

  • 'The Waltons' - "The Carnival"
  • 'Peter Gunn' - "Murder On The Midway"
  • 'Bachelor Father' - "Where There's A Will"
  • 'The Munsters' - "Far-Out Munsters"
  • 'Burke's Law' - "Who Killed Carrie Cornell"


[POST #8200!]