Saturday, March 16, 2013


It's time to pay the bills.....

And who better to help us than the man who's graced this page over the last week?


To celebrate International Women's Day the other day, Fox 61 in my home state of Connecticut showed this news item:

The station has since apologized for the perceived sleight and have claimed that it was an accident. I still think it was intentional, those jerks. And I feel sorry for that newswoman - you can hear the hesitancy in her voice once she realized what was playing on the screen......

But it all reminded of this moment from one of my Super Six TV shows, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show':


Walt Kelly was so incensed by the TV special made by Chuck Jones from his beloved "Pogo", that he decided to make his own cartoon version.....

For the behind-the-scenes story, click here.




From Wikipedia:
Dagmar (born Virginia Ruth Egnor, November 29, 1921 – October 9, 2001) was an American actress, model and television personality of the 1950s. As a statuesque, busty blonde, she became the first major female star of television, receiving much press coverage during that decade.

In 1950, when Lewis was hired by Jerry Lester for NBC's first late-night show 'Broadway Open' House (1950–52), he renamed her Dagmar. Lester devised the name as a satirical reference following the huge success on television of the TV series 'Mama'  (1949–57), in which the younger sister, Dagmar Hansen, was portrayed by Robin Morgan. As Dagmar, Lewis was instructed to wear a low-cut gown, sit on a stool and play the role of a stereotypical dumb blonde. With tight sweaters displaying her curvy 5' 8" figure (measuring 42"-23"-39"), her dim-bulb character was an immediate success, soon attracting much more attention than Lester. 

Lewis quickly showed that regardless of appearances she was quite bright and quick-witted. She appeared in sketches, and Lester made occasional jokes about her "hidden talents." Her appearances created a sensation, leading to much press coverage and a salary increase from $75 to $1,250. With Dagmar getting all the attention, Lester walked off his own show in May 1951, and Dagmar carried on as host. On July 16, 1951, she was featured on the front cover of Life, and the show came to an end one month later.

Dagmar became one of the leading personalities of early 1950s live television, doing sketch comedy on Milton Berle's 'Texaco Star Theater', 'The Bob Hope Show' and other shows. On June 17, 1951, she appeared on the 'Colgate Comedy Hour' with host Eddie Cantor and guests Milton Berle, Phil Foster and Jack Leonard. In 1951, she made a TV guest appearance with Frank Sinatra, which prompted Columbia Records producer Mitch Miller to record a novelty duet with Frank and Dagmar, "Mama Will Bark". That same year, she was featured in a Life cover story with Alfred Eisenstaedt's photo of her on the July 16, 1951 issue. For the interior photo essay, Life photographers followed her to rehearsals and accompanied her on a vacation back to her home town in West Virginia.

In 1952, she hosted the short-lived, prime time 'Dagmar's Canteen', in which she sang, danced, interviewed servicemen and performed comedy routines. The basic premise of the show was that servicemen from the audience were given roles to act alongside Dagmar in sketches. One of Dagmar's sisters, Jean, was a member of the cast of 'Dagmar's Canteen'. Jean, who had previously worked as a chorus girl on Broadway, also served as Dagmar's secretary, handling her sister's fan mail, which sometimes soared to 8000 letters a month. When her television show ended, Dagmar performed in Las Vegas shows and summer stock theater. Liberace spoke glowingly of her in an interview, stating that she had given him his big break as her accompanist early in his career. 

In the 1950s, Dagmar was a regular panelist on the NBC game show, 'Who Said That?', along with H. V. Kaltenborn, Deems Taylor, Frank Conniff, Peggy Ann Garner, and Boris Karloff. She occasionally made guest appearances on such shows as 'What's My Line?', 'The Mike Wallace Interview' and 'Masquerade Party' (disguised as John L. Lewis) and during the 1960s she appeared on 'Hollywood Squares', 'The Mike Douglas Show' and other shows.

'You'll Never Get Rich'
"Bilko's Television Idea"

In the closing moments of 'The Buddy Bickford Show', Dagmar appeared with the host to do a few sketches.....


Friday, March 15, 2013


According to Aunt Clara in the 'Bewitched' episode "The Corn Is As High As A Guernsey's Eye", Endora, Enchantra, and Hagitha tried to convince her that she should surrender her powers and transform herself into something useful. Aunt Clara gave it a try as a potted plant (but started wilting) and Samantha later thought she had turned herself into a cow.

I don't know if this a rule in the witches' handbook, but we have seen witches and warlocks changed into objects - like an upholstered chair and a Colonial bed-warmer. And outside that series, I think the home of Bartlett Finchley, as seen in "A Thing About Machines" (an episode of 'The Twilight Zone') was full of electrical devices that had once been witches and warlocks.

Now, you've probably noticed that Buddy Hackett's mug graces the top of this post.  Buddy Hackett never appeared on 'Bewitched', but somewhere out there in TV Land he must have portrayed a warlock who got so old that his powers were on the fritz. So he changed himself into a car.

The late comedian provided the voice for a sporty little vehicle in an episode of 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch':

No splainin was given as to why the car could talk, but Sabrina did buy it for five bucks over in the witches' dimension. So what else could be the reason as to why it could talk?

Don't bother answering; I'm sticking with this splainin...... Okay, fine! Yes, it could have been reinCARnation a la Agatha Crabtree in 'My Mother The Car', but I'm still sticking with my version!

  • If his warlock did dress in a Nehru jacket and love beads, it's a cinch that he was hanging around more with Serena than with Samantha.
  • His license plate was "530 V8C".  It might be a clue to his identity.  
  • "530" could be his age at transformation; the year of his birth; or the year of his death.  
  • Had the second part been "VC8", we could claim that the letters were his initials and that he was the eighth to bear that name.
  • But "V8C"?  No clue.
  • Unless....  Maybe it was supposed to be sounded together, as if his name had been "Vaetsi".
I like the look of that......




From Wikipedia:
Ruta Lee (born May 30, 1936) is a Canadian-born actress and dancer who appeared as one of the brides in the film "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". She is remembered for her guest appearance in a 1963 episode of Rod Serling's 'The Twilight Zone' and as a semi-regular on a number of game shows, including the 'Hollywood Squares', 'What's My Line?', and as Alex Trebek's co-host on 'High Rollers'.

'The Lucy Show'
"Lucy Meets The Berles"

Mrs. Carmichael overheard Milton Berle rehearse a love scene with Ruta Lee in which their characters were plotting behind the wife's back. Lucy immediately believed that it was actually happening and she decided to get revenge for the sake of Mrs. Berle.


Thursday, March 14, 2013



Since we gained a new Pope on Wednesday, I thought the League of Themselves showcase should feature the greatest Catholic cleric in Toobworld.....


From Wikipedia:
Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" - a major step towards beatification - so he is now referred to as "Venerable".

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966 to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport, Wales.

For 20 years he hosted the night-time radio program "The Catholic Hour" (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting 'Life Is Worth Living' (1951–1957). Sheen's final presenting role was on the syndicated 'The Fulton Sheen Program' (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier 'Life is Worth Living' show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, the only personality appearing on the DuMont Network ever to win a major Emmy award.

Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network's Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.

In 1951 he began a weekly television program on the DuMont Television Network titled 'Life Is Worth Living'. Filmed at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City, the program consisted of the unpaid Sheen simply speaking in front of a live audience without a script or cue cards, occasionally using a chalkboard.

The show, scheduled in a graveyard slot on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m., was not expected to challenge the ratings giants Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra, but did surprisingly well. Berle joked, "He uses old material, too", and observed that "[i]f I'm going to be eased off the top by anyone, it's better that I lose to the One for whom Bishop Sheen is speaking." Sheen responded in jest that people should start calling him "Uncle Fultie".

Life and Time magazine ran feature stories on Bishop Sheen. The number of stations carrying Life Is Worth Living jumped from three to fifteen in less than two months. There was fan mail that flowed in at a rate of 8,500 letters per week. There were four times as many requests for tickets than could be fulfilled. Admiral, the sponsor, paid the production costs in return for a one minute commercial at the opening of the show and another minute at the close. In 1952, Sheen won an Emmy Award for his efforts, accepting the acknowledgment by saying, "I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John." Time called him "the first 'televangelist'", and the Archdiocese of New York could not meet the demand for tickets.

One of his best-remembered presentations came in February 1953, when he forcefully denounced the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. Sheen gave a dramatic reading of the burial scene from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, substituting the names of Caesar, Cassius, Mark Antony, and Brutus with those of prominent Soviet leaders Stalin, Lavrenty Beria, Georgy Malenkov, and Andrey Vyshinsky. He concluded by saying, "Stalin must one day meet his judgment." The dictator suffered a stroke a few days later and died within a week.

The show ran until 1957, drawing as many as 30 million people on a weekly basis. In 1958, Sheen became national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, serving for eight years before being appointed Bishop of Rochester, New York, on October 26, 1966. He also hosted a nationally-syndicated series, 'The Fulton Sheen Program', from 1961 to 1968 (first in black and white and then in color). The format of this series was essentially the same as 'Life Is Worth Living'.

'Life Is Worth Living'
'The Fulton Sheen Program'

BCnU, Amen!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I bet you didn't know the Pope had to be a dentist as well..... (The Pope may be infallible, but CNN sure isn't!)


The televersion of Buddy Hackett must have been a very influential comedian and right from the very start of his career. So much so that other young comedians of that era who bore a passing resemblance to Hackett not only patterned their acts after him, but they apparently underwent plastic surgery to enhance their resemblance to Buddy.

It must have been worth it, because each of them became very successful.

But it wasn't just comedians who wanted to look like Buddy Hackett. There were two others who had their own reasons to be mistaken for the former Catskills tummler.

Here's a rundown of those TV characters:


'Make Room For Daddy'
"Fugitive Father"

Buddy Bruno took his emulation of Buddy Hackett even further, by adopting the comic's nickname as well. This bordered on identity theft, but it looks like the show biz hierarchy of the early 1960's accepted the practice since Buddy Bruno was a good friend of Danny Williams, the nightclub entertainer. In fact, Danny arranged for Buddy, a recent widower who was on the road most of the year, to headline at the club for two weeks while the Williams family took a vacation. But this made Buddy a target for the NYC child welfare services because his life on the road was not considered to be in the best interests of his little daughter, Barbara.

'Quincy, M.E.'
"Snake Eyes" Parts 1 & 2

Ronnie Fletcher was playing a mountain resort near Reno during a coroners' convention back in the 1970's. But a contagious outbreak left the resort quarantined and Fletcher did not take that at all well. Several times he tried to break free and escape. As it turned out, his panic was unfounded as the crisis was proven to be a deliberate man-made hoax and there was no threat that the contagion would spread.

'Murder, She Wrote'
"No Laughing Murder"

Murray Gruen was one half of the comedy team Gruen & Howard, partnered with the suave singer-comedian Mack Howard. But their partnership ended when their friendship soured over accusations of theft between the two. Over the next twenty years, Howard became the host of 'WeekNight', a successful late night talk show, while Gruen scrounged to reclaim his former glory as a nightclub comic. He bought himself a mountain lodge in the Catskills which he hoped to transform into a venue for himself and that's where an unwelcome reunion between the two former partners was held. (Their children, who had grown up together, were going to marry.) But it turned to tragedy when Murray was stabbed in the back (not fatally) and then his agent was found hanged in the pantry. Novelist Jessica Fletcher, who knew both families somehow, determined that the agent's death was murder, not suicide.

'McMillan & Wife'
"Reunion In Terror"

Police Commissioner Stuart McMillan's college football team held its reunion in San Francisco but it turned to tragedy when somebody started killing off the members of the team. Comic Joey Germaine had been the waterboy/equipment manager for the team and while he was in town, he volunteered his time to help Sally McMillan's charity by performing his act.

And now for those two TV characters who were not comedians, but still wanted to look like Buddy Hackett......

'Here's Lucy'
"Lucy And The Stolen Stole"

Barton is one citizen of Toobworld who did not get a Buddy Hackett facelift in order to further his own career as a comedian. Barton was a fence who figured that if his similarity to Hackett could be enhanced, then victims would be describing the star of "The Love Bug" to police sketch artists instead of to him.  Eventually it didn't matter. No amount of cunning and deception could have protected him from the primal force that was Lucille Carmichael....

'The Danny Thomas Hour'
"It's Greek To Me"

We know that the pan-dimensional beings who passed themselves off as the demi-gods of ancient Greece were capable of altering their appearances. This was proven by the God of Lightning, Zeus himself, within the framework of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' and 'Young Hercules'. Thanks to that recasting, we can apply that rule to all the appearances of the demi-gods in other TV shows, movies, and commercials - thus keeping them all together in Earth Prime-Time.

But why Zeus would want to look like Buddy Hackett....?
Here's the plotline for this special episode, courtesy of the Three Stooges fan site:

Against the wishes of her father Zeus (Buddy Hackett), Aphrodite (Juliet Prowse) has no wish to marry Apollo (Vic Damone) and is bored with life on Mt. Olympus. Wishing to romance a mortal, she travels to Earth and becomes enamoured of Danny Thomas. Whisking him to the mount of the gods, Zeus is angered and places Danny on trial. In order to prove his worth to Aphrodite, Danny is sent on a quest for the Golden Fleece, and if unsuccessful, he will be put to death.

Aphrodite snatched Danny out of an airplane, and when the adventure was over he discovered it had all been a dream. Or was it? I think it really happened, with the musical numbers due to intervention by Mr. Sweet the demon from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' (and member of the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame), and that Danny was led to believe it was just a dream.

Nothing in any of these shows mentioned the use of plastic surgery, but it does make for a nice splainin as to why so many TV characters resembled Buddy Hackett. Of course, it doesn't take into account at least three men from the wild, wild West who looked like the comic, nor why a dinosaur and a car sounded like him. Just a fluke of tele-genetics I'd say.......




'L.A. Law'
"Hackett Or Pack It"

Roxanne helps out her ex-husband, Dave Meyer, with financial backing and a celebrity, Buddy Hackett, for his new "Fetal Phone," product he's mailing out for a spot on a shopping channel.

Roxanne convinces comedian Buddy Hackett to appear in an infomercial about a device that allows a pregnant woman to communicate with her unborn fetus.

The picture is from the issue of USA Today which announced Hackett's death. It's attributed to 'L.A. Law', but I can't verify that.  (However, the teddy bears in the background seem to suggest that it is.....)

This episode (7.22) marked the departure of cast members Sheila Kelley and Susan Ruttan.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Toobworld Central asserts that Agent 99's real name is Mandy Stephenson (from an episode of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.') and that she used the alias of Lauren Holden while she was a United States senator and having a once-a-year fling with a former Red Sox player (as seen in an episode of 'Cheers').

Just an O'Bservation - It was nice that 99 was empowered with the role of senator when the series was revived, but it didn't make any sense. Nobody gets elected to such a major office without being thoroughly vetted by the press and by their opponents. Everything in her past would have come out - her career as a spy, her affair with Sam Malone.

What they should have done was made her a National Security Advisor instead.


HAPPY 80th, 99!

Today is the 80th birthday of Barbara Feldon, the actress best known for playing Agent 99 in 'Get Smart', two sequel TV movies, and in the 1990s TV show sequel. (99 and her husband Maxwell Smart were inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in April of 2002, the year of the duos.)

I wanted to make sure I marked the occasion on the actual day... because I would hate to have "missed it by thismuch".......

To celebrate this milestone of a birthday, here are a few clips celebrating Ms. Feldon's career in television:

All the best for many more years to come from all of us - er, me - at Toobworld Central!




'The Joey Bishop Show'
"My Buddy, My Buddy"

A prank phone call in the middle of the night alerts Joey and Ellie that Buddy Hackett is lurking. He's also in town, arriving at the Barnes' front door the next morning with jokes in his heart, and mischief on his mind. After Hackett appears on Joey's show wearing long underwear, Joey launches a revenge joke that backfires, with Danny Thomas arrested for car theft.

Cast: Joey Bishop (Joey Barnes), Abby Dalton (Ellie Barnes), Joe Besser (Mr. Jillson), Corbett Monica (Larry Corbett), Buddy Hackett (Himself), Danny Thomas (Himself), Milton Frome, Mel Bishop (Policemen)

"Joey And Buddy Hackett Have A Luau"
A visit from Buddy Hackett means a new round of practical jokes. The Barnes' dinner party for Joey's sponsor goes awry when they discover that Buddy hired movers to clear out the apartment, and arranged to have it redecorated as a Hawaiian village.

Cast: Joey Bishop (Joey Barnes), Abby Dalton (Ellie Barnes), Joe Besser (Mr. Jillson), Mary Treen (Hilda), Corbett Monica (Larry Corbett), Matthew David Dalton-Smith (Joey Jr.), Buddy Hackett (Himself), Mel Bishop, Karl Redcoff (Movers), Peter Leeds (Mr. Montgomery), Laura Gile, Mary Benoit, Myrna Ross, Allan Ray, Paul Power (Luau guests)

The synopses are courtesy of the Three Stooges fan site.

Two episodes, ergo - Two for Tuesday!


Monday, March 11, 2013


Today's League of Themselves post served as the lead-in to the March induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. In the last couple of years, we've tried to maintain March as the month in which the entrant is a member of the League of Themselves, and we promised back in January that this would be our inductee:

Here's a list of the TV shows in which he portrayed himself:
  • 'LateLine'
  • 'Just Shoot Me'
  • 'L.A. Law'
  • 'Dan Raven'
  • 'Ferris Bueller'
  • 'Sword Of Justice'
  • 'The Joey Bishop Show'
Plus, he hosted the revamp of 'You Bet Your Life' and served as the spokesman in the Tuscan Pudding Pops blipverts. And this doesn't even take into account his many appearances on talk shows, variety programs, and awards shows. (Of course, his starring role as 'Stanley' and his many guest star roles in dramas and sitcoms as other characters don't count toward his requirements. Not that it mattered, since we had more than was needed.

So here's a tip of the hat from Toobworld Central to Buddy Hackett!

(We'll be featuring more Buddy Hackett material over the next couple of days.....)




'Dan Raven'
"The Mechanic"

While appearing at a nightclub in Hollywood, Buddy overheard the conversation of a couple of underworld thugs. It took Lt. Dan Raven to get him out of trouble.....


Sunday, March 10, 2013



From ABC News:
Dianna Hanson, the 24-year-old intern killed by a lion inside an enclosure at a big cat sanctuary in California, died of a broken neck, a Fresno County coroner revealed today.

The coroner said that Hanson died instantly and that the 4-year-old male African lion named Cous Cous caused additional wounds to the woman's body after her death.

The body of the 500-pound lion, shot dead after killing Hanson, is now at a vet facility in Tulare County awaiting a necropsy to determine what may have caused the fatal attack.

Hanson was two months into an internship program at the Cat Haven in Dunlap, a small town in Fresno County near King's Canyon National Park, when she was killed.

I come away from this wondering - why was Ms. Hanson alone when she was an intern? Was she responsible for the cage being partially opened?

So why am I sharing this at Inner Toob?

Cous Cous had his moment in Toobworld as kind of a reality star. Three years ago as a cub, he made an appearance on 'Ellen':

His breed is extinct in the wild and now the world is one short.

It's a sad story all around.



It's time to pay the bills......

I was lucky enough to have Chuck McCann (who plays Oliver Hardy in this blipvert) accept my friend request on Facebook. I realize plenty of celebrities do so to expand their fan base, but Mr. McCann has either contacted me or responded to my comments on several occasions, so it's not just a publicity machine to him.

I'm also the proud owner of his book, the "Let's Have Fun Scrapbook", and an autographed copy to boot! It has a forward by Billy Crystal and may still contain a DVD as well. (You better check the details from Tally Productions.) It's available at Amazon and you can check it out at this link.

As to the content of the commercial? The only TV that Laurel and Hardy actually did themselves would be their appearance on 'This Is Your Life'. So should these two avatars be considered part of the main Toobworld as well?

Personally, I'm thinking Skitlandia is an honorable home for them.......




From Wikipedia:
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and large American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957), they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. They made over 100 films together, initially two-reelers (short films) before expanding into feature length films in the 1930s. Their films include "Sons of the Desert" (1933), the Academy Award-winning short film "The Music Box" (1932), "Babes in Toyland" (1934), and "Way Out West" (1937).

Hardy's catchphrase, "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", is still widely recognized.

'This Is Your Life'
"Stan Laurel And Oliver Hardy"

This marked the only true TV appearance for the duo of comedy legend.