Thursday, July 17, 2014


That's what happened to Ozzie and Harriet last week.

Ozzie and Harriet?  Who's that?

David and Ricky's parents.

I don't think I know them.

'The Patty Duke Show'
"Patty Meets The Great Outdoors"

The televersion of Ozzie Nelson led a different life than did his Trueniverse inspiration.  On Earth Prime (our world), Nelson was a famous bandleader who had a successful run on radio and then television with a show about his real life family - wife Harriet (who was also the singer in his orchestra), and sons David and Ricky.  But in Earth Prime-Time, the main dimension of the TV Universe, he worked in an office.  (It was never specified exactly what he did, but the popular conjecture was that he worked for an insurance company.)

And yet for some reason, a TV show was made about the Nelson family......

Here is a list of some of the TV shows that mentioned Ozzie and Harriet:
  • 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
  • 'Sanford and Son'
  • 'Stockard Channing in Just Friends'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'The A-Team'
  • 'ALF'
  • 'Full House'
  • 'China Beach'
  • 'Law & Order'
  • 'Married with Children'
  • 'Designing Women'
  • 'ER'
  • 'That '70s Show'
  • 'The Red Green Show'
  • 'The Sopranos'
  • 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch'
  • 'NCIS'
  • 'Weeds'
  • 'Supernatural'
  • 'Sons of Anarchy'
  • 'Life Unexpected'
  • 'Mad Men'
  • 'Shameless'

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that the Toobworld version of 'The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet' was not a sitcom, but one of the first "reality" documentary shows, pre-dating 'An American Famly' with the Louds.  The series was released on DVD and NCIS Agent DiNozzo owned the "Best Of" collection.  We know the TV show was around in the 1960s, as it was mentioned in an episode of 'Mad Men'.  

But I think in this case regarding 'The Patty Duke Show', we should be referrring to the Nelsons who lived in Toobworld and not to their TV avatars.

When Mrs. Lane compared Richard Harrison's parents to Ozzie and Harriet and something they did last week, I believe it was an actual reference to the real Nelsons and not to some plot point from the TV show based on their lives.

How would Natalie know what the "real" Ozzie and Harriet had done if it had not yet been filmed and shown on TV?

If the TV show about the Nelsons was a "reality" documentary, perhaps something they did the week before was so noteworthy that it made the news even before the documentary footage could be edited and broadcast.  Or maybe Natalie knew because she had actually witnessed it herself.

But the Nelsons lived in Los Angeles and the Lanes lived in Brooklyn Heights.  Never the twain shall meet, unless there was a reason for one of the families to travel to the other side of the country.

And I think I have the splainin!

This episode of 'The Patty Duke Show' took place in 1965.  The family tries camping in their own backyard in Brooklyn Heights, so it has to be warm enough.  (Everybody is seen outside without jackets while the young man painting the neighbors' garage (Hank, played by James Brolin) is in short sleeves.

But it's not too late into the summer, as the Lane family was originally planning on a vacation at the beach later in the year.

I'm going to say it's early June, 1965.

And the reason why Natalie Lane may have crossed paths with Ozzie and Harriet Nelson?

The Nelson Family had traveled to New York in order to go to the World's Fair (which wouldn't close until October of that year.)

Somewhere in that crowd,
the Lanes bump into the Nelsons......
And the weekend that they chose to make the trip was the same weekend that the Lanes went there as well.  We just didn't get to see it happen on either of their two TV series.

And that's where Natalie Lane saw Ozzie and Harriet do something that would later remind her of the parents of Patty's boyfriend Richard.

As to why Martin Lane had no clue about Ozzie and Harriet even if they did have their own TV show?  It does seem rather odd, considering he was an editor at a major newspaper.  However, my brother is also an editor for a newspaper and it was months before he finally found out that U Thant had died.  Just because one is in the news business, that doesn't mean that one is going to be conversant with everything that's possibly newsworthy.

I'll just leave it at that.

And at some point in the 1960s, a TV series would be made about the Lane family as well.  Joan Holloway watched an episode of it on 'Mad Men'.  But at least there I can see the hook - identical cousins!  It's perfect for a TV show!

Now all this talk about Ozzie Nelson has me craving some Rocky Road ice cream!


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