Saturday, September 20, 2014


It's likely will win the Toobits Award for the best commercial crossover because of their continuation of 'The Dukes Of Hazzard' storyline so many decades later.

But at the same time, they get the nod for the Worst Product Placement as well.

Twice in one week characters in TV shows extolled the virtues of Autotrader in the storyline, no matter how clunky the attempt to weave it in seamlessly.

First up: 'Rizzoli & Isles'

Boston Detective Frankie Rizzoli was considering a trade-in for his motorcycle to get a convertible instead.  When Detective Vince Korsak pointed out that a convertible would not be good in the cruel New England winters, Frankie reminded him that a motorcycle was even worse.  

Not too bad, with only the one screen shot of the website on his cell phone.

But a few days later on 'Royal Pains'......

Dr. Hank Lawson's sister Emma was looking through on her cell phone in hopes of scoring her first car.  She ended up getting a red convertible.  (Perhaps even the one Frankie had his eyes on!) got three mentions in that episode, plus two different screen shots of their website.  Hopefully the producers of that show got paid more than the showrunners of 'Rizzoli & Isles'.

My thanks to Bob Buonocore for bringing the 'Royal Pains' insertS to my attention!


Friday, September 19, 2014


The late Denny Miller, one of the Tarzans of the Cineverse, made two appearances on 'Gilligan's Island'.  In Season One he played surfer Duke Williams, who rode a wave for five days and then landed on the island.  Later he returned to the show as an actor who planned on using his experiences on the island for his screen test to play the lead in "Tongo the Ape Man".

We never learned the real name of that actor; the castaways only knew him as "Tongo".  So why can't we tidy things up by claiming that Duke and "Tongo" were one and the same?

The fact that those seven stranded castaways didn't see the resemblance between Duke and "Tongo" was already a Zonk that needed splainin.  Since I planned to disable that discrepancy anyway, why not take it that further step?

Duke Williams gained a lot of publicity from his marathon surfing (although he never mentioned the castaways once he got back.)  I think it might be reasonable to assume that he would cash in on that notoriety with book deals, public appearances, and yes, even a movie role or two.  He wouldn't be the first from that time period to capitalize on their fame in other fields by acting in the movies.  Mel Torme, Roy Orbison, the Beatles, and even farther back, Audie Murphy.  

And Duke Williams already knew the location of the island, so he probably saw it as the perfect site to stage his "audition".

But why didn't Gilligan and "all the rest" recognize the fact that "Tongo" was Duke Williams?

The Island from 'Lost' was not the only island in Toobworld with mysterious energies.  So many of the "identical cousins" of the castaways were drawn to that island; it seemed to affect satellites and space capsules so that they would crash on its shores; and plants unknown anywhere else on the planet seemed to thrive there.

One of these plants was the bush of "thinkberries" which gave people the ability to read the minds of others.  (Dried berries from this bush make an appearance in my Toobworld novel.)  So why couldn't there also be a bush of berries, or perhaps a new strain of vegetable or mushroom which when ingested would cause amnesia?  

When you consider plotlines about mind transference along with visits by rock bands, military dicators, and Japanese soldiers who think WWII was still going on, would such an amnesia-inducing food be so far-fetched?

In a never-seen adventure of the show just before the arrival of "Tongo", the castaways may have ingested such a food which gave them selective amnesia about the identiy of Duke Williams.  

With 'Gilligan's Island' being so unabashedly silly in their suspension of disbelief, I think this is a fairly reasonable splainin.....

But even if you hold fast to the belief that Duke and "Tongo" were two separate characters, I would hope you would at least entertain this theory of relateeveety - that both men were descended from a 'Wagon Train' scout named Duke Shannon.  (As far as I'm concerned, Duke Williams carried that name in memory of his grandfather.)

Submitted for your approval in memory of Denny Miller.

Good night and may God bless......

Thursday, September 18, 2014



From the IMDb: "In this episode the viewer discovers why Morse has a limp in later life. A storyline from the young Endeavour Morse to coincide with the real-life injury sustained by John Thaw and thus a physical element that Thaw brought to the character of Inspector Morse."

This type of situation always reminds me of James Doohan, who played Scotty on 'Star Trek'.  Doohan gave the middle finger to Hitler (as he put it) when he lost the digit during the Allied landing at Normandy.  But they never addressed it on 'Star Trek' - in fact they covered it up in one episode where Scotty had to lay his hand on a truth verification device by using a "stunt hand".  (As you can see from this screecap from "The Trouble With Tribbles", however, they weren't always successful.)

They should have addressed the issue when Scotty returned in "Relics", the 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode.  For over 70 years, Scotty had been in the "storage" of a recycling transporter beam.  When he was rescued, Scotty could have had a bit missing that couldn't be reconstituted and hence, the loss of his finger.....


Wednesday, September 17, 2014



After Grace's apartment had been burglarized, she moved in with Will.  The trouble was, Jack had "temporarily" moved in as well.  Having two such roommates was driving Will crazy and this was the breaking point......

(WILL is watching TV on the TV room couch when JACK runs in, grabs the remote, and changes the channel.)


What are-- What are you doing?

It's "Behind the Music" with Mariah Scarey.

I am right in the middle of "Rumpole of the Bailey." Don't just grab the remote!

I'm sorry. It was very wrong of me. 


What?! Where did you get that?

Ooh, look! This is the part where Mariah pretends not to hate Whitney.

Give me that! [WILL GRABS THE REMOTE FROM JACK AND CHANGES THE CHANNEL] We are going to watch "Rumpole of the Bailey."

Out of my way! Out of my way!  They're reattaching a woman's scalp on The Learning Channel!  Put it on!

Sorry, Grace. Will's watching "Bunghole up my Mainly."

It is "Rumpole of the Bailey," and seeing as I have the remotes, that's what we're watching.


Grace! You've seen this thing, like, 5 times.

I know, but it's hard to watch the whole thing. Each time I watch, I see a little-- [REACTING TO THE TV] Whoa!


No, no! We are watching this!




Nan knew just how Will felt.....


"Leave me alone to enjoy my Rumpole."
Mary "Nan" Ellis
'The Cafe'

[A pile of books was donated to Cyril's Cafe in Weston, including a gardening book by Alan Titchmarsh and several volumes of stories about "Rumpole Of The Bailey".]

Horace Rumpole (as well as his twin brother known as Number Two and their younger sister Mrs. Warbus) share the same TV dimension as Will Truman and the patrons of Cyril's.  So the splainin for this potential Zonk is that old stand-by - biographies.

John Mortimer chronicled the life and career of Horace Rumpole as a barrister.  What we saw on our screens were not re-enactments of Rumpole's life, but that actual life played out which Mortimer then wrote up in a series of books (much in the same way Dr. Watson fictionalized the life of his friend Sherlock Holmes.)  

As it is resignedly accepted at Toobworld Central that eventually everybody in that world will have a TV show made about them, these stories were then dramatized for television.  Here in the real world, people have had TV shows made of their lives while they were still alive - Jerry Seinfeld, James Van Der Beek, and David Toma.  So in Toobworld, Rumpole could be added to that mix.  

These are the only two TV series I've found which make references to 'Rumpole Of The Bailey' and neither one is very specific on details.  For alls I know, Horace Rumpole might be played by a different actor other than Leo McKern in the TV show within a TV show.  

What would be great is if that actor was a fictional one to be found only in the TV Universe!

I would have suggested Larry Summers who starred in 'Pulaski'.  His show was on the air over twenty years ago, and he should look the part by now.  But then, he was an American working in a British TV show.  And the meta-televersion of Rumpole should be English through and through.  Not that it probably matters - the way he drank, Larry Summers is likely dead by now.

So instead I'm going to suggest Alex Conway, the star of ITV's 'Eddie Weary' back in the late 1980s.  Twenty-three years on since he was last seen on the TV, Conway should be perfect for the Rumpole role....

  • 'Rumpole Of The Bailey'
  • 'Will & Grace'
  • 'The Cafe'
  • 'Pulaski The TV Detective'
  • "The World Of Eddie Weary"
  • 'The Prisoner'
  • 'Inspector Morse'
  • 'Seinfeld'
  • 'Toma'
  • 'Don't Trust The Bitch In Apartment 23'

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Death has been awfully busy these last two months when it comes to celebrities.  (I realize It is even busier when it comes to the general population of this old world.)  Outside of a few 'Sesame Street' videos, I haven't even marked the passing of Robin Williams.  Not that I didn't try - I wrote a piece about his breakthrough character of Mork from Ork and how 'Mork & Mindy' could never get a reunion special or TV movie without a major recasting.  But just as I was finishing it up, I hit a key that erased it all from the screen.  And I'm not one who enjoys rewriting from scratch; the creative spark is gone.

There are a few deaths I do wish to give a tip of the Hat Squad to: Denny Miller, Richard Kiel, Angus Lennie because of some interesting televisiological point about them... and I do plan on revisiting that Mork post in honor of Williams.  But those are all about the characters they played and not the men themselves.  

There is another, however, who was known more for his own contributions to television, a broadcasting legend in the field of news reporting.  Bruce Morton made his mark during the time when CBS was the gold standard for television news reportage, a class act in the field and in the studio.  (He would later go on to continue his fine work with CNN.)

But I don't know what I could say without sounding maudlin or simplistic with platitudes or just stating the facts:
  • Joined CBS in 1964 after working for ABC news
  • Six time Emmy winner, including one for his coverage of the William Calley court martial
  • 29 years with CBS, 13 with CNN
  • Anchored the CBS Morning News beginning in 1975
  • Highlights would include his work reporting on elections and the space program
Instead I'll just share these comments from my brother Bill, a newspaper editor in Connecticut:

I cried a little bit over this one. He was one of my faves. Always right on. Rather recognized his talent and had him at his elbow for elections. 

Of course Fox News reported him as being a blatant liberal. Well, badge of honor in my book. CBS was the Roman Empire of broadcast journalism once and Bruce Morton was one of its best centurions. 

The only thing I can contribute is my usual salute......

Good night and may God bless.

Monday, September 15, 2014


"I'm scared of the big things:

Cancer, terrorism....

Ben Affleck being a lousy Batman



Everybody on Earth Prime-Time knew about the "Caped Crusader" of Gotham City by 2014.  By that time he had been retired from the crime-fighting game and his secret identity of Bruce Wayne was no longer a secret.  

Even before he had hung up his cowl and cape, Batman had a TV show produced about him, probably by the secret organization known as UNReel, in order to maintain some semblance of plausible deniability.  Because of this, people knew about the Batcave and the Batmobile, the Bat signal and the many Bat-climbs.

This TV show, similar to the one available in the Trueniverse, also starred Adam West as the Batman.

After he retired as Batman, Bruce Wayne sold the rights to his life story to Hollywood.  So after the 1970s, any mention of Batman by other TV characters probably is a reference to the movie versions, unless otherwise specified as being about Adam West.

The Bruce Waynes from the movies were the same as in the Trueniverse movies - Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, and now thanks to Johnny  we have confirmation that Toobworld will also have a movie starring Ben Affleck as the Batman.....

BCnU, Boys (and Girls) Wonder!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


'The Mod Squad'
"A Time For Hyacinths"

On her first night at a beachside cottage for a recuperative vacation, Julie Barnes was watching an old movie on TV.  Although she didn't know it at first, the actor in the film with the rifle was the same man who arranged for her to rent that cottage; his name was Castor.  Later she would meet - or think she met - the other actor, John Wentworth.


Actually, the movie seen was a clip from "His Kind Of Woman", a film noir from 1951 (the same year in which John Wentworth supposedly died.)  It starred Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Charles McGraw, Tim Holt, and Raymond Burr, with supporting help from Jim Backus and Phil Van Zandt (a Stooges ensemble player).  Also in the cast were plenty of great character actors: Tol Avery, King Donovan, Anthony Caruso, Robert Cornthwaite, Paul Frees (the man of 1000 voices), Charles Horvath, Mickey Simpson, Peter Brocco, and Mamie Van Doren.  Plus Mike Lally - the actor who appeared in more 'Columbo' episodes than any other actor (excluding Peter Falk!)

It is unknown if "His Kind Of Woman" actually exists in Toobworld.  These clips were the only time the film was referenced in a fictional setting, and as I mentioned, they were supposed to be from a movie to be found only in Toobworld.  Actors like Mitchum, Holt, and Backus probably had nothing to do with this production.  

Standing on its own, it would appear that the character played by Vincent Price was the good guy and McGraw's Castor (playing Tompkins) was the bad guy.  In "His Kind Of Woman", McGraw was one of Raymond Burr's henchmen and apparently the narrator of the movie.  (Dying remembrance?  Confession to the cops?)  Vincent Price was Mark Cardigan, a Hollywood actor and Jane Russell's lover... until Mitchum shows up.