Saturday, March 7, 2015


"Batman" comic books have changed so much since the 1966 TV series was on the air. Darker, more violent, and always adding in details that were never even dreamed of for the show. For instance, the revelation of the Riddler's name as Edward Nigma. (Of course nowadays they seem to be peddling back from that one. I mean, really - E. Nigma? The splainin now is that it was a very contrived alias.)

But the Toobworld Dynamic doesn't have to adhere to those enhancements that came after the fact. Currently, 'Gotham' has just begun its depiction of the Joker's origins - whether it's in line with what is considered canon in the comic books, I don't know. But I do know that the identity of the Joker and how he came to look like that never came up in the original TV show, so I'm not beholden to use it. For the benefit of the Toobworld Dynamic, the Joker was actually Victor Gervais, AKA Krispin Kinsey, which links 'Batman' to both 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and 'Get Smart' thanks to the three roles being played by Cesar Romero. 

The Penguin's true identity was never revealed either, and for years I have resisted "Oswald Cobblepot" as the stupidest name ever coined for a character. That is, until 'Gotham' suggested that Cobblepot is an Americanized version of his mid-European family name of Kapelputz. I can live with that. However, I think Burgess Meredith's Penguin would have changed it in order to have a sound as "sophisticated" as his attire, so that one of his aliases from the 1966 movie (absorbed into the TV Universe) - P. N. Gwynn became his legal name.

As for the previously mentioned Riddler? Frank Gorshin was playing murderer Lou Rydell who must have escaped from an insane asylum (from an episode of 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour'.)   Somebody in the asylum must have mispronounced his name of Rydell as Riddler and it stuck.  And when John Astin briefly assumed the nom de crime... well, he was actually Gomez Addams! (And you should know where he comes from!)

This all brings me around to the location of Gotham City and where it can be found in the continental United States of Toobworld.....

I've seen several references to Gotham City being found in New Jersey, most prominent of which would be the Atlas of DC Comics from the 1990s. (And Metropolis would be close by, located in Delaware.) But that wouldn't work for the main Toobworld and it's the TV show itself which negates that idea, not just some preferred theory of my own.

In the Bookworm story, this van showed up on the bridge leading into Gotham City:
Forget about the Chrysler Building showing up there in the background - it's a common practice in Toobworld for architecture to be repeated elsewhere. The important point is painted there on the side of the van - the call letters for that TV station.

Any TV station that began with the letter "K" would be found west of the Mississippi River. Eastwards, they all begin with "W". And so this couldn't be New Jersey, it has to be somewhere in the Western United States.

Next we have to look at a few key scenes from the 1966 movie, which as I've stated before, has been absorbed into the TV Universe. At one point, Batman had trouble trying to get rid of a bomb on the waterfront. I suppose arguments could be mounted that Gotham was situated on the shores of one of the mighty rivers transecting America, or perhaps one of the Great Lakes.

But then the Caped Crusader is attacked by a shark!

Batman v Shark.2

So it has to be ocean front property on the West Coast. Gotham City must be located in California.

And as far as Earth Prime-Time is concerned, so it shall always be....


Friday, March 6, 2015



After waiting three hours for rock-blues singer Jessie Boone to show up for her recording session, producer Lester Mavelson couldn't take it anymore.....

"I have produced, personally, at least 774 records!"  

Then he leaned in to the sound engineer who was Zenned/zoned out in his reading.  "Did you hear that, Geronimo? 774 records!"

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the real Geronimo Jackson.


"Geronimo Jackson" was a litttle-known  rock/folk/country band that had its heyday back at the waning of the Flower Power era.  The group was founded by a Kentucky musician named Keith Strutter once he found his way to San Francisco.  They put out only one album, "Magna Carta", from which came the single "Dharma Lady".  Geronimo Jackson toured Europe in 1969, playing a German club in August of that year, but they were drawn to Woodstock after the festival and because of the presence of Dylan and The Band - which is where they finally broke up and faded into obscurity.

So I'm thinking this sound engineer whom Lester addressed as "Geronimo", was the real Geronimo Jackson and that he not only was the sound engineer for "Magna Carta", but that he produced the album as well.  Keith Strutter may have been an old friend of his from back in his days living in Kentucky, and either out of that friendship or as thanks for working on the album, Strutter may have suggested to the others in the band that they should take Geronimo's name for their band name.  

Geronimo Jackson was a fascination for me when 'Lost' was on the air because of a theory I came up with.  (I may not have been the only one, but I've yet to find anybody else who touts it.)  

Take a look at the album cover for "Magna Carta".  I believe the dirty blonde musician standing in front of the stage, dressed in denim was the elder Ford, father to James "Sawyer" Ford.  His earnings from the band's recording and tours earned him the money which the original Sawyer conned out of Ford's wife - which led to the murder and suicide of James' parents back in Alabama.

Just sayin', is all......

Thursday, March 5, 2015



After giving publisher Glenn Howard a tour of the test site where a new chemical weapon will be detonated, Colonel Malcolm Parker returned to his office on the base.  As he settled himself at his desk, the Colonel told his aide to get Colonel Austin on the phone.

That was in 1969.  When we met Steve Austin, 'The Six Million Dollar Man' five years later, he was already a colonel who had served in Vietnam and had been the first civilian to walk on the moon.  If he already was a colonel by 1969, it must have been under special circumstances - he was just thirty years old at that point.  It could have been due to extraordinary services in a combat situation while in country, or it was bestowed upon him after his lunar mission.  (Austin would be one of those astronauts who took part in the secret missions that were never revealed to the public, many of which were geared toward establishing the colony on the Moon.)

As to why he was at that test site outside Las Vegas in January 1969?  Who knows?  Just one of those background stories which will never be told, I guess.....

My thanks to Larry Wielgosz for his advice......

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Tuco Salamanca, the idiot drug dealer in New Mexico who is currently seen in 'Better Call Saul' but who first appeared in 'Breaking Bad', is first cousins with Detective Julio Sanchez of the LAPD's 'Major Crimes' squad who was first seen in 'The Closer'.  Both men, aside from being identical cousins, also have anger management issues.

We saw Tuco's abuela in the first two episodes of 'Better Call Saul'.  But she is not Julio's grandmother as well.  She's from the side of the family that Tuco does not share with Julio.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015


So the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering has teamed with Washington's National Academy of Engineering and the MacGyver Foundation to run this contest in hopes there's somebody out there with a fantastic idea for a new version of 'MacGyvver'.  And the creator of the orginal series, Lee Zlotoff, is fronting the project.

Here's how CinemaBlend summed up the competition:

Create an idea for a show that revolves around a female protagonist that will motivate generations of TV viewers with her engineering skills; it doesn’t have to resemble MacGyver in the least, and can fall into technically any genre. And since MacGyver was a spy whose skillset involves engineering, the main character doesn’t have to be an engineer per se. But it does have to be compelling to middle school and high school audiences, since inspiration is key.

Come up with a title, a logline, a pilot synopsis, and brief descriptions for future episodes, and send your ideas to The Next MacGyver website. The contest ends on April 17, at which point twelve finalists will be named. The finalists will be whittled down to five, with each winner earning $5,000 and the chance to talk with a Hollywood producer and a distinguished engineer. At this point, the winners would develop a story outline and write a final draft of a pilot script. Judges will then decide which one is the best, and assuming everything goes splendidly, the pilot would go into some form of production.

I'm hoping that "form of production" would still mean that it shows up on television.  And I'd prefer some kind of connection to the original series.  Rob Buckley of "The Medium Is Not Enough" suggested she should be the daughter of Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver and I second that idea.  He must have had plenty of opportunities in the past to get somebody pregnant......

I wonder if we'll hear by the end of the year about the status of the project.....


Monday, March 2, 2015


One day after we abandoned the year-long theme of only British entries into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in order to celebrate Robert Conrad's 80th birthday, we're doing it once again for another member of the League of Themselves.  Only this time it's for a more somber occasion - on Friday Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83.

This will be an induction ceremony similar to that of Adam West's, in that Nimoy is being inducted twice into the Hall - once as himself in Earth Prime-Time and as himself in the Tooniverse.

And as was the case with Jonathan Winters as Maude Frickert, Nimoy is being mostly inducted on the strength of his participation in a slew of blipverts.

A lot of celebrities lend their names to shill products on the Toob, but as you can see from the following videos a tele-semblance of Nimoy's life during prime-time plays out through most of the commercials.  We get to see him arrive for an audition, show up for a sci-fi convention, reunite with some old co-workers, go shopping (including Christmas shopping), and spend quality time with his family.  Plus we learn that not only was he a serlinguist, but that he was more than qualified to play Mr. Spock, having the mutant power of teleportation.


We have one last addition to his list of qualifications for entry - this scene from 'The Big Bang Theory' establishes that Nimoy's televersion does exist in the main Toobworld even if he doesn't show up.  (At least he does make kind of a contribution to the proceedings.....)

And then there are his appearances in the Tooniverse, and you can tell he had a lot of fun poking fun at his public persona.....

Jumping ahead 1,000 years.....

 Click on the picture!

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video clip to illustrate his third submission for this second entry into the TVXOHOF, but here's the description:

"Where No Duckman Has Gone Before"

First Aired: Aug. 23, 1997 on USA
Summary: After Leonard Nimoy eats a headcheese hoagie, he goes to bed and has a dream (or nightmare?) where he imagines the 'Duckman' gang as 'Star Trek' characters.

And so we welcome Leonard Nimoy as he beams into the Hall of Fame, twice over.  I just wish we had good reason to delay the ceremony....

"My ride's here......"

(And hopefully this coming Sunday we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming with the TXOHOF inductions.....



With the passing of Leonard Nimoy on Friday, I'm sure many writers focused on his role as Mr. Spock of 'Star Trek' fame.  But they may have also talked about his TV roles in 'Mission: Impossible', 'Fringe', perhaps even his duties as host of 'In Search Of...'  There were also his appearances as a member of the League of Themselves in the Tooniverse on such shows as ''The Simpsons', 'Futurama', and 'Duckman'.  

But I'm going to use one of my Super Six lists to showcase half a dozen of my favorite one-shot appearances in Toobworld......

1]  Dr. Barry Mayfield
'Columbo' - "A Stitch In Crime"

Topping the list is Nimoy's turn as a deadly doctor at odds with the rumpled detective.  As Dr. Mayfield, Nimoy was cold, ruthless, without a single redeeming trait.  (Many of the Lieutenant's adversaries were charming and you even felt sympathy for some of them - I'm thinking particularly of those played by Donald Pleasance, Johnny Cash, Janet Leigh, and Ruth Gordon.)  But not only was he a right bastard, but Mayfield could be considered the most incompetent of killers Columbo captured.  Even though he murdered two people in order to cover up his original plot, he couldn't even make sure that his intended victim died.

I found it on YouTube; I hope you enjoy it....

2]  Mitch
"The Alpha Caper"

Eventually Nimoy walked back from the perception given by the title of his first autobiography, "I Am Not Spock".  But I would not be surprised if during his time of resentment towards the role that made him famous, that he must have felt gratitude for the chances it afforded him (like getting to direct a handful of feature films.)  One of those opportunities would have been the chance to co-star with the legendary Henry Fonda in this caper movie about a parole officer planning a heist with three of his parolees.  (Along with Nimoy, the parolees were Larry Hagman and James McEachin, with support from character actors Noah Beery Jr., John Marley, and Vic Tayback.)

If you're interested, here's the full movie:

3]  Commander Phil Ketterling
"Assault On The Wayne"

When I saw this ABC Movie of the Week when it first aired in 1971, I had not yet seen an episode of 'Star Trek'.  Missed the first run, mostly because of Boy Scout duties and the fact that it was on a UHF channel which didn't have good reception where I lived.  It would be 1972 before I finally got to see my first episode - "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield."  So I knew nothing about Leonard Nimoy and I couldn't understand why he got the plum top billing over Lloyd Haines, whom I did know from 'Room 222'.  But I think their casting was perfect in keeping audiences off-guard because of audience perceptions.  Nimoy cold and rigid, Haines warmer and more at ease with the crew and then this submarine story was turned on its head.

Here's the full movie:

4]  Vladek
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' - "The Project Strigas Affair"

This early episode of the spy show gains its fame now because it was the first time Nimoy worked with William Shatner.  Nothing about it screams "Destiny!" but it is fun to see them outside the so familiar pairing that we know.  They would team up again as other characters at least one more time, in an episode of 'T.J. Hooker'.  But in that case, they were more or less allies and so it felt natural since we had become so accustomed by that point to their being comrades.  In "The Project Strigas Affair", they were at odds....

5]  The Chauffeur
The Bangles' "Going Down To Liverpool"

I had forgotten about this music video; I bet many of you never even heard of it.  Luckily for me I have a great support team in my Idiot's Delight Digest friends - specifically BruddahBob Cohen - who kicked my memory into gear.

Check it out:

It's no "Walk Like An Egyptian", but it's enjoyable.  As for Nimoy's participation, I don't see any crossover possibility with any of his other roles, but links like that aren't always possible.

6]  Toy Spock
'The Big Bang Theory' - "The Transporter Malfunction"

'The Big Bang Theory' has had a lot of fun with dream sequences - one with Bob Newhart and another with the Time Machine come to mind - and this might be the best one of all.  An action figure of Mr. Spock, with the voice of Leonard Nimoy, advises Sheldon as though he were Jiminy Cricket.  Sheldon's guilt over breaking his own mint in the box collectible and and then switching it with Leonard's had that much of an effect on his conscience.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Nimoy.....


Sunday, March 1, 2015


For 2015, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame will be all about TV characters from Great Britain.  But when I announced that plan, I also stipulated that others might still be included based on special circumstances, as in a membership worthy candidate dying.

But I think the TVXOHOF should not just pay tribute upon a death, but also celebrate a life well lived.

Which is why this special induction is being held - today Robert Conrad turns 80 years old.

The star of 'The Wild, Wild West', 'Hawaiian Eye', 'Black Sheep Squadron', 'James Michener's Centennial' and at least half a dozen other TV series is already represented in the Hall with the membership of Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon, both inducted in 2002.  But today we're going to celebrate the man himself.

Perhaps his best known "televersion" is from the 1977 blipvert for Eveready batteries, which was a source of great amusement in spoofs by comedians like Johnny Carson......

But the best example of his life in Toobworld occurred in an episode of 'Just Shoot Me'.  Publisher Jack Gallo published his autobiography in which he claimed to have kicked Robert Conrad's ass in a fight.  Conrad showed up at the offices of Blush Magazine in order to set the record straight.....

So there we have 2/3 of the requirements for membership in the TVXOHOF.  As for the final example, Robert Conrad showed up for an appearance on the UBS talk show 'America 2Night' (hosted by Barth Gimble with Jerry Hubbard as his sidekick.)  However, Conrad had sustained a back injury earlier in the day while doing a stunt and he had over-medicated.  This left him in a lethargic state and he ended up passing out on the couch during the show.

And that's all it takes.

Thank you, Robert Conrad, for all the entertainment you've given us over the years.



For this Video Sunday, we're celebrating the 80th birthday of Robert Conrad.  At 5'8", he is one of the giants of Toobworld for his portrayal of James T. West in 'The Wild Wild West'.  

Secret Service agent West and his partner Artemus Gordon kept the Old West safe from megalomaniacs who were hoping to use the last frontier as a base to take over the country after the Civil War.  And among their nemeses was my all-time favorite TV character, Dr. Miguelito Loveless.

For more about the man, check out these two biographies from ever reliable sources Wikipedia and the IMDb:



West and Gordon were inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in 2002 (with Dr. Loveless preceding them in 1999 as one of the first three special inductees.)  But James West contributed more to the TV Universe than the TV series and its two sequel movies.  In that first sequel, it was established that West had many children with his many "wives" in a village south of the border.  And of course there are those children he probably sired with some of those beautiful women he had dalliances with at the end of most episodes of the TV show.  And from all of those offspring many future TV characters can trace their lineage:

  • Thomas Jefferson Lopaka - 'Hawaiian Eye' & '77 Sunset Strip'
  • Thomas Remington Sloane III - 'A Man Called Sloane'
  • Griffin "Tooter" Campbell - 'High Sierra Search And Rescue'
  • Jesse Hawkes - 'Jesse Hawkes' & 'High Mountain Rangers'
  • Oscar Ramsey - 'The Duke'
  • Jake Webster - 'Assignment: Vienna'
  • Paul Ryan - 'The D.A.' & 'Adam 12'
There are two TV characters whom I'm keeping out of the West family tree - Greg "Pappy" Boyington of 'Black Sheep Squadron' and Nick Carter from the TV movie/pilot "The Adventures Of Nick Carter".  

Boyington was a real life WWII hero and even though there are fictional TV characters who are related to real world people, I don't want to push the concept too far.  As for Nick Carter, his origins lie in BookWorld and so is a better fit for the Wold Newton Universe.  My companeros Win Scott Eckert and Sean Lee Levin are the guardians of Philip Jose Farmer's vision of a shared universe inhabited by pulp characters, and they are better suited to handle any possible genealogical connections for Carter.

By the way, my reasons for excluding Boyington would extend to other historically based characters like G. Gordon Liddy and Bob Dalton.

At any rate today we're celebrating Robert Conrad and not his characters, so these videos are geared towards him as a man.  I hope you enjoy them.

First up, here's an interview for the ages done by the Archive of American Television.

Public Broadcasting has been showcasing the Pioneers of Television......

In advance of their pick-up of the series, TNT broadcast a mini-documentary on 'The Wild Wild West':

Robert Conrad and Ross Martin (who played Artemus) appeared on a local morning talk show......

Every two weeks, Mr. Conrad hosts a two hour cyber radio show.  Here are three examples of the show.  In the second one, he talks about meeting Elvis.  And in the third he shares his memories of the late great Michael Dunn.

For our final entry, here's a special video nearly two hours long: Robert Conrad and his friends participated on a panel at the Hollywood Show.

And just for bleeps and giggles......

Happy birthday, Robert Conrad.  Thank you for all the years you've provided us with entertainment on our screens.