Saturday, May 30, 2015


Since I was talking about Samuel Clemens in Toobworld earlier this week.....

Friday, May 29, 2015


'The Murdoch Myseries' is one of my current favorite TV series, although I hate the fact that it's called 'The Artful Detective' on Ovation.  And there was big news the other day when star Yannick Bisson tweeted this:
Still later in the day, a picture was released of William Shatner in make-up to play Mark Twain.

I thought - and actually I was hoping - that maybe this was more than just a behind the scenes picture taken of the show's star and perhaps the most famous guest star the series has ever had.  I was hoping that Shatner was not fully in costume yet; that he had yet to don a white wig to complete the resemblance to Samuel L. Clemens as he would have looked in 1903.  But alas, it is not to be.
As recounted in The Star, Shatner took a dislike to even sporting the mustache; he was not about to be saddled with a white fright wig as well.  I suppose the Grumpy Old Man (TV Edition) is planning to just invoke the spirit of Twain without actually resembling him.
That would be fine in Theater, where an actor without prosthetics or makeup can present himself to be "The Elephant Man" on stage.  And over in Skitlandia the Not Ready For Prime Time Players (at least in the beginning) didn't bother going all out with the make-up to impersonate the leading figures of the day who were being lampooned in the sketches.  Chevy Chase didn't look like or sound like or even act like Gerald Ford; Dan Ayckroyd played Richard Nixon with a mustache. 
And with a shared universe like the Toobworld Dynamic, adherence to authenticity when it comes to the portrayal of historical figures in various TV shows is vital.  Granted, they are not always going to resemble each other from show to show because different actors play the role.  But they should all at least put the effort in.  Who's going to believe some fat bald guy with a soul patch as Abraham Lincoln?
('Jack Of All Trades' presented a midget Napoleon [played by Verne Troyer of Mini-Me fame], but The Toobworld Dynamic take on the adventures of Jack Styles, a Colonial spy in the South Pacific, is that they were a fictionalized version recounted by a syphilitic and delusional Styles at the end of his life.)
There have been so many televersions of Mark Twain* - who was inducted into the Televsion Crossover Hall Of Fame in 2009 - that as Caretaker of the TwD I can afford to pick and choose which ones are allowed to be part of Earth Prime-Time.  Straight off I would put each of the one-shot performances into their own TV dimensions.  Spread the wealth as it were.  O'Bviously the cartoon depictions of Twain in 'Johnny Bravo' and 'The Venture Brothers' would be different aspects of the same man in the Tooniverse.  And that would apply as well in sketch comedy shows like 'Drunk History' and musical variety specials like 'Sing Out, Sweet Land' in which Der Bingle played Clemens - characters in Skitlandia are all recastaways.
Earth Prime-Time, on which I am most focused, has had several actors playing Mark Twain over the years on shows in which they interacted with the regular characters.  And all of them  made the effort to look the part:


  • Kevin McCarthy in 'The Rifleman'
  • John Cullum in 'Touched By An Angel'
  • Jerry Hardin in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' (My personal favorite)
 Over the long span of years for 'Bonanza', Mark Twain visited the Cartwrights three times but each time was played by a different actor:


  • Howard Duff - "Enter Mark Twain"
  • William Challee - "The Emperor Norton"
  • Ken Howard - "The Twenty-Sixth Grave"
My claim is that the "View Continuum" forced the Trueniverse audience to witness two different TV dimensions, just as was the case with the three Mr. Freezes from 'Batman'.  Because he most closely resembled the Mark Twain image, it is Ken Howard in the episode "The Twenty Sixth Grave" who is the 'Bonanza' contribution for the writer in the main Toobworld - even if he was the last one to assay the role.  Especially since his age seemed to regress from the previous two appearances.  Howard Duff may have been the first to play the role on 'Bonanza', but it was hard to picture him as Clemens, even with the reddish hair.  So it's off to another dimension, perhaps Evil Toobworld, maybe 'West Wing' world, for that one episode.
As for the middle portrayal?  William Challee was NOT playing Samuel L. Clemens.  He was actually an alien from the future (now "our" past) who fled Earth Prime-Time into its own past using some kind of variation of the atavachron device from the planet Sarpeidon.  This faux-Twain was a member of an alien race from some unknown planet but which used Mars as a launching pad to take over the Earth in the 1960s.  Their plans went awry, or else they would have been present in all of the TV shows now on the air.  (I think the Doctor dispatched them, as he did with so many other alien incursions into Earth Prime-Time.  Personally, based on the description of what these aliens really looked like before they took human form, I think they were Krillitane.)

And so we come back to William Shatner in the role of Mark Twain.  As he looks nothing like the Twain televersion should, I'm afraid I shall have to cite it as being of someone else claiming to be the author.  I won't fall back on the claim that it is Twain in some other TV dimension because I refuse to give up one of my favorite TV shows to some alternate Toobworld, not even one episode.

I will wait until I have actually seen the episode, but I already have a splainin which I think will adequately make this episode pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, in the main Toobworld.  And it won't require some alien interference as did the faux Twain in the 'Bonanza' episode.

Until then......

  • 'The Murdoch Mysteries'
  • 'Bonanza'
  • 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
  • 'Touched By An Angel'
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • 'Star Trek'
  • 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
  • The Rifleman'
  • 'Sing Out, Sweet Land'
  • 'Drunk History'
  • 'Jack Of All Trades'
  • 'Saturday Night Live'
  • 'Johnny Bravo'
  • 'The Venture Brothers'

* For an almost complete list of Mark Twain portrayals on television, click here.)


Thursday, May 28, 2015



Back in 2013, Josh Brener as Kyle the intern in 'Maron' won the Toobits Award for Best Supporting Character in a sitcom.  His role as Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti in 'Silicon Valley' has only solidified my appreciation of his gifts as an actor.  

From Wikipedia:
Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti, a former tenant of Erlich's incubator who works at Hooli. After work on Pied Piper commences, Big Head is offered a huge raise and promotion to help Hooli develop its copycat software, Nucleus, and leaves the incubator on poor terms with the entire team. He is later removed from the Nucleus project due to his lack of technical knowledge, and has absolutely no responsibilities at Hooli.

We have yet to learn Kyle's last name, but I'm not going out on a limb to say that's it's Bighetti.  Eventually we may yet learn what it is, especially now that Kyle is dating.  And thus I won't make the claim that Kyle and Nelson are twin brothers.  As both series are in Earth Prime-Time, I think it's better to rely on one of the best Toobworld tropes: the Identical Cousins.  

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, the maiden name of Kyle's mother is Bighetti.  And what helps this theory of relateeveety even more is that both Kyle and Big Head are from California.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I've often stated in the past that photographs can be accepted into the Toobworld Dynamic for the activities that occur off-camera - just so long as those pictures are not screencaps from other TV shows.  (My standard example is a picture of Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo and Gene Barry as Dr. Flemming in the 'Columbo' pilot "Prescription: Murder".  It can't be used to illustrate lawyer Daniel J. O'Brien and Captain Amos Burke from 'Trials Of O'Brien' and 'Burke's Law' respectively.)

The picture shown above is easy for me to accept and it doesn't have to be anything more than what it purports to be - three great actors enjoying a round of golf.

Dennis Hopper, Peter Falk, and James Garner all played themselves in episodes of sitcoms.  (Garner also played himself in an episode of '77 Sunset Strip', a detective series.)
  • Dennis Hopper - 'Entourage'
  • Peter Falk - 'The Larry Sanders Show'
  • James Garner - 'Angel'
So this picture fits into that celebrity-infused corner of Toobworld perfectly!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015


It looks like it wasn't just a case of Finn Polmar turning down Alicia Florrick's offer to become her partner in the season finale of 'The a Good Wife'.  Matthew Goode, who played Finn, won't be returning to the show as something of a regular, but it's pozz'ble , just pozz'ble, that he could still make occasional guest appearances.

It's a good thing they never took the next step in their relationship and became lovers.  It would have been much harder to extricate Finn from the storyline. 

I would not be surprised to see Goode return to 'Downton Abbey', where he introduced a potential suitor for Lady Mary in the last Christmas special. 


Monday, May 25, 2015



"Infantry platoon, U.S. Army, Phillipine Islands, 1945. These are the faces of the young men who fight. As if some omniscient painter had mixed a tube of oils that were at one time earth brown, dust gray, blood red, beard black, and fear - yellow white, and these men were the models. For this is the province of combat and these are the faces of war."
- Rod Serling

Somehow Lieutenant William "Fitz" Fitzgerald gained the power to foretell who was going to die when he saw an eerie glow envelope that person's face. Whether this was some latent mutant power triggered by the horrors of war around him is unknown, but Fitz soon realized that he could accurately predict that these brothers in arms whom he saw with glowing faces would die.

His superior officer claimed not to believe him, but nevertheless Captain Riker left behind his family pictures and his wedding ring when he was about to embark on a mission which Fitz claimed would be his last. (Captain Riker, an uncle of Darrin Stephens, was an ancestor of Commander William Riker who served in Starfleet in the 25th Century.)

Eventually Fitz saw the strange glow on the face of his driver and on his own face in a mirror's reflection and he resigned himself to his fate. The jeep exploded from a land mine farther down the road.

"From William Shakespeare, Richard the Third, a small excerpt. The line reads, 'He has come to open the purple testament of bleeding war.' And for Lieutenant William Fitzgerald, A Company, First Platoon, the testament is closed. Lieutenant Fitzgerald has found the Twilight Zone."
- Rod Serling

Lt. William Fitzgerald joins our Memorial Day remembrances of those who died in service to our country (Toobworld version):
  • Colonel Henry Blake - 2006
  • General Frank Savage - 2008
  • Joe Cartwright - 2010
  • Sgt. Chip Saunder - 2011
  • Colonel Sherman Potter - 2012
  • Joe Kennedy - 2012
  • Mr. Roberts - 2013
  • Eugene Sledge - 2014
  • Lt. Gil Hanley - 2014
In the alternate reality of Earth Prime-Time, they paid the ultimate price.

Good night and may God bless.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


It's been a couple of days since David Letterman left our airwaves and although I'm not sure the full breadth of that impact has been comprehended yet by the Trueniverse audience, I think we all know we'll never again get the chance to see such classics as the Top Ten List, Stupid Pet Tricks, new Halloween costumes, and so many great musical performances.

Oh, sure.  There will always be great songs played out in late night on other shows, but those performers won't have such a strong backup in a studio band concerned with making them look good.

Here's a compilation of songs by one of my favorite performers who got to sit in with Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra one last time about two weeks ago.  My thanks to Brian Leonard for finding it.....