Saturday, July 25, 2015



When King Tut learned that millionaire Bruce Wayne was going to donate Tut's version of the Sphinx to the Black Museum of Scotland Yard, the Pharaoh of Felonies was momentarily ecstatic to think that he would be considered one of the luminaries of crime.  Like Landru, Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden....

The Royal Lapidary: The Lavender Hill Mob?

From the IMDb:
Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury's smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. Written by Rick Gregory 

Ealing studios are famous for making very dry and witty comedies; they're probably most famous for the excellent 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' and darkly comic 'The Ladykillers', but The Lavender Hill Mob, although not as good as the other two, is definitely worth a mention.

The Lavender Hill Mob is about a bank clerk (Alec Guinness) that, with the aid of his friend Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), a man that makes paperweights in the shape of the Eiffel tower, has an ingenious idea of how to rob his own bank. The two realise that the bank cannot be robbed by just them, so they set a trap to catch a couple of criminals, and once they've recruited them; The Lavender Hill Mob is born.  Written by "The Void"

Since King Tut listed three real-life criminals (Henri Désiré Landru was the only one I had to look up, but of course I knew of him better as "Bluebeard"), then it's safe to assume that the Lavender Hill Mob was just as real in Earth Prime-Time.  The only difference would be the Lavender Hill Mob weren't murderers.



At one point during his confrontation with Louie the Lilac (Louis Garnett), Batman referred to Louie and his gang as the Lavender Hill Mob.

In order to keep things simple at Toobworld Central, I'm reluctantly going to accept Louie the Lilac's gang as the Lavender Hill Mob of Toobworld, even if that episode aired a year after the Tut episode.  At least it's easier to believe that they were murderers.

But wouldn't it have been fun to have Stanley Holloway and Sir Alec Guinness as their characters in the movie residing in Toobworld?


Friday, July 24, 2015


As we all do when surfing the Internet, I stumbled across this while searching for something else.  It's certainly one of the most off-beat cases of sequelitis I've ever encountered in my televisiological studies, spanning two continents.
From Wikipedia:

The lead character of the series, Nico ("Nick") Bonetti (Jack Scalia), is a policeman from New York City who is proud of his Italian heritage and very fond of his vintage rose-colored Cadillac convertible, which he inherited from his father. After he erroneously shoots a young girl during a gunfight, he relocates to a beachfront Los Angeles precinct on temporary assignment. Here he meets his new partners, Tequila (a large, burrito-eating French Mastiff), and Officer Angela Garcia (Mariska Hargitay), who joined the department after her policeman husband's death. Their boss is Captain Midian Knight (Charles Rocket), who is almost as interested in selling a screenplay as he is in police work. The series shows their investigations of crimes and the evolving relationships between the characters. This show has the peculiarity that television viewers are able to hear Tequila's thoughts.

Life is not easy for Bonetti, due to his remorse about the girl he shot and the strange habits of Californians whom he does not understand. His neighbors include a Puerto Rican psychic (Liz Torres), who hears Tequila's thoughts but initially believes she is hearing spirits. Bonetti develops a grudging respect for the people around him as well as for Tequila, who despite his faults is an excellent police dog. The dog is portrayed as having human-level intelligence and a street-wise, sassy attitude.

The show was developed by producer Donald P. Bellisario. His daughter, Troian Bellisario, had a recurring role as Garcia's daughter, who for a time is unaware that her mother has joined the police department rather than continue a career as an art dealer.

Each episode has a montage during which Bonetti plays piano and viewers see odd, sometimes disturbing scenes featuring Bonetti's neighbors and co-workers. Some of these scenes are from later episodes, while others remain unexplained. Each montage ends with Bonetti's memory of the shooting of the girl in New York.

The series was panned by critics and was subsequently canceled by CBS four months after its premiere. Despite the initial negative reception of the series, some modern viewers find it to be a quirky, though flawed, product of the early 1990s.

8 years later, 'Tequila & Bonetti' was rebooted for television with Jack Scalia reprising his role as Bonetti; only this time, the show was filmed and aired in Italy. Bonetti goes to Rome to team up with a new "Tequila", a German Shepard and the policewoman Fabiana Sasso (Alessia Marcuzzi). Again, only the audience can hear the dog's thoughts, but this time Bonetti is the one with strange American habits, as seen by his new Italian friends.

I looked through Scalia's credits at the IMDb, but none of those other characters really jumped out at me as being Bonetti using an alias.  So I don't have a candidate for Bonetti's third qualification for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Maybe someday.....



Thursday, July 23, 2015


Actor Alex Rocco has passed away at the age of 79.  Just about every news story on his passing has mentioned his role as Moe Green in "The Godfather" for the hook to get you to read the story.

And I suppose it is his most famous role; as soon as you hear the name "Moe Green", you probably summoned up the image of him on a massage table in Las Vegas... wearing his glasses......

But for me and the Toobworld Dynamic, it's his supporting role as talent agent Al Floss in the short-lived sitcom 'The Famous Teddy Z', which starred Jon Cryer and also featured Milton Selzer, Jane Sibbett, and Erica Yohn, that is of greater importance.  

The show was a darling with the critics and the role of Floss snared an Emmy award for Rocco, but they just couldn't reel in the viewers.  Even having Al cross over to an episode of 'Murphy Brown' didn't help.  ("And The Whiner Is..." - it turned out Al Floss was the agent for Murphy's co-worker Corky Sherwood on the 'FYI' news magazine.

As it stands, Al Floss is one of many characters who have two TV appearances on different shows under their belt, leaving them one shy for a "legitimate" entry into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  For example:  - Jose Chung as played by Charles Nelson Reilly ('The X-Files', 'Millennium'), John Steed played by Patrick Macnee ('The Avengers', 'The New Avengers'), and Linda Hunt's character of Hetty Lange ('NCIS: LA', 'Scorpion').   At least with those three, I can keep Hope alive that a third crossover will one day be possible.  In fact, I'm set with a theoretical third entry for John Steed which has been accepted by several other crossoverists.  For Jose Chung, even though Mr. Reilly has died, I just need some show to use a book prop with his name on it.  And as for Hetty?  Sooner or later she should show up on either the 'NCIS' flagship or the other spin-off, 'NCIS: New Orleans'.

However, many of these two-time characters are no longer with us because of the passing of the actors who played them.  And now Alex Rocco has joined their company.

Not that I'm going to let that stop me....

In the late 1950s, David Rosen was working in the mail room of The Harry Cooper Talent Agency in New York City.  But then he was summoned to Washington, D.C. by Congressmen Crabtree and Guilfoyle to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  They wanted him to give evidence against his boss, Harry Cooper, and several of his clients (like Jan Stewart and Carrie Crane).  And to his everlasting shame, the young man did so.  Soon after, Jan Stewart faded into obscurity and Carrie Crane descended into a sordid life lived in the gossip columns (becoming a particular target of Holly Schaeffer in her last days.)  As for Harry Cooper, he changed his name to Charlie Halper and was able to survive in show business with the support of comic/singer Danny Williams.  Eventually he opened his own nightclub and did alright for himself.

David Rosen never forgave himself for turning in Cooper and the others.  And there was no way he could distance himself from himself.  So he decided to become someone else.

Moving to the West Coast, changing his name, and adopting a more hard-assed attitude, David used what he learned back in New York to quickly move up in the world of talent management.  Now known as Al Floss, he got his start as an agent at United Talent Agency where he eventually rose to the number two position, just after Abe Werkfinder.  Among his clients were Corky Sherwood of 'F.Y.I.' and actor Harlon Keyvo.  (However, Keyvo eventually dumped him for a kid in the UTA mailroom, Teddy Zakolokis.)

But as hard-edged as he appeared, Al's past shame of being an informer continued to haunt him.  Eventually, after Werkfinder died, it looked as though Floss was on top of the world, about to be the top agent in Hollywood.  But at a party for Rembrandt Brown on the September 1994 weekend just before "The Crying Man" made his comeback, Al Floss was publicly humiliated by a younger agent, a very drunk Ari Gold, who brought up Floss' past and questioned why anyone would sign with him.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1994
After cold-cocking Ari, Floss stormed out of the party and drove back home.  But Ari's words had landed; he thought long and hard through the rest of the night and realized that he would never be happy until he reconciled himself with who he really was.

And so the next day Al Floss quit UTA and went into business on his own... and under his real name - David Rosen.

Not many of his former clients followed him, having felt betrayed by his lies about himself and for covering up what he had done.  But there were a few stalwarts, one of whom knew him back in the early days in New York City: Elliott Gould.

He wasn't as rich and successful as he once was as Al Floss, but David Rosen was finally happy.  As such, he vowed to work to the very end, which is what he did.  The last client he landed was comedian and podcast king Marc Maron (although Maron had to meet with Rosen at the insistent urging by Gould.)  Unfortunately, he was so worked up over the effort that it landed him in the hospital with a stroke.  And it looks like the stroke eventually killed him.

  • 'The Famous Teddy Z'
  • 'Murphy Brown'
  • 'Maron'
  • 'Sliders'
  • 'It's Always Jan'
  • 'Make Room For Daddy'
  • 'Entourage'
  • 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington'
  • 'Night Gallery'

For Alex Roco's participation in 'The Famous Teddy Z' and 'Murphy Brown' as Al Floss, and as David Rosen in 'Maron', the ability to conflate both talent agents into one character makes him eligible for a special induction into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  It's not an official induction since I can't prove David Rosen is Al Floss.  But as is the case with the Birthday and Christmas honorees, this can be accepted as a Memorial tribute.

Welcome to the Hall of Fame, David Rosen aka Al Floss......

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Jim Healey, a celebrated sports announcer based in Los Angeles, passed away on this date twenty-one years ago.

From Wikipedia:
Jim Healy (1923 – July 22, 1994) was a longtime Los Angeles, California, sports commentator (KLAC, 1961–65; KFWB, 1969; KABC-TV, 1969–84; KLAC, 1973–82; KMPC, 1984–94), whose daily solo radio show featured a number of sound effects and audio clips ("drops") of famous sports personalities, which he played repeatedly to affect an acerbically humorous tone.

Excerpting from his entry on the "L.A. Radio: Where Are They Now?" list:

A one-of-a-kind sportscaster in Los Angeles for 43 years, Jim died July 22, 1994, at age 70 from complications of liver cancer. He began at KMPC in 1950, fresh out of UCLA, writing for broadcaster Bob Kelley. Jim wrote for Bob for 11 years. He hosted "Here's Healy" on KBIG and also worked at KFWB, KABC-TV and KLAC. Jim was the nightly sports reporter on KABC-TV/Channel 7... ..."Is... it... true?" became one of his trademark lines. His headstone at Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn reads: "Jim Healy, 1923-94, IT IS TRUE.” ... In 1997 he was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

I just finished watching the 'Run For Your Life' episode "A Game Of Violence" in which a boxing match took place to determine the champion of the world.  One of those boxers was Duke Smith, who was an old friend of Paul Bryan.  And Jim Healey was the announcer who called the fight.  (Chick Hearn was also credited as playing himself in the episode.)

Healey played unnamed announcers several times in Toobword and none of them need be relegated to alternate dimensions.  So why shouldn't they all be Jim Healey?

Cagney & Lacey
- Old Debts 

Matt Houston
T.V. Reporter
- The Rock and the Hard Place

Future Cop 
- Fighting O'Haven

The F.B.I. 
- The Hostage 

Run Buddy Run
Ring Announcer
- I Want a Piece of That Boy

Dr. Kildare 
- The Middle of Ernie Mann 

Ben Casey
- Preferably, the Less-Used Arm 

As you can see, Healey's contribution to 'Run For Your Life' was not listed, but then that's why I always refer to the IMDb as "Old Reliable".....

One day, Jim Healey will find himself inducted into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Colin Baker is dead. Okay, not the real Colin Baker - sorry if I gave my Whovian friends a "hearts attack". Just wanted to get your attention.


George Coe has died at the age of 86. Since news headlines have to grab your attention (as I just did), they'll be blaring his involvement with 'Saturday Night Live' in its first year. Not many of his sketches survive into the "Best Of" compilations (if any), but his voice is unmistakable in many of the fake commercials, like for Triopenin.

George Coe appeared as a regular on several other TV shows, most recently as the voice of Woodhouse in 'Archer', but also in 'Max Headroom', 'Working', 'Somerset', and 'Goodnight, Beantown'. He had several meaty recurring roles, especially in a dozen 'L.A. Law' episodes playing a role he was most suited for - a judge. (In fact, I'm going to make the claim that his Judge Vance in 'L.A. Law' is the same judge he played in Skitlandia for 'Saturday Night Live'.)

Other recurring roles were to be found in 'Hill Street Blues', 'Scarecrow & Mrs. King', 'THIRTYsomething', 'Wilfred', and my personal favorite - as Senator Stackhouse is a few 'West Wing' episodes, most memorable of which was in 'The Stackhouse Filibuster'. And then there was 'Equal Justice', a short-lived flip-side to 'L.A. Law', about a D.A. office on the East Coast. (Mr. Coe played "a" Colin Baker in that. But not "the" Colin Bake". Again, sorry for the deceptive lead-in.)

As interesting as I always found him to be as an actor, I won't bore my audience with listing ALL of the guest star roles he gave us in his 50 year career. Let me just share a "Super Six List" of such roles:

1) 'Columbo'
2) 'Murder, She Wrote'
3) 'Smallville'
4) 'Two And A Half Men'
5) 'Law & Order'
6) 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'

Each of those series has shown they have the longevity to keep Mr. Coe on our screens for many years to come.

(And for the "Star Wars" fans, he voiced Tee Watt Kaa in a couple of 'Clone Wars' episodes, as well as vocal work as several characters for the "Old Republic" video game.)

Good night and may God bless.....

Monday, July 20, 2015


If you're interested in recreating the style of a favorite living room from Toobworld, check out these home designs......

Sunday, July 19, 2015


CBS: 1998

During the May Sweeps of that year, CBS celebrated its 50th anniversary on Television.  (I'm sure the actual anniversary for the whole corporation, including radio, would have been a higher figure.)

As part of the salute, certain CBS shows, both the dramas and the sitcoms, had moments in which cameos from the archives were blended into the present day narrative.  Here are two of the examples:

The agreement was that it would be a one-time thing - the reruns would not contain these scenes nor would they be included in future DVD sales.

Most of these mash-ups were going to be a nightmare for those of us who act as caretakers for the TV Universe, no matter which incarnation was supported by those crossoverists.  (For me, of course, it's the Toobworld Dynamic.  For my bloggin' buddy Robert Wronski, Jr., it's the TVCU, and so on.)

Here's a run-down of the "crossovers":
  • 'Murphy Brown' & Ed Murrow of 'Person To Person'
  • 'Cosby' & 'The Jack Benny Program'
  • 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman' & 'Gunsmoke'
  • 'Chicago Hope' & 'Medical Center'
  • 'Early Edition' & 'The Twilight Zone'
  • 'Walker, Texas Ranger' & 'Wanted: Dead Or Alive'
And as seen above:
  • 'The Nanny' & 'I Love Lucy'
  • 'Diagnosis Murder' & 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
For the Toobworld Dynamic, all of these have splainins and not all of them are dream sequences.  Some of them actually took place!

Here is how I made them work.....


'The Nanny' & 'I Love Lucy'
After 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour', the hour-long sequel to 'I Love Lucy', had ended, Lucy Ricardo finally did become so famous that ordinary people in Toobworld knew of her.  It wasn't for anything she had done, but instead it was because of her husband Ricky.  "Don Juan" would prove to be only the first movie in which he starred.  And those movies which followed would be huge blockbusters.  All of the magazines of the time would be covering his at-home lifestyle and people would learn about the crazy redhead who was his wife.  Eventually, it could be that Ricky and Lucy would split up just as Desi and Lucy did in the Trueniverse, perhaps in a very messy fashion that attracted a lot of attention from the tabloids.  It would have been the type of headline that Fran Fine's mother Sylvia followed with fanatic devotion.  And she would have made sure her daughter heard every juicy detail.  So eventually, when Fran dreamed of the fairy tale marriage she would have with someone in show business, her sub-conscience dredged up what she remembered of the happier days in Lucy and Ricky's marriage.

'Walker, Texas Ranger' & 'Wanted: Dead Or Alive'
The ghost of Josh Randall was not sitting across from Cordell Walker in Walker's office.  Cordell was simply day-dreaming about what it would have been like to actually meet the legendary bounty hunter from nearly a hundred years before.

'Chicago Hope' & 'Medical Center'
Dr. Kate Austin was in the Chicago Hope cafeteria and she saw Dr. Joe Gannon on TV.  For us, it was a clip from 'Medical Center'; but within the "reality" of Toobworld Gannon was probably being interviewed on a news show.  While she was watching it, Kate day-dreamed that she got a chance to talk with Dr. Gannon.  

'Early Edition' & 'The Twilight Zone'
After experiencing a trip through time back to the Chicago Fire of the 1870s, Gary Hobson crossed paths with Rod Serling's televersion.  In Toobworld, Serling may not have been the original serlinguist, able to talk to the audience viewing at home in the Trueniverse, but he loaned his name to the ability.  And as a serlinguist, Rod told the audience that they had just witnessed a tale from the Twilight Zone: that Gary Hobson had "lately returned from a place 'back there,' a journey into time with highly questionable results, proving on one hand that the threads of history are woven tightly, and the skein of events cannot be undone, but on the other hand, there are small fragments of tapestry that can be altered. Tonight's thesis to be taken, as you will - in The Twilight Zone."  It was a quote that was used originally in the episode "Back There", but Toobworld is full of repeats.

'Murphy Brown' & 'Person To Person'
In the show's final episode, Murphy was sedated before going into surgery because of her bout with cancer.  While under the drugs' influence, Murphy met God as well as Edward R. Murrow.  We know God exists in Toobworld so why couldn't it have been pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he showed up looking like Alan King?  And Murrow, in the anteroom, could have been a ghost.

And speaking of ghosts......

'Cosby' & 'The Jack Benny Program'
In the middle of the night, Hilton Lucas was visited by the ghost of Jack Benny.  Although his TV persona (the first televersion of a celebrity to be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame) was better known for living in California, Jack Benny would make regular visits back to New York City.  After all, he owned at least one apartment building in Bensonhurst, Queens, in which two of his tenants were the Nortons and the Kramdens.  And ghosts are prevalent in Toobworld, with CBS presenting such shows as 'Topper' and 'Ghost Whisperer' over the years.  But then again, it was late at night; Hilton Lucas may have dreamt the whole thing.


'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman' & 'Gunsmoke'
This show about a frontier female doctor took a scene with James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon and digitally inserted him into a bar scene with Dr. Michaela Quinn.  For the time, I thought it was really well done and it felt the most natural of all of them.  That scene was a leading contributor to the induction of Matt Dillon into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

And finally.....


'Diagnosis Murder' & 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
Walking through the hallways of a major communications building, Dr. Mark Sloan looked into an engineering booth and saw Rob Petrie spinning records for a radio station.  Dr. Sloan was in color outside the booth's window.  Everything inside the booth was in black & white.  Rob Petrie was also looking as young as he did more than thirty years before (even longer, considering that particular episode was a flashback to before his tenure on 'The Alan Brady Show'.)  It was also a scene that, unlike most of the others used in this project, didn't lend itself to being repeated dialogue.  It was the type of scene that should have played itself out that one times back in the late 1950s and that's it.  So I'm thinking it had to be something caused by some paranormal activity, perhaps a continuation of the radio transmission experiment carried out in 'The Galaxy Being', the first episode of 'The Outer Limits'.  But this time, instead of beaming an alien from its homeworld to Earth, the holographic image of Rob Petrie was trasmitted across the country.  (This could also have been achieved by some kind of meteorological phenomenon.)  And then there's always the more realistic splainin - poor old Dr. Sloan was hallucinating, perhaps the first sign of dementia in his old age.

It's a shame I've only been able to track down these two clips from the 50th anniversary project.  I think all of them should be made available to future audiences.....