Friday, March 4, 2016


For the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in 2016, the whole year has been given over to the theme of the League of Themselves.  Even with our (hopefully) only memorial induction - David Bowie* - we kept to the theme.
But March is the month in which we traditionally induct a member of the League of Themselves, so I'm afraid it would have been lost in the sauce unless I chose someone with "the goods".  Someone who was best known for so many appearances as themselves in a variety of shows.  Celebrities like Jay Leno, Milton Berle, and a certain gasbag of questionable hair who is currently running for President, etc.  

So for this year, I've chosen a television personality who easily straddled the worlds of the real world and Toobworld.....


I've written about Mr. Linkletter in the past, but here's a look at his biography (care of Wikipedia):

From Wikipedia: 

Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter (born Gordon Arthur Kelly, July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio and TV for 19 years. 

Linkletter was famous for interviewing children on 'House Party' and 'Kids Say the Darndest Things', which led to a series of books quoting children. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1942.
In 2005, at the age of 93, he opened the Happiest Homecoming on Earth celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Half a century earlier, he was the commentator on the opening day celebrations in 1955. For this, he was named a Disney Legend.
He received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy award in 2003. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.

He was perfect for that amiable, somewhat bland, raconteur who could be beamed into America's living rooms and unite the audiences with his comfortable "conversations" with them.
His best known shows in which he was the genial host were:
  • 'Life With Linkletter'
  • 'House Party'
  • 'The Linkletter Show'
  • 'People Are Funny'
  • 'Hollywood Talent Scouts'
  • 'Kids Say The Darnedest Things'
Here are the shows in which his fictionalized televersion put him above many other celebrities known for talk shows and variety programs only: 
'The Jack Benny Program'
- "Peggy King & Art Linkletter" (1955)

Art Linkletter reprises his role as a children's interviewer from his show "House Party" and asks four youngsters about their romances. He then interviews Don Wilson, Peggy King, Rochester Van Jones and Jack Benny who pretend to be nine-year-olds.

'Make Room for Daddy'
- "A Promise Is a Promise" (1962)  

Linda promised she wouldn't touch Danny's tape recorder. Danny promised Linda could go on Art Linkletter's show Kids Say the Darndest Things. When Danny discovers Linda has recorded over all the material for his new act, she gets a spanking and grounded for the weekend: a promise is a promise. Linda tells Danny she can't stay in her room the ENTIRE weekend, she's supposed to be on the show Saturday. Linda is mad and repeats back to him: a promise is a promise. Now Danny's worried what she might say.

'The Lucy Show'
- "Lucy and Art Linkletter" (1966)

As a contestant on Art Linkletter's television show, Lucy is offered $200 if she can shut up for 24 hours. Art sends along another audience member, Ruth, to see how she does. Ruth's a plant from the show who tries her best to make Lucy scream, as are the one-armed "fugitive" and cop who shoot it out in her apartment, and the guy in the gorilla suit that attacks her. Ruth is played by Doris Singleton who played 'Carolyn Applebey' on I Love Lucy. 

- "Catwoman Goes to College" (1967)  

Catwoman is released from prison, and claiming she wants to enrich her education, enrolls at Gotham City University. She dresses one of her own henchmen as the Caped Crusader in order to frame him for a robbery. With Batman in jail, she goes ahead with her plan for a mass sit-in at Chimes Square. Catwoman is more than surprised when Batman himself shows up at the event.  (While scaling the building, they encounter Linkletter in one of the series' famous window cameos.)

'Here's Lucy'
- "Lucy Loses Her Cool" (1970)  

Lucy is chosen on an audience participation game show. The host, Art Linkletter, offers her $500 if she won't lose her temper for 24 hours. When she's escorted off the stage, the host then brings out Harry, Mary Jane, & the kids, offering them $250 each if they can make Lucy lose her temper! They do everything possible to make Lucy lose it, but she overcomes temptation. Lucy manages to demolish a grocery store!
'Small Wonder'
- "Come Fly with Me" (1988)
The Lawsons' plane is hijacked.  (And one of the other passengers is Art Linkletter.)
Unfortunately I couldn't find the screencaps I made from this episode years ago.  And the YouTube video is gone now.....

[All plot summaries come from the IMDb....]
So he wasn't just called upon in Toobworld to host a few TV shows as he did in the Trueniverse.  Instead, Linkletter was a victim of an act of terrorism; he got to meet a couple of costumed vigilantes as well as an android.  And he's also a member of a very exclusive club of celebrities who got to meet more than one character played by Lucille Ball... and survived!  (He also had Lucille Ball as herself on his own show as well.)

Although it doesn't count towards his inclusion in the Hall, Mr. Linkletter appeared in several TV productions as other characters, adding to the citizenry of Toobworld.  Two of these were in 'Wagon Train' (in which he was taking care of some orphans, including one played by Rusty Stevens - better known in Toobworld as Larry Mondello of 'Leave It To Beaver'), and as "The Bible Man" in an episode of 'The Zane Grey Theater' in which his real-life son Jack played his son as well.

So here's to you, Mr. Linkletter.  In keeping with today's date being National Pun Day, March Forth into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


A lot of attention was paid to the appearance of 'Supergirl' (as played by Melissa Benoist in the 'Flash' episode "Welcome To Earth-2".  It was a tease for the upcoming crossover between both shows and their respective networks as well.  (CBS for 'Supergirl' & the CW for 'Flash')

But another crossover between both series happened during that trip through the Vortex.  Besides other DC super-heroes who would be showing up on the other CW shows 'Arrow' and 'Legends of Tomorrow', there was also the quick cameo of a ring belonging to a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  It would be established in the 'Supergirl' episode that what we were seeing was the same ring as seen on display in the Fortress of Solitude, which one would have to assume belongs to Superman from his teen years when he was a member of the Legion.

From the DC Database:
The Legion of Super-Heroes is a 30th Century inter-galactic team of super-powered young adults. Inspired by the legend of Superboy, they were founded by Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl under the funding of an eccentric millionaire they had saved named R.J. Brande. This cast expands to include dozens of members with a diverse array of powers and personalities.
It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that a specific member of the Legion will be showing up in any one of the four series abut this particular dimension of the DC Multiverse.  (I'm leaving 'Gotham' out of this, just the super-hero shows produced by Greg Berlanti.  'Gotham' would be in its own DC TV dimension.)

But which LoS-H member should it be?  I have yet to see any indication that any one of them will be coming to the CW or CBS, and those appearances of the Legion ring may have been just teases about the the past history of the CW's version of Superman and nothing more. 

The Legion of Super-Heroes has already appeared in yet another TV dimension - that of 'The West Wing' in which 'Smallville' is also a part. The three core members of the Legion - Cosmic Boy (magnetic powers), Lightning Lad (electrical energy blasts), and Saturn Girl (force field energy) - appeared in an episode of 'Smallville' to contact the hero out of the past whom they admired and were inspired by - the future Superman.  (Clark Kent had not yet revealed himself to the world as being the "last son of Krypton".)
Since we know that it would be some other TV dimension in which those Legionaires appeared, there is no danger in a Zonk should they recast those three main members of the Legion for this other comic book TV world. 

Over the years there have been many members in the Legion, dozens in fact.  And that's not including the members to be found in the Rebooted Legion and other variations created by the fluctuations of the Timeline.  (This of course is how it all plays out in the comic book universe, but unless otherwise revised, I think it's a premise we can hold onto for the greater Toobworld Dynamic.  After all, it's the 30th Century - are you going to be around to argue the point?)

So with all that in mind, here is my Super Six List of Legionaires whom I would like to see make an appearance in any one of those four Berlanti shows (again - 'Arrow', 'The Flash', 'Supergirl' and 'Legends of Tomorrow'.)

I considered my options almost as if I was a producer for those series - that is, with an eye on production costs in both costumes and special effects concerning their powers.  But I also would have no quibble with several super-heroes in the Legion showing up, perhaps spread throughout the "Berlantiverse" and establishing them all with a fifth series in mind that dealt with them in the far Future.

For most of the depictions of the characters, I've used their counterparts from the Tooniverse.  The exception being Brainiac 5 as seen in 'Smallville'.

So here's my Super Six List of my choices for the owner of that Legion ring seen in the Vortex:


B-5 is my favorite of the Legionaires - the green skin topped with blonde hair and a power that didn't depend on super-strength or mutant powers.  Brain over brawn.  All of that would make him an easy fit into any of those four shows.  All they need to do is stream-line his backstory since the relationship with Brainiac is too complicated to cover in one episode.  (But they did allude to the Superman villain with the 'Supergirl' villain Indigo who was once known as Brainiac 8.)  His story doesn't have to be the same as it was as seen in his appearances in 'Smallville', in which he was a revision of the original Brainiac.  (And he was played by the same actor for both - James Marsters - but without the cool green skin.)


Born Tasmia Millar, Shadow Lass has blue skin and has the ability to manipulate darkness.  (In my crossover dreams, I'd love to see her face off against the Vashta Narada from 'Doctor Who'.)  Definitely the sexiest of the women in the Legion (but she can't top my fixation on Starfire!)  Again, she would be an easy character to portray and with powers that would be simple enough to depict on screen.


Luornu Durgo has the natural ability to split into multiple bodies. And each of those three bodies should have a distinct personality.  One of them could be detrimental to the abilities and health of the other two bodies.  And that body could be the one who eventually got murdered in what is probably Triplicate Girl's best-known story in the comics, which led to her being called Duo Damsel.  It's a story that would make for a great guest appearance in any of the shows, one in which that murdered body could have sacrificed her "life" in order to save the other two.

Brin Londo became Timber Wolf because his father Mar Londo experimented on him. This gave him enhanced werewolf-like abilities, but also made him prone to bestial savagery. His look and abilities would give DC a Wolverine-like character on Television before Marvel could get around to it.  (I'm using his image from the comics because I didn't like the extremes they went to with his look for the Tooniverse.)


Of all my choices, Dawnstar would be the best choice for an appearance on 'Legends of Tomorrow'.  Despite her character being descended from Native Americans who colonized a planet they called Starhaven in the comics, that could be jettisoned so that she is descended instead from the past incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  (This is another character for whom I chose an image from the comics book universe.)


Dream Girl is one of those characters who don't have to be considered a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  Nura Nal had precognitive abilities which could only be accessed while she was asleep.  So she could be outside the suspicions of the heroes who are investigating the activities of her alter-ego.  By the end of the adventure, she could see the light thanks to one of her visions and realize that she should be on the side of the angels.

As you can see, I didn't choose any of the founding members of the Legion - Cosmic Boy (magnetic manipulation), Saturn Girl (telepathy), and Lightning Lad (electrical generation).  As with Brainiac 5, they were previously seen in a 'Smallville' episode so I decided to spread the wealth.  However, no matter which hero would be chosen to showcase for that Legion ring, ultimately the founding trio should show up to establish the suggestion how expansive the Legion is.  Just in case there's a proposal for them to get their own TV show....

Just sayin', is all.
But as I said earlier, we have no clue who may show up - if at all.  We shall view what we shall view.....


Several hours after posting this, I went in to Facebook and learned that a fellow member of a couple FB pages dedicated to comics - like one for the Justice Society of America and one for the subject of our topic today, the Legion of Super-Heroes - had passed away.  Michael Lash was a self-proclaimed "Nerd At Large" - that's his description in his profile page - and I have to confess to jealousy that I didn't come up with that description for myself.  

Here's to you, Mr. Lash.  I'm dedicating this post to your memory.....


Monday, February 29, 2016


I haven't given much attention to this being February, Black History Month, in relation to the Toobworld Dynamic as I had done in years past.  (Probably just the induction of B.B. King into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Not that I have been posting that much anyhoo.)

Since the year has given me an extra day this month (which is stealing a couple of my days off during the holiday season, grrrr), I want to put the spotlight on two characters from 'Make Room For Daddy', their maids Louise Evans and Louise (last name unknown). 

From the show's inception until 1954, Louise Beavers (perhaps best known in Toobworld as 'Beulah') played Louise.  In the real world, Ms. Beavers left the series due to illness.  Amanda Randolph joined the cast in 1954 and saw it through to the series conclusion in the role.  She also played Louise in the reunion special but she passed away before it aired.

For any ordinary TV viewer, this was just a case of recasting.  But I believe they were two different women who both happened to be named Louise.  I don't think the last name of "Evans" was ever mentioned in connection with Amanda Randolph in the role.  So I think it only applies to Louise Beavers as Louise.  

Within the context of the series, I think it likely that Louise Evans died in the same year that Margaret Williams passed away.  Knowing that his two children were already traumatized by the death of their mother, Danny Williams made sure that the next housekeeper was also named Louise.  (Of course Terry and Rusty accepted her, but were too smart to fall for the ruse... not that they mentioned it.)

Louise Evans might have a few theories of relateeveety connecting her to other TV characters.  I think she had a twin sister named Beulah Brown.  Either Louise or Beulah or even both may have been married in the past and that would be the splainin as to why their last names were different.

I also believe that Louise was the aunt to James Evans, either by blood or by marriage.  And it was through his aunt that James first met Florida Edwards, who was working as a housekeeper as well.  (Florida learned everything about the job from Louise as her mentor, especially in not taking any guff from her employer, which she put to good use when she went to work for Maude Findlay in Tuckahoe.)

Here's one more theory: Louise - either the First or the Second - may have been a family member or trusted family friend who was given the honor of having someone named after her.  That would have been Louise Jefferson.

Remember, there's a reason these are theories of relateeveety.  I can't prove them, but they work for me in connecting all of these series together.


Just a few days after inducting Jackie Gleason into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame on the 100th anniversary of his birth, we're doing it again with Dinah Shore.  Eventually "Ms. Mwaaah" would have made it into the Hall on her own merits - as you can see below, she had more than enough credits to warrant membership.  But it feels nice to also acknowledge the late singer/actress on her special day... and Leap Day at that!

From Wikipedia:

Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress, television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.

After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman, and both Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Shore struck out on her own to become the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She had a string of 80 charted popular hits, spanning the years 1940 to 1957, and after appearing in a handful of feature films went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows from 1951 through 1963 and hosting two talk shows in the 1970s. TV Guide magazine ranked her at #16 on their list of the top fifty television stars of all time. 

And here are her list of credits as a member of the League of Themselves which made her eligible for inclusion:

"Mel's In The Kitchen With Dinah"

'Make Room For Daddy'
"The Dinah Shore Show"
"Dinah And Danny Are Rivals"

'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'
Two episodes: #1.75 & #1.76

'Here's Lucy'
"Someone's On The Ski Lift With Dinah"

"Christmas At PeeWee's Playhouse"

"The Applicant"

'The Jack Benny Program'
"The First Show"
"Buck Benny Rides Again"

I wouldn't have a problem including her serlinguistic turns as she told us to see the USA in a Chevrolet since she had more than enough credits already for membership.

So here's to you, Ms. Shore.  Welcome to the TVXOHOF.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


From Wikipedia:

WOI-TV signed on the air on February 21, 1950. It was Iowa's second television station, following WOC-TV (now KWQC-TV) in Davenport. Originally on channel 4, it moved to channel 5 in 1952. Programming came from ABC, CBS, NBC, and the DuMont network during the station's early years, but it was a primary CBS affiliate. NBC disappeared from the schedule when WHO-TVsigned on in 1954, and CBS disappeared when KRNT-TV (now KCCI) signed on in 1955 owing to KRNT radio's long affiliation with CBS radio, leaving channel 5 as the ABC affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

WOI-TV was originally owned by Iowa State University in Ames along with its noncommercial WOI radio stations (AM 640 and FM 90.1), making it the first commercial television station in the United States to be owned by a major college. As such, it carried some educational programming from sign-on until the Des Moines Public Schools signed on KDPS-TV (channel 11, now KDIN-TV) in 1959. The startup costs for WOI-TV were paid by the remaining monies from a federal grant awarded to the university for work on the Manhattan Project.[2] WOI's facilities were used by the university to deliver lectures by satellite.

One of the shows that was produced by WOI was 'Seventeen', their version of 'American Bandstand' or 'Soul Train' back in 1958.  

Let's go back to a simpler time.... February of 1958.  58 years ago this month.....