Saturday, June 18, 2016


In Earth Prime-Time, my friend Mark Thompson was once a rogue theoretical physicist whose work was stolen and used for evil.  This caused a breach in the Chronosynclastic Infundibulum separating the many worlds of the greater TV Universe.  Mark's televersion now wanders Toobworld hoping to correct what once went wrong, accompanied by his trusty sidekick Michael Finke.  (The Finkester is from an alternate TV dimension in which the demon Mr. Sweet holds sway and everyone is under the compulsion to reveal their true natures through the darker, more destructive components to be found in the gift of Music.  Michael was able to escape that Toobworld by way of the breach in the vortex and arrived on the main Toobworld where he and Mark soon found each other.)

In this year's latest episode.....


In their latest adventure, Mark and Michael are staying at the Heriot Silencio near Lake Silencio in Utah.  There they meet a time traveler known only as the Doctor (as well as his Companion Bill) and they hit it off immediately.  In fact, the Doctor jams with Michael in the hotel bar after hours - the Doctor on electric guitar, and Michael playing an experimental keyboard he had not quite finished building.  (This keyboard tapped into the cosmic rhythms of the Chronosynclastic Infundibulum.)  However, a freak electrical surcharge causes the keyboard to transfer Michael's consciousness into the Gallifreyan... and vice versa.  Neither body can handle the transfer.  Mark and Bill have no choice but to commandeer the TARDIS and bring both Michael and the Doctor into the heart of the Vortex to make right what once went wrong.....

What happens next?  You'll have to tune in!


[Promotional considerations provided by Heriot Hotels......]


"Forget all the goals and the awards, Gordie Howe has one nice looking butt."
Marc Staal
'Late Night with David Letterman'

From the Los Angeles Times:
[Gordie] Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey” for his enduring skills and the fierce competitiveness that inspired him to come out of retirement at 45 to play alongside two of his sons, died Friday, according to the Detroit Red Wings. He was 88.

“Mr Hockey left peacefully, beautifully, and with no regrets,” his son Murray Howe said in a text to the Associated Press.

Howe suffered a massive stroke on Oct. 26, 2014, and had rallied only to be felled by several subsequent strokes that robbed him of his speech and confined him to bed.

A member of hockey’s Hall of Fame and a longtime ambassador for the game, Howe had endured many health problems the last few years, including dementia and spinal surgery.

One of the strongest and most fearless players who ever laced up a pair of hockey skates, Howe played right wing with a blend of talent and toughness that made his name a part of the sport’s jargon. Although he retired for the last time in 1980, before many of today’s players were born, a player who gets a goal, an assist and a fighting penalty in a game is still said to have earned “a Gordie Howe hat trick,” a tribute to Howe’s ability to beat opponents at every facet of the game.

The televersion of Gordie Howe appeared in two shows: an episode of the Canadian drama 'E.N.G.', which was a behind-the-scenes look at a local TV news channel, and the sitcom 'Yes, Dear'.  Sadly, he only needed one more such appearance to have qualified for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, but he'll now be forever among the also-rans (unless I can find mention of his existence in some other series.)

YouTube had the full episode for 'E.N.G.', which had the hockey great show up at the station to award the anchorman with a medal which commemorated the 100th anniversary of the very first presentation of the Stanley Cup in 1893.  (If you only want to see Howe, he comes in near the very end of the episode.)


An overly busy day at Channel 10 leaves everyone short tempered. Ann and Mike struggle to keep their relationship out of the office.(IMDb)

This next clip illustrated Jimmy's bucket list being fulfilled.  Among the celebrities he met were:
  • Gordie Howe
  • John Hiatt
  • Dale Ernhardt, Jr.
  • Fabio

The clip focuses on John Hiatt, but just before it cuts off Gordie Howe can be seen on the ice about to meet Jimmy.

'Yes, Dear'
"A List Before Dying"

At the studio, a piano almost falls on Jimmy. After escaping death, Jimmy goes through his box of "stuff" and finds a list of items he wanted to achieve when he got older. He begins to try accomplishing items still to do.

When I was a kid, I really had no interest in sports.  But in several sports, there was one name which cut through my disinterest to come to my notice.  Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath, and Gordie Howe.

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

Friday, June 17, 2016


"I think think some of the reasons I've had a sense of happiness in my life, a sense of fulfillment, is that I began with a sense of invisibility about myself. As I evolve I become more visible. When I'm 100, if I manage to write lots of plays, I can read them all in a row and it may give me some vague sense - only vague - of what I am and was."
- Peter Shaffer

Peter Shaffer won't have that chance to read all of his plays in a row once he reached his centenary.  But he nearly made it: he died while on vacation in Ireland at the age of 90, another luminary (Robert F. Kennedy being another) to die on my birthday.  

British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer, who won an Oscar for "Amadeus" and wrote "Equus", has died at the age of 90.

Sir Peter was on a visit to Ireland and died with his niece Cressida at his side, his agent said.

He had won Tony Awards for both "Amadeus" and "Equus", which was later revived with "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe in his West End lead debut.

He was able to fulfill that Irish blessing/curse, "May you die in Ireland......"

Sir Peter appeared as himself in a variety of documentaries, including a "Making Of..." about the movie version of "Amadeus".  But also in celebrations of Juliet Mills and of filmmakers in the San Francisco area.  

Several of his plays were produced for television, and a couple of those were staged several times over - something that is not uncommon in the TV dimension of ToobStage.  What makes that aspect even more interesting is that two of them - "Five Finger Exercise" & "Balance Of Terror" - were done in different languages. (There is only one ToobStage dimension, one that replays over and over, but which constantly reinvents itself.)

Here is a list of those plays which can be found in Toobstage:

Broadcast in Slovakia in 2008

Broadcast in Romania in 1984

Broadcast in Great Britain in 1970
Presented by 'Noche De Teatro' in Spain, 1974
Broadcast in Greece as "I Askisi Pente Daktylon" in 1978

Presented by 'Studio One' in 1958
Broadcast in Germany as "Terror In Der Waage" in 1960

Broadcast in Austria in 1967

Broadcast in Portugal in 1999 as "O Poder Da Gorgone"

Broadcast in Portugal as "O Fusível" in 1997

Presented by 'ITV Play Of The Week' in 1955

As many of you probably know, I'm more interested in the fictional "televersions" of people from the Real World.  And we have proof that Peter Shaffer did exist in the main Toobworld of Earth Prime-Time... even if we didn't get the chance to see him.


In the third episode of this long-running mystery series, DCI Tom Barnaby was helping out the Causton playhouse by painting sets for their production of "Amadeus".  (He probably wouldn't have gotten involved had not his wife Joyce been cast in the production.)  As it turned out, there was a lot of backstage intrigue as the production was plagued by several murders.


I was hoping for more references to the stage play, or to "Equus", in other TV shows.  But all I could find were references to the song "Rock Me, Amadeus" or to Mozart in a general sense.

Good night and may God bless, Sir Peter Shaffer.....

Thursday, June 16, 2016


2017 will be a year of memorial tributes in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, with all of the new members having been played by actors who passed away in the last two years.  But there's one I'm celebrating this year since he's being inducted as a member of the League of Themselves (which is our theme for 2016.)
And I chose this particular date because I wanted him to gain membership on a "birthday honors list"... just not my birthday.

Today we honor the memory of actor George Kennedy, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Dragline in "Cool Hand Luke", and who played Joe Patroni in all four movies in the "Airport" franchise.  In Toobworld his two biggest contributions may have been Bumper Morgan in the TV version of 'The Blue Knight', which officially made the beat cop a true "Multiversal" (BookWorld, the Cineverse, and Toobworld), and Father Samuel Cavanaugh AKA 'Sarge', the cop who became a priest.  Sarge was involved in a crossover with 'Ironside' which launched his show, but didn't get another chance at .  And unfortunately, three different entries were needed for the basic membership qualifications of the Hall of Fame.  Still it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that a way could be found to get Sarge in.  And I'm just crazy enough to pull it off.....
But for today, we're honoring George Kennedy as his own fine self.  And we're doing it on June 16 because today is my brother AJ's birthday.  And when he was a little kid, his imaginary friend was George Kennedy.
I don't think the George Kennedy of his imagination matched up to the real-life actor, but it didn't matter to me.  I had just seen the first "Airport" movie when AJ's fixation had begun and Joe Patroni had already quickly taxied his way into my list of all-time favorite movie characters.  A few years back when I took a look at the fictional versions of celebrities playing themselves, I showcased George Kennedy on AJ's birthday.  So I thought it only fitting to do so again now that he's passed away.....
George Kennedy, that is.  Not my brother!
Here are the three times George Kennedy has played himself in a fictional setting:

1] 'Wings' - "What About Larry?"
Stuck at Tom Nevers Airfield on Nantucket, Kennedy was basically stalked by Brian Hackett the whole time, peppering him with questions about the things he did as Patroni.

2] 'Benson' - "Reel Murders Parts One & Two"
After a Hollywood director was found dead in the Governor's mansion, Kennedy was among the suspects.  (It was Kennedy who wanted to use the mansion to film a movie.)

3] 'Saturday Night Live' - host in 1981, with Miles Davis as the musical guest.
While taping the show, all the cameras go out and the technicians all have heart attacks, so George Kennedy has to take charge and talk the show through to safety.

I was originally going to refer to the SNL appearance as being in Skitlandia because of that sketch mentioned above.  But a quick look through the Connections section of SNL's IMDb page shows that 'Saturday Night Live' is an accepted TV show within the TV Universe.  

Leaving aside any mentions of just catch-phrases and characters, here are some TV shows that acknowledge SNL as an actual show:
  • 'Square Pegs'
  • 'All In The Family'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'The Greatest American Hero'
  • 'ALF'
  • 'Who's The Boss?'
  • 'Designing Women'
  • 'The Larry Sanders Show'
  • 'The Golden Girls'
  • 'Married with Children'
  • 'The Nanny'
  • 'Freaks & Geeks'
  • 'SportsNight'
  • 'Even Stevens'
  • 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
And so all three of these appearances can be considered as being part of Earth Prime-Time.

Thank you, George Kennedy, for giving us so much entertainment in both the TV and the Movie Universes.

Good night and may God bless.....

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


From the Associated Press:
Janet Waldo, who provided the voice for Judy Jetson and many other cartoon characters, has died.

The veteran film, TV and radio actress died at age 96 at her home in Encino.

A native of Yakima, Wash., Waldo was featured in the futuristic series "The Jetsons," which initially aired in the 1960s. Her other credits included Josie in "Josie and the Pussycats" and Fred Flintstone's mother-in-law in "The Flintstones."

I'm sure I'm not alone among fans who saw Janet Waldo as the second most famous name among the women who were voice artists, after June Foray.  Among her characters, my favorite was Penelope Pitstop.  I had a soft spot for that daring young lady in her sports car back when um, strange things were happening.  Strange days indeed, Mama....

Eep opp ork ah-ah, Janet Waldo......

Monday, June 13, 2016


In addition to his actual appearances as his fictional televersion on several shows, as well as the previously mentioned references to him in other shows, Muhammad Ali had two more mentions that warrant inclusion in his stats for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame: In 'NCIS', Director Leon Vance, a former boxer, has a framed photo in his office of Ali gloating over the floored Liston at the end of the second fight. In "Last Man Standing", he discusses the photo with Gibbs and mentions the fixing allegations. The 'Mad Men' episode "The Suitcase" from Season 4 revolves around the second fight [which Roger Sterling attended]. The outcome actually inspires Don Draper to a commercial. [from Wikipedia]

Sunday, June 12, 2016


"She was born in 1898 in a barn.
She died on the thirty-seventh floor of a skyscraper.
She's an astronaut."
Bertram Cooper
'Mad Men'

That's basically all we knew about Ida Blankenship, the secretary whom Joan assigned to Don Draper as punishment for screwing around with most of his previous secretaries.  Oh!  And she took Roger Sterling's virginity when he was about fifteen years old.  (Not that she probably remembered that.)

A more complete look at Miss Blankenship can be found here.
But I'd like to add an additional detail.  It's not official, but accepted as such in the Toobworld Dynamic.  It's a theory of "relateeveety"....

Ida Blankenship was the younger sister of General Philip Blankenship, who worked in Army Intelligence during World War II.  

More can be learned about him here.

General Blankenship only exists in the TV Universe, not in the fictional universe of comic books.  However, there were two Philip Blankenships in the greater TV Universe.

The general rule in the Toobworld Dynamic is that the first incarnation of any character should be considered the official version for the main Toobworld, Earth Prime-Time.  However, this rule is put aside when a more complete portrayal of said character appears later in a new series.

For example: Ronald Howard, Peter Cushing, and Douglas Wilmer all played Sherlock Holmes on a regular basis before Jeremy Brett came along and crushed it as the Consulting Detective.  His appearances as Holmes covered nearly the entire canon by Dr. Watson (and edited by Conan Doyle.)  If I'm not mistaken, there were only four stories left unfilmed.  The same holds true for David Suchet as Hercule Poirot, who was able to complete filming on every Christie story about the little Belgian.  In just the English-speaking Toobworlds (including Skitlandia and one of the Borderlands), Francis L. Sullivan, Martin Gabel, and Peter Ustinov beat Suchet to the draw on television.  But Poirot was best served by David Suchet.

And so it is, in a lesser light, perhaps, for General Philip Blankenship.  In the pilot for 'Wonder Woman', he was portrayed by great character actor John Randolph.  But for the first season of the actual series, he was played by Richard Eastham.  Those fourteen episodes in which Eastham appeared outweighs the contribution by Randolph, even if he was first.

But there is an alternate TV dimension for the 'Wonder Woman' pilot, known as "Prequel Toobworld".  This covers not only the many TV pilots which would be recast when the series was sold, but also many earlier incarnations of TV characters that for one reason or another cannot be given "Primus inter pares" status due to a later recastaway.

General Blankenship was not the only character in the pilot for 'Wonder Woman' to be recast once it went to series.  The Queen of Paradise Island* also underwent a change in appearance as well.  In fact, by the second season the role had been recast again.  

Cloris Leachman to Carolyn Jones to Beatrice Straight

Had she been the only character to undergo recasting, we might have just shrugged it off to some magical technobabble among the Amazons, the power to transform one's appearance.  And that way the pilot could have been included in the dimension of the Main Toobworld.

At any rate, it is our contention that Philip and Ida Blankenship were siblings.


Princess Diana's mother, but never mentioned by name.  Leading opinion is that she is Hyppolita.