Saturday, September 10, 2016


I'll tell you a story a real true life story 
A tale of the Western frontier. 
The West, it was lawless, 
but one man was flawless 
and his is the story you'll hear. 

Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, 
Brave courageous and bold. 
Long live his fame and long live his glory 
and long may his story be told. 

When he came to Kansas, to settle in Kansas,
He dreamed of a peaceable life,
Some goods and some chattel,
A few head of cattle,
A home and a sweet, loving wife.


Now he wasn't partial to being a marshall,
but fate went and dealt him his hand,
While outlaws were looting, and killing and shooting,
he knew that he must take a stand.


Well he cleaned up the country 
The old wild west country 
He made law and order prevail. 
And none can deny it 
The legend of Wyatt 
Forever will live on the trail. 


Hugh O'Brian, who helped tame the Wild West as the star of TV's “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” and was the founder of a long-running youth leadership development organization, has died. He was 91.

O'Brian, who had several health issues, died Monday morning [September 5th] with his wife nearby at their Beverly Hills home, his publicist Harlan Boll said.

Handsome, square-jawed and athletically fit, the dark-haired O'Brian appeared in a string of movies and TV anthology series in the years before he became a star portraying the real-life Old West peace officer on “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” which ran on ABC from 1955 to 1961.

TV's first adult western, “Wyatt Earp” became a top 10-rated series and made O'Brian a household name.

Portraying what the show's theme song described as the “brave, courageous and bold” frontier lawman, O'Brian wore a black frock coat, a gold brocade vest, a string tie and a flat-brimmed black hat — and he kept the peace with the help of a “Buntline Special”: a .45 revolver with an extra-long barrel.

Decades later, O'Brian showed up as Earp in two 1989 episodes of the TV western “Paradise.” He also appeared as Earp in the 1991 Kenny Rogers TV miniseries “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw”. And he starred in “Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone,” a 1994 TV movie that included flashbacks to scenes from his old series.

As O'Brian once said of the TV western that made him a star: “It's been a great horse, and she keeps coming around the corral.”

He also starred in the 1972-73 NBC adventure series “Search.” 
Dennis McLellan
LA Times

"I decided to take my mother's family name, O'Brien. But they misspelled it as 'O'Brian' and I just decided to stay with that," O'Brian said to the LA Times in 2013.  (So it's a good thing I didn't bring up how he was misspelling the family name when I got the chance to meet him in the 1990s.  But he had other things 0n his mind and he unloaded them on me.  But that's a story from the real world and we don't do dat.)

In Juy of 2002, when Television Crossover Hall of Fame was celebrating duos in TV, both Hugh O'Brian and Gene Barry were honored with an induction based on their portrayals of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson (respectively) in their eponymous series, 'The Guns Of Paradise', and "The Gambler IV: The Luck Of The Draw".  (O'Brian also had that other TV movie three years later as well.)

Even within Earth Prime-Time O'Brian was known for playing Earp - as seen in an episode of 'Make Room For Daddy' in which he played himself.  But that's okay since O'Brian was playing an historical figure in the TV show, we can just claim that he looked EXACTLY like Wyatt Earp.  Should any other TV show mention other portrayals of Earp - they are just references to movies, TV movies, or from other TV shows which would be considered fictional.  Any appearance by Earp that should be considered part of Earth Prime-Time - like 'Deadwood', 'Pistols 'n' Petticoats', 'Alias Smith & Jones', and even the aforementioned 'Bat Masterson' - then we are seeing the real Earp, but as they were viewed by one of that particular show's characters.*

Good night and may God bless "Cousin" Hugh O'Brian.....

The TV shows in which characters who claimed to be Earp but who were impostors [of one sort or another] would include:
  • 'Doctor Who' - alien construct
  • 'Star Trek' - alien construct
  • 'Buffalo Bill, Jr.' - alternate dimension
  • 'Tales Of The Century' - a tall tale told by an outright liar!


Another Saturday morning, another Tooniverse post.....

I don't think another TV series will be coming along in the deluge of Fall premieres which will dislodge 'Stranger Things' as my favorite new TV show of 2016.  I'm so hoping that when it finally runs its course, as all TV shows must (except maybe 'Coronation Street', '60 Minutes' and 'The Simpsons'), it won't have broadcast anything that would disqualify it from being a part of Earth Prime-Time.  

But an artist by the screen name of "Shamserg" has envisioned 'Stranger Things' as part of another TV Dimension, that of the Tooniverse:

Shamserg has depicted four of our main characters - Eleven, Dustin, Mike, and Lucas - as denizens in the cartoon series 'Gravity Falls'.

Here's the link to that Deviantart page.

But just in case you don't see it there, here's a message from Shamserg about how you could support his artistic efforts:

If anyone wants to support me, here's my patreon -

This isn't an official representation of 'Stranger Things' in the Tooniverse, but I would not be surprised if someday one of the many too-hip-for-the-room cartoon series adds in a cameo pastiche that would be accepted as cartoon canon.

In the meantime, 'Stranger Things' is officially part of Skitlandia, thanks to Jimmy Fallon and the 'Tonight' show, with the participation of those same four young actors.....

If Mike, Eleven, Lucas, and Dustin ever do show up in another show, played by their original actors - even just for a sketch like this! - they would qualify for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as Pandimensionals.


Thursday, September 8, 2016


In celebration of their “Britcom” heritage, the BBC has launched a showcase of “Landmark Sitcoms” and “Lost Sitcoms” this month.  Already presented have been new takes on ‘Porridge’, ‘Are You Being Served?’, ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ and ‘Young Hyacinth’, while a new version of a lost episode of ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ will be broadcast tomorrow and a new ‘Steptoe And Son’, as another 'Lost Sitcom' is scheduled for the 14th. 

I have no information… information… information yet on those last two, but by hook or by crook, I will.*  In the meantime, I have a few O’Bservations on the others which have already been broadcast. (The difference between the "Landmark Sitcoms" & the "Lost Sitcoms" is that the BBC is re-making an episode of each of 'Hancock's Half Hour', 'Till Death Us Do Part' and 'Steptoe And Son' for which a script still exists but the original recording has been lost from the BBC archives while all the others are continuations in one form or another.)


Only two of these new offerings are accepted as being part of the world of Earth Prime-Time and this is the one I’m most eager in seeing.  It’s all new cast, but they’re playing new roles and in fact the show is even set in a new prison, updated with 21st Century technology.  We still get Fletch as the main character, but he’s the grandson of the great Ronnie Barker’s Norman Stanley Fletcher.  I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to see this somehow and from what I’ve heard it may have a shot at being picked up as a series.


This show is a prequel to ‘Keeping Up Appearances’, set in the 1950s, and it would also be accepted for the Main Toobworld.  Toobworld Central makes allowances for recasting when it comes to aging and this would work in reverse as well.  If this doesn’t find its way across my eyeballs, I won’t get verklempt.  The original series, for me, was carried by Patricia Routledge’s exuberant portrayal of Hyacinth.


This "Lost Sitcom" is definitely a version of Alf Garnett and his family to be found in an alternate TV dimension – most likely the Land O’ Remakes.  It’s set during a time when the Garnetts were already established in their classic incarnations and follows exactly the events in the particular episode that's been wiped from the archives.  Who could ever think they could replace Warren Mitchell as the January 2015 inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame?  (But taking place in an alternate dimension, I have no squabble with Simon Day’s interpretation of the role.)


Of all these shows, I would think this department store comedy is most beloved by the American audience.  So a lot would be riding on it if it did get presented over here.  From what I’ve seen of the pictures, this total remake appears to be a slavish copy of the original.  You look quickly at Mrs. Slocombe and probably could be excused for thinking it was Molly Sugden resurrected.  But so far, I’m not hearing good things about it – perhaps it was too much like the original and modern sensibilities might not be so forgiving of its style of humor.  But I do salute them for bringing racial diversity into the cast with a new character.  So this would also have to be relegated to another dimension, and since it takes place in 1988, perhaps it’s a world in which the events of ‘Grace & Favour’ never took place…..

If you do get a chance to see them, or the new ‘Steptoe And Son’ (which is also an exact remake of an old episode), let me know what you thought of them.  (I admit to not knowing very much about 'Hancock's Half Hour' at all.  Was Hancock and the rest of the cast playing themselves each week, making him on a par with Jack Benny, George Burns, and Jerry Seinfeld?  Was the situation different each week?  Was it more like a sketch comedy show?  I need to learn more!) 

I understand 'Goodnight, Sweetheart', the time-traveling bigamy sitcom, was also remade for this celebration - it picks up 17 years after the events of the last episode, in which Gary Sparrow (perhaps related to Sally Sparrow?) was permanently stuck in the 1940s.  So that means it's now the 1960s for him.  I'm not sure who else is in the cast besides Nicholas Lyndhurst and I'm not even sure if recasting would matter, since the two women in Gary's life became recastaways over the course of its six seasons.

I have a long distance FB friend named John Hadlow, but who uses the “nom de whom” of Jon Pertwee. While appearing on BBC Radio Devon the other day to discuss these remakes, he talked about the show he’d most like to see remade – ‘Come Back, Mrs. Noah’.  It would have to be recast since Molly Sugden is no longer with us, but I think it would be an excellent idea.  (My casting suggestion would be Lesley Nicol, who played Mrs. Patmore in ‘Downton Abbey’.  A fellow named Owen McGhee came up with a good choice as well – Annette Badland.)

Just so long as they avoid a remake of ‘Fawlty Towers’!  A current stage show is one thing, but a new televersion would bring out the villagers with their pitchforks and torches!


* That was a reference to another British series, long my favorite show of all time but now relegated to being the “new Number Two”.  It also had a remake several years ago, albeit not a very good one.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Back in July we lost Garry Marshall, the writer-producer of so many hit sitcoms who "graduated"* to popular movies like "Pretty Woman", "The Princess Diaries", and "The Flamingo Kid".  But of course it's his TV career we're interested in here at Toobworld Central and why he's on the fast track to membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame (besides the fact that we induct those who are eligible and who have passed away as soon as possible.)

He wrote and/or produced and for the most part created the following shows which all connected to each other.  
  • 'Happy Days'
  • 'Laverne & Shirley'
  • 'Mork & Mindy'
  • 'Joanie Loves Chachi'
  • 'Blansky's Beauties'
  • 'Out Of The Blue'

He was also involved with writing episodes of 'Make Room For Daddy', but as far as I can tell, none of them played any part in the crossovers and spin-offs stemming from 'I Love Lucy' and 'The Andy Griffith Show'.

And so we tip our hat to the memory of Garry Marshall, who basically cornered the market on 50s nostalgia in Toobworld, with a few odd detours (aliens & angels!) along the way.....


I put "graduated" in quotation marks because I can't stand how television is considered inferior to movies in terms of an artist's career......

Monday, September 5, 2016



in January of 1967, a big-game hunter named Jonathan Kincaid (who may have been the grandson of a Texan named Bill Longley) arrived on the island with the intent to hunt some big game.....

From the IMDb:
Upon learning there is nothing on the island to hunt, he chooses instead to hunt one of the castaways--and he chooses Gilligan.

I've written in the past about the inspiration for the story "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell.  And if Kincaid wasn't familiar with the story of that Big Game Hunter in Toronto at the beginning of the 20th Century, then he surely was familiar with the story written by Richard Connell.  (And as Hugh Davis pointed out, so was a man who used Connell's name as an alias when he hired Echo from the 'Dollhouse' to be his companion on a wilderness adventure.....)

Kincaid was unsuccessful in killing Gilligan, yet he reneged on his pledge to get them help for a rescue in order to protect himself from the authorities.  However, the guilt over what he had almost accomplished drove him insane....

Later that year, in the summer of 1967, Kincaid won the National Trap Shooting Competition which was held that year along the St. Lawrence Seaway in Port Charles, NY.  He got a perfect score of one hundred clay pigeons out of one hundred.  However, after the match Kincaid broke down and became so violent that local authorities had to be called.  They were unable to calm him down, so the police had no other choice but to restrain him in a strait jacket. He was taken to the mental ward at Port Charles' General Hospital, where he kept muttering these mysterious words over and over again:

"Gilligan... Gilligan... Gilligan..."

General Hospital, located in Port Charles, is the basis for several TV series: the prime one is the soap opera 'General Hospital', which has been on the air since 1963.  And from that sturdy warhorse has come the spin-off 'Port Charles', another soap opera, and 'General Hospital: Night Shift' which was a prime-time serial that ran for two years for nearly 30 episodes.

But the connection between 'Gilligan's Island' and 'General Hospital' was never explicitly made.  During the radio report heard months later by the castaways about what happened to Kincaid, it was only said that he had been taken to General Hospital.  

So why couldn't it have been the same hospital famous in Toobworld for over half a century?  Wouldn't a sporting event like a trap shooting competition look great with the backdrop of the St. Lawrence Seaway? 

So I'm going to expand that connection a little bit more.  The first Port Charles police officer to arrive on the scene when Jonathan Kincaid began to have his mental breakdown was a patrolman named Ross Janelle, the illegitimate son of Ward Cleaver.  Cleaver had an affair during one of his business trips away from Mayfield (but before he married June Evelyn Bronson.  Ward just wasn't the type of man who would have cheated on his wife, even if he was under the sway of a town which had such an influence on its residents.)  Ward Cleaver left town never knowing that the young woman with whom he had the affair was pregnant with Ross.

Officer Janelle recognized the potential threat posed by Kincaid with a gun and called for backup.  As Detective Burt Ramsey arrived and was able to divert Kincaid's attention, Officer Janelle quickly disarmed the big game hunter.  Janelle and Detective Ramsey, along with other police officers arriving on the scene, were able to wrestle Kincaid to the ground so that the EMS technicians were able to strap him into the strait jacket.  

For their quick actions which resulted in saving countless lives, both Ross Janelle and Burt Ramsey found themselves on the fast track to promotion within the department.  In a few years time Janelle became a detective and in 1974 he investigated what was perhaps the biggest case of his career - the murder of Phil Brewer.  (He also found time to briefly romance a nurse at General Hospital by the name of Beth Maynard.  And as though fated to follow in the footsteps of his "father", Detective Janelle may have sired a daughter with Nurse Maynard.  If so, Beth Maynard may have raised the girl on her own, giving the child her father's last name as her first name - Janelle.)

For Detective Burt Ramsey, however, it wasn't happily ever after for him.  He moved up the ranks, from Lieutenant to Captain and finally to being the Chief of Police in Port Charles.  But he chafed under being the "Co-Chief" with Anna Devane and eventually joined the organized crime syndicate in Port Charles, known as "Mr. Big".  He was found out and confessed, which triggered his falling into a catatonic state.  In 1986, he was relegated to the same state mental facility where Jonathan Kincaid had been taken, but he eventually recovered and served his time in prison.  Afterwards Burt Ramsey sought redemption in the Church and became a priest by the new millennium.  

At the end of June, 2014, Father Burt Ramsey passed away.  Toobworld Central is unable to figure out where Detective Janelle eventually ended up, but he probably found employment in some other city as a detective.

And as for Jonathan Kincaid?  I believe that eventually his treatments at the state mental facility were successful and he was released back to his life, such as it was.  But in 1978, when the Castaways were finally rescued from "Gilligan's Island", Kincaid realized that his secret would soon be revealed.  So he begged his faithful manservant Ramoo to end his life as he was too much of a coward to do it himself.  

Four years later, Ramoo took his own life as well.

  • 'Gilligan's Island' - "The Hunter"
  • 'General Hospital'
  • 'Port Charles'
  • 'The Texan'
  • 'Leave It To Beaver'
  • 'General Hospital: The Night Shift'
  • "Rescue From Gilligan's Island"
  • 'Dollhouse' - "The Target"
  • 'The Murdoch Mysteries' - "Artful Detective"
A lot of that is conjecture, but 'twill serve.....


Sunday, September 4, 2016


I don't know how you were able to miss such incredibly sad news, but in case you hadn't heard, Gene Wilder, star of "Young Frankenstein", "The Producers", "Blazing Saddles", and "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" and a host of other comic movies, passed away from complications of Alzheimer's on August 29 at the age of 83.

As popular as he was in the Cineverse, he also made his mark in the various dimensions of Toobworld - in the Tooniverse, ToobStage, Skitlanida, and of course in Earth Prime-Time.

The year 1974 may have been his most prolific year for movies:
  • "Rhinoceros"
    - Stanley
  • "Blazing Saddles"
    - Jim
  • "Thursday's Game" (TV Movie)
    - Harry Evers
  • "The Little Prince"
    - The Fox
  • "Young Frankenstein"
    - Dr. Frederick Frankenstein
As you can see, tucked away in the middle of that list is a TV movie, "Thursday's Game" (which was actually filmed in 1971).  The TV Movie Of The Week was a big thing on ABC back in the early 70s and supplied the bulk of its programming on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for the most part.

In "Thursday's Game", Gene Wilder and Bob Newhart played a couple of guys who get kicked out of their weekly poker game and then decide to keep meeting up anyway to discuss whatever is on their minds.  It becomes kind of a one-on-one therapy support group.  This leads to some repercussions with their wives - Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman, respectively - whom they neglected to tell about the change in their schedules.

Also in the cast are Nancy Walker, Martha Scott, Valerie Harper, Rob Reiner, Norman Fell, Dick Gautier, and Chris Sarandon.  It was written by James L. Brooks.  With a cast like that known for comedy, you might be surprised at how heart-felt and touching it is.  And it's Cloris Leachman who shines the most in one particular scene which has stayed with me for the last forty plus years.

Here is the first part of the movie as found on YouTube.  If all goes according to plan, and since I set it up for this post, I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't, each succeeding segment of the movie should follow straight on from the preceding one.  (If it doesn't, I'm sure you know how to find it.)  Think of those momentary lapses as the commercial breaks that weren't.

I hope you enjoy it as much as my eighteen year old self did.....