Saturday, October 15, 2016


I've previously posted that Mayberry town barber Floyd Lawson had an identical brother named Mitchell Lawson living not far away from Mayberry in Pitchfield Flats, North Carolina. 

But it looks like there was a third look-alike and he was a barber just like Floyd. However, he didn't live in North Carolina. This barber was living in Mayfield and although the state was never specified, there is a theory that it could be found in Wisconsin. 

From Sitcoms Online:
03-11-2000, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by Karnage:
I know the town that leave it to beaver was from is Mayfield. However I was wondering what state this show was supposed to have taken place in?

wisconsin. there are several clues. Madison and Monroe are often mentioned; the W on the pennant in the boys bedroom; crystal falls is in the Michigan penninsula; there is a suburb of milwaukee called mayfield.

I can buy into that. 

It could be that Old Man Lawson, AKA Floyd Sr. and the father of Floyd and Mitchell, might have been a "rambling man", somebody who traveled the country around the turn of the century and may have succumbed to the temptations of the flesh when it came to the women he encountered. 

Perhaps Floyd Lawson Sr. was a tonsorial supplies salesman back then, before returning to Mayberry to settle down as the town barber and raise his twin sons. 

Meanwhile his illegitimate son, whom he sired in 1905, grew up in Mayfield on the stories about the father he never knew as told by his mother. If so, it could be that the lad was influenced to become a barber himself. 

It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble....

By the way, the name of that Mayfield barber?  Andy - by coincidence, the same first name as the sheriff of Mayberry where Floyd lived and died. (Except for a time in 1930 when Floyd tried to ply his trade in New York City.)

One Zonk I don't have an answer for yet is why Floyd Jr. used the surname of "Colby" for a few months in the early sixties. 


'The Andy Griffith Show' 
'The Twilight Zone'
'Leave It To Beaver'
'Star Trek'

Friday, October 14, 2016


ITV has announced a slate of new projects which will soon go into production. Of them all, this one jumped out at me:

'White Dragon', from writers Mark Denton and Jonny Stockwood, will be an eight-part series shot on location in Asia. The series will be made by drama indie Two Brothers, which was established by writers and producers Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Fleabag, One of Us).

Here's the ITV press pack info:

Ambitious and timely conspiracy thriller White Dragon, written by screenwriting newcomers Mark Denton and Jonny Stockwood, has been commissioned for ITV from Two Brothers Pictures, the drama indie established by award winning writers and producers, Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Fleabag, One of Us).  The eight part series will be filmed during the autumn of 2017 on location in Asia. 
Professor Jonah Mulray’s life is turned upside-down when his wife, Megan, is killed in a car-crash in Hong Kong. Although she lived and worked there half the year, Jonah’s never been. He lives a small, sheltered life, and his fear of flying has kept him in London. But now he has no choice but to cross the ocean to identify the body of the woman he loved.
Not long after arriving in Hong Kong, Jonah makes a shocking discovery about his wife. Over the course of eight thrilling hours, Jonah is drawn deeper and deeper into a web of conspiracy as he comes to terms with this utterly alien and unfamiliar environment, battling to uncover the truth about his wife’s death.
Commented Harry and Jack Williams: “We’re delighted to be bringing Mark and Jonny’s incredible debut series to life. Their writing is rich and intelligent and combines a narratively taut thriller with a characterful emotional journey that we hope will draw audiences in.”
Writers Mark Denton and Jonny Stockwood added: "We are thrilled to be working with Two Brothers and ITV on this exciting new drama - we hope it will keep audiences gripped.” 

I got the feeling as I read those news stories that there might be some people who would think 'White Dragon' had something to do with the Anne McCaffrey novel in her epic science fiction (NOT fantasy!) series of "Dragonriders of Pern" books.  I wish it was, since I think the entire series would be a worthy successor to the adaptation of George R.R. Martin's 'Game Of Thrones'. 

Ruth the white dragon and his rider Lord Jaxom would have been a good focal point for a series.

Oh well. Better luck next time, Ruth. 



gave up on the new CBS show 'Bull' after the second episode.  Basically that's all it took to get the gist of the series. And I saw no reason why I can't assume it's to be found in Earth Prime-Time. 

But according to my online comrade Martin Ross, 'Bull' made that assumption official with the latest episode.....

From Martin:
Tuesday's ep "Ambiguous" -- defendant and rapist victim both Hudson students.  

And the NY Ledger.

Take care!

So that ties the show into the NBC 'Law & Order' franchise:
1) 'Law & Order'
2) 'Special Victims Unit'
3) 'Criminal Intent'
4) 'Trial By Jury'
5) 'Deadline'
6) "Exiled"

And by extension, all the shows in Dick Wolf's other franchise, the four 'Chicago' titles: 'Fire', 'P.D', 'Med' & 'Law'.

Plenty of other shows have referenced Hudson University and the NY Ledger, but not all of them are in the main Toobworld. 

Thanks, Martin!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Last week, I took two examples of crew members caught in the shot - one from 'Columbo', the other from 'The Andy Griffith Show' - and made the claim that they were ghosts within the reality of Toobworld.

Here's another similar photo.....


Visible crew/equipment: 
In the scene where Starbuck attempts to retrieve Apollo's arrow, a crewman in a red tee shirt and dark vest can be seen standing just behind and to the right of the display case as she is shooting out the glass.
This is not a case of a ghost haunting; I've got something different in mind.....

First off, this version of 'Battlestar Galactica' did not take place in the TV dimension of Earth Prime-Time. That honor belongs to the original version from the late 1970s, no matter that the second series was a better production overall.  

The original show and its sequel ('Galactica 1980') have ties to the mosaic of the main Toobworld - to 'McCloud' and to 'America 2Night'. I'm not about to give that up. 

But it was tempting to keep the remake as well, especially since they landed on Earth back during the age of primitive man. But there were too many similarities in the names, the characters, the planets left behind, to be ignored. I think it's better they exist in the Land O' Remakes (where they can be that Toobworld's version of the Golgafrinchams.)

Anyway, back to our interloper in the scene...

First off, the good citizens of the main Toobworld know about that remake of 'Battlestar Galactica'; it's mentioned in plenty of TV shows, especially 'The Office' and 'The Big Bang Theory':

So Earth Prime-Time had a TV show about 'Battlestar Galactica'. And evidence suggests the show was based on the remake. As evidence, check out this fantasy of Howard Wolowitz:

I have no theory as to how the Toobworldlings knew about events that took place in an alternate dimension. Perhaps someone "slid" through the vortex and brought back enough evidence of that ragtag fleet to put together a proposal and then sold it to the Syfy network. Someone like The Doctor... or maybe a new kind of Rod Serling. 

No matter how it happened, that show will be around for centuries in some form of reruns. And that's where we're going for our splainin of that guy behind the case. 

What triggered my imagination was the description of that crew member: "a crewman in a red tee shirt and dark vest."

Who else wears red shirts?

I'm thinking that in the holodeck on board Deep Space Nine, the former Terok Nor, a member of the space station's security team was acting out an adventure of that supposedly fictional 'Battlestar Galactica' during his down-time. 

However, being a "redshirt", something probably went wrong with the scenario's programming and that security ensign more than likely got killed during Holo-Starbuck's rampage. 



Over the years, plenty of TV characters have been given the comic book treatment, translating them from one fictional universe to another. 

Today we're going to showcase one particular show and three of its characters: 'The Phil Silvers Show' with Sgt. Ernie Bilko, Private Duane Doberman, and their foil, Colonel John T. Hall. 

Here are about twenty covers from the comic books about Sgt. Bilko, with four from Pvt. Doberman's own title. 

I'm not sure if characters like Barbella and Henshaw especially showed up within those books (Barbella is mentioned on one cover), but those three characters are prominent throughout these cropped covers. 

I used the covers only because they are basically one-panel cartoons in themselves. 

I hope you enjoy!


For the last video clip from the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed Alex Debbs?", here's a good example of why television is such a great repository of pop culture nostalgia. 

Do you remember filling those books of savings stamps?  I still have that taste in my mouth!

So here's Gene Barry and Jan Sterling partaking in this old-time American custom....



Since I've already shared one clip from the 'Burke's Law' episode "Who Killed Alex Debbs?", I might as well continue with a few more. 

First up, guest star Burgess Meredith as "racy" cartoonist Sidney Wilde. Mr Meredith had a turn as a leading man, but achieved his greatest fame as a character actor. I think he is the standard by which so many others would have to be measured against. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Sidney Wilde....



Millie Hutchens was a young woman from Wheeling, West Virginia, who moved to Mayberry and found a job as the counter girl at Boysinger's Bakery. 

In two episodes of 'The Andy Griffith Show', Millie quickly entered into a relationship with county clerk Howard Sprague. But after they decided to get married, they discovered how incompatible they were during the train trip to Wheeling where they were to meet her parents.  

Howard went back to Mayberry with Sheriff Andy Taylor and his girlfriend Helen Crump.  Millie didn't go back with them, but she didn't stay long in Wheeling either.  

In order to put her heartache behind her, Millie went to New York City.  It was a heady time in the Big Apple during the Summer of Love and Millie was quickly swept up in its maelstrom.   She met a handsome businessman named Rick Swanson and their whirlwind romance led them to driving down to Maryland for a quickie marriage. 

Rick and Millie might have been able to live happily ever after as a married couple, despite differences between them which created a greater gulf than that between her and Howard. 

Unfortunately, Rick Swanson was killed while test-driving a Jaguar after only a few months of wedded bliss. Now a distraught widow, Millie faced her bleak future and made the decision to return to Mayberry rather than to Wheeling. Not only did she have no desire to go running home to her parents, but she didn't want to risk getting involved again with an old boyfriend named Clyde Plaut. 

But Millie had been happy in Mayberry and she felt confident that she and Howard Sprague could co-exist there without their past coming between them. 

Such fears proved to be unwarranted, even after Millie began dating farmer and town councilman Sam Jones. 

So actress Arlene Golonka was not playing two characters named Millie in Mayberry.  Instead she was playing one role but with two different surnames. 

And that's how Millie Hutchens became Millie Swanson. 

I had written this years before, but that was before 'Mad Men' premiered. That's where I found an actual Swanson to be Millie's husband between the two Mayberry shows. 

Rick Swanson
"Mad Men" 
    - The Other Woman (2012) 
Played by Jordan Feldman
    - Lady Lazarus (2012)
Played by Jordan Feldman

Originally I had Millie as a divorcee but that didn't play well with the late 60s wholesome image of the town.  But killing off Rick Edwards - only seen in those two episodes of 'Mad Men' - was too tempting to resist. Especially in a Jaguar crash since that was the subplot for those two episodes of 'Mad Men'.

After all, widows and widowers are a time-honored tradition in Toobworld. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016


In the real world, "Cordwainer Bird" was a pen name for Harlan Ellison. But that wasn't the case in Toobworld.....



From the IMDb:


Mayberry has a new doctor in town who runs into difficulty being accepted because no one wants to be his first patient.

When Andy first walks into [Doctor Petersen's office], you can see a production man in the right side of the screen, in a blue short sleeve shirt.

We just dealt with this kind of situation in an episode of 'Columbo', and we're going to use the same splainin for what happened here in the TV Universe....

That man in the blue shirt?  Certainly NOT a production man, or even a moving man who's delivered the last few boxes for Dr. Thomas Peterson.  If he was, the Doctor and Andy would have given some acknowledgement that he was there. 

But they don't see him. And by now you've figured out why....

Yep.  He's a ghost. 

Like the circumstances of most ghosts, his uneasy spirit is tied to that office because that's where he died. I figure he must have been a patient of the previous occupant, Dr. Bennett. 

Dr. Bennett had been the GP in Mayberry since at least 1926. But he suddenly decided to retire. Sure, he was old; here's how he looked like in his only appearance on the show:

But why did he make such an abrupt decision?

I think it's because he deliberately killed that guy in the blue shirt. 

Dr. Bennett may have been practicing medicine in Mayberry for forty years, but that murder had to have happened just before he retired in 1966. That's because the ghost's clothing was contemporary to that episode. 

The man in the blue shirt may have visited Dr. Bennett for some kind of ailment, perhaps unannounced and late at night. It may have been something that was non-life threatening, but for some reason, Dr. Bennett felt compelled to violate the Hippocratic Oath and end the man's life rather than treat him. 

So here's the next big question: why would old Doctor Bennett kill the man in the blue shirt?

Whoever he was in Mayberry, the man in the blue shirt posed a major threat to either the physician's reputation, his family, his livelihood, or even to his very life.  

It would have been easy enough for the doctor to assess the threat and come up with a deadly solution to remove that threat. Dr. Bennett would have convinced the man in the blue shirt that he had the flu. (As all of this happened off-screen, free of the constraints needed to maintain the wholesome image of on-screen Mayberry, perhaps Doc "diagnosed" him as having an STD.)

And then?  A quick jab with a needle filled with "the cure", but it was a cure more beneficial to Doc Bennett than to the man in the blue shirt.  (Shades of that 'Twilight Zone' episode "What You Need".)

As for the disposal of his victim's body, I don't consider that a big question. This is why I think the visit to Dr. Bennett had to be at night. Old though he was, Dr. Bennett was still strong enough to hoist that dead weight ('Columbo' reference!) and put it into the car belonging to the man in the blue shirt. 

From there, he had plenty of options:

1} Dump the body into Myers Lake and make it look like a fishing mishap - most Mayberrians always have their fishing poles handy, so the victim probably had one in the car. 

2} Leave it in the front seat of the car and push it over the edge of Lover's Leap. 

3} Leave him not far from where Rafe Hollister's moonshine still was rumored to be and splash the body with grain alcohol so it might be assumed he drank himself to death. 

No matter how he staged it, Dr. Bennett knew that Sheriff Andy Taylor would most likely consult with him as an ad hoc coroner to determine the cause of death. 

But wherever his body was dumped, the ghost of the man in the blue shirt would have returned to the scene of the crime. And that may have spurred Dr. Bennett to flee Mayberry, more than the fear of getting caught. 

And even though he couldn't see the man in the blue shirt, Dr. Thomas Petersen might also have felt the ghost's presence in his office. That could be why Dr. Petersen was not in Mayberry for very long.  (He was gone two years later when Doc Roberts was the town physician.)

All just supposition on my part, but it's as good a splainin as any for that man in the blue shirt whom Andy couldn't see....


Originally, this was going to be a theory of relateeveety establishing Dr. Thomas Petersen as the nephew of Father Francis Mulcahy (of 'M*A*S*H').  But that can wait. It's October!  Always best for a ghost story!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


From the IMDb:
"The Most Dangerous Match"

As killer chess-champ Emmett Clayton sneaks into Dudek's apartment for the second time (to mess with the medication), he sneaks past a room where you can clearly see two figures: an older man with mustache in a white shirt, and a woman sitting on his front left side. The apartment is supposed to be empty.

Just one quibble on that item. It was Tomlin Dudek's hotel suite, not his apartment. 

But let's get down to the splainin for those two people in the suite, within the "reality" of the TV Universe.  (Forget the mundane reason from the Real World: that they were two members of the production crew.)

There's a very good reason why Emmett Clayton didn't see them....

They are ghosts.

I've spent the last 36 years in the hotel business, and I've heard enough stories about the spooks haunting both hotels where I worked. And there was one murder/suicide in that first hotel while I was on duty. 

And that's what I think we have here.  My theory as to who they were in Life: She worked for that hotel, maybe as a housekeeper.  He was her husband. They could have been separated; perhaps in the process of getting divorced.  

And one day he showed up while she was at work, finding her in that suite. Distraught that she was leaving him, he pulled out a gun and shot her dead before shooting himself. 

And now their souls are forever bound to that hotel suite. 

Since this 'Columbo' episode aired, shows with supernatural themes have flourished; so many ghosts have appeared in their episodes. And in the show that made this genre so popular, 'The X-Files', they had two ghosts who haunted a house for decades, especially at Christmas.  

So it may not be a precedent, but it does support the idea that ghostly couples exist in the main Toobworld. 

That's my splainin and I'm sticking to it. 


My thanks to Steve Skayman for reminding me of this goof.  And October is a good month to finally write about it. 


From Wikipedia:
Doris Kearns Goodwin (born January 4, 1943) is an American biographer, historian, and political commentator. She has authored biographies of several U.S. presidents, including "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream"; "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga"; "No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II" (which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995); "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln"; and her most recent book, "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism".

As seen in 'The Simpsons' - "The Town"

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Randy Cranin, who - like me - is a member of the Iddiot Nation, saw this possible Zonk last week on 'This Is Us':

As written, I'm sure it was meant to be a reference to the characters Lorelei and Rory Gilmore from 'Gilmore Girls'.  However, the characters in 'This Is Us' share the same TV dimension as the Gilmore girls (so far).  And as the Gilmores live in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and 'This Is Us' is set in Pittsburgh, it's unlikely that their paths crossed that of the guy who said the above quote. 

And who just happens to be named Toby....!

However, we can rescue this from being a Zonk by turning to another TV show for the splainin. 

In 'One True Hill', there was a small college for which Nathan Scott may have played B-Ball.  They were the Gilmore College Cobras. 

And so that's what we have here to keep that quote from causing harm to the main Toobworld.  Toby was referring to either the general populace of Gilmore College co-eds or perhaps more specifically to a Gilmore girl on the cheer-leading squad. 

Thanks, Randy!