Saturday, December 10, 2016


When Van Williams passed away last week, I was hoping I could find reason to induct Britt Reid, the Green Hornet, into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame one day as a way to honor him.  (But not this year; 2016 is all about the League of Themselves for the inductees.  Even the far too many memorial tributes.)

It looks like I will be able to induct him even though I only have two different shows in which the Green Hornet appeared - his eponymous series, which also starred Bruce Lee as his sidekick Kato, and in two separate stories of 'Batman'.  (One was just a window cameo as the Dynamic Duo scaled the building.)

But I had forgotten the Wold Newton-sanctioned family tree in which Britt Reid was the grandson of the Lone Ranger's nephew Dan Reid.  Although it wasn't brought up in either of the two TV series, it was spelled out in the radio series for the Green Hornet and in a few comic books.  So in this case, I'm willing to accept that assertion as part of the Toobworld Dynamic.  Had it caused a Zonk, I might have thought differently about it.

At any rate, it will be part of the June entry into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame next year, which is shaping up to be a memorial tribute year.

In the meantime, here is a small salute to Van Williams as Britt Reid AKA the Green Hornet.  Being Saturday, we're going to take a quick look at the Green Hornet in the Comic Book Universe*.  The Green Hornet and Kato had a life in comic books before the TV show came along.  But we're only going to focus on issues that depicted the duo as being the characters played by Van Williams and Bruce Lee.

You would think such comics would only have been published during the two years when the TV show was broadcast.  But you would be wrong, Buffalo Breath!  The Batman flavor of the TV show back in the sixties were revived with the comic book "Batman 66".  Not only did the Dynamic Duo once again do battle with those ne'er-do-wells from the TV show but they also teamed up with the characters from 'The Avengers', 'The Man From UNCLE' and.....

If only their on-screen encounter with Colonel Gumm was this interesting!


Friday, December 9, 2016


When his bell-shaped capsule splashed into the ocean after orbiting Earth again and again, John Glenn emerged an instant hero — the fighter-jock pilot of few words who in just five hours of circling the planet helped cement America’s faith that it could lead the race into outer space.

Decades later, at the age of 77, Glenn would return to space on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery after selling himself as a human guinea pig who would demonstrate the effects of space travel on the elderly.

Glenn, who also served for 24 years as a U.S. senator from Ohio, died Thursday at the age of 95, a day after being hospitalized in Columbus, Ohio.

[From The Los Angeles Times]

Being the caretaker of the Toobworld Dynamic, and the leading - well, only - voice on the board of governors for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, membership in the Hall is left to my discretion.  And I've come up with a lot of crazy splainins to at least convince myself that many previous members deserved entry in the Hall.

John Glenn is no exception.

The TVXOHOF doesn't rely on appearances in variety programs, talk shows, and news reports for a candidate's qualifications.  There should be something more... Toob-worthy.  

For this legend of a man, this modern Columbus, there were two actual appearances:

- "Docu.Drama" (2001)

and this game show:

'Name That Tune'
- Episode dated 4 October 1957 (1957)
as a contestant (as Maj. John H. Glenn Jr.)

Normally, game shows wouldn't count either unless their existence can be proven in Toobworld.  This usually happens by characters appearing on those shows.  The best examples are 'Jeopardy!', 'Wheel of Fortune', and 'The Price Is Right'.  (And 'Password' and 'Let's Make A Deal' for fans of 'The Odd Couple'.)

For 'Name That Tune', there are references in episodes of 'M*A*S*H', 'Psych', 'Cheers, and 'Daria' over in the Tooniverse.  So I would count Major Glenn's appearance as a contestant.

When it comes to the fictionalized televersions of astronauts, Buzz Aldrin has a better resume.  (And I will get around to inducting him eventually.)  But I knew that for a man of John Glenn's stature, there would be references to him made by other fictional characters of Toobworld that would verify that he existed in the Television Universe.  And luckily, there was just enough to put the Senator over the top in qualifications.  (Per the charter rules, one needs three appearances and mentions in other shows and commercials to be eligible for membership.)

Here are the two times in which John Glenn's televersion was mentioned:

Episode: "The One with Joey's Bag" (1999)
Phoebe Buffay was talking to her twin sister on the phone:

"Ursula, I have the most amazing news! I found our dad.... Phoebe, your sister. And I've found our dad! John Glenn? John Glenn is not our dad. No, I'm not gonna join you in a lawsuit against him. It doesn't matter that he wasn't there when we were growing up, he's not our father! What do you mean that's for a jury to decide?"

'Hot in Cleveland'
Episode: "The Fixer" (2013)
The girls hired Danny Doyle, a sleazy lawyer, to help their friend Emmett....

Victoria Chase: 

Are you really as good as they say you are?

Did John Glenn go to jail for murder?

Joy Scroggs: 
What murder?

I rest my case.

So in both cases, it wasn't just mentions of Senator Glenn.  They were both references that could only have involved the former astronaut in fictional scenarios.  As far as I'm concerned, they are both Toobworthy.

After that, we can then consider John Glenn "as seen on TV" - that is, played by other actors.

Of course, we have to ignore "The Right Stuff" as that's in the Cineverse.  (That movie was based on the Tom Wolfe book, so that makes John Glenn a true Multiversal.)

But there are these two portrayals to consider:

'The Astronaut Wives Club' 
Played by Sam Reid in 10 episodes
'Hotel Secrets & Legends'
    - "Space Race, Ghosts of Silver City, Surviving the Everglades" (2014)
Played by George Stumpf

Whether they belong in Earth Prime-Time or in some other TV dimension becomes a moot point since we already have enough other shows for his membership as a citizen of the main Toobworld.

Maybe the Television Crossover Hall of Fame is as cool as being inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame as he was in 1990, but it's the best I can offer in remembrance of this legend.

Godspeed, John Glenn.  Good night and may God bless.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2016



From Wikipedia:
Heather gets fed up with her name and decides she wants to go by Bianca.

During the episode, Lynn Belvedere remembered the time when Prince Charles wanted to be called "Buzz". 

This may have happened soon after the first Moon landing in July of 1969.  As an impressionable 20 year old at Cambridge, the Prince of Wales may have hero-worshipped astronaut Buzz Aldrin to the point where he wanted to use the same nickname.

Whether or not you consider my splainin to be canon-fodder, the simple fact that Mr. Belvedere mentioned HRH Prince Buzz means that the Heir Presumptive exists in Toobworld.

Eventually Prince Charles will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  I'm thinking either on his 70th birthday in 2018, or when he's crowned as King, whichever comes first.  (Sorry, Your Majesty, but you can't live forever.)

That mention by Mr. Belvedere would count towards his qualifications.  These other shows would carry more weight because he actually appeared in them as a Royal member of the League of Themselves:

'Dragons' Den'
- The Dragons' Stories: Deborah Meaden (2008) 

It's some form of "reality", but its existence is acknowledged in Toobworld thanks to shows like 'EastEnders', 'Coronation Street', 'Derek', and "The Thick Of It'.

'Coronation Street'
- Episode #1.4945 (2000)
The picture accompanying this post came from that day on the set.

"Dennis Pennis R.I.P." (1997) 
This was direct to video, but Toobworld would probably absorb it.

If you check the IMDb, you'll find this listing for His Royal Highness:

- Morning Side Story (2005) 

But Prince Charles doesn't seem to have had anything to do with this New Zealand cartoon episode, probably not with any episode in the series.  Somebody stuck in a ringer.  I just watched the episode online and I doubt the Prince would have had anything to do with it.  ('Twas funny, though....)


Tuesday, December 6, 2016


I even dream Toobworld nowadays.  As I slept Sunday night, this theoretical connection came to me......

In this episode, Kramer was hired to be an "under-five" in the latest Woody Allen project....

Well, you know they're making that Woody Allen movie in the block, and all
those people and trucks everywhere, when I saw him I must have got a little

You know I'm in that movie?

You are?

Yeah, I'm an extra.

How'd you get that?

Well, I was just watching them film yesterday and some guy just asked

Right out of the clear blue sky?

Clear blue sky!

Well, why didn't they ask me?

I got a quality.

He was given one line:

I got a line in the movie!

Get out!

That's great!

You got a line in the Woody Allen movie?

Pretty good, huh?

You're in the movie? Is he in the scene?

Oh yeah, yeah, it's me and him. I might have a whole new career on my
hands, huh

You mean *a* career.

So was Mia Farrow there?

Uh, I didn't see him.

What's your line?

Oh, well uh, okay I'm there with, uh, Woody, you know, I'm at this bar
and, uh, I'm sit-- you know it's Woody Allen, did I mention that
So I'm sitting there with Woody and I say, I turn to him and I go,
"Boy, these pretzels are making me thirsty."

But eventually he was fired because of a combination of events:

1]  Because of George's inept management of Sid's car parking business, there were accidents and traffic jams that tied up the location where Woody Allen wanted to film.  It was so bad that the director vowed never to film in New York City.  

2]  During the filming of his scene, Kramer slammed down his beer stein so hard that it shattered and one of the shards injured the director.

I got fired from the movie.

Get out of here, why?

Well, you know they were gonna shoot it today, and uh, we rehearsed it
twice, then Woody yells 'Action!' and I turn to him and I say, 'These pretzels
are making me thirsty' and I took a swig of beer, ya know, and I slammed the
glass down on the bar and it shattered.


Well, one of the pieces must have hit Woody. He started crying. And
he yells out, 'I'm bleeding' and he runs off. Anyway, this woman, she came up
to me and she says, 'You're fired.' Boy I really nailed that scene.

Since he was fired after the scene was filmed, maybe Woody used the footage rather than waste time and money in recasting and re-shooting the scene.  So Cosmo Kramer did appear in a Woody Allen movie, to go along with his turn as a secretary on the fictionalized sitcom about the life of newswoman Murphy Brown.

The question then is: what Woody Allen movie could this have been?

I don't think it's for any Real World movie that he was making at the time.  That 'Seinfeld' episode aired in 1991, which was the same year in which "Shadows And Fog" was released and while "Husbands And Wives" was being filmed.  Both movies were of a more serious nature than his earlier comedies, showing some influence from Ingmar Bergman.  So I don't think either of those two movies had a scene similar to the one Kramer described.  (Of course, the scene could have been deleted, but where's the sport in that?)

And as everything was taking place in Toobworld, I think the movie would have to be fictional.  We've seen precedence for this in 'Seinfeld':
  • "Sack Lunch" - an escapist comedy starring Dabney Coleman
  • "Firestorm" - an action movie starring Harrison Ford
  • "The Other Side Of Darkness" - in which Eric Roberts played the husband of a coma victim
  • "The Muted Heart" - a chick flick with Glenn Close and Sally Field, which I would think had a similar theme to "The Children's Hour"
They do like their fictional movies on that show!

But there are other examples, one being an Army hygiene film, "Of Ice And Lice" starring ice skater Sonje Henie which was shown in the 'M*A*S*H' units during the Korean Conflict.  And then there was an Alan Mallory novel, "Sixty Miles To Saigon", optioned by Universal as a Rock Hudson project which was a key plot point in the 'Columbo' episode "Publish Or Perish".  If they were willing to give Hudson an advance of $100,000 for the movie, I'm pretty sure it got made.

I ended with that example because I'm going to utilize a Wish-Craft here.  I think the movie was based on a different episode of 'Columbo', that Woody Allen was directing a film based on a case solved by the Lieutenant back in the early 1970s......


Dr. Bart Keppel develops an intricate plot to kill Vic Norris. Keppel specializes in motivational research and sales promotion and had arranged to show his latest promotional film to a small group of people that includes Norris. While supposedly narrating the film "live" from behind a curtain, he uses a prerecorded narration while waiting for Norris to step out to get a drink of water whereby he can then shoot him. He knew Norris would do so, as he had fed him salty caviar before the showing and then inserted subliminal messaging into his film to heighten his thirst. He further tries to blame Norris' wife for the crime, but Keppel must act fast when an employee catches on to his scheme. As for Lt. Columbo, he suspects Keppel is responsible and uses his own subliminal messaging techniques to trap him. 

As time passed, the investigations by Lt. Columbo became more and more newsworthy.  After all, he was proving world-renowned architects, senatorial candidates, famous actors and symphony conductors were guilty of murder so his fame was spreading beyond the Los Angeles area.  I think the televersion of Woody Allen learned of the Keppel investigation and found his use of subliminal influence to lure his victim away interesting enough to make a movie about it.

I even wrote about the fame of Lt. Columbo among other TV characters in the blog before.  Click here for that article. And the most damning of all is from "Stronger Than Steele", an episode of 'Remington Steele':

Laura Holt: 
Columbo... Peter Falk... Universal Studios... 1975!

In an episode entitled "Playback", Oscar Werner kills his mother-in-law. He seems to have the perfect alibi until Columbo discovers he used a video tape to alter the apparent time of the murder. 

Now all we need to do is find that tape. If Columbo can do it so can we!

Woody Allen's version would have been a very loose adaptation of the Vic Norris murder, and perhaps Allen's screenplay played out with a light-hearted tone.  In his adaptation of the facts, Woody could have taken on the role of the murderer based on Dr. Bart Keppel, but I think it more likely he would choose the role of the bumbling detective based on Lt. Columbo.  (Obviously liberties were taken.  I'm sure he gave his detective a name similar to ones he used in other films, like Melish or Zelig.)  

As for Cosmo Kramer, he was probably playing one of the other people in the screening room who were subjected to the subliminal yearnings meant for the murder victim.  It really affected his character because he had been eating dry pretzels.

Just one more thing.....*

The movie could have been filled out with any number of TV characters who were actors.  Bobby Wheeler of 'Taxi' for one.  Perhaps Mary McKinnon from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Hour' as another.  And who knows?  Maybe Colt Seaver worked on the movie as a stunt man; you know... 'The Fall Guy'.

It's all conjecture, of course, but when has that ever stopped me in the past?


* Come on!  You knew I had to say it!

This marked the 10,500th post here at Inner Toob.

Monday, December 5, 2016


There was nothing about Grant Tinker's career that could be considered minutiae, but what the spunk.....

My brother initiated this theme for his newspaper's daily "Morning 5" in honor of the late Grant Tinker, one of the giants in the TV industry.  Bill chose the 5 entries and a co-worker wrote it up.

Morning 5: Grant Tinker
November 30, 2016

Grant Tinker, who left his mark on TV from the 1970s through the ’90s, has died at age 90. His shows all ended with the cat at the top saying “Meow!” The signature was a parody of the MGM lion, based on the name of his production company – MTM – which stood for his former wife, Mary Tyler Moore. Here are five of Tinker’s most famous shows:

1. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show': Alas, poor Chuckles! With spinoffs for Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou and featuring Terryville native Ted Knight.

2. 'The Bob Newhart Show': Hello, Bob.

3. 'Hill Street Blues': Let's be careful out there.

4. 'St. Elsewhere': It was all an autistic child’s fantasy, though a fat lady sang at the end.

5. 'Lou Grant': He hated spunk. Began where “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ended, but quickly followed its own path.

The Morning 5 is always a quick item in the paper, so I hope you weren't expecting something in depth about his career.

And this is a "Minutiae Monday" blog post, after all.....


Sunday, December 4, 2016


On the first of this month, Dean Martin was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as the League of Themselves member for December.

So here are two full versions of appearances which contributed to his qualifications.

First up, here is an episode of 'The Lucy Show':

And then there is the 1976 Bob Hope TV special "Joys", which was supposed to be a parody of "Jaws".  I found it rather depressing as it purported to kill off so many great classic comedians.  (For some of them, this was their last appearance on the Toob.  What a way to go!)