Tuesday, May 2, 2017


We have seen that the TV shows in our world, Earth Prime in the "Trueniverse", have their counterparts in Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld.  Toobworld Central had to accept that in Toobworld, just about everybody is going to have a TV show made about them - it was the only reasonable way to deal with what would have been an epidemic of Zonks otherwise.

But that's not to say that every "televersion" of our TV shows has to be exactly the same as the original.  We have had mentions of the alterations on occasion.

1) 'DOWNTON ABBEY' - Actor Freddie Thornhill ('Vicious') played a butler in an episode of that historic recreation TV series.

2) 'DOCTOR WHO' - Actors Andy Millman ('Extras') and Freddie Thornhill again played villains in episodes of this series which serves as a cover story for the Doctor's "real" activities - the TV version of swamp gas and weather balloons.

3) 'MURPHY BROWN' - Cosmo Kramer ('Seinfeld') got to do a cameo as one of the many secretaries Murphy had to wade through at her 'F.Y.I.' office.

4) 'ALL MY CHILDREN' - Victoria Chase had a running feud with AMC star Susan Lucci which culminated on the set of the soap opera.

5) 'PIERS MORGAN LIVE' - Several fictional characters have appeared on the short-lived CNN replacement for 'Larry King LIve': Peter Bash and Jared Franklin ('Franklin & Bash') and those '2 Broke Girls', Caroline Channing and Max Black.

6) GAME SHOWS - Several TV characters have appeared on the fictional versions of real game shows - Cliff Clavin ('Cheers') and Thelma Harper ('Mama's Family') competed (but not against each other) on 'Jeopardy!'; Barney Stinson ('How I Met Your Mother'), Sammo Chung ('Martial Law') and Sylvester Dodd ('Scorpion') came on down for the chance to take part in the Showcase Showdown on 'The Price Is Right', Douglas Brackman, Jr. ('L.A. Law' spun for "big money big money" on 'The Wheel of Fortune' and former model Nina Van Horne ('Just Shoot Me') was the answer to one of the puzzles on the show.  (An excerpt from this was show on an episode of A&E's 'Biography', so that's another fictional entry for a real show.)

I really wanted to include 'THE TWILIGHT ZONE', but most references are how the experiences of certain characters are similar to the show.  Alex Tabor ('Saved By The Bell: The College Years') claimed she saw an episode which had "goat people" in it.  But she was probably lying just to scare the others, the bitch. No matter.  At least I got a Super Six List without it.

So that brings me to the topic of today - 'The Joey Bishop Show.'

This sitcom began with Joey Barnes working for a talent management company, with a good chunk of the storylines being about his home life with his interfering family.  But as the first season wound down, Joey was being groomed to host his own talk show and his family life changed for the better in the second season once he was in New York City where he married the lovely gal from Texas, Elle.

Now we're not talking about Joey Barnes' talk show - despite having League of Themselves members like Roberta Sherwood, Jack Jones, and TVXOHOF members Andy Williams, Milton Berle, Jack Carter, and Buddy Hackett on as his guests, it was still a fictional show.  

But for the series fourth season, it switched networks and ended up on CBS.  With this reboot to the situation, Joey Barnes was fired from the network which broadcast his talk show*, and was finally brought into the fold at the Eye network.  There he was going to be given his own show to air on Sunday nights at 9:30 pm.  This brought dismay to him once his writer, Larry Corbett, pointed out that it meant that they would be up against 'Bonanza' in the ratings.  

In the real world?  Not too far off - 'The Joey Bishop Show' sitcom found its new home there, so it was a distorted mirror version of Toobworld.

Joey Barnes probably went from his late night talk show to a sitcom with that half hour slot in prime-time.  And that's not the draw here - we are talking about alterations to real TV shows as seen in Toobworld.

So how much more of an alteration can there be than total O'Bliteration?

Lots of TV shows are somewhat Zonked by references in other TV shows.  But there are only mentions listed in the IMDb under the heading for 'The Joey Bishop Show':

Saturday Night Live: 
Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss/The Grateful Dead (1980)  
Title mentioned by the Joey Bishop fans

The Simpsons: 
Krusty Gets Kancelled (1993) 
Krusty comments about his competitors on TV: "I've buried them all. Hobos, sea captains, Joey Bishop."

Primetime Glick: 
Regis Philbin/Russell Crowe (2001)  
This show is discussed during the Regis Philbin interview.

Saturday Night Live: 
Sigourney Weaver/The Ting Tings (2010) 
Larry King (Fred Armisen) refers to "The Joey Bishop Show" as "the greatest talk show of all time."

Here's that full reference:

Larry King: Good evening, I'm Larry King! Are these glasses getting bigger, or is my face SHRINKING?! You decide!! Tonight: The late night wars are heating up once again, with new rumors flying every day! Conan is out, Jay is in, and no one is talking about the greatest talk show of all time -- Mr. Joey Bishop!

However, all of these are references not to the real world sitcom but to Bishop's late night talk show which ran/struggled on ABC from 1967 to 1969.  The aforementioned Regis Philbin was Joey's version of Ed McMahon.  

So the sitcom was never such a pop culture icon to merit mention in other shows.  The best we can do is within the sitcom itself with the guest appearances on the talk show within a talk show by celebrities who played themselves.  And many of them have since gone on to become members of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame - Buddy Hackett, Andy Williams, Milton Berle.....  I'm thinking that one day Joey Barnes should be inducted into the Hall himself one day as a special Birthday Honors salute for the same reason as Brady Hawkes back in the first year of the TVXOHOF - for aiding in the showcase of other TV shows, a crossover enabler.

But for the televerison of the actual Joey Bishop as a sitcom star?  Nope.  He's better known within Toobworld as a talk show host and a member of the Rat Pack.  The show might as well have never existed.

And that is the greatest alteration to a real TV show within the main Toobworld.

Son of a gun....


* It couldn't have been the "Peacock network", NBC, which aired 'The Joey Barnes Show', because it was long established that Johnny Carson and the 'Tonight' show owned the 11:30 PM to 1 AM timeslot.  Joey was on from 11 to midnight.  I don't see why we can't assume he was on one of the fictional TV networks which could have been around at the time.  (Or at least one of the later TV networks which established its past history.)

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