Saturday, January 28, 2017


It doesn't seem possible that this Toobworld essential is unknown to anyone, but just in case.....

From Wikipedia:

'Bewitched' is an American television sitcom fantasy series, originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from September 17, 1964, to March 25, 1972. It was created by Sol Saks under executive director Harry Ackerman, and starred Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York (1964–1969), Agnes Moorehead, and David White. Dick Sargent replaced an ill York for the final three seasons (1969–1972). The show is about a witch who marries an ordinary mortal man, and vows to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife. Bewitched enjoyed great popularity, finishing as the number two show in America during its debut season, and becoming the longest-running supernatural-themed sitcom of the 1960s–1970s. The show continues to be seen throughout the world in syndication and on recorded media.

Samantha and her family and friends are Multiversals, appearing in several TV shows, cartoons, a movie, and as befitting this weekly feature, comic books.

Here are some of the covers for the Stephens Family in the Comic Book Universe:


Friday, January 27, 2017


"Everybody loves a clown."
William Krebs
Bingo the Clown


Bingo the Clown was entertaining the crowd outside the Tivoli Theater on Houston Street when he was mugged by repeat offender Arthur Duncan.  Duncan had switched to attacking street performers after ripping off the Salvation Army and assaulting the handicapped.  Before Bingo, Duncan had mugged three other clowns, a mime, a juggler, and a couple of one-man bands.  (After Bingo, Duncan also mugged a clown named Mr. Jingles.)

You guys know me. I can't just leave it at that.  I needed to fill in the blanks and find appropriate TV characters to be those three other clowns, the mime, the juggler, and the one-man bands.


HoHo the Clown
Episode: Hoho the Clown

Darrin gets free tickets for Samantha and Tabatha to a live taping of "Hoho the Clown", Tabatha's favorite television show, as Solow Toys, the show's sponsor, is a client of Darrin's. Samantha and Darrin, who saw the show live on television as well, are unaware of is that Endora also put a spell on Hoho to make Tabatha the one and only person for whom he will do the show and direct his attention. So when Hoho pays all his attention to Tabatha at the next show, Samantha and Darrin have to get Endora both to remove the spell, and somehow overcome the inevitable problem of implied fraud when Solow finds out that Tabatha is Darrin's daughter.

By the time Hoho the Clown was mugged by Duncan in 1982, the former star of his eponymous kids' show in New York City had fallen on hard times.  When the Solow Toy Company pulled their sponsorship of the afternoon program on WXIU, TV stations were finding it more cost effective to run syndicated reruns of shows like 'Mosquito Man' and 'Jed Clayton, US Marshal' rather than provide their own programming.  (And then when talk shows and reality programming took hold, fuhgeddaboutit!)  Because of the rumors of corruption due to the mess caused by Endora, Hoho found himself virtually blacklisted in the TV industry.  He was forced into competing in the cut-throat business of birthday party entertainment in the Big Apple.  And from there, he was reduced to becoming a down-and-out street performer.  And that's when Arthur Duncan struck.

Mike Kelley
'Make Room for Daddy'
Episode: Christmas and Clowns 
Anticipating the first Christmas without Margaret, Danny invites a troupe of circus clowns for Christmas dinner to cheer Rusty and Terry.

Mike Kelley had been kind of a mentor to Danny Williams when he ran away from home to join the circus at a young age.  By the time they were reunited, Mike and his fellow circus folk had fallen on hard times, but the Christmas performance in the Williams' living room did a lot to cheer them all up that holiday.  (O'BSERVATION: I think that IMDb summary is wrong.  I think the kids asked Mike to perform in order to cheer their father up.)  Thanks to the rekindling of his friendship with Danny Williams, things began to happen for Mike Kelley - there were nightclub gigs, tours with a few small circuses including a tour with Inky's carnival that took him to Hawai'i.  One person who was probably glad to see the upturn in Mike's fortunes was his identical cousin in Westport, Ct., who sometimes lent Mike money and let him stay at his house on Morning Glory Circle.  (Bad enough he had to share it year round with his nosy busybody of a wife!)

'The Odd Couple'
Episode: Surprise, Surprise
Felix's surprise birthday party for his daughter is in competition with Oscar's big poker game.

Sherman had quite an enterprise going in children's entertainment.  Business was so good he probably got the other clowns to work for him which helped to cut down on the rivalries.  But he also had a bad gambling habit which nearly brought him to ruin.  (Addictions ran strong in his family: he had an identical cousin down in North Carolina who had a very bad drinking problem.)  So by 1982, Sherman Enterprises had been reduced to just him, working whatever street corner or small city park that wasn't already claimed by one of his former proteges.


Episode: 2 Good 2 Be 4 Real 
Diane is taking a mime class and brings the resident mime, Sotto, into the bar to entertain the patrons. Diane is sure that Sam, who hates mimes as does everyone else in the bar, will love the art form by evening's end. Every single person in the bar does have the same attitude toward Sotto as Diane by the time that he is ready to leave at the end of the night.

"Sotto" was so traumatized and embittered by his experiences in New York City, he decided to move to Boston after being mugged by Duncan.  Unfortunately, the psychological damage from the mugging left him with PTJS - Post-Traumatic Jester Stress - which he then transferred to his audiences in Beantown.


Marko the Magnificent
'The Flying Nun'
Episode: Sister Socko in San Tanco 
Convent orphan Michael Antonio idolizes his uncle, renowned magician and juggler Marko the Magnificient. Marko is coming to San Tanco to visit Michael, an opportunity Sister Bertrille cannot let pass. Since the hot water pipes in the convent had just burst, she persuades the Reverend Mother to hold a benefit concert headlining Marko the Magnificent. The Reverend Mother thinks it's a good idea since she has seen the amazing feats of Marko. Marko however does not want to do it since he has come to San Tanco for some rest and personal time with Michael. Feeling pressured from Michael as well as some pre-publicity of the concert, Marko reluctantly concedes to doing it.  Sister Bertrille learns that Marko's reluctance masks the fact that his hands are afflicted with arthritis and he can no longer perform magic or juggle. Sister Bertrille comes up with a solution for Marko. They can create a magic act around levitating Sister Bertrille, who will be flying on her own. 

By 1982, Marko the Magnificent had long since retired and was only making special appearances on the nostalgia circuit, a few talk shows whose hosts had grown up idolizing the magician/juggler, and hosting himself at the few nightclubs which still booked magic acts.  Marko was on his way home from one of these gigs when he was attacked by Duncan.  (Theory of Relateeveety: Marko's full name might have been Marko Manzeppi.  If so, he might then have been descended from Count Manzeppi from a century previous who had been a master criminal in the wild, wild West.


Rory, The One Man Band Man
Episode: The Telethon
Maude and the gang come together to perform in a telethon that Maude has organized. However, when she fails to come up with a celebrity to appear in the telethon she is left organizing a telethon without a cause, when the charity for which Maude has put in a lot of work withdraws at the last moment. As the minutes wind down, she must come up with a cause or face being taken off the air.

This was probably the One Man Band Man's only shot at TV "stardom", even if it was broadcast on Channel 72 to the viewing public in the Tuckahoe area.  Otherwise, he contented himself with supplementing his social security with street performances near City Hall on the weekends.  (It was a very patriotic act he performed.)  But the mugging cut short his musical ventures because the shock of the experience weakened his heart.  Thereafter he focused only on his job working for Walter Findlay.  (O'Bservation: Dick Winslow is only credited as "One-Man Band" in this episode.  But he would resurface again in a Christmas episode as Rory, one of Walter's employees.)

'The Andy Griffith Show'
Episode: Banjo-Playing Deputy 
When Andy forces the harem dancer show at the carnival to shut down, the owner decides to move on but leaves his one-man band, Jerry, behind. Andy takes pity on the jobless and penniless young man and invites him home for dinner. With Barney away, Aunt Bee suggests to Andy that he should hire Jerry to do some general work around the courthouse. Andy decides to try him out, but the somewhat inept Jerry has ideas about being a Deputy that don't quite work out. When Aunt Bee has her purse snatched at the carnival however, Jerry knows exactly who did it and shows his mettle to get it back.

Jerry and Mayberry, North Carolina did not make a good fit, so he soon moved on until he finally gravitated to Manhattan and immersed himself into the counter-culture scene.  After getting mugged by Duncan, Jerry crossed the river and decided to try his luck along the boardwalk in Atlantic City.  At least there he felt at home among the oddities on the fringes of show business.

One last O'Bservation: I am tempted to induct Arthur Duncan into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame on the Birthday Honors List this June for this.....

I've also got one more Theory of Relateeveety: The last street clown mugged by Duncan went by the nom de beauzoux "Mr, Jingles".  It could be that the inspiration for his moniker came from his great-grandfather, Jingles P. Jones.  Jones rode along with James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickock but unfortunately parted ways with the folk hero of the Old West before Hickock rode to Deadwood where he would meet his fate.  

Here's another bit of Wish-Craft, a fanfic tidbit:

When he was 11 years old, somewhat-little Cameron Tucker was brought to NYC by his parents so that he could see his very first Broadway show (one starring Dick Burgess and Mary McKinnon.)  While they were down in the Village, Cam saw Bingo the Clown doing his routines on the street and right there on the spot, he decided he too wanted to become a clown.

And thus Fizbo was born.....

Remember, these are all just theories.  Should they be challenged, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of my connections....

  • 'CHEERS'
  • 'MAUDE'

Thursday, January 26, 2017


(CNN) - Actress Mary Tyler Moore, whose eponymous 1970s series helped usher in a new era for women on television, died Wednesday at the age of 80, her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum said.

"Today beloved icon Mary Tyler Moore passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine," she said. "A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile."

As part of my salute to female TV characters in the 2000 Class of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Mary Richards was inducted as my Birthday Honors List member.  "Mayr" was eligible on her own merits - appearing in three sitcoms and a TV movie with yet another TV series spinning off from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.  But I'm self-centered and I couldn't think of any other TV character I would have wanted to share my birthday with than Mary Richards.

Well.... There is one other.  Laura Meehan Petrie.

I've got candidates lined up for entry into the TVXOHOF to last the next five years.  I don't even know if I will last that long!  And the plan was to induct Rob and Laura Petrie into the Hall next June as the duo for the month of Gemini.  Sadly, the news about Mary Tyler Moore has changed all of that.  And of course, as was the case with Ilya Kuryakin and will be with Officer Jim Reed, how could Laura enter the Hall without her partner, Rob Petrie?

From Wikipedia:
  • Robert Simpson "Rob" Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) – head writer for The Alan Brady Show, a fictional network television comedy/variety show broadcast from New York City. The role of Rob Petrie was almost given to Johnny Carson, but Sheldon Leonard, the show's executive producer, suggested Van Dyke.
  • Laura Petrie (née Meehan; played by Mary Tyler Moore) – Rob's wife. As a 17-year-old dancer in the United Service Organizations, she met and married Rob. Then, she became a stay-at-home mom. About 60 actresses auditioned for the part before Moore was signed. Moore later wrote that she almost skipped the audition.

The Petries of Bonny Meadow Road in New Rochelle had a solid block of episodes in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' which became a cultural milestone often referenced in other TV shows.  
  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'
  • 'Green Acres'
  • 'Thirtysomething' -->
  • 'Herman's Head'
  • 'The Nanny'
  • 'Homicide: Life On The Street'
  • 'The X-Files'
  • 'Diagnosis Murder'
  • 'Oz'
  • 'Murder 101'
  • 'Pushing Daisies'
  • 'The Middle'
  • 'Friends'
  • 'The King of Queens'

(It was called the "Camelot of Sitcoms" for a reason.)  Luckily, those "Zonks" can be splained away - within the TV Universe, future Hall member Alan Brady bought the rights to Rob Petrie's autobiography and turned it into a sitcom starring himself.  (Brady later reworked the premise and the new series starred the televersion of Dick Van Dyke who bore an incredible resemblance to Petrie.)

A few years later, Rob and Laura showed up again in the greater TV Universe, in Skitlandia.  In 1969 DVD & MTM were re-teamed in a special entitled "Dick Van Dyke And The Other Woman" which seemed to be predestined.

Big shocker for this 14 year old in the sketch - Richie Petrie had grown up to be gay!  It was my first exposure to the maturity that television would soon be embracing.

Decades later, the Skitlandian Rob and Laura showed up again in an episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Hour' in two sketches:

But if you think I'm just being sentimental and not being a stickler for the rules (that a strict reading would insist on all three requirements come from Earth Prime-Time and not from alternate Toobworlds, then here you go:

Those blipverts are as much a part of the main Toobworld as any episode of the show itself.  It's no different than any product placement excerpt you can find in TV shows from today.  (And one day, Richie can enter the TVXOHOF himself because of the Crest commercial.)

The Petries were last seen in a TV reunion movie, "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited", in which Alan Brady brought back his writers Rob and Sally Rogers to come up with the perfect eulogy salute to him.  (Sadly, Buddy Sorrell, Dr. Jerry Helper, and Mel Cooley had already passed away.)  The Petries now lived in Manhattan in an apartment so huge that Laura was able to conduct dance classes in it, including her grand-daughter as a student.  

(It could be that Richard ROSEBUD Petrie was gay in the main Toobworld as well - not that there's anything wrong with that.  But at least in Earth Prime-Time he had a daughter.)

So with the TV series, the TV sketches, the reunion movie, and all of those references in other TV shows which validated their existence in the main Toobworld, Rob and Laura Petrie deserve to bring their Camelot personalities into the Hall of Fame. 

I will always love Mary and the characters she gave to Toobworld.  Earlier i admitted I was selfish and this is proof of it - with this induction, I get to keep both "Mayr" and now Laura in my little realm of Toobworld.  And Rob is an added bonus who joins his look-alike Dr. Mark Sloan in the Hall.

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. & Mrs. Petrie.  And good night and may God bless Mary Tyler Moore......


Wednesday, January 25, 2017



Wojo took a call from a woman who wanted to report a missing family but he told her there was nothing that they could do. 

Turns out she was reporting 'The Waltons' as missing. 

Harris threw in a sarcastic comment that the mother was a nurse now. 

'The Waltons' was an historical tv series about that family in the Depression, so it is acceptable that there was a TV show about them. 

As for Michael Learned, who played Olivia, she actually was a nurse... on TV. In 1981 she starred as a widowed nurse who got back into the routine of work. And the show used her job description as its generic title. 

But 'Nurse' wasn't named in Harris' comment, so it doesn't have to be the show he was talking about. Maybe the televersion of Michael Learned was playing a nurse in some fictional show within a show.

Maybe it was in "Endless Tomorrows", the fictional soap opera which was part of a subplot in an earlier episode of 'Barney Miller'.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Every so often I like to share pictures of my Earth Prime friends which would suggest that they do have doppelgangers in Earth Prime-Time.  (The most frequent "victim" has been Mark Thompson.  But then, he makes it so easy!)

This time out, I want to get it on record and state categorically that the person I'm showcasing today is NOT my friend.  I don't even know him.

But Brian Leonard is a friend of mine and he sent me the link to this news story.  So I want to make sure I gave him a big ol' Iddiotic shout-out.

Here's the headline for the story by Todd Wellington:

And here are the lead two paragraphs:  

(I'm providing the link here, but they do want you to sign up to read more.)

So let's take a look at Perry Mason's counterpart in Toobworld....

The Caledonian Record is the daily newspaper in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, serving northern Vermont and New Hampshire.  (It's practically on the border shared with the Granite State.)  Here's the charming tidbit of information... information... information provided by Wikipedia:

St. Johnsbury is the shire town of Caledonia County, Vermont, in the United States. The population was 7,603 at the 2010 census.

"Shire Town"....  Isn't that cute?  There could be Hobbits there!

Anyhoo, in Toobworld Perry Mason practiced law in Los Angeles, California, until he accepted a judgeship in Denver, Colorado.  After he resigned that position to defend his former secretary Della Street on a murder charge, he remained in Colorado to practice law again.

Doesn't get him close to Vermont though, does it?

I'm thinking that back in 1969 or even earlier, somebody in the televersion of this ne'er-do-well's family had known Perry Mason Esquire in Los Angeles.  Maybe they interned with him; maybe Mason taught the in a law class.  And perhaps the lawyer defended that person on a serious charge - like.. murrrderrr!

In gratitude, especially since it seems a lot of Mason's clients never had to pay the exorbitant fees usually charged by lawyers, perhaps that person felt a need to somehow honor Mason for his beneficence.  So now, maybe another family member married a man who shared the same surname as Mason.  And so around 1969, when that family member discovered that she was pregnant, the suggestion was made that they should honor Perry Mason by naming the child after him be it boy or girl.

But unfortunately, this Perry Mason failed to stay on the right side of the Law which his namesake championed.

Just a reminder - I am NOT talking about this Perry Mason exactly.  I'm talking about the possibilities for his television counterpart, who would be fictional.


Monday, January 23, 2017


From the Los Angeles Times:

Miguel Ferrer, an actor with a long list of credits ranging from “Twin Peaks” to his current role on CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles,” died of cancer on Thursday. He was 61.

A fixture on TV and in movies since the 1980s, Ferrer’s reputation as a scene-stealer began with 1987’s “RoboCop,” where he played Bob Morton, the conniving corporate executive who designed the film’s title cyborg. His other landmark role was as FBI agent Albert Rosenfield in David Lynch’s landmark series “Twin Peaks,” along with its corresponding film, “Fire Walk With Me.”

Ferrer reprised the role in the upcoming return of the series,  which is set to debut in May on Showtime.

“Great talent, better man,” wrote “Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost on Twitter. “Working & writing for him was a highlight in every part of my life.”

I was a big fan of Ferrer to the point that I envied the people who knew him.  The other highlights for me were 'Lateline', 'On The Air', and 'Crossing Jordan' (especially one episode in which Carl Reiner played his con artist father.)   I even liked 'Broken Badges'.

But it is for his breakout role in Toobworld that we are honoring Miguel Ferrer today:  FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield of 'Twin Peaks'.

From the 'Twin Peaks' wikia:

Albert Rosenfield is a cynical city-slicker forensics specialist in the FBI who appears to have grown insensitive and indifferent to other people and has contempt for the rural lifestyle of Twin Peaks. However, Rosenfield is revealed to be in fact a conflicted man who, although cynical, holds deep moral convictions.

Albert first met Special Agent Dale Cooper in February of 1978.

From the IMDb:
Albert Rosenfield is an F.B.I. forensics expert, originally brought to Twin Peaks to examine the body of Laura Palmer after her murder.

An acerbic and sarcastic character, Albert quickly makes no friends within the Twin Peaks Sheriff's Office, despite being highly recommended by Dale Cooper, and this is shown when he is finally punched by Sheriff Truman, who finally reaches the end of his tether. Albert is shown to respect only fellow F.B.I. agents at the start of Twin Peaks.

However, contrasting to Albert's acidic outward appearance, he is also a pacifist, admitting this freely and offering to let Truman hit him again at one point in the series. He is considered 'the best' in his field, and considered to be more 'on the ball' by Cooper than Agent Sam Stanley (who appears in Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me.)

More excerpts from 'Twin Peaks' websites and a truckload of screencaps could never do Albert justice.  You have to see this man in action as he walked his strange and difficult path in Life......

Agent Rosenfield meets the requirements needed for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame:
  • 'Twin Peaks' - Eight episodes
  • "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" - Feature film sequel absorbed into Earth Prime-Time
  • "Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces" - TV special utilizing a lot of the footage that never made it into the series or the movie
  • 'Twin Peaks' - At least the first episode of the long-awaited sequel, 27 years later
There will probably be several residents from the town of Twin Peaks who will eventually find their way into the TVXOHOF as well.  I just never saw the need to rush things.  So for that, I'm sorry Albert's entry will be as a memorial tribute.  He deserved to "walk in" under his own power.

Despite my statement earlier that mere framegrabs could never fully honor Albert Rosenfield, there are still a few I'd like to share:


And here are a few toobworthy quotes.....

Sheriff Harry S. Truman: 
Albert, I understand you're the best that there is. 
Agent Cooper told me that you do your job very well. 
Albert Rosenfield: 
That's right. 
Sheriff Harry S. Truman: 
Because normally if a stranger walked into my police station 
talking that kind of insulting crap, 
he'd be looking for his front teeth two blocks away on Queer Street!
FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield: 
The letter B, from Ronette's finger, was cut from a copy of "Flesh World". Perfect match. 
This particular edition features swingers' clubs for standard poodle enthusiasts. 
No comment.
Dale Cooper: 
Albert, where does this attitude of general unpleasantness come from? 
Albert Rosenfield: 
I'll have to get back on you on that. 
Dale Cooper: 
Well if you don't want two black eyes on a regular basis 
I would suggest you make some kind of peace with rural life. 
Albert Rosenfield: 
Great. After the square dance, maybe we can all take a hayride.

FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield: 
You were shot with a Walther PPK. 
It's James Bond's gun, did you know that?

Following standard operating procedures here at Toobworld Central, Albert's reference to James Bond comes without attribution to any source material.  Therefore, he was speaking of 007 as if he was real in Toobworld.  And being an FBI agent, he may have even met the spy.  And if so, we have yet another link, albeit theoretical.

And so we tip our hat to the memory of Miguel Ferrer as we salute our newest member, FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield.....

Albert Rosenfield: 
I like to think of myself as one of the happy generation.

And we're all the sadder for you having left it.

Welcome to the Hall, Albert Rosencrantz!

Right....  Welcome to the Hall, Albert Rosenfield!

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Eugene A. Cernan, the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, has died, NASA said Monday.

The retired United States Navy captain was 82.

His family confirmed the news in a statement Monday, saying he died following "ongoing health issues."

In the 1998 Primetime Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries 'From the Earth to the Moon', Cernan was portrayed by Daniel Hugh Kelly.



Dad, why are you acting like this? 
Is this about Walt dying? 

No. It's about what he didn't do when he was alive-- 
have a special bond with his daughter. 
I don't want to be that kind of dad. 
I want to be Eugene Cernan. 

Who's Eugene Cernan? 

"Apollo 17" astronaut, last man on the moon, 
coolest dad of all time. 
When he was leaving the moon, he reached down
and wrote his daughter's initials into the lunar surface. 
Since there's no atmosphere-- 
That'll be there forever. 

So every time she looks in the sky,
she knows there's a message just for her. 

Exactly. That's why dads everywhere hate Eugene Cernan. 
Okay, "hate's" a strong word.....

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