Saturday, February 11, 2017


With the death of Barbara Hale a few weeks ago, there is now only one regular cast member from the original TV series of Erle Stanley Gardner's "Perry Mason" franchise: Richard Anderson.

With the death of Barbara Hale a few weeks ago, we tip our hat to the memory of Della Street, a future member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, and a Multiversal created by Erle Stanley Gardner for his mysteries series centering on criminal lawyer Perry Mason.  BookWorld, the Cineverse, Toobworld, the Radioverse, and the focus for this post, the comic book universe.

Saturday Comics turns its attention to 'Perry Mason' as seen in the fictional universe of comics.

The following pages are probably not in order.  I just grabbed them and threw them up on the blog to share with you.......


And in that alternate comics universe courtesy of Mad magazine.....

The defense rests.......

Friday, February 10, 2017


A lot of actors appeared in multiple roles on 'Barney Miller'.  Occasionally one of those characters would click and that actor would continue returning in that role - like Ralph Manza.  Best known as Leon Roth, the often-beleaguered blind vendor, Manza started out playing Anthony Barelli and Eddie Blake.  Alex Henteloff began as ambulance-chasing lawyer Arnold Ripner and then was seen as artistic signature forger Harold Polanski before the Powers That Be realized Ripner was a much stronger character.  He came back to play the shyster five more times and was key to a story arc for Detective Harris.

On a lesser scale was Kenneth Tigar.  A great character actor, he appeared in as many episodes of 'Barney Miller' as Henteloff, Manza, Phil Leeds, Philip Sterling, and Peggy Pope and quite a few others.  But out of his six episodes, it was only with Stefan Kopeckne that Tigar reprised a character.

- Possession (1981) ... Stefan Koepeknie
- The Psychic (1981) ... Philip Pollock
- The Photographer (1979) ... Jesus Christ
- The Ghost (1978) ... Elliot Porter
- Werewolf (1976) ... Stefan Koepeknie
- Massage Parlor (1976) ... Fletcher

From the Otto Files:
My guess, however, would be that he’s probably best remembered for one of his BARNEY MILLER episodes in which he appeared as Stefan Kopeckne, a man who believes he is a werewolf. For BARNEY MILLER aficionados, this episode entitled “The Werewolf” is probably the most remembered story next to “Hash” which is an episode where the boys eat some brownies laced with drugs. I asked Tigar why the “Werewolf” episode is so prized after all these years. His astutely simple reply was, “Because it was funny!”

I've been on a 'Barney Miller' kick for the last few months, having never been able to watch it when it first came out due to work schedules.  And I'm keeping track of a lot of the trivia in the run of the series.  One of the things I picked up is that the detectives of the 12th Precinct don't always remember the returning victims and/or criminals.  They actually admitted it in one of the episodes.  This helps splain away why they never noticed when some characters looked like other past visitors to the station.

The first time Stefan Kopeckne showed up at the station, he believed he had been bitten by a werewolf and that he was beginning to transform into one himself.  When he came back five years later, Wojo vaguely remembered the last time he was there.  (As it turned out, having a werewolf in the cage was... a hell* of a lot better than Kopeckne's problem in 1981 - he was now possessed by a demon.)

But it actually hadn't been five years since Wojo had last seen him.  It had been only 2½ years.

From the IMDb:

"The Photographer"
[September 20, 1979]
Kenneth Tigar ("Werewolf") makes the fourth of his six memorable appearances, this time as Jesus Christ, or at least a man who claims to be. He smiles the entire time he's being booked for assault and disorderly conduct, scolding pimps for "debasing the harlots!"

"Jesus Christ" never gave his name when he was picked up, and Wojo couldn't find out who he was by searching all sorts of records and missing persons reports.  But he was still sent over to Bellevue for observation.  

And despite how shook up Wojo was by the experience, feeling like Judas, nearly three years later he didn't recognize "Jesus" when he returned to the precinct.  Once again he was Stefan Kopeckne, and probably because of his time spent thinking he was the Christ returned, Kopeckne proved to be a tempting host for the demon.  (Yes, I believe he really was possessed.)

So for the IMDb, this is how those three appearances by Kenneth Tigar on 'Barney Miller' are listed:

- Possession (1981)  ... Stefan Koepekne
- The Photographer (1979) ... Jesus Christ
- Werewolf (1976) ... Stefan Koepekne

But for Toobworld Central, it should read like this:

- Possession (1981)  ... Stefan Koepekne
- The Photographer (1979) ... Stefan Koepekne AKA Jesus Christ
- Werewolf (1976) ... Stefan Koepekne

One day I'm going to go through Kenneth Tigar's resume and see if there are any viable NYC characters he played who could be Stefan Koepeckne using an alias.....


* Sorry about that, Chief.....

Thursday, February 9, 2017


One of the rules that govern my custodial duties as Toobworld's Handyman is that unless otherwise stipulated, the age of a TV character is the same as that of the actor playing the role.  This rule applies to even those characters to be found in the distant Past (Westerns, Roman epics) as well as in the far Future (just about every sci-fi show.)  Of course the dates of their birth would then have to be adjusted to make this correlation be totally faithful to the actor.

One of those exceptions is/was Mary Richards.  'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' will always be one of my top six favorite TV shows; I often said it was my guide to life.  As many of Team Toobworld should be aware, it has come back to our notice sadly with blob posts and retro network "Marythons" due to the death of Mary Tyler Moore.

I still can't get my head around the fact that she was 80 years old.  But she was in ill-health for several years and she was nearly blind when she played her final role in a reunion of the actresses from the show in an episode of 'Hot In Cleveland' a few years back.  For me, she will always be in her thirties.  (When it comes to Laura Petrie, she will always be in her twenties in my mind, reunion movie be damned!)

But Mary Richards is not 80 years old as well.  She would be 77 years old in Toobworld.  This is established in the episode "The Sexagenarian" in which Mayr dated Murray's Dad Doug Booth (played by the impishly wonderful Lew Ayres.)

We found out that Mary Richards was born in April of 1939, whereas Mary Tyler Moore's birthdate is December 29, 1936.  

It's usually a given that I consider a character to have died around the same time as the actor who played them, most especially with the iconic roles (like Archie Bunker and Lucy Ricardo.  And in connection with this series, Ted Baxter.)  But in Mary's case?  I'm of the opinion that I should consider Mary Richards Cronin still alive out there somewhere in Toobworld, probably TV-NYC, and will continue to be well into her nineties.  Why not?  Mary Richards did not suffer from Type 1 Diabetes as Ms. Moore did.  She was always presented on the show as being in excellent health (for the most part - there was that episode in which she got sick and nothing went right just before the Teddy Awards.)

And it's not like anybody will really dare to take over the role as a Recastaway - she came from a series named after the star, for whom the character was specifically created after all.  Unlike characters like Hawkeye Pierce, Perry Mason, and Lt. Columbo, there will always be just one Mary Richards.

It will be interesting to note any future references to the character or to the show from this point on.  I'm hoping nobody ever tries to suggest that she died.  

After all, Mary Richards died once already in a TV dimension - in Skitlandia, thanks to a sketch on 'Saturday Night Live'.  

Murray Slaughter: 
[ touches Mary's shoulder ] 
I don't think Mary's depressed, Ted. I think she's dead! 

Ted Baxter: 
Come on, Murray, she can't be dead - she's busy. Dead people are never busy.

Murray Slaughter: 
Oh, God, Ted! How could this have happened? 

Ted Baxter: 
I don't know, Murray. I mean, she was fine this morning when I put that Drano in her coffee for a joke! 

Murray Slaughter: 
Drano?! You put Drano in her coffee?! 
Ted Baxter: 
Well, she was hoarse, and I thought it'd help clean out her pipes! [ chuckles ] Get it?

Murray Slaughter: 
That stuff's poison! Don't you read the label! 

Ted Baxter: 
Yeah, but it got boring. 

Murray Slaughter: 
Mary's dead, you killed her! Why couldn't it have been the other way around?

So I ask you: Hasn't she suffered enough?

For the full sketch, click here.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Preston Giles:
You're what?
Dexter Baxendale:
A private investigator. 
My name is Dexter Baxendale.
Grady Fletcher:
You're kidding!
Dexter Baxendale:
Not everyone in my profession sports 
a broken nose and dirty fingernails, my pubescent friend. 
When Society seeks confidential assistance, 
they do not necessarily hire Mike Hammer.

This conversation took place in late summer, 1984, at the estate of "Captain" Caleb McCallum in New Holvang, New York.  Based on standard practices here at Toobworld Central, without any accreditation to the name, we accept that Baxendale was speaking of Mike Hammer as a real person.

Mike Hammer is a Multi-dimensional.  He began "life" in the 1947 paperback "I, The Jury" by Mickey Spillane and in a dozen other novels and four short stories.  (There are at least nine more novels mostly written by Max Allen Collins but Spillane gets top billing in the byline.)

From there he moved on to five feature films and five TV movies, with four TV series and one unsold pilot for another show.  (Coincidentally, that pilot, directed by Blake Edwards, starred Brian Keith as Hammer.  Keith was one of the major guest stars in the 'Murder, She Wrote' pilot from which the above quote comes.)

Hammer also appeared in comic books eventually which had been the forum in which former comic book writer Spillane originally planned to use for his hard-boiled detective (athough his name would have been Mike Danger.)

And in the aural universe, there was a radio series as well as audio-books about Hammer.

Hammer's heyday for Earth Prime-Time (but not the greater TV Universe) was in the 1950s.  But he was still alive by 1984 and his fame was probably heightened thanks to movies and books.  (He's the type of character whose source material would be referenced in TV shows, not just the character himself, as seen here.  In fact, his fame would secure in the future, as Constable Odo and Chief Miles O'Brien both were fans of the novels about him.)  So when Baxendale cited him, he assumed Giles and the others would know who Mike Hammer was.

Someday Mike Hammer will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as a Multi-dimensional.  He may have been portrayed by Darren McGavin originally, but it will be Stacy Keach whose visage will grace the official portrait.  (Keach appeared in three different incarnations of a 'Mike Hammer' TV series as well as a handful of TV movies.)

McGavin died in 2006 and so I think we should consider Mike Hammer to have died around that time as well.  In the Land O' Remakes, Hammer is still alive, although getting pretty old.  But he will be immortal in BookWorld with each new reader of those books by Mickey Spillane.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017


The new versions of the CBS action shows 'Hawaii Five-0' and 'MacGyver' both take place in the Land O' Remakes since they're both reboots of long-gone series (from CBS and ABC respectively.)  So unlike the time 'Five-0' crossed over with 'NCIS: LA' back in 2012, there is no Zonk that needs splainin away when characters from 'Five-0' appear in the March 10th episode of 'MacGyver'.  And the fact that they share the same showrunner in Peter M. Lenkow makes the crossover seem pre-destined.

Here's the plot summary from TVLine:

In the 'MacGyver' episode, titled “Flashlight,” Mac and the team travel to the big Island of Hawaii to aid in earthquake-relief efforts. There, Mac and Jack team with Chin Ho and Kono to rescue a group of government scientists trapped in a building on the verge of collapse. But as they do so, a dangerous group using the erchaos as a distraction aim to steal some top-secret weaponry that the scientists were working on.

As I noted in that previous post, the version of 'NCIS: LA' which we see each week is rooted in the main Toobworld; there are just too many other TV series connected to it.  (And I'm not about to surrender such Earth Prime-Time shows like 'Scorpion', 'JAG', and the other two 'NCIS' series to the Land O' Remakes.)

But many shows do have their counterparts in alternate TV dimensions; in fact, the Land O' Remakes has nothing but counterparts to so many other shows - 'The New Addams Family', 'The Fugitive', '87th Precinct', maybe 'Gotham' if that's not berthed in the world of Comix Toobworld.  It's just that in the Land O' Remakes, their version of 'NCIS: LA' happens to showcase the original characters as they look in the main Toobworld instead of being Recastaways.

Since these two shows don't have any impact on Earth Prime-Time, I say: Have at it!

For the full news story, click here.


Thanks to Rob Buckley for pointing this story out.  It hadn't come up in my Facebook news feed yet.  (You'll find the link to Rob's great site "The Medium Is Not Enough" to the left in the blogroll, Team Toobworld!)

Monday, February 6, 2017


I was watching some of the New Year's Eve marathon of 'The Joey Bishop Show' and in the episode "My Buddy, My Buddy", the guest star was Buddy Hackett as himself (with Danny Thomas as a surprise guest cameo.) 

Buddy was going to be on Joey Barnes' talk show that night and during his introduction Joey talked about how Buddy had been busy the last few months making a movie: "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". (Joey never said "It's A".)

So in my little fantasy realm of "Toobworld", the movie is acknowledged as actually existing. Of course, the televersion may have some differences from the real version.  Some other actors, perhaps, or a few different plot elements.

Here are some references from other TV shows:

Mad Men: The Good News 
The movie is one of the ones that Don and Lane are contemplating seeing.

Cold Case: November 22 
Sharon tells the police she was watching this movie when the usher announced that JFK had been shot.

Remington Steele: Steele in the Chips 
Steele remarks how their pursuit of cookies is similar to the pursuit for an object in this film.

Remington Steele: Steele Among the Living 
Mentioned in the dialogue.


Sunday, February 5, 2017


I'm still fixated on the turn of events in Washington.......  

So here's a short entry for this day of rest [AKA Video Sunday]: