Saturday, February 25, 2017


A little something different this week, but still comic book-based......

I'm not one who feels that the televersions of comic book characters should adhere faithfully to how those characters are depicted in the Comic Book Universe.  Sometimes I think alterations should be made, mostly for preserving the integrity of the Toobworld dynamic, or just because the original choice made was obviously a toss-off idea because nothing had been set up from the beginning.

Take the true identity of TVXOHOF member the Penguin, one of Batman's most famous foes.  It's the TV role, played by Burgess Meredith, which is the primary concern of the Toobworld Dynamic.  Never once during the run of the series nor in the 1966 movie and his cameo appearance in an episode of 'The Monkees' was he given a real name.  He was always "the Penguin".  Even in the comics, he was not given a name until five years after his creation in 1941.  

Unfortunately the name finally given for him was Oswald Chesterfied Cobblepot.  Whoever actually coined that name must have considered the arch-villain as much of a joke as his appearance suggested.  "Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot" damned him to be forever seen as that joke.  At least to me.

It's been used in the "Batman" movie which featured Danny DeVito as the deformed malfeasant, and in the alternate Toobworld series 'Gotham'.  (But at least in that case, "Cobblepot" was an alteration of the original family name of "Kapelput".  That I like, but it was too late for me to consider it for Earth Prime-Time's Penguin.  

Several times during the series and in the 1966 movie, the Penguin used several aliases.  But I think the one used most often was "P.N. Gwynne".  Now THAT I liked!  I could see that actually being his true name, hence the reason why it was used so often.  And it served as the inspiration for his nom de crime of "Penguin".

Here's another example - the name of "Edward Nigma" (I've also seen it spelled "Nygma") for the Riddler.  The Riddler as E. Nigma?  Really?  Whoever came up with that must have thought he had used clever wordplay.  But it was obvious and clumsy.  I believe in the power of names, but E. Nigma leads to a life of crime as the Riddler?

No, for the Toobworld Dynamic, the Riddler was Lew Rydell, seen in an episode of 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour' ("The Second Verdict").  Thanks to a clever lawyer, Rydell was found not guilty of murder, but it was quickly apparent to his lawyer that he was clearly insane.  Rydell was driven to murder again and his lawyer made sure he would be put away in an insane asylum this time.  And in that asylum, other inmates garbled his name to nickname Rydell as Riddler.  In his deranged state, Rydell embraced the name change and took it as his call to arms.  Upon breaking out of the asylum, he turned to a life of crime as the Riddler, focusing on Gotham City, which leads me to believe it was his place of birth.

(As for the Riddler Recastaway, Toobworld Central asserts that he was Gomez Addams, suffering from yet another conk on the noggin which changed his personality.  He took over the role while Rydell was incarcerated.)

I bring all of this up because of this week's episode of 'Supergirl'......


A magical imp called Mr. Mxyzptlk arrives on Earth* and wreaks havoc on National City when Kara doesn't reciprocate his feelings. [IMDb]

Mxyzptlk first showed up in an alternate Toobworld (Comix Toobworld-4b) with two appearances in the show 'Superboy'.  And this was the best adaptation of the character, coming closest to the original in the comic books.  

In an unseen adventure in that world, Mxyzptlk used his magic to alter Superboy's appearance.  This event serves as the divide between Comix Toobworld-4a and Comix Toobworld-4b.

In 'Lois & Clark' (from Comix Toobworld-1), the imp from the 5th Dimension no longer resembled the comic book version.  Instead, he looked more like a Yackov Smirnov Wannabe.  

I'm not even going to bother with the Mxyzptlk from 'Smallville' (Comix Toobworld-2).  The only thing remaining from the original was the name - as the surname of a Russian with mind control powers.  Why even bother wasting such a great name for someone totally different?

With 'Supergirl', they kept the basics of his character and history, but physically, they weren't even trying.  Warwick Davis might have been a better choice.

For the best possible version of the imp, I'd suggest looking to the Tooniverse.  But even there he occasionally looked like Elmer Fudd.

That change in appearance best exemplifies this theory by the master archivist of TV Crossovers, Thom Holbrook:

I get the desire to go with the classic look but technically he's an imp who can look as he likes. Alan Moore's classic "Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow" is not canon but the logic is valid with Mxy revealing his classic look is just a choice he made ("Did you honestly believe that a 5th Dimensional sorcerer would resemble a funny little man in a derby hat?"). With that concept in place, it makes sense that when seducing Kara he'd choose an appropriate look.

So I guess based on that, I could live with that theory.  Besides, to paraphrase Walsh in "Chinatown", "Forget it, Jake.  It's Comix Toobworld-3."

With all of these Comix Toobworlds I've been bandying about, I really didn't mention Earth Prime-Time.  Unfortunately, 'The Adventures of Superman' never dealt with the villains from the comic books. So Mxyzptlk never showed up in that show.  But they could have been able to cast the role with the perfect actor - Billy Barty.

As far as I'm concerned, he did play the role in that show's unseen on TV adventures.


* For Toobworld purposes, this is Comix Toobworld-3, but fine.  As far as most of its inhabitants know, they are simply on "Earth".

Friday, February 24, 2017


February 24, 1886
Inventor Thomas Edison was wed for a second time.  The widower married Mina Miller in Akron, Ohio, at her family's home known as Oak Place.  They honeymooned at the Seminole Lodge in Fort Myers, Florida.

One attendee of note at that wedding was a little girl named Martha.  She was about four years old at the time, probably born in 1882.  But it would not be until she was about 91 years of age before she came of notice in Toobworld.....


WJM news producer Lou Grant was ready to start dating again after his divorce from Edie, and so he asked his associate producer, Mary Richards, to fix him up with somebody whom he could show off at a function which Edie would be attending with her new beau.

Due to a phone miscommunication, Lou got matched up with the intended woman's grandmother, Martha Dudley.  This was the Martha who had been the flower girl at the Edison wedding.  Martha never saw the WJM newscast because she didn't own a television set; she had a fireplace.

Between 1886 and 1973, all that is known about Martha is that at some point in her life she moved to Minneapolis.  It was probably there where she married a man whose last name was Dudley and they had at least one son who had a daughter.  That granddaughter was supposed to be Lou's date.  

In keeping with Toobworld tradition, Martha Dudley passed away around the same time as the actress who played her, Florence Lake.  Ms. Lake died April 11, 1980 at the age of 75.  Martha Dudley, however, would have been 98.  

One day, one of Florence Lake's TV characters will be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, but it won't be Martha.  And when I say "one" of her characters, I'm actually combining every role she played in TV shows set in the Los Angeles area where she is credited simply as "Old Lady" or "Woman".  I don't see why they all couldn't be the same woman!!!!  (It'll be one of my birthday honors listings, so I can get away with it.)


Thursday, February 23, 2017


In the Facebook community, this is considered "Throwback Thursday".  So I thought I might take a look back at one of the three reasons I inducted myself into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame back on my fiftieth birthday.....


From the IMDb:
Gerry Miller, a professional hockey player, gives in to internal and outside pressures and adopts a more aggressive style on the ice. During one particularly violent game a player on an opposing team dies, and the authorities charge Miller with manslaughter.

When they made this movie back in 1975 or 1976, the producers took a lot of us from the UConn Drama Department to be the "atmosphere people" in the stands of the hockey rink at the Hartford Civic Center.  Ultimtately it could have been three days work at 25 bucks a day, which was nothing to sneeze at back then, especially for a college student!  Unfortunately, because of some audition piece I had to do, I only got to take part in two of the three days.  

Really could have used that 25 bucks back then....

The stars for this movie were Michael Moriarty, Andrew Duggan, Patrick O'Neal, Mason Adams, Paul D'Amato, Walter McGinn, Jill Eikenberry, Sully Boyar, George O. Petrie, Alan North (from 'Police Squad' if the name doesn't trigger recognition) and making her film debut... Meryl Streep!  

(This means that I can claim two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.  I was in "The Deadliest Season" as was Ms. Streep, and she starred in "The River Wild" with Bacon.)

But the actor I came away most impressed with was Kevin Conway as Graff, the defense lawyer.  I thought he was incredible and have found him to be so in everything else I saw him in after that.

We had quite a slew of UConn drama students there for the filming:
  • Shirley Jordan
  • Robin Douglas
    Tina Young (Maybe?)
  • Roy Mazzacane
  • Debbi Matthieu
  • Kimberly Golden
  • David Allen
And I know I'll be forgetting some others!

The actors who played members of the hockey team wore the jerseys of the Hartford Whalers and the banners in the stands made references to that team name.  So this team had to be a fictionalized televersion of the Whalers.

That's a good thing because as far as I'm concerned, I was playing the televersion of myself who at the time was not only in Connecticut, and going to school at Storrs, but I'm also an honorary citizen of Joyville, Ct.  And I've still got the certificate to prove that!

Watching the movie again recently, I realized something about my televersion - "I" had an evil twin!

Here I am at Gerry Miller's first game back to the majors (after spending a few games in Moline), sitting in  back of the Whalers coach, a guy named Bryant.  With me are Robin Douglas in white and sitting between us is my twin sister, Shirley Jordan, the lady in red.

The scene then shifts immediately to another spot in the stands, where the Hartford D.A. is with his young son (who seems enthusiastically blood-thirsty in his enjoyment of the game.)  And there I am again!  Dressed in my old winter coat and sitting next to Tina Young.  (At least I think it's Teeners.....)

And there you have it, one third of the appearances I needed to get into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

Even I have to follow the rules.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017



Let's take a look at a couple of quotes from the episode........

Yes, the final meeting of the season between 
the local Rockets and the powerful Pioneers.

So the football team that was owned by Eric Wagner was the Rockets.  Whether the team is still in existence, let alone still calling Los Angeles home, is unknown at this time.  They could have remained in L.A., but changed their name if Shirley Wagner sold off the team after Eric's death.

If so, here are some other possibilities as to names by which they were now known:
  • Los Angeles Cougars ('The Incredible Hulk')
  • Los Angeles Thunderbirds ('Psych')
  • California Bulls ('First & Ten')
Mrs. Wagner could also have sold the Rockets and the new owners might have decided to not only change the name, but move the team to another city.

Here are a few of those options:
  • Denver Monarchs – 'Dynasty'
  • Nassau Rebels – 'The King of Queens'
  • New Jersey Blazers – 'Magnum, P.I.'
  • Pittsburgh Ironmen – 'Queer as Folk'
  • San Diego Sabres – 'The Game' 
  • Seattle Cobras – 'iCarly'
  • Texas Angels – 'The A-Team'
  • The Turbos - 'Starsky and Hutch'
  • Orlando Breakers – 'Coach'
The following are from '1st And Ten':
  • Chicago Huskies
  • Dayton Cougars
  • Houston Stallions
  • Houston Riggers
  • Phoenix Warriors
  • Toronto Mustangs
(O'BSERVATION: Other cities mentioned in '1st And Ten' as having teams, but not identified by nickname, include Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Miami.  The Pittsburgh team could be the Ironmen from 'Queer As Folk'.)

Let's move on to the next quote...

We're on our way to Montreal at 6:30.
If we move fast enough, I can still pin down that hockey franchise for you.

Just because the plan was for Hanlon and Wagner to fly into Montreal, that doesn't mean the hockey team Hanlon wanted to buy was based in the City of a Hundred Steeples.  But there were quite a few hockey teams in the Quebec province that could have been in Hanlon's sights as a potential purchase for the Wagner sports empire.

All of those teams can be found in the TV series 'Lance et Compte', which can be translated as "He Shoots, He Scores".  The central team was Le National from Quebec City and was probably the team up for sale.  ('Lance et Compte' would not air until 1986, so in the team's history maybe it was up for sale in the early 1970s.

Here are the other teams mentioned in 'Lance et Compte':
  • Chicoutimi Saints
  • Prince Albert Comets
  • Trois-Rivières Dragons

One other possibility would be found in the Ontario port city of Hamilton, the Hamilton Steelheads.  They first appeared in Toobworld in 1998, so as was the case of Le National, they could have been on the block back in 1972.  As of 2000, the team was still owned by Duff McArdle, as seen in 'Power Play'.

Because of Eric Wagner's death, any possible deal fell through.  So there's no need to look at Toobworld hockey teams in other cities as the results of a purchase by his estate.

And finally the last quote from "The Most Crucial Game".......

Look, maybe I'm not the biggest fan of Paul Hanlon, but let me tell you this--
He's one of the sharpest, shrewdest general managers in this business.

Put this club on its feet.

He got another basketball franchise, built a couple of stadiums.

"Another"....  So the Wagner sports empire has - or had - two basketball franchises. (It could be that by "another", Rizzo meant that the Wagners sold one team before buying a new one.)

I think we're supposed to think that the Los Angeles Lakers were the first team owned by Old Man Wagner, as several of the Lakers were seen practicing in the episode.


Here's more on their appearance in "The Most Crucial Game":

The scene where Peter Falk and Robert Culp are talking at the basketball court has appearances by Los Angeles Lakers players LeRoy Ellis, Pat Riley, Happy Hairston, Jim McMillan and Keith Erickson. They are part of the scene, as Culp's character Paul Hanlon explains to Columbo that they are some pro players that live nearby and like to get together and play for fun from time to time.

This would be a major divergence from the Lakers history in the Trueniverse, but not so radical as the fact that Dennis Rodman's televersion is from another planet; the televersion of Dick Van Patten died years before he did in real life; and Willy Mays is a warlock!

I think that when the team was bought by a group of investors led by Bobby Short in 1957, Eric Wagner's father was among that group.  So yes, technically he was an owner of the team, located in Minnesota, but he moved along with the team in 1960 when Short relocated the Lakers to Los Angeles.  And when Short sold the team to Jack Kent Cooke in 1965, Wagner Senior divested himself of his interest as well.  And that way, Coach Rizzo was right when he said Hanlon had bought another basketball team for the family.  The Wagners just didn't own them at the same time.

When we saw the Lakers in that scene, I think Hanlon was right.  They liked to use the Wagner arena gym for practice and friendly pick-up games.  That's why Hanlon was being coy by saying they were just some local players who lived in the area.  He just didn't want the word to get out that the Lakers used the facility or they would be over-run with gawkers.

So here are some of the options to be found in Toobworld for the second basketball team in the Wagner empire:
  • Cascade Jaguars – 'The Sentinel' 
  • Philadelphia Spartans – 'Warehouse 13'
Yeah, there aren't many, but they're cherce.

I'm leaning toward the Jaguars as they would be on the West Coast, being in Washington state, and thus more manageable from the base of the Wagner financial empire in Los Angeles than a team on the other side of the country.

Rizzo also mentioned that Hanlon built a couple of stadiums.  I'm not sure that would necessarily mean the Wagners owned the teams who played in those stadiums; they could probably be contented with just collecting the leases and rents from the team owners who did occupy those stadiums.  And in building those stadiums, Hanlon probably kept it in mind that they should be centrally located near the heart of the Wagners' business interests as was the case with the Jaguars team.  So of all my choices for fictional stadiums in the United States, I chose only those on the West Coast which were only an hour's commute away by plane.

And since we've already dealt with three of the major sports in the USA, so with the stadiums, I figured I might as well tackle the "Great Telemerican Past-time".....

These stadiums were more than likely for minor league teams.  So if we're looking for California candidates, here are a few possibilities:

  • Bay City Bluebirds – 'Bay City Blues'
  • California Stars – 'The Greatest American Hero'
  • San Francisco Saints – 'Monk' 
  • Santa Barbara Seabirds – 'Psych'
  • Neptune Pirates – 'Veronica Mars'
  • Hoboken Zephyrs – 'The Twilight Zone'
Yeah, i know Hoboken is in Joisey.  But there's this:

Once upon a time, there was a major league baseball team called the Hoboken Zephyrs, who, during the last year of their existence, wound up in last place and shortly thererafter wound up in oblivion. There's a rumor, unsubstantiated, of course, that a manager named McGarry took them to the West Coast and wound up with several pennants and a couple of world championships. This team had a pitching staff that made history. Of course, none of them smiled very much, but it happens to be a fact that they pitched like nothing human. And if you're interested as to where these gentlemen came from, you might check under 'B' for Baseball - in The Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling

I've often wondered if they were supplied by the Delos Corporation.....

Otherwise, these are some other minor league teams whose stadiums could have been commissioned by Paul Hanlon as property belonging to the Wagner family:
  • Albany Senators – 'Cold Case'
  • Miami Kings – 'Baseball Wives'
  • Myrtle Beach Mermen – 'Eastbound & Down'
  • New York Empires – 'Clubhouse'
  • Gotham City Eagles - 'Batman' 
  • Motor City Wheels - 'Batman' 
If you have any other suggestions for sports teams and stadiums found only in Toobworld which should be considered for this post, let me know.......


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


After 55 years of naval service, the USS Enterprise has been officially decommissioned.

During Friday's ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was described as a "legendary" vessel that helped shape history. It served more than 50 years, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Navy officials say the Enterprise also helped pioneer modern-day carrier operations by launching the first nose-wheel launch bar designed catapult system, recovering Astronaut John Glenn when he returned to Earth after making America's first orbital space flight and launching the first strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban targets following the attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001.

Affectionately called the "Big E," the ship retired from service in 2012. The Navy has spent the past few years defueling its reactors. The ship will eventually be taken apart and its metal recycled.

For more of the story, click here.

The Enterprise has relevance in Toobworld... by way of a movie.  

From Memory Alpha:

In 1986, Enterprise was docked at the Alameda Naval Base in Alameda, California when it was breached by an apparent Soviet spy. The "spy" was Starfleet Commander Pavel Chekov, who had been collecting high energy photons from one of the ship's nuclear fission reactors to recrystallize dilithium for a captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey that had traveled back in time. ("Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home")

In 2364, a model of this carrier appeared in Admiral Gregory Quinn's guest quarters on the USS Enterprise-D. ('TNG': "Coming of Age")


Monday, February 20, 2017



In the pilot for the long-running mystery series, the major location which could only be found in Toobworld was New Holvang, New York, outside of the City to the north, probably about an hour away.  But on a more trivial level there was the Serendipity Theatre on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 17th Street.  

Based on the shape of the theater building on the street corner as seen in the episode, I think the theater would have to be this one in the real world:

What with filming always happening on the streets of Manhattan, this street corner may have already appeared on TV screens as it looks here.  If so, then it's now locked into place in Toobworld as well.  Not a problem, as in the time since the episode was first broadcast, the theater could have been reconverted back to this storefront.  

Across the street, the corner looks like this:

It looks like a building must have been taken down there in the last thirty years to put up that newer edifice with more public space.  So the theater could have been there as well.  In Toobworld, of course. I'm not so far gone that I think the Serendipity Theatre actually existed in the real world!


Sunday, February 19, 2017


With this Video Sunday, we celebrate the life and career in Toobworld for Barbara Hale and Della Street*.......

Good night and may God bless......

* In Toobworld, Barbara Hale and Della Street are two separate people.