Saturday, March 4, 2017



For no other reason than it's Palindrome Day, we're going to march forth and clear out the Augean stables which are my picture files of TV-based comic books.  So have a gander:

And to finish it off, here are two fantasy team-up covers from a great blog:: 


Friday, March 3, 2017


I don't know the actual history, but I think the 'Star Trek' episode of "Mirror, Mirror" could be the first depiction of an evil alternate universe on television.  (If anybody out there knows of others that were broadcast earlier, let me know.)

But since then, the "Evil Mirror Universe" has been seen in shows like 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys', and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'.  It's probably been seen in others; it definitely was discussed in an episode of 'Community'.

So as a bit of Wish-Craft Wednesday, let's take a look at a few TV show characters as they would look in the "Evil Mirror Universe".....


One of the cliches most associated with a character being from the Evil Toobworld is that he should sport a Van Dyke beard.  (Evil Spock made a compelling argument for that trope as seen above.)

So if this is true, then it's easy to believe that Jim Rockford was evil in that dimension.  More than likely he was sent to prison for a crime he actually did commit.  And it was probably murrrrderrrrr......


Not everybody in Evil Toobworld was going to be evil.  A lot of times an evil character in the main Toobworld might be the good guy in this other world.  A good example of that would be Ares, the Greek demi-god.  In the main Toobworld, as in the established mythology from the Trueniverse, Ares was the God of War.  But in Evil Toobworld, he was the God of Love.

So a character who was neither evil in the main Toobworld nor in Evil Toobworld usually had a totally different status in that dark world......


Such was the case with Lucy Ricardo, who was murdered by her landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz.  The way I see it, she was supposed to have been on the road with her husband, Ricky Ricardo, and his orchestra.  But she unexpectedly came home late at night, only to discover that her supposed friends were robbing her apartment.  Panicked, Fred and Ethel felt they had no choice but to kill Lucy and make it look like she had surprised a burglar during a break-in.


Another character who was murdered in Evil Toobworld would have been George Costanza, childhood friend of Jerry Seinfeld.  I think Jerry would have smothered George in his hospital bed because he knew George had listed him as the main beneficiary in his will.  

But here's another possibility:George was probably dating a woman whom Jerry coveted and so he had to get his old friend out of the way in order to pursue her.  

And besides... George was an annoying schlub, an inane drone.  I bet there are a lot of you out there in Team Toobworld whose evil televersion might have been tempted to do the same thing.


I think this is the one example which we can claim actually happened.  But it wasn't exactly the world of Evil Toobworld.  Instead, this is the type of scene we would have seen in the alternate timeline in which Edith Keeler  did not die on February 23, 1930.  (In fact, it might be argued that 'The Man In The High Castle' is only a temporary timeline which grew out of Dr. McCoy's interference in the fate of Miss Keeler.)

And so during this timeline, Germany was in charge of the United States.  And in that world, Friday and Gannon were investigating agents for the SS.

After the timeline was re-adjusted by Captain Kirk, everything done by these Gestapo Dragnet officers would have been wiped out of existence.


This is probably the sickest of all the evil TV characters.  Under the cover of his position as a police lieutenant, this version of Columbo preyed on children as a pedophile.  Inappropriate dialogue and situations could be suggested in the main Toobworld even though they were considered to be innocent at the time of filming.  

Check the picnic table scene in "Identity Crisis":

"Hey, you know you're pretty? Did you know that?
Huh? Sure you are.
You know it, huh? I don't blame you.
Is that your sister? You're pretty too

But in Evil Toobworld, all bets are off.  Wearing that raincoat takes on a whole new meaning in Evil Toobworld.

It's like Aqualung come to life!

And is he looking around to make sure there were no witnesses to his meeting with little Stevie Spelberg?

Blerg.  Even in an imaginary scenario, I'd rather be taking a look at the murderers instead of a pedophille!

One last one, to wash that sickening image away.....


Even my ultimate TV sweetheart, Mary Richards of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', would have been evil in that world.  Her inner niceness would not be able to overcome that shadow on her soul.  And so she would surrender her soul to the Darkness.

She would have made prank phone calls.

I'm sorry.  I really wanted to make her a serial killer.  Or even a highly paid whore based on this picture:

God knows she had every right to kill Sue Ann Niven; fittingly, to slice her up with a butcher knife after all of the Happy Homemaker's cutting remarks.

But this is the best I can think of.  

It could have started out somewhat innocently.....

"Is your refrigerator running?
Then you better catch up to it!"

"Do you have Prince Albert in a can?
Then you better let him out!"

But the rush from those types of calls could have become addictive.  And from there, their frequency accelerated and their tone got darker....

"What are you wearing?"

"Did you ever take off a piece of clothing in public and throw it into the air?  I did....."

"I didn't forget to take my pill...."

"I want you to come over and polish my Teddy Award....."

"I fell and hurt my foofoo.  Do you want to come over and kiss it?"

"They don't call me 'Mary Chipmunk Cheeks' for nothing...."


"I like the sound of your voice.  I think you and I could be so happy together. A shame your wife is still breathing....."

Oops.  I think even Evil Mary realized she went too far.....

If I should find other characters who look like they belong in the Evil Mirror Universe, I'll share them with you.....


Thursday, March 2, 2017


As we posted earlier, one hundred years ago today, Desi Arnaz was born.

From Wikipedia:
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III (March 2, 1917 — December 2, 1986), better known as Desi Arnaz or Desi Arnaz, Sr., was a Cuban-born American musician, actor, television producer, writer, and director. He is best remembered for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the American television series sitcom I Love Lucy, starring with Lucille Ball, to whom he was married at the time. Arnaz was also internationally renowned for leading his Latin music band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra. Ball and he are generally credited as the inventors of the rerun in connection with I Love Lucy.

As a producer he could arguably be considered for induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame in September for his work on various shows that dealt in crossovers.  But as a member of the League of Themselves, Desi Arnaz also qualifies with three appearances as himself in three different shows.  (All of which he produced himself.)

First up is 'Our Miss Brooks'....

'Our Miss Brooks'
- "The King and Brooks" 
(1955) ... Himself

When Miss Brooks discovered that one of her students was the son of a maharajah, she dreamt about what her life would be like if she went back to their country with them.

Here is the last segment of that dream, in which Desi Arnaz showed up and mistook Connie Brooks for his wife, Lucille Ball*.

Secondly, we have 'December Bride'......

'December Bride'
- "Sunken Den" 
(1956) ... Himself

Desi Arnaz appears as himself whose house begins to sink due to a construction error seemingly made by Lily's son-in-law. Lily conspires to meet with Arnaz to resolve the conflict.

And last, the one that calls on some splainin to do.....

'Land's End '
Guest Wanting to Cash Check (uncredited)

Although he's not listed as being Desi, nothing says he couldn't be.  Arnaz produced this pilot which can be found on the bonus disk of 'The Mothers-in-Law' which was also produced by Desi Arnaz.  The pilot starred Rory Calhoun and Gilbert Roland and had Martin Milner as the guest star/villain.

So here's to you, Mr. Arnaz.  Congratulations to your membership into the Hall.

And wherever you are, happy birthday!


From Wikipedia:
Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III (March 2, 1917 — December 2, 1986), better known as Desi Arnaz or Desi Arnaz, Sr., was a Cuban-born American musician, actor, television producer, writer, and director. He is best remembered for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the American television series sitcom 'I Love Lucy', starring with Lucille Ball, to whom he was married at the time. Arnaz was also internationally renowned for leading his Latin music band, the Desi Arnaz Orchestra. Ball and he are generally credited as the inventors of the rerun in connection with 'I Love Lucy'.

Had he been alive today, Ricky Ricardo would have been 100 years old.  In 2000, Lucy Ricardo was the January inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame to kick off a year long (for the most part) salute to the women of Toobworld.  On this special occasion it seems only appropriate that Ricky should join his wife in the Hall.  ('The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' ended with Desi and Lucy getting divorced in real life.  However, the Ricardos vanished from our TV screens still married and I'd like to think they remained so til Death did them part.  Anything else, chiefly divorce, would have to be considered fanfic.)

We could have saluted Mr. Arnaz as a member of the League of Themselves in September when we pay tribute to the talent behind the scenes who make the crossovers possible.  (We did the same for Lucille Ball in April of 2000 - Ms. Ball dominated the Hall for those first four months of the year.)  But where's the sport in that?

So let's get some background on Ricky Ricardo, courtesy of Wikipedia.......

Lucy and Ricky Ricardo are fictional characters from the American television sitcom 'I Love Lucy', portrayed respectively by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The Ricardos also appear in 'The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour'.

Ricky is a character very similar to Arnaz himself, a Cuban-American bandleader whose trademark song is "Babalu". They have a son Ricky Ricardo, Jr., also called "Little Ricky", portrayed by child actor Richard Keith.

Ricky gives his full name in the episode "Hollywood Anniversary" as Ricardo Alberto Fernando Ricardo y de Acha, but in the episode "Lucy Raises Tulips" Lucy calls him "Enrique Alberto Fernando Ricardo y de Acha III".

When she was 22, Lucy was set up on a blind date by her friend Marion Strong. Her blind date turned out to be a Cuban conga drummer, Ricky Ricardo. The two fell in love and eventually got married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Connecticut. An alternate scenario given to guest star Hedda Hopper in the 'Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour' episode "Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana," with Lucy and friend Susie McNamara (Ann Sothern, reprising her role from 'Private Secretary'), is that Lucy met Ricky while vacationing in Cuba in 1940.

O'BSERVATION: This is a Zonk which can be easily splained away by invoking future Hall member Helen Cutter.  Mrs. Cutter altered the original Toobworld timeline at some point in Earth Prime-Time's past.  Among the changes she caused which affected the Ricardos directly was the way Lucy and Ricky first met.  The blind date scenario took place in the original timeline, while the Havana encounter happened in the revised timeline. 

Let's go back to the Wikipedian information... information... information:

In the early 1940s, Lucy and Ricky moved into an old reconverted brownstone apartment at 623 East 68th Street in New York City (references made during the series date the move to 1940 or 1943). The apartment rented for $105 per month. Their landlords (soon to be best friends) were Fred and Ethel Mertz.

O'BSERVATION:  Other changes to the Ricardos' lives caused by Helen Cutter were the variations in Ethel Mertz's maiden name and the numbering of the Ricardos' apartment.

Upon moving to the city, Ricky ended up getting a job headlining the Club Tropicana where they were held over indefinitely.

In 1954, Lucy's husband is given a role in an upcoming MGM film based on the life of Don Juan. Lucy and the Mertzes followed Ricky on his journey to Hollywood stardom. While in Hollywood, Lucy meets many famous celebrities, including William Holden, Hedda Hopper, Rock Hudson, Cornel Wilde, Harpo Marx, Richard Widmark, Van Johnson, and John Wayne.

O'BSERVATION:  Some of the celebrities they encountered serve as connections to other TV shows by virtue of their appearances as their own televersions.  Harpo links 'I Love Lucy' to 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington', for example.  Hedda Hopper links the Ricardos to 'The Beverly Hillbillies', as does Crossover Hall of Fame member John Wayne who also appeared in an episode of 'Maude' and 'Here's Lucy'.

Onwards, Wiki-wise.....

Very soon after returning home from Hollywood, Ricky's band is given a chance to tour around Europe. Lucy and the Mertzes again tag along on the trip and get a once in a lifetime opportunity. They sail on a cruise ship across the Atlantic,

 There were three major countries on the tour of Europe:
  • England - Lucy took part in a fox hunt and got to meet the Queen of England.
  • France - Lucy met Charles Boyer in Paris, but it could just as easily have been a "rogue" named Marcel St. Clair who was a con artist, thief, and Boyer impersonator.
  • Italy - Lucy nearly drowned in a vat of grapes because she had angered the grape-stomper who didn't like Lucy seemed to be mocking her in her profession.  (In my Toobworld adventures, Toob Cooper tracked down the bottle of fermented grape which had come in contact with Lucy Ricardo's feet and was able to purchase it for an insanely low price.)
But the Ricardos and the Mertzes may have visited other countries with the orchestra but these trips were never seen by the audience of the Trueniverse.

And finally.....

In 1956, Lucy and her husband Ricky decide to move to Connecticut after making a trip there, and Lucy falls in love with the area.

O'BSERVATION: The farmhouse they bought was just outside Westport and by the early 1960s, Lucy and Ethel could have become friends with Samantha Stephens and even Gladys Kravitz.  (In fact, I came up with a little bit of fanfic where Ricky was hired by McMann & Tate to promote a product being sold by a Cuban expatriate.  But a spell bumbled by Aunt Clara turns Lucy into Fidel Castro and it takes all of Sam's magic to smooth things over.)

So these are the shows which cement Ricky Ricardo's qualifications to be in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame:

"I Love Lucy" 
181 episodes

"Make Room for Daddy"
    - Lucy Upsets the Williams Household 

"Sunday Showcase"
    - The Milton Berle Special 

"The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour"
13 episodes

But that's not all, dear reader!

These commercials have as much validity in Earth Prime-Time as the appearances by the Ricardos in their own series.  And they show us that the Ricardos were serlinguists, able to talk to the people of the Trueniverse.

So welcome to the Hall, Mr. Ricardo.  And happy birthday - wherever you are - Mr. Arnaz....

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


From Wikipedia:
Nicholas John Smith (5 March 1934 – 6 December 2015) was an English actor. He was known for his role in the BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?, in which he played Mr. Rumbold, the manager of the fictional Grace Brothers department store.
Cuthbert Rumbold (Nicholas Smith), the manager of the floor, was often mocked for his bald head, large ears, and lack of intelligence. Nicknamed "Jug Ears", he frequently took slang phrases literally, leading to his formulating far-fetched explanations of incidents between staff members. He often took credit for others' ideas but subsequently tried to deny all involvement when the idea inevitably proved disastrous. Mr. Rumbold's greatest ambition was to become a director of Grace Brothers: he looks up dreamily whenever the word "boardroom" is mentioned. He was usually oblivious to the sex appeal of his attractive secretaries. By the time of 'Grace and Favour' Mrs. Rumbold has left Mr. Rumbold for a younger do-it-yourself man. In the episode "Roots" his brother Mycroft (also played by Smith) makes a brief appearance.

RUMBOLD - Now there's a name with a distinctly Dickensian ring to it.  It sounds as if it could be a stout fellow who found his intestinal fortitude only after liberal servings of strong drink.  But instead, Cuthbert Rumbold was a Dilbertesque manager, save for the lack of pointy hair.  He was the Mel Cooley of Telly Olde England.

Mr. Rumbold will be joining Mr. Wilberforce Humphries in the Crossover Hall of Fame and I expect eventually many of the employees at Grace Brothers will find themselves at home there.

Here are the reasons why Jug-Ears deserves membership:

"Comedy Playhouse"
    - Are You Being Served? 
Pilot for BBC's 'Are You Being Served?' series

Mr. Rumbold with Captain Peacock

"Are You Being Served?" 
Sixty-nine Episodes
The misadventures of the staff of a retail floor of a major department store.

Are You Being Served? 
The staff of Grace Bros. take a trip to Costa Plonka while the department is being remodeled.

O'BSERVATION: This theatrical release should be absorbed into the TV Universe.

"Are You Being Served? Again!" 
... aka "Grace & Favour" 

Twelve Episodes

The staff of the defunct Grace Brothers department store reunite to run a rural hotel.

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Rumbold.  I'm sorry there's no room for you in the boardroom.....


There will be another inductee coming along tomorrow and again in a few days.....

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


'Barney Miller' 
Henry Jones
- "The Prisoner" (1978) ... Father Clement

Allan Miller
- "Possession" (1981) ... Father Clement

When Barney's marriage was on the rocks in 1978, the Department sent their counselor and chaplain Father Clement to talk with hiim.  Athough aged and a priest, Father Clement had an open, healthy world-view.  About three years later, Father Clement was called in to deal with Stefan Koepekne, who claimed (and acted very convincingly) to be possessed by a demon.  Only this time, Father Clement was a younger man in his forties and somewhat unsure about his abilities to handle the situation and even somewhat doubtful about his calling.

Although actors often came back to 'Barney Miller' over and over again in other roles*, Recastaways were somewhat rare on the show.

But I don't think these two Father Clements were meant to be the same man of God.  It would have been nice had the Clements been in some other profession or faith, but Catholic teachings wouldn't allow for them to be father and son.

But I'm open to the idea that they could be uncle and nephew.  Clement the Younger was probably inspired by the example set by his uncle to follow him into the clergy and then into the police department as well.

So I'm comfortable with this absolution of this particular sin of a Zonk.

Go in peace.....

Monday, February 27, 2017


Judge Wapner?  From 'The People's Court'?
No, I preside over my own 'Animal's Court' now.
'Sunset Beach'

A lot of news this past weekend - Bill Paxton died; a major snafu over the Best Picture winner at the Oscars; just about anything to do with Trump.

So I wouldn't be surprised if you missed this story....

From FOX 61:
Judge Joseph Wapner, of the popular reality television program “People’s Court,” died at age 97 on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles, California, according to his son Judge Fred Wapner.
Wapner presided of over the TV courtroom for 12 seasons from 1981 to 1993, and almost 2,500 episodes.

'The People's Court' was a "reality" show and usually I don't like to include those as a reason for inclusion in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  But he was the original star of this program and because of it he went on to appear on all of these other shows.  So I think it should be included.  I'm also including his spin-off 'Animal Court' which also featured his sidekick Rusty, especially since he mentioned it in his 'Sunset Beach' cameo.  (That meant Sara Cummings had seen it.)

Here are his applicable credits in chronological order for the most part:
'The People's Court'
1981 - 1993

'Animal Court'

'The People Next Door'
- "Town Without Pity"
When Walter Kellog upset the people of Covington, Ohio, with a published cartoon, his imagination summoned up not only Judge Wapner but also Henny Youngman.

'Muppets Tonight'
- "Whoopi Goldberg"
Judge Wapner presided over a case involving Miss Piggy vs. Whoopi Goldberg

- "Pilot"
The second world visited by the Sliders is Russian Toobworld, where Rembrandt Brown is brought before Commissar Wapner in his televised 'People's Court'.  For using money from the main Toobworld, he is sentenced to 15 years in a gulag.

'Malcolm & Eddie'
- "The Mad Hatter"
Eddie sues Malcolm after his prized hat collection is stolen.  They appear before Judge Wapner in an episode of 'Citizens' Court'.  This is probably the show starring the televersion of Wapner after he left 'The People's Court' in 1993.

'Sunset Beach'
- Episode #1.528
His appearance was in Sara Cummings' mind. as she thought about what could happen if her sister Meg found out that she was trying to steal away the love of Casey Mitchum.  


All but the 'Sliders' episode takes place in Earth Prime-Time, even the Muppets show. His appearance as Commissar Wapner in that 'Sliders' episode took place in Russian Toobworld.  (AKA телевизионный мир)

Technically, his appearances in 'Sunset Beach' and 'The People Next Door' were imaginary, but they suggest that he really did exist as both Sara and Walter had to know of him in order to picture him.

One other point of interest:

Wapner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6922 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on November 12, 2009.

Welcome to the TVXOHOF, Your Honor.  You led a long life and left quite a legacy......