Saturday, March 11, 2017


A lot of classic TV shows began life in the comic book dimension.  And that trend has seen a resurgence in the last few years:
  • 'Gotham'
  • 'The Flash'
  • 'Arrow'
  • 'Outcast'
  • 'Legends Of Tomorrow'
  • 'Riverdale'
  • 'Supergirl'
  • 'Daredevil'
  • 'Wynonna Earp'
  • 'Jessica Jones'
  • 'Luke Cage'
  • 'Agents of SHIELD'
  • 'Legion'
  • 'Preacher'
  • 'The Walking Dead' & 'Fear The Walking Dead'
  • 'iZombie'
  • 'Iron Fist'
  • 'The Defenders'
  • 'The Punisher'
  • 'Cloak & Dagger'
This doesn't include all of those which came before.  (A more complete list can be found here.)

So here are a few comparisons between some classic TV shows and the comic books (and comic strips) for this week's Saturday comics:

I found these a months ago on Facebook.  Probably at the Comics to Screen page....


Friday, March 10, 2017


Not quite "The Adventure Of The Engineer's Thumb", but 'twill serve.....

From Wikipedia:
At the beginning of the Second World War, James Doohan joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and was a member of the 14th (Midland) Field Battery, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division.  He was commissioned a lieutenant in the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. He was sent to England in 1940 for training. He first saw combat landing at Juno Beach on D-Day. Shooting two snipers, Doohan led his men to higher ground through a field of anti-tank mines, where they took defensive positions for the night. Crossing between command posts at 11:30 that night, Doohan was hit by six rounds fired from a Bren Gun by a nervous Canadian sentry: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his right middle finger. The bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case given to him by his brother. His right middle finger had to be amputated, something he would conceal during his career as an actor.

As Doohan would later joke in his career, he gave the finger to Hitler.

I never knew this story until after I met him.  Doohan was the special guest for an FX sci-fi auction held on the set of the network's morning show which was constructed to simulate an apartment.  I was a behind-the-scenes visitor thanks to a fellow Iddiot, Listener Mara.  (Hi Mara!)

After the show, I shook his hand and kept my cool as I realized there was a finger not making contact where it should... and that was because it was missing.  

I've read that Doohan was self-conscious about the missing finger and did his best in trying to keep it hidden from the cameras during his career as an actor.  But in the pell-mell production of a series, it wasn't that easy for Doohan to keep it from being seen as he played Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer on board the starship Enterprise.

From Memory Alpha:
Although Doohan had lost the middle finger on his right hand during the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day, Scott had a right middle finger within the 'Star Trek' storyline; any time a closeup was seen of Scott's right hand (working the transporter controls, etc.), someone else's hands were used, and when Scott appeared in wide shots, he usually hid his right hand from the camera. His loss was most evident in 'TNG': "Relics", where the missing finger can be clearly seen in wide shots while talking to Captain Picard on the holodeck recreation of the original Enterprise bridge and in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier", when Scotty is holding a bag of food.

From another Wiki:
Despite his efforts, the injured hand can be seen in several 'Star Trek' episodes: "The Trouble With Tribbles", "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", "The Enemy Within", "The Ultimate Computer" and "Catspaw", as well as in "The Search for Spock" when giving parts from the USS Excelsior to Dr. Leonard McCoy, in "The Final Frontier" when Nyota Uhura brings him dinner on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-A, and in the 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode "Relics", when the missing finger is clearly apparent as Scotty offers Captain Jean-Luc Picard a drink while on a re-creation of the original Enterprise bridge.

Again, I had no clue it had popped up in some shots of the series.  So with his appearance in "Relics", I saw that as a missed opportunity to address the issue.  I thought the loss of the finger could have been splained away by a glitch in the 70 year long transporter buffering cycle in which Scotty was trapped.

But that wouldn't explain why we saw it was missing in "The Trouble With Tribbles"....

Nor would it help the Zonk caused because the finger was actually there in the previous episode "The Wolf In The Fold" and yet missing in scenes from episodes before that.

Here are the list of pertinent episodes dealing with Scotty's missing middle finger:

"The Enemy Within"
September 2,  2324, Time: 23:43:35

"Tomorrow Is Yesterday"
February 11,  2326, Time: 07:37:55

January 7,  2326, Time: 15:25:55

"Wolf in the Fold"
August 13,  2326, Time: 10:31:26Stunt Hand used

"The Trouble with Tribbles"
July 11,  2327, Time: 00:06:28

"The Ultimate Computer"
September 24,  2327, Time: 05:32:38

"That Which Survives" 
But at some point in 2269?
Stunt Hand used

The stardates used are officially from the episodes.  The years seen on the next lines down are from the page markers found in the Okudas' "Star Trek Chronology".  And I'm comfortable with the expertise of Michael and Denise Okuda on "Trek" topics.  

The following lines with the full dates and even the times are from a stardate conversion site.

And that clashes with the Okudas' chronology.

As you can see, there were two episodes in which his middle finger is supposedly seen.  (Actor Eddie Paskey supplied the "stunt hand".) It's O'Bvious when Scotty has to use the truth detector during interrogation in "The Wolf In The Fold".  But the other day, in putting together this post, I re-watched "That Which Survives" and as far as I can tell, that was Doohan's hand holding the "sonic" wrench:

But what do I know?

Both of those episodes disrupt the timeline for the missing finger.  He's missing the finger, then got it back, lost it again, and finally regained it?  No amount of techno-babble can splain that adequately for me.

At least... not with that timeline....

Luckily for me, I can find help in this memo from the writers' bible for the original series:

 From a "Star Trek" production memo for the writer's guide:
We invented "Stardate" to avoid continually mentioning Star Trek's century (actually, about two hundred years from now), and getting into arguments about whether this or that would have developed by then. Pick any combination of four numbers plus a percentage point, use it as your story's stardate. For example, 1313.5 is twelve o'clock noon of one day and 1314.5 would be noon of the next day. Each percentage point is roughly equivalent to one-tenth of one day. The progression of stardates in your script should remain constant but don't worry about whether or not there is a progression from other scripts. Stardates are a mathematical formula which varies depending on location in the galaxy, velocity of travel, and other factors, can vary widely from episode to episode.

That last line is important: Stardates are a mathematical formula which varies depending on location in the galaxy, velocity of travel, and other factors, can vary widely from episode to episode.

So I'm going to say that broadcast order has no bearing in the order needed for the Toobworld timeline.  Because of what some may think is the trivial matter of Scotty's missing finger, here is the timeline as it should now be considered:

"Wolf in the Fold"
Stunt Hand
August 13,  2326, Time: 10:31:26

"That Which Survives" 
But at some point in 2269?
Stunt Hand

"The Enemy Within"
September 2,  2324, Time: 23:43:35

"Tomorrow Is Yesterday"
February 11,  2326, Time: 07:37:55

January 7,  2326, Time: 15:25:55

"The Trouble with Tribbles"
July 11,  2327, Time: 00:06:28

"The Ultimate Computer"
September 24,  2327, Time: 05:32:38

In this new timeline, Scotty lost the middle finger at some point after "The Wolf In The Fold".  As long as the hand is kept hidden in other episodes, it won't be until "The Enemy Within" when we have to say that he definitely lost it.  As for "That Which Survives", it's kind of the "demilitarizd zone of episodes in that he could be missing the finger, maybe he isn't.  I'm of the opinion that he has lost it by this episode in the new timeline adjustment, before "The Enemy Within".

I know there will be people out there who read this and think: it's just a production error during filming; it's nothing to get upset over.  But that's Trueniverse thinking, from a mind trapped in Mundania.  Once you dash cold water on Toobworld's "reality", all magic dies.

The only way I can leave the timeline in the original broadcast order is to insert the Gallifreyan Time Lord known as the Doctor into the storyline.  At some point before Scotty lost his finger, he joined the Doctor on board the TARDIS to work on the malfunctioning chamelion circuit and the Doctor placed him back into his personal timeline at the wrong point - after he had already lost his finger.  (Apparently nobody noticed.)

In trying to right what once went wrong, the Doctor's attempt to return him to the proper moment in Time could be what caused Scotty to lose that finger in the first place.

I'm sorry Mr. Doohan had a self-confidence problem with his image about his missing finger.  I think a great sci-fi story could have been crafted to splain it all away.  But as it stands now, I think the safe bet as the Caretaker of Toobworld is to accept the revised timeline and leave the original one back in the Trueniverse as nothing more than the broadcast order.

Any thoughts?

Live Long and Prosper!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Leo Lujak was a low-life on the outskirts of humanity.  He was born in 1920 in Dover, Delaware, and was a high school dropout who hit the streets looking for a fast buck.  After several run-ins with the police under his real name, Leo started using the alias of "Leo Dover", taking his hometown as a new surname.  

In his late thirties, Leo shared a Manhattan office with four other men under the umbrella title of "Tractor Export Company", using the office to peddle his novelties.  But when one of the other tenants, Albert Teller, was murdered, suspicion fell on him.  (That's him above, center.)

With nothing to keep him tied down to that life, Leo "Dover" Lujack left New York and hit the road, finding work as a carnival barker with a traveling circus.  Four years after his first run-in with a murder investigation, Leo came under suspicion for another homicide when the circus returned to the New York City area.  One night, the carnival took part in a charity gig which was attended by Nick and Nora Charles.  When the couple tried to use the "fun machine", a corpse rolled out of it.

When word got out that Leo had been involved with an earlier murder, the superstitious carny folk made it impossible for him to remain with the troupe.  So Leo, back to using his own last name of Lujack, struck out on his own and tried to stay on the straight and narrow.  

But times being what they were, Leo soon returned to a life of crime.

During a stint in prison where he was serving a six-year term for grand larceny, Lujack made the acquaintance of an arch-criminal from Gotham City.  His name was P.N. Gwynne, which he adapted to be his alias as the Penguin.

Along with a criminal with the alias of Sparrow (another henchman who had worked with the Penguin before they were apprehended), Lujack teamed up with the perfidious popinjay to open an umbrella shop in Gotham City as a cover.  He took Hawkeye as his nom de crime.

Although they were eventually apprehended by the Dynamic Duo, Leo Lujack decided to throw in his lot with the Penguin for the next time they got out.  But less than a year after their incarceration in Gotham State, the Penguin's high-priced lawyer, Milton Porter, was able to secure his release on a technicality.  Leo Lujack, however, was stuck with a lengthy sentence - not that he had any intention of serving it.  Lujack broke out of prison and rejoined his former boss on his latest scheme, in which they teamed up with Lola Lasagna to rig a horse race in their favor.  Lujack used the alias of Armband this time in hopes to hide his identity as the former Hawkeye.

But once again the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder foiled their plans and sent them back to Gotham State.

By the time he was released from prison, Leo Lujack was a broken man.  He ended up on the streets, homeless, reduced to rolling other panhandlers for change... which - as he said - they would have only wasted on booze anyway.

He was rolling one such panhandler as a blizzard began in New York City, but he was caught in the act by Detective Sgt. Wojciehowicz of the 12th Precinct.  Wojo chased him for fifteen blocks before tackling Lujack into a snow bank.  

Once the detective brought him back to the squad room, Lujack suffered chest pains and then died of a massive coronary.

And thus ended the televised life of Leo Lujack.....


All of these roles were played by Lewis Charles.


Martin Kane 
- The Shoeshine Murder (1954) ... Leo Dover

The Thin Man
- The Painted Witnesses (1958) ... Leo

- The Penguin's a Jinx (1966) ... Hawkeye
- Fine Feathered Finks (1966) ... Hawkeye
- A Horse of Another Color (1967) ... Armband
- The Sport of Penguins (1967) ... Armband

Barney Miller 
- Blizzard (1977) ... Leo Lujak


My thanks to Ivan Shreve, Jr. for the screencap from 'The Thin Man'.......

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


From the LA Times:
Robert Osborne, who displayed an encyclopedic knowledge — and love — of film history as the primary host of Turner Classic Movies, died Monday morning at age 84, said his partner of 20 years, theater director and producer David Staller.

Osborne died of natural causes in his sleep at home in New York City, Staller said.

"It's difficult to imagine a planet without him," Staller said. "He made the choice to call it a day, and he wants everyone to know that he'll see them at the after party."

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Osborne; he was a welcoming guide as he ushered me into the world of some movie which I wasn't so sure I wanted to see in the first place.  And he usually proved right.

But I thought that just being THE host for Turner Classic Movies and a guest on a few talk shows wasn't going to make him eligible for the TVXOHOF.  And had that been all there was, so it goes.

Knowing that he had once been an actor, I figured I should at least look through his page at the IMDb and see if there was anything for me to work with.  And his affable personality and identification with an entire network proved to make him a great addition to a couple of shows in which he got to lampoon his fictional televersion.

It all began back in 1959....

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse- The Desilu Revue (1959) 
... Himself (as Bob Osborne)

Lucille Ball plays herself as the vice-president of Desilu Productions, who is busy readying her workshop of young performers for their musical revue.

I've only found one video clip from this archaic special, featuring a song and dance routine by Carole Cook and another member of the company.  If he's in the background of this number, I couldn't tell ya.......

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
- Turner Classic Birdman

Turner Classic Movies' Robert Osborne introduces a recently "discovered" episode of the "classic" "Birdman" series. In this very special Birdman, a pre-law school Harvey encounters a number of his future courtroom adversaries who try to kill him.
- Anonymous

Even though this was from the Cartoon Network, Mr. Osborne's feet are firmly planted on Tele-Terra Firma......

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Kimmy's in a Love Triangle!

"Daddy's Boy" is a rightly-maligned movie from the forties that got a few mentions in this series and at the end of this particular episode we got to see why it was so hated.  And Mr. Osborne is there to put it all in perspective.

Robert Osborne even showed up a few times in Skitlandia, but as per the usual dictates of that TV dimension, he was played by somebody else.

From the 'Saturday Night Live' Wiki:

 Although he has never been on 'Saturday Night Live', he has been impersonated by Darrell Hammond on April 15, 2006 during the "Movie Archives" sketch and most recently by Jason Sudeikis five times, which all were during the "The Essentials" sketch.

Good night and may God bless, Mr. Osborne.  Thank you for bringing the Cineverse into Toobworld......



From the IMDb:
When Jessica leaves the room to take a call from Seth, she says, "Excuse me, Ellen." The woman she was talking to is named Leonora.

This isn't a real Zonk.  Jessica Fletcher just happened to know the truth about Leonora Holt.  

Leonora Holt was a movie actress, still a super-star in her own mind.  But by 1992, her career was on a downward turn.  Although she thought she had the lead locked down in the movie version of Mrs. Fletcher's latest novel "Messengers Of Midnight" (a role that was somewhat based on Jessica Fletcher herself), it appeared the producer was planning on making her drop out of contention.

But Leonora Holt was not her real name and Jessica Fletcher was familiar with this.  (This was probably due to her research into Hollywood gossip for one of her earlier novels.)  

"Leonora Holt" was her stage name.  Although "Holt" was her true family name, her actual first name had been "Ellen".

Originally she was going to change her name to "Eleanor" in order to provide a more regal sound, but decided to make it even more imperious by rearranging the letters in a fashion to become "Leonora".

No matter what her name was, Ellen Holt was the aunt of Laura Holt, a private eye in Los Angeles and sister-in-law to Laura's mother, Abigail Holt..



Tuesday, March 7, 2017


From the IMDb:
It's interesting how Oscar Goldman's relationship with his secretary Peggy Callahan had changed between seasons two and three. What we saw of Callahan in season two consisted of her referring to Oscar as "Mr. Goldman". By season three, she refers to him as "Oscar".

I think it's O'Bvious.  At some point between "Once A Thief" (season ender for Season Two) and "The Bionic Dog Part One" (season premiere for Season Three), Oscar and Peggy had an affair.  


Monday, March 6, 2017


Archie Bunker, Gloria Bunker Stivic, and Joey Stivic are all members of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  So are George and Louise Jefferson as well as Florence Johnston, the Jeffersons' maid. One day Edith Bunker will gain entry into the Hall, if on a technicality.  But Rob Reiner's character of Meathead, okay... Mike Stivic, doesn't make the grade.

From Wikipedia:
Robert "Rob" Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and activist. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Meathead on 'All in the Family' (1971–79). That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s. 

As a director, Reiner was recognized by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with nominations for the coming of age comedy-drama film "Stand by Me" (1986), the romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally..." (1989), and the military courtroom drama "A Few Good Men" (1992). He also directed the psychological horror-thriller "Misery" (1990), the romantic comedy fantasy adventure "The Princess Bride" (1987) and the heavy metal mockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984).

Reiner was able to parlay his fame for playing the Meathead into a career as a director.  And his position in Hollywood as being a name actor and famous director made him a good choice when a show needed a member of the League of Themselves for any Hollywood scenarios.  And the following credits bear that out:

'America 2-Night'
- Urban Poverty Consultant (1978)

'It's Garry Shandling's Show'

- Dial L for Laundry (1987)

- Home Sweet Home (1988)
- Save Mr. Peck's: Part 1 (1989)
- Save Mr. Peck's: Part 2 (1989)

'Morton & Hayes'
- Daffy Dicks (1991)
- The Vase Shop (1991)
- Oafs Overboard (1991)
- Society Saps (1991)
- The Bride of Mummula (1991)
- Home Buddies (1991)

'The Larry Sanders Show' 
- Doubt of the Benefit (1994) ... Rob Reiner

'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
- The Thong (2001) 

'Primetime Glick'
- Jon Lovitz/Rob Reiner (2002)

'Wizards of Waverly Place'
- Future Harper (2009) 

'Hannah Montana' 
- You Gotta Lose This Job (2009) 

'30 Rock' 

- Let's Stay Together (2010) ... Rep. Rob Reiner

- Starring Vladimir Nabokov, Hippocrates and God (2015)
- Starring David Ogilvy, Anton Chekhov and Gluten Enteropathy (2015) 

As you can see, with his appearance in that episode of '30 Rock', Reiner became a member of the House of Representatives, indicating a major difference between his televersion and his true self.  (But not so major a change as with Dick Van Patten, who died in real life years after he died - and then came back as a spirit - in Toobworld.)

I'm sure many other TV dimensions have their own versions of Rob Reiner but only a few have actually been seen by the Trueniverse audience:


'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'
- The Focus Group (2006)


'The Simpsons'
- Million Dollar Abie (2006) 

Reiner also showed up in 'South Park', Colorado, but his voice was supplied by Trey Parker.  Stiil, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble that he accepts that this is one of his toonish depictions as he allegedly has autographed screencaps from the episode.....

There were other TV shows which fall into the rather broad category of "reality television" and which have a definitive presence for their fictional televersions,  Reiner appeared on those as well and probably did so as well on Earth Prime-Time.
  • 'The Merv Griffin Show'
  • 'Saturday Night Live'
  • 'The Hollywood Squares'
  • 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson'
Reiner even has a "cineversion" in the Cineverse with these two movies:
  • The Muse (1999)
  • Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)
But they don't count towards his entry into the TVXOHOF unless we absorb the entire movies.....

So he's definitely worthy of entry into the Hall as a member of the League of Themselves.  But why did I pick today as the day to honor him?

Today is Rob Reiner's birthday, something of a milestone.  Today is his 70th birthday,

So if you see Mr. Reiner on the street today, wish him a happy birthday for me.

But please!  Don't call him "Meathead"!

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Reiner.......