Saturday, March 18, 2017


Just a little quickie for this week's "Saturday Comics" and it's all thanks to my fellow Crossoverist, John D. Lindsay, Jr.

We travel to the Tooniverse this week with comic book appearances by Pinky and The Brain, two lab mice intent on escaping their cage and taking over the world.  And they always prove as successful as Wiley Coyote catching the Roadrunner.

From Wikipedia:
"Pinky and the Brain" is an American animated television series. It was the first animated television series to be presented in Dolby Surround and the fourth collaboration of Steven Spielberg with his production company, Amblin Television, and produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The characters first appeared in 1993 as a recurring segment on "Animaniacs". It was later picked up as a series due to its popularity, with 65 episodes produced. Later, they appeared in the series, "Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain".

Pinky and Brain are genetically enhanced laboratory mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. Brain is self-centered and scheming; Pinky is good-natured but feebleminded. In each episode, Brain devises a new plan to take over the world which ultimately ends in failure: usually due to Pinky's idiocy, the impossibility of Brain's plan, Brain's own arrogance, or just circumstances beyond their control. In common with many other Animaniacs shorts, many episodes are in some way a parody of something else, usually a film or novel.

According to John, this is how they look in the Comic Book Universe, the Quadrant, thanks to "The Incredible Hulk" #438 and #440:

Once again, we turn to Wikipedia:
Pinky and the Brain were alluded to in The Incredible Hulk #438 as two white mice, kept by Omnibus. One of the realistically drawn mice had an enlarged cranium, and when their cage was destroyed the sound "narf" is indicated. Also when Jailbait asked what they would do during the night Hotshot replied "The same thing they do every night... whatever that is".

Even though the many Marvel TV shows and movies have their origins inspired by the line of comic books, they are vastly different universes.  (Many of the Marvel shows in the greater TV Universe blend with the Cineverse in the Borderlands.)  

So just because Pinky and the Brain of the Tooniverse have counterparts in these comic books, that doesn't mean we can expect to find them in a third metafictional universe, that of the Cineverse or Toobworld.  (Although they may have counterpart cousins in another TV dimension, as the pan-dimensional beings who built the super computer Deep Thought.  Which would mean Pinky and the Brain were humanoids in that dimension, but appear as white mice in the Tooniverse.)

But the Pinky and the Brain we know from the Tooniverse are represented as they should look in the tie-in comic book line for Animaniacs:



As you can see from these few examples, many of the covers parodied classic movies just like the cartoons did (including my all-time favorite movie.)

Well.... That was so much of a quickie as I thought it would be.

Thanks, John!

Friday, March 17, 2017


Flynn and Charlene: 
The Murder Harp. 
What's the Murder Harp?
Something Lam just recently acquired for his collection. 
Constructed from the bones from a murdered girl and strung with her hair
It corrupts the soul of all who listen to it.
Tops Jenkins' "Most-Wanted" list.

The wiki for 'The Librarians' theorizes "It is assumed that Flynn and Charlene retrieved this item as it was "on the top of Jenkin's most wanted list."

I'm going to assume it comes from the truth behind some legend in Irish Mythology and perhaps even has a connection to the legends of the Bean Sidhe, better known to us today as the Banshee.

Since it should have some toobworthy as well as magical connotation, I think a fanficcer could make the connection to the harp Peter got from a devil named S. Zero in 'The Monkees' episode "The Devil And Peter Tork".  (This episode is important because it confirms there is more than one Devil.)

Looking at that picture above, I have to say that harp looks pretty ornate to be made entirely out of human bones, but what do I know?  I only used human bones to make my oboe......

What happened to that harp after the Monkees disbanded?  Perhaps Peter sold it eventually to League of Themselves musical group Hothouse Flowers......

Irish band Hothouse Flowers,whose roadie Declan is a friend of Tinker, stay with Lady Jane whilst performing a charity concert but after the gig it seems that events organizer Ray Morgan has decamped with the money. To make up the shortfall the band decide to sell a valuable Celtic harp,but this too is stolen. Lovejoy catches up with Morgan at an auction to recoup the cash but it's down to Tinker to divulge what happened to the harp. 
(From the IMDb)

The writer of this episode of 'The Librarians' may have just tossed off the idea as something horrible in the possession of Sterling Lam which the Librarians needed to retrieve.  And perhaps he wanted something that could be suggestive of Irish mythology.  If so, I think he nailed it.

But I ask you - what good is my Irish heritage if I can't spin a good tale?



Thursday, March 16, 2017


"Do you want me to check the ship movements to Fantasy Island?" 
Detective Ron Harris
'Barney Miller'

Detective Harris had a penchant for coming up with derisive nicknames for the psychiatric ward at Bellevue.  By calling it 'Fantasy Island', he wasn't causing a Zonk. Harris wasn't making a reference to the TV show; he was talking about the actual resort where people could go to live out their greatest fantasy.

Everybody knew about it; that's how they were able to book passage to the island.  What the general public doesn't know is that Roarke was a Gallifreyan Time Lord who has regenerated at least once and fathered a diabolical genius named Miguelito Quixote Loveless.  

Just thought I'd mention that.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Beware the Ides of March... and the Daily Special.....

No problem with a Recastaway here.  This was a publicity gimmick that the restaurant was trying out for March.  He wasn't the real Caesar, not any of them.  (Although at least one of them - Caligula - was seen in the 20th Century.)

As you can see, the gimmick wasn't popular......

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Every so often, a TV show comes along that changes its perspective from one TV dimension to another, usually caused by recasting a key role which can't be "splained away" by other means. 

This could be the best example:

'Alias Smith And Jones'
Reason: Recasting Joshua Smith/Hannibal Heyes
From Pete Duel to Roger Davis
Splainin: In both TV dimensions, Hannibal Heyes was an orphan.  When Mr. & Mrs. Heyes went to the orphanage to adopt a baby boy, their choice determined the difference in the boys' physical appearance from one dimension to the other.  (But since their lifestyles remained unchanged in both dimensions, both versions of Hannibal Heyes grew up to become train robbers... along with their Kansas cousin Kid Curry.)

(I fleshed out this theory earlier.  You can read it here.)

I think that was the case when Penney Parker took over the role of Terry Williams from Sherry Jackson in 'Make Room For Daddy'. We stopped watching the original family from "Earth Prime-Time" and basically switched the channel to an alternate TV dimension with her recasting

'Make Room for Daddy'
133 episodes

'Make Room for Daddy'
14 episodes

Make Room for Granddaddy'
- "Make Room for Grandson" (1970)

From Wikipedia:
In the early part of the sixth season, Sherry Jackson left the show and the character of Terry was said to have gone to a girls school in Paris.

During season seven, the character of Terry was brought back but recast with Penney Parker. Terry was featured in a seven-episode story arc which saw her engaged and eventually married to Pat Hannigan (Pat Harrington, Jr.), a nightclub friend of Danny's. After the wedding, the Hannigans moved to California and Terry was rarely mentioned and she and Pat were never seen in the program again.

When Terry married Pat Hannigan, it was Penney Parker playing the role.  And soon thereafter she basically left the series to be with her husband.  All of that happened in the alternate Toobworld.

But when the family returned for the 'Grand-Daddy' sequel, we were back in the familiar tele-terra firma. 

Well at least that's how I'm dealing with such a discrepancy.  Although 'Make Room For Daddy' does take place in a TV dimension in which the faces of characters could be magically transformed, such a plot device doesn't feel germane to the basic structure of this sitcom.

So it really wasn't Terry Williams who changed; it was our point of view to the other dimension.

From Wikipedia:
The show ended in 1964, but Danny Thomas, Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright, Rusty Hamer, Sherry Jackson, Amanda Randolph, and Hans Conried returned in two hour-long "reunion" specials on NBC – "0The Danny Thomas TV Family Reunion" in 1965 (considered the first TV reunion show), and "Make More Room For Daddy", which aired as an episode of 'The Danny Thomas Hour' in November 1967.  There was then a CBS reunion special, "Make Room for Granddaddy", in 1969. The special did so well that it was picked up as a series by CBS but Thomas considered the slot they gave it to be a quiet slot and pulled the show.

ABC brought it back on a weekly basis in 1970, in 'Make Room for Granddaddy'. For the series premiere, Sherry Jackson reprised her role of oldest daughter Terry. There was no mention of her husband Pat Hannigan. Instead, for this new version of the series, Terry's husband was named Bill, who was a soldier. In this episode, Terry left her son, 6-year-old Michael (played by Michael Hughes) in the care of his grandparents (Danny and Kathy) so she could join Bill, who was stationed overseas.

Our point of view reverted back to the main Toobworld with the return of the show now known as 'Make Room For Grand-Daddy'.  And that meant the return of Sherry Jackson as Terry to the show.  However, it was only for the one episode as she dropped off her son to live with her parents.

By the way, the Terry Williams of Earth Prime-Time never married Pat Hannigan (unless that ended quickly in divorce.)  Instead, she was married to Bill Wilson when 'Make Room For Grand-Daddy' debuted.  

And since we didn't get to see Sherry's Terry at her own wedding, this picture from an episode of 'The Wild Wild West' ("The Night Of The Vicious Valentine") can show us how it could have been....


Monday, March 13, 2017


Following yesterday's video break focused on 'Barney Miller'.

For the most part, this ABC NYPD sitcom (1975-1982) portrayed the routine of police work realistically.  Sure, every so often an alien, a time traveler, and a demon showed up in the squad room, but those could be chalked up to characters with behavioral issues.  (LOL - "could be"... but not by me.  I take those characters at face value!)

That realism even extended to mentions of movies and TV shows.  Even though they should all be sharing the same TV dimension, the detectives would mention other TV series like 'General Hospital', 'The Waltons' and 'Nurse'. But occasionally a TV series only to be found in Toobworld was mentioned.  

The most detailed one was a soap opera, "Endless Tomorrows".  A woman came to the squad room to complain about all of the things she had witnessed: that poor Grace Edwards was going blind; Meg Scott was secretly a prostitute; and Judge Fenton Powell was secretly gay (which only his chauffeur was privy to.)

When the detectives went to her apartment to investigate, thinking they would see all of this happening out her window, they found that she had given them all the correct information... as found on Page 27 of Soap Opera Monthly.  She had confused the plotline with real life.

Soap operas are probably the easiest type of television program to lampoon within the reality of Toobworld.  Skitlandia has had a few notable ones - 'The Days Of The Week' ('SCTV') and 'As The Stomach Turns' ('The Carol Burnett Show') being perhaps the most notable.  In the main Toobworld, fictional soap operas are often tossed off in random references, but have also been prominently featured in the backgrounds of shows like 'Twin Peaks' ('Invitation To Love'), 'One Life To Live' ('Fraternity Row'), 'Hot In Cleveland' ('Edge of Tomorrow'), and 'The O.C.' ('The Valley').  And several TV shows were built around fictional soaps with 'All Is Forgiven' (with the soap opera having the same title), 'Telenovela' ('Las Leyes de Pasion') and the third season of 'The New Dick Van Dyke Show' as a few examples.

With just a cursory look at two sites with other suggestions, I'd have to say there are about fifty examples of fictional soap operas to be found in the greater TV Dynamic!

Just for bleeps and giggles, I've decided to cast actors seen only on TV to play those roles... and I chose only the fictional actors from episodes of 'The Beverly Hillbillies'.  (It amused me to have characters from such a broad, rural comedy appear in a subtler urban sitcom.)  By the late 1970s, several of these characters were probably on a career decline

(going blind and needing a cornea transplant)

Gloria Swanson
Miss Swanson played herself in the BH episode "The Gloria Swanson Story"

(secretly a prostitute involved with drugs and organized crime)

Gladys Flatt
Played by Joi Lansing in the BH episode "Delovely And Scruggs"

(wise, compassionate, very distinguished looking... closeted homosexual)

Rex Goodbody
Played by John Dehner in the BH episode "The Soap Star"

(lets Meg Scott use his apartment) 

Jake Clampett 
Played by King Donovan in the BH e[pisode "The Clampetts Are Overdrawn"

(Sent to prison for embezzlement, has two illegitimate children)

Dash Riprock 
Played by Larry Pennell as a recurring role on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'

(the only one to know Judge Powell's secret)

Tom Kelly
Played by George "Robot Monster" Barrows in the BH episode "The Gorilla"


Sunday, March 12, 2017


You may have noticed that I've posted often lately about 'Barney Miller'.  It's the type of thing which happens when I'm on a viewing jag for a series.  I still have a few ideas for upcoming blog posts about the characters - the detectives, the perps, and the victims.

In the meantime, here are a few episodes to give you a feel of the series which many police officers thought was the best show about police work ever......