Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017


From CNN:

Don Rickles, a comedian and actor known for his abrasive humor, died Thursday from kidney failure at his Los Angeles home, according to his publicist Paul Shefrin.

He was 90 years old.

Known as the world's greatest insult comic, Rickles enjoyed a career which spanned centuries and found him performing in everything from nightclubs to a Martin Scorsese film.

Mr. Rickles created a lot of characters for Toobworld, although he wasn't very successful in making any of his starring roles last very long.  But some of those TV guest shots were, to me, not just memorable, but indelible: Azmodeus in 'The Wild, Wild West', Bald Eagle in 'F Troop', Mr. Ingels from 'Tales From The Crypt' and Lyle Delp in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.  (But Max's old Army buddy Sid in 'Get Smart' was a particular favorite.)

And so many other immortal 60s sitcom classics: 'The Andy Griffith Show', 'The Munsters', 'The Addams Family', 'I Dream Of Jeannie', 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Lucy Show'.  Plus 'Wagon Train', 'Run For Your Life', and he provided three characters for 'Burke's Law'.  

But for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, we're going to remember Don Rickles as himself.  Mr. Warmth.  The Merchant of Venom.  And it was more than for his insult routine as seen on 'Tonight' and those 'Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts'.  

Here's what I've compiled:

'The Mothers-In-Law'
- Show Business Is No Business (1969)
Eve and Kaye cause a string of calamities as they both try to wangle a spot in Don Rickles' act for the lodge benefit show.

Saturday Night Live
- Don Rickles/Billy Idol (1984)
O'BSERVATION - 'Saturday Night Live' has a "televersion" like many game shows and talk shows so I've included it.

The Larry Sanders Show
- Artie and Angie and Hank and Hercules (1997)

Muppets Tonight 
- Coolio & Don Rickles (1997)
O'BSERVATION - Puppets are living spirit beings who house themselves in those shells  So that's included as well.

The Bernie Mac Show 
- The Sweet Life (2002) 
O'BSERVATION - Bernie tried to sneak his excess garbage into the trash can of his neighbor... Don Rickles.

The Unit
- Sub-Conscious (2007) 
O'BSERVATION - AND played a Priest as well?  I haven't found out yet what happened in this episode with regards to Rickles.  But in several sources he is listed as playing both himself and a priest.  Here he is as the priest....

- Pilot (2015)
O'BSERVATION - If I had to guess, I'd say Mr. Rickles was a diner at Jimmy's restaurant.

(Most of the information is from the IMDb.)

So in memory of Don Rickles, we welcome him into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Good night and may God bless... you Hockey Puck.  We'll miss you.  


Thursday, April 6, 2017


A few weeks ago, I wrote about the soap opera 'Endless Tomorrows', which could only be found in Toobworld.

If you didn't read it yet, here's the link to it.

So that soap opera serves as a link between 'Barney Miller' and 'The Rockford Files'!


While private eye Marvin Potemkin was keeping an agent for Waterbury Security Agency under surveillance while the guy was laid up with a broken leg at home.  And as happened to a lot of TV characters over the years, including President Jed Bartlet in his own TV dimension, the target had fallen under the spell of a soap opera.

Here's some of the dialogue from the episode he was watching while he was being recorded:

Keith... Well, he just couldn't bring himself to it. 

Neither could I.  Oh, I went up to the room but Brad was still unconscious.… or at least he seemed to be.

Oh, mother… What's this going to do to Brad?  I mean, finding out that Tracy is going to claim the [riches? - difficult to hear].

TV dialogue drowned out.  

He lost his option.  They haven't told him.  It's going to kill your father; you know that.

Of course, we never saw scenes from the soap opera nor learned of its title.  But it was O'Bvious that it had to be a fictional soap opera.  And as such, why not consider it to be yet another episode of 'Endless Tomorrows'?

After all, both of these shows had a Brad in them.  Might as well be the same character.

I don't see anything that could veto this theory, so I'm going to stick with it.

And that means we have a theoretical link between 'Barney Miller' and 'The Rockford Files'.


Should I find another soap opera which only exists in Toobworld that could fit in with these two examples, I'd say 'Endless Tomorrows' might one day be honored in the TVXOHOF for its contributions to the expansion of Earth Prime-Time.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017



My Family: 

The Mouthtrap (2004)
The show gets mentioned several times on this episode.

Doctor Who: 
Fear Her (2006)
The Doctor calls Rose "Lewis" several times.

Peep Show: 
Burgling (2008)
While pinning down a teenage burglar, Mark thinks "Morse never did this! I'm better than Morse!"

Peep Show: 
Jeremy's Broke (2008)
Marks talks about watching 'Morse' (among other activities) with Saz if she'll be his girlfriend.

The Thick of It: 
Episode #4.1 (2012)
Peter compares himself and Fergus to Morse and Lewis.

Great Night Out: 
Episode #1.5 (2013)
mentioned by Daz

Colin Dexter recently passed away, predeceased by his creation, Inspector Morse.  Morse was a Multiversal, existing in BookWorld, Toobworld, and the Audioverse.

But in those TV series mentioned above, TV shows which should exist in the same dimension as 'Morse', they talk about Morse as a TV character.

I don't see this as a Zonk.  It's a Toobworld dictum that everybody in Toobworld will have a TV show made about them.  And the idea of a whodunnit taking place in a unique setting like Oxford is like catnip, hard to resist.

So deals would be made, papers signed, and soon a TV show fictionalizing the cases solved by Morse would be on the air.  And even that Gallifreyan Time Lord would know about it.  

Or maybe the Doctor didn't know about the show, but he did know about Morse.  I wouldn't be surprised if he even stepped in to assist Morse in a case or two over the years.  And Morse probably didn't even know about the secret behind this "Doctor".  Considering how long Morse was active in the Oxford University Constabulary (now replaced by the Thames Valley Police), it could be that Morse dealt with at least two incarnations of the Doctor on different cases, or maybe met him in a more mundane manner - say, at a Wagnerian concert, or a convention of crossword puzzle aficionados.  (But I would never claim that a perv suspect named George Jackson nor a dyslexic named Terence Mitchll were incarnations of the Doctor.)


Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I won't lie.  It took me nearly the entire comedy bit before I realized that last week's "New Rules" segment on 'Real Time With Bill Maher' had a theme:

The light bulb over my head didn't kick in until the "Magical Mystery Detour".  

I wonder how many other such caption themes I've missed in the past.  At least this old dimwatt gets the joke of the caption in relation to the story.  Too many years of SNL's "Weekend News Update", 'The Daily Show', and relative newcomers 'Full Frontal' and 'Last Week Tonight' keep me well-practiced on that.


Monday, April 3, 2017


In the 1970s, the two juggernauts for expanding the TV Universe were 'All In The Family' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.  

'All In The Family' spawned at least 7 sequels and spin-offs, some of which spawned their own spin-offs!
  • 'All In The Family'
  • 'Archie Bunker's Place'
  • 'The Jeffersons'
  • 'Maude'
  • 'Gloria'
  • 'Good Times'
  • 'Checking In'
  • 'E/R'
  • '704 Hauser'
And 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' wasn't far behind; and they even included a dramatic series and a TV movie among its offspring.
  • 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
  • 'Rhoda'
  • 'Phyllis'
  • 'Lou Grant'
  • "Mary & Rhoda"
Now, even though it's a theory of relateeveety and thus can't be proven, I think I have a way of connecting the two shows together.

For 48 episodes of 'Phyllis', Jane Rose played Phyllis' mother-in-law, Audrey Dexter.  She was the mother of Dr. Lars Lindstrom and had married Judge Jonathan Dexter after her first husband died.

I don't think her maiden name ever came up in the show.  That part of the family was too far in the past for her to be concerned with probably and any who were left whom she might have known were all back on the East Coast.  Besides, 'Phyllis' was definitely dominated by the Judge's family, thanks to feisty Mother Dexter.

So here's my theory: her maiden name was Baines and she was the sister of Edith Bunker's Aunt Clara.


It was only one episode in comparison to the 48 for Audrey Dexter, but that was all that was needed.

The two of them looked so much alike that they had to be sisters.  (Yes, yes.  We know Jane Rose played them both.  You're very smart.  Now shut up.)

And best of all, there doesn't seem to be anything about either woman to contradict such a claim.

So that's my theory and I'm sticking with it.


Sunday, April 2, 2017


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dabbs Greer, one of the greatest character actors to grace the land of the Toob.  Perhaps he's best known for playing Mr. Jonas the shopkeeper in 'Gunsmoke' and he played the first man in Metropolis rescued by the Superman of Earth Prime-Time.  

Most baby boomers should know him as the minister who married Mike Brady and Carol Taylor in the pilot episode of 'The Brady Bunch'.

And it's that minister who brings us together today, Team Toobworld, in order to honor Dabbs Greer on his birthday.

We started marking centenary milestones two years ago with Frank Sinatra, and followed that up with several honorary memorial inductions into the Hall for other League of Themselves centenarians last year.  This year we're honoring characters who qualify for the Hall and who were played by those centenarians.  Already this year we honored not only the memory of Desi Arnaz on the occasion of his 100th birthday, but his legendary Ricky Ricardo as well.

And so we're here to honor that minister who married Mike and Carol.  Not because he performed that service; had that been all there was, I would have probably only noted Dabbs Greer's natal anniversary over in my Toobworld Dynamic Facebook page and that would be that.  But to become a member of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame, one must have three separate credits to their "resume".  And luckily the Reverend fills the bill.

This is a really simple connection that although it can't be proven, it should also prove hard to argue against. Why? Because who would want to argue against lovable old Dabbs Greer?

In 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' episode "The Attempted Marriage", Dabbs played the Army chaplain of Camp Crowder, Missouri, where he married Rob Petrie and Laura Meehan. 

In the Toobworld view, after he got out of the Army, the reverend accepted a position in his Church as minister to the flock in Los Angeles, California.  There he married architect Mike Brady to Carol Ann Taylor Martin, thus combining their families of three boys and three girls (the youngest one in curls) respectively into 'The Brady Bunch'.

Not long after that, he took another posting - this time in the Mid-West, as pastor in the third Rome, Wisconsin. (I don't remember off-hand now, but I think he must have officiated over the marriage of somebody on 'Picket Fences', probably the wedding between Sheriff Jimmy Brock and Dr. Jill Langston before the series began. (After all, they had two young boys by the time the series started. Not that it really mattered, but shhhh! You don't talk about such things in the context of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'!)

Thanks to his long-running role on 'Picket Fences', we at Toobworld Central can make the claim that his Army Chaplain in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and his minister in 'The Brady Bunch' finally had a name - the Reverend Henry Novotny.

For more about Dabbs Greer, click here.  (And if you like the idea that Reverend Novotny was descended from Reverand Alden of 'Little House On The Prairie', or that perhaps Reverend Alden's soul was "born to re-run" as Novotny, I'm open to the idea....)


O'BSERVATION - This is a reworked "Inner Toob" post from October 3, 2011, when I partook in a blogAthon celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.  I ended up posting 24 entries that day!