Saturday, June 24, 2017


Back in the early 70s, I used to watch mostly CBS shows.  Pretty much didn't have too much of a choice back in those BC days (before cable.)  Channel 3 out of Hartford came in the best for our house.

But options were pretty limited as well, so I'm not saying this as an excuse; I would have watched the Sonny and Cher variety show anyway, I'm sure.

They had some pretty good running sketches - precursors of the SNL Widettes, for one.  But they also had their own version of music videos with songs accompanied by animation.

Three of the following cartoons have stuck with me all these decades later, of songs I loved and still cherish to this day.  The cartoon for the great Jim Croce song "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown".  My thanks to Christopher Nigro for letting me know it was out there.  I guess I missed that night's telecast....

Anyway, here are my choices for this Video Weekend......





Friday, June 23, 2017



You know that Picasso just died, right? 


What do you got against Picasso? 

Four of the women he was with two committed suicide, and two he drove insane.

So you're saying the guy has a type.
Can I continue? So I'm reading Pablo's obit.
You know, the guy's a famous artist.
He's got nothing to prove, except, apparently, how much pussy he got.
Listen to this:
"Picasso, 91, died in a villa in France and leaves behind a wife almost half his age."

Okay, you've got my attention.
"In addition to his wife, he leaves four children - one son born to his first wife, the dancer Olga Khokhlova."

Not just a dancer, the dancer. 

"And daughter born to his mistress, Marie-Theresa Walter."

Since when have mistresses been put in obits? 

"And another son and daughter both the children of Francoise Gilot, another mistress," 
- for those of you keeping score at home, -
"who is now the wife of biologist Dr. Jonas Salk." 
Fuck you, Jonas Salk. You cured polio? I fucked your wife. 

That's not an obit. That's a press release for his dick.

So that locks in the timeline for this episode as happening on either April 9 or 10, 1973, depending on the date of the newspaper.....

From Wikipedia:
Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces.


Pablo Picasso died on 8 April 1973 in Mougins, France, while he and his wife Jacqueline entertained friends for dinner. He was interred at the Château of Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, a property he had acquired in 1958 and occupied with Jacqueline between 1959 and 1962. Jacqueline Roque prevented his children Claude and Paloma from attending the funeral.

Devastated and lonely after the death of Picasso, Jacqueline Roque killed herself by gunshot in 1986 when she was 59 years old.


To read more about Picasso, click here.

At one point early in the "Midnight Special" episode, Goldie Herschlag mentions that the "papers cleared Clay over a month ago."  The investigation probably took a couple weeks, so it could have been early February of 1973 when Clay performed 


So with the "Midnight Special" episode happening just after the death of Picasso, that means the "Pilot" episode took place almost two months earlier, probably at the beginning of February.

In the Trueniverse, Johnny Carson was on vacation that first week of February with Jerry Lewis serving as the guest host.  

But we've seen that the televersions of celebrities and historical figures can differ greatly from their real life inspirations:
  • Dennis Rodman is an alien.
  • Charles Dickens destroyed a race of aliens.
  • Mark Twain went to outer space.
  • Willie Mays is an warlock.
So this suggestion about Johnny Carson is simple and believable in comparison: 
Carson wasn't on vacation that week.

And because he was going to work the desk, then the line-up of guests would have been changed to accommodate him rather than Lewis.

Of course, whether that was actually Johnny Carson who hosted on the night Clay Apruzzo appeared is another story......


Thursday, June 22, 2017



From the IMDb:
Lucy and Vivian's sons' Boy Scout club make a replica of the White House out of sugar cubes. The President is so impressed that he invites all of them to the White House to unveil it. Calamity ensues when the replica get destroyed on the train.

The Toobworld version of the United States of America (which I unofficially call "Telemerica") has more towns and cities than the actual USA.  A lot of them are famous; some even got their names in the title, with one eventually getting its name in the titles of two spin-offs. And two of them at least are multiversal.
  • Fernwood
  • Cicely
  • Dunn's River
  • Hooterville
  • Metropolis
  • Gotham
  • Twin Peaks
Those are just a sampling.  But there were plenty of shows which passed through small fictional towns for just an episode but that's all which was needed to give them their own push-pin on the map.  And this episode of 'The Lucy Show' was no different.  

As Lucy and Viv made their way to Washington D.C., the train made stops in the following towns:

  • Greenview
  • Middlebrook
  • Flint Ridge
  • Scottville
All of those, including Danfield, can only be found in Earth Prime-Time, but not in Earth Prime.  So where in "Telemerica" would they be located?

The destination was Washington DC, so that's locked in place.  As for their starting point, I think they left from Danfield and transferred to the Silver Meteor train in New York City; it's an established, long-standing route.  I believe the others are listed in order of arrival as the train worked down the Mid-Atlantic route.

So let's fill in the blanks.

GREENVIEW - New Jersey!  A perfect name to be found in the Garden State and I would not be surprised to find that it didn't live up to the name.  It would be the TV punchline thing to do.  It has to be the first stop after leaving New York City because Lucy would have jumped off the train the first chance she got in order to get the sugar cubes to rebuild the "replicker" (as JFK pronounced it.)  But the reason I'm hesitant to use it is mainly for the sake of poor Annabelle.  That horse would have had to carry Lucy practically to Washington, finally dislodging her in time to catch the train in Scottville.

MIDDLEBROOK - Pennsylvania.  Probably a toney suburb encroaching on Philadelphia from the North, with gated communities, elite prep schools....  A place where the people walk with their noses in the air.

FLINT RIDGE - Delaware.  More than likely Flint Ridge is otherwise off the beaten path in the nation's second smallest state.  I like to think there is more than one Flint Ridge in "Telemerica," because it's the type of name I'd expect to find just up the road a piece from Walton's Mountain.  There's a signpost up ahead.....

SCOTTVILLE - Maryland.  This one intrigues me for the possibilities in connections to other TV shows.  I was hoping I could make the link to Francis Scott Key of Baltimore, but I would have to take it back further than the composer of "The Star Spangled Banner" (multi-dimensional: 'Voyagers!', 'Animaniacs', 'Drunk History') in order to find out where his parents found the inspiration for his middle name.  

So instead, i'm going with General Charles Scott, head of Intelligence during the American Revolution and later the governor of Maryland.  (Played by Michael Gaston in 'Turn'.)  In Toobworld, it is the last stop before entering the nation's capital.  It is also very close to Virginia and may have been highly influenced by that neighboring state.  Earlier on, that area was under the dominion of the Virginia charter and perhaps those feelings of loyalty lasted even after the demarcation set by the Mason-Dixon line, well into statehood in the new nation.  The people of that town, upon incorporation, named themselves after the patriot and governor of Virginia - Scottville - rather than taking the name of a Maryland native son as their inspiration.  

I've got another theory of relateeveety for Scottville in relation to Governor Scott.  As a landholder in Virginia, Scott had about ten slaves and the custom was to give those slaves the last name of the man who owned them.

So I believe master spy Alexander Scott ('I Spy') was descended from slaves owned by the televersion of Charles Scott.  As he was the head of intelligence for the Continental Army, it could be said that "Scotty" was carrying on the family business.....

There's one last location from this series to tackle - the biggest one, Danfield.

When I was a kid watching this syndicated series in the afternoons, I got it into my head that Danfield was in Connecticut just like I was.  (No surprise there - when I was six years old, I ran away from home because I was convinced Captain Kangaroo's Treasure House was on the next block.)

But Geoffrey Mark, the go-to guru for all things Lucy who penned an excellent book about the queen of TV, inclusive and exhaustive in the compilation of trivia, had this to say in the book:

Several episodes firmly placed Danfield in New York State just north of new Rochelle.  Many books state that the town is located in Connecticut, but this is not so. (There is a Danfield in Connecticut but it is not the Lucy shows town.)

I heard back from Geoff on Monday the 19th in which he gave me some more information... information... information.....

I asked him about specific episodes which would confirm Danfield as being in New York.  (I'm afraid it was the Doubting Thomas in me, which is one reason I prefer "Toby" over my given name!)

The easiest one is "No More Double Dates", where Lucy and Harry want to be alone and Viv and her date keep taking them to the train station to go into NYC. They make it clear that Danfield is the next stop after New Rochelle, NY (they could have visited Rob and Laura Petrie) on the way to NYC.

I guess you can't get more specific than that!  And man, I like the idea that Lucy and Viv might have met the Petries on the train!

This episode about the sugar cube White House has Lucy also telling the White House operator that she was calling from Danfield, New York.  So that's that!  Oh well, I still have Dunn's River and fictional towns from 'The Fugitive' and 'Murder, She Wrote' for my Nutmeg State.....

So I can see them taking the Harlem-Hudson line down to NYC and then switching over to the Northeast Corridor train.  It's amazing the sugar cube White House made it that far!  Have you ever tried to maneuver through that train station even without a sugar cube White House?  (The train probably was the Silver Meteor on the Pennsylvania Railroad line until the Washington station.)

A big thanks to Geoff Mark for his help in putting together this Toobworld train timetable.  If you're interested in learning more Lucy lore, you can't go wrong with his book, seen above.  It's a valuable asset in the stacks at the Toobworld Central library......


Wednesday, June 21, 2017



From Oregon Live:

"The Wesen killer this week was a huge cicada insect that climbs out of the ground once every seven years and has one day to find a substantial human to feed on for the next seven years, until it's feeding time again. Ick. Even more disturbing, the big bug -- who's also quite a Dionysian party animal, in a detail that didn't really get developed -- is none other than William Stillman, a Portland founding father. For you non-Portlanders, Stillman is fictional, and we don't have a park named after him, with a statue looming. But it was nice to see "Grimm" back in Portland's woodsy parks, a hallmark of the show that I missed last season, with all that hanging around the gloomy Hadrian's Wall headquarters."

If you want to read the full review, click here.

I give props to the creators behind this show for this episode, in writing it so that the background story was believable.  Not that I bought into the "cicada-man" character, but that I believed that there really was a William Stillman in Portland's past.

I was sorry to find out that William Stillman was not only fictional, but that they didn't claim an actual Portland founder was Wesen.  The show in the past had asserted historical characters were involved in the Grimm/Wesen "history".  The most famous example was even echoed in the opening credits - that Adolph Hitler was a Shakal Wesen.  Nobody had a problem with that - I mean, it's Hitler.  I would believe he ate babies, even if he couldn't woge.

And Hitler wasn't the only one!  (Napoleon was supposedly a Steinadler.)

And showing that TV is educational, the show also introduced me to a famous artist in its last episodes:

From the Grimm Wiki:

Monroe shows the others a classic mythological rendering of the astrological constellations by Giovanni Antonio Vanosino da Varese. He says based on the what was painted, he thinks Giovanni could have been a Grimm. Nick agrees that the painting looks pretty Grimm-like and Monroe asks, "What if what they assumed were mythological pagan creatures were actually artistic representations of Wesen from the universe or multiverse or wherever?" Nick and Monroe point out that if that were the case, then Leo would be a Löwen, Ursa would be a Jägerbar, and Taurus would be a Taureus-Armenta. Rosalee asks Monroe if he is suggesting that Wesen come from other planets, and he tells her no, but he saying that Giovanni might be suggesting it.

The show has now ended, but as the Curator of Toobworld, I think I should continue looking for signs of Wesen activity in other TV shows.  I had done so once before, when Kay Lenz displayed such raw emotion in an episode of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' that I was certain she was about to woge into one of the big cat-like Wesen.  (Click here for more.)

I would also like to take a look at some real world people with their own "televersions"; some of them easily could be Wesen... one in particular.

A lot of the Wesen mythology stems from Germany.  And many of the Wesen we've seen in the past sometimes have a resemblance to their Wesen physiognomy in their human appearances.  

They never did have a Wesen during the run of the series which resembled squirrels.  Which is kind of surprising, considering how wooded an area surrounded Portland.  I even had the perfect name for such a Wesen - "Nussscheren".

A bit o' wishcraft: who could be this Nussscheren Wesen?  Is there somebody out there in the real world with an established televersion who has a Germanic background and sometimes resembles a squirrel.....?


I guess we'll never know now.....


Tuesday, June 20, 2017



From the IMDb:
Oak Apple Week is an autumn festival held every year in the picturesque village of Midsomer Barton. After the festival queen died tragically from food poisoning seven years earlier, that particular part of the celebration was discontinued. Shortly after the reinstitution of the contest, however, the dead girl's mother is found drowned in a shallow stream under suspicious circumstances. Barnaby and Jones are faced with many suspects, a plethora of unfaithful spouses, and more dead bodies.

The IMDb listed a couple of bits o' trivia in this episode which can make Two-Fer Tuesday.

First up:

In the last seconds of "Dead Letters we see, on a book rack in the small lending library, a copy of "Chromosome Wars" by Jezebel Tripp, the author we met in "Sins of Commission" from season 7.

No show is perfect, but after having been on the air for twenty years now, 'Midsomer Murders' has done a pretty good job at recalling its own history in later episodes.  ("Dead Letters" had a more noticeable call-back dealing with a theory of relateeveety.)

And there was a Zonk to be splained away as well....

At the Oak Apple fairgrounds, the sign at the gypsy fortune-teller's booth reads "Katina". When she goes into the booth, the man next to the booth addresses her as "Katrina".

That's an easy one!  Whoever made the sign O'Bviously made a mistake.  And it was left as is.


Monday, June 19, 2017



From the Goofs Department at the IMDb:
In the opening "Modern Day" scene, Lucy tells Brockmire she is staying in Room 114 at the Marlowe Inn. When Brockmire goes to visit, he knocks on door 411, and Lucy opens.

This is easy enough to fix.  Lucy is dyslexic.  (Or as the graffiti in the movie "Between The Lines" put it, "Lysdexia".)

As for Brockmire showing up at the right door even though he was given the wrong information?  Hey, we don't see everything in Toobworld, remember.  You want to waste time in that first season of '24' watching Jack Bauer taking a dump?  This is all protected under the Khan-Chekov Act in the Articles of Tele-Federation.  Or something like that - anyway, Khan-Chekov is invoked.

When Brockmire first showed up at the Marlowe Inn, he went to Room 114 and quickly realized it was the wrong room.  Well, I say "quickly" but it might have taken a few minutes to figure out that the stranger who answered wasn't one of Lucy's sex partners.

So then Brockmire went down to the front desk to get the correct room number from the clerk on duty.

No Zonk!

Sunday, June 18, 2017


In 2006, the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame honored many of the characters from 'Law And Order' with membership in the Hall.  Among them was DA Arthur Branch, inducted in November of that year with 142 episodes over four TV series.

Here's what we know about Arthur Branch:

Branch graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School. He was later a professor at Yale Law School. He and his wife, Lillian, have lived in New York City since moving in the early 1980s from the state of Georgia. According to McCoy, Lillian "loves the smell of concrete", and would not allow Arthur to move from New York City back to Georgia.  Arthur and Lillian have at least one child, a son named Bobby. They also have a grandson and a granddaughter named Maggie. He also has a nephew named Andy. He owns a Chevrolet and a Porsche.  He speaks with a southern accent and commonly uses colorful metaphors.

Branch is elected the Manhattan District Attorney in 2002, replacing Nora Lewin.  He says that he was elected DA because the people of Manhattan wanted to feel safe after the September 11 attacks.  He and Abbie Carmichael are the only characters in the show known to be Republicans. Branch's administration is a sharp contrast to that of Lewin, as he supports the death penalty and does not believe in the existence of a Constitutional right to privacy.  He had written a book on the justice system and represented the Chinese government when he worked in private practice.

ADA Michael Cutter told Branch's successor Jack McCoy that Branch was being recruited to participate in a reality television show. He did not respond when McCoy asked if that statement was a joke.  

Branch resigned in 2009 with no reason given and it is assumed by Toobworld Central that, like the actor who portrayed him, Arthur Branch has passed away.

So we know about three branches of the Branch family, down to the third generation with his two grandchildren.  But what if we looked back into his family history?  Even just one generation - do we know who his father is, for example?

I think we can take a pretty good guess at who Daddy Branch was.  And when it comes down to it, the Theories of Relateeveety in the Toobworld Dynamic are only conjectures at best.

In the early 1960s, Randolph E. Branch was the Secretary of Science in the Johnson Administration.  The Department of Science is a cabinet post only in Toobworld.  It was an all-encompassing field which would be divided up into the Departments of Energy, Health & Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency in the Trueniverse.

And the Department of Science would also have dealt with the more shadowy investigations into extraterrestrial activity (handled by the shadow ops group known as Majestic 12.)


This was the one time we got to see Science Secretary Randolph E. Branch in Toobworld.  His assistant Adam Ballard was investigating four veterans who had been shot in the head during the Vietnam War.  The bullets had all been forged from the metal of a mysterious meteorite which Ballard claimed was the reason why the soldiers exhibited the same brain wave patterns.  The veterans were engaged in a furtive plan to build a spaceship in which they planned to spirit away a group of disabled children to a world where they would lead normal, healthy lives, free of their handicaps.

In the end, convinced of the sincerity in the plans by the quartet of alien representatives, Ballard let them go on their mission.  I'm assuming Secretary Branch agreed once he learned of all the facts in the case.

It doesn't come up in the two-part episode, but it has to be a given that Randolph Branch was originally from the state of Georgia.  And I'll offer up another theory of relateeveety: Randolph E. Branch married a Connally girl whom he met in college.  Her first name unknown, Miss Connally was from Absaroka County in Wyoming.  Her brother had a son named Barlow who idolized Branch to the point that he named his own son "Branch" after his uncle.

And that's about all I can think of now for Arthur Branch's father.  I suppose I could have forged a few connections to 'The X-Files', 'Threshold', and any series based in Washington, D.C., that was not relegated to some alternate TV dimension because of a different occupant in the Oval Office.  But I didn't want to push it.

At any rate, that's our contribution to the celebration of Father's Day in TV Land, 2017.

Happy Father's Day!