Saturday, January 6, 2018


From the Los Angeles Times:
Jerry Van Dyke, the comic actor and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke who was featured in several TV series including “Coach” and “My Mother the Car", died Friday at his ranch in Arkansas. He was 86.

Van Dyke’s wife, Shirley Ann Jones, told The Times on Saturday that her husband had been convalescing at their home for the past two years following a car accident. She said the couple were alone together at the time of his death at the 800-acre ranch they’ve owned for 35 years.

Amy Kaufman

In 2003, Van Dyke's character of Luther Van Dam from 'Coach' was inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  The month before, Dr. Mark Sloan of 'Diagnosis Murder' had entered the Hall and as he was played by Dick Van Dyke, I thought it would be nice to have his younger brother follow him.  (Although now that I write that, I'm sure Jerry might have resented that since it was kind of emblematic of his career.)

Luther Van Dam, the assistant coach for the Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles, had been inducted for his participation in the ABC Las Vegas themed night for four of its sitcoms. For two decades now, I had been thinking Luther Van Dam had appeared in all four of the episodes:

  • 'Grace Under Fire' - "Vegas"
  • 'Coach' - "Viva Las Ratings"
  • 'The Drew Carey Show' - "Drew Gets Married"
  • 'Ellen' - "Secrets & Ellen"
Each of the shows had characters go to Vegas where they crossed over into each others' show.  But looking through the roster at the IMDb today, I found that Luther did not end up being in 'Ellen'. But he did meet two of Ellen Morgan's friends, Paige and Spence, at the gaming tables in the other three shows ('Coach', 'Grace Under Fire', and 'The Drew Carey Show'), so he did have a crossover with that sitcom.

It's a shame that he never got to be in that episode of 'Ellen', because he would have been the first fictional character to have appeared in four shows in one night.  If he had, Luther Van Dam could truly have been one of the crossover greats, right up there with Detective John Munch, Sam Drucker, Cheyenne Bodie, and as a member of the League of Themselves, Elizabeth Taylor.  (She appeared in four CBS sitcoms in one night to promote her White Diamonds perfume.  But by the last "appearance", it is said that all we saw was a "stunt hand".)

At any rate, for my little realm of Toobworld, Luther Van Dam is immortalized in the Hall of Fame.  And as it is Video Sunday, I have three of those four episodes from the ABC Las Vegas night!  They're all found on YouTube, but I had to go to Amazon Prime to see the 'Grace Under Fire' episode so I can't share it here.  (However I got much better screencaps from there than YouTube!)





Goodnight and may God bless......


Today is Sherlock Holmes' birthday.  Had he still been alive in Toobworld, the Great Detective would have been 164 years old.

Back when Holmes was at the height of his career, everyone in England thought they knew him.  Some actually dealt with him, but even they were influenced by the way his Boswell, John Hamish Watson, M.D., portrayed him in the Strand.  (That was the beginning of a more detailed program to convince the general public that the real people of Toobworld who needed to operate in the shadows without fame or interference were fictional.)

Toobworld Central accepts that Sherlock Holmes existed in the TV Universe, in several alternate dimensions as well.  And that's how the Time Lord known as the Doctor got several of his outfits - from his friendship with Holmes.  

(Read "The All-Consuming Fire" by Andy Lane for the story of how Holmes and Watson met the Seventh Incarnation and Ace.  Just remember -  "In the epilogue, Benny pronounces that Conan Doyle changed "a lot of the facts", meaning that Conan Doyle (or, possibly "Watson") is an unreliable narrator." [TARDIS Data Core Wiki]  Holmes must have met at least the Fourth Incarnation if not several others before.)

For Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, there is only one Sherlock Holmes - that played by Jeremy Brett in a run of series which adapted all but four of the original canon of stories. 


There are a lot of people out there, mostly "Millennials" I should think, whose memories don't extend past 2005.  For them there is only the Doctor whose incarnations begin with Christopher Eccleston.  And even worse, for them Sherlock Holmes is the modernized incarnation played by Bernard Cumberbatch.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the series 'Sherlock'.  I consider "The Sign Of Three" to be one of my top ten favorite TV show episodes.  But it is not Sherlock Holmes.  Holmes and Watson exist in a world of horse-drawn carriages clattering along fog-enshrouded cobblestone streets.  

Like I said, I love 'Sherlock'.  And I wanted to find some way to keep it tied to Earth Prime-Time rather than send it scurrying off to some alternate TV dimension as happened to those Sherlocks played by Peter Cushing, Douglas Wilmer, Leslie Howard, and another contemporary Holmes played by Johnny Lee Miller (not to mention all of those Sherlock Holmes to be found so many TV movies.)

And so, playing off the concept of 'Life On Mars' and 'Ashes To Ashes' (and solely for the purposes of the Toobworld Dynamic), I have set 'Sherlock' in the land of Limbo, the after-life between Heaven and Hell.  Acting as the Gene Hunt of the piece is the soul of the original Sherlock Holmes; and like that other metaphysical mentor, Sherlock no longer looks like his earthly form.  Instead of moving on to the next plane of existence, Holmes remains in Limbo to shepherd other souls, specifically any who were once known in Life as Dr. John Watson.  And that's who we see in the series - not THE Watson, but another medical man/soldier by the same name who died in Afghanistan during the war against the Taliban.  However, he still believes he is alive and so Sherlock has to prepare him for that next eventual stage of his journey.

Hey, it works for me and my TV playground!

But still there are those out there who think 'Sherlock' is THE Sherlock.  And perhaps because Steven Moffat worked on both series, they would LOVE to see Cumberbatch's Holmes team up with the fDoctor - no matter which incarnation, but apparently only since 'Doctor Who' was rebooted in 2005.

It's a premise I just can't use.  As I said, for me Sherlock Holmes is time-locked into the Victorian and Edwardian eras and this iteration is the soul of a dead man.  The Doctor hd as been near death many times, but when it got too close to ringing down the final curtain, he regenerated into a new body.  (And now finally into a woman!)  Those other incarnations of the Doctor are not dead; they are part of the new incarnation's mind and soul.  And so I don't think he could ever employ the power of the TARDIS to cross the dimensional barriers into that world of Limbo.

Even if they knew that's my take on the subject, why should they care about my opinion? I have no delusions about my word as law.  And so some of them have taken matters into their own hands to create mash-up videos in which "Nu-Who" Doctors meet up with this revamped practitioner of rational thought.

And I must admit some of these are pretty good......

Happy birthday, Mr. Holmes....  Wherever and whenever you are.

Friday, January 5, 2018


Back in November of last year, Tina Bradley, who runs the That Girl Fans Group on Facebook, posted that picture.

And then she commented:

Ann Marie is always on the look out for a new outfit. Which dress should she get?

This was my response:

Maybe she doesn't have to buy the black and red outfit. Maybe that's the costume Ann Marie will be given for that new TV show called 'Star Trek'. Unfortunately, it's mostly red, so her role will likely be a one-shot.

The 'Star Trek' seen by the people of Toobworld is not the same show as seen by us in the real world.  Sure, sometimes scenes from the original are seen in other shows, but that Desilu/Paramount production just got lucky on the details while working from the files brought back from the Future and handed off to the televersion of Gene Roddenberry.  

What we see is the reality of 'Star Trek'.  What the people of Toobworld see is a dramatic recreation.  

And so Ann Marie could have appeared in an episode of the Toobworld version of 'Star Trek', wearing that red and black dress.  And because there is so much red in that dress, her character would have been killed off before the end credits rolled......

Long live and prosper..........

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Salvatore De Fonte:
The Commodity speech of last week, we have a copy
Yes, sir, it's in the files.
Do you mind bringing one in, please? Thank you.

Whenever a character is recast and it's impossible for me to either use some other splainin for the change in appearance (plastic surgery, quantum leaping, alien impersonation) or to quarantine the entire show or even just the episode to another TV dimension, I do have one splainin upon which I can fall back - we are seeing the character's new look from another character's perspective (while still maintaining the "big picture" overview of the Trueniverse audience.) 

And so here we have Della, Salvatore De Fonte's secretary, played by Betsy McGuire.  (It was Vito Scotti who played De Fonte.  And of course Peter Falk is the Rumpled One.)  

No last name was given for Della.  And the only other secretary named Della whom we've ever seen before in Toobworld was Della Street, Barbara Hale's character in the 'Perry Mason' TV series and in all of those TV movie sequels that began in the 1980s.  It's not a very common first name, and the chance of it being used for another woman who's a secretary as well?  I would think they were high.

So....  What if these two Dellas were one and the same?

I'm just throwing this out there as a pozz'bility.  It's not like I'm claiming that it's written in stone for Toobworld.  But let's at least consider the case.

In the TV series, Della Street was last seen working for Perry Mason in the spring of 1966 and had been doing so since before 1957.  I think most fans agree that Della was in love with her boss, even if he sired an illegitimate child back in 1939.  (Most fans don't even know about that.  That particular theory of relateeveety is my own and I don't inflict it on anybody else.  It's merely in the realm of Toobworld.)

And I think Perry and Della acted upon that attraction, which was mutual.  They had a relationship, perhaps started even before the series ended, but I think it eventually soured and they split up (but before they ever married.)  The reasoning could be that Perry had accepted a judgeship and Della didn't want him tainted by scandal, being an old-fashioned girl.

Mason ascended the bench at some point after the series, but before 1975 (at least for the purposes of this "Recastaway" theory.)  When next we saw him, the lawyer was wearing judicial robes.  But when his former secretary Della was framed for murder in Denver, he resigned from the bench to rush to the Mile High City in order to defend her.

So after she quit working for Mason, what if Della Street found a new job, before the one with the late Mr. Gordon where she got framed for murder, working for Salvatore De Fonte?  And although not played by Barbara Hale, she was still the same woman but as seen by her boss.  We know she didn't get plastic surgery because she looked as she always did, albeit a bit older, in "Perry Mason Returns in 1985.

(As seen by Mr. De Fonte)

Like I said, it's just an idea.  No harm, no foul.

Court adjourned.....

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I realize it's a Wednesday and not Tuesday, but we're still going with a "Two-fer".....  

Episode aired 26 November 1972

When the camera picked up Lt. Columbo again after the butler Tanner was found hanging in his cottage, he was in Green Park near the Wellington Arch, sitting on a bench with an old man who was feeding the pigeons.

If you've read the previous post, you know my stance is that the old man was actually the fictional televersion of J.R.R. Tolkien, down from his new lodgings in Oxford to receive the CBE from Her Majesty on March 28th.

But when the camera caught up with the American detective on that bench with "Tolkien", they both had been there for awhile.  No words passed between them in that scene, but Toobworld and its occupants don't stop existing if the cameras aren't on them.  I think Columbo, being the affable fellow that he is, would have exchanged pleasantries with "the Gaffer' when he sat down.  And eventually, the Lieutenant might have felt comfortable enough to speak his mind in the presence of "Tolkien".....

Lt. Columbo was sent to London as the envoy from the Los Angeles Police Department to learn new policing techniques from New Scotland Yard.  While there, he helped Detective Chief Superintendent Durk solve the murder of Sir Roger Havisham, a renowned theatrical impresario.  For a time, it looked as though the true perpetrators of the crime would get away with it, having framed Sir Roger's butler and then staging his "suicide".  The whole business gave newspaper editors the chance to blare that old cliche across their front pages:  


But Columbo knew that wasn't right, that the true murderers would get away with it.  But he had no way to prove it.  Even more stressful was that he was pressed for time; he had been booked on a flight back to Los Angeles that afternoon.

As he sat reading the newspaper in the park near Wellington Arch, Columbo became increasingly bothered that Durk would close the case as soon as Columbo had left the country.

"I didn't think it would end this way...." Columbo groused to himself.  But it proved to be loud enough to be overheard by the old duffer sharing the park bench with him.

Taking a moment from his intent on feeding the surrounding pigeons, the old man took the pipe from his mouth and regarded Columbo with a twinkle in his eye.

"End this way?" He chuckled his his deep, slow cadence.  "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. But it's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.  A... very old friend told me that once."

Columbo pointed out to the elderly gentleman that there was no time left; that he had a flight to catch at Heathrow.

The old man nodded.  “Someone else always has to carry on the story.”

"Well, that's the problem," sighed Columbo, scratching his forehead.  "The Chief Superintendent never believed in my solution to the case.  It took a lot to get him to realize it wasn't just a fall that killed Sir Roger.  Once I'm gone, it will be considered a closed case.  And two killers will still be free and profiting from the murder.  From TWO murders!"

It pained the old man to find himself discussing something as dark as murder with a complete stranger, and one with an American accent to his speech at that.  Perhaps it had been a mistake to come down from Oxford this early for the ceremonies after all.  His son Christopher may have been right all along; perhaps he should have come down to London only the day before his audience with the Queen.

At last he sighed and took another deep draw from his pipe.  "The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places,” he mused to the American.  “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

"And that's the other thing!" Columbo interjected.  "They expect me to board that plane back to America this afternoon!"

His bench-mate said nothing, focused on feeding the pigeons and smoking on his pipe.  For him, the conversation had ended.  But this strange rumpled little man had other ideas.

"Just one more thing," asked Columbo.  "What type of tobacco is that?  See, I've always smoked cigars and basically you take whatever's wrapped inside them.  But my wife....  She would like to see me give them up.  My wife - she prefers a pipe.  But I never could get used to those things. There's just too much stuff you have to carry around with you But gee....  I do like the flavor of that smoke you have."

The old man held the pipe out proudly.  "It's my own special blend.  I call it Iar Tobui.  "Old Toby"......."



Episode aired 26 November 1972

Lt. Columbo was sent to London as the envoy from the Los Angeles Police Department to learn new policing techniques from New Scotland Yard.  While there, he helped Detective Chief Superintendent Durk solve the murder of Sir Roger Havisham, a renowned theatrical impresario.  For a time, it looked as though the true perpetrators of the crime would get away with it, having framed Sir Roger's butler and then staging his "suicide".  The whole business gave newspaper editors the chance to blare that old cliche across their front pages:


But Columbo knew that wasn't right, that the true murderers would get away with it, but he had no way to prove.  Even more stressful was that he was pressed for time; he had been booked on a flight back to London that afternoon.  He knew that as soon as he was gone from the country, Durk would declare the case closed.

As he sat in the park reading the Evening Echo newspaper, Columbo was so engrossed by the account of Tanner's suicide that he failed to notice the old man sitting next to him on the bench just across the green from the Wellington Arch.  In fact, it's quite likely that he had no clue who the old man was.  Had he recognized him, Columbo might have gushed and sang his praises... in the usual back-handed sort of way the detective had.  

He might have otherwise babbled on about how his nephew read all of those books of his about those little people who lived in the holes in the ground, and the warriors with their glowing swords, and the elves with their arrows, and the dwarves with their adzes.  And the talking trees and that Great Eye and the giant spiders!  Oh!  And that one ring to rule them all?  You have quite an imagination, sir.  And that's just based on what my nephew told me!

You surely figured it out by now.  That little old man sitting quietly on the bench feeding the pigeons while smoking his pipe?

I'm claiming that he was the televersion of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord Of The Rings", the modern day father of high fantasy and the creator of Middle Earth.

Just in case you still have no clue who that is.....

From Wikipedia:
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, FRSL (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", and "The Silmarillion".

He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

Edith Tolkien died on 29 November 1971, at the age of 82.  According to Simon Tolkien:

"My grandmother died two years before my grandfather and he came back to live in Oxford. Merton College gave him rooms just off the High Street. I went there frequently and he'd take me to lunch in the Eastgate Hotel. Those lunches were rather wonderful for a 12-year-old boy spending time with his grandfather, but sometimes he seemed sad. There was one visit when he told me how much he missed my grandmother. It must have been very strange for him being alone after they had been married for more than 50 years."

Tolkien was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1972 New Year Honours and received the insignia of the Order at Buckingham Palace on 28 March 1972. In the same year Oxford University conferred upon him an honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Tolkien had the name "LĂșthien" engraved on Edith's tombstone at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. Tolkien died 21 months later on 2 September 1973 from a bleeding ulcer and chest infection, at the age of 81.
Under his name, "Beren" was engraved on the tombstone.

Tolkien has been portrayed on television before:
  • Jack Turner in two episodes of 'Legends of Tomorrrow'
  • Ben Lambert (younger) & Robert HIckson (older) in "C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia"
  • Ian Bellman in a four-part series 'The Question of God'



But I think this actor looks more like the author than any of the actors who were actually hired to portray him.  Usually the actors involved were costumed to play Tolkien at younger ages - as a soldier on the French battlefield or as a young instructor at university.  But here this actor, without actually meaning to, looks like the classic pose for Tolkien in his sunset years:

I've given some thought to the timelines for both Tolkien and Columbo and I think they can be reconciled.  "Dagger Of The Mind" was first broadcast on November 26, 1972.  Although I prefer that TV shows take place around the time they are broadcast, this doesn't have to be a rule carved in stone.  As long as it doesn't interrupt any other episode of 'Columbo' in their space on the Toobworld timeline, I can be flexible about this.  (By the way, the last episode of the first season was broadcast in February of 1972.  The second season premiered later that same year in September.  So March is free and clear for the Lieutenant to travel to London.)

So I would set the episode earlier in the year, in March of 1972.  Rather than the approach of dreary weather near the end of the year, "Dagger of the Mind" could have been taken place during the dreary weather near the end of Winter.

Mr. Tanner...?
Could you tell me, 
Was there any sort of rain out here last night
Rain, sir? No. 
We haven't had a drop all the week.

I've looked into the weather for March, 1972: as March 1972 progressed, the weather became warmer and relatively dry.  There were some warm and sunny days from the 14th to the 25th, but as the month ended it became more seasonal with gradual cold and some rain.

On the 14th, winds veered southeasterly and it became warmer. On the 15th,16th and 19th, the temperature reached 19C, (66 Fahrenheit) and it remained pleasantly warm until cooler westerly winds set in on the 26th.

Here are the basics of Tolkien's personal timeline leading to a joining with Columbo's chronology:

JANUARY 1 1972
In the New Year's Honours List, J.R.R. Tolkien is awarded a CBE. (Commander of the British Empire.)


MARCH 13, 1972
Because of the death of his wife the year before, Tolkien moved to rooms at 21 Merton Street, Oxford.

MARCH 21, 1972
The dress rehearsal for "MacBeth" starring Nicholas Frame and his wife Lillian Stanhope is held.  The producer Sir Roger Havisham arrives backstage at the theatre unseen by anyone.  He accuses his paramour Lillian of whoring herself out to get him to finance the production.  He plans to close the show and make certain neither Frame nor his wife ever work on the stage again.  In order to stop him, Nicky struggles with Sir Roger and blows were exchanged, finally ending with Lillian throwing a jar of cold cream at the producer's head.  Sir Roger dies and Nicky and Lillian begin an elaborate plan to cover it up.

MARCH 22, 1972
Lt. Columbo arrives at Heathrow Airport where he is met by Detective Sgt. O'Keefe.  They keep Detective Chief Superintendent Durk waiting because Columbo wants to do some sight-seeing.  They call at the home of Sir Roger's, where the body was found.  (Sir Roger was the uncle, twice removed, of Durk's wife.)  

The opening performance for the play proceeds as planned for that night.  Columbo is able to attend and starts finding clues.  The actors realize that the stage door custodian took Sir Roger's umbrella by mistake and they need to retrieve it; they need to keep people from thinking he had been at the theatre.  After getting it back, they try to leave it at Sir Roger's house only to find that his personal effects were all taken to the wax museum for an upcoming exhibit about Sir Roger.  So they have to break into the museum and exchange the umbrellas.  A very busy night!

MARCH 23, 1972

Columbo and Durk partake in some activities that had been originally scheduled for Columbo's visit.  They also meet up with Tanner for a trip to the wax museum to identify the umbrella.  This makes Tanner realize that Nicky and Lillian were behind Sir Roger's death.  Later that morning, Tanner arrives at Nicky and Lillian's home with the intent of becoming their new butler, basically blackmailing them into hiring him.  

MARCH 24, 1972
Another workday for Columbo learning about the new techniques at Scotland Yard. He also gets to meet several other British detectives like Detective Jack Regan of the Flying Squad   So as to free up their workload, Durk and O'Keefe have a real "copper" assigned to help Columbo through the day.  His name is PC George Dixon, a true veteran of the force still working into his 70s.  (While on his beat with Columbo, Dixon is called upon to help deliver a baby in the Luther household.  The parents are going to name him John.)  Meanwhile, Nicholas Frame has convinced Tanner to smuggle rare books out of Sir Roger's home in order to sell them, so that Tanner can get the money he's accustomed to.  Frame shows up at the cottage where Tanner lives and kills him, making it look like suicide.  

At the same time, Professor J.R.R. Tolkien has arrived in London from Oxford to prepare for the CBE ceremony at Buckingham Palace.  Having been registered at his hotel, he goes to the tailor to make sure his morning coat and various accouterments are up to snuff as it were.  

MARCH 25, 1972
Arrangements have been made for Columbo to go home.  With some free time, Professor Tolkien goes to Green Park near the Wellington Arch in order to feed the pigeons.  He sits on a bench with Lt. Columbo.  At the wax museum Columbo tricks Nicholas Frame and Lillian Stanhope into admitting that they killed Sir Roger and that Nicky murdered Tanner. 

MARCH 26, 1972
Lt. Columbo flies home to America.

MARCH 28, 1972
Tolkien received his Order of CBE from the Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

As you can see, there's really nothing about this that causes major upheavals to the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, nor to the purity of the episode.

But check back soon.  I'm going to post a conversation Columbo might have had with "Tolkien" before the cameras were rolling.....


Tuesday, January 2, 2018


With the January membership for the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, I like to salute the greats of Classic TV, although those characters can appear anywhere in the schedule, especially if they fit in with the traditions of other months.  

This year I decided the time finally had come for Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen - the televersion from Earth Prime-Time only - to take his place in the Hall.  He qualified for it years ago, once the Amex commercial aired which starred Jerry Seinfeld and the Superman of the Tooniverse.  And I kept slotting him into successive schedules but always found reasons to preempt him for some other candidate.  But like I said, the time has come!

I tend to think the whole world knows as much as I do about everything.  But if you don't know about Jimmy Olsen, let's go to the Wiki file!

From the Wikipedia:
James Bartholomew Olsen is a fictional character who appears mainly in DC Comics’ Superman stories. Olsen is a young photojournalist working for the Daily Planet. He is close friends with Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman, and has a good working relationship with his boss Perry White. Olsen looks up to his coworkers as role models and parent figures.

Jimmy is traditionally depicted as a bow tie-wearing, red-haired young man who works as a cub reporter and photographer for The Daily Planet, alongside Lois Lane and Clark Kent, whom he idolizes as career role models. In most depictions of the character, he has a strong friendship with Superman. As Superman's friend, Jimmy has special access to the Man of Steel, thanks to Superman's gift to Jimmy of a "signal watch", a wristwatch which, with the press of a button, emits a special ultrasonic frequency signal that Superman can hear anywhere on Earth. (In Post-Crisis continuity Jimmy invented the watch himself, and Superman briefly considered confiscating it. In New Earth continuity, the watch was designed by Superman based on a larger signaling device Jimmy created.)

In many Silver Age of Comic Books, Jimmy was often seen sharing adventures with Superman, who saved him from various predicaments ranging from dangerous to merely embarrassing. This was particularly pronounced in the series "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" published from 1954 to 1974, which saw Olsen in a variety of slapstick adventures and strange transformations. Like most DC characters, modern portrayals of Olsen have been more serious in tone.

An important part of the Superman mythos, Jimmy Olsen has appeared in most other media adaptations of the character.

"Olsen" is a common Danish-Norwegian surname. However, there is never any reference to the character having a Scandinavian ancestry, other than the name.

On the 'Adventures of Superman' television series (starring George Reeves), Jimmy Olsen was portrayed by Jack Larson, who appeared as the cub reporter from 1952 to 1958. Largely because of the popularity of Larson and his portrayal of the character, National Comics Publications (DC Comics) decided in 1954 to create "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen", a regular title featuring Jimmy as the leading character. Decades later in 1996, Larson portrayed an unnaturally aged Jimmy Olsen in an episode of 'Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman'.

Adventures of Superman (1952 - 1958)
101 episodes

Stamp Day for Superman (1954)
Superman's commitment to promote US Savings Stamps is temporarily delayed when Lois is kidnapped.

Clark Kent and Lois Lane, out for a stroll, discover a jewelry robbery in progress. Lois gets a good look at one of the burglars. Later Clark and Jimmy Olsen visit Jimmy's old school to discuss Superman's visit there to promote the U.S. Treasury Department's Savings Stamp program. In the meantime, Lois is captured by Blinky, the jewelry burglar she spotted. When Lois doesn't show up to join Clark and Jimmy, Clark realizes she's in trouble and arranges for Superman to save the day and still make his appearance at the school's Stamp Day.
(from the IMDb)

American Express commercial (1998)
Jerry Seinfeld comes to the rescue of the Superman from the Tooniverse, thanks to his Amex card.  And Jimmy Olsen, standing outside the Daily Planet building saw the visitor from the cartoon dimension flying through the skies.

When Superman was inducted into the Hall as one of the "pioneers" subjected to my televisiological studies, he was brought in as a Multi-dimensional.  Basically all of the Supermen from the many TV dimensions are of the same basic character even if their Kryptonian telegenetic composition varies.  (It's Toobworld Central policy that all Tooniverse characters - no matter the style of the artwork - are still the same person.)

But with Jimmy Olsen, we're only taking into account the first one seen on TV, played by Jack Larson.  There are a LOT of variations in character for Superman's Pal across the greater TV Universe.  And as far as telegenetic stock, it has gone so far afield that he's black in Comix Toobworld DC-2.  Although it should be pointed out that Jimmy Olsen in Supergirl's Toobworld has the best chance for inclusion in the Hall as another incarnation of the "cub reporter".  So far he's only appeared on 'Supergirl' but he could cross the vortex and wind up in the "Arrowverse" - the alternate Toobworld officially known by Toobworld Central under its designation of Comix Toobworld DC-1.

The Jimmy Olsen of Comix Toobworld DC-3 - which currently only houses 'Lois & Clark' - may not have looked like the Jimmy Olsen of Earth Prime-Time in his youth, but when he was preternaturally aged he looked exactly like Toobworld's Jimmy Olsen by that point in his life.  (Both timelines are askew from each other.)  Yet it's highly unlikely he'll ever see the inside of the Hall unless he buys a ticket....

After the series ended and before he was last seen in that quick cameo for the Amex blipvert, much of Jimmy Olsen's life remains "unseen on TV" and open to speculation.  But this is what Toobworld Central has accepted as its own personal canon, knowing full well it goes against the established life of Olsen in the Comic Book Universe and other metafictional universes.

There's a reason why so many people in the main Toobworld know that Superman's secret identity was as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent in Metropolis.  It's because Jimmy Olsen spilled the beans.

I've written about this plenty of times in the past so that I'm hoping you are all ardent followers of this blog and will not be surprised by the news: In the main Toobworld, Superman is dead. 

Quick recap - Superman used his body to shield two Chicago gangsters named Ray Luca and Pauli Taglia from an atomic blast when they tried to hide out in the middle of a Nevada A-bomb test site.  They were unharmed, thanks to Superman, but his usually impenetrable skin was permeated with microscopic grains of green kryptonite which had been under the surface of the desert where the atomic bomb was detonated.  It was a fatal dose and Superman died of the radiation poisoning within weeks.

But before he died, Superman told his pal Jimmy everything about himself, all of the secrets - including his Terran identity as Clark Kent - in order for his history and the memory of Kyrpton to live on after he was gone.  

Jimmy didn't take the news well......

One might think that this was something Superman should have told the woman he loved, but I guess he was convinced that it would have been cruel to subject her to watch him die as she transcribed his dictation.  Not that Jimmy fared any better......

Jimmy published Superman's biography after the Man of Steel died, perhaps with the assistance of UNReel, the shadow ops group which keeps the public from believing the Truth about some of Toobworld's greatest heroes.  From this incredible revelation came the comic books, the movies, the TV shows - anything that might later cause a Zonk in the dialogue references from other TV shows.  It's how Jerry knew "Jor-El" was the name of Superman's father, which he used as his bank password.  And any money made from those sales which would have been due to Superman's estate were donated to the foundation started by Jimmy and Lois in his memory - the Kent Foundation.

Other than that, it's anybody's guess as to what happened to Jimmy Olsen, but I like to think that some of those small roles played by Jack Larson on later TV shows were actually Jimmy Olsen despite the difference in names.  I think he was working undercover for a story at the Daily Planet - still out in the streets, working the beat, even though he was more than likely the Editor-In-Chief of the paper by the time we saw him just leaving the Daily Planet in that Amex commercial.

There are a couple of Wish-Craft moments in Jimmy's life which I can't prove but I just like them.  One, he accompanied Superman when he took the trip in the TARDIS with the First Incarnation of the Doctor and his granddaughter "Susan" in order to find a planet where the Kandorians could be released from their glass bottle prison.  (The Kandorians descendants were later seen in an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' - "The Little People".)

Two - Jimmy Olsen had grown up with another Jimmy - James B.W. Bevis.  They even adopted the same clothing style which they continued long after graduating.  (From another 'Twilight Zone' episode - "Mr. Bevis'.  Mr. Bevis had his own run-in with the Doctor: while touring England after he retired, Bevis had to go to the hospital in Leadworth.  After stripping down for the examination, the Eleventh Doctor stole his clothes.)

Like I said, I can't prove it, but it's just some fun conjecture.....

I wanted to make Jimmy related to Mrs. Olson from over one hundred Folger's Coffee blipverts, but as you can see from the superimposed caption on this one, she spelled her name differently.  (I was hoping to make her his aunt by marriage.)

One doesn't like to let go of people in our lives, even the fictional ones, but it has to be accepted that by this point in Toobworld time, James Bartholomew Olsen has passed away... probably around the same time as Jack Larson (2015).

Hopefully this little tribute will keep that memory of him alive for somebody out there.....


'The Adventures of Superman'
'Crime Story'
'Stamp Day For Superman'
American Express commercial
'Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman'
'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'
Folger's Coffee commercial
'Doctor Who'
'The Twilight Zone'