Friday, March 30, 2018


The Television Crossover Hall of Fame, that is.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999....

Yesterday was opening day for Major League Baseball, a better herald for Spring than the sighting of a robin, especially after a winter like this past one with its storms and the incessant drumbeat of news from the White House.

Baseball has been a rich source of material for Toobworld, from fictional teams and players to the interaction of fictional characters with real-world players.  

Opening Day's Eve - that is, this past Wednesday - saw Cameron Tucker of 'Modern Family' getting the chance to hang out with Kansas City Royals coach George Brett while the team was at training camp.

From Wikipedia:
George Howard Brett (born May 15, 1953), is a retired American baseball third baseman and designated hitter who played 21 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals.

Brett's 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history and 16th all-time. He is one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average (the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 on the first ballot and is the only player in MLB history to win a batting title in three different decades.

Brett was named the Royals' interim hitting coach in 2013 on May 30, but stepped down from the position on July 25 in order to resume his position of vice president of baseball operations. 

For more, click here.

Fantasy Island
- Superstar/Salem

(as George Brett of the Kansas City Royals)
Working stiff Richard Delaney wants to become a baseball star; Walter and Martha Tate are fed up with the loose ways of today's young people, so they want to go back to a time when people were "better behaved".

- The Changing of the Guard
In Kansas City, Arliss (Robert Wuhl) is forced to enter negotiations with Helga Krupp, the nasty, tight-fisted, bigoted owner (Kathleen Freeman) of a small-market baseball team, which don't go as smoothly as he anticipated. Especially since bad weather forces Arli$$ to spend more time with her than he'd like.  (She turns out to be more complex than the media makes her out to be.)  Guest stars: George Brett, Eric Karros, Willie Roaf and Pete Sampras.

United States of Tara
- Chicken 'n' Corn
(as George H. Brett)
Max visits Dr. Hatteras - as does Alice, without Tara knowing - telling him he has an obligation to continue his work with Tara. He agrees, but Alice tells him that one of the alters has disappeared. Needing a break, Charmaine asks Tara to take care of the baby for the day. It goes well until Tara comes out of an altered state in the middle of nowhere. She not only doesn't know where she is but has no idea which of her alters had emerged and set off with the baby. Max and Marshall fly off to New York City but Max's extreme fear of flying makes it a less than pleasant experience. In St. Louis, Kate introduces them to Evan and they all get to meet his young son, who proves to be a little terror.

I'm assuming Brett suffered through Max's fear of flying.

Modern Family
- Royal Visit 

Mitch and Cam go on a yoga retreat, but when Cam finds out his dream team, the Kansas City Royals, is having spring training next door, he can't resist sneaking out.

Got it! 

Nice catch. 


That was good. 

Oh, my gosh. Uh, M-Mr. Brett. I didn't know you would be here. 

Hi. Call me George. 

Oh, George. 

Yeah, how are ya? 

Uh, good. My name's Cameron. 

Nice to meet you, Cam. 

Nice to meet you. Been a fan for-#  Hey, do you mind if I get a picture? 

Not at all. Not at all. 300 bucks, how's that sound? I'm retired. 
300? I'm just kidding. Come on, it's free. 

Okay Ow! Alright. There it is. 

There they are! There ya go! 

Well, listen, I don't want to take up too much of your time. Thank you s 

I got all the time in the world. I'm not playing. I'm just coaching.


Yeah. Come here. Let me tell you the story about the Pine Tar game. 

Oh, wow! 

You wanna hear that? 


Come on.


But first, let me tell you about I'm gonna tell you about dinner the night before.....

George Brett has qualified for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  And one day we'll get around to making sure he gets inducted.....

Play Ball!

Thursday, March 29, 2018


"A Stitch In Crime" (1973)

Dr. Barry Mayfield

A surgeon has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner in a research project, but a nurse catches onto the scheme.

Dr. Barry Mayfield is a highly successful and respected surgeon, but his patience leaves a lot to be desired. Nurse Martin becomes suspicious about his tools in sewing up internal organs in his most recent 'successful' operation (namely, his sutures). The good doctor kills her before she spills the beans, but Mayfield doesn't count on Detective Columbo's investigative skills, which quickly uncover a trail of murderous events.

"The Trial" (1984) 

Judge Drew Mayfield

At Alexis' trial, a neighbor offers powerful evidence that incriminates Alexis. Along with Mark, she saw a woman on the terrace wearing a cape that has been positively identified as Alexis. Blake is called to testify and states that Alexis would indeed commit a violent act if sufficiently provoked. In a dramatic courtroom scene, Steven is called to the witness stand and he must tell what he knows or protect his mother.

"The Verdict" (1984) 
On the witness stand Steven testifies he saw Alexis push Mark to his death. Dismissing her attorneys and deciding to represent herself, Alexis takes the stand and testifies she was not wearing the cape that incriminated her.

Barry and Drew are first cousins; their fathers were brothers.  Barry was living in Los Angeles, but I think he was originally from Colorado, where Drew served on the bench in Denver's judicial system. 

As a lawyer, Drew was at an advantage for his career by taking the bar exams in his home state.  From there his career could rise, with his eye on the state's supreme court.  

On the other hand, Barry could practice medicine anywhere in the country.  With his eye on fame and fortune, he fixated on the City of Angels to be his base of power.

Justice Mayfield has retired from the bench in Colorado and is still alive.  On the other hand, Dr. Mayfield never made it out of prison.  Serving two concurrent life sentences, he finally died (probably of cancer) after three decades of incarceration.

It's bad enough to be saddled with the public knowledge that one of your cousins is a murderer.  But it turns out that Drew Mayfield has another cousin (on his mother's side of the family) who was a murderer as well.  And in a world where there is a Greek god of coincidence, it turns out that killer cousin was apprehended by the same police detective who arrested Dr. Mayfield.

I'll have more on that theory of relateeveety next Thursday....


Wednesday, March 28, 2018



From the IMDb:
Rockford gives himself a headache trying to solve the connection between a 30 year old murder, a valuable missing painting and Nazi Germany. 

IMDb Trivia:
The Watteau painting at the heart of the plot, "Pilgrimage To Avignon", is not real. Watteau did a painting, named "Pilgrimage To Cythera".

From Wikipedia:
Jean-Antoine Watteau (baptized October 10, 1684 – died July 18, 1721), better known as Antoine Watteau, was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in color and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical, Rococo. Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fĂȘtes galantes, scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with a theatrical air. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.

In 1709 Watteau tried to obtain the Prix de Rome and was rejected by the Academy.  In 1712 he tried again and was considered so good that, rather than receiving the one-year stay in Rome for which he had applied, he was accepted as a full member of the Academy.  He took five years to deliver the required "reception piece", but it was one of his masterpieces: the "Pilgrimage to Cythera", also called the "Embarkation for Cythera".

Watteau lacked aristocratic patrons; his buyers were bourgeois such as bankers and dealers. Among his most famous paintings are the two versions of the "Pilgrimage to Cythera" (one in the Louvre, the other in the Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin). 

And so we have another trivial example of the difference between the life of an historical figure in the real world and in Toobworld.  Watteau may not have painted "Pilgrimage to Avignon" in our world, but he did in the Television Universe.

It's not as interesting a discrepancy as Dennis Rodman being an extraterrestrial or Willie Mays a warlock, but 'twill serve.....


Tuesday, March 27, 2018


- "
Murder Impromptu" (1971)
Stephie Parker

'Murder, She Wrote'
- "Broadway Malady" (1985)
Lonni Valerian

Stephanie Parker was a struggling young actress back in 1971 when she was hired to perform with an improvisational group in San Francisco.  There she met and fell in love with another improv actor, Seamus Brennan.  Another actor in the company was Jamie Shannon, a once-famous child star, whose best days had been long behind him.  (He had peaked in the movies between the ages of 6 and 16.)

Unfortunately, the founder of the group, Lennie Blake, was blackmailing Stephie to keep her tied to the troupe.  After he was murdered, Stephie broke into his hotel room in hopes of finding the incriminating evidence against her.  She didn't find it, but Chief Robert T. Ironside and his team did - Lennie had forced her to perform in a porn film.  She agreed to do it only to save her boyfriend Seamus from being fired from the company.

After the murder was solved, the rest of the company moved on to Los Angeles in the hopes of making it big.  But by then, the pressures of the relationship between Seamus and Stephie had become too overwhelming and they split up.  Stephie resolved to focus on her career, driven to succeed at all costs.

Over time, she did gain traction in show business to the point where she became a big musical comedy star in the movies.  By that time, she had shed all traces of her past life so that her connection to Lennie Blake's murder was never discovered by the gossip columnists.  To facilitate that, Stephie Parker ceased to exist.  Instead, "Lonni Valerian" rose from the ashes of her life to become a leading light among Hollywood stars.

In 1985, fading diva Rita Bristol was supposed to open in a Broadway show with her daughter Patti, marking Rita's comeback and Patti's debut.  But during rehearsals, Patti was shot by a supposed mugger and almost died from the wound.  In hopes of saving the show, the director (Marc Faber) called on Lonni Valerian to step into Patti's role.  As rehearsals continued, Faber beefed up Lonni's role, clearly smitten with her and probably already having an affair with her.  (This pegged Faber as a possible suspect in the attempted murder of Patti Bristol.)

Patti eventually recovered and returned to the role and the show opened to great acclaim for both mother and daughter.  (Hopefully it helped soften the sorrow they still faced in their personal lives.)

As for Lonni Valerian, the former Stephie Parker, she returned to Los Angeles and probably phased into a TV career.  I find it doubtful that she would accept a transition into character roles, so she was probably out of the business by the turn of the millennium.

Elaine Giftos played both Stephie Parker and Lonni Valerian.


Monday, March 26, 2018



From the IMDb:Gibbs and Ducky see an antique war stick on television that could be the missing murder weapon to a 16-year-old cold case.

The television show is one that exists in the real world and now has its own televersion: 'American Pickers' on the History Channel.  Its host, Mike Wolfe, featured an antique war club in an episode which Gibbs and Ducky recognized as the murder weapon from the 16-year-old case.  (The show is in its 17th year, so technically this case happened during the first season of the series.  I'm only assuming that it must have been one of many which happened off-screen.)

This was not the first time in which fictional characters interacted with real people from reality shows, including game shows.  And it probably won't be the last. 

One of the shows which may have started the trend could have been 'The Odd Couple' in which Felix and Oscar appeared on 'Password'.  I've covered that in the past, so I'll showcase a few others. 

So here is one of my Super Six Lists showcasing past examples.



Casey appears on "View, The" and the team follows the story of seven college football players who are suspended for refusing to play under the Confederate flag.


Feuding neighbors Urkel and Carl decide to settle things on "American Gladiators." 

3] 'L.A. LAW'

Brackman appears on the TV game show "Wheel of Fortune," and ends up getting a date with Vanna White. Meanwhile, C.J. and her old friend from law school, the seedy, alcoholic, chain-smoking Tommy Mullaney, take a civil case of representing a man dying from lung cancer, caused by second-hand smoke, suing a tobacco company. Victor represents a murder victim's sister suing the physician who did not report evidence of her repeated spouse beatings. After having dinner together, Markowitz experiences romantic feelings for Gwen and when Kelsey finds out, she forces him to move out of their house. Also, Mullaney is hired on commission at the firm for his court performance. 

4] 'YES, DEAR'

Jimmy auditions for the Big Brother TV show and is accepted. The other contestants love him. Greg wants him to win so he gets enough money to move out of Greg's home. Meanwhile, the house is calmer without Jimmy around. 


Vint's latest money-making scheme is to get on "Family Feud" (the nighttime syndicated edition) and win $10,000 in Fast Money. Somehow, he actually gets the Harper clan (including Ellen, but not Fran or Sonia) on the show, where they play against an obnoxious high-society family. Since the society family is as dimwitted as the Harpers, the game is tied going into the final round and the Harpers have a chance to win by stealing a survey on "Things You Wind Up" -- if they can come up with one answer. This episode features much more game play than most TV sitcoms set on a game-show set.


An investigation into possible Werewolf sightings brings Mulder and Scully to Los Angeles. There they run into a crew filming a 'COPS' episode. While being followed around by the 'COPS' camera crew, Mulder and Scully trail a monster that appears to be able to change into each victim's own worst nightmare. 

Image result for x-cops

All descriptions are from the IMDb.....


Sunday, March 25, 2018


It's the first Sunday in Spring and for some reason, I'm thinking of reading the Sunday funnies at my Grammy's house.  We got the Hartford Courant Sunday paper each week, but she got the New York Daily News - and that had the big pull-out comics section with the oversized strips like "Pogo", "Dick Tracy", and the subject of today's post, "Li'l Abner".

The panels were big enough that as a little kid I would cut them out for home-made Colorforms figures.  And the Li'l Abner characters - a whole army of them! - were my favorites: full-figured, kinetic, and colorful. 

Al Capp's creation is a Mutiversal world - it started in the comic strips, got a musical, a film of that musical, a few musical shorts, theatrical cartoons, and a pilot for placement in Toobworld.

So here today, I'm celebrating that comic strip with the pilot plus a few cartoons, a musical short and even the bloopers from the Cineverse.  We'll even end with a Cineverse in Toobworld moment.  (It might be considered a moment in Skitlandia.)

I hope you enjoy!