Saturday, November 10, 2018


(Stealing that basic title from National Lampoon.)

Two years ago, I started a Saturday theme which looked at TV shows as seen in another fictional universe - the world of comic books.  That finally petered out, but I thought I'd take it in another direction - TV shows as seen in the world of "comic book" parodies.

And when I think of "comic book parodies", it's Mad magazine which comes to mind.

This isn't going to be a regular feature, just when I'm in the mood.  And I can't splain why, but as I watched the midterm results coming in Tuesday night, I wondered if Mad had ever dealt with 'The Rockford Files'....  And voila!  Today's post.

And to start off, apparently there is a Germanic alternate dimension of that meta-universe......


Friday, November 9, 2018


Let's play hardball.....

No, not that guy!

The November induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame has traditionally been the month in which the Toobworld Dynamic celebrates the newsmakers.  But we also tip our hat to the news reporters, as evidenced by the memberships of Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, and Murphy Brown.

So for this week's November Friday Hall of Famer, we're hoisting 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews for his League of Themselves appearances in several shows.  Most of those take place in Earth Prime-Time, but in several other TV dimensions as well.


From Wikipedia:

Christopher John Matthews (born December 17, 1945) is an American political commentator, talk show host, and author. Matthews is known for his nightly hour-long talk show, 'Hardball with Chris Matthews', on MSNBC.

From 2002 to 2013 Matthews hosted a syndicated NBC News–produced panel discussion program on weekends titled 'The Chris Matthews Show'. Matthews regularly appears on other NBC and MSNBC news programs as well.

Here are most of his appearances to date in the main Toobworld as his fictional televersion:
Tanner '88
- Moonwalker and Bookbag

Tanner on Tanner 
- Alex in Wonderland

- The Awful Truth (2004) 

30 Rock

- Hard Ball (2007)


Tucker Carlson, you heard what Jenna Maroney had to say. She supports the troops. 
Well, here's a question, Chris. Why do we care what she thinks about anything? This woman strikes me as another empty-headed self-involved member of the Hollywood ignorati. You know, for someone who's super super hot, you're really cranky. 
I have just as much right to my opinion as you or Chris. 
I'm not sure you do. You've been on the show for 20 minutes now. You sang six bars of something called Muffin Top. 
Thank you. 
And then told a disgusting story about Fleet Week. 
I guess this is the state of political discourse in this country nowadays. And that's fine, let's just embrace it. Let's have our policies determined by former Cable Ace Award nominees.

Las Vegas 

- Adventures in the Skin Trade


The Event 
- Inostranka

O'Bservation - I have no pictures of his involvement in 'The Event'.  I'm not even sure if I should leave that short-lived series in the main Toobworld.

Alpha House 
- The Rebuttal

- In the Saddle (2014)

The Good Wife
- Death Row Tip

- The Debate (2015)
- Iowa (2016)

Those appearances alone are enough to warrant membership in the Hall.  But Chris appeared in other TV dimensions as well.


House of Cards
- Chapter 23

O'Bservation - This could never be in the main Toobworld, due to the difference in the occupancy of the Oval Office alone.  But it should share the same dimension as its predecessor, the British original for 'House Of Cards', the Francis Urquart trilogy of mini-series.  Toobworld-Dark is different from Evil Toobworld which would be the same TV dimension as the main Toobworld... but EVIL!


Mister Sterling
- Pilot

- Game Time (2003)
- Final Passage (2003)

The West Wing 
- Message of the Week

O'Bservation - This is the TV dimension which was created because Josiah "Jed" Bartlet was the POTUS.  Ironically, Chris Matthews appeared in this dimension first on the spin-off series, 'Mr. Sterling'.


Family Guy
- Dog Gone

O'Bservation - Only in the Tooniverse could Chris Matthews' forehead be used as a display screen.


'Saturday Night Live'

O'Bservation - In the comedy sketch dimension, the looks of an historical figure can change based on whoever is playing the role.  No splainin then is needed for such recastaways since it's part of the dimensional makeup.

With SNL, there are two main Chris Matthews impressionists - Darrell Hammond & Jason Sudeikis.  (I give the nod to Hammond.  He's incredible.)

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Matthews!


Thursday, November 8, 2018


Actor Ken Swofford has died at the age of 85.  A dependable actor, he contributed a lot of Toobworldlngs of varying degrees of assholery, mostly for one-shot appearances in various TV shows.  In his honor, I’m presenting this three-in-one theory of relateeveety to celebrate two of the more famous, perhaps infamous, of his characters….

From the Ellery Queen website:
At the New York Gazette, news hawk Frank Flannigan pounded out his column, writing and speaking in Flanniganisms like 'superrific!' (Any similarity to Walter Winchell is not coincidental.) Flannigan had sources everywhere, especially when he was willing to fork over a sawbuck for a hot tip, and delighted in printing information Inspector Queen wanted kept under wraps. For all his ridiculing of the police in print, when the chips were down he was there if the Inspector or Ellery needed his help.

Ellery Queen

- The Adventure of the Comic Book Crusader (1975)
- The Adventure of the 12th Floor Express (1975)
- The Adventure of the Sunday Punch (1976)
- The Adventure of the Wary Witness (1976)
- The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster (1976)

Frank Flannigan was born in 1905 in New York City.  (Manhattan, the DOWISTREPLA neighborhood.)  As a young lad, Frank became a paperboy for the New York Herald, and then worked his way up through the ranks in the newspaper business - as a copy boy for the New York Ledger, and then at the New York Record during his undergraduate years at Hudson University where he studied journalism. 

Just before he graduated, Frank suffered a massive personal tragedy.  Duke Williams, the reporter who had mentored him at the Record and who had sponsored him by paying his tuition, had been killed by a vengeful mobster working for Mickey Doyle.  Williams had been researching an expose on Doyle’s activities in Atlantic City.


Unable to continue working for the Record because of the memories, Frank joined the New York Sentinel as a reporter.  After making a name for himself at the Sentinel with hard-hitting scoops, (one of which brought Duke Williams’ killer to justice), Flannigan was snatched up by the New York Gazette to write a daily column.  All the time, though, he had his eye set on getting a job at the New York Chronicle as the City editor.  Unfortunately, he ran afoul of Arthur Kennicutt, the young owner/publisher of the New York Chronicle (and two sister papers on the West Coast) at an industry charity affair held in the Metropolitan Hotel.

In the middle of the Great Depression, Frank was feeling the strain of his job and seriously needed a break.  When he learned that a political corruption case on the isle of Jantique was tied in to the Hamilton Bank branch in the 12th Precinct, Frank leapt at the chance to cover the story.  He insisted to his editor that he needed to go to Jantique to investigate the case at its origin.

There he met an enticing young woman who had also come from New York where she was a dancer at the Charleton Club.  They clicked upon first meeting on the beach, but unfortunately their vacations were out of synch.  It was his first night on Jantique, but it was her last night of vacation.  The star-crossed lovers made the most of that night, but she never let on that she was not going back to Manhattan.  The next day she left before Frank woke up and sailed to the isle of St. Marie.  From there she took a flight back to the American mainland and took a cross-country flight from just outside of Deepwater, Florida.  She had already set her sights on a career in Hollywood and her attraction to Frank Flannigan was not going to deter her dream.

A month later, while competing for a chance to enter the Miss United States** beauty contest, she discovered that she was pregnant and only Frank Flannigan fell in the range of her pregnancy’s timetable.  One of the women she was competing against discovered the truth and informed on her to the beauty pageant’s governing board.  Denied that dream, she was determined to raise the child on her own and when the baby was born – a boy – she gave him the name Harold Stone… “Stone” being her maiden name.

That happened in 1933.  But in 1927, Frank’s life was affected by another pregnancy, and at least with this one, he was aware of the situation.  He had an older brother whose wife gave birth to a son that year and they named him after Frank.  Frank Flannigan was also chosen to be the boy’s godfather.

Frank the Younger grew up to be a dashing yet coldly handsome sophisticate, taking after his socialite mother more than his father.  His Uncle Frank got him his first break in show business by securing him a job working for Broadway public relations maestro Mike Bell.  During his time with Bell, young Frank met a few people before they hit it big: Ginger Grant, a rising starlet whose name was far from being known in the business (she was usually referred to as “the girl”) and Christine Coughlin who was working as a receptionist before starting on her career as a news reporter.


As he got older, Frank the Younger shed the symbolic link to his family tree by changing his last name from “Flannigan” to “Flanagan”. After learning all he could from working with Mike Bell, the newly christened Frank Flanagan sought his career behind the scenes in the movie business, working as an executive at Mammoth Pictures.

Seeing the future of television when his peers either dismissed the medium or fought against it, he got in on the ground floor at the CNC network.  Flanagan found the television industry a killer business (which would become a literal description a few decades later, when one of his successor’s protégés murdered her mentor to cement her own position at the network.

Frank’s unknown son found life growing up in the City of Angels to be a fight for survival on the school playground.  Whispered stories about him being a bastard and his mother a disgraced former beauty who was scrabbling to get a foothold in the movie business by working as a chorus girl in the musicals made at Sylver Screen Pictures.  Those whispers became outright taunts by those who sought to bully young Harry, but he caught them off-guard with savage beatings which often left him stranded in detention after school.  But it served to toughen him for his life ahead, always in a scrap to get what he wanted from others.

Ironically, it led to him making a living out of spreading such rumors himself as he became a private investigator and then a political hack.  Eventually he worked his way up to being the campaign manager for upstate California councilman Nelson Hayward in his ill-fated run for the governorship of the state.

While Harry was attending Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, he ran into another Harold Stone among his classmates.  They quickly became friends when Harry took the blame for a prank committed by Harold and was sent to detention for it.  (“Don’t worry about it, Kid.  I’m used to it.”) 

After graduation, Harold T. Stone left California to attend college in New York City and never saw Harry Stone again.  But years later, having passed the bar and married a divorced woman with a small son who was born in 1951, he readily adopted the boy (despite his real father being a former magician/circus performer and at the time, a mental patient) and gave the lad the name “Harold T. Stone, Jr.”  He would tell friends that it was more a tribute to a high school friend who once got him out of trouble than it was meant to be a tribute to himself.

Harry Stone Jr. lived up to the reputations of both his fathers, true Nurture & Nature: he excelled at magic tricks like his birth father and he became a lawyer like his adoptive father.  And eventually he exceeded those aspirations by becoming a judge in Manhattan’s night court system.

Unfortunately, his father never lived to see that happen.  During his rebellious teenage years, Harry Jr. took his father’s car out for a joyride and ended up crashing it.  The stress this caused his father led to a fatal heart attack.  Years later, Harry Stone, Jr. met his birth father, Buddy Ryan.

Harry always meant to visit California to finally meet the man he was named after, the other Harry Stone, and planned to do that during the Christmas break in his first year of law school.  (For that first year of graduate work, he was saving money by attending Fred’s School of Law in Philadelphia.)  Unfortunately, Harry Stone was gunned down during the election campaign he was running for Nelson Haywood to be governor.

At first the leading theory about the murder was that it was orchestrated by Haywood’s enemies in the syndicate.  However, the investigation led by Lt. Frank Columbo revealed that it was Haywood himself who killed his campaign manager in order to cover up an affair he was having. 

So Harry Stone, son of Frank Flannigan (although he never knew it), died in 1973, seventeen years before his father.  Four years after Flannigan died, his nephew Frank Flanagan died in 1994, on the eve of one of his network’s greatest television series debuts, a detective show which launched the career of future movie star Reese Hardin.


  • ‘Columbo’
  • ‘Ellery Queen’
  • ‘Night Court’
  • ‘How I Met Your Mother’
  • ‘The Odd Couple’
  • ‘Law & Order’*
  • ‘Murder, She Wrote’
  • ‘The Patty Duke Show’
  • ‘Over The Top’
  • ‘The Roaring 20s’
  • ‘Boardwalk Empire’
  • ‘Mr. Broadway’
  • ‘Gilligan’s Island’
  • ‘McCloud’
  • ‘Going To Extremes’
  • 'Barney Miller'
  • 'Death In Paradise'
  • 'Maximum Bob'
  • ‘Bionic Woman’
  • ‘The Lot’
  • ‘The White Shadow’
  • 'The Tony Randall Show'
  • ‘Movie Stars’

* ‘Law & Order’ serves as the home for two of the crossover references listed above – the New York Ledger newspaper and Hudson University.  Both of them are to be found in other shows as well.  Hudson University can be found in at least 19 TV series (plus DC Comics), four of which are in alternate TV dimensions. 

** There is a Miss United States beauty pageant now in the Real World, but it was only founded in 1986.  The Toobworld version of the ceremony was seen in a 1976 episode of ‘The Bionic Woman’ and the event I focused on happened in 1932.


From the Hollywood Reporter:
Ken Swofford, the familiar character actor who played the stubborn vice principal Quentin Morloch for three seasons on the TV adaptation of ‘Fame’, has died. He was 85.

Swofford died Thursday, his grandson Brandon Swofford announced. He was a longtime resident of Pacific Grove, California.

The red-headed Swofford also portrayed the reporter Frank Flannigan on the admired but short-lived 1975-76 NBC series ‘Ellery Queen’, starring Jim Hutton, and he recurred as Lt. Catalano on several episodes of another sleuthing series, Angela Lansbury's ‘Murder, She Wrote’.

For the full obituary, click here.

For the last year or so, Inner Toob has dedicated most of its Thursday posts to theories of “Relateeveety”.  And many of those are inspired by ‘Columbo’ (my fifth favorite TV show – heresy to some of my fellow fanatics, I know.)  I wanted to memorialize Mr. Swofford with such a theory of Relateeveety, but it wasn’t his appearance in the episode “Candidate For Crime” that I wanted to showcase; it was another episode in which he played no role.

However, after texting with my fellow Columbo-phile, Debbie Greenfield, I realized that I did have a good theory for his ‘Columbo’ episode, an O’Bvious one actually.  So I decided to forego running his tribute on a Thursday and instead post his tributes as a “Two For Tuesday.”

But I couldn't use it on the Sixth - if you if you didn't see it, the post was geared towards the election.

So here we are, back to Thursday!  And NOW... I have THREE theories of Relateeveety for Mr. Swofford in connection to 'Columbo'!

They’ll be coming up next hour.  I hope you like them!

Good night and may God bless Ken Swofford....

Wednesday, November 7, 2018



When Billy Jim Hawkins suggested that Professor Augustus Bitterman should write a book about the history of their beloved West Virginia, Gus Bitterman waved off the suggestion by pointing out that a very good one was already written by George Ellis Moore.

This is an influx of reality into the fictional world of Earth Prime-Time.  Mr. Moore did indeed write a book about the statehood of West Virginia, and it's still in print.

George Ellis Moore does not have his own Wikipedia page, but I was able to find some information about him and his book from other sources, including the Find A Grave website.


14 Mar 1916
Mannington, Marion County, West Virginia, USA


16 Feb 1970 (aged 53)
Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland, USA


IOOF Cemetery
Enterprise, Harrison County, West Virginia, USA

A Banner in the Hills: West Virginia’s Statehood
by George Ellis Moore

Meredith Publishing

Publication date

January 1, 1963


Book length
256 pages

"The Slaveholders’ War: The Secession Crisis in Kanawha County, Western Virginia, 1860-1861"
Scott A. MacKenzie

West Virginia’s historians have tended to minimize the importance of slavery in the state’s formation. With fewer than fifteen thousand slaves in the forty-eight counties that formed the state in 1863, the scarcity of the institution appeared to have had little hold over the region. Charles Ambler and George E. Moore contrasted the slave-based plantation economy of eastern Virginia with that of the free labor-based small farms and factories in the west to explain the state’s formation.   

West Virginia is the home state for several TV shows with a fictional setting.  The two I can think of off the top of my head are 'Hawkins', of course, which was set in the fictional town of Beauville in Logan County, and 'The Real McCoys' which had the family moving from Smokey Corners to California.

Just checking Wikipedia, there was a recent show called 'Outcast' which took place in Rome, WV.  They also list Tyler Perry's 'Meet The Browns', but their article only talks about Atlanta, Georgia.  So I'm not sure what the connection is to West Virginny,


Tuesday, November 6, 2018



It's Election Day. 

Here are two messages that were broadcast at the end of a couple of TV show episodes last Thursday. 

I'm sure somebody out there in TV Land will read more into this than they should, but all I'm promoting is that you should exercise your right - no, your duty! - to vote. 


Monday, November 5, 2018


One of my NYC friends whom I met through "That Place" (TVXOHOF member the Edison Hotel) where I worked is Jason Young.  Originally from Kansas, he made the rounds of several of the major cities in the USA (all three of them the settings for some TV classics) and is now apparently back in Kansas where he and his wife Zhulekha are raising a beautiful baby girl.

And this past Friday was his birthday!

So this is sort of my little birthday present....

Every so often I run a post that borders on fanfic, featuring the televersions of my friends in what I think might have been their lives in one of the various Toobworlds.

In Jason's case, I think he might be in the alternate Toobworld in which we would find Dr. Dylan Reinhart, author of "Freaks".  (As the noted 
author, university professor, and former CIA paramilitary officer - now working with the NYPD - answered to a black woman who was the mayor of New York City, we have to place Reinhart's series 'Instinct' in another Toobworld.  The main Toobworld's current mayor, Bill De Blasio, has appeared in 'The Good Wife' and been mentioned in several other shows like 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit', 'Constantine', and 'Intelligence'.  So Mayor Meyer has to preside over an alternate Big Apple.)

Therefore, this picture of TV's Jason Young with Dr. Reinhart has to be from that Toobworld. 

And I don't see any reason why it can't be the Toobworld of 'The West Wing'.  Even if Trump has been mentioned as the President of that United States, that world's timeline might have realigned itself with that of Earth Prime-Time... and Earth Prime. 

Why was Reinhart with Jason?  Could be a social situation
 - for Reinhart - with Jason as the hospitality manager of the establishment, similar to what he does now.  Or maybe it was a selfie taken while Reinhart was investigating a case in which Jason had vital information.

NEVER would cast him as the bad guy!

Happy birthday, Jason!

Sunday, November 4, 2018



From the IMDb:

Archie and Mike argue over who's the best candidate in a local election. 

 Election Day is coming and Archie is at odds with Mike over which candidate is most qualified for the job, mainly because Mike's choice is a woman named Claire Packer. Mike is shocked to learn that Archie is choosing not to vote, and in arriving at the polls, Edith is shocked to learn that he isn't even registered and that he hasn't voted since 1960. Suddenly desperate to get his vote out, Archie tries encourage Edith to cast her vote for his choice rather than her own.
Written by Jerry Roberts 

Considering this episode is about politics, you just know that Mike and Archie will disagree, and that'll lead to some good arguments. What I remember most is the conversation between Claire Packer (Barbara Cason), the "queen of the liberals" and Archie; she later calls him a "meathead", as she mentions that was a name her father used for those like Archie. Mike also adds "that means dead from the neck up" to a surprised Archie, who couldn't believe that HE was called that name. Since it's time to vote on a local election, which Packer is involved in, Archie must vote for a more conservative candidate, as long as it isn't her! Lionel makes an uninteresting appearance, trying to make Archie vote for his (Lionel's) candidate, then acts annoyed when Archie says he'll vote with his gut reaction. There's a few other funny moments, including the "balanced ticket" speech from Archie, and the scene at the polling station, where Archie isn't even allowed to vote, but you'll have to watch for yourself to fin out why. This isn't a great episode, but it's still better than most other shows. 
By "stones78"