Back in 2009, when the Inner Toob blog was celebrating its tenth anniversary, we inducted a new member into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame every week, with each month divvied up into four categories – League of Themselves, As Seen On TV, Toons, and Locations.
It’s been a while since we inducted a location into the Hall; I think the last time was 2017’s tribute to Las Vegas, in memory of those who were murdered at that open air country music festival.
So I thought as the year draws to a close, another location would be a perfect candidate for the Hall. And since I want to celebrate Multiversals during December, I wanted a location which not only existed in Toobworld, but in other meta-fictional universes as well.
And one such location came easily to mind – especially since we inducted one of its residents into the TVXOHOF as the December monthly showcase just last week – Constance MacKenzie of ‘Peyton Place’.
Peyton Place is a true Multiversal location – first introduced in BookWorld, then in two versions of the Cineverse (due to recastaways), and in two different TV dimensions: Earth Prime-Time and Toobworld2.
In all of those worlds, Peyton Place is a fixed point in Space, always in the same location, not vaguely located somewhere in the South/Midwest like Hooterville. It’s definitely in New Hampshire.
From Wikipedia: While never mentioned explicitly by name, the novel does make several references that suggest Peyton Place is located within the state of New Hampshire: Vermont can be seen from across the Connecticut River; Lake Winnipesaukee is a short drive from the town; nearby New England town is called White River; a character is spoken of as attending the New Hampton School for Boys; and several mentions are made of a lake called Silver Lake, of which there are three located in New England, all in the state of New Hampshire, in the cities of Harrisville, Hollis and Madison.
Here’s a quick summary of each of the Peyton Places…..
Peyton Place is a 1956 novel by Grace Metalious. The novel describes how three women are forced to come to terms with their identity, both as women and as sexual beings, in a small, conservative, gossipy New England town, with recurring themes of hypocrisy, social inequities and class privilege in a tale that includes incest, abortion, adultery, lust and murder. It sold 60,000 copies within the first ten days of its release and remained on the New York Times best seller list for 59 weeks.
The novel spawned a franchise that would run through four decades. Twentieth Century-Fox adapted it as a motion picture in 1957, and Metalious wrote a follow-up novel that was published in 1959, called Return to Peyton Place, which was also filmed in 1961 using the same title. The original 1956 novel was adapted again in 1964, in what became a wildly successful prime time television series for 20th Century Fox Television that ran until 1969, and the term "Peyton Place" – an allusion to any small town or group that holds scandalous secrets – entered into the American lexicon.
An NBC daytime soap opera, titled Return to Peyton Place, ran from 1972 to 1974, and the franchise was rounded out with two made-for-television movies, which aired in 1977 and 1985.
Return to Peyton Place is a 1959 novel by Grace Metalious, a sequel to her best-selling 1956 novel Peyton Place.
O'Bservation - Because visuals are not involved, BookWorld is a world of the mind. The characters who continue on in the sequel can be accepted as being the same from the original novel.
THE CINEVERSE I Peyton Place is a 1957 American film drama from 20th Century Fox in color by De Luxe and CinemaScope. It was produced by Jerry Wald, directed by Mark Robson, and stars Lana Turner and Hope Lange. In co-starring and supporting roles are Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Diane Varsi, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, and Terry Moore. The film is based on the bestselling 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious.
The storyline follows the residents of a small fictional New England mill town in the years surrounding World War II, where scandal, homicide, suicide, incest, and moral hypocrisy belie its tranquil façade.
THE CINEVERSE II Return to Peyton Place is a 1961 drama film produced by Jerry Wald and directed by José Ferrer. The screenplay by Ronald Alexander is based on the 1959 novel Return to Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. The film is a sequel to Peyton Place.
The film centers on the life and loves of bestselling author Allison MacKenzie, who follows in the footsteps of her mother Constance by having an affair with a married man, her publisher Lewis Jackman. This film version has nothing to do with the plot of Grace Metalious' novel of the same name. Allison's trip to New York to meet the editor of her novel and the names Allison MacKenzie, Constance MacKenzie, Michael Rossi, Selena Cross, Roberta and Ted Carter are all that remains of the author's sequel to "Peyton Place". The movie's plot bears no resemblance to the plot of the novel. Grace Metalious may have already been seriously impaired by heavy drinking to have consented to let Hollywood completely rewrite the plot of her novel.
TOOBWORLD Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes from September 15, 1964, to June 2, 1969.
Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. A total of 514 episodes were broadcast, in black-and-white from 1964 to 1966 and in color from 1966 to 1969. The first color episode is episode #268. At the show's peak, ABC ran three new episodes a week. The program was produced by 20th Century Fox Television. A number of guest stars appeared in the series for extended periods, among them Dan Duryea, Susan Oliver, Leslie Nielsen, Gena Rowlands, and Lee Grant, who won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama for her role of tough-as-nails Stella Chernak. The series served as the springboard for such performers as Mia Farrow, Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Parkins, Christopher Connelly, David Canary, Mariette Hartley, and Lana Wood.
TOOBWORLD2 Return to Peyton Place is an American daytime serial which aired on NBC from April 3, 1972 to January 4, 1974. The series was a spin-off of the primetime drama series Peyton Place rather than an adaptation of the 1959 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious.
The storylines from the daytime show were a continuation of those from the primetime series. Both James Lipton and Gail Kobe worked as writers on the series during its run. Frank Ferguson (as Eli Carson), Evelyn Scott (Ada Jacks), and Patricia Morrow (Rita Jacks Harrington) reprised their roles from the earlier series.
Selena Cross, a major character in the original novel and the films both it and its sequel inspired, had not been included in the primetime TV series because her storyline was considered too risque at the time. She was a featured character in the daytime soap.
O'Bservation - All of those summaries are from Wikipedia.
As with Constance MacKenzie, the town might be a Multiversal but we’re technically celebrating the Peyton Place of Earth Prime-Time. It was the location from the prime-time series and two sequel TV movies.
So another location in the TV-GPS is now part of the Hall and the residents don’t even have to move!
From the Los Angeles Times: Ken Berry, an actor and dancer who played the affable and clumsy Capt. Wilton Parmenter in the 1960s sitcom “F Troop,” has died. He was 85.
Berry died Saturday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, hospital spokeswoman Patricia Aidem confirmed. The cause of death was not provided by Berry's family.
“F Troop” was on only from 1965-67 but the show lived on in syndication and the accident-prone Capt. Parmenter became one of Berry's most well-known roles. After “F Troop,” Berry went on to star in “Mayberry R.F.D.,” a spinoff of “The Andy Griffith Show,” on which Berry appeared during the show's final year.
Berry's last television series was “Mama's Family,” which aired for six seasons beginning in 1983. But “F Troop” was the show that remained closest to Berry's heart.
“I have never been that happy in my life,” Berry once said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It is standard Toobworld practice to consider a TV character to be the same age as the actor who played the role (unless otherwise specified in the script.) So I looked up Mr. Berry’s stats and then set about to reconcile that with the life of Wilton Parmenter.
This was one of the most interesting – and certainly easiest! – “toobulations” for a character’s life. ‘F Troop’ began in 1965; according to the theme song, Wilton Parmenter’s onscreen life began when the end of the Civil War was near. (Thanks to research by my brother Bill, I’ve decided that the decisive battle in which Wilton Parmenter made his name was the Battle of Five Forks in April of 1865. The battle was going against the Union Army but they were able to overcome the odds and take the day. General Lee surrendered at Appomattox about a week later.)
So Wilton Parmenter’s age at the end of the Civil War should be the same age of Ken Berry when he started production on the ‘F Troop’ series. Basically that’s a difference of 100 years.
Ken Berry was born in November of 1933, so Wilton Parmenter was born in June of 1833. (The birth month was determined by a script reference.) And thus, he was approaching his 32nd birthday when he ceased the retreat at the Battle of Five Forks and reversed it to victory.
Another standard tradition with the Toobworld timeline is that, as the Curator, I prefer to think that the cessation of the life of a TV character should also follow closely that of the actor who played the role. So, with that span of 100 years between Berry and Parmenter, sadly the former Scourge of the West lost his battle in November of 1918.
But more on that later.
The following biography of Wilton Parmenter falls under fanfiction for the most part; anything that deals with ‘F Troop’ is taken from the TV show, but the extrapolations will be my own. Any connections made to other TV series are theoretical links I came up with.
So let this cathode conjecture commence!
Wilton Parmenter was raised in his family’s home city of Philadelphia, but he was born in Connecticut, around June 24, 1833.
He came from a long line of military men on the Parmenter side of the family. His father, Thor X. Parmenter, was a career general in the United States Army who was in charge of the military detail that protected President Andrew Jackson.
In June of 1833, President Jackson and his Vice President, Martin Van Buren, traveled to the Mohegan Royal Burial Grounds in Norwich, Connecticut, with their retinue, including General Parmenter and his guard troops. They were in the Nutmeg State to attend the ceremony for the cornerstone of the monument dedicated to the memory of the Mohegan sachem known as Uncas.
Mrs. Parmenter traveled with the delegation, but she was heavy with child at that point. By the time they reached Wilton, Connecticut, she and her maid had to abandon the rest of the journey. The rigors of the trip had induced her into going into labor. As a new but fervent member of the leading anti-slavery women’s group in Philadelphia, Mrs. Parmenter insisted that she should be taken to the home of William Wakeman, which was a stop on the Underground Railroad. General Parmenter grudgingly agreed, not that he supported her passion on the issue, but he insisted that he had to return to Jackson’s entourage. So he wasn’t present to witness the birth of his son. Upon his return to his wife’s side, Parmenter declared that the boy would be named “Wilton”, after the town in which he was born.
This was a break from the tradition in the Parmenter family in naming their offspring with the names of the gods from pagan mythologies. Just among his immediate family there was Wilton’s father, of course, General Thor X. Parmenter, as well as his uncle Jupiter Parmenter, and cousins Achilles and Hercules Parmenter. Wilton’s great-grandfather was Major Hannibal Parmenter, who was with General George Washington at Valley Forge.
This naming tradition stretched back centuries and was based on a family legend that the Parmenter lineage had been founded by one of the demi-gods of mythology. As the story was passed down, his name was Parmen and he had descended from the skies with other demi-gods during the age of Plato, sometime before 340 BC, before these “gods” boarded their “chariot” and returned to the heavens.
Unlike another family tree which had begun with a companion of Parmen (the dwarf known as Alexander who had inspired the myths of Hephaestus), the Terran-born child of Parmen did not inherit any of the father’s eugenics-based powers.
But Thor X. Parmenter did not pass down that tradition with his first-born son, giving him the hardly heroic appellation of “Wilton”. Even Wilton’s younger sister gained a traditional Parmenter name – as Daphne, she was named after the daughter of the river god Peneus, a nymph who escaped the amorous pursuits of Apollo by getting herself transformed into a laurel tree. (Coincidentally, the state flower of Connecticut is the mountain laurel.)
When Wilton was old enough to learn about his family’s history, he asked his mother why he wasn’t given such a mythic name as the other males among the Parmenters. She told him about the circumstances of his birth and in such a way that it sounded as though it was a wonderful story. However, even at that age he could tell that she was hiding something from him.
But how could she tell the boy that his father, who never did develop a close bond with a son who was not of his blood? Thor X. Parmenter never came out and accused his wife of infidelity, but she knew that he knew. Most likely he said nothing because he didn’t want her sin to be cast on him as the cuckolded husband.
She kept the identity of Wilton’s true father as a secret to the grave, so Parmenter never learned that his birth father was a legend of the Old West. He was the son of a dapper gunslinger and Texas Ranger known only as the Baltimore Kid.
He never met the man, even though it’s pozz’ble, just pozz’ble, that their paths crossed out West. But even had he known to track down the name of the Baltimore Kid, Wilton would have found the trail cold. Twice over the Baltimore Kid had faked his own death and was now living under a different name – hiding in plain sight with his birth name.
Mrs. Parmenter had grown up in Baltimore, Maryland, and had grown up with the charming and debonair gambler who gained a reputation with the pistol that could not be contained in the state of Maryland. Upon her return to Charm City for the funeral of her mother, she had run into her old swain again and the flame had not dimmed for either of them. And before she returned to Philadelphia, she made the trip to the nation’s capital in order to spend a night with her long-absent husband.
Of course, this was her insurance in case – as it turned out – that her liaison with the Kid left her with a kid.
(By the way, Mrs. Parmenter’s name was never revealed during the course of the series, not even in the one episode in which she appeared. I’m not going to suggest any name for her, but I will insist upon it not being “Sally”. In my theory of relateeveety for the Parmenter family, Mrs. Parmenter had a twin sister named Sally. Their family name was Fergus. As a young woman, Sally felt the call of the West and left Baltimore for the frontier. There she spent the rest of her life grubbing for a fortune and like the Baltimore Kid she may have crossed paths with Captain Wilton Parmenter without ever realizing that she was his aunt.)
I don’t know if he ever thought about it, but when Wilton Parmenter was forced to confront his identical look-a-like known as Kid Vicious, the bank robber looked just like him because they were indeed brothers. They were half-brothers, both sharing the Baltimore Kid as their father.
When the War Between The States broke out, Wilton Parmenter enlisted without calling on his father or any of his other jingoistic relatives for their influence in getting him a plum assignment. So he ended up in the quartermaster corps under the overall command of General Phil Sheridan.
It was while he was delivering the laundry for his superior officers, that Corporal Parmenter was overcome with such an attack by the pollen that he had a bout of uncontrolled sneezing. Sheridan’s officers heard his sneezing which had the tonal quality that made it sound as if General Sheridan himself was shouting “Charge!” (It was actually the sound of his sneeze – “Kerchaar!”)
And so the heralded career of Wilton Parmenter began. Since Fort Courage in Kansas had recently lost its commanding officer with the retirement of Captain “Cannonball” Bill McCormick, it was decided that Parmenter should be promoted to Captain and take over the management of Fort Courage.
We know most of Captain Parmenter’s history from that point for the next two years thanks to the TV show. But as 1870 approached, Wilton decided it was time to leave the Army. There were several factors in his decision – one was that the Secretary of War was not going to let him defer promotion any longer. And it was in the works that he should be transferred from Fort Courage anyway.
(O’Bservation – in the future, Fort Courage would eventually be decommissioned and torn down. But a new military site would be erected on the same location; and as the location was near Baxter Springs, Kansas, the outpost was rechristened Fort Baxter.)
But the major reason he felt it was time to leave the army was his love for Jane Angelica Thrift. As he explained to her in an episode near the end of the series, the reason was he was so standoffish with her was because he had seen how the men in his family were so hellbent on their military careers, that it was practically a cruelty to their wives. He didn’t want that for Wrangler Jane.
After leaving the command of Fort Courage, they didn’t actually leave. They still had Jane’s trading post to run and Wilton became the town and fort’s postmaster.
Throughout her career running the trading post, Jane dealt exclusively with the dry goods mercantile empire of Isidore Levinson which was centered in Cincinnati, Ohio. At one point some years after the birth of his daughter Cora, Izzy Levinson traveled out West under the protection of a hired gun who was known only as “Paladin” in order to finally meet his best client on the plains.
Levinson was so impressed by Jane’s business acumen and the ideas she had for expanding his empire that he hired her on the spot to come back East to Cincinnati and become an executive in his business. And so the Parmenters moved to Ohio, with their children (at least two, probably both girls, but I’d like to think the family name of Parmenter continued to future generations.)
Wilton was at a loss as to his future until Izzy Levinson suggested that he should run for Congress from their Peaksville district (which has since been gerrymandered out of existence since it disappeared from existence in this world.) Levinson pointed out how a Civil War hero with the bonus legend of being “The Scourge Of The West” would be welcomed by the citizens of Ohio as their congressman. (And being a former postmaster didn’t hurt either.)
Wilton gave it a try and no one was more surprised than he that he won the election. But it might have been that the race was tipped in his favor when he accidentally tripped and foiled an assassination attempt on the life of Senator Clay Waterford. Parmenter had stepped off the stairs at the Peaksville courthouse too soon and knocked over the assailant, but to the crowds gathered to see Senator Waterford give a speech, it looked like Wilton had tackled the gunman.
Wilton’s career in Congress was undistinguished, yet the people back home kept re-electing him. Jane and the children stayed behind in Ohio, but he made frequent visits home.
Among the many TV characters who could have met Wilton Parmenter were these whom I’ve gathered in one of my Super Six Lists:
Doctor Miquelito Loveless (Of course!)
Will Sonnet and Jeff Sonnett
Professor Quentin E. Deverill
Secret Service Agent Bosley Cranston
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry
Doctor Galen Adams (But not in Dodge - when Doc was back at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore)
Jared Garrity (He may have already met the confidence trickster with an amazing power, but under the alias of Professor Cornelius Clyde)
When America went to war with Spain (probably under falsified reasons), Parmenter couldn’t deny the call to duty which all Parmenters answered. He offered to resign his seat in Congress and instead re-enlist.
Of course, by this time Wilton Parmenter was 65 years old. His children were grown, and Jane had left her position with the Levinson corporation to be with her husband in Washington. She wasn’t keen on the idea that he wanted to go to war down in Cuba, but the political bigwigs back home in Ohio were keen on the idea. That’s because the party in power was now the opposition and they had their eye on Parmenter’s seat. So they put the pressure on the Secretary of War to accede to Wilton’s wishes.
Looking over Parmenter’s record of military service, he hit upon the perfect plan to keep everybody happy. Wilton was offered the chance to serve as the Deputy Quartermaster General, going back to his roots as a lowly corporal in the Quartermaster Corp during the Civil War. He was given his own office where he kept coming up with ideas to make the disposition of supplies to the troops more efficient. He depended on Jane for many of these ideas, calling on her expertise in shipping dry goods throughout the country.
One of those in the Quartermaster Corps with whom he dealt with was a younger man named Zebulon Walton. Zeb wanted to be alongside Teddy Roosevelt in his charge up San Juan Hill, but he was deemed to important in the position he was maintaining. Of course, that didn’t stop him from telling everybody back home that he had been there alongside Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.
Most of Parmenter’s ideas were ignored and many of his superiors thought he was becoming a pain in the sadde. Hoping to get him to stop bothering them, he was finally put in charge of the Mortuary Affairs department. One of his duties in that department was to inform the families of those who died during service, and sadly this was the only time Wilton Parmenter came into contact with the Cartwright family of the Ponderosa ranch near Carson City, Nevada. He had to send them the official letter alerting them that Joseph Cartwright had died during the rush up San Juan Hill.
Wilton Parmenter came into his own for four days in 1916, as his time with the Quartermaster Corps paid off.
The United States by that year was deep into their involvement with the Great War in Europe. Even though he was now 83 years old, Parmenter had no intentions of shirking his duty as the Deputy Quartermaster General. One reason was that the year before, his beloved Jane had passed away; nothing but his work could fill the hole in his heart.
And then on September 12, 1916, MG James B. Aleshire resigned his position as the Quartermaster General. But MG Henry G. Sharpe did not take over the position until four days later, on September 16. So for four days, Deputy Quartermaster General Wilton Parmenter was in charge of the Corps.
After Sharpe was installed as the new QM General, the Parmenter daughters convinced their father to finally step down from his service to his country, to spend his remaining days with them so that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren could really get to know him. (By this time, there were new surnames in the family tree – Jones, Daniels, Harper, among others.)
Sadly, Wilton Parmenter’s retirement was short-lived. In January of 1918, the “Spanish” influenza pandemic was first observed in Haskell County in Kansas. By the time the pandemic was tamed, 50-100 million people worldwide would die from the flu.
And Wilton Parmenter would be counted among its victims.
As he lay in his bed at home, wanting bed space at the hospital to be used for the returning veterans, Wilton Parmenter was granted one last surprise….
Wilton opened his eyes with some pain, but they brightened with delight to see two former troopers once under his command. Despite the agony he was in as the flu wracked his body, his mind was clear and he easily recognized former cavalry sergeant Randolph Agarn.
“I just wanted to check on The Old Man,” said Agarn, feigning a cheerful smile. Agarn had to be at least a decade older than his commanding officer, but he always referred to Parmenter as “The Old Man”.
As for the other visitor, there was no way he could forget Hannibal Shirley Dobbs, the F Troop bugler. How could he forget Dobbs? Soon after Wilton and Jane had married, Dobbs accepted the inevitable and married Wilton’s sister Daphne. They had often been at the Parmenter home for family reunions and his unique name combination was the source of inspiration for several of the grandchildren and great-children. There was a Hannibal, a Shirley, and even a Dobbin. When Wilton became the congressman from Peaksville, Dobbs accompanied him as his chief of staff.
It would have been nice if his old sergeant Morgan O'Rourke could have been there as well, but even as the end was darkening his mind, Wilton remembered that O'Rourke had died decades before.
By this time, Wilton Parmenter couldn’t speak and his friends were just grateful to be in his presence one last time. But a few minutes later, he looked beyond them as though someone else had joined them in the room. Agarn turned to look but nobody was there. When he turned back, Wilton Parmenter was gone. Both men saluted his passing.
One of Wilton’s daughters would later say that it was her mother come to escort Wilton to the next stage.
Her sister smiled. “It would be just like Dad to stumble his way into Heaven….”
SHOWS & MOVIES CITED: F Troop The Wild, Wild West The Twilight Zone Dirty Sally Bonanza The Waltons The Dick Van Dyke Show Mama’s Family Downton Abbey Have Gun, Will Travel Alias Smith and Jones The Guns Of Will Sonnett Gunsmoke Star Trek Q.E.D. The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again
This theory of relateeveety is a Wiki Tiki Wednesday post as well. Much of the background information is actually from the history of the Trueniverse.
On this date in 1872, the crew of the Mary Celeste vanished without a trace.
from Wikipedia: Mary Celeste (often misreported as Marie Celeste) was an American merchant brigantine, discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands, on December 5, 1872. The Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found her in a disheveled but seaworthy condition, under partial sail, and with her lifeboat missing. The last entry in her log was dated ten days earlier. She had left New York City for Genoa on November 7, and on discovery was still amply provisioned. Her cargo of denatured alcohol was intact, and the captain's and crew's personal belongings were undisturbed. None of those who had been on board were ever seen or heard from again.
CAPTAIN BENJAMIN BRIGGS
Benjamin Briggs was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1835, one of five sons of sea captain Nathan Briggs. In 1862, he married his cousin Sarah Elizabeth Cobb, and enjoyed a Mediterranean honeymoon on board his schooner Forest King. Two children were born: son Arthur in September 1865, and daughter Sophia Matilda in October 1870.
SARAH & SOPHIA BRIGGS
By the time of Sophia's birth, Briggs had achieved a high standing within his profession. Nevertheless, he considered retiring from the sea to go into business with his seafaring brother Oliver, who had also grown tired of the wandering life. In October 1872, Benjamin took command of Mary Celeste for her first voyage following her extensive New York refit, which was to take her to Genoa in Italy. He arranged for his wife and infant daughter to accompany him, while his school-aged son was left at home with his grandmother.
ALBERT G. RICHARDSON
Briggs chose the crew for this voyage with care. First mate Albert G. Richardson was married to a niece of [one of the ship's owners] and had sailed under Briggs before.
Reference is made to the ship in the second season of the classic BBC TV science fiction series 'Doctor Who'. In the episode "Flight Through Eternity" (1965) the Doctor's time machine (TARDIS) materializes on the Mary Celeste.
The pursuing Daleks also materialize, in their own time machine, causing the terrified crew of Mary Celeste to throw themselves into the sea. Both time machines then de-materialize, leaving the ship deserted.
Mrs. Bush passed away in April of this past year and I think it’s only right that she should be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame on the same day her husband, the late, former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush. Although she has some appearances as herself (mostly in archival footage) for inclusion in the main Toobworld, her strength for inclusion is by being a multi-dimensional. She appeared, played by others, in Skitlandia, the Tooniverse, and Doofus Toobworld.
Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2000
O’Bservation – As I pointed out in the earlier post today, the sketches in ‘Saturday Night Live’ belong in Skitlandia, but the show itself is accepted in Toobworld as a TV show within a TV show.
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue (1990) (as a serlinguist)
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire- Episode #12.69 (2013) (voice only)
Saved by the Bell- Beauty and the Screech (1989)
Ferris Bueller- Behind Every Dirtbag (1990)
Temps de silenci- Miracles (2002)
Hap and Leonard- The Dive (2016)
Saturday Night Live (Portrayed by Phil Hartman and Nora Dunn)
‘The Simpsons’ “Two Bad Neighbors”
Mrs. Bush was seen as a Martha Wilson type of character in this spoof of ‘Dennis the Menace’
‘That’s My Bush!’ “Mom ‘E’ D.E.A. Arrest’
From the IMDb: George decides to get tough on drugs. The plan is to make an example of the one millionth drug offender by arresting him on national television. Dowager First Lady Barbara Bush is on hand to participate in the event and make her daughter-in-law's life miserable. Looking to escape the tension between the two women in his life George drops ecstasy, mistaking it for aspirin, and the anti-drug event turns into a rave.
From the Los Angeles Times: George Herbert Walker Bush, the linchpin of an American political dynasty and 41st president of the United States, who rode foreign policy triumphs to high popularity at the end of the Cold War only to suffer a revolt in his own party and a painful defeat for reelection, has died at his Houston home. He was 94.
During his single term in the White House, the Berlin Wall fell, newly democratic states sprang up across Central and Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union came to an end. And in the Middle East, the U.S. military launched its most successful offensive since World War II.
Until his defeat in 1992 at the hands of Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush — as he became known after his son's rise to power — had lived what many called a charmed life, one largely dedicated to government service.
He had been a college athlete, a Navy pilot and war hero, a business success, a congressman, a diplomat, the director of the nation's intelligence service, vice president and, finally, president.
Barbara, his wife of 73 years, died on April 17, 2018. He is survived by their sons George, Jeb, Neil and Marvin; their daughter, Dorothy; 17 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three siblings, Nancy Ellis and William and Jonathan Bush. Another daughter, Robin, died of leukemia at age 3 in 1953.
I had a feeling that this day would soon come after the death of his wife Barbara in April. There was a palpable love between them that isn’t often evident in other First Couples. And so I held off on doing a memorial induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for Mrs. Bush until they could enter together.
With this post, I’ll be focusing on George H.W. Bush and will follow with the dedication for his wife later today.
When I first started looking for tally requirements of possible candidates, I usually focused on the IMDb entries under the categories of “Actor” and “Self”. But when dealing with someone who is possibly entering the Hall as a member of the League of Themselves, I started checking out the listings in “Archive Footage” as well this year.
And based on that, the 41st President of the United States is eligible for entry into the TVXOHOF as his own self in the main Toobworld. I don’t even have to include his portrayals in the alternate dimensions of Skitlandia and the Tooniverse. But I will mark them here:
‘SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’ Portrayed by Dana Carvey
O’Bservation – Carvey’s impression of Bush probably eclipsed any of his sketch characters like the Church Lady. This is especially true because of his catch-phrase “Na ga do it.” And President Bush enjoyed the impression – unlike Drumpf today – and never saw it as a caricature assassination. After he left office in 1993, the former President and the comic actor became friends.
Saturday Night Live - Dana Carvey/Edie Brickell & Paul Simon (1994)
When Carvey returned to host the show a third time, President Bush appeared to point out how off the impression really was, but again it was all in jest.
‘The Simpsons’ “Two Bad Neighbors”
From the IMDb: Former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, move into the Simpsons' neighborhood and soon clash with Bart and Homer. To avoid politics, former President George Bush and his wife Barbara retire to Springfield, citing its low voter turnout. They quickly become friends to the conservative Flanders family, but George soon becomes the enemy of Bart and Homer Simpson.
This was kind of a politics-free storyline and instead was more of a spoof of the dynamic between Dennis Mitchell and George Wilson from ‘Dennis The Menace’.
Also, the short-lived animated series ‘Capitol Critters’ basically took place underneath the Oval Office during the last year of George Bush’s administration.
But it is the archival footage of the actual man which will serve President Bush as testimony to his existence in Earth Prime-Time.
Murphy Brown - I Would Have Danced All Night (1989)
Murphy’s co-workers had a few ideas as to why she didn’t get an invite to Bush's inaugural ball:
Could be you ruffled too many feathers.
There was your story on Iran-Contra.
Yeah, and your piece on Bush's tenure at the CIA.
Everybody but Murphy seemed to be going to the ball, even Phil the bartender. But he had a good reason as to why he was invited.
Phyllis and I are going to the ball.
You've been a Democrat since Roosevelt.
I don't wanna go.
I have to.
Bush wants to thank me for
that "thousand points of light" idea.
Hell, Murph, it was a joke.
I didn't think it would get him elected.
Murphy finally found out that her tickets had been sent to the wrong people and so she went to confront them to get her tickets.
You met President Bush?
At Dulles Airport.
We were saying bye to one of our grandchildren.
Anyway, he was coming home from a campaign tour.
We were trying to get out of the terminal,
and the next thing I know he's shaking my hand.
Who would have thought he remembered us?
In the end, Murray and Lillian Brown went to President Bush’s inaugural ball with Murphy’s tickets. But big-hearted Murphy still wanted to drive by the site and moon the attendees.
Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash 2000
O’Bservation – The individual sketches of any SNL show are considered part of the Skitlandian dimension. But the late-night variety program overall is a TV show within a TV show, watched by the characters in Toobworld as well as by the real people of the Trueniverse.
NCIS - Hiatus (Part #1) (2006)
From the IMDb: Aboard a Turkish-flag ship an explosion occurs, killing one person and leaving Gibbs comatose with burns, abrasions, and a concussion; the team investigate. Eventually Ducky welcomes Gibbs back, but Gibbs does not remember him.
O’Bservation – I’m not sure how the archive footage of former President Bush fits into this; perhaps in the memories Gibbs is trying to recover?
The Colbert Report - Episode #5.77(2009)
O’Bservation – As the other guest on this episode was former President Bill Clinton, I’m going to assume that it was in connection to their charitable work in the aftermaths of the Indonesian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina among other projects which led to them being good friends in their private lives.
Because this was a different persona for Stephen Colbert than his League of Themselves presence on ‘The Late Show’, I think it should be in a different TV dimension. (Especially since Colbert recently referred to that other character while threatening to sue the current POTUS.) And as that persona was a Bill O’Reilly conservative pundit, I’m tempted to dump that Colbert into the Evil Mirror Universe. (Not everybody has to be evil in that world, as evidenced in other TV shows.)
Hap and Leonard - The Dive (2016)
From the IMDb: As the group closes in on the stolen money, Hap, Leonard, and Trudy revisit their past. Loyalties are tested within the gang during a fateful gathering at Leonard's house.
The X-Files - My Struggle III (2018)
From the IMDb:Mulder and Scully learn that they aren't the only ones desperately searching for their long-lost son, William. The very fate of the world may depend on the outcome.
Bush's appearance in this episode was archival footage and it probably was seen during this monologue by the Cigarette Smoking Man:
My name is Carl Gerhard Busch. But I've been known by many aliases during my long career with the U.S. government. It's been a humbling job, though I'm hardly known as a humble man. I've been a witness to history, much of it violent, much of it an abomination of the values Americans hold dear. I've had a privileged seat at the centers of power, held the reins of that power, making sacrifices few are capable of, of which even fewer are willing. If people knew the truth, they'd riot in the streets. Too much is made of the will to power, as if our will is free, our choices our own. Our destinies are forged in our bones, made real by a raging impulse to self-destruct. I'm not a bad man, more a practical man. I've taken certain gifts I was given and made good men great. It is my greatness. I'm a father to two men who have figured more in the future than they might ever know. Both would end up working for the FBI, both complex but dedicated men who sacrificed dearly, and in their dogged pursuits would end up paying a terrible price, searching for truths as I parceled them out, truths held only by the few who knew the levers of power and the invisible hand controlling them. Is there life out there? Good heavens. To doubt it is a failure of more than the imagination. It is a failure to recognize the limits of our own stupidity, the nascency of our science, the rudiment of our tools. We listen, we search. We hope for a sign, as if our eyes and ears are good enough, our brains large enough, our egos small enough. I'm an old man now. I will leave my own mark upon history, more than presidents or tyrants. I don't ask for loyalty and trust, the fleeting bonds of men. I ask only for the years to show my sons and their sons I was right. What their father did, had to be done.
Star Trek: Enterprise - Storm Front, Part II (2004)
From the IMDb: After Silik attacks Trip, Vosk wants to make a deal with Archer: supplies of the ship for the completion of his time machine in return for a trip to the 22nd Century.
From Memory Alpha: An image of [Bush], with Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, was among several historical images seen by Daniels and Archer in the time stream as the timeline reorganized itself. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")
O’Bservation – I took this episode out of its place in the sequence for the broadcast timeline and placed it here where it belongs in the Toobworld timeline, hundreds of years after Bush’s passing.
Here’s another appearance I’m taking out of the timeline to give a special showcase:
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue (1900)
O’Bservation - Thanks to ‘Space Ghost: Coast to Coast’, we know there is a quantum conduit between Earth Prime-Time and the Tooniverse. Here we had another example as the First Couple introduced this adventure as a public service. (Which also marked George and Barbara Bush as serlinguists.)
Other TV series in Earth Prime-Time confirm the existence of George H.W. Bush’s televersion with mentions of him as the POTUS or as the Veep. Here are a few of them:
Barney Miller- Field Associate (1981).
Detective Arthur Dietrich about the Trilateral Commision: "It’s an organization founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller to bring together business and political leaders from the United States, Europe, Japan so they could work together for better economics and political cooperation between their nations."
William John Klein: "Would you like to hear the names of a few of the people who have been on the Trilateral Commission?
James Earl Carter
“Now, do you remember at the convention? Everybody thought it was gonna be Ford for Veep. You know what happened? David Rockefeller just picked up a phone, put in a call - “Hey Ronnie! Forget Gerry; it’s George. Byeee!” No matter who won in November, they’d have their own man in the White House!"
‘The X-Files’ “Shadows”
From the ‘X-Files’ wiki: President Bush had met HTG Industrial Technologies businessman Howard Graves sometime prior to his death in 1993.
Saved by the Bell - Beauty and the Screech (1989)
From the IMDb: After discovering she is failing in Science, Kelly is tutored by Screech, and soon develops a crush on him.
O’Bservation - I'm not sure how both of the Bushes figure into this episode.
Designing Women - Keep the Homes Fires Burning (1990)
From the IMDb: When Charlene is distressed about Bill being on a classified mission, she goes to a support group for military spouses where she meets a military husband, also named Bill. While they start to grow closer, she imagines what life was like for wives on the home front in WWII.
O’Bservation – I can’t find the transcript for this episode yet, but I’m thinking there must have been some mention of both George and Barbara Bush as a loving couple during the war years.
‘Murphy Brown’ - “Back To The Ball” (1993)
From the IMDb: With a new presidential administration beginning, Murphy's reputation is forgotten and she receives an invitation to the inaugural ball. Her new difficulty is finding a date.
‘Millenium’ “Beware Of The Dog”
From the ‘X-Files’ wiki: In 1997, a woman named Cora claimed that the town of Bucksnort had been without a sheriff since the Bush administration. L.A. Law - Safe Sex (1993)
John Shale is the prosecutor in the Glassman case and vows to make it his personal mission to see Glassman spend the next 20 years of his life in prison. He tells Stuart Markowitz that he got the job through his close personal friend Richard
Kleindienst and that he has proudly served in the Justice Departments of John Mitchell and Ed Meese. Shale has a framed picture of former President George H.W. Bush hanging behind his desk.
I pulled this out of the timeline to address it individually – finding all the ways in which Bush 41 can be integrated in the great mosaic of Toobworld will take time. As the president of the United States, his picture probably can be seen hanging in government offices from TV shows between 1989 and 1993. So as each one is found they will be added to the photo gallery of Mr. and Mrs. Bush. This marks the first one to be collected. One final O'Bservation re: President Bush and his portrayal in Toobworld.....
There is a puppet version of George H.W. Bush who hangs out at the 'D.C. Follies' bar. However, that is one of the spirit people from Puppetland who has chosen the likeness of a famous human as their puppet shell. And when they inhabit their puppet shells, they take on the characteristics of the shell. So for all intents and purposes, Kermit was a frog, Chairy was a chair, Batley was a bat, etc. And so this puppet thought of himself as actually being the 41st President of the United States. (It's a major reason why puppet people are kept segregated from the general human populace.) But he is not included in Bush's tally of appearances in Toobworld.
I didn’t vote for George H.W. Bush in either of his two campaigns. There was only one Republican I might have voted for to lead the country – Senator Howard Baker. I came of political age with Watergate and I now have a knee-jerk reaction against ever voting for a Republican. And boy howdy, is that true today!
But with 20/20 hindsight and a better grasp of History, I’ve come to see that Mr. Bush was not the living embodiment of a sketch comedy character. He was a decent, intelligent, fair-minded, and brave man who tried to do the best for all of us, not just for his base. I’m sorry that it took his passing for me to remember what it was like once upon a time, before these last two years.
Good night and may God bless, Mr. Bush. Welcome to the Hall. I hope you’ll find this to be a fitting tribute for your televersion….
As the Trickster once said, "Reality is boring, that's why I change it whenever I can."
I'm just "The Man Who Viewed Too Much", and "Inner Toob" is a blog exploring and celebrating the 'reality' of an alternate universe in which everything that ever happened on TV actually takes place.
Most of my theories about the TV Universe come from thinking inside the box and thus can't be proven. But I've never been one to shy away from a tall tale.....
Remember: "The more you watch, the more you've seen!"