Saturday, December 15, 2018


I'm sorry to admit that I'm sharing this today because I was caught empty-handed for something proper to be shared on Video Saturday.  But it does feature Peter Wyngarde, one of my faves from his work in 'The Prisoner', 'The Avengers', 'Jason King', and 'Sherlock Holmes'.  Sadly, we lost Wyngarde earlier this year. 

Apparently, the demon Mr. Sweet was at work in London when Lucille Carmichael came to town.....

Friday, December 14, 2018


Technically, today’s Friday Hall of Famer should have been inducted on Wednesday, but only because I wanted to give Wednesday’s blog post fully to Edward G. Robinson’s birthday induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

So this is a belated salute to Bob Barker in celebration of his 95th birthday!  And we’re going to mark it with his own induction into the Hall.

Bob Barker, come on down!

From Wikipedia:
Robert William Barker (born December 12, 1923) is a retired American television game show host. He is known for hosting CBS's ‘The Price Is Right’ from 1972 to 2007, making it the longest-running daytime game show in North American television history. He is also known for hosting ‘Truth or Consequences’ from 1956 to 1974.  

It’s because of that longevity on ‘The Price Is Right’ (and perhaps for his passionate advocacy for animals) that Mr. Barker appeared on enough TV shows as his fictional televersion to qualify him for membership.  Here’s a list of them….

The Nanny
- When You Pish Upon a Star

From the IMDb:
Maxwell and C.C. decide to hire Jack Walker, a precocious and not very talented twelve year old television star, to star in their stage production of Oliver! They're hiring him purely for his marquee value. His television series, Royal Flush, seems oddly familiar to the Sheffields. Fran inadvertently persuades [Jack] to give up show business. 

From the Game Show Wiki:
In 1994, Bob Barker guest-starred on The Nanny where he sat at a table when Nanny Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) spotted him.  

- Pal Zoey

From the IMDb:
Following her breakup, Zoey bonds with Cybill. Meanwhile, Maryann tries to make Ira jealous by leading him to believe she's having a fling with Cybill's visiting redneck cousin Lyle.  

From the Game Show Wiki:
In the sitcom Cybill, Cybill Sheridan's cousin from Arkansas named Lyle Clocum is obsessed with being a contestant on TPIR.

Martial Law
- Shanghai Express

From the IMDb:
Sammo Law a cop from China comes to L.A. to find a criminal. The LAPD assigns him two cops to help him. 

O'Bservation - Sammo and his partner were in the audience where he was called to come on down.  He went on to win the Showdown Showcase.  He knew all the prices because he watched the show via satellite in China.

Yes, Dear
- The Ticket

From the IMDb:
Greg gets a ticket in the mail for going through a red light, but it is Jimmy driving the car. Greg is upset that Jimmy borrowed his car. Turns out Christine & Jimmy borrow a lot of items from Greg & Kim. Kim borrows Christine's camera.  

From the Game Show Wiki:
In a 2001 episode of the sitcom Yes Dear called "The Ticket" Jimmy (played by Mike O'Malley) cheats on TPIR by spinning the wheel from behind to go to $1.00. He cheated because he got another traffic ticket. After Barker rebukes Jimmy, it makes him cry as Barker comforts Jimmy by hugging him. After this, Barker tells him that after the show that they'll play Plinko and that there's a trampoline in the showcase for today, which makes Jimmy feel much better.

How I Met Your Mother
- Showdown

From the IMDb:
Barney becomes a contestant on "The Price Is Right" so that he can confront Bob Barker, because he believes that the game show host is his biological father. 

Barney is preparing for his upcoming appearance on the game show The Price Is Right. Although Barney is certain he can win all the prizes he wants (with the exception of not mastering how to spin to the $1 space on the big wheel), he confesses that he has an ulterior motive to be on the show: to meet his biological father, Bob Barker.

From the Game Show Wiki:
During Bob's final year as host, the show made an appearance on How I Met Your Mother for the episode "Showdown" in 2007, in which Barney Stinson was a contestant on the show. Barney claimed that Bob Barker was his father (which is completely untrue since Bob never had human children, and Neil knows it), so he came on the show just to meet and impress him. Barney was on a roll that day. The pricing game he played was Clock Game and he got the price of the first prize on his first guess (an achievement at least two contestants on the real show did) though we never saw it; on the second prize, Barney purposely guessed $1,000,000 all just to show Bob Barney's self pictures; by the time the clock almost ran out, Barney came through with the right answer and won. Later Barney spun $1.00 on the wheel and bids exactly right on the Showcase (something that would really happen during Drew Carey's second year as host); and just when Barney was about to tell Bob that he was Bob's son, he instead congratulated Bob on 35 years as host of The Price is Right. Barney never kept any of the prizes he won; instead he gave them all as wedding presents to his friends and newlyweds Marshall and Lily.  (Neil [Patrick Harris] went on to actually be a special guest on ‘The Price is Right’ during celebrity week at the beginning of 2012 and won $65,238. 40 for his favorite charity.)

WWE Monday Night Raw (2009)

From Game Show Wiki:
In a September 7, 2009 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, a spoof of The Price is Right was parodied as The Price is Raw featuring Bob Barker as its guest host for the episode.

State Farm commercial (2011)

From the Game Show Wikia:
In 2011, a State Farm commercial featured a brief cameo appearance by Bob Barker as he says "And...a new car" as an orange vehicle with a black female model waving inside suddenly drops from the sky.


The Bold and the Beautiful
- Episode #1.6814

- Episode #1.6900 (2014)

One of the B&B characters meets with Barker in his office to discuss the campaign to spay and neuter pets.  Weeks later, Mr. Barker left something behind so that B&B regular raced after him to return it.  His friend Wyatt showed up and kept insulting Bob Barker as a pet-lovin’ wacko until Barker went full-on Happy Gilmore rerun on his ass.
There's a great Zonk in that last scene.  Just before he throws his first punch, Barker pulls back his right arm... and then lands the blow with his left! 

Watch the video again while it's still there....

Bob Barker even has a presence in the Tooniverse! 



- The Lesser of Two Evils

O’Bservation – Bob Barker’s Head serves as the emcee for the Miss Universe Pageant.

Family Guy
- Brian In Love

Brian was watching the end of an episode and Bob gave his "spayed and neutered" signoff; a frustrated Brian wished he would "just die already."

- Screwed the Pooch

Peter Griffin as a contestant on Survivor, as he accidentally knocks over the reality show's backdrop revealing the set of TPIR (both shows run on CBS).

- Fat Guy Strangler

In contestant's row; after a contestant bid $780, the last contestant bid $781. That infuriated the contestant bidding $780, so he said, "F**K YOU!".

- Tales of a Third Grade Nothing

Prince was on the show, he bid $350, a bid Bob initially did not understand and bid exactly correct.

All of those summaries are from the Game Show Wiki.

Beavis & Butt-Head

- Screamers!

From the Game Show Wiki:
Beavis and Butt-Head are watching the show on their TV. It had ladies screaming when they've won their showcase and then the announcer says "Tomorrow on The Price is Right".

– Although he wasn’t seen, Mr. Barker has to be accepted as the host of the show during that time, even in the Tooniverse.

Bob Barker also exists in the TV dimension which houses stop-motion puppetry shows like ‘Davy & Goliath’, ‘Moral Orel’, ‘Gumby’, and in this case, ‘Robot Chicken’ and ‘Celebrity Death Match’.  (I don’t have a name for that world yet.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking Claymatia, but I’m not crazy for it.)

The shows that actually made Bob Barker famous on TV would not normally be considered part of his qualifications for membership in the TVXOHOF.  But both ‘Truth Or Consequences’ and ‘The Price Is Right’ have been acknowledged and/or watched by TV characters and ‘The Price Is Right’ was even incorporated into episodes of ‘Martial Law’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

The New Truth Or Consequences
34 episodes

The Price Is Right
6,718 episodes

The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular
16 episodes

There are also several anniversary specials and salutes to the troops for ‘The Price Is Right’.

Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Barker, and I hope you had a great 95th birthday!  And if I might speak for you….

Remember, folks, to spay and neuter your pets!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


I've covered today's topic in the past, but there are always new members in Team Toobworld, new readers of the blog, so I thought it would be convenient for them to rerun some of the terminology I use.

So here''s my splainin to do...

There are two Toobworld terms I’ve coined which denote certain people in Earth Prime-Time who are somewhat aware that they live in the television universe.


This is the most common of the two terms.  A serlinguist is someone who knows there’s another universe out there and who then addresses the people of that universe directly.  Within the reality of Toobworld, perhaps the earliest known serlinguist might be the televersion of George Burns. 

However, because of the “lingua” root word, the term gets its name from another famous multiversal conversationalist – Rod Serling, who hosted the greatest anthology series of all time, ‘The Twilight Zone’.  The televersion of Serling is not the same man from the Trueniverse.  Not only could he speak directly to the audience at home, but he had cosmic powers – he could expand his size to match that of a mountain woman on the alien planet of Brobdingnagia (the name derived from Swift’s Brobdingnag); he could materialize anywhere in the world, even foreign countries which don’t exist in the Real World; and he could not be seen by others in the vicinity when he began addressing the Trueniverse audience.  In Toobworld, he also hosted the televersion of the TV show ‘The Twilight Zone’ and was friends with Los Angeles lawyer Perry Mason.  Playwright Gregory West knew the real Rod Serling and may even have “created” him, thanks to his powerful imagination and his tape recorder.  At one point West destroyed the snippet of tape which cemented Serling’s existence, but he O’Bviously made a new one since we continued to see Serling talking to us with each episode of the show.  (Serling was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame in October of 2009.)

Other serlinguists include characters in TV commercials in which they suddenly pull out of the situation to address us in the Trueniverse.  (Actual commercial spokesmen, anchormen, and talk show hosts may not be applicable.)
But here's a question I put to you, Dear Readers: Do you consider the family members in 'Modern Family' to be serlinguists, or just people talking into the cameras of a documentary camera crew as was the case with the staff in 'The Office'?  My brother and I were arguing this point while I was writing it.  (I say camera crew.)  Let me know what you think!

As for the other Toobworld term….


Tele-cognizants are those people in Toobworld who know they are living in TV Universe.  But they’re not necessarily serlinguists.  There’s a couple of them on TV now in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial in which they are aware of the captions appearing in front of their midsections.

Perhaps the most famous of TV characters who was tele-cognizant was David Addison from ‘Moonlighting’….

Maddie Hayes:
You are eye crust!
David Addison:
The better to see you with, my dear.
Maddie Hayes:
You are navel lint!
David Addison:
Expensive navel lint.
Maddie Hayes:
You are...
David Addison:
Don't go much lower, they'll take us off the air.

You can't just burst in here like that.
David Addison:
Oh yeah? Tell that to the writers.

Get serious? Maddie, I just touched your rear end, if I get any more serious they're gonna move us to cable!  

And apparently they weren’t the only ones on that show with the power of tele-cognizance…..

Clara DiPesto:
Where's Dave and Maddie?
Agnes DiPesto:
They're not in this episode.

Here endeth the lesson.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018


When I was putting together the tribute induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for Kirk Douglas on his 100th birthday back in 2016, I watched the 'Lucy Show' episode he did in which there were other cameos by Vince Edwards, Jimmy Durante, and Edward G, Robinson.  And I thought Mr. Robinson could also be eligible for membership in the TVXOHOF.  

From Wikipedia:
Edward G. Robinson (born Emanuel Goldenberg; December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973) was a Romanian-born American actor.  A popular star on stage and screen during Hollywood's Golden Age, he appeared in 40 Broadway plays and more than 100 films during a 50-year career. He is best remembered for his tough-guy roles as a gangster, such as his star-making film "Little Caesar" and "Key Largo".

During the 1930s and 1940s, he was an outspoken public critic of fascism and Nazism which was then growing in Europe. His activism included contributing over $250,000 to more than 850 organizations involved in war relief, along with cultural, educational, and religious groups. During the 1950s, he was called to testify at the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare, but was cleared of any Communist involvement.

Robinson's character portrayals have covered a wide range, with such roles as an insurance investigator in the film noir "Double Indemnity", Dathan (adversary of Moses) in "The Ten Commandments", and his final performance in the science-fiction story "Soylent Green".  Robinson received an Honorary Academy Award for his work in the film industry, which was posthumously awarded two months after his death in 1973. He is ranked #24 in the American Film Institute's list of the 25 greatest male stars of Classic American cinema.

My personal favorites of his roles are that of Mr. Wilson in "The Stranger" and Barton Keyes in "Double Indemnity".  (I'd like to think Keyes would have made for a great partner on a case with Lt. Columbo.)

I looked through the IMDb and his fictional televersion just barely covers the membership requirements of three different appearances:

'The Lucy Show'
- "Lucy Goes to a Hollywood Premiere" (1966)

- "Batman's Satisfaction" (1967)

'Bracken's World'
- "Panic" (1969)

All three of them are cameos, but they establish his existence in the Television Universe.  And therefore he is qualified for membership in the Hall of Fame.

But I decided to hold off until the next momentous occasion in his timeline occurred, even though he's been gone since 1973.  So even though I'm writing this up in December of 2016, it won't run until Mr. Robinson's birthday in 2018, when he would have turned 125 years old!

Of these three cameos, his appearance in that 'Batman' window cameo is probably the most famous.  It certainly captured his love of Art and even imparts a small lesson for the kids on various artistic styles.  

The hardest to find is that for his cameo in the second episode of 'Bracken's World'.  He would later return to the series to play another character, but this first appearance would as himself.  Alls I know about his involvement was in this excerpt from an encyclopedia about Robinson:

(That's a picture of Edward G. Robinson meeting Eleanor Parker in the movie "A Hole In The Head".  Thelma Ritter is in the middle.)

I ran the full episode of 'The Lucy Show' with all of those cameos once before, but it doesn't hurt to share it again.....

I guess that's the best to hope for when you probably had very little time in getting so many stars for any rehearsal at all.  But especially with Robinson, Douglas, and Durante, wouldn't it have been great to get them an episode showcase of their own, each playing to the individual star's strengths?

In fact, I can think of other shows in which Mr. Robinson could have shown up as himself, both sitcoms and dramas:
  • 'All In The Family'
  • 'The Odd Couple'
  • 'Bewitched'
  • 'I Dream Of Jeannie'
  • 'Car 54, Where Are You?'
  • ''Make Room For Daddy'
  • 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
  • 'Naked City'
  • '77 Sunset Strip'
  • 'Peter Gunn'
  • 'Mr. Lucky'
  • 'Johnny Staccato'
  • 'The Trials Of O'Brien'
Oh well.....

So here's to you, "Little Caesar".  This honor, such as it is, comes way too late for you to have seen it, but then again....  I'm setting it up so far in advance, I may not live to see it either!


Tuesday, December 11, 2018


It was twenty years ago today that Oscar-winning “Shakespeare In Love” opened in general release here in the United States.  My brother Bill and I watched it over the weekend and had fun pointing out the actors we would come to know better in later roles.  Both of us came away with ideas for lists – he’s going to post a “Morning 5” list of Oscar winners in the movie for the newspaper where he’s the editor.  For me, it’s a Super Six List.

As I mentioned earlier, several actors were not familiar to me at the time.  Among them are Mark Williams, whom I later came to know from the “Harry Potter” franchise as well as the ‘Father Brown’ series and Martin Clunes – I had yet to see ‘Doc Martin’. There was even one I knew very well but didn’t recognize (and he wasn’t credited) – John Inman, Mr. Humphries of ‘Are You Being Served?’, who was playing Juliet’s mother Lady Capulet in the play within a play.

So here is my Super Six List – six of the actors in “Shakespeare In Love” who would also play roles in my favorite TV series, ‘Doctor Who’.  I have them listed by actor name with their “SIL” role in parentheses, followed by their role in the long-running sci-fi/fantasy series.

1]  Simon Callow (Master of the Revels Tilney)
as Charles Dickens
- The Unquiet Dead (2005) 
- The Wedding of River Song (2011)

Mr. Callow is a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for his portrayal of the Victorian author, not just in ‘Doctor Who’ but also in several TV movies.

2]  Martin Clunes (Richard Burbage)
as Lon
- Snakedance: Part One (1983)
- Snakedance: Part Two (1983)
- Snakedance: Part Three (1983)
- Snakedance: Part One (1983) 

Of these six, Clunes is the only one who appeared in the original run of the series.

3]  Mark Williams (Wabash)
as Brian Williams
- Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012) 
- The Power of Three (2012)

4]  Imelda Staunton (Viola’s Nurse)
as Voice of the Computer Interface
- The Girl Who Waited (2011)

I never noticed the credit for this role.  It could be that by this point, I really do believe I’m listening to the voice of a computer in shows!  And I’m not that familiar with Ms. Staunton’s voice.  But my nephew who is a fan of the “Harry Potter” movies, guessed right away that this was the actress who played Mrs. Umbridge.

5]  Barnaby Kay (Nol)
as Heidi
- The Girl Who Died (2015) 

6]  Nicholas Boulton (Henry Condell)
as Businessman
- Gridlock (2007)

Consider this a taste of the “Who’s On First?” blogathon on New Year’s Day.

Exeunt, followed by a death-eyed turtle….

Monday, December 10, 2018



In both of these episodes, the actual President Trump was seen onscreen in archival footage.  But when he spoke, the P.O.V. switched to that of the TV characters watching him on TV and then we heard the voice of actor Bob DiBuono doing an imitation of him.  (The script called for him to recite dialogue he never actually spoke in the Trueniverse and this was just a simpler, cheaper way to achieve the effect instead of using CGI on those lips.)

This wasn’t the first time Bob DiBuono has imitated the President.  In fourteen episodes of ‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’, he also imitated Trump.  (i don"t know if that was just a vocal impression, however.)

‘Murphy Brown’ takes place in Earth Prime-Time.  But DiBuono’s impression of Trump in ‘The Nightly Show’ would be relegated to Skitlandia, the sketch comedy TV dimension.

Donald Trump is a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame – as is Murphy – but he was inducted as a member of the League of Themselves (April 2009).  The fact that his own voice was substituted with that of another actor doesn’t invalidate the appearances on ‘Murphy Brown’ nor cast it into some other TV dimension, because I’ve got some splainin to do: because of rigorous campaigning across the country during the mid-terms, Trump did some damage to his vocal chords.  This isn’t a permanent condition, so the next time (if ever) he appeared as himself in a fictional show, we would expect him to be using his own voice again.  All he would have to do is keep from speaking for awhile to recuperate.

Good luck on that!


Sunday, December 9, 2018


We're continuing our look at the televersion of 'Peyton Place' with the first of two sequel movies to the prime-time TV soap opera.  "Murder In Peyton Place" was broadcast in 1977 and featured quite a few of the stars from the TV show, including Dorothy Malone as Constance MacKenzie.  (She's our December inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.)