Saturday, March 16, 2019


Dr. Izzy Frome:
This is nothing. 
The great white out of 1888, 
they had to shut down Maine. 
Literally closed it like it was a Denny's. 
Safety first. 
Well, 400 people still died that day.  
But we will be fine.
'New Amsterdam'

From Wikipedia:
The Great Blizzard of 1888 or Great Blizzard of '88 (March 11 – March 14, 1888) was one of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States of America. The storm, referred to as the Great White Hurricane, paralyzed the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine, as well as the Atlantic provinces of Canada.  Snowfalls of 10 to 58 inches (25 to 147 cm) fell in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and sustained winds of more than 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) produced snow drifts in excess of 50 feet (15 m). Railroads were shut down, and people were confined to their houses for up to a week.  Railway and telegraph lines were disabled, and this provided the impetus to move these pieces of infrastructure underground. Emergency services were also affected.  
For more on the storm, click here.

Had the '88 blizzard happened in the West, there would have been plenty of TV Westerns which would have addressed it in their fictional plotlines.  As it is, many of them did have plot lines dealing with blizzard conditions of their own, but I don't think any of them had any connection to the overall 1888 storm.  (Most TV Westerns were set in the 1870s.)

But there wasn't much call for TV "Easterns" set in 1888 New England.  So that mention of the blizzard in the March 12, 2019 episode of 'New Amsterdam' may be the only acknowledgement of it happening in the Television Universe. 

But I'm only one guy.  Can't check out all of the archives.  It's dark down there!

At any rate, here are some documentaries about the Blizzard of 1888, kicking off with a first-person account by someone from my new/old hometown.....



Friday, March 15, 2019


Keeping with the theme for March, we have another member of the League of Themselves to induct into Television Crossover Hall of Fame....

From Wikipedia:
Louis Diamond Phillips (born February 17, 1962) is an American actor and director. His breakthrough came when he starred as Ritchie Valens in the biographical drama film “La Bamba” (1987). For the Academy Award–nominated “Stand and Deliver” (1988), Phillips was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won an Independent Spirit Award. He made his Broadway debut with the 1996 revival of “The King and I”, earning a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam. Phillips' other notable films include “Young Guns” (1988), “Young Guns II” (1990), “Courage Under Fire“ (1996), “The Big Hit” (1998), “Che” (2008) and “The 33” (2015). In the television series ‘Longmire’, he played a main character, Henry Standing Bear.

Even though he appeared in three episodes of ‘Cougar Town’ as himself, that still only counts as one credit towards his total.  So he just squeaks by for membership with the minimum number of requirements.  This is a good reason as to why I started the Friday Hall of Famers – by the time I might have come around to inducting him as a monthly showcase… well, I might not have been around to do it.

- Fielding Offers

From the IMDb:
Arliss treks to Canada in an effort to steal a hockey team; Rita fights aging with an alternative therapy.

O’Bservation – Based on the summary and these pictures, it looks like Arliss met up with Lou Diamond Phillips while he was playing pool and somehow got involved in the  hockey scheme… to detrimental effect.

He could be known for playing pool.  At one point he appeared in an episode of ‘Ball-Breakers’ in which celebrities played billiards. 

“Grandpa's Place“ (2004) 

O’Bservation – this looks to have been a special that was a spoof of the old-time children’s shows.  Ed Lauter was the star.

Cougar Town
- Lonesome Sundown

From the IMDb:
Laurie creates a new "council" for the crew to hand out punishments, Jules spends the weekend on Bobby's boat to win a bet, and Grayson tries to stop Travis from proposing. 

- Free Fallin' (2011)

From the IMDb:
Jules and Bobby try to get Travis out of his funk and get him to return to college, Bobby contemplates selling his Penny Can business to a big corporation, and Grayson deals with the creepy neighborhood "chalk children."  

O’Bservation - This episode confirms that the televersion of Lou Diamond Phillips is not only an actor but that he actually did act in “Young Guns” and “Young Guns II”

- Have Love Will Travel (2013)

From the IMDb:
The gang takes Chick to Hollywood after learning of his health issues; Laurie and Travis try to set up the perfect first kiss.  

You're the Worst
- Dad-Not-Dad

From the IMDb:
Lindsay reconnects to a former father figure.
O’Bservation – Another confirmation of Phillips’ movie career, going all the way back to his breakout role with Lindsey referring to Lou Diamond Phillips as her "La Bamba Dad."  

Lindsay and her sister Becca realized that they were happiest when their mother Faye was shacking up with Lou Diamond Phillips so they went in search of him.

You were doing foot sex with Lou Diamond Phillips instead of paying attention to us!
Am I supposed to feel something about that?
Maybe regret that your daughters - One more than the other, obviously - Are broken because of you.
Lou and I happened to have had explosive sexual chemistry. He could make me climax by whispering in my ear.

[At Lou Diamond Phillips’ estate]

Hey! - Stay away from those lemons! Just because they're hanging over the sidewalk, doesn't mean they're free! You people act like I don't need these lemons, but I do.  I need them very badly!
It's Becca and Lindsay....  Cottumaccio.
You railed our mom.
Sorry, you railed our mother, in the '90s?
Oh, my God.
Becca? Lindsay?

[Later they were enjoying lemonade on Phillips’ patio.]

Oh Mmm! This is good.
It's Country Time.
My lemons aren't juicing lemons.
So what happened?
I loved your mom.

And when she left me, I was devastated.

I couldn't even stay in the city anymore.
Everything reminded me of her.

One day, I'm sitting on my lanai, watching my gardeners, and I thought to myself, "That's what I want to do.”

So, I told my agent, "From now on, I'm offer-only," and I moved out here, and I put all my energy into my lemon grove.

One thing I know for sure: lemons won't ever walk out on me.

[The girls went back to confront their mother.]

He told us you forbidded him from ever contacting us.
Well? It's true.  I did.
Why would you do that?
Because I could see how close you all were getting, and I knew it wasn't going to last between Lou and me.
I did it to protect you.

That’s the sign of a great televersion – the fictional Lou Diamond Phillips’ life could never have happened in the Real World.
At least I don't think so.....

Who knows?  Maybe there will be other series in which Phillips will show up playing himself.  But it’ll be tough to beat being the father figure for Lindsay and Becca.

But at any rate, welcome to the Hall, Lou!


Thursday, March 14, 2019


From USA Today:
President Donald Trump says he didn't make a mistake when he referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as "Tim Apple," but did so as a time-saving measure – even though video clearly shows he simply mangled the name. 

"I quickly referred to Tim + Apple as Tim/Apple as an easy way to save time & words," the president tweeted early Monday. "The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!"

The video indicates Trump simply misspoke during a Friday event with business owners at the White House.

Cook responded in a joking manner, changing his Twitter name to "Tim Apple," compete with an emoji of the eponymous fruit.

It didn’t take long for this to sound familiar to ‘Office’ fanatics.  (Do they have a collective name?)  And a meme quickly popped up, comparing the two. 

I didn’t realize that it was an actual snippet of Kevin’s dialogue but I looked into it and dang!  Drumpf must see Kevin as his guru!

The Office

The Initiative

Sometimes, words you no need use but need-need for talk-talk. But save time. More success.
Does it save time, though? 'Cause we've been here for about an hour.
No me fault.
Kevin, At most, you're saving a microscopic amount of time.
Many small time make big time.
And what are you gonna do with all this time?
See world.
Kevin, you can't possibly save enough time to see the world.
Kevin, are you saying, "see the world" or "seaworld"?
See world. Oceans, fish, jump. China.
No, see? Right there, that's the problem with your method. 'Cause I still don't know if you're saying seaworld or see the world, and it's taking a lot of time to explain it.
Fine. Fine. I'll talk normally. When me president, they see. They see.

The Real World imitates Toob World......


Wednesday, March 13, 2019



From the IMDb:
Five members of the board of a company called Combined Holdings have all been murdered.

Each of those board members who were murdered (in a way which resembled natural causes) received a postcard telling them that they would die.  This was how Simon Templar was able to suss out the murderer – he had “sent” himself a postcard as well, addressed to his father whom he claimed had been murdered in a similar fashion.  But the father had died from the natural causes which the son would later emulate for his victims.  

However the father had died in January of 1968 and the stamp used on the postcard wasn’t issued until June of that year.  The son had forged the postmark. (O’Bservation - The episode was broadcast on December 1st of 1968, but probably took place in October of that year due to the apparent mildness of the weather in the episode.)

Wishing to learn more about the history of this particular stamp and the adherence to that history in this episode (for the ravenous blogbeast must always be fed), I consulted with renowned stamp expert Dr. Philately via his spokesman Eliot Wagner.

Dr. Philately’s reply:
These stamps are part of the Machin definitive series of UK stamps. Machin is the name of the designer. This series has been ongoing for about 50 years now.

The 2d stamp was issued in 1968. The 3p stamp is not that early. The UK changed from the old non decimal currency to the new decimal currency in 1971. The d is the notation for the old pence (d itself it goes back to the Romans), while p is the notation for the new pence. The 3p stamp was issued in 1971 when the currency change occurred.

He then directed me to Wikipedia:
The Machin series /ˈmeɪtʃɪn/ of postage stamps is the main definitive stamp series in the United Kingdom, used since 5 June 1967. It is the second series to figure the image of Elizabeth II, replacing the Wilding series.

Designed by Arnold Machin, they consist simply of the sculpted profile of the Queen and a denomination, and are almost always in a single colour.

After five decades of service, the series has encompassed almost all changes and innovations in British stamp printing. This has been encouraging an abundant specialised philatelic collectors' market and associated literature.

Arnold Machin's 1964 effigy of the Queen was replaced on British coins in 1984 by an older-looking effigy by Raphael Maklouf. However, the effigy on British Machin stamps has never been updated, and the last proposals to these ends were rejected by the Queen herself.

For more information… information… information, click here.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Unfortunately, this is a Two for Tuesday Tubular Knells….

From the Los Angeles Times:
Katherine Helmond, the sitcom star whose memorable roles as ditzy matriarchs in “Soap,” “Who’s the Boss?” and “Coach” endeared her to audiences of all ages, has died. She was 89.

Helmond died Feb. 23 at home in Los Angeles from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to her talent agency, APA.

This obituary had both of her signature TV shows in the headline, leading off with ‘Soap’ there as well.  Most of the stories I saw about her passing led with ‘Who’s The Boss?’ and some of those didn’t even mention ‘Soap’!

The prime-time comedic soap opera is what made her a household name after so many years in the business, first appearing in Toobworld with a guest spot in an episode of ‘Car 54, Where Are You?’ with stops along the way in episodes of ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘Mannix’, ‘The Bob Newhart Show’, and ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’.  (Adding to her post-‘Soap’ resume along with ‘Coach’ would be ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ as Ray’s mother-in-law.)

Sure, she was in twice as many episodes of ‘Who’s The Boss?’ than in ‘Soap’, but it will be Jessica Tate who will be remembered far longer.  (As big a television fanatic as I am, I didn’t know Mona’s last name was Robinson until after Ms. Helmond passed away.)

I looked into both of these two major roles of hers in hopes that I might be able to induct at least one of them into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.  Unfortunately they only got ⅔ of the way towards crossover immortality. 

88 episodes

- Jessica (1979)
- God, I Need This Job (1983)

Jessica Tate helped to launch the ‘Soap’ spinoff ‘Benson’ by appearing in the sequel’s pilot.  She then returned in a dream sequence when it looked like her character was going to die on ‘Soap’.

Both shows were Susan Harris productions and that’s probably what limited her crossover opportunities.  But differing production companies were never an impediment to crossovers.  Jessica Fletcher and Thomas Magnum appeared in each others shows; Alan Brady stepped out of his 30 plus year limbo to appear in an episode of ‘Mad About You’ on another network; and John Houseman as his Oscar-winning character not only switched networks but genres when he appeared in the sitcom ‘The Associates’ while playing Professor Kingsfield in ‘The Paper Chase’.

So there was an ABC sitcom broadcast around the same time which wasn’t produced by Susan Harris, and which didn’t share the same style of humor as ‘Soap’, but which would have been the perfect setting for a Jessica Tate crossover showcase – ‘Barney Miller’.

‘Soap’ was mainly set in two different locations – Dunn’s River, Connecticut, and New York City.  So it would not be out of the realm of possibility that Jessica Tate was down in lower Manhattan and through some kind of ditzy misunderstanding, found herself in the squad room at the 12th Precinct. (I can just imagine her interactions with Barney and Dietrich, with Scanlon and Luger both enamored of her!)


Who's the Boss?
196 episodes

Charmed Lives
- Pilot (1986)

As for Mona Robinson, her other appearance besides in ‘Who’s The Boss?’ was also a pilot – for a short-lived sitcom starring Fran Drescher and Donna Dixon.  I wasn’t invested in WTB? as I was with ‘Soap’, so I’m not as eager to get Mona into the Hall as I would be for Jessica.

When it comes to inducting Jessica, I think I can pull it off but it would have to be as part of the Birthday Honors List due to the pretzel logic splainin I’d have to come up with.  So maybe next year. 

I hope my splainin works.  We’ll see.  But I would truly hate not having Jessica Tate in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  The incandescence in her eyes and smile would surely save on the Hall’s lighting bill….



Jon 'Jonny' Worth: 
I'm happy to help out. 
You just tell me what I can do 
and I'll have Kiki do it.

‘Major Crimes’
“Cutting Loose”

For several episodes Lt. Tao had been moonlighting as the police consultant on a police procedural “Badge Of Justice”, starring Jonny Worth.  With this episode, we finally got to meet the star of the show, and he was played by Luke Perry who passed away last week. 

It was a light-hearted episode, even with its gruesome elements, as it showed how much a celebrity can disrupt standard procedures during a case. (The hardened ADA lost her effectiveness because she was smitten by the star.)  

Perry was the leading suspect, which worried me because I could see the potential in Perry’s character for a spinoff. I always enjoyed ‘Major Crimes’ even if it could be unrelentingly grim at times, so this episode was a refreshing change of pace helped by Perry’s performance. 

I would not have been surprised had “Cutting Loose” turned out to be a backdoor pilot for a spinoff starring Luke Perry as Jonny Worth and Michael Paul Chan as Mike Tao. Hoping to get more experience for playing his role, Jonny always tried to get involved in the cases being investigated by the show’s consultant.

The overall tone would have been light-hearted but exciting, much like other shows in that vein like “White Collar”, “Monk”, “Leverage”, or “Psych”.

But that was five years ago, long past the shelf life of a concept’s viability. And even if that weren’t so, it’s too late now. 

Jon 'Jonny' Worth: 
My problem is... 
I try to be nice to everybody, 
especially in hot tubs.

Good night and may God bless Luke Perry.

Monday, March 11, 2019


From The New York Daily News:
Actor Nathaniel Taylor, best known as sharp-dressed, smooth-talking ladies man Rollo Lawson on “Sanford and Son,” is dead at 80.

He was the victim of a fatal heart attack in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, his son Kaedi Taylor told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Usually decked out in funky suits and colorful hats, Taylor portrayed the best friend and sidekick of Lamont Sanford, played by Demond Wilson. Often the object of disapproving dad Fred Sanford’s putdowns, Taylor’s Rollo took the snipes in stride while affectionately addressing Redd Foxx’s character as “Pops.”

“It was a time and an era — just to be on TV as a black man,” said Taylor. “It was an honor for people to remember him.”

From the ‘Sanford And Son’ wiki:
Rollo Lawson is the best friend of Lamont Sanford and Fred's nemesis on ‘Sanford and Son’. Nathaniel Taylor, who first appeared as Rollo in the ‘Sanford and Son’ episode “Have Gun, Will Sell” (Season 2, Episode #7) reprised the role of Rollo on its spinoff series ‘Sanford’ in the pilot episode Season 1, Episode 1.

Fred, who dislikes Rollo, will often make disrespectful remarks towards him, usually stating that he thinks Rollo is a criminal, as Rollo had spent time in jail before his present job as a gas station service attendant. Rollo appears in the show every so often to come pick up Lamont so they can go out and chase women. Also, they sometimes go to pornographic films or what Rollo calls "skin flicks." His mother, Rita, is also friends with Lamont's Aunt Esther.

'Sanford And Son'
32 episodes
14 episodes
1 episode

O’Bservation: I’ve seen Rollo’s last name also listed as Larson in two different sources.

It is a slight resume, but it does fulfill the requirements for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame. 

I’m sorry I didn’t induct Rollo into the TVXOHOF during February, Black History Month.  Not that he would probably have seen it, but it would have been nice to do the tribute while he was still alive.

So now we have two members of ‘Sanford And Son’ in the Hall for 2019, Bubba Bexley being the other one.  They join Grady Wilson who was inducted eleven years ago.

Oddly, I have yet to induct Fred G. Sanford into the Hall but that’s because until today, I had no idea he appeared in an episode of ‘Grady’.  That will be rectified next February.  However, Lamont will be shut out from membership because he only has the original series to his credit.

The last two pictures included here are of Nathaniel Taylor as himself, but they could also be the way that Rollo looked in his senior years.