Saturday, August 3, 2019


Every so often I like to revive a short-lived feature of the blog, dealing with TV-themed comic books on a Saturday.

To kick off this post, we have a special guest appearance by one of my fellow crossoverists, Matt Hickman:
In Captain America # 381 Diamondback needs some back up so she decides to hire hero/mercenary Paladin and we get to see his business card. I think it's safe to say that this Paladin is related to the other one and has taken up the family business.

For me this is a great idea - in the comic book universe.  Unfortunately, it can't work in Earth Prime-Time because Diamondback doesn't have a televersion.  And there are too many variables as to how this modern Paladin could be connected to Hec Ramsey AKA Paladin from both of those TV shows.  ('Hec Ramsey' and 'Have Gun Will Travel')

But at least it can be linked to the comic book version of Paladin.  In that universe, I think Matt's theory can work.

Nice catch, Matt!

Happy Trails!

Friday, August 2, 2019


From Wikipedia:
John Wesley Hardin (May 26, 1853 – August 19, 1895) was an American Old West outlaw, gunfighter, and controversial folk icon. The son of a Methodist preacher, Hardin got into trouble with the law from an early age. He killed his first man at age 14, he claimed in self-defense.

Pursued by lawmen for most of his life, he was sentenced in 1877 at age 24 to 25 years in prison for murder. When he was sentenced, Hardin claimed to have killed 42 men but contemporary newspapers accounts attributed only 27 deaths to him.  While in prison, Hardin studied law and wrote an autobiography. He was well known for wildly exaggerating or completely making up stories about his life. He claimed credit for many murders that cannot be corroborated.

Within a year of his release in 1894, Hardin was killed by John Selman in an El Paso saloon.

Hardin showed up in a lot of TV Westerns over the years.  I think the differences in his appearance due to recasting can be attributed to the old Toobworld splainin - each difference is based on the perspective of the TV character looking at him.

Here are some of the portrayals of Hardin as compiled by Wikipedia:

Actor Richard Webb played Hardin in a 1954 episode of Jim Davis' syndicated western television series, 'Stories of the Century'. The segment shows Hardin shooting two Indians in the back; gunning down a sheriff in a saloon in Abilene, Kansas; and finally being outgunned himself by an El Paso officer attempting to arrest him.

O'Bservation: We regularly discount historical figures - and their stories - because the stories related by Jim Davis' character are not reliable.

Phillip Pine played Hardin in 1955 in the ninth episode "John Wesley Hardin" of the ABC/Desilu western television series, 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp', starring Hugh O"Brian in the title role as frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. In the story line, Hardin arrives in Wichita, Kansas, to avenge Earp for having run out of a town a friend of Hardin's. The Hardin character also unveils tricks he has learned with his revolvers. Barbara Bestar plays Jane Hardin in the episode.

In an episode called "Turning Point'" of the 'Bronco' series, Scott Marlowe played John Wesley Hardin. Bronco befriends Hardin after stumbling upon him after Hardin has been bitten by a rattlesnake, saves his life, and then agrees to be partners in a land acquisition deal.

Randy Quaid played Hardin in the 1995 TV mini-series, 'Streets of Laredo'.

In a 1998 episode of 'Antiques Roadshow', a previously unknown and rare photograph of John Wesley Hardin was appraised at $30,000 - $50,000.

In August 1, 2001 season three episode four of 'Family Guy' ("One_If_by_Clam,_Two_If_by_Sea"), Peter and Quagmire quote from decades-old advertisements for a Time-Life book series about the American West, which mentioned Hardin as a "man who was so mean, he once shot a man just for snoring."

In the (November 28, 2011) episode ["Mile High Club"] of the History channel show 'Pawn Stars', one of Hardin's business cards was featured.

But here is the one we're giving a showcase:

A 1959 episode of 'Maverick', "Duel at Sundown," has the character of Bart Maverick posing as John Wesley Hardin in order to stage a fake gunfight against his brother, Bret, so that he can avoid a real gunfight with a local tough, played by Clint Eastwood. As Bret and Bart ride out of town, they meet a stranger who wants directions to find this "fake" John Wesley Hardin. The stranger is none other than the "real" John Wesley Hardin.

This episode was "Bret-centric" with Bart only making a glorified cameo near the end, I'll make the claim that we were seeing Hardin from Bret's point of view.  

And as short as the scene was, James Griffith's portrayal of John Wesley Hardin is my favorite.  He just oozes menace.

That's why I'm choosing him to represent the historical multi-dimensional John Wesley Hardin of Toobworld.  And we're inducting him into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame today as our Friday Hall of Famer.

I've written about Hardin in the past, in which I listed other actors who played the role.

Happy trails!

Thursday, August 1, 2019


For those who have not been paying attention all year, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  This called for a special theme to run with each montly showcase.  And with the proliferation of superhero TV shows, I decided that super-powered characters – both heroes and villains – would be that theme.

But traditionally, each month has its own theme and so I decided to choose those heroes & villains who fit those themes.  For instance, January is Classic TV, so we kicked off 2019 with a double-header: Batman & Robin.  February is Black History Month, so we conflated three TV characters played by Eartha Kitt to be the full biography of her version of Catwoman.  And for April?  Who else but the Joker?

But with August, the tradition clashed with the anniversary theme.  Every year August has been the showcase for celebrating the TV Westerns in my Toobworld sites since before the TVXOHOF even existed.  However, even though there have been Western heroes in the super-powered worlds of both Marvel and DC – Jonah Hex and the Two-Gun Kid come to mind.  But on TV, we’ve only seen Jonah Hex so far and then, only on one series.

I came up with a great idea – to play with the concept of “Western” and thought a perfect candidate would be the super “man” considered to be one of the first heroes of the Western World.  It’s a character whom we’ve seen in TV, movies, and yes, comic books.  And the main actor not only had plenty of credits to qualify for the Hall as this hero, but it was eventually shown that the actor really was that hero!  That would lead to a few extra appearances in which the actor played his own televersion as a member of the League of Themselves.

But in doing my research on that actor in the role, I learned things about him that really disturbed me.  And since his appearance as himself in other shows would be included, I didn’t feel good about including him.  Someday he will get in, but this was the wrong time.

So thanks to Michael Trupia’s suggestion, we do have a replacement who – truth to be told – should have been inducted ages ago…


From Wikipedia:

‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ is an American science fiction and action television series about a former astronaut, Colonel Steve Austin, portrayed by American actor Lee Majors. Austin has superhuman strength due to bionicimplants and is employed as a secret agent by a fictional U.S. government office titled OSI.  The series was based on the Martin Caidin novel “Cyborg”, which was the working title of the series during pre-production.  

Following three television pilot movies, which all aired in 1973, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ television series aired on the ABC network as a regular episodic series for five seasons from 1974 to 1978. Steve Austin became a pop culture icon of the 1970s.

A spin-off television series, ‘The Bionic Woman’, featuring the lead female character Jaime Sommers, ran from 1976 to 1978. Three television movies featuring both bionic characters were also produced from 1987 to 1994.

That rundown sums up all the reasons why the Six Million Dollar Man is so deerving of the chance to be in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.

More from Wikipedia:
When NASA astronaut Colonel Steve Austin is severely injured in the crash of an experimental lifting body aircraft, he is "rebuilt" in an operation that costs $6 million (equivalent to $34 million in 2018). His right arm, both legs and the left eye are replaced with "bionic" implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms: he can run at speeds of over 60 mph (97 km/h), and his eye has a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities, while his bionic limbs all have the equivalent power of a bulldozer. He uses his enhanced abilities to work for the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) as a secret agent.

In March 1973, “Cyborg” was loosely adapted as a made-for-TV movie titled “The Six Million Dollar Man” starring Majors as Austin. The producers first choice was Monte Markham. (When re-edited for the later series, it was re-titled "The Moon and the Desert, Parts I and II".) The adaptation was done by writer Howard Rodman, working under the pseudonym of Henri Simoun.

The film, which was nominated for a Hugo Award, modified Caidin's plot, and notably made Austin a civilian astronaut rather than a colonel in the United States Air Force. Absent were some of the standard features of the later series: the electronic sound effects, the slow-motion running, and the character of Oscar Goldman. Instead, another character named Oliver Spencer, played by Darren McGavin, was Austin's supervisor, of an organization here called the OSO. (In the novels, "OSO" stood for Office of Special Operations. The CIA did have an Office of Scientific Intelligence in the 1970s.)

The lead scientist involved in implanting Austin's bionic hardware, Dr. Rudy Wells, was played in the pilot by Martin Balsam, then on an occasional basis in the series by Alan Oppenheimer, and, finally, as a series regular, by Martin E. Brooks. Austin did not use the enhanced capabilities of his bionic eye during the first TV movie.

In 1975, a two-part episode entitled "The Bionic Woman", written for television by Kenneth Johnson, introduced the lead character Jaime Sommers (played by Lindsay Wagner), a professional tennis player who rekindled an old romance with Austin, only to experience a parachuting accident that resulted in her being given bionic parts similar to Austin. Ultimately, her body "rejected" her bionic hardware and she died. The character was very popular, however, and the following season it was revealed that she had actually survived, having been saved by an experimental cryogenic procedure, and she was given her own spin-off series, ‘The Bionic Woman’. This spin-off ran until 1978 when both it and ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ were simultaneously cancelled, though the two series were on different networks when their final seasons aired.

Thanks again for an incredibly appropriate candidate to the Hall, Michael Trupia!

And welcome to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Colonel Austin.  You’ve opened the floodgates as you won’t be the last one from that corner of Toobworld to join….


Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Commissioner Selwyn Patterson:
It's hard enough for Cedrik's friends to come to terms with his death. Then we have this whole anniversary business on top of that.
Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodwin:
Commissioner Patterson:
It's 45 years since Hurricane Frances. We've got the remembrance ceremony this evening. It will be difficult for everyone. But especially for Cedrik's friends.
DI Goodwin:
Why might that be, sir?
Commissioner Patterson:
They lost a friend the night of the hurricane.
DI Goodwin:
Sorry, I didn't realise.
‘Death In Paradise’
“A Personal Murder”

This is a good example that we can’t view Toobworld as being the same as the world in which we live.  This episode took place in 2016, so Hurricane Frances took place in 1971
From Wikipedia:
The following names were used for named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) that formed in the North Atlantic in 1971.  Storms were named Beth, Kristy and Laura for the first time in 1971. No names were retired after the 1971 season. Kristy, Rachel, Sandra, and Wallis are currently being used in the East Pacific lists.
Margo (unused)
Nona (unused)
Orchid (unused)
Portia (unused)
Rachel (unused)
Sandra (uncredited)

fore, while Earth Prime had a hurricane named Fern, Earth Prime-Time had Hurricane Frances.  I have no problem with this.  I know Toobworld is not the Real World. 
Hey, if I had a problem with the differences between what I see on the TV screen  as opposed to what I read in the newspapers, I wouldn’t be watching anything but C-Span and not ‘Doctor Who’.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


We’re not done with our “Two for Tuesday” look at ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ today…..

From Wikipedia:
German film distributor KirchGruppe acquired broadcasting rights to [‘Hogan’s Heroes’] but initially did not air it out of fear that it would offend viewers. In 1992, episodes were shown on German television for the first time, but the program failed to connect with viewers due to issues with lip syncing.  However, after the dialogue was rewritten to make the characters look even more foolish (which ensured that the viewers understood the characters were caricatures), the show became successful. An unseen original character -- "Kalinka" --was introduced as Klink's cleaning lady and perennial mistress who he described as performing most of her cleaning duties in the nude.

For Toobworld Central, whenever a TV show is dubbed into a foreign language, that version is then placed into a Toobworld where the dubbed language is the dominant language of the entire world. 

So that in itself makes the events of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ in Deutsche Toobworld different from those in Earth Prime-Time.  But this is the first time I’ve ever heard that specific events and characters were altered in the dubbed version. 
As far as I can figure, Kalinka wouldn’t have existed in the main Toobworld.  I can't speak for certain on this, but I think unseen characters like Lars Lindstrom, Maris Crane, Vera Peterson, and Carlton the Doorman might get name changes in dubbed versions of their shows, but they would still survive in some fashion.  But this would be totally different.

Two for Tuesday!



Nobody expects an actor to look exactly like the famous person whom they’re portraying in some TV production.  I was reminded of this in the last two weeks with the death of H. Ross Perot – in a TV movie, “On The Wings Of Eagles”, Perot was played by Richard Crenna.  You can see in this promo picture how great the contrast was.

Another example was Judith Light playing tlitthe mother of Ryan White in a TV movie about that little boy and his ordeal with AIDS and the antagonism against him through no fault of his own.

In the last two decades, there have been behind-the-scenes docudramas about the making of various TV shows – ‘Dynasty’, ‘Mork & Mindy’, ‘Gilligan’s Island’, ‘Three’s Company’, and ‘Steptoe & Son’.

And it continues today with mini-series about Einstein, Picasso, Versace, Bette Davis & Joan Crawford, and most recently Bob Fosse & Gwen Verdon.

So it’s not really that far out of the realm of possibility that one day a docu-drama might be made about the production of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’.

From Wikipedia:
‘Hogan's Heroes’ is an American television sitcom set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II. It ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965, to April 4, 1971, on the CBS network. Bob Crane starred as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, coordinating an international crew of Allied prisoners running a special operations group from the camp. Werner Klemperer played Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the incompetent commandant of the camp, and John Banner played the bungling but lovable sergeant-of-the-guard, Sergeant Hans Schultz. 
Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, the writers of the 1951 play “Stalag 17”, a World War II prisoner-of-war story turned into a 1953 feature film by Paramount Pictures, sued Bing Crosby Productions, the show's producer, for infringement. Their lawsuit was unsuccessful. While the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs, the federal judge overruled them. The judge found "striking difference in the dramatic mood of the two works."

So there would be a few subplots that might have been worked into the plotline, depending on whether the project would be a TV movie or a mini-series.

But definitely I think Werner Klemperer should be a focus in the story, perhaps even more so than Bob Crane’s womanizing.  (Ah, who am I kidding?  The ratings rule!)  However, look at this Wikipedia entry:

Werner Klemperer as Colonel Klink, the commandant of the POW camp.
He is painfully unaware of the men's operation and believes the camp has a perfect escape record under his command. Klemperer was from a Jewish family in real life (his father was the famous orchestral conductor Otto Klemperer) and found the role to be a "double-edged sword"; his agent failed to tell him the role was intended to be comedic. Klemperer remarked, "I had one qualification when I took the job: if they ever wrote a segment whereby Colonel Klink would come out the hero, I would leave the show."
He defended his playing a Luftwaffe Officer by claiming, "I am an actor. If I can play Richard III, I can play a Nazi."

‘Hogan's Heroes’ won two Emmy Awards out of twelve nominations. Both wins were for Werner Klemperer as outstanding supporting actor in a comedy, in 1968 and 1969. Klemperer received nominations in the same category in 1966, 1967 and 1970.

Now, as to who should play the role?  I have the perfect actor – Andrew Musselmans.  He’s a Canadian actor whom I saw in an episode of ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ earlier this year.

Doesn’t he look perfect for the role?


Monday, July 29, 2019


Few will know him by name, but the actor John O’Leary died on June 5th.  He was 93.

Los Angeles Times
June 19, 2019

May 5, 1926 - June 5, 2019
John Garret O'Leary passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 5th, 2019 in his home in Hollywood, California. John was born May 5th, 1926 in Newton, Massachusetts, the youngest son of Joseph and Marion O'Leary. He is survived by his brother Joseph Gerald O'Leary of Santa Fe, New Mexico. John's passion for acting carried him from the Newton Playhouse to the stages of New York, and finally to Hollywood. Through his long career he touched the lives of everyone around him with his easy laugh, wonderful sense of humor, and a sincere caring for everyone he befriended. He was a kind and generous soul with a gift for comedic timing who loved and respected his craft. John took care of the people around him and left this world just a little better than he found it. He will be missed and remembered with love.

To give you an idea of just how much he contributed to the greater TV Universe, take a look at this sampling of the TV shows and TV movies in which he portrayed so many citizens of various Toobworlds….

TV Movies
His TV movies include Comedy Central Thanksgiving Wiikend: Thanksgiving Island (2006); The Gene Pool (2001); Majority Rule (1992); The Haunted (1991); Sister Margaret and the Saturday Night Ladies (1987); Sins of the Father (1985); The Day the Bubble Burst (1982); Catalina C-Lab (1982); The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything (1980); Nero Wolfe (1979); No Other Love (1979); Lassie: A New Beginning (1978); Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free (1976); and A Moon for the Misbegotten (1975).

His TV credits include appearances on Idiotsitter; Baskets; Jane the Virgin; Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Getting On; Scandal; Prime Suspect; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Desperate Housewives; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Saving Grace; Cold Case; In Case of Emergency; My Name Is Earl; I'm with Her; Life with Bonnie; Frasier; American Dreams; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; NYPD Blue; Ally McBeal; Sunset Beach; The Jeff Foxworthy Show; Coach; Xena: Warrior Princess; Mad About You; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Phenom; Morton & Hayes; Monsters; Dear John; The Wonder Years; Matlock; The Golden Girls; A Family for Joe; Night Court; Knots Landing; Anything But Love; We Got It Made; Santa Barbara; The Law and Harry McGraw; The Bronx Zoo; The Facts of Life; Hotel; It's Your Move; Cagney & Lacey; Dynasty; Murder, She Wrote; Highway to Heaven; Oh Madeline; Simon & Simon; Benson; Filthy Rich; CHiPs; Hill Street Blues; The Devlin Connection; Too Close for Comfort; Bosom Buddies; Barney Miller; Taxi; One Day at a Time; The Stockard Channing Show; Me and Maxx; House Calls; Dallas; Wonder Woman; Starsky and Hutch; The Jeffersons; Police Story; Harry O; and Car 54, Where Are You?

John O’Leary gave yeoman service to Earth Prime-Time and never in such a way to conflict with the overview of Toobworld.  He blended in so well that we never had to consider theories to disable Zonks because he played too many characters who looked alike in the same series, let alone across the spectrum of TV genres.  (But do you really need one? You do?  Fine.  Every character played by John O’Leary in TV shows set in the present times was an alien from a world which had to depend on cloning to augment their population.  Happy now?)

But there were three separate roles he played in TV sitcoms which could be considered the same character.  He only played these roles in a single episode for each series, but that certainly doesn’t qualify him.  The rules stipulate that he should appear in three different shows, not how many times he played the role.

- On the Job: Part 1

... The Priest

Night Court
- The Cop and the Lady

... Father Ryan

In Case of Emergency
- Oh, Henry!

 ... Priest

It will be the contention of Toobworld Central that Mr. O’Leary was playing the same priest in all three episodes.  His name was Father Ryan and he had a gambling addiction which left him holding a 3C debt to Lou-Lou Pantusso the bookie.  Thanks to Tony Banta, Lou-Lou absolved him of the debt in exchange for his watch.

As the years passed, Father Ryan became too fanatic in his faith and took away the TV set belonging to some nuns because they used it to watch Fred Dryer as 'Hunter'.  He was even willing to go to jail over his principles… until Judge Harry Stone reminded him that Notre Dame would be playing that weekend.  Then he couldn’t return it fast enough.

Unfortunately I’ve never seen the other episode and it’s not available from YouTube or Daily Motion.  So I’m not sure how Father Ryan got mixed up with motley group of “friends”.  But here’s the IMDb plot summary:

Jason makes plans to throw his uncle under the bus to avoid a prison sentence. Meanwhile, Harry fools around with Jason's mother and Sherman finds solace in the arms of a stripper.  

I have no clue which of those sub-plots would work best for Father Ryan.  But if I had to guess?  Either Sherman runs into Father Ryan at the strip club, or maybe Jason turns to him for advice on his quandary.

He may have been born in New York City, but either way that was where he was assigned to a parish.  However, 18 years after we last saw him, Father Ryan was seen in Los Angeles.  This doesn’t disqualify him from being the same padre. Interacting with the main characters of that show only happened the once, so he could have been there  on vacation.  And if he was, say, the chaplain at the hospital where much of the action took place, well… it had been 18 years.  He may have moved during that time.  Not out of the realm of possibility.  Lieutenant Columbo moved to Los Angeles from New York.  So did the ‘Tonight’ show….

John O’Leary also played a priest in an episode of ‘Murder, She Wrote’, but I’m chalking that tele-padre up to a case of double vision.  Perhaps he had doppelganger.

As thanks for John O’Leary’s contributions to the world of the Toob, we induct Father Ryan into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame….