Friday, January 24, 2020


Last year we inducted Corporal Rocco Barbella into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as a Friday Hall of Famer, and for this month’s showcase, the Classic TV entry, we added Sgt. Ernie Bilko to kick off 2020.

It only seems fair that we now complete the show’s triumvirate of tricksters….


From Wikipedia:
While appearing on Broadway in “Stalag 17”, [Allan Melvin] got his break into television by getting the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw on the popular ‘The Phil Silvers Show’ program. U.S. Television fans of this era usually best remember his role as Henshaw, Sgt. Bilko’s right-hand man on that show.

“He was proudest of that show,” Amalia Melvin said. “I think the camaraderie of all those guys made it such a pleasant way to work. They were so relaxed.”  

Allan Melvin, who played Henshaw, was not involved in the original pilot “The New Recruits.”  Jack Warden played Corporal Henshaw in that.

I’m assuming based on his listing in the IMDb that Warden's first name was not mentioned in the pilot.  And even if it was, I doubt that it’s that unique a name; I’m sure there could be plenty of Steve Henshaws around the country.

Since the motor pool was made up of soldiers from all around the country, I don’t see how it would be that unusual to not only have two soldiers named Henshaw, even Steve Henshaw, and not only that, but that they would both attain the rank of corporal.

That aside, it does mean that Melvin’s Henshaw is lacking one-third of his requirement to join the TV Crossover Hall of Fame....  Officially.

Luckily for us, Allan Melvin was a prolific performer in television; in fact, it looks as though he was so busy that he only could fit in two movie roles – in “With Six You Get Eggroll” and as the voice of “H.R. Pufnstuf”, replacing Lennie Weinrib.

Melvin made several appearances on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ as various characters, all but two of whom had names.  One of those exceptions was “Recruiting Sergeant” in the episode “Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army.”

I always love when an unnamed character is able to come to my rescue when I’m in need of a “splainin to do” to conflate two characters into one.

I’m making the claim that Melvin’s recruiting sergeant was Steve Henshaw.  We know it can’t be Sgt. Charley Hacker, Sgt. Vince Carter’s rival, because he was in the Marine Corp. It’s right there in the title of the show: ‘Gomer Pyle, USMC’.  And the title of this TAGS episode makes it clear that the sergeant is recruiting for the Army.

It’s nice to think that Henshaw eventually was promoted and the Army found a good use for his persuasive con man skills.

There is another possible candidate however – “Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo.” from that eponymous episode of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’.  But that can be easily challenged – good old “Horseface” visited the Petries in 1961 and by then he had been out of the Army for some time.   He couldn’t have been a recruitment officer in 1963.

Four actors whose characters
are now in the TVXOHOF:
Harvey Lembeck, Allan Melvin, Phil Silvers
from 'The Phil Silvers Show
and Dick Van Dyke for
Dr. Mark Sloan of 'Diagnosis Murder' &
Rob Petrie of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

I am partial to a theory of “relateeveety” in which Steve Henshaw, Charley Hacker, and Harrison B. Harding are the euphemistic kind of “identical cousins”.  In their case, they weren’t actual cousins like Cathy and Patty; “identical cousins” is just a polite way of saying they were all  half-brothers, each with a different mother.

Who knows?  Maybe their father (who probably looked like Allan Melvin as well) had a thing for women whose married names began with “H”?

I wouldn't be surprised if Archie Bunker's friend Barney Hefner was another twin brother from a different mother!

None of that counts toward Henshaw’s qualifications for TVXOHOF membership, of course. Just adds a bit of supposition flavoring….

Here are the roles which “qualify” Cpl. Henshaw for induction into the Hall:

The Phil Silvers Show
143 episodes

Keep in Step (TV Movie)
Cpl Steve Henshaw

The Andy Griffith Show
- Ernest T. Bass Joins the Army

Recruiting Sergeant

Welcome to the Hall, Corporal -# I mean, Sergeant Henshaw.  I’m sure you’ll find your old cronies in a game down in the rec room…..

Cpl. Henshaw is a multiversal.
Here he is in a cigarette print ad.

Thursday, January 23, 2020



During a power struggle between two dueling owners of a small circus, the top clown in the company was doing his routine using a gun filled with blanks.  However, the gun shot one of the circus owners dead and it was witnessed by everyone in the audience – including Perry Mason, Della Street, and even Lt. Arthur Tragg.

That clown was Felix Heidemann, but thanks to being represented by Mason, the charges against him were dropped and the real murderer was exposed.

And we have a theory of relateeveety for Felix!


Dr. Edmund Heidemann, one of the leading researchers in developing a drug to help lessen the chance for a human body to reject a transplanted organ.  Dr. Heidemann was not obsessed with finishing  before any of their rivals in order to reap the praise.

However, his junior partner on the project, Dr. Barry Mayfield, lusted for the acclaim and he wanted the sole credit.  But Heidemann wouldn’t budge on declaring the project as complete so Mayfield plotted to kill his senior partner. 

Luckily for Dr. Heidemann, Lt. Columbo proved Mayfield was plotting to kill him which saved Heidemann's life.

Here’s the theory of relateeveety: Edmund and Felix Heidemann were brothers.  True, there are seventeen years separating them, with Edmund being the elder, but that isn’t surmountable.  There’s thirteen years between me and my baby sister; in fact, I was old enough to be her godfather!

There is one catch.  Dr. Heidemann received a telegram from his German rival and the surname was spelled with only one “n” at the end of the name.

However, I’ve got some splainin to do….

It’s simply a typo, perhaps based on Dr I.C. Brechman knowing somebody who spells the name as “Heideman”.

And I should point out that in the IMDb, both characters have their family name spelled with two “n”’s.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020


HUGE thanks to my brother Bill for pointing this out to me – that diner patron sitting behind “Pete Nocchio”?  He was played by Carlos Carrasco, who played Ortiz in the movie “Speed”.

Now of course, “Speed” is in the Cineverse, but every so often Toobworld absconds with a film and absorbs it into Earth Prime-Time.  (I don’t think I can fit any more “abs” words into that sentence.  Has ‘Jeopardy!’ ever had a “Nice ABS” category?)

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  “Speed”, TV.

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be in the Cineverse anymore.  Just that TV has always had their own versions of hit movies for the small screen.  Sometimes with some of the cast members from the movie, like Gary Burghoff of ‘M*A*S*H’ fame, and Yul Brynner in ‘The King And I’.

Back in the 1950s, I think it was 20th Century Fox who had an anthology series dedicated to remaking their big movies in a condensed form, again with some of the original cast members.  (A&E ran the syndicated episodes about ten or fifteen years ago.)

Well, why not accept that even though we may not see it play out, movies as they were meant to be – scene by scene the same, with no recastaways – exist in Toobworld as well.

It’s not a blanket absorption of theatrical movies; Toobworld Central would consider them on a case by case basis.  Any movie that was remade for television (“Double Indemnity”, “Miracle On Thirty-Fourth Street” - twice over!) or adapted as a TV series would have to remain in the Cineverse.

A lot of my crossoverist comrades accept a mixture of movies and TV shows already, and I love what I’ve read of their works. (Some even accept the printed word; I have to remain guarded on that.  Too many discrepancies.)

But in this case, I see nothing wrong with accepting “Speed” into Earth Prime-Time. Nothing in the movie contradicts what is established in the main Toobworld – no alternate POTUS, no destruction of the world, etc.

As such, I then have no problem with considering this diner patron to be Ortiz.

I believe we have a candidate for the 2020 Toobits Awards in the Best Theoretical Crossover Between Movie and Commercial…..

Again, thanks to Bill O'Brien for bringing this to my attention.  I never would have remembered him from the movie.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020


The CW show runners for “Crisis On Infinite Earths” threw in a lot of televersions for DC Comics characters into the mix to represent the expansive stakes of the Multiverse.  Most of them were already established in other shows and movies and thus most of them were the major players.

But in the final episode of the mini-series, passed off as an episode of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, they needed a villain with magical abilities in order to have a way for Beebo to once more rear his furry blue head.

And so they tossed Sargon the Sorceror into the stew.

It was just an introductory cameo for the character, played by Raul Herrera, but he’ll be back in this season’s ninth episode (according to the IMDb.)

Here’s what the Arrowverse Wiki had to say for Sargon’s appearance in the mini-series:
"Sargon the Sorcerer" is an otherwise unnamed criminal and sorcerer who formerly operated in Star City.

In January 2020, Sargon created a giant Beebo out of a magical substance to act as a distraction for him to rob a bank, but was discovered by the Flash and White Canary, who knocked him out and presumably sent him to prison.

Wikipedia had more about his televersion:
Sargon the Sorcerer appears in the fifth part of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event portrayed by Raúl Herrera. He was seen committing a heist while using an illusion of a giant Beebo as a diversion. When Supergirl, Batwoman, Flash, Sara Lance, Atom, and Heat Wave fought the giant Beebo, they found it wasn't real when they tried to trip it with some cable wire. Flash and Sara were able to find Sargon the Sorcerer in the middle of his heist. Before knocking out Sargon the Sorcerer, Sara stated that Beebo is off limits. Once that was done, the giant Beebo illusion disappeared.

Sargon serves as a good example of why I don’t like to blend “literary” sources into Toobworld.  The biggest problem has been from tie-in novels, especially for ‘Star Trek’, which don’t take into account details from other writers.

And the same holds true for comic books. Look at all the variations in the life of the Joker.  You don’t even have to include the movie or cartoon versions.  Look at the liberties taken in the 1966 ‘Batman’ as well as in ‘Gotham’.

We have yet to see more of Sargon’s story in ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’, but I doubt it will be filled with as much background detail as found in the comics.

More from Wikipedia:
Sargon the Sorcerer is a name used by multiple characters in the comics, namely John Sargent and his descendants, as magic-users and stage magicians.

Sargon the Sorcerer is a fictional character, a mystic, superhero and sorcerer appearing in DC Comics publications during the Golden Age. The original Sargon first appeared in All-American Comics #26, (May 1941), and was created by John B. Wentworth and Howard Purcell. The modern Sargon first appears in Helmet of Fate: Sargon #1 (April 2007) and was created by Steve Niles and Scott Hampton.

The name Sargon is of Mesopotamian origin, and one king of Akkad and two of Assyria bore this name.

Taking his professional name from the ancient king of the same name, Sargon has had a checkered career, acting mostly as a hero during the Golden Age aided by his cartoonish fat little comic relief sidekick / manager Maximillian O'Leary as he battled crooks, spies and his azure-skinned archenemy the Blue Lama, the Queen of Black Magic, but re-emerging in the Silver Age – as a villain, at least at first. It was later explained that his villainous activities were the result of certain side effects of possessing the Ruby of Life.

He was brought back for occasional guest appearances in the Silver Age and was awarded with an honorary membership in the Justice League in Justice League of America #99.

Sargon maintained contacts with several other mages in the DC Universe, notably Baron Winters, Zatara (a fellow faux stage magician), and the younger mage John Constantine. Sargon answered the summons of Constantine to participate in a ritual at the mansion of Winters to help deal with the effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, using the Swamp Thing as their portal into the war being fought in Hell.

Locking hands in a circle of power, and using the psychic powers of Constantine's drunken acquaintance Mento, the group of sorcerers (which also included Zatara's daughter Zatanna) observed the events unfolding, and attempted in turn to channel their magical powers into several other mystical characters present in Hell, including Etrigan, the original Doctor Fate, and the Spectre.

Their enemy, a primal form of evil (called the Great Evil Beast) that was surging upwards to obliterate everything in its path, sensed their interference and lashed out several times; its power raced around the circle, finding a weak link and incinerating it.

The first to fall was Sargon. At first panicking and crying out for the others to help him, and almost pulling his hands away from the circle, Sargon was rebuked by Zatara to maintain his composure and die like a sorcerer. In a final act of will, Sargon apologized for his outburst, calmly sat in place and was burned alive without a whimper, never letting go of his colleagues' hands the entire time. This ritual also kills Zatara and drives Mento completely insane.

That story alone would make for a great episode!I

At any rate, I wonder if there will be any mention of Sargon once being a good guy and working with superheroes in the past.  However the divergence between the DC comics universe and the CW’s “Arrowverse” is vast.  I’m sure there will be no mention of any superheroes in Sargon’s past because the Arrowverse isn’t that deep with superheroes from before ‘Arrow’ came along.

But this story could be adapted to fit the Arrowverse version of the DC Universe.  They have John Constantine already and this season marks the exits of Ray Palmer and Nora Dahrk.  So maybe Constantine and Nora with Sargon and a few others recreate that circle of power.  Sargon burns up and perhaps so does Nora.  At a loss, Ray walks away from being a Legend.

It would also be a way to bring one of my favorite DC characters, Dr. Fate, into the Arrowverse.

But that is all wish-craft on my part.  We shall see what we shall view.


Monday, January 20, 2020


So the CW mega-crossover of their DC Comics’ super-hero shows, “Crisis On Infinite Earths” is over and the over-riding maxim held true; “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

After all the sturm and drang about how this might affect the Toobworld Dynamic, even though none of those (current) shows took place in the fictional TV dimension of which I’m most concerned, that of Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld, by the end the Multiverse was returned.

There were a few changes of course.  All of the CW shows now exist on one world which they call Earth Prime.  (That’s from their perspective.  Forgive them, they don’t know any better.  LOL)  So ‘Black Lightning’ and ‘Supergirl’ no longer exist on their separate worlds but will now be able to cross over with ‘The Flash’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ (and even ‘Arrow’ until this final season is officially over) without all of that metaphysical hoo-hah of dealing with dimensional vortexes.

But during the winter break, I was ready to hang up my spurs as the Caretaker of Toobworld because of the implications from the destruction of the Multiverse.  My feeble splainin that the Anti-Monitor was not that powerful and only destroyed a relatively small portion of all those dimensions wasn’t that strong.

I was however ready to claim that even if they came back with just the one Earth (one that might include the shows from the DCU streaming service – ‘The Doom Patrol’ and ‘The Teen Titans’ and the upcoming ‘Stargirl’ – even if they never crossed over), they weren’t so all-knowing.  They would have no idea that Toobworld was out there and that’s why they felt secure in dubbing their own world “Earth Prime”.  I’m sure all of the other Earths see themselves as being Numero Uno as well.

Here’s what I wrote in response to my Crossoverist friends in the FB page about the Television Crossover Universe:

Well for me, Earth Prime is our world and Earth Prime-Time is the main Toobworld where almost all TV shows take place, including the original ‘Flash’, ‘The Adventures of Superman’, ‘Wonder Woman’, and ‘Batman’ ‘66 took place. If there has to be a numbering system, that’s Earth 1.

But I can be “diplomatic” - they can continue to think of their Earth Prime as Earth 1 (means the same thing) while my Earth Prime-Time is Earth A.

Sound familiar? I call it the Bender Solution. LOL

As for all those movie worlds that were brought in, I’m leaving them in their various incarnations of the Cineverse. Not my bailiwick. But obviously there must be a greater mosaic bringing in all of those other universes where they could cross over.

Otherwise I had no problem with their distribution/numbering of worlds. Let their Dick Grayson be on Earth 66; he’s still just a döppelganger for the original on Earth Prime-Time.

So Toobworld still exists… not that I will be probably doing too much with it anymore.

The output of new TV shows has grown exponentially with all of these new streaming services and cable networks, more than I can handle.  It would probably have been more than I could have handled when the flame of enthusiasm burned bright for my work as a telly archivist and crossoverist.

I see myself more as a Sherlock Holmes in that it’s time for me to retire from those duties and move to my version of Sussex.  In my case, “Sussex” is my fictional “realm” of the Connecticut village of Wayside and the other villages within Midwich County.  There I have total control over the characters. (Well, almost total control; I have brought in a few literary fictionals from other sources… mostly free from copyright concerns.)

At least with Wayside, Connecticut, I won’t have to bend over backwards to come up with those pesky “splainins” to make the TV Universe’s cohesiveness logical… at least to me.

Hmmm....  Holmes retired to Sussex to tend to his bees.  I think that's what Wayside needs... a beekeeper.

I’ll still be posting here on occasion.  I don’t plan to give up adding new members into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame every Friday with a dozen big monthly showcases every year.  And when something strikes my fancy otherwise, I’ll dash something off.

And I still have O'Bservations to make about the "Crisis on Infinite Earths".  I'll get around to them eventually.....


If you're interested, I've been putting the first drafts of my Wayside stories on Facebook in the "Wayside, Connecticut" page.  Like I said, they're just the first drafts and you may find discrepancies in other stories as you go along because I've since changed various aspects like names, dates, etc.

If you enjoy them, thank you.  I hope you'll hit the Like button often.  If you don't, feel free to send me a message with your observations and critiques.  I'm sure it will hurt, but I want to improve my experience in writing them as well as yours in reading them.

And hopefully, you'll like the entire page so that my base of Wayside tourists continues to grow.

Which reminds me.  I need a good collective term for the base.  I was using "Tourists", but that's a bit meh.  "Waysiders"?  "Side-Seers"?

Any ideas?  Let me know!