Monday, March 1, 2021

MARC,H 2021 TVXOHOF SHOWCASE - THE KING OF TALK

 


From CNN:
January 24, 2021
Larry King, the longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87.


THE CLOSER

King hosted "Larry King Live" on CNN for over 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show.


BOSTON LEGAL

A statement was posted on his verified Facebook account announcing his passing. His son, Chance, confirmed King's death Saturday morning.


BIG LOVE

"With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," the statement said.

UGLY BETTY

The Television Crossover Hall Of Fame has tried to format March as the month to celebrate members of the League of Themselves.  I’m blanking on who was originally slotted for induction this year, but considering the news….

LARRY KING

From Wikipedia:
Larry King (born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger; November 19, 1933 – January 23, 2021) was an American television and radio host, whose awards included two Peabodys, an Emmy and ten Cable ACE Awards. He hosted over 50,000 interviews.


FRASIER

King was a WMBM radio interviewer in the Miami area in the 1950s and 1960s, and gained prominence in 1978 as host of ‘The Larry King Show’, an all-night nationwide call-in radio program heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System.  

ARLISS

From 1985 to 2010, he hosted the nightly interview television program ‘Larry King Live’ on CNN. King hosted ‘Larry King Now’ from 2012 to 2020, which aired on Hulu, Ora TV, and RT America. He hosted ‘PoliticKING with Larry King’, a weekly political talk show, on the same three channels from 2013 to 2020.


King also appeared in television series and films, usually playing himself.



The King of Talk was a multiversal, appearing in not only TV shows, but also in movies as himself, on radio, and even in the universe of comic books.  (His comics counterpart fares better in the far future – he’s still on the job when Kitty Pryde grows up and runs for president.)



King is seen here with She-Hulk in the Comic Book Universe.  She will soon be seen on Disney+ in a new series starring Tatiana Maslany.  Sadly, too late to team up with one of King's alternate televersions. 

Within the greater TV Universe, Larry King was a multi-dimensional.  Many of his appearances were from Earth Prime-Time, the main Toobworld.  But he also has a presence in the Tooniverse and in two alternate Toobworlds as well.

In those cases where I couldn’t find the exact details of his involvement in a particular episode, it has been my “O’Bservation” that he was probably seen reporting and/or commenting on a high profile news story, or interviewing somebody who was involved.  (The plot summaries for most of those episodes usually dealt with a big murder trial storyline.)



So here are the appearances which qualified Larry King for membership in the TVXOHOF:

The Edge of Night
- Episode #1.6621 (1981)

O’Bservation - Larry King worked as a reporter in this episode, which was set in the Midwestern city of Monticello.  This was probably the first time his life in Earth Prime-Time deviated from his Earth Prime life, unless there was some spoken reference to the fictional version of his youth.

Murphy Brown
- Rootless People (1990)

O’Bservation - I’m assuming Larry covered Murphy’s kidnapping by environmentalists.


The Larry Sanders Show
- The P.A. (1995)

When he showed up to be a guest on the show, Larry kept mentioning the high caliber guests he had on his show – Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and Brando.




Coach
- Is It Hot in Here, or Is It Me?: Part 2 (1995)

Larry interviewed “Bullwinkle” about Hayden’s hot mike gaffe in the Orlando welcoming parade.



Murder One
- Chapter Twenty-One (1996)

King interviewed the prosecutor, Miriam Grasso, and the defense attorney, Teddy Hoffman, regarding the Neil Avedon case after he was found guilty of murdering Jessica Costello.



Murphy Brown
- Phil's Dead - Long Live Phil's (1996)

Larry paid tribute to Phil at his wake, held in his bar.



Bonnie
- Better Offer (1996)

O’Bservation – Based on the picture (if it actually had anything to do with the episode and wasn’t just a publicity photo), I’m guessing Larry King visited the TV station where Mark Derwin was playing the boss.


Arli$$
- The Real Thing (1997)

To promote a baseball player about to set a record, Arliss sets up a lot of former players to kick off the tour to Cooperstown in the cities where they played. He also got Larry King believing he would kick off the tour on his show.



Muppets Tonight
- Billy Crystal (1996)

Larry did a cameo as he tried to convince Bobo the security guard to let him into the theater.



Frasier
- My Fair Frasier (1997)

Larry King interviewed the woman Frasier was dating.

King:
We're here with noted attorney, Samantha Pierce, she's in Los Angeles to appear with us. Currently, she's trying a case in Seattle defending the butcher knife killer….
[Turns to Samantha Pierce]
Sam, I have to ask you. Don't you think being in the public eye, dating some of the world's most famous men, affects the way juries perceive you?
Sam:
Now, that's not really fair, Larry. I don't date public figures.
King:
What about the much-publicized relationship with Kevin Costner?
Sam:
Oh, that's just a rumor.
King:
George Stephanopoulos?
Sam:
A rumor too.
King:
Brad Pitt is another rumor?
Sam:
Yeah, but I started that one.


The Practice
- The Verdict (2002)

King interviewed Ellanor Frutt, who was defending her law associate Lindsay Dole on a charge of murder.

Everybody Loves Raymond
- The First Six Years (2002)

O’Bservation – This was a retrospective clip show and Larry King either hosted it or was one of the celebrities who commented on the series.


Arli$$
- Standards and Practices (2002)

Larry interviewed one of Arliss’ clients, who bared her breasts on national television.



Sesame Street
- Telly Joins the Letter of the Month Club (2004)
- Sesame Street Presents: The Street We Live On (2004)


Fat Actress
- Crack for Good (2005)

Kirstie Alley was hanging out with her parents while Larry King was on the TV.  What they didn’t know was that Larry was about to interview Kirstie’s crackhead brother about her.



Law & Order: Trial by Jury
- Day (2005)

In order to sway public opinion and perhaps influence a potential jury, a wealthy socialite hit the publicity trail in support of her son.  King was one of her “tour stops”.



Boston Legal
- Truly, Madly, Deeply (2005)

After deliberately shooting his client in both legs (because he didn’t want to defend an indigent who admitted to Denny that he did rape and kill a 13 year old girl and probably gave her AIDS as well), Denny appeared on Larry King’s show down in Washington to defend his actions.

Sesame Street
- Grouch Apprentice (2005)

O'Bservation - This was probably a spoof of the series which starred another TVXOHOF member, Donald Trump (April Fool inductee, 2009.)



Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Weeping Willow (2006)

After a staged kidnapping of a popular blogger went horribly wrong, Detectives Logan and Wheeler watched Larry King interview the blogger on the jumbo screen in Times Square.  



Shark
- Wayne's World 2: Revenge of the Shark (2007)

O’Bservation - I couldn’t find pictures or video of King on James Woods’ show, but I’m sure it was typical of his appearances on courtroom shows.  He would be seen doing his show and commenting on the big case of the episode.  But I did find this picture in which Jessica Devlin told Stark that she got a fruit basket from King.


The Closer
- Til Death Do Us Part: Part II (2007)

On his show, King interviewed California Representative Loretta Sanchez about a headline-making murder trial.



Ugly Betty
- The Kids Are Alright (2008)

Daniel Meade of Mode magazine appeared on the show during which he was ambushed with questions about his treatment of Wilhelmina Slater.



30 Rock
- Larry King (2009)

After an Asian economic meltdown, Tracy gave some irresponsible advice on "Larry King Live."



Big Love
- End of Days (2010)

King covered the breaking news of 118 inbred children rescued from a polygamist sect’s Kansas compound, taking callers’ questions.



Better with You
- Better with Dancing (2011)

Larry was staying at the hotel where Ben Coles was the manager.  He offered Ben a lot of good advice on making up with his girlfriend and getting back in the good graces of her parents.  He also requested a suspicious amount of towels to his room.



Murder in the First
- Family Matters (2014)

O’Bservation – Probably a check-in on the Blunt trial verdict.  Based on this frame grab, it looks as though he was arguing with someone involved with the case.


American Crime Story
- The Dream Team (2016)
- 100% Not Guilty (2016)
- A Jury in Jail (2016)
- Manna from Heaven (2016)

O’Bservation – This picture is from King’s actual “involvement” in the OJ murder case as seen on TV.  This time he had Faye Resnick, a friend of Nicole Brown Simpson, on his show.  (Connie Britton played Resnick.) Of the four episodes he did, the picture is from “100% Not Guilty”.

Is this guy drunk?  
What’s going on here?”

Maxxx
 - House Party (2020) 
- Sex, Love 'n' Lyrics (2020) 
- Showtime (2020) 
- Music Video (2020)
- Guess Who's Back? (2020)

ALTERNATE TOOBWORLD I

O’Bservation – This dimension is for all those sitcoms in which Rudy Giuliani, the established New York City mayor in both the Real World and Toobworld was replaced by Randall Winston.  (I don’t know yet if there were any other aberrations from the main Toobworld.)


Spin City
- An Affair to Remember (1997)

Alt-Larry was one of several celebrities who filmed videos to wish NYC Mayor Winston a happy 50th birthday.

ALTERNATE TOOBWORLD II

O’Bservation – In this dimension, there has been a long line of “sitcommander-in-chiefs” who have replaced the real Presidents over the years. It is distinct from that Toobworld of dramas which focused on fictional Presidents.


1600 Penn
- Marry Me, Baby (2013)

Larry interviewed President Gilchrist and the First Lady in the Oval Office on their fifth wedding anniversary, during which POTUS committed a gaffe by stating that weddings are stupid.

THE TOONIVERSE

 The Simpsons
- One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991)

King was heard as a book on tape narrator – I think of the Bible.


- Sideshow Bob Roberts (1994)


Arthur
- Elwood City Turns 100! (2002)

O’Bservation – There is some crossover between Toobworld and the Tooniverse.  Generally, the pen&ink characters cross over into the flesh&blood world, as it appears happened in this case.


Gravity Falls
- Headhunters (2012)
- Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls (2016)

O’Bservation – This was not the real Larry King, but an incredible wax simulation and he provided the voice….

Finally, here is Larry with a few fellow members of the TVXOHOF:



DON RICKLES
MEMORIAL TRIBUTE 2017

FRANK SINATRA
DECEMBER 2015
[100th BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE]


KERMIT THE FROG
PRE-1999 "PROTO-HALL" MEMBER

BETTY WHITE
[AS SEEN ON 'CONAN'] 
MARCH 2008


Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Mr. King.

Good night and may God bless….






Monday, February 8, 2021

MONDAY MEMORIAL TVXOHOF TRIBUTE - "WILD BILL" McKENZIE



From The Hollywood Reporter:
Hal Holbrook, the craftsman who reincarnated Mark Twain on stage and screen for more than six decades and also stood out as Abraham Lincoln and Deep Throat, two other American legends, has died. He was 95.

Holbrook died Jan. 23 in Beverly Hills, his personal assistant, Joyce Cohen, told The New York Times on Monday night.

A five-time Emmy winner, Holbrook was 82 when he became the oldest man (at the time) to receive an Oscar acting nomination when he was honored for his performance as a leatherwork expert in “Into the Wild” (2007).

The Cleveland native also was memorable as a Senate candidate in “Wild in the Streets” (1968); as the vigilante boss of police inspector Clint Eastwood in “Magnum Force” (1973); as a NASA exec who engineers a fake Mars landing in “Capricorn One” (1977); as a judge who takes matters into his own hands in ‘The Star Chamber” (1983); and as old-school stockbroker Lou Mannheim in “Wall Street” (1987).

Holbrook played Twain longer than Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who made Twain his pen name in 1863. He first appeared as the famed author and humorist in the late 1940s in a show for school groups; Holbrook’s first wife, Ruby, would ask questions of famous people in history, including Twain. He turned that into the one-man show, ‘Mark Twain Tonight!”, in the 1950s.

I would have liked to have honored his portrayal of Twain in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame; after all, Mark Twain is in the TVXOHOF, with his many recastings due to differing points of view.  But “Mark Twain Tonight!” is not of Earth Prime-Time but of Toobstage, that TV dimension of staged plays on television.  And that was with the understanding that it was Hal Holbrook playing the role (as established years earlier on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’.)  If Holbrook was eligible to enter the Hall as a member of the League of Themselves, I would certainly count that TV special among his qualifications.

O’BservationBy the way, the official representation of Mark Twain in the TVXOHOF gallery is of Jerry Hardin, Holbrook’s costar in “The Firm.”  He played Clemens in two episodes of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’.

But there are two characters played by Holbrook who are eligible for membership and I’ll be honoring him with a memorial tribute to one of them today….

WILLIAM “WILD BILL” McKENZIE

From Wikipedia:
Following [Raymond] Burr's death in 1993, Paul Sorvino and Hal Holbrook starred in the remaining four television films that aired from 1993 to 1995, playing lawyers Anthony Caruso and "Wild Bill" McKenzie respectively.



From The Desert News:
You just ship Perry out of town and replace him with "Wild Bill" McKenzie, Harley Davidson-riding attorney-turned-rancher. If this sounds ghoulish, NBC reminds us that Burr wanted the "Perry Mason" series of occasional made-for-TV movies to live on, so all his longtime co-stars and crew could still get a paycheck.

With TV movies, each production is counted separately, even when there is an umbrella title (as is the case here.)  On the other hand, all TV episodes are counted as one entity by the title of the series.

My Hall.  My rules.




So Wild Bill qualifies as he had three movies under the “A Perry Mason Mystery” title, thus qualifying him for membership in the TVXOHOF.  (Unlike Sorvino’s Caruso who only had the one outing.  Which is a shame, since in the Toobworld Dynamic, Anthony Caruso was Perry Mason’s bastard son.)

Here are the TV movies that gained entry for Wild Bill McKenzie:





A PERRY MASON MYSTERY -
THE CASE OF THE LETHAL LIFESTYLE

From the IMDb:
Bill McKenzie is a retired lawyer who prefers to spend time working on his ranch. But he occasionally takes on a case wherein the defendant is wrongfully convicted or falsely accused, and he's a friend of Perry Mason. Mason asks him to fill in for him at some thing wherein he is suppose to give a speech. At the thing are some important people including a chess master whom McKenzie knows. Also, there is a sleazy interviewer who is forcing the chess player to be on his show when he refused, and when the interviewer is found dead, the chess player is arrested, and McKenzie defends him. Della Street and Ken Malansky offer their assistance, and McKenzie tries to find out who had motive to kill the man.
&
When Perry is unable to deliver a speech at a conference he calls Bill McKenzie to offer him a hotel etc in exchange for delivering the work. Also at the hotel is filming for the newest episode of 'lifestyles of the wealthy and well-known' hosted by Adrian Lye. One of Lye's guests, and Bill's friend, Daniel Kingman (a famous chess player) is at the hotel and is being blackmailed by Lye. When he goes to Lye's room a fight ensues after which Lye is found poisoned to death. Bill defends Kingman while Ken Malansky goes after the 'waiter' seen delivering the poisoned drink to Lye's suite, assuming the drink was poisoned before delivery and not by Kingman.



A PERRY MASON MYSTERY -
THE CASE OF THE GRIMACING GOVERNOR

From the IMDb:
When gubernatorial candidate Harlan Richards is murdered, the suspicions fall on the incumbent Governor Ryan Allison but when he, too, is murdered the plot thickens.

Maverick lawyer Bill McKenzie returns to action defending the daughter of a disgraced politician. The politico was murdered, but his death was successfully made to appear as suicide. Several years later, his daughter finds herself suspected of murdering the Governor of the state, who she held responsible for her father's suicide through a political smear campaign.

Hal Holbrook is great in this role and the mystery, while engaging is rather disturbing as McKenzie probes layer upon layer of political corruption during his investigation. One can't help but wonder about the political repercussions after the smoke cleared. It might have made an interesting film on its own. The final revelation, while not surprising, is clever and ironic.



A PERRY MASON MYSTERY -
THE CASE OF THE JEALOUS JOKESTER


From the IMDb:
Bill McKenzie's niece works as a production assistant for controversial television personality Josie Joplin, who publicly accuses her of having an affair with her husband. One night McKenzie's niece receives a message which she believes is from Josie to go to her hotel room, when she gets there someone knocks her out and when she wakes up, Josie is dead and she's the number one suspect, so McKenzie defends her.

As I mentioned earlier, Hal Holbrook has two characters worthy of membership.  And while I am writing up that “induction ceremony” now, I will be saving it to be a monthly showcase in 2022.

Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Wild Bill.  


Good night and may God bless….