Tuesday, December 7, 2021


I thought (foolishly) that we might be able to sneak out of 2021 without adding any more memorial inductions into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame. 


From CNN:
(CNN) - Bob Dole, a Republican Party stalwart and presidential hopeful who espoused a brand of plain-spoken conservativism as one of Washington's most recognizable political figures throughout the latter half of the 20th century, died Sunday.

"Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years," according to a statement from his family.  He had announced in February that he was being treated for advanced lung cancer. President Joe Biden visited Dole shortly after learning of the diagnosis.

Dole, who was seriously wounded during World War II, had suffered a series of health ailments in previous years. In 1991, he received surgery for prostate cancer, received abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery in 2001, was hospitalized in 2005 after a fall in his home and was treated for a leg infection in 2009.

Dole is survived by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and daughter Robin Dole. 


From Wikipedia:
Robert Joseph Dole (July 22, 1923 – December 5, 2021) was an American politician and attorney who represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996. He was the Republican Leader of the United States Senate during the final 11 years of his tenure, including three nonconsecutive years as Senate Majority Leader. Prior to his 27 years in the Senate, he served in the United States House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969. Dole was also the Republican presidential nominee in the 1996 election and the vice presidential nominee in the 1976 election.

President Gerald Ford chose Dole as his running mate in the 1976 election after Vice President Nelson Rockefeller withdrew from seeking a full term. Ford was defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter in the general election. Dole sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, but quickly dropped out of the race. He experienced more success in the 1988 Republican primaries but was defeated by Vice President George H. W. Bush. Dole won the Republican nomination in 1996 and selected Jack Kemp as his running mate. The Republican ticket lost in the general election to Clinton, making Dole the first unsuccessful major party nominee for both president and vice president. He resigned from the Senate during the 1996 campaign and did not seek public office again after the election.

Dole remained active after retiring from public office. He appeared in numerous commercials and television programs and served on various councils. In 2012, Dole unsuccessfully advocated Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He initially supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primaries, but later became the only former Republican presidential nominee to endorse Donald Trump in the general election. Dole was a member of the advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and special counsel at the Washington, D.C., office of law firm Alston & Bird. On January 17, 2018, Dole was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. He was married to former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.

Dole passed away in his sleep on December 5, 2021.

As Senator Dole would have said, “Bob Dole is a multidimensional of the TV Universe.”  He was represented in Earth Prime-Time, the Tooniverse, Skitlandia, and an alternate Toobworld to be determined later.  Here are the shows in which he portrayed himself:


Tanner '88
- The Dark Horse (1988)

Fellow campaigner Dole chatted with Tanner and his daughter.

Murphy Brown
- All the Life That's Fit to Print (1993)

The Senator was one of those who were interviewed for a book about Murphy Brown.

Saturday Night Live – the actual episode
- Robert Downey Jr/Fiona Apple (1996)

Norm MacDonald tried to cajole Dole into running for office again because it would be good for his own career.  (O'Bservation: Bob Dole serves as a good example that 'Saturday Night Live' fed three different fictional TV dimensions as will be shown.)

The X-Files
- Wetwired (1996)

Dole and Pat Buchanan appeared in recorded news coverage on a videotape which Special Agent Scully was watching.

Suddenly Susan
- The Me Nobody Nose (1997)

Dole was already in an elevator when Jack and Nestor entered.

Plus there were the TV blipverts in which he appeared as a member of the League of Themselves interspersed through the 1990s and beyond which displayed his serlinguistic skills:

TV commercial for Visa (1996)

TV commercials for Viagra (late 1990's)

TV commercial for Pepsi (2001)

Public service announcement for USA Freedom Corps (2002)


Saturday Night Live – the sketches

The 25 sketches with Norm McDonald playing Bob Dole and the five earlier sketches in which Dan Aykroyd portrayed the Senator from Kansas became part of Skitlandia as soon as they aired.  In my opinion, the best for MacDonald was when Dole was one of the roommates for ‘The Real World’.  With Aykroyd, it was the 1988 Republican candidates debate.  (“George, how would you like me to stick this pen in your neck?”)

Not Necessarily The News

Archival footage was used for humor.


The Simpsons
Treehouse of Horror VII

Kang and Kodos impersonate Clinton and Dole so that one of them will gain control of the United States.

Saturday Night Live 
TV Funhouse

Animation is added to the audio from one of the debates between Dole and Clinton.

I would never have wanted Dole in the White House and yet here I am, post-Drumpf, thinking he was at least reasonable.  I’m sorry he supported Orange Gasbag in 2016, and I hope he saw the error of his ways in 2020.  But I admired how he was able to compromise and work with the other side while he was in Congress.

Thank you for your service, Sir, and welcome to the Hall of Fame.

Sunday, December 5, 2021


I can't tell you how chuffed I am that other people get the Toobworld concept.  There's hope for the future!

I've got a special guest appearance lined up for today, thanks to Jeremy Kreuzer.  In fact, this post has inspired me to add Jerry Seinfeld to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for 2022!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did....

Hi Toby, 

I’m a longtime reader of the Toobworld blog. As a huge fan of interconnected universes, the connections and crossovers established within the Toobworld dynamic are always a delight to read. I’ve actually written to you once before years ago, asking for your thoughts on shows’ differing interpretations of the Kennedy assassination. This time, I had some theorizing of my own I was hoping to share. 

While reading some older posts on the blog, I came to realize that Jerry Seinfeld had made quite a few appearances on other television shows while ‘Seinfeld’ was on the air. Unfortunately, this usually was accompanied by zonks of all sorts. Jerry is referred to as an actor and having a show, complete strangers know who his friends are, and other characters even submit scripts for the series.

In most cases, Toobworld has a coverall explanation for such zonks: everyone has a television show based upon their lives, even if we don’t see it. However, ‘Seinfeld’ is unique in that we actually do see such a television adaptation integrated into its ongoing plot. And it’s a plot point that the pilot for ‘Jerry’ was never developed into a full show while ‘Seinfeld’ was on air. I wondered, then, how appearances contemporaneous to Seinfeld’s original run could be dezonked. After some digging, I think I may have a thorough “splainin”. 

It all begins in September of 1992, when Jerry is approached by NBC to develop a pilot for them.1 He and George spend the next few months working on a pilot script for the network. Meanwhile, Paul Buchman has been subletting his apartment to Kramer, but is spurred by his wife to give up his old residence and turn over the apartment. While meeting with Kramer, he asks what happened to the Jerry living across the hall. When told about Jerry’s pilot, he is skeptical that it will succeed.

In February of 1993, Jerry goes to Los Angeles, possibly for an appearance on a late night talk show. While in a CBS back lot, he is nearly run over by the crew of the WKRP radio station in Cincinnati, who were themselves in L.A. to develop a sitcom about their own lives. Mr. Carlson recognizes Jerry (presumably from his standup) and has Frank film him. Jerry flirtatiously introduces himself to Mona, claiming he has ‘a show’ – a slight exaggeration when in truth he has but a work-in-progress pilot.

Over the next few months the pilot is completed and filmed. ‘Jerry’ airs that spring, but never gets off the ground due to the incoming head of NBC passing on the project.4 

Despite this, the pilot is a hit with viewers who appreciate the unique approach of ‘a show about nothing’. The news that the massively popular pilot would not be proceeding to a full series is upsetting to its loyal fan base. Some fans reach out to Jerry and push him to pitch the series elsewhere, many of them sending their own scripts for consideration as well. That summer, Jerry is convinced that there may be some future for the show. After the hectic writing partnership he experienced with George, however, he opts to look elsewhere for a co-writer. 

Enter Larry David, a fellow comedian with some television credits to his name already. Hoping that his bit of professional experience might help get the series off the ground, Jerry enlists Larry to help develop new scripts for a potential second pilot at a new network. 

Writer Andrew Barton is among those to have watched the ‘Jerry’ pilot, and an interest is sparked to write a spec script for the aborted show. In December of 1993 he spends time at the Blue Shamrock bar/restaurant working on the script, which features Kramer sleeping with Elaine. With only a pilot to work off of, the characters haven’t been too defined, and he’s not sure if the plot is plausible. Nonetheless, he finishes the script and sends it to Jerry and Larry. Initially unimpressed, upon further consideration they decide to give the spec another look.

Ultimately, the endeavor doesn’t go anywhere. Shortly thereafter, Jerry and Larry tired of rejections from television networks and the overwhelming barrage of scripts. They finally retire the ‘Jerry’ project and go their separate ways.

Regardless, Jerry and his pilot retain some level of notoriety. In May of 1997, his popularity is recognized by WNYX broadcaster Bill McNeal, who cajoles Jerry into an interview. Bill has ‘seen [Jerry] on TV’, and refers to him as an actor and ‘a big Hollywood star’, apparently unaware that the ‘Jerry’ pilot was filmed in New York.6

In May of 1998, yet another new NBC president expresses interest in reviving ‘Jerry’ (in part inspired by the cult following the pilot had amassed), but a chain of events winds up leaving Jerry sentenced to a year in prison.7 Fortunately, this conviction is overturned by his lawyer Jackie Chiles, who successfully argues for a mistrial due to the blatant improper character evidence presented by the prosecution. 

Jerry is back in New York by September of 1998, where he briefly runs into Paul Buchman, who is under the effects of Viagra at the time. Paul’s opinion of Jerry’s work has risen since his dismissal of Jerry’s pilot in 1993 (and seemingly untainted by Jerry’s recent conviction), and attempts to get Jerry’s autograph.8

A free man, Jerry is happy to learn that NBC still has interest in his show – Jerry and the gang’s high profile incident in Latham, Massachusetts, led to massive publicity and interest in ‘the New York four’. Hoping to distance himself from the group that helped land him in jail, Jerry once again exchanges George for Larry to help produce the show.  Significantly, the original cast of the pilot sans Jerry is replaced with Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards. 

The rest is history. With the newly retitled ‘Seinfeld’ hitting the waves in 1999, it becomes a cultural touchstone that many other characters would reference. Despite its success, it enjoyed only a brief run. Shortly thereafter, Larry David was no longer working on ‘Seinfeld’.

So that’s my theory. Admittedly a bit long, but I was determined to be thorough, ha-ha. If you find it useful, I would be honored if it became the official Toobworld ‘splainin. At any rate, it’s a plot bunny that needed to come out in some form, so thanks for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see what other fascinating ideas Toobworld might have in store. 


Shows Cited 


                1The Pitch (1992) 

                4The Pilot (1993) 

                7The Finale (1998) 

 ‘Mad About You’ 

                2The Apartment (1992) 

                8Season Opener (1998) 

 ‘The New WKRP in Cincinnati’ 

                3Johnny Goes to Hollywood (1993)

 ‘Love & War’

                5Let’s Not Call it Love (1993)


                6The Real Deal (1997)

 9’Curb Your Enthusiasm’

O'Bservation time....

I think Jeremy has done a great job in delineating what would be pertinent for Earth Prime-Time only.  I would add a post-script though, one in which Jerry doesn't take more of an active part than in making the series' finale....

'Dharma & Greg'
"Much Ado During Nothing"

From the IMDb:
Greg discovers why Dharma is so eager to 'do it' with him in weird, dangerous, public places: it's a contest with Jane, the winner is awarded the duck (actually a goose), just one of many silly rules. Still Greg decides to help her win the duck back when told doing it with a dull guy like him was worth a bonus. They get arrested, but are released without bail by cop Mel, an old friend of the Finkelsteins. Greg reasons the safest time is during the last episode of 'Seinfeld', when all San Francisco will be watching inside. However, enlisting Pete to give instructions by walkie-talkie is just the lead Jane needs, and she first tricks the Montgomerys to come to the steps of the courthouse....

Of course, it did not go well.  That's what keeps sitcoms going.....

Like I said, Jeremy did a great job remaining true to the main Toobworld.  So this is just an O'Bservation from another dimension:

'Saturday Night Live'
Season 25, Episode 1

Jerry hosted this episode of the comedy warhorse - which takes place in the main Toobworld as well as in the Trueniverse.  But there was a filmed sketch which parodied HBO's 'Oz,' showing what happened when Jerry served his year in jail.  That happened in Skitlandia.  (Here is the transcript.)

However, Tele-Jerry may have told the televersions of the show's writers about his experiences in prison and so they wrote the sketch based on that.  In which case, 'Oz' is a TV show from another dimension; or has a TV show based on the 'real life' situations there; and if so, Jerry actually spent time there.

Thanks for the special guest appearance, Jeremy!  Happy holidays and all the best for 2022!