Friday, May 27, 2022

MEMORIAL TVXOHOF TRIBUTE INDUCTION - REMEMBERING RAY LIOTTA



Ray Liotta:
Everyone thinks I'm like my character in “Goodfellas”,
but in real life, I'm more like my character
in “Operation Dumbo Drop”.

From Wikipedia:
Raymond Allen Liotta (December 18, 1954 – May 26, 2022) was an American actor and producer. He was known for playing Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams” (1989), Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” (1990), and Tommy Vercetti in the video game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” (2002).

Liotta's other roles included Ray Sinclair in “Something Wild” (1986), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, as well as starring in “Unlawful Entry” (1992), “Cop Land” (1997), “Hannibal” (2001), “Blow” (2001), “John Q” (2002), “Identity” (2003), “Observe and Report” (2009), “Killing Them Softly” (2012), “The Place Beyond the Pines” (2012), “Marriage Story” (2019) and “The Many Saints of Newark” (2021), as well as the drama series ‘Shades of Blue’ (2016–2018).

From The Hollywood Reporter:
Ray Liotta, the intense actor from New Jersey best known for his turn as the hustler turned mob rat Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas”, has died. He was 67.

Publicist Jennifer Allen told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor died Wednesday night or early Thursday in his sleep in his hotel room while in the Dominican Republic making the movie “Dangerous Waters”. His fiancĂ©e, Jacy Nittolo, was with him. He had begun work on the film about a week ago.


Whenever Liotta did show up as himself in various TV shows, I’d mark it for future use in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, always thinking there was plenty of time to get around to inducting him as a member of the League of Themselves.  

Never thought that time would come up so quickly.  He was so young!  (Full disclosure – my opinion is skewed because I’m basically the same age.)

And so, here we are….

RAY LIOTTA

Here are the shows which not only qualified him for membership in the TVXOHOF, but which showed him as a multidimensional:


Just Shoot Me!
- Christmas? Christmas! (2001)
Maya meets a handsome celebrity who loves Christmas even more than her, to the point of obsession.  


(Ray Liotta's apartment is 1225 [the date of Christmas] which adds to his obsession of the holiday.)


- Liotta? Liotta! (2002)
Ray Liotta is back and he's obsessed with Maya. He even vows to give up show business for her, but can't adjust to normal life.

O'Bservation: How many stars can claim that their name is part of an episode title?

Ray Liotta:
I don't want to be a celebrity anymore.
I just want to do boring, ordinary boyfriend stuff.

Nina Van Horn:
You're a moron, Ray.
Ray Liotta:
This is great.
Just a couple of regular people calling each other morons.


Saturday Night Live
- Episode dated 18 January 2003



Hosted, with The Donnas as musical guest (2003)
O’Bservation: SNL has a televersion and even exists in the Comic Book Universe.

The View
- Episode dated 26 September 2006

O’Bservation: The televersion of ‘The View’ is a member of the TVXOHOF, so it’s one of only a few talk shows which are allowed to be included in an inductee’s tally.



Modern Family
- Playdates (2016)
Haley, Alex and Luke are surprised when Uncle Mitchell comes over to cash in on the birthday coupon they gave him for a belated present.  The Dunphy kids make a last-minute birthday surprise for Mitchell, and run into Ray Liotta. [IMDb]



Great News
- Early Retirement (2018)
Diana St. Tropez returns with good news for "The Breakdown" staff: Fenton Pelt has agreed to drop his lawsuit on the condition that Chuck Pierce deliver a humiliating on-air apology and resign from news forever. Chuck, defeated, agrees, until Portia reminds him why he got into journalism in the first place. With Chuck's final broadcast approaching, Katie convinces Carol to reunite for one last job, and they race against the clock to find the one person in New Jersey who could disprove Fenton Pelt's claims and save the show. [Great News Wiki]

And to qualify to be a multidimensional, Liotta made it into….

THE TOONIVERSE


Phineas and Ferb
- What a Croc! (2012)
Liotta was a friend of Francis Monogram at The Academy and he owed the Major a favor.  He filled in for Major Monogram in giving Perry the Platypus his mission.

Welcome to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Ray.
I wish it was under better circumstances.
Good night and may God bless….


Ray Liotta:
Remember in "Hannibal" when Hannibal
made me eat my own brain?
This is worse.
Because it's not my brain this time, Maya.
It's my real heart.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

TVXOHOF QUEEN OF THE MAY, 2022 - OLIVE RUDGE

 
From Wikipedia:
Ann Harrison McCall (19 September 1936 – 22 February 2022), professionally known as Anna Karen, was a British actress best known for playing Olive Rudge in the sitcom ‘On the Buses’ (1969–1973) and she also reprised the role of Olive Rudge in ‘The Rag Trade’ from 1977 to 1978.

From The Guardian:
The actor Anna Karen, who has died in a house fire aged 85, was already appearing in a TV sitcom, ‘Wild, Wild Women’, as one of the workers in a millinery sweatshop, in 1969 when she was cast in another, in the role for which she is best remembered – Olive Rudge in the bawdy but hugely popular ‘On the Buses’.

The writing team of Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, who created both programmes, conceived Olive as the dowdy, put-upon wife of the idle Arthur (played by Michael Robbins). They would appear alongside Reg Varney as Olive’s brother, the bus driver Stan Butler, Bob Grant as his conductor, Jack, Stephen Lewis as their boss, Inspector “Blakey” Blake, and Doris Hare as Olive and Stan’s domineering mother.


Sadly, it seems like every other month this year, the inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame has been a memorial tribute – Rose Nylund for Betty White (who was already inducted as herself years ago), Louie Anderson as himself, and now Olive Rudge, as a salute to Anna Karen, the actress who portrayed her.

OLIVE RUDGE
QUEEN OF MAY

From the "On The Buses" Wiki:
Olive (Rudge) Butler (Anna Karen) is one of the main characters of the television series. She is Stan's sister. In all but the last series and a few individual episodes in other series, Olive hangs around the home all day in her dressing gown, until she divorces Arthur in the last series of the show and gets a job as a conductor ('clippie') on the buses.

She is married to Arthur Rudge until the final series of the show. Arthur constantly insults her as well as the other members of her family especially Stan Butler, and his best friend Jack Harper who make nasty jibes at Olive Rudge as well as when and before she became a clippie she is always the butt of everyone's jokes.

From Wikipedia:
Anna Karen as Olive Rudge, Stan's sister. Olive is always being criticised by her husband Arthur, even though she helps her mum with household jobs and frequently helps Stan with the decorating. Olive has twice been a clippie at the bus depot, both times being unsuccessful. She is always wanting "an early night" with Arthur, much to his displeasure.

Here are the credits which qualified Olive Rudge for membership in the TVXOHOF.  All sumaries are from the IMDb:


ON THE BUSES
(1969-1973)

Jack-the-lad bus driver and conductor Stan and Jack enjoy the female employees more than their work and Inspector Blake is relentless in his attempts to make their lives a misery.


ON THE BUSES [Movie]
(1971)
When the bus company finds itself short-staffed, it is Inspector Blake who comes up with the brilliant idea of employing women drivers. The company is delighted, but the bus crews are horrified and try to get rid of the women.

ALL STAR COMEDY CARNIVAL 
ON THE BUSES SKETCH

(1972)
Six specially-written scenes from popular ITV comedy series.
Jimmy Tarbuck hosts another ‘All Star Comedy Carnival’, this time with skits from the following television programs: ‘Love Thy Neighbour’; ‘On the Buses’; ‘Christmas with Wogan’; ‘Nearest and Dearest’; ‘Thirty Minutes North’; ‘Sez Les’; ‘The Fenn Street Gang’; and ‘Father Dear Father’.



MUTINY ON THE BUSES [Movie]
(1972)
Bus driver Stan Butler agrees to marry Suzy, much to the anguish of Mum, her son-in-law, Arthur, and daughter Olive. How, they wonder, will they ever manage without Stan's money coming in? Then Arthur is sacked, and Stan agrees to delay the wedding. Meanwhile, he hits on an idea: Arthur should learn to drive a bus. Somehow he does just that, and even gets a job. Stan then blackmails the Depot Manager into giving him the job of driver on the new money-making Special Tours Bus. A great idea... if only the inspector hadn't taken Stan on his trial run to the Windsor Safari Park.



HOLIDAY ON THE BUSES [Movie]
(1973)
Stan and Jack seek work at a bus driving holiday camp after being fired from the bus company for crashing two buses, only to find Inspector Blake works there also.


THE RAG TRADE
22 episodes
(1977-1978)
Peter Jones played the owner of Fenner Fashions, a small factory cum sweat-shop situated in London. The hilarious (in my view) situations which occurred in every episode, centered around Karlin doing her utmost to avoid her and her fellow union members, from completing any work. Unless they were given incentives, which the poor harassed Mr. Fenner would have to indulge, in order to complete orders on time.


Christopher Beeny played the smarmy van driver, who was always making advances toward long haired Gillian Taylforth (Cathy Beale, from Eastenders). While Anna Karen (Olive from another gem of a series On The Buses) played one of the skiving machinists.


Good night and may God bless Anna Karen.

And welcome to the Hall, Olive….



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

MEMORIAL INDUCTION CEREMONY - GILBERT GOTTFRIED

From Variety
By Jordan Moreau:
Gilbert Gottfried, the comedian, “Aladdin” star, and owner of the most recognizable voice in Hollywood, has died after battling a long illness, his family announced Tuesday. He was 67.

His publicist told the Washington Post that he died due to complications from muscular dystrophy.

“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” his family wrote on Twitter.

Many people in Hollywood, including comedians Jason Alexander, Dane Cook and more, paid tribute to Gottfried after the shocking news of his death. “Gilbert Gottfried was never not funny,” wrote Cook. “He was a lovely guy, always friendly and made many people happy.”

I wish this never happened; I always liked Gilbert.  But I wonder if he would have found the humor in dying in April, the month when the Television Crossover Hall of Fame celebrates April Fools.  That is, if he had ever heard of the TVXOHOF, which is highly doubtful.

At any rate, as a member of the League of Themselves, Gottfried appeared in plenty of TV series as himself.  And like our showcase inductee for this month – Jerry Seinfeld – he will be inducted into the Hall as a member of the League of Themselves.

GILBERT GOTTFRIED

From Wikipedia:
Gilbert Jeremy Gottfried (February 28, 1955 – April 12, 2022) was an American actor and stand-up comedian. His persona as a comedian featured an exaggerated shrill voice and emphasis on crude humor. His numerous roles in film and television include voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's ‘Aladdin’ animated films and series, Digit LeBoid on PBS Kids's long-running ‘Cyberchase’, and Kraang Subprime in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. Gottfried was the voice of the Aflac Duck until 2011. He appeared in the critically-panned but commercially-successful ‘Problem Child’ in 1990.

From 2014 until his death in 2022, Gottfried hosted a podcast, Gilbert Gottfried's “Amazing Colossal Podcast”, which featured discussions of classic movies and celebrity interviews, most often with veteran actors, comedians, musicians, and comedy writers. “Gilbert”, a documentary film on Gottfried's life and career, was released in 2017.

Here are the credits which qualified Gilbert for membership in the TVXOHOF as a member of the League of Themselves.  This would also count his appearances on talk shows as himself, but as they’re not needed to meet his qualifications minimum, those are just considered as flavoring.

The Original Max Talking Headroom Show
- Episode #1.6 (1987)
- Episode dated 1 October 1987 (1987)

O’Bservation: The other Max Headroom series, set “twenty minutes in the Future”, is in a different Toobworld.  Earth Prime-Time should have their own Max.


The Muppets: She Drives Me Crazy
Music Video short   (1994)


Married... with Children
- Ship Happens (1995)

Hope & Gloria
- Falling in Bed Again (1995)


Muppets Tonight
- Dennis Quaid (1997)

O’Bservation: Gilbert Gottfried was the winner of the "spend an evening with Kermit contest".



The Weird Al Show
- Al Gets Robbed (1997)
... Al's "Imaginary" Friend Gilbert

O’Bservation: As it turned out, Gilbert wasn't imaginary; he was actually there.  TV's Al wasn't just weird; he was crazy.

Cosby
- Fifteen Minutes of Fame (1998)

V.I.P.
- Raging Val (1999)


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Last Laugh (2003)
... Stand-Up Comedian

O’Bservation: Gottfried’s style was so distinctive and it is the rule that you don’t steal from your fellow comics.  So I’m counting this as an appearance by Gilbert himself.


Greg the Bunny
- Sleazy Rider (2005)
- Wacky Wednesday (2006)
- Wumpus the Monster (2006)

O’Bservation: His last name wasn’t used in the IMDb list of credits, but the guest stars were always playing themselves.


Z Rock
- Episode #1.4 (2008)

From the IMDb: John Popper shows the guys how sweet life could be as a full-time kids' band when he lands them a party for Gilbert Gottfried's son for $10,000.


30 Rock
- Audition Day (2009)

O’Bservation: This was a vocal appearance only, but he was name-checked as well.  There were also two other episodes where he was name-checked by characters.



The Jim Gaffigan Show
- Wonderful (2015)
- The Trial (2016)





Episodes
- Episode One (2017)

O'Bservation: Gottfried is the celebrity contestant dressed as a priest.


Crashing
- The Atheist (2018)


Danny's House
- Dreams (2019)

The Masked Singer
- Masking for a Duel - Round 2 (2022)

O'Bservation: As Penn & Teller were unmasked this episode, one of their clues was that Gilbert Gottfried was a friend.

Regarding the next two entries, usually I avoid talk shows and game shows, but both of these series are members of the TVXOHOF….


Hollywood Squares 
334 episodes (1998-2004)

2014
Remembering Gilbert Gottfried
April 12 or 13, 2022

The View
7 episodes (2005-2016)


I would also include his involvement with Celebrity Apprentice because he was working with another Hall of Famer, former President "HindenBlerg", who was inducted on April Fool’s Day, 2009.

O'Bservation: Two shows in which I’m surprised Gilbert Gottfried didn’t appear as himself – The Larry Sanders Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm.  I would have added Seinfeld as well, but many of the comics who appeared on the show played fictional characters.

ALTERNATE TOOBWORLDS


SpongeBob SquarePants
- SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout (2019)

O’Bservation: I need to do more research on this one.  This could be an interface Borderland between a live-action Toobworld and the Tooniverse, similar to Space Ghost Coast To Coast.

EVIL TOOBWORLD


Star-ving
- Gilbert's Kid (2009)

O’Bservations:
1] As with Greg The Bunny, ditto on the last names.
2] I’m not sure I would want this episode included in the main Toobworld as part of Gottfried’s legacy.  I’m sure he found it’s tastelessness funny and the basics probably aren’t true – about him having a disabled son – but I think I may just relegate this to the Evil Toobworld.

THE TOONIVERSE


The Adventures of Nick
- Love Just Got Fried (2019)

O’Bservation: I’m not exactly sure which of these anthropomorphic dots would be Gottfried.  The one in the middle?  The one in red?  I know it can’t be the one with the big hairdo… or is it?

Gottfried also has a presence in the stop-motion Toobworld dimension which I dubbed “Claymatia”.

CLAYMATIA


Celebrity Deathmatch
- Gottfried in the Arena (2002)

I don’t know if reincarnation is a thing, but if Gottfried did return, would it be as a duck or a parrot?

Good night and may God bless, Gilbert.  I’m sorry you entered the TVXOHOF under these circumstances.