The Toobworld Dynamic has established plenty of traditions over the years, in what we cover annually and certain months representing specific categories for the inductions into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.
But there’s one tradition that I wish was never started - remembering the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks and the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001.
The Toobworld Dynamic paid tribute the next month by inducting the Twin Towers into the TVXOHOF for the appearances of its televersions in TV series, TV movies, and even music videos. (Not sure about commercials.) And every year we chose to showcase their appearance in a different production.
This year I found a “new” one which I only just saw for the first time back in January. It showed up several times in the 1991 TV movie “Perry Mason: The Case Of The Fatal Fashion”. Perry and Della were in New York City because Perry was going to receive an award from a national bar association. While there, Della reconnected with an old friend who would be charged with the murder of a fashion magazine rival.
To remind the audience that they were in the Big Apple, every so often the movie came out of the commercial break with a view of the World Trade Center from different angles. Here are those appearances….
Monday, September 11, 2023
Thursday, August 31, 2023
It’s the last day of August; I guess I better post the August inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame!
By tradition, the new member for August in any year has a connection to TV Westerns, and for some of my Toobers, it might come as a surprise that this year’s inductee was most often seen in Toobworld in the Old West.
Edwin Thomas Booth (November 13, 1833 – June 7, 1893) was an American actor who toured throughout the United States and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869, he founded Booth's Theatre in New York. Some theatrical historians consider him the greatest American actor, and the greatest Prince Hamlet, of the 19th century. His achievements are often overshadowed by his relationship with his younger brother, actor John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
After John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln in April 1865, the infamy associated with the Booth name forced Edwin Booth to abandon the stage for many months. Edwin, who had been feuding with John Wilkes before the assassination, disowned him afterward, refusing to have John's name spoken in his house. He made his return to the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre in January 1866, playing the title role in Hamlet, which would eventually become his signature role.
In 1869, Edwin acquired his brother John's body after repeatedly writing to President Andrew Johnson pleading for it. Johnson finally released the remains, and Edwin had them buried, unmarked, in the family plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.
On April 23, 1879, Mark Gray, a traveling salesman from Keokuk, Iowa, fired two shots from a pistol at Booth. Booth was playing the title role in Richard II at McVicker's Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, during the final act of the William Shakespeare tragedy. Gray gave as his motive a wrong done to a friend by Booth. Gray's shots, which were fired from a distance of thirty-four feet, missed Booth, burying themselves in the stage floor. The would-be assassin was jailed at Central Station in Chicago. Booth was not acquainted with Gray, who worked for a St. Louis, Missouri dry goods firm. A letter to a woman in Ohio was found on Gray's person. The correspondence affirmed Gray's intent to murder Booth. The attempted assassination occurred on Shakespeare's supposed birthday and came at a time when Booth was receiving numerous death threats by mail.
In 1888, Booth founded The Players, a private club for performing, literary, and visual artists and their supporters, purchasing and furnishing a home on Gramercy Park as its clubhouse.
His final performance was, fittingly, in his signature role of Hamlet, in 1891 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Edwin Booth saved Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert, from serious injury or even death. The incident occurred on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865. Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine.
The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.
Booth did not know the identity of the man whose life he had saved until some months later, when he received a letter from a friend, Colonel Adam Badeau, who was an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. Badeau had heard the story from Robert Lincoln, who had since joined the Union Army and was also serving on Grant's staff. In the letter, Badeau gave his compliments to Booth for the heroic deed. The fact that he had saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the president.
Edwin Booth had a small stroke in 1891, which precipitated his decline. He suffered another stroke in April 1893 and died June 7, 1893, in his apartment in The Players clubhouse. He was buried next to his first wife at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His bedroom in the club has been kept untouched since his death. The New York Times reported his death.
In 1959, the actor Robert McQueeney played Booth in the episode "The Man Who Loved Lincoln" on the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, ‘Colt .45’, starring Wayde Preston as the fictitious undercover agent Christopher Colt, who in the story line is assigned to protect Booth from a death threat.
In 1960, the anthology series television series ‘Death Valley Days’ broadcast "His Brother's Keeper", in which Booth visits a small town after the Lincoln assassination, with one of the town's influential citizens trying to have him run out of town.
In 1966, Martin Landau played Edwin Booth in the episode "This Stage of Fools" of the NBC western television series, ‘Branded’, starring Chuck Connors as Jason McCord. In the story line, McCord takes a job as the bodyguard to the actor Edwin Booth, brother of the presidential assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
In 2013, Will Forte played Edwin Booth in the "Washington, D.C." episode of the Comedy Central's series, ‘Drunk History’, created by Derek Waters.
In 2014, Edwin Booth was played by Gordon Tanner in ‘The Pinkertons’ episode, "The Play's the Thing" (S1:E3). In the episode, both the "Hundred nights Hamlet" and Edwin's rescue of Robert Lincoln are mentioned.
Despite all of these actors who played Booth, none of them are from alternate Toobworlds. To splain away the difference in appearances, each of them is how they appear to some other character in that episode, colored by sentiment. And then we see Booth through that other character’s eyes. For example, the Edwin Booth played by Martin Landau was how Jason McCord saw him. John Crawford’s Booth was Will Santee’s opinion of his looks.
The only one who isn’t a true version of Edwin Booth in any TV Universe is the one played by Will Forte in an episode of ‘Drunk History’. He is depicted as how Derek Waters, who was the host of ‘Drunk History’, envisioned him in the story told by one of the drunken narrators.
Here are Edwin Booth’s qualifications to join the TVXOHOF:
THE MAN WHO LOVED LINCOLN (1959)
(Played by Robert McQueeney)
Colt is hired as bodyguard to actor Edwin Booth, brother of the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.
(Played by Harry Townes)
Edwin Booth arrives in Downieville to do a Shakespearean show 6 months after his brother assassinated Lincoln. Town tough Rogan and his cronies try to prevent the performance. It's up to Jeb Hayes to show his son to stand up for what's right.
THE WILL SANTEE STORY (1961)
(Played by John Crawford)
The Santee family---Will, his mother, and his younger sister---join the wagon train under a false surname. They have been forced out of town after town because of a terrible thing a family member did. They confide in Hale, Hawks, and Charlie, who agree to keep their secret from the others on the train. But it soon comes out anyway, and things get complicated when Will falls for a young woman from the wagon train.
THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1961)
(Played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.)
Bronco and Col. Bart Traver meet with Shakespearian actor Edwin Booth on a train during a short stopover. He and his troupe are on the way to Virginia City, Nevada for an engagement. Col. Traver reveals that President Grant has sent him to request Booth's help with uncovering and stopping a group hoping to overthrow the federal government by playing on the sympathies of southerners to get their support. Edwin has always been a strong supporter of the Union although ten years earlier his younger brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln. They want him to pretend to hate the Union and support the Confederacy while in Virginia City to attract the attention of the traitors they are after. Bronco will act as his friend and bodyguard. Booth, although tired of theohn pain his name has caused him due to his brother, reluctantly agrees to help them. In Virginia City tempers run high among the people there. Booth's comments eventually leads to the hoped connection but before that happens other dangers must be confronted.
THIS STAGE OF FOOLS (1966)
(Played by Martin Landau)
Jason gets mixed up in the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination when he agrees to take a job to protect a man out for revenge against those who 'helped' his brother, John Wilkes Booth, kill the President of the United States.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (2013)
(Played by Will Forte)
Woodward and Bernstein blow open the Watergate scandal; actors/brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth engage in a tragic feud; and Elvis crashes the White House to meet Nixon. Guest starring Jack Black, Dave Grohl, Bob Odenkirk.
THE PLAY'S THE THING (2014)
(Played by Gordon Tanner)
Will and Kate get more drama than they bargained for when an actor dies during a performance of "Hamlet" and Will is forced to go undercover as a member of a traveling theater troupe.
Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Mr. Booth!
Monday, July 10, 2023
O'Bservation - I can’t guarantee anything, but here’s hoping I can get the July 2023 induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame posted on time….
AND ONCE AGAIN, I FAILED!
Lately, the July berth has been given over to detectives. And it’s hard to think of one who has so hefty a jacket as this year’s candidate.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs (born November 21, 1954) is a fictional character and the original protagonist of the CBS TV series 'NCIS', portrayed by Mark Harmon. He is a former U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper turned special agent who commands a team for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Gibbs is the most accomplished marksman on the team and the most skilled at handling violent standoffs; he depends on his other agents heavily for technical forensics and background checks.
(Mark Harmon's oldest son Sean has appeared on NCIS portraying a younger version of Gibbs in flashbacks.)
- Shannon Fielding
- Diane Sterling
- Rebecca Chase
- Stephanie Flynn
435 episodes (!)
Meanwhile, in the land of animation....
TOM TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM
Tom Tucker appears on NCIS in "Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream" after landing a bit part with Peter as his agent.
While the Griffins are trapped in a motel room during a hurricane in "Holly Bibble", they attempt to watch NCIS on CBS, which is billed as the loudest network on television. They struggle to maintain their positions as the volume comes close to blowing them away.
O’Bservation – In order to prevent this most common of Zonks – references made in other TV shows about the topic being a TV show – it’s now a Toobworld standard similar to “Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes” that eventually everybody will be featured on TV. Sometimes with just a news report, sometimes with entire TV series produced about them. And this would apply in the Tooniverse as well.
Therefore, Toon Harmon was appearing as the Toon Gibbs, who was real in the Tooniverse.
Try to keep the head-slapping to a minimum….
Friday, June 16, 2023
and a guy named Teller.
And then I thought of Penn & Teller.
The duo has been featured in numerous stage and television shows such as ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’ and currently perform in Las Vegas at The Rio, the longest running headliners to play at the same hotel in Las Vegas history. Penn Jillette serves as the act's orator and raconteur. Teller generally does not speak while performing, and instead communicates through mime and non-verbals, though his voice can occasionally be heard during their live shows and television appearances. Besides magic, the pair has become associated with the advocacy of scientific skepticism and libertarianism, particularly through their television show ‘Penn & Teller: Bullshit!’.
My only hesitancy was that I wanted to base their candidacy on their fictional televersions appearing in TV shows which would have had a better chance to cross over with other fiction programs, comedy or drama, or even better, with other members of the TVXOHOF. I didn’t want to rely on their reality-based programs or talk show appearances to fill out their tally.
I needn’t have worried.
As magical members of the League of Themselves, Penn & Teller are multidimensional; their fictional televersions not only appear in Earth Prime-Time, but they have a presence in an alternate Toobworld as well as in the Tooniverse. And they still found time to interact with other members of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame and with puppets. (Sometimes that can prove to be one and the same.)
Here is the tally of their qualifications for membership:
O'Bservation - 'Saturday Night Live' can be found on Earth Prime-Time and it is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. Its sketches become part of the alternate dimension of Skitlandia as soon as they are performed/broadcast.
THE GARY CAHUENGA EPISODE
O'Bservation - The duo performed a trick and then did it again to show how it was done "for a couple of stupid pigs."
O’Bservation – ‘Hollywood Squares’ was inducted into the TVXOHOF.
O’Bservation – Penn & Teller were guests on an episode of ‘Tool Time’, during which they locked Tim Taylor into a box and Al took over the show.
CELEBRITY FEAR FACTOR 3
O’Bservation – Teller dove into a tank full of snakes in order to complete a challenge.
LUCK BE A LADY
O’Bservation - Ed was walking around the casino when Penn and Teller asked for particular equipment for their act. Ed okayed their request and in gratitude, they performed a magic trick for him.
Is it considered ironic if this is the one appearance for which I can't find a picture of them with James Caan (who is a member of the TVXOHOF?
O’Bservation – Penn & Teller gave Bernie advice on how a little boy could impress girls with magic tricks.
O’Bservation – Penn Jillette was solo when he served as a magic consultant to the team while they investigated the death of a magician.
Penn competed and Teller appeared for support.
O’Bservation – I included the two ‘Apprentice’ shows because Penn interacted with Donald Trump who was the host. Trump was inducted into the Hall in April of 2009 as an April Fool.
O’Bservation – The duo made a cameo appearance as talking heads on some news/commentary show to talk about magician Cameron Black not being honest with his audience.
ALIEN VS. NEDATOR
O’Bservation – The magicians were guests on the late night talk show hosted by a pop culture-O’Bsessed alien.
O'Bservation - Not many talk shows make it into the TVXOHOF - 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson' & 'with Jay Leno' are members, mainly because they were incorporated into other TV shows. That's the edge which 'The View' has; they were featured in an episode of 'SportsNight'.
[Disguised as Hydra]
O’Bservation – Yeah, it’s a reality competition show. So what? I may not watch it, but I think it’s a fun premise.
And then there are the appearances in other Toobworlds....
IN THE ROOM
From the IMDb:
Magicians Penn and Teller give a controversial performance at Zoey's birthday party in the White House that threatens to drown out the news of the impending China trip.
In one of their most thoughtful and politically charged tricks, Penn and Teller (Penn Jillette) make a U.S. flag seem to disappear by wrapping it in a copy of the United States Bill of Rights, and apparently setting the flag on fire, so that "the flag is gone but the Bill of Rights remains."
In the episode, the flag remains missing, unlike in the stage version. Penn is quick to point out that, as seen in their stage show, the flag-burning routine "is astonishingly patriotic." It includes his observations about the greatness of being able to perform such a trick in a free country, proceeding to do the same trick but with the "Chinese Bill of Rights" - a sheet of cellophane - and turning around to show what happens to the flag, and finally, the flag not only reappears unscathed, but "up on the flag pole where it started, waving in the breeze."
What if we burned a flag, not in protest, but in celebration of the very freedoms that allow us to burn a flag - the freedoms that everyone who has ever worked in this magnificent building has pledged to preserve and protect?
Did you go to law school?
No, clown school.
Did they just burn an American flag in the White House?
HELLO, GUTTER, HELLO, FADDER
THE RETURN OF EL MALEFICO
THE GREAT SIMPSINA