Monday, December 11, 2017

MINUTIAE MONDAY - CREDITED IN-JOKE


LT. COLUMBO:
Anyway, I spoke to your arranger.
TOMMY BROWN:
Nick Solacanto
LT. COLUMBO:
Yeah, that's him.
'COLUMBO'
"SWAN SONG"

This is an in-joke.  The arranger's last name, when rearranged, spells out "Colasanto". 


Many of you will remember Nick Colasanto as Coach Ernie Pantusso on 'Cheers'.  But he was also a director and he directed this episode of 'Columbo'.


BCnU!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

VIDEO SUNDAY - "WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION"


We have another British mystery offering for Video Sunday.  This is an Agatha Christie classic which had been a movie directed by Billy Wilder and starring Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Tyrone Power, and Marlene Dietrich.  I hope you'll enjoy.....



BCnU!


Friday, December 8, 2017

LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES - THREE CANDIDATES FOR THE TVXOHOF


It was a great week for the League of Themselves as November ended.  The League of Themselves are those people who play themselves in fictional shows in which they meet fictional characters.  This means that they aren't actually themselves, but the fictional televersions of themselves.  A lot of my fellow crossoverists don't consider them to be legitimate links between shows, but I say if they're fictional, anything goes.

Working backwards...



ELON MUSK
'YOUNG SHELDON'
"A PATCH, A MODEM, AND A ZANTAC"

At some point in the near future, Elon Musk uses 9 year old SheldonLee Cooper's composition notebook from November 9 1989 on the subject of "Rocket Re-entry & Retropropulsion" and used it for a major scientific event covered by CNN.

Here is the other TV show set in Earth Prime-Time:


'The Big Bang Theory'
- "The Platonic Permutation" (2015)
And in the end, it doesn't really matter since this series is the launch pad for 'Young Sheldon'.

Musk also has a presence in the Tooniverse:


'South Park'
- "The End of Serialization as We Know It" (2016)
- "Not Funny" (2016)
- "Members Only" (2016) 


 'The Simpsons'
- "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" (2015)

And if the current spate of Marvel superheroes on screen are officially linked to the Netflix run of heroes beyond the names (like the Hulk seen in the Daily Bugle front page displays), then this Cineverse appearance brings Elon Musk into Comix Toobworld Marvel1.


"Iron Man 2"

The night before, two stars appeared as themselves on 'Modern Family.


TERRY BRADSHAW
MODERN FAMILY
BRUSHES WITH CELEBRITY
 (2017)

Jay Pritchett had always found a way to get out of serving on jury duty.  But when he found out that football great Terry Bradshaw was also going to serve on the same jury, he made sure he stayed.  But then he hounded Bradshaw so badly for his friendship that he was kicked off the jury and had a restraining order put on him to keep him away from the commentator.

The League
- Sunday at Ruxin's (2009)

The Sinbad Show
- The Mr. Science Show (1994)


The Rebels
- Pilot (2014) 

Kristin 
- The Scene (2001) ... Himself

The Larry Sanders Show 
- Just the Perfect Blendship (1998) ... Himself

The Jeff Foxworthy Show
- Big Dogs (1997) 

Everybody Loves Raymond 
- Debra's Sick (1997) 

Brotherly Love 
- Uptown Girl (1995) 

The Sinbad Show 
- The Telethon (1994)


Evening Shade
- The NFL on CBS (1992) 
- Far from the Madden Crowd (1991)

And like Musk, Bradshaw has been "simpsonized":


The Simpsons 
- Treehouse of Horror XVI (2005)
He's also appeared as himself in commercials, including this Super Bowl blipvert for Tide:


The other celebrity in that same episode was Coldplay frontman....


CHRIS MARTIN
MODERN FAMILY
BRUSHES WITH CELEBRITY


Extras
- Chris Martin (2006)

And just iike the other two.....


The Simpsons
- Million Dollar Maybe (2010) 

All three are now eligible for the TVXOHOF.  As it stands, Musk and Martin would be Multidimensionals.

BCnU!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

AN O'BSERVATION ON WONDER WOMAN


'GRANGE HILL'
(SEASON 9, EPISODE 24)


The school has an annual "Fun Run" and several of the participants take part while in costume.  One of these was the teacher Mr. Baxter (known - probably behind his back - as "Bullet Baxter".)  In April of 1986, he dressed as Wonder Woman, who - although no longer seen on our TV screens since 1979 - was still very much active in Toobworld.  And Mr. Baxter was not the only Toobworldling to dress up in that costume in all its star-spangled glory.....


NORA WILDE
'THE NAKED TRUTH'


DR. TEMPERANCE BRENNAN
'BONES'


DR. MOLLY CLOCK
'SCRUBS'


ABBY CADABBY
'SESAME STREET'


UM... CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS



CLAIRE DUNPHY
'MODERN FAMILY'



ROBIN ROBERTS
'GOOD MORNING, AMERICA'

Being immortal, Princess Diana is still fighting evil around the globe.  (But because Lynda Carter is not immortal, we can't expect to see her still in the role.  However, Lynda Carter's televersion also appeared in a TV show about her.)

In the main Toobworld, Superman is dead.  The Batman is still active but the original Bruce Wayne retired back in the 1980s, perhaps due to injury.  Other men assumed the cowl after him and even adopted the Bruce Wayne identity.  This tradition began with Dick Grayson, but I have no clue who the current Toobworld Batman could be.  Alls I know is that Toobworld characters do mention him as though he still exists.  (Just this year, the original Bruce Wayne passed away.)

As for the Flash of Earth Prime-Time, I believe his powers finally faded away and Barry Allen lives in obscurity, making a small fortune through the sale of Flash memorabilia - like T-shirts and costumes.  Spiderman was forced into the Witness Protection program after his powers failed and is living somewhere in the country under an assumed identity.  And as for the Hulk, Bruce Banner died from gamma ray poisoning.

But Wonder Woman is still out there and the citizens of Toobworld, no matter what country they live in, still remember her and support her career as a super-hero.

One of these is my blogmate Rob Buckley, who - like my sister/godchild and her son - is celebrating his birthday today.  Every week in his blog "The Medium Is Not Enough", he celebrates the latest news about Wonder Woman.


But I'm not sure if he's ever dressed up as Wonder Woman.

Happy birthday, Rob!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

THE HAT SQUAD - REMEMBERING JIM NABORS AND GOMER PYLE



From Deadline:
Jim Nabors, who gave popular culture its most enduring image of a wide-eyed, good-natured if none too bright hayseed in a character whose very name – Gomer Pyle – would become synonymous with lovable rube, died Thursday in Hawaii. He was 87.

With catchphrases “Shazam!” and “Gollllly!” (the latter drawn out to four or five lilting syllables), Nabors debuted his downhome, gas station attendant character in 1962 on The Andy Griffith Show, where the slow-going, dim-witted Gomer was a constant irritation to Don Knotts’ officious, high-strung Deputy Barney Fife.

The Gomer character, and Nabors’ odd-couple chemistry with Knotts, proved so popular with audiences that he was given his own spin-off series in 1964. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C, co-starring Frank Sutton as his ever-yelling drill sergeant Vince Carter (“I can’t heeearrrr youuu!”) ran until 1969 on CBS. (The Gomer character was replaced on Andy Griffith with cousin Goober Pyle, played by George Lindsey in a Jughead-style cap).

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was an instant smash when it debuted in September 1964. The series finished No. 3 among all primetime shows that season with a 30.7 rating –- ahead of Andy Griffith – and was No. 2 behind Bonanza for the following 1965-66 season. The series slipped in the ratings after its move from Fridays to Wednesdays for the 1966-67 season, but CBS returned Gomer Pyle to Fridays the following season and it ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in primetime during the next two seasons.


Gomer Pyle will be inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for the following appearances in Earth Prime-Time.

EARTH PRIME-TIME


"The Andy Griffith Show"
23 episodes


"Gomer Pyle: USMC" 
150 episodes


"The Lucy Show" 
    - Lucy Gets Caught Up in the Draft (1966) 


Return to Mayberry (1986) 

"The Single Guy"
    - Vegas Finale (1997) TV episode, Played by Evan Arnold

If I saw this episode I don't remember it.  I'm assuming, since this is a Vegas episode, "Gomer Pyle" was a stage show impression.  But why would Gomer be relevant to the audience?  I'm assuming that, like so many other citizens of Toobworld, a TV show was made about their life.  

We've had plenty of evidence that there was a Toobworld TV show about the "real" Gomer Pyle AND we know that Jim Nabors played the part:


The Lucy Show:
Lucy Helps Danny Thomas (1965)
still photo seen hanging on wall

Green Acres:
Parity Begins at Home (1965)
mentioned throughout the episode

ALF:
Standing in the Shadows of Love (1989)

ALF refers to the series.

My Secret Identity:
1] Give the Guy a Chance (1989)
Nina describes Doug as "such a Gomer."

2 Calendar Boy (1990)
Erin refers to Andrew as "Gomer."

Night Court:
Blue Suede Bull (1989)
"Surprise, surprise, surprise!'"

Seinfeld:
The Keys (1992)
Kramer mentions watching this show

Smart Guy:
Rooferman, Take One (1998)
Mentioned by TJ

Frasier:
Can't Buy Me Love (1994)
Renata refers to the "Gomers" on Frasier's radio show

House:
Que SerĂ¡ SerĂ¡ (2006)
House calls a cop 'Gomer Pyle'

American Dreams:
California Dreamin' (2005)
Roxanne refers to the series.

Home Improvement:
Tanks for the Memories (1996)
Tim refers to the series and imitates Gomer

Law & Order:
Pro Se (1996)
The detectives are told that Smith was nicknamed "Gomer Pyle" at the shelter.

Psych:
You Can't Handle This Episode (2010)
Shawn refers to the army base security guard as "Gomer."

Hard Time on Planet Earth:
All That You Can Be (1989)
Control plays a clip on his screen, from the series, to Jesse to show him perfect behavior in the U.S. military

Mad Men:
The Forecast (2015)
Dee mentions the character of Gomer Pyle in a military context.

The Newsroom:
The 112th Congress (2012)
Maggie Jordan calls Jim Harper, "Gomer Pyle".

The Muppet Show:
Jim Nabors (1976)
Jim Nabors says he played Gomer Pyle for so long he nearly forgot his real name.


With these next two references, they don’t necessarily mean that they are directly connected to ‘Gomer Pyle, USMC’…..

Parker Lewis Can't Lose:
Future Shock (1991)
Parker says, "Drafted into ROTC? Mental note: Shazam!"

Arrested Development:
Switch Hitter (2005)
Buster and his Drill Sergeant recreate the marching scene from the opening credits of the show.

Here are some other Toobworlds in which Gomer Pyle was either referenced as a TV show, or as an actual person.

SKITLANDIA
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In:
Episode #2.13 (1968)
Dan mentions Secretary of the interior Gomer Pyle during the news of the future

Saturday Night Live:
Bill Murray/Sting (1993)
Gomer Pyle mentioned by Hank Fielding on Weekend Update

THE TOONIVERSE
"The Simpsons"
    - Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes? (1992)
    - Bart the Lover (1992)
Played by Dan Castellaneta
Rod and Todd watch "Gomer Pyle."

The Simpsons:
Bart Gets an Elephant (1994)
Homer reads about this show in an old TV guide and reminisces about it.

Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man:
Clip Job (1995)
One of the characters Duckman turns into when he's hooked up to the TV transmitting device is Gomer Pyle.

THE BORDERLANDS
"Hi Honey, I'm Home"
    - Hi Mom, I'm Not Home (1991) 

DOCU-DRAMA?
The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry (2003) 


(All this information is from the IMDb....)

Good night and may God bless Jim Nabors……



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

THE MATT LAUER STORY - HOW THE STORY BROKE





SAMANTHA GUTHRIE: 
And good morning everybody, welcome to “Today.”

Hoda is here with me this morning because this is a sad morning at “Today” and at NBC News.

Just moments ago, NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent the following note to our organization:

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint form a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer.

“It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we have decided to terminate his employment.

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he has been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.

“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences no matter who the offender.

“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”

That is the statement from our chairman Andy Lack, and we just learned this moments ago, just this morning.

As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this, and I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you.

But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.

Our columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and his Times colleagues help you make sense of major business and policy headlines — and the power-brokers who shape them.

And Hoda, I mean, you know, for the moment, all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here.

And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.

And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected.

As painful as it is, this moment in our culture and this change, it had to happen.

HODA KOTB: 
Yeah, it did. This is a very tough morning for both of us.

I have known Matt for 15 years, and I have loved him as a friend and as a colleague.

And again, just like you were saying, Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.

We were both woken up with the news, kind of predawn, and we are trying to process it and make sense of it and it will take some time for that.

GUTHRIE: 
Yeah. We’re processing it with all of you at home. And we promise to be transparent and be straightforward and continue this important conversation.

KOTB: 
Absolutely.

Two for Tuesday......



A TVXOHOF INDUCTION TWIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES - MATT LAUER



From NBC News:

Matt Lauer, the anchor of "Today" for two decades, was fired by NBC News after a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

"Today" co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced Lauer's firing Wednesday, telling viewers at the top of the show that they were processing his departure but didn't yet know all of the details.


In a memo to employees sent Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the complaint, which was made by a colleague of Lauer's, prompted a serious review and represented a "clear violation of our company's standards."
by ERIK ORTIZ

Wow.

This was a big shock upon waking Wednesday morning!  


I’ve always had Matt Lauer on the back burner for inclusion in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  As was the case with Jay Leno, Lauer was the face of NBC and as such he made plenty of appearances on NBC’s line-up of shows set in Toobworld, from ‘The Blacklist’ to ‘Will & Grace’.

And he wasn’t confined to just Earth Prime-Time.  Lauer has also played himself in Skitlandia (‘Saturday Night Live’), and he’s already been killed off in Disaster Toobworld.  (He appeared in two “Sharknado” movies.)  He’s even heard as himself in the Tooniverse.  (‘Father of the Pride’)

I kind of figured that I would add Lauer to the TVXOHOF once he retired from the ‘Today’ show.  But now he’s been fired.  And as he would probably begrudgingly admit, that’s news.  Yes, it may be crass, but I’m going to capitalize on it and rush through his induction into the Hall.

He'll probably never see this, but let it stand as a gallery of everything he tossed aside to satisfy some crass, bestial desire.

Here are the credits which qualify him as a Multi-dimensional:

EARTH PRIME-TIME

NewsRadio


- The Secret of Management (1998) 
This basically kicked off his League of Themselves appearances after joining the ‘Today’ show two years earlier.

30 Rock 


- Murphy Brown Lied to Us (2012) 
- Grandmentor (2012) 
- 100: Part 1 (2011) 
- Klaus and Greta (2010) 
- Generalissimo (2009) 
How could you do a show at NBC headquarters without the mainstay of the biggest show produced there?

Alpha House 


- The Love Doctor (2014) 
- In the Saddle (2014) 

Will & Grace 
- Bathroom Humor (2006) 




It appears NBC and Netflix saw him as a good way to launch shows….


Up All Night
- Pilot (2011)

The Michael J. Fox Show
- Pilot (2013)


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Kimmy Goes Outside! (2015)



And then he also appeared in a couple of dramas…..

Royal Pains
- Ta Da For (2011)


American Odyssey
- Oscar Mike (2015)

The Blacklist
- Berlin (No. 8): Conclusion
(2014)
.... Anchor
Even though he wasn’t actually named in this episode, it’s apparent that he was playing himself.

Sesame Street
- A New Helper At Hoopers Store (2007)
- Maria and Luis' Wedding Anniversary (2006)



In case you didn’t know, independent puppets are living beings in Toobworld.   

And finally for Earth Prime-Time:

Another World
According to the IMDb, in 1982, Lauer had a walk on role as an art gallery patron while filming a behind-the-scenes look at the show for P.M. Magazine.

SKITLANDIA

Saturday Night Live  
- David Duchovny/Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page (1998)
- Brian Williams/Feist (2007)

Brian Williams:
So much of what we do in the news business is serious.
Sometimes I find it's healthy to take a break and have a little fun. 

Brian Williams:
Ah, the morning duo! 
[Williams grabs a fistful of pennies.] 

[Al Roker and Matt Lauer are delivering a piece on "The Today Show", when they are suddenly pelted by the hailing pennies ] 


Al Roker:
What is that?


Matt Lauer:
What kind of asshole throws pennies from a window?
 

[Brian Williams smiles as he ducks back into his office and shuts the window,] 

THE TOONIVERSE

Father of the Pride


- Larry's Debut, and Sweet Darryl Hannah Too (2004)
So this is how he was portrayed in this style of animation.


DISASTER TOOBWORLD

This is the dimension in which the Earth is battered by the worst possible situations – tornadoes, volcanoes, ice ages, earthquakes, asteroids, and…..

Sharknado 2: The Second One (TV Movie)
 


Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (TV Movie)



MOTWAN TOOBWORLD
“Motwan” is sort of an acronym for “Movie Of The Week”.  Many TV movies could be included in the main Toobworld, but sometimes there are situations and characters who cause too many Zonks should they be included.  So since they are usually stand-alone programs, they have a stand-alone dimension in which they can be housed.

Who Is Clark Rockefeller? (TV Movie) 
Many of the characters in this docu-drama are now “historical figures” and could show up in other shows or TV movies.  Without any fictional characters to lock them down in Earth Prime-Time as POV televersions, it’s better to send it off to Motwan Toobworld.  So far, this is the only televersion for Clark Rockefeller, but should there be more to come (although I think he’s already forgotten by many people), then there are plenty of other Toobworlds out there where they can be shipped.

THE BORDERLANDS


Matt Lauer Meets the Fockers (Video short) 
I’ve not seen this, so I don’t know if they maintain the illusion throughout that they really are the characters from the two “Fockers” movies.  If so, this short video could be left in the Cineverse since Matt Lauer does have a presence in the movie universe because of “Zoolander 2” and “Land Of The Lost”.  But when there are times when the movies blend with TV, as might be the case here, there are “the Borderlands” in which these two major fictional universes are melded together.

One last example to be dealt with:

Entourage (Film)


This was a movie, but which used all the original characters and actors from the HBO TV series.  Movies like “The Addams Family Values” and “Star Trek: Beyond” which have totally recast the characters who were originally played by other actors on TV.  This movie falls into the same category as the first ten ‘Star Trek’ movies, the 1966 ‘Batman’ flick, and ‘Maverick’.  Those films have been absorbed into the world of Toobworld.  And this will be the case for “Entourage”- it may have been made for theatres, but it’s now part of the TV Universe.

I’ll add to his Earth Prime-Time tally his twenty years plus on the ‘Today’ show, ten Macy’s Thanksgiving Parades, three Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies, a couple of Red Day specials, and ‘Matt Lauer Reports’.

I’m sorry his induction into the Hall is under a cloud of dishonor, but I’m also sorry for his accuser and as with her lawyer, I’m in awe that she stepped forward. 

And so it goes…..

MATT LAUER
IN THE CINEVERSE

And he really should.