Sunday, August 7, 2011

Live, from New York, It's Saturday night!!!

Thanks.  It's really great to be here in New York, the greatest city in the world.  What a great week it's been.  The cast are great and a little bit crazy....

Ok, I'm actually writing this on a Sunday afternoon in a coffee shop in Northampton, MA.  But this blog will explore the recurring characters of SNL and sort out if any of them can fit in the TVCU or are they all stuck in Skitlandia.

I'm going to abandon my normal timeline for this one, and cover each recurring character one at a time.

So we have a great blog for you.  The The Hong Kong Cavaliers are here.  So stick around.  We'll be right back.


SNL WEEKEND UPDATE--SNL Weekend Update is in.  Here is a list of all the Weekeend Update recurring characters.   

  • Of those listed, note that Father Guido Sarducci is in the TVCU through appearances on other shows and movies.  One example is Casper, which also featured Ray Stanz of the Ghostbusters.  His connection to Weekend Update brings Weekend Update into the TVCU, and all the other characters.  
  • Note some of Update's characters would also appear during the monologue or other parts of the show that are meant to be real, thus all the bits of the "real" parts of the show are in the TVCU and any sketches these Update characters may show up in.  
  • Nathan Thurm is another example.  Thurm has been on SCTV (which brings that whole show in, since the concept of that show is that the sketches are all interconnected), and the Earth Day Special.  (See my Bugs Bunny blog for more on that.)  Some of these characters also end up having their own sketches, and those bits should also be part of the TVCU.  
  • Note that Jan Brady is one of these recurring characters.  This should be considered the present day incarnation of the original Jan Brady.
  • Note the Gay Hitler who appears may be an imposter.

MR. MIKE--This was a bit on the show that just featured some weird videos.  It branched off into Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, a feature film that featured the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.  I'm not sure how to classify it.  I think this falls into the Reality Television Universe.

THE MR. BILL SHOW--Because Chevy Chase as himself hosting the show ran into (or rather stepped on) a talking Mr. Bill, Mr. Bill is in the TVCU, but not as a real person, but rather as a talking clay figure.


CONEHEADS--These guys exist in the CONEHEADS UNIVERSE.  The total canon of that universe is the SNL sketches, a song, a cartoon, a comic, and a movie.


BLUES BROTHERS--The Blues Brothers are in the TVCU.  Their canon includes two movies and the SNL sketches.  (Also some appearances on talk shows and award shows, and some live concerts.)



ED GRIMLEY--Has been featured in SNL sketches, other sketches on Martin Short shows, and had his own Saturday morning cartoon.  Thus he exists in the ED GRIMLEY UNIVERSE.

BUDDY YOUNG, JR.--This character became the star of the film MR. SATURDAY NIGHT, thus has his own universe.

NATHAN THURM--is in the TVCU.  He has appeared on SNL and some Martin Short specials, but what brings him in is his appearance in the Earth Day Special.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Hong Kong Caveliers...


MESTISTOPHOLES--The version played by Jon Lovitz is not the devil of the TVCU, but he is one of his agents.  He has appeared on SNL and on the Daily Show.


BOB ROBERTS--One sketch turned into a film.  So this becomes the Bob Roberts Universe.


WAYNE'S WORLD--I've chosen to place it into the TVCU.  I believe the Terminator that ran into Wayne on the highway between Chicago and Milwaukee was later stepped on and destroyed by the T-Rex in the park, thus causing a second one to arrive, this time landing more accurately in L.A.  So that means the SNL sketches and both movies are in.  Also they made an appearance at the Oscars, if I recall correctly.

1990–1991, or she...was a popular recurring sketch that got, his(?) own movie, and his, her, it's own universe.

DAILY AFFIRMATIONS WITH STUART SMALLEY--These sketches branched off into a movie, so he gets his own universe (then the actor became a U.S. Senator!!!!) because he's good enough, smart enough, and dog gone it, people like him.


OFFICE SPACE--A bunch of SNL cartoons and a movie are brought into the TVCU.

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, the Hong Kong Cavalier...


SUPERSTAR--This is the SUPERSTAR UNIVERSE, featuring the movie, and the SNL Mary Catherine Ghallager sketches.

A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY--This has it's own universe that includes the movie and the SNL sketches.


LADIES MAN--This is the universe that includes the Leon Phelps sketches and the film LADIES MAN.


MACGRUBER--This is in the TVCU.  MacGruber has been the star of many SNL sketches, some commercials, a movie, and is son of MacGyver.  

So everything else not mentioned falls into Toby O'Brien's Skitlandia for now.

So I'd like to thank the Hong Kong Cavaliers.  Thank you to Toby O'Brien.  It was a great blog.  Good night!!!  I love you Jess and Connor!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Charlie's Angels in the TVCU -- A blog post by Gordon Long of the TVCU Crew

Continuing the blog updates in the order in which they were originally posted, this one comes up next on the list.  However, this isn't one of mine. This is a blog written by Gordon Long.  He expressed to me that he will update his own blogs, when enough new information is available to warrant it, and this one doesn't warrant it at this time.  So keep checking back in the future.  -- Rob


"Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy.”

Charlie’s Angels”: One of the most iconic television series of the 1970s, filled with some of the most beautiful women to ever appear on television, it was also a strong, groundbreaking series, with strong women who were quite clearly the equal of every man. Their only real weaknesses were their choices in men… Despite being derided as ‘Jiggle TV’, there were many strong episodes, with excellent acting, on the part of both the Angels and the guests. Hi, I'm Gordon Long (aka PDXWiz), your host for this excursion into the TVCU!

Charles Townsend, a mysterious millionaire, served in the OSS during World War II. After the war, he got into law enforcement, later becoming a private detective. He was quite successful, and became a multi-millionaire. Eventually, as a result of making a lot of enemies, he changed how his Townsend Detective Agency worked. He began hiring attractive and talented women as undercover agents, which enhanced the appeal of his agency, and expanded the agency’s reputation for success and discretion. Charlie leads the operation via speakerphone, due to his need to stay behind the scenes. He does extensive research and was an early convert to computers, frequently using them to conduct research as easily as modern researchers do over the Internet in 2011. Many of the contacts Charlie made throughout the years in law enforcement, business, intelligence, and Hollywood turned to him for help or recommended friends of theirs to become his clients.

When we first encounter the Townsend Agency, he has several operatives---three former policewomen who left the force because of the discrimination they continually faced (Sabrina Duncan, Kelly Garrett, and Jill Munroe), the head of the office who has worked for Charlie for a long time (John Bosley), and the lead detective who coordinated all of the activities of the operatives, Scott Woodville (as well as unseen secretarial staff).

1942-1945: The United States Office of Strategic Services handles American intelligence operations during World War II. Charles Townsend served for a while in the OSS. Charlie met a war hero named Colonel Blaylock, who eventually had a daughter named Sabrina after the war.

Sometime after World War II Charles Townsend became a police officer.

1950s: Kelly Garrett grows up in an orphanage in Texas. She was surrounded by kindly nuns and harsh nannies, one in particular named Beamish who was abusive towards her.

1951: Jill Munroe is born to a man named Munroe and a lady whose maiden name was Danvers.

1952: Kris, the younger sister of Jill Munroe, is born. As young children, they lived near the beach, forming an attachment to the shore that will last the rest of their lives.

Late 1950s-1960s: Paul Danvers, the uncle of Jill and Kris, is a police officer for the city of Phoenix. His wife is Lydia.

1960s: Charlie retired from the police force and became a private detective, forming The Townsend Detective Agency.

1964: Police officer Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Hooker is promoted to Sergeant.

1970: Kris is supposed to be attending college to become a teacher, but actually attends the San Francisco Police Academy.

Early 1970s: Sabrina Blaylock and Kelly Garrett graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy, where Sabrina was the quarterback on the Academy football team. Sabrina falls in love with and marries fellow officer, Bill Duncan. After short careers facing discrimination in work assignments, they quit and eventually go to work for Charlie. Sabrina was hired first and received a Ford Pinto. Kelly received a Mustang. Bill and Sabrina broke up over her refusal to choose a safer job path, but they continued dating off and on. Paul Danvers becomes the sheriff of the small town of Paylon, Arizona. Tiffany Welles graduated from Whitney College, studying parapsychology among other things, and was eventually tops in her class at the Boston Police Academy. Tiffany’s father, Lt. Welles, is a long-time friend of Charlie’s.

1971: THE ROOKIES PILOT Five rookies arrive at the Los Angeles Police Academy.: Jared Whitman, Kevin Lassiter, Mike Duncan, William ‘Willie’ Gillis, and Terry Webster. They are assigned in training to Sgt. Eddie Ryker. Mike’s wife is Jill, a registered nurse. His older brother is Bill, another officer in the LAPD. (Duncan’s name was given as Danko in the television series, but I think it more likely that he is Bill’s brother, considering the interlinking of the various Spelling series. The show later spun off “S.W.A.T.”, which would have been set in the same police department, and footage of the front gate of the LA Police Academy from the credits of “The Rookies” [and reused in episodes of the series] appeared in the credits of “Charlie’s Angels” and “T.J. Hooker”, indicating that characters on those shows graduated from the same academy. In addition, for all the police series mentioned here, the agencies were all given various clearly fictional names. And the bulk of shooting locations are in Los Angeles.) Ryker is promoted to Lieutenant.

1972: Cases as seen in the first season of THE ROOKIES.

1973: Cases as seen in the second season of THE ROOKIES.

1974: Gillis left the force. Joining the force was rookie Chris Owens. Cases as seen in the third season of THE ROOKIES. The officers encounter the Los Angeles S.W.A.T. team, whose members at this time are led by Lt. Dan ’Hondo’ Harrelson and his second-in-command Sgt. David ‘Deacon’ Kay, and include Officers Jim Street, Dominic Luca, and T.J. McCabe (the team sniper). Hondo’s wife is Betty. Cases seen in the first season of S.W.A.T. take place.
Early 1975: Jill Munroe graduates from the Los Angeles Police Academy. After a brief career where she is highly discriminated against and given token work, she quits the force and joins the Townsend Detective Agency.

1975: Cases as seen in the fourth season of THE ROOKIES and the second season of S.W.A.T.

1975: CHARLIE’S ANGELS PILOT The Agency is hired to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy winegrower named LeMaire. Shortly thereafter, Woodville leaves the Agency and Bosley takes over his role. Jill buys a house on the beach and a Mustang Cobra II.

Late 1975: Charlie’s television friend, Aaron Spelling, produces a television movie pilot based on the Townsend Agency’s successful cracking of the LeMaire case. Sabrina becomes the leader of the team.

1975-76: Cases as seen in the first season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS.

March 31, 1976: The pilot telefilm for “Charlie’s Angels” is broadcast. The show is a success, and ABC picks up the series for a regular run.

1976: Jill leaves the Agency. Her younger sister Kris leaves the San Francisco police force after four years of service (including her time at the academy), and replaces her at the Agency, then takes over the beach house and car from her. Shortly after Kris joins, all three of the Townsend operatives---Kris, Kelly, and Sabrina---are called on to judge the Miss Harbor Beauty Contest, where they meet some goofy guys--Buddy, Stuf, Dancer, Moose, and Boychick--who live on, at, or near the beach in San Pedro. (Stuf was played by Stuart Pankin.)
1976-77: Cases as seen in the second season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS and life events in the only season of THE SAN PEDRO BEACH BUMS..

September 22, 1976: The first episode of the “Charlie’s Angels” television series is aired.

1977: Jill becomes a successful race car driver in Europe. Among other highlights, she came in third at Le Mans and won a Grand Prix.  The Townsend operatives encounter Las Vegas private investigator Dan Tanna, an acquaintance of Charlie and Bosley. After becoming engaged to fellow racer Steve Carmody, Jill got involved with the Agency on a case revolving around the racing world, only to see Steve killed in a blast meant for her.

1977-78: Cases as seen in the third season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS and the first season of VEGA$.

1978: Sabrina leaves the Agency. She marries and has a child. Former Boston police officer Tiffany Welles joins the Agency, taking over the Ford Pinto. Shortly after Tiffany joins the team, they have a case on the Pacific Princess cruise ship, owned by Princess Cruise Lines, and captained by Merrill Stubing. (LOVE BOAT crossover)

December 9, 1978: FANTASY ISLAND episode Charlie’s Cherubs -- Amber Ainsley and her two best friends are huge fans of the “Charlie’s Angels” television series. They visit Fantasy Island in order to fulfill their fantasy of being detectives. Tattoo tells Mr. Roarke he is a fan of the show as well and wishes the Angels were real. Roarke hints strongly that he knows the show’s detectives are real. Most likely, if some of the operatives visited Fantasy Island in an unseen FI episode, Tattoo would certainly know about it. So, it is highly probable that Roarke and Charlie know each other; and considering the types of people that we see they know on both series, it is almost completely certain that their paths have crossed in the past. This only implies that there is a television series of “Charlie’s Angels” in the TVCU, although we do know there are numerous books, films, comics, and radio and tv shows about the people of the TVCU.

1978-79: Cases as seen in the fourth season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS and the second season of VEGA$.

Early 1979: CHARLIE’S ANGELS episode TONI’S BOYS -- After the girls are targeted for murder, Charlie hires his friend/rival/colleague Toni Blake, who has an agency of her own with three male operatives--former US Olympic gold medalist Bob Sorenson, master of disguise Matt Parrish, and champion rodeo rider/roper/tracker Cotton Harper. (Attempt to spinoff a series starring Barbara Stanwyck and former gold medalist pole vaulter Bob Seagren as Sorenson.)

1979: Tiffany leaves the Agency and is replaced by model Julie Rogers, who is from the Bronx, New York. She attended a top modeling school, although she had gotten in trouble with the law before that. Julie takes over the Ford Pinto. Julie joined the Agency while Kris and Kelly were on a case in Hawaii (operating out of the Honolulu office), with Charlie helping her get a ‘temporary Investigator’s license’ back in California.

1979-80: Cases as seen in the fifth season of CHARLIE’S ANGELS and the third season of VEGA$.

Early 1980: The partner of detective Sgt. Thomas Jefferson ‘T.J.’ Hooker is killed. Hooker decides to return to plainclothes duty and rookie officer Vince Romano is assigned to partner with him in unit 4-Adam-30. They operate under precinct commander Captain Dennis Sheridan.

1980-81: Cases as seen in the first season of T.J. HOOKER.

1981: Sheridan’s daughter, rookie officer Stacy Sheridan, teams up with veteran officer Jim Corrigan as unit 4-Adam-16.

June 24, 1981: The final episode of “Charlie’s Angels” airs.

1981-82: Cases as seen in the second season of T.J. HOOKER.

1982-83: Cases as seen in the third season of T.J. HOOKER.

1983-84: Cases as seen in the fourth season of T.J. HOOKER.

1984: Officer Romano left the force. T. J.’s long-time friend, Detective Pete O’Brien, teamed up frequently with Hooker, not letting his using a wheelchair prevent him from doing his job.

Late 1984: Hooker and company encounter undercover officer Dani Starr. Her father is (or was) a detective. (Episode of “T.J. Hooker” called “Hollywood Starr”. Attempt to create a show around Dani, presumably called HOLLYWOOD STARR, and to star Sharon Stone, failed.)

1984-85: Cases as seen in the fifth season of T.J. HOOKER.

1987: ANGELS ’88/’89 -- Operatives of the Townsend Detective Agency at this time include Connie Bates, Pam Ryan, Trisha Lawrence, and Bernie Colter. (Attempts by Spelling and the Fox television network to create a series based on the cases of these ladies fail, in part due to the major Writer’s Guild strike. One of the ladies cast was Téa Leoni.)

1990s: Madison Lee is an operative for the Townsend Agency.

Late 1990s: CHARLIE’S ANGELS At this time, the Townsend Agency operatives are Natalie Cook, Dylan Sanders, and Alex Munday.  They are assigned to find missing software genius Eric Knox.
Early 2000s: John Bosley retires from the Agency after working for Charlie for a good thirty years or more. His half-brother, Jimmy Bosley, is hired to replace him.

Early 2000s: S.W.A.T. Following a shakeup at the Los Angeles S.W.A.T. team, it is reorganized. One unit is now under Sgt. Second Grade Daniel ‘Hondo’ Harrelson II, the son of a previous team leader, Lt. Harrelson and an unknown woman. Team members include Officer Third Grade Jim Street II, whose father was also a team member; Officer Third Grade Deacon ’Deke’ Kaye, nephew of earlier team member David Kaye; Officer Third Grade T. J. McCabe, Jr., whose father also served on the team once; Officer Third Grade Chris Sanchez who is mother to a young girl named Eliza; and Officer Third Grade Michael Boxer. Former S.W.A.T. member Officer Third Grade Brian Gamble quit the LAPD after he was demoted, following the incident that led to the shakeup of S.W.A.T.; and there are several other S.W.A.T. teams, too. After another incident involving drug lord Alexander Montel, he is captured but there are attempts to break him out. The S.W.A.T. members successfully prevent those attempts.  (Come on, several of the characters have to be the sons of the characters as seen in the TV series---too many similar names!)

2002: CHARLIE’S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE  Former Townsend operative Madison Lee is involved with criminals in a case involving a special list of people in the Witness Protection Program that is stolen from the Department of Justice, and several persons are killed or wounded. Former operative Kelly Garrett meets Dylan Sanders in a bar when Dylan was contemplating leaving the Agency, possibly as a deceased spirit.
April 1, 2010: Charles Townsend passes away at 92 years old. His son, Charles Townsend II (not previously seen) inherited the Agency. At some point, Charlie or Charles II opened up an office in Miami, Florida (previously, we had seen the Los Angeles office, and an office in Honolulu). Operatives in the Miami office include former Miami police officer Kate Prince, mysterious street racer Eve French, and Abigail “Abby” Sampson, well-to-do thief, and another operative named John Bosley, who may or may not be related to the John Bosley and Jimmy Bosley that we’ve met before.

Alternate Universe: CHARLIE’S ANGELS video game -- Alex, Dylan, and Natalie attempt to solve a mystery of missing national monuments. Critics panned it and it is considered one of the worst video games ever made. Considering that national monuments are missing, this sounds like a crossover to the CARMEN SANDIEGO universe.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'am. Dragnet in the TVCU

I always dug Joe Friday, even as a kid.  There was something about his style of not needing style.  He didn't need gimmics.  He just solved the case using good old fashioned police work.  Had I become a cop (and I almost did), that is that type of cop I would have been.

1949 to 1957--DRAGNET--This is the radio series that continued onto television.

1951--CHESTERFIELD SOUND OFF TIME--"Dragnet:  The Human Bomb"--Pilot for the series.

Dragnet title screen.jpg

1951 to 1959--DRAGNET--Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner(s) use good old fashioned police work to solve crimes in Los Angeles.

1954--DRAGNET--This is a film that is part of the regular series.

1966--DRAGNET 1966--Basically a pilot for the 1967 revival.

1967 to 1970--DRAGNET '67--Sgt. Joe Friday and his partner still use good old fashioned police work to solver crimes in Los Angeles.

1968 to 1975--ADAM 12--Two regular police officers patrol Los Angeles.  Adam-12 is a spin-off of Dragnet.

December 1968--ADAM-12--"Internal Affairs:  DR-20"--Joe Friday and Bill Gannon meet Pete Malloy and Jim Reed from ADAM-12.

1972 to 1978--EMERGENCY--The crew of Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 51, particularly the paramedic team, and Rampart Hospital respond to emergencies in their operating area.   This show has crossed-over with ADAM-12.

January 1972---EMERGENCY--"The Wedsworth-Townsend Act"--The cast of Adam-12 (Milner,McCord ) appears in this episode!

1974--SIERRA--sisnbud8891 says:  Its really a shame that they don't write shows like this one any more. I was only 11 when it came out, but my Dad and I loved this show! One of the memorable things about it was the theme song, by the late John Denver. It was really beautiful and I wish I could find it on a cd but have never been able to. Yosemite National Park is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to (just visited there two summers ago for the third time) so this was a big draw to me as well. I was also a fan of the show Emergency! so having Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe as guest stars was a real plus. It was a nice, wholesome and charming show and I would love to be able to find it on DVD some day. Though it was short lived, it is a cherished childhood memory of mine.  This show has crossed-over with EMERGENCY.

October 1974--SEIRRA--"The Urban Rangers"--John Gage and Roy DeSoto from Emergency! appear in this episode

May 1976--THE BIONIC WOMAN--"The Ghost Hunter"--Parts of this episode were shot in the Rampart Hospital Set of Emergency!

Dragnet movie.jpg

1987--DRAGNET--Joe Friday, nephew of the original, and his new partner try to take down a cult.  This Joe Friday would later be featured in the L.A. Dragnet series.

Spring 1988--MS. TREE # 49 to 50--"Fallen Tree"--Ms. Tree sees the ghost of her father, Sgt. Joe Friday.  There was a previous storyline that revealed that Ms. Tree's father was a cop named Friday, but this storyline confirms it is actually Dragnet's Joe Friday.  This would make Ms. Tree the cousin of the Joe Friday from the movie and later updated television series.  Dragnet has also crossed with ADAM-12 and EMERGENCY, and EMERGENCY then crossed with SIERRA.

1989 to 1990--THE NEW DRAGNET/DRAGNET:  THE NINETIES--steve-575 says:  This new version of the popular 50s and 60s show had absolutely none of the magic of the old series. It still had the narration, the investigation, and the mugshots at the end. However with little star power, zombie-like acting, lame dialog and cheap production, it didn't exactly remind anyone of the original series. The producers tried to keep it serious like the old series but it simply did not work with the two actors. They seemed so awkwardly matched and their dialog seemed so forced that it was painful to watch at times. Many of the car rides scenes were so solemn that it was almost as if they were returning from a funeral. In their interactions with the criminals, they were always using corny lines, some of which were so bad they were unintentionally funny. Watching the plot develop was slow and painful and had essentially the same entertainment value as watching paint dry. I remember this show airing late at night in syndication which was perfect because I'm sure it helped many insomniacs fall asleep. One of the few things in it's favor was that it aired in conjunction with the new version of "Adam-12" which was much worse, making the new version of "Dragnet" look good by comparison.

1990--REPOSSESSED--Robert Fuller appears as Dr. Hackett (from EMERGENCY!) in this picture

November 1995--THE SIMPSONS--"Mother Simpson"--Joe Friday (the nephew I assume) and Bill Gannon are on loan to the FBI where they are pursuing Homer's mother.

Joe Friday.png

October 1997--DIAGNOSIS MURDER--"Malibu Fire"--a fire truck with the number 51 can be seen in a scene with Randy Mantooth and Robert Fuller (from EMERGENCY!).

2003 to 2004--L.A. DRAGNET--Featuring the original Joe Friday's nephew, also named Joe Friday (and who would be cousin to Ms. Tree), last seen in the Dragnet movie.


LOONIVERSE--Daffy and Porky works as cops under the aliases of Joe Monday and Shmoe Tuesday.