THE TELEVISION CROSSOVER CROSSOVER UNIVERSE LAUNCHED JANUARY 10, 2011 CELEBRATING FOUR YEARS
My sitcom blog posts are not very popular, and yet, they are my favorite. They are usually very short, simple, and uncomplicated, and yet, all have their place within a larger shared reality. It was sitcoms that cross connected, like the All in the Family and Happy Days groups, that got me into this whole obsession.
This one is pretty neat, because I had to create a theory based on a continuity glitch caused by crossover connections. Newhart was supposed to be a dream of Dr. Hartley of the Bob Newhart Show, but if you connect the crossover dots, you'll find they coexist within the same shared reality.
In the final episode of Newhart, it was revealed that the entire series was a dream of Dr. Bob Hartley from the Bob Newhart Show. However, crossover evidence points to both shows being in the TVCU. I've talked before about how some events can exist in the same world where they are considered fictional, because certain writers were actually having psychic flashes of real events, but assumed it was something from their own imagination. I believe something like that can explain these two shows. But if we consider that the two characters of Bob Hartley and Dick Loudon are so similar, then perhaps it could be postulated that the two may be twins, separated at birth, and they had, like many twins, especially in the world of TV, a psychic connection.
But wait, there's more. It may be that they were triplets. And the third child was Bob Newhart, the comedian. Newhart himself likely had visions of those brothers' lives, which he used to create his hit shows. Later, Hartley would dream that he was Bob Newhart hosting Saturday Night Live.**
Now, on to the crossovers...
1972 to 1978--THE BOB NEWHART SHOW--The story of Dr. Bob Hartley, a psychiatrist.
1982 to 1990--NEWHART--Author Dick Loudon and his wife move to Vermont and buy an inn, and have to adjust to lots of crazy locals.
November 1982--NEWHART--"No Tigers at the Circus"--Dick is watching his favorite show, which apparently is THE BOB NEWHART SHOW. A zonk, sure. And possible evidence of separate realities. But actually evidence of the same reality. Bob is dreaming about watching a show about himself? Since the triplet is Bob Newhart himself, we know that there was indeed a show called the Bob Newhart Show in the TVCU.
October 1985--NEWHART--"Oh, That Morocco"--From Matt Hickman: I know we don't use the same actor theory most of the time in the TVCU but in the Newhart show SE4 ep4 Oh, That Morocco Rebeca Arthur plays unnamed stewardess. She also played Blakis May Anne on Prefect Strangers Mary Anne's job stewardess
March 1987--ALF--"Going Out of My Head Over You"--OK, I'll let you guys choose to count this or skip it. Thom Holbrook over at Poobala says no. Meanwhile, both the Westphallians and IMDB says yes. So here's the facts. Willie has a friend whose a psychiatrist. It's not Dr. Hartley, but it's Dr. Lawrence 'Larry' Dykstra, played by Bill Daily, who played a completely different character on the Bob Newhart Show. But in the waiting room is an unnamed patient played by Jack Riley, meant to invoke his famous role as Dr. Hartley's patient, Elliot Carlin. IMDB and the Westphallians say it is him. Thom says it isn't. Add to this that ALF later references knowing about psychology from having watched the show The Bob Newhart Show!!! But these zonks have always been easily explained, and with my triplet theory, we know that there was a show called that in the TVCU. So you decide. ALF is in the TVCU, so there is that to add into your decision. This story happened in the TVCU whether it was Elliot Carlin or some other guy.
November 1988--ST. ELSEWHERE--"Close Encounters"--Dr. Robert Hartley's patient Elliot Carlin (BOB NEWHART SHOW) appears. The character actually appears in several episodes of St. Elsewhere, confirming the connection to the Bob Newhart Show. Oh, one extra note. In the final episode of St. Elsewhere, it turns out the whole series was just a daydream of an autistic child. So in the world of Westphalians, Newhart and its crossovers are a dream of Dr. Hartley, but his world is a fantasy of a child. Wow. See my St. Elsewhere blog (entitled "Is Tommy Westphal God?" for more on that.
November 1988--NEWHART--"I Married Dick"--Aha, he says. Dick and his wife Joanne attend marriage counseling. (Though, who else would he attend it with?) And who is also a patient of the shrink they are seeing? Mr. unnamed patient played by Jack Riley, who we all know is Hartley's patient Elliott Carlin. Aha, indeed. And another patient mentions having seen psychiatrist in Chicago. Double Aha!!! (Oh, I guess I never mentioned THE BOB NEWHART SHOW was set in Chicago. Now, Aha!!!)
May 1990--NEWHART--"The Last Newhart"--A Japanese business buys the whole town, except for the inn because Dick won't sell. But....it all turns out to be a dream of Dr. Bob Hartley....or is it?
October 1990--TINY TOON ADVENTURES--"Hollywood Plucky"--This series is part of the Looniverse, but placed here as it's relevant to the TVCU. Larry, Darryl, and Darryl are at a Hollywood restaurant where Plucky Duck is the waiter. Hollywood has a portal to the Looniverse, and Looniverse characters often come over to the TVCU. For some reason, Hollywood types don't really find it unusual. And the three brothers are the type of tend to get around. So this is the Looniverse Plucky meeting the TVCU brothers.
November 1991--THE BOB NEWHART SHOW 19TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL--Following Bob Hartley's very realistic dream about another life as inn keeper Dick Loudon in Vermont, Bob confides his dream to his friend, airline pilot Howard Borden. Howard reveals he had a similar dream where he was an astronaut for five seasons. (We then get a cut to a clip from I DREAM OF JEANNIE). Perhaps Larry and Major Roger Healey were also separated at birth. Note too that this episode follows directly from the Newhart final episode, and in one scene of this special, Bob sees three repairmen that are Larry, Darryl and Daryl, residents of the small town where Dick's inn is. This could in one sense be made to imply that Bob had already met them, and they creeped into his subconscious dream. However, I think that it really means that the two shows are in the same reality, and that some time had actually passed between that final episode and this special, and after the Japanese had bought the town in Vermont, those three migrated south to become repairmen. (The special does air more than a year after the last Newhart aired, so even though it's implied it happened immediately after, there is some evidence that there was a passage of time.)
1993--BOB--"Better to Have Loved and Flossed"--This show also stars Bob Newhart, but as far as I know, there is no dream connection. However, in this, the final episode, which actually didn't air until years after cancellation, has an appearance of dentist Dr. Jerry Robinson, who was a friend of Dr. Hartley. Apparently, the owner of the company this Bob works for ran off with a dental hygienist associated with Jerry. Small world.
March 1994--MURPHY BROWN--"Anything But Cured"--Dr. Hartley's secretary, Carol moves to D.C. after a fight with Jerry and goes to work for Murphy Brown. Finally, Murphy finds an acceptable secretary. But Dr. Hartley comes to bring Carol back and Carol chooses to return to work for him.
1994 August Maxwell Sheffield is trying to get Elizabeth Taylor to star in one of his plays. Liz has Fran Fine take her black pearls to a photo shoot she is doing. They are lost in a cab Fran rides in. The pearls are found by a later rider, Annie O'Donnell. She keeps them and wears them to an event. Annie loses them and a thief takes them. Liz is supposed to go to an interview on FYI with Murphy Brown. She cancels when a lead comes on about the pearls. The thief shows up at the Emerson/Walker household. Eventually, the thief gets caught, and Liz gets her pearls back, and Liz will star in Mr. Sheffield's play. (CBS four-program crossover guest-starring Elizabeth Taylor. The Nanny, episode 'Where's the Pearls?'; Can't Hurry Love, episode 'The Elizabeth Taylor Episode''; Murphy Brown, episode 'Trick Or Retreat'; and High Society, episode "The Family Jewels". Dated about eighteen months before the episode aired. The episodes were a marketing stunt to help establish Liz' Black Pearls perfume, but in the TVCU, happens before that product comes to market. Murphy Brown crossed over to The Bob Newhart Show and thus is in the TVCU.)
February 11, 1995--SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE--"Bob Newhart/Des'ree"--Dr. Hartley dreams that he was Bob Newhart hosting Saturday Night Live, including what may have been a real life event turned into a sketch of Dr. Hartley being a guest on the RICKI LAKE SHOW.
May 1997--COACH--"Leaving Orlando"--Coach Hayden Fox and his lovely wife (or girlfriend at this point...I can't remember when they tied the knot) Christine head out to Hayden's Minnesota cabin to find it already occupied. The squatters are Larry, Darryl and Darryl, who must have moved after selling their land to a Japanese business.
November 1997--GEORGE & LEO--"The Cameo Episode"--Dr. Michael Harris, from NEWHART, appears. (That's all I know.) Apparently other Newhart characters cameo as well.
November 2, 2003--CBS AT 75--This whole special turns out to be just a dream of Dr. Hartley. Geez. I hope this blog isn't just a dream of Dr. Hartley, and I'm just a guy writing a blog inside a snowglobe in some kid's imagination, and that kid's universe is just an atom inside the thumbnail of a college student on pot, and he's just a comic book character created by Grant Morrison.
April 2009--AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE--"Creature from the Plaque Lagoon"--Meatwad talks about staying in Newhart's inn in Vermont
SKITLANDIA--On JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!, some alternate endings to LOST are presented, including one in which it was all just a dream of Dr. Bob Hartley. Given Dr. Hartley's powers of prophesy, I'd love to include this. It wouldn't mean Lost was a dream, but that Hartley had yet another psychic dream where he viewed real life events. However, given the context, in which it's a sketch of writers coming up with ideas, then panning to those ideas, it just doesn't work for me. It's hilarious, nonetheless. And before I get the comments, I consider the SNL bit different. On Kimmel, the Newhart bit is a fictionality within a sketch, whereas on SNL it's a sketch all on it's own, thus a separate story of sorts. And if you don't like that, disregard it.
**I do get the arguments that Newhart isn't in the same reality. That it was a dream. And I get my evidence to the contrary is weak. But I have very strong evidence that I Dream of Jeannie and the Bob Newhart Show coexist, and when I do my Jeannie blog, that will be made clearer. But briefly, Jeannie crosses with Bewitched and Scooby, and I've already done blogs on them, which you can check out for further confirmation. And if Jeannie was more than just a dream, then it makes sense that so was Newhart. And Newhart does connect with with Drew Carey, that connects with Home Improvement, which connects to Toy Story, which is confirmed in the TVCU and there's a blog you can check out for that. And of course The Bob Newhart Show's connection to St. Elsewhere can allow me to redirect you to my St. Elsewhere blog for further cementing of that into the TVCU.