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Thread: allusions to other shows

  1. #1

    allusions to other shows

    I always like when there are references in one show to another show, particularly ones where the actor was in both unrelated shows. I think St. Elsewhere had a ton of them. My favorite on that series was an episode in which Dr. Craig goes to a conference in Philadelphia during the summer, and starts singing "It's hotter than hell in Phil-a-del-phi-a!"
    If you don't know what this means, William Daniels played both Dr. Craig in St. Elsewhere and John Adams in 1776, where he sings this song.
    The references could be other TV series, or movies, or even plays like I've mentioned here.
    What are some that you like or remember?

  2. #2
    More than an allusion, but likely the most famous reference to another show was the finale of Newhart, in which innkeeper Dick Loudon wakes up as Bob Hartley (The Bob Newhart Show), in bed with his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette from the earlier show). In other words, the entire 7 or 8 seasons of Newhart had all been a dream.

    At the time, I wondered if this was an allusion (or perhaps tribute) to the finale of St. Elsewhere, in which it is strongly implied that the entire series was the dream of Dr. Westphal's autistic (IIRC) son.

  3. #3
    One 1965 episode of The Lucy Show featured William Frawley in a cameo role as a horse trainer. Lucy walks by him and says "Don't I know him from somewhere?" It was Frawley's last on-screen appearance, and he died a few months later, in early 1966.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  4. #4
    There were some other references in Newhart's 80's show to his 70's show. There was an episode where Jack Riley (Elliott Carlin in the 70's show) was a guest at the inn and he made a remark about a crazy psychologist in Chicago. There was also a scene where Dick Loudon (Newhart) said he was watching his favorite TV show, and the theme music from his 70's show started playing.

  5. #5

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    The Nanny. Fran's grandmother Yetta was played by Ann Morgan Guilbert who played Millie on the Dick Van Dyke Show. Yetta was very senile. In one episode Yetta was convinced that Fran and Maxwell were Laura and Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show) and she was their neighbor Millie. She looked in the mirror, pointed at herself and said "There's Millie".

    At the end of another episode another episode Fran, Yetta, and someone else (I forget who) are sitting in the couch watching TV. An old Dick Van Dyke show was on.

    Fran: I always loved the neighbor Millie. I wonder why they never spun her off.
    Yetta: I heard she was very hard to work with.

    Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy) comes into the room and stands behind the couch.
    Fran (Changes the channel to Days of Our Lives): Days of Our Lives hasn't been the same since Shane left. (Shane was played by Charles Shaughnessy).
    Maxwell: He auditioned for me once with that fake British accent.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by anotherguy View Post
    There were some other references in Newhart's 80's show to his 70's show. There was an episode where Jack Riley (Elliott Carlin in the 70's show) was a guest at the inn and he made a remark about a crazy psychologist in Chicago. There was also a scene where Dick Loudon (Newhart) said he was watching his favorite TV show, and the theme music from his 70's show started playing.
    Another show in which Riley appeared as Carlin was another MTM show, St. Elsewhere. He was a patient in the mental ward with Oliver Clark (who had played another Newhart patient Mr. Herd). In the show, Clark plays a John Doe who thinks he's Mary Richards from MTM and goes around referencing other characters. What makes the bit really memorable is (at 37: 30 below) Betty White is playing a bureaucrat who Clark insists is Sue Ann Nivens, but she claims it's mistaken identity. Roughly eight minutes into the show Carlin and Clark's character are watching TV, with Carlin wanting to watch The White Shadow--yet another MTM show:

    NOTE: The picture is smaller and audio speeded up, but it's still worth watching:

    On an episode of All in the Family, Edith makes a comment about Perry Mason vigorously offering an objection by quickly rising to his feet, She then says (with a nod to Ironside), "He don't jump up no more."

    A Gilligan's Island episode made a reference to Dr. Kildare.

    On Michael Learned's post-Waltons series, Nurse, there were some Three Stooges fans on the crew. One episode, had regular interplay while the PA put out a call for "Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard."

    Not really another TV show, but there was an inside joke on Chicago Hope connected to one of the show's stars. Christine Lahti. She had just won an Oscar and her character was battling with a patient who was offering phony boasts about what he'd do, and she replied, "Yeah, and I might win an Oscar."

    Batman and Green Hornet had the same producer, so one scene on each show had Bruce and Dick watching Hornet and Britt and Kato watching Batman. The start of Batman's second season had cameos plugging four different new ABC shows. Both Milton Berle and Phyllis Diller appeared, though neither of their characters was connected to their actual show. However, one window cameo had Hornet and Kato (who apparently became villains months later, LOL), while another had Howard Duff as his character Sam Stone on Felony Squad.

    On Mad Men (circa 1967), Don Draper's second wife either gets a role or is up for one on Dark Shadows. This episode (which doesn't mention DS by name, but it's pretty obvious) appeared at about the time the big-screen version came out, so I'm sure this was effectively product placement.

    In another episode, Don Draper comes home in October 1968 and flips on a Dragnet episode where Joe Friday is hosting Bill Gannon and wife at his apartment. The fact that the Dragnet ep in question matches the time frame for the episode wasn't coincidence--Mad Men viewers were sticklers for spotting anachronisms and griping about it.

    Antenna TV has a current promo commercial that shows some of their programs doing this, including Maude referencing The Partridge Family.
    Last edited by BD Sullivan; 07-05-2019 at 11:29 PM.

  7. #7
    In the "Lisa the Psychologist" episode of "Green Acres", Lisa Douglas takes courses at a local college. When she finds out her class is in Room 221, she mentions she's only one room away from being on TV. That's a reference to the late 60s show "Room 222".

  8. #8
    There's an episode of The Monkees where the boys join the circus. Mickey keeps trying to remember the theme song from Circus Boy. Mickey Dolenz was in both series.

  9. #9
    The funniest scene of the entire Everwood series was from the first season. A bunch of people are convinced that aliens have landed. During a discussion of this at the Abbott dinner table, Bright (Chris Pratt) is playing with his mashed potatoes. You eventually realize that he is building Devil's Tower, like in Close Encounters.

  10. #10
    In the Ashton Kutcher phase of "Two and a Half Men," there were a number of instances:

    *Alan Harper's girlfriend, played by Courtney Thorne-Smith (who was on Melrose Place), explains that she appeared in a soft-core porn because the producer said he could get her a role on MP.

    *She also shows up drunk at the house, potentially ruining an adoption, so Ashton Kutcher yells, "Charlie Sheen doesn't live here anymore."

    *Alan is ready to go to a Halloween party as Ducky, the character from Pretty in Pink--a role player by Jon Cryer (aka Alan)

    *The finale has plenty of references to the offscreen chaos involving Sheen.

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