Character nods to the actor's former character

One of William Daniels’s biggest roles was Dr. Mark Craig in St. Elsewhere, a heart surgeon. On Boy Meets World, where he plays George Feeny, a school principal, he makes a comment about an outrageously priced pair of socks “What am I, a heart surgeon?” Later, on Scrubs, he plays a hospitalized doctor alongside three of his castmates from St. Elsewhere.

An episode of Roseanne featured her cousin Ronnie, played by Joan Collins. Roseanne mentioned that they had a huge fight as teenagers when Ronnie stoled her boyfriend Blake.

Even better was an earlier episode where Winkler did Fonzie’s “ta-da” gesture in the mirror that was show in the opening credits of Happy Days.

But Arrested Development is really the mother lode of that sort of thing. They also had Ron Howard saying he refused to say anything bad about Andy Griffith. And when Charlize Theron guest-starred there was a line that she had had a lot of plastic surgery to look so good, then a cut to a “before” shot of Theron as Aileen Wuomos in Monster.

There are, to my recollection, several sly and not-so-sly T2 references in Agent Doggett’s early days working with the X-Files. My girlfriend and I are working our way through that series now, and I’ll have to make a list this time around.

D’oh, I knew I was forgetting something about it.

St. Elsewhere was full of these moments.

In one episode, after Dr. Criag has hurt his hand, he and his wife travel to Philadelphia to visit an eminent surgeon who specializes in the repair of hands. As Mark and his wife are walking along she complains, “Mark, why did we have to come to Philadelphia in the summer? It’s too damned hot!” To which he replies by singing “It’s hot as hell in Philadelphia!” Those are lines fro the musical 1776 in which William Daniels played John Adams.

In another episode a man has lost his memory and is desperately searching for an identity. He fastens on being Mary Richards, from *The Mary Tyler Moore Show *The hospital is visited by a doctor from the Surgeon General’s office, and she’s played by Betty White. The patient sees her and calls her “Sue Ann!”

My favourite one that hasn’t been mentioned: In the first episode of Stargate SG1, when Jack O’Neil (played by Richard Dean Anderson) joins the SG team, Captain Carter mentions that it took them a long time to ‘MacGyver up’ a system to control the Gate.

(My absolute favourite is the monster on the wing on Third Rock, just because of it being a conversation between Shatner and Lithgow.)

Kirstie Alley wearing a Santa’s Elf costume (complete with pointy ears). Kid asks her what she’s supposed to be, an elf? “No, I’m a Vulcan”. From Look Who’s Talking Now!. A movie not really worth remembering, if it wasn’t for this one gag. Surely I can’t be the only geek who almost choked laughing.

At least not through post 12.

Marlon Brando in The Freshman, which requires a familiarity with Vito Corleone for the running gag to work.

In Goodfellas Michael Imperoli plays a character (Spider) who gets shot in the foot , he later is shot dead. On the Sopranos Imperoli’s character Chris shoots a guy at a bakery in the foot for not serving him fast enough.

Also at the end of Goodfellas Henry Hill picks up a newspaper from his front yard. Every season of the Sopranos starts with Tony picking up a paper from his driveway.

A bunch of other actors were in Goodfellas and the Sopranos.

In The Sopranos, I heard Christopher make a smartass reply (I think aboiut why he was late) by quoting lines from “Born to Run.” Silvio didn’t even flinch, as I recall.

Yes, he said a bunch of people were on a last chance power drive.

Sean Bean as Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring, cutting his finger on the shards of Narsil and saying “Still Sharp”. A double reference to his character of Richard Sharpe in the series of TV movies and the commercials that he made for various products that incorporated lines such as “Sharp Idea” and so forth.

On “Newhart”, (and discounting what would happen in the Newhart series finale) Dick Loudon went to see a psychologist and the patient leaving the doctor’s office as Dick arrived was played by Jack Riley, who played Dr. Hartley’s patient Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show.” Riley’s character on “Newhart” said something having been screwed up by “some quack in Chicago.”

On Spin City when Michael Flannery left NYC to go to DC, he writes a letter describing his run-ins with a young lobbiest named Alex P. Keaton.

He also saw a shrink who became a father figure, played by Michael Gross, his Family Ties dad.

There was also a scene where Michael is dismayed by the state of television and starts reminiscing about old shows. He mentions the one about that psychologist in Chicago who stuttered. Dick replies “st, stammered.”

In one episode, Mary is watching television when it announces that “Next on Biography: The Susan Saint James Story…” Mary snorts and says “Who cares about her?” and changes the channel.

Susan Saint James being Jane Curtin’s co-star in the 1980’s single mothers sit-com “Kate & Allie”.

The Bob Newhart references in past posts reminded me of another one: One of the running gags in Murphy Brown was that Murphy could never find a decent secretary. In one episode she finally found the perfect secretary, played by Marcia Wallace, who was the secretary on The Bob Newhart Show. At the end of the show Dr Bob Hartley shows up and begs her to return to her old job.

Nitpick: Drs. Hartley and Robinson appear!