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Extras: What They Are, Where To Find Them
April 10, 2008  | By David Bianculli  | 37 comments
One of my most popular regular column offerings, when I was TV critic for The New York Daily News, was a feature called Extras - my name for in-jokes buried within TV shows. Over the years, I deputized my loyal readers to search for them and send them my way, and every month or so I'd print the best Extras, as well as the names of the readers who found them.

Well, I'm very happy to report that the Daily News has given me official permission to continue Extras here at TV WORTH WATCHING. So here we go - or, rather, here YOU go. If you find a neat Extra, post it here under comments, and we'll al get to read and enjoy them at the same time. And in real time, rather than waiting for me to collect and collate them.

Toby O'Brien, the Tubeworld TV guru who may have sent me more worthwhile Extras than anyone else during my 14-year Daily News reign, sent one to me back in November, just in case I was still collecting them. So let's use that as an example, since I was able to hunt up appropriate visual aids.

"Last night," O'Brien from Manhattan wrote then, "Pushing Daisies did a cross-medium in-joke with a flashback for guest star Molly Shannon's character. She was out in a skiff, heading for Bodega bay, when she was attacked my sea gulls.

"Besides the obvious comparison to the movie The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, especially with the mention of Bodega Bay, I think Molly Shannon's wardrobe and reactions were supposed to recall the image of Tippi Hedren in that movie."

True enough. See for yourself: Exhibit A, the photo at top left -- at the Tippi top -- is Shannon from ABC's Pushing Daisies. Exhibit B, at top right, is Tippi Hedren from the original 1963 Hitchcock film. That's an Extra that really is for the birds...

And here's a more recent example, from an April 2008 episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. My teaching colleague at Rowan University, Prof. Mike Donovan, caught this one and called me immediately.

At the end of the show, Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Barney, was writing an entry of "Barney's Blog" onto his laptop, as the familiar strains of the theme song of Harris' first TV series, Doogie Howser, M.D., played in the background. Harris, as Doogie, typed his inner thoughts onto a computer in that series, too, way back in 1989... and even stared off into space the same way when thinking about what to write next. See for yourself:

Now it's your turn. Caught any good Extras lately? Describe and share them here, by clicking COMMENTS. And thanks, to my former employer and to you, for keeping this TV treasure-hunting tradition alive.


Dave said:

Did you see the Extra in last night's "How I Met Your Mother"?

At the end of the episode, Neil Patrick Harris' Barney is seen in front of a laptop
updating his blog, as the Doogie Howser MD theme music is in the background.

(Dave sent this independently of my posting this example, and well before, so he deserves credit. -- David B)

Chris said:

Great in-joke goes back to "That 70's Show." Tanya Roberts is going to renew her vows. Kitty, her best friend, is upset she wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid. Turns out she had them picked and the three were also former Bond girls. (M. Adams, B. Carrera and K. Wayborn.) The shot lasted long enough to recognize them and then said no more about it. Thanks to the ladies for being good sports about it.

Asa said:

The "Ugly Betty" episode that aired 11/01 included some scenes centered on a night at the Broadway show "Wicked."

One song from the musical prominently featured in that episode is "I'm Not That Girl"...in the context of "Betty," it serves as an allusion of sorts to guest star Marlo Thomas' classic sitcom. Her character, an ad representative, was at "Wicked" with Dan.

Flav said:

Last night's Simpsons episode included a parody of the late Sopranos episode when Tony suffocates Christopher to death after a car accident. In the Simpsons universe, it was Homer suffocating Grampa after a similar accident (it turns out to be a dream Homer is having while driving Lisa to Girl Scouts). Upon waking, Homer says, "Ohh... I always wake up before the good part."
(Great one! -- David B)

Toby OB said:

Tonight's episode of '30 Rock' featured Tim Conway as an old TV comedian named Bucky Bright. He went on a weird and twisted nostalgic trip through the halls of NBC until he found a picture of himself with the gang from the old days.

It turned out to be a picture of the cast from 'McHale's Navy' in which Tim Conway co-starred (only that show was on ABC). (Good catch, Toby, as always. You still have the record for unearthing Extras -- David B.)

Monty49 said:

On last night's episode of "My Name is Earl," a drug dealer called Earl's father (played by Beau Bridges) "Dude." Earl's father told the drug dealer not to call him Dude, and the drug dealer told him to calm down and then referred to him as "Lebowski." Of course, Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski was played by Beau Bridges' brother, Jeff Bridges.
(This one's a classic, Dude. Thanks! -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

Just watched that '30 Rock' episode again at the NBC site.... And during that press conference at the beginning of the show with Mayor Bloomberg as himself, there were a lot of fake news crawls along the bottom. Along with stories about zombie ambassadors and baby bottles found on Mars, there was an item about NORAD putting Cyborgs in charge of Skynet.

This is a reference to the 'Terminator' franchise, which includes 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles' on rival network FOX.

Between that and the ABC reference of 'McHale's Navy', there must be a few suits at the real 30 Rock who aren't too happy when those kinds of details get through!
(Toby, that's great -- I hadn't caught that one! -- David B.)

Rick Urba said:

I think I spotted an Extra in tonights episode of NCIS. Rocky Carroll co starred as an agent investigating the NCIS crew. Carroll also co-starred with Mark Harmon (Jethro Gibbs) in the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope. In this episode Carroll's character hands Gibbs some money. Gibbs asks him"What is this for". Carroll replies, "For the cheese danish" Gibbs questions.."From eight years ago???" That's about the time frame when Chicago Hope was on the air, so I'm guessing that was an inside joke of some sort!! (You're probably right -- but even though I was a big "Hope" fan, I don;t know whether that's an onscreen or offscreen joke. Anybody else know? -- David B.)

Kate G said:

On Boston Legal Tuesday night, Alan and Denny were sitting on the patio with their scothch and cigars contemplating where they should travel to on their next trip. (They had just returned from the Supreme Court). One of them suggested "Wednesdays" presumably meant to be the name of a restaurant and the other agreed to go "next week." ABC has moved the show from Tuesday to Wednesday. (Good catch, Kate! David E. Kelley has done that sort of stuff from time to time, making jokes about theme songs, Emmy wins and so on. -- David B.)

Fro said:

I just got around to watching last weeks Scrubs where Turk revealed to JD that he had to have a testicle removed. JD asks him "Which one, Lamont or Grady?" Lamont and Grady were characters from Sanford and Son - a couple of nuts as I recall. (Very funny -- and remembering "Sanford & Son" was a good catch! Given the context, I would have guessed another sitcom: "Groin Pains." -- David B.)

Dave Andrews said:

Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen, helicopter noise and Platoon. Or was it Apocalypse Now and his father as the extra?

Phillip R. Crabb said:

I've watched this so many times, and then it finally dawned on me. I'm not presumptuos enough to think I'm the only one to see this, but in "Band of Brothers", Tom Hanks son Colin, plays a character named 2nd Lt. Jones....2nd Lt. Henry Jones to be exact...and wasn't that the 'real' name of Indiana Jones, the product of fellow Producer Steven Spielberg? (It may well be, but I'm not sure whether Spielberg or the elder Hanks would be playful with such a serious subject. I'll ask around, though, and try to find out if you're correct. -- David B.)

Hoppy said:

Hey Dave did you see the Mythbusters doing a thumbs up on CSI? They were doing a test on a dummy clone of Buster and the guys were in the next room. (No, I missed it. I'll try to catch it on the rerun cycle. Good catch! -- David B.)

irene said:

i enjoyed reading the "extras" feature in ny daily news for years and never got up the gumption to submit anything, well here it goes . . . it may be a stretch but in the battlestar galactica epi "The Road Less Travelled (sp?)" baltar said that god loves you just the way you are. i thought this was funny because the first thing i remember seeing the baltar's portrayer, james callis, in was "bridget jones's diary", which has d'arcy telling bridget he liked her just the way she was; a line oft repeated in the movie. i know it's a crossover of mediums and genres but it worked for me. (Works for me, too, just fine. Welcome to the squadron of Extra detectives! -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

In the season-ender of 'Bones', Booth was reading a "Green Lantern" comic book in his bathtub.

David Boreanaz, who plays Booth, plays Hal Jordan (Green Lantern's alter ego) in "Justice League: The New Frontier". So it was a nice plug for that project..... (Another sharp-eyed catch from the King of Extras. Good one, Toby! -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

Okay, got another one... Now that the season is over, I'm just now catching up with the last five episodes of 'Reaper'. In "Acid Queen", the guys were looking for an inside source for information among the employees of a fashion magazine. They finally found a dweebish cubicle dweller named Kendall, whom they figured they could bond with.

"I know a brother when I see one." said Sock.

Which makes sense - Sock is played by Tyler Labine, and his brother Kyle Labine was playing the role of Kendall!

Tom said:

I always loved Extras in the Daily News. My first one is a pretty obvious one but here goes. On Sunday night's Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Mary McCormack appeared as her In Plain Sight character. She mentioned in the show that she had to be home by 10:00PM. Det. Logan responded by asking what was there to do on a Sunday at 10:00pm in Albuquerque. Of course, In Plain Sight comes on at 10:00. (This is WONDERFUL! Thanks! -- David B.)

Ken said:

Not only was Mary McCormack an "extra" but now In Plain Sight can be linked to the Tom Fontana-verse. In Plain Sight is only degrees of separation from St. Elsewhere by way of Munch and Dr. Roxanne Turner (who appeared on Homicide)! (You're right -- and the mind reels. Does this mean all these characters, and shows, reside in the snow globe of Tommy Westphall's autistic imagination? -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

I found two Extra in-jokes over this weekend in classic TV mysteries.

First, a failed comic named Davey Carr was driving a Hollywood tour bus and doing imitations of the stars whose homes he passed. As he was doing his Kirk Douglas impression, a passenger pointed out that it wasn't Kirk Douglas' house, but Edd Byrnes' place. He told her that he didn't do Edd Byrnes.

You probably figured this out already - Davey Carr was played by Edd Byrnes.

In the second one, a "Dr. Satlof" was paged over the intercom at a hospital in an episode of 'McCloud'. Ron Satlof was a director and producer of that series.
(Toby -- You forgot to mention which show you were talking about in the first instance! -- David B.)

kevin said:

In an episode of "Numb3rs" the Eppes boys sit down and Don says, "What are you watching? This channel only shows old shows." Alan responds, "I like the old shows." The theme of Taxi can be heard coming from the TV.

Alan is played by Judd Hirsch who of course was Alex Reiger on Taxi. (It's an oldie, but a real goodie. And I love that "taxi" theme. -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

Arrrrgh! My apologies! Edd Byrnes as Davey Carr was in an episode of "Burke's Law" - "Who Killed Mr. Colby In Ladies' Lingerie?"

Sorry about that, Chief! (It's okay. Missed it by THAT much... -- David B.)

Toby OB said:

I'm not sure if this would count as an Extra, or if it was just a coincidence......

In the season premiere of 'Burn Notice' tonight, Michael said in a voice-over near the end that he couldn't think of Fiona as an asset because you don't miss the scent of an asset when it leaves the room.

I have to wonder if that was a reference to the movie "Scent Of A Woman" in which Gabrielle Anwar, who plays Fiona, was a co-star?

Toby OB said:

I caught the repeat of "Time's Up", an episode of 'CSI: NY' last night, in which a dying man confessed to having killed another man - 24 hours in the future.

The dead man turned out to be a physicist who built his own time machine. And whenever they showed it in operation during flashbacks, you could hear the roar of the TARDIS from 'Doctor Who' (which of course is the Doctor's own time machine). (Very, very nice -- and by the way, I've been VERY impressed by the current season of Dr. Who on Sci Fi Channel -- David B.)

Curtis said:

If I have the definition correct I think I saw an "extra" in the NCIS rerun last night (Wife and I have been watching this show regularly because we never caught it before the writers strike. We like it for some reason. Isn't this the same production company as Magnum PI?).

The David Mac Callum pathologist character called "Ducky" (I think his name is Mallard) is being grilled by an FBI guy.
Ducky: I'd like to take a look at the body.
FBI Guy: It's already been autopsied by Maryland's chief pathologist.
Ducky: Oh, she's very good.

I think he's referencing Patricia Cornwell's "Kay Scarpetta."
Well...I laughed anyway.

Toby O'B said:

Just finished watching the 100th episode of 'Monk', which had a show within the show, "In Focus". As the "In Focus" episode ended, the credit came up for its executive producer: David Hoberman.

Hoberman in real life is the executive producer of 'Monk' itself!

Gregg B said:

On last week's Boston Legal, Denny Crane and Alan Shore dressed as members of the Coast Guard were riding in a boat to invade a bikini filled yacht. At one point Denny announces "I am the Captain!" Of course he is, he is Captain Kirk.

Toby O'B said:

In the second season premiere for 'Pushing Daisies', Ned sabotaged a call to the Happy Time Temp Agency in order to secure the job for himself. This is the same company from 'Dead Like Me' - and both shows were created by Bryan Fuller. (Great catch, Toby, as always. You're the official Extras all-time champ. -- David B.)

Kevin D said:

On Monday's (Oct 6) [episode of NBC's "Chuck"], a spy named Sasha Banichek was on. Same name as Linda Fiorentino's character in the (pretty good) 1985 movie GOTCHA.

Dwev said:

Nothing specific that comes to mind except that Psych is a goldmine for obscure references. Many times the references are overt and discussed by the main characters, but if you listen for names and places of incidental characters throughout the series there are many laughs to be had by those in the know.

Steve said:

1) From Tue 9/30 HOUSE episode: We find out the name of the doctor who's only been referred to as Thirteen. Her name is Dr. Hadley.
On the original Star Trek, Lt. Hadley, was crewman who filled in as helmsman/navigator for either Sulu or Chekov, and never had any dialogue.

2) From Wed. 10/1 BONES episode: Booth says that FBI agent Graham Kelton had died. When Brennan asks him "Were you friends?", Booth says "He was a jerk."
On short-lived FOX series "Vanished", the lead FBI agent was named Graham Kelton. The character was killed off, mid-season. And there were indications in news articles that actor who played Kelton was difficult to work with.

Robert said:

There was an episode of Smallville I saw sometime ago where I caught an extra. The character of Jonathan Kent is played by actor John Schneider, who played Bo in The Dukes of Hazzard. When Jonathan Kent gets into and starts his pick-up in one scene the radio starts playing the theme song to the Dukes of Hazzard. (This is an oldie, but I'll let it go. Thanks. -- David B.)

Nancy said:

On last night's season premiere of "Eli Stone", the bank that Jordan (Victor Garber) was trapped in after the crane fell on it was 'Credit Dauphine', the front for SD-6 in the first seasons of "Alias". (GREAT Extra! Especially since, of course, Garber was a regular on that series, too. -- David B.)

Art Carey said:

A couple of episodes ago in "Samantha Who?," we saw Christina Applegate's character doing a little fantasy-dance-sequence while singing "Hey, Big Spender" -- just like we would've seen Christina Applegate doing when she was starring in a Broadway revival of "Sweet Charity" a few years ago.

Dave Henry said:

Hi David,
Here's an Extra that I remember from ancient times. I recall a scene from my all time favorite tv show, St. Elsewhere, where William Daniels character is walking down the halls of St. Eligius hospital. As he is walking, the PA system in the hospital announces a page. "Dr. Josiah Bartlett, paging Dr. Josiah Bartlett".
William Daniels, of course, played the lead character John Adams in the movie "1776" back in the early 1970's. Dr. Josiah Bartlett was the Congress' representative from New Hampshire and was an ally of Adams, both being in favor of American Independence. This Extra has always stuck with me over the years and I love it's "insided-ness!" Thanks Dave Henry (The amazing Extra I remember from "St. Elsewhere" was the episode that was a full-blown salute to MTM Productions, with Betty White as a patient thinking she was on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," and mistaking one of the doctors for Lou Grant. Priceless. -- David B.)

DEW said:

I don't know if this counts, but it sure made me laugh. On last week's Eli Stone (Nov. 18, "The Humanitarian"), Eli took a case defending a man's right to run a clinical trial testing marijuana as a treatment for childhood-onset MS. Well, who should play the trial judge but the actress (Tonye Patano) who played marijuana dealer Heylia James in Showtime's series, Weeds. In the same episode, another lawyer from Eli's firm successfully negotiates his client's way out of a DUI conviction, but it turns out his client hadn't just been drunk, she had been high on cocaine. Who was the attorney who ended up getting the charges dropped? Actress Deirdre Lovejoy, best known as The Asst. State's Attorney for Narcotics, Rhonda Pearlman, from HBO's The Wire. Someone sure had fun casting that episode. (Wow -- That's some intense Extra detecting. I'm impressed. -- David B.)

RAF said:

On Pushing Daisies last night they were in a cooking competition and the pie holes main rival was Muffin Buffalo run by Marianne Marie Beetle from Wonderfalls.

this adds that show to my list, which is now at 540 shows.

I just noticed your column at the Daily News and am going to be looking through them for more shows to add. Thanks to you I have already added Pride and Joy. -- Just don't for me in the Daily News any longer. Been gone from there a year and counting... -- David B.

itranscribe said:

Hi Dave! In this final season of "Boston Legal," I found a great extra...one of so many with this incredible series. In the "Juiced" episode that aired on 12/1, Betty White's Catherine was sitting in the office of John Larroquette's Carl. When Carl confronted her and eventually tried to call 911, the call went to Catherine's cell phone. The ring on her phone was the theme song from "The Practice," the launching pad for this other wonderful David E. Kelley show! Loved hearing even a few notes from that great theme song.

Toby O'B said:

A nice little Extra in this week's episode of 'Leverage' ("The Bank Shot Job"):

When Hardison and Parker presented themselves as FBI agents to the local police, Hardison identified himself as Agent Leonard, and Parker as Agent Elmore.

A tip of the hat to writer Elmore Leonard, I'd say. Perhaps the plot-line was similar to one in a novel of his.....

Joe Iovelli said:

here's an Extra for you:

A recent episode of "How I Met Your Mother" had Marshall and Robin patronizing a bar overpopulated with Minnesota Vikings' fans. The names on some of the Jersers being worn is where the extra lies. I saw jerseys sporting the names of "Thomas", "Bays", "Fryman" and "Smulders". The show was created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, with Pamela Fryman as an executive producer. Robin is played by Cobie Smulders...thought they'd slip one past us. Thanks for listening. Happy 2009 & good luck with the Smothers Brothers Book. I look forward to picking up a copy. (Thanks -- You'll have plenty of warning hear about publication dates and book signings... After I finish writing, that is. Any week now. And good catch on the jersey Extras... -- David B.)

Don said:

Hi Dave,

I thought I saw an extra in Chuck vs Santa Claus, I hope its not too obvious. Was the police officer in the lot that called in to the Buymore the same actor who played a similar part in the movie Die Hard? He sounded exactly like him down the the catch phrases. (Good catch -- It was the same guy, Reginald VelJohnson. "TGIF" fans will also remember him from "Family Matters." -- David B.)

Bill said:

About the Chuck episode- it was full of Die Hard stuff - Reginald's name in the episode was Al Powell, same as the movie, he was shown eating a twinkie in the beginning, (his favorite food in Die Hard), and the show also took place at Christmastime, same as the movie. Add a hostage situation, and the hug at the end, well, it was just chock-full. (Nice. -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

While doing research for my TV blog about 'Stargate SG-1', I found an episode from the 7th season called "Inauguration" that contained an Extra:

Three members of a secretive group called "The Trust" (I believe they may have been aliens), presented themselves as Mr. Parker, Mr. Wayne, and Mr. Kent.

All three are references to the aliases of superheroes: Peter Parker (Spiderman), Bruce Wayne (Batman), and Clark Kent (Superman). (Very good catch... but where's Mr. Banner? -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

I'm just back from the Paley Center where I saw 2 episodes of 'Secret Agent' and 1 of 'Danger Man' in tribute to Patrick McGoohan.

At any rate, I found a classic Extra in one of the episodes of 'Secret Agent', "The Not So Jolly Roger". Drake was working undercover at a pirate radio station out at sea where stolen military information was being transmitted. One of the other DJs, Suzy Wade, was an innocent in the plot and during the climactic scene she got into a fight with the owner's wife who had been holding Suzy prisoner.

During the fight scene, the turntable was playing "He Who Rides The Tiger" by Patsy Ann Noble.

Patsy Ann Noble was playing Suzy Wade. (You're amazing, Toby. A 40-year-old Extra, and you still get to it first. -- David B.)

Brian Black said:

On tonight's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA episode "The Oath," Lt. Gaeta is accused of making an operatic gesture. In real life, the actor who plays him (Alessandro Juliani) has sung opera in Canada.

Tom said:

On last week's 30 Rock, Jack (Alec Baldwin) was confessing his sins to a priest. He said one of his sins is that he once declared he is God during a deposition. This is taken from the movie Malice which starred Alec Baldwin in which his character did declare he was God during a deposition. (Wonderful! That one went over my head completely, even though I remember Malice. You are a God among Extra detectives! -- David B.)

Phyllis Charney said:

Don't know if this qualifies as an official "extra" but: On Valentine's Day I saw a TV ad for Certain Dri deodorant. I'd never heard of this brand, but what I found noteworthy about the commercial was its background music, which was the theme from "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Surely the Certain Dri folks must have complied with all legal/licensing requirements. . .

Ron from Jersey said:

On the Feb. 17 episode of LEVERAGE, Timothy Hutton's character Nate encounters his ex-wife, played by Kari Matchett. Matchett may not have played his wife, but did play girlfriend Lilly Rowan opposite Hutton's Archie Goodwin on NERO WOLFE. (Great catch! And didn't she play a lot of other roles on that show, too? -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

Just watched my recording of last night's 'Dollhouse' and have a great Extra for you.

Matt Keeslar (formerly 'The Middleman') was playing a guy named Richard Connell, who contracted Echo's services from the Dollhouse, just so he could hunt her down in the woods.

It was very reminiscent of a famous short story called "The Most Dangerous Game" which was written by... Richard Connell. (Yeah, I loved that. Next to the author and philosopher names tossed around on "Lost," it was about as literary as prime-time TV gets. Great catch! -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

Slowly catching up to everything I recorded from Friday night....

On the 'Psych' episode, Shawn introduced his friend Gus as "Sterling Cooper", which is the name of the advertising firm in 'Mad Men'. (Now you're just showing off. Good for you, again. -- David B.)

Art C said:

I'm six weeks behind on "Psych" episodes and, through the miracle of The DVR, just saw the one about the arson-ders (or were they furders or mur-sonists, I forget?). Anyway, during a morgue-set scene, Shawn is talking to the rookie fire inspector, played by Milena Govich, and he says to her that the disappointed look on her face is similar to the one she gets when she discovers that an episode of "Law and Order" is actually a rerun. The Extra? That rerun might be one from a season in which the junior detective was played by Milena Govich.

Another Extra from a current-season "Psych" -- I think it's from the football episode, so hard to recall this stuff when DVRing a mini-marathon of this show -- Shawn is saying that he could relax by going home and watching a couple of episodes of "The Mentalist." That's the show that some people think pretty much rips off the premise of "Psych." (Nice catches -- and not at all spoiled by age. -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

In tonight's episode of 'Lost', Caesar was flipping through an old (1954) copy of Life magazine. One of the pages he passed showed "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" and the actress he was carrying was Julie Adams.

Julie Adams appeared on 'Lost' in the episode "A Tale Of Two Cities" in which she was a member of the Island's book club. I always wondered if they planned on bringing her character back for some purpose, as it seemed like such a throwaway scene for bringing in a name actress.

Now this little in-joke has me thinking that again.... (If this happens, I give HUGE props to the writers for planning so deviously, so far ahead -- and to you, for catching it. We'll see. -- David B.)

Bill S said:

It seems that since Boston Legal is gone- the place for extras is either Psych or Chuck. In DVR-ing (Like Art C.) I watched 'Chuck vs. Santa Claus" where Big Mike's brother/cousin got a job at the Buy More after he got out of jail. (Played by Jerome Bettis) "Holy Shawshank Redemption, Batman!!" As proof, I submit the following:
A- Big nasty guy- why was he in jail? Answer- Insider trading/monetary fraud, unlike a little skinny guy that it was found to be surprising that was in for murder.
B- Jailbird want to eventually go to "Zihuatenejo"
(Even though in Chuck I believe it turned out to be Cleveland)
C- On his way out, the quote "Get busy living, or get busy dying" is quoted by Chuck's co-worker, Jefferson.
From a very big fan of Chuck and "The Shawshank Redemption)
I hope to see more of this from Chuck -- (Very nice, very involved Extra. Good job. -- David B.)

Michael Tesoriero said:

Hi David, I hope this qualifies as an "extra". Currently Salma Hayek plays Jack Donaghy's girlfriend on 30 Rock. In real life she is of Mexican descent, but she states on the show that she is Puerto Rican. I believe that this ethnicity choice is not by chance. I was listening to a repeat of a Shadow Stevens Top 40 countdown from the 90s on Sirius and a song by Selena was being introduced. In the intro he mentions that relatively unknown actress Salma Hayek most likely would be cast as Selena (who is Mexican). As we now know Jennifer Lopez (who is Puerto Rican) was cast in that role. At the time I remember there was much outroar over that choice due to Ms. Lopez being of Puerto Rican descent, not Mexican like Selena. Coincidence?

Thanks, Mike Tesoriero (Not quite sure on this one, whether they were making that wide a casting-choice point or just pursuing other punch lines on 30 Rock. Either way, it's interesting, so thanks. -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

This past week's episode of 'Life On Mars' started with the bombing of a bar that was a popular hangout for NYC cops.

The name of the bar was Glenister's, which is the last name of the actor who played Gene Hunt in the original British version of 'Life On Mars' as well as its sequel, 'Ashes To Ashes' - Philip Glenister. (I'll put this Extra in an Extra special Anglophile. Good one. -- David B.)

Sam Tomaino said:

On the March 9 epidode of SAVING GRACE, a criminal's name is given as Carl La Fong.

Fans of W.C. Fields know that name from his movie IT'S A GIFT. Fields is trying to sleep and is harassed by a man looking for "Carl La Fong...Capital L, small a, Capital F, small o, small n, small g".

The character on this show has no connection with anything in IT'S A GIFT but that can't be a coincidence. (Good catch, my little chickadee -- and I mean that in a manly, friendly way. -- David B.)

Sam Tomaino said:

On last week's (3/16) episode of CASTLE, Nathan Fillion is talking to Susan Sullivan, playing his mother and an actress. He mentions her having been on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Sullivan was never on OLTL, although she was on ANOTHER WORLD, another New York based soap.

Fillion, however, was on OLTL for years. This also qualifies as ABC plugging one of its shows!

Sam Tomaino said:

On the 3/27 episode of DOLLHOUSE, the big bad corporation is ROSSUM. Could this be a nod to "Rossum's Universal Robots" from the play R.U.R. by Karel Capek? This was the play that introduced the word "robot" which means either "worker" or "slave" in Czech.
(Damn, Sam, I LOVE this! And it shows that those guys from "Lost" aren't the only ones littering their scripts with arcane but illuminating Extras. GREAT catch! Thanks! -- David B.)

Emil Panzarino said:

Southland: Tom Sizemore's character gets arrested. The cop arresting him notices he's a big wig in hollywood and recalls one of his shows. He exclaims "I love Body Bags!"

Body bags was the name of the movie the Director was making in True Romance, in which Tom Sizemore plays a cop trying to arrest the Director. (Wow. Good one. -- David B.)

Sam Tomaino said:

At the end of the 4/23 episode of SMALLVILLE, the following takes place.

Lois Lane had put a notice in the Daily Planet that she wanted to interview the "red-blue blur" which is what Clark Kent (not named Superman yet) had been "appearing" as.

She has been given red & blue paper directing her to a location but finds nothing. She then hears a telephone ring.

There is a nearby phone booth and the ringing is coming from there. This is a real "old-fashioned" booth of the kind we saw years ago but is rare today. I think that itself may be an homage to the classic "changing in a phone booth" scenario.

She picks up the phone and we find out Clark (with voice disguised) is talking to her as the "red-blue blur". She babbles a bit and he asks her if she'd nervous.

She responds with "Can you read my mind?"

Which is what Margot Kidder was thinking about as LL (to the theme song) while being flown around by Christopher Reeve in the Superman movie.

There have been a number of homages to the movie on Smallville. This has to be another!

(Yeah, they're being very generous with them this season, making this show fun again. -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

In the last week, two characters made references to the past acting credits of the actors who portrayed them. (At least, I think it may have been intentional.)

Christian de la Fuente guest-starred on 'Brothers & Sisters' as Cal, an accountant at Ojai Foods. He told Rachel Griffiths' character that he used to play minor league ball - as did his character from 'In Plain Sight'.

And on 'The Unusuals', Detective Banks saw some video of an escaped hospice patient and declared the guy to be a zombie. Since he was played by Harold Perrineau, maybe he knows what he's talking about - Perrineau was in the movie '28 Weeks Later', which was about people who became like zombies from a rage virus.

(Toby, I wondered about the zombie joke myself, but completely missed the "Brothers and Sisters" reference. You're the champ, as always. -- David B.)

Sam Tomaino said:

Don't know if we can count this one but on the 4/27 episode of CASTLE, there was a character named "Captain Pike" that was in a wheelchair. I immediately thought of the STAR TREK episode "The Menagerie" with a Captain Pike in a wheelchair.

The only problem is the ST character's first name was Christopher & the CASTLE character was Samuel. Sam's a great name but it calls into question whether this was an Extra. (I'm feeling generous, so I'll give you partial credit. If his wheelchair had a pair of colored lights on it, then we'd know for sure -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

This week's episode of 'Bones' ("The Beaver In The Otter") was about a murder on a college campus, and it had several in-jokes that made one think of 'Animal House', probably the best movie ever about college life.

First off, right there in the title was "Otter", which was the frat nickname for Tim Matheson's character.

Then there were two other characters whose names suggested other characters - Greg Harmalard > Greg Marmalard, and Dean Vernon Warner > Dean Vernon Wormer. (Perfect. As fraternity Extras go, this was the real Kappa! -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

Denny Dugally is the production designer on 'Brothers & Sisters', so I guess he could work an in-joke into the look of the show whenever he likes. This past Sunday he snuck one in for himself: the name of the company foreclosing on Tommy and Julia's house was "Dugally Property". (Probably wouldn't have noticed it if he didn't get an on-screen credit so soon after the "For Sale" sign was shown in the opening scene.) (Dear Toby: Your depth, as well as breadth, of Extras amazes me. Thanks for continuing the search, even though I'm now publishing you online rather than in the New York Daily News. -- David B.)

Sam Tomaino said:

Here's one from an "old" movie. I guess 50 years ago is long enough to call a movie "old".

In NORTH BY NORTHWEST, Cary Grant is kidnapped and in protest mentions his plans for that night.
The line is something like, "I have tickets tonight for the Winter Garden Theatre for a play I very much want to see."

We get a few dates mentioned in the movie and it's taking place sometime after July. It was filmed in 1958, so we can assume that it's taking place in the last part of 1958.

What play was at the Winter Garden at that time?
According to the Internet Broadway Database, it was

Who wrote the script for NORTH BY NORTHWEST?

Ernest Lehman!

A couple of years later, who wrote the screenplay for the movie version of WEST SIDE STORY?

Yep! Ernest Lehman!

(I'm not sure about this one - pre-production schedules may make it purely coincidental. A nice coincidence, but still...
At any rate, though I'm intrigued, a 50-year-old film Extra might be better suited to a website called MOVIES WORTH WATCHING AGAIN.
Take that idea and run, if you like. But stay here, too. I'd miss you. -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

Still about six episodes back on 'Reaper', so this Extra isn't exactly fresh....

One of the souls that Sam had to collect was a shipping magnate named Edmund Fitzgerald.

This was the name of the Great Lakes freighter that sank in 1975 and made famous in the Gordon Lightfoot song.

So to give him that name it almost seems required that he'd be in shipping...

(Persuasive AND obscure. Points for both! -- David B.)

R.Orr said:

This is a little one:

On May 1 - Dollhouse, written by Jane Espenson, writer extraordinaire of Battlestar Galactica and various Whedon shows - the character Topher said "Frak" - clearly a reference to BSG. (Indeed -- and frak, I hope this show survives. But I don't think it will. -- David B.)

Ron from Jersey said:

In the penultimate episode of CASTLE this season, an FBI agent asks Castle why a mega successful crime novelist has to follow a real life police detective around for background info. Castle replies that "the detectives on television are oddly fixated on their sunglasses." Nice jab at the direct Monday at 10 competition, "The Adventures of Super Horatio".

Toby O'B said:

When I got home from work this morning, I watched last night's episode of 'Harper's Island' and found an Extra for you!

At one point the local guy Shane was sitting at the Cannery bar and drinking from a bottle of Robert MacLachlan whiskey, complaining that it was sold at 14 dollars a glass.

Whenever I see a prop like this on a TV show, I always check out to see if it's for real. Well, a quick look at the show's credits netted Robert MacLachlan - he's the cinematographer for 'Harper's Island'!

(The only thing that's NOT impressive about your detective work uncovering this particular Extra, Toby, is what the hell are you doing watching Harper's Island? -- David B.)

Toby O'B said:

Fair enough. I knew I was in for it....

I understood going in that it wouldn't be that good, but still wanted to check it out. And 13 hours wasn't going to be a big investment of my time.

And I admired the brass ones it took to kill off the biggest name in the cast in the first hour. After that, being in the business, it took the edge off after a Saturday overnight in Times Square to watch hotel guests getting killed off. LOL Actually I staked out my choice for a suspect and now I'm in it to see if I'm right.

Toby O'B said:

I have another Extra for you and I hope the source puts me back in good graces....

'Poirot' returned to PBS this weekend with the story "Cat Among The Pigeons". In the original novel, Poirot is not summoned until the final third of the story to figure it all out. But in the TV adaptation, he's there at the very start. His presence at the Meadowbrook School for Girls is explained as a favor for the Headmistress, to present an award for lacrosse, the Pemberton Shield.

The teleplay for "Cat Among The Pigeons" was written by Mark Gatiss, who used to be in the series "League Of Gentlemen". So I'm thinking this revised introduction of Poirot could have been a tip of the hat to his former cast-mate, Steve Pemberton......
[I'm in awe. It doesn't even matter if it's a stretch. It's so limber, it's stunning. -- David B.)

Kevin S said:

In the most recent episode of In Plain Sight after being unceremoniously dumped by a new lady friend Marshall Mann and Mary Shannon shared a drink at Marshall's desk.

While trying to make him feel better she said to him..."I got you covered Renko" which is a tip of the cap to the classic Hill Street Blues Officers Renko and Hill!

Len F. said:

In watching 'The Closer' this evening, I found it interesting that the episode was about the Arian Nation, since J.K. Simmons (Captain Pope) played the head of the Arian Nation on 'OZ'. What a role reversal!!

Gregg B said:

This is a crossover Extra. In "The Incredible Hulk" movie Edward Norton as David Banner, is watching television. The show that he is watching is "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" starring Bill Bixby. Bixby played Davis Banner on the the old Hulk TV series.

Toby O'B said:

I was wondering when I'd find my first Extra of the new season and it finally showed up during last night's episode of 'Psych' (which actually jumped the gun on the start of the new season).

Anyway, back in the 1989 flashback that began the episode, Henry Spencer told his son Shawn that home computers would be a passing fad, like 'L.A. Law'.

Corbin Bernson plays Henry and of course was Arnie Becker on 'L.A. Law' back in the day.

Will Ambrose said:

A couple of weeks ago I was watching the rerun of the Ugly Betty episode where Wilhemena's baby is kidnapped.

The offices of Mode and thh building are shut down and the Police are investigating.

There is a shot of an Investigator walking past Betty, he is shown only from the back, but he's wearing a blue windbreaker with "CSI" on it.

The windbreaker is identical to the ones worn on CSI which airs opposite Ugly Betty on CBS.

Toby O'B said:

Have you seen the CGI movie "9", produced by Tim Burton? There were living dolls in a post-apocalyptic world, each of them designated with a number from "1" to the title character "9".

Crispin Glover voiced the character "6" and his body was made of a striped cloth - which looked like an old-fashioned prison uniform.

I can't help but wonder if that was a deliberate nod to 'The Prisoner', in which Patrick McGoohan played Number Six? (And the remake is coming soon to AMC....)

Carl Rosenberger said:

Just watched this week's episode of Heroes. A kids' choir in a hospital is singing an oldie - "Believe it or not it's just me" - which just happened to be the theme to the early '80s show Greatest American Hero. Cute touch.

Asa said:

In one scene from this week's episode of Eastwick (10/21/09), Chad (Matt Dallas) wants to help Roxanne (Rebecca Romijn) harness her psychic powers; he says to her, "...I can be your Professor X and train you." She responds by saying she has "no idea who Professor X is." [Chad then opts for an alternate analogy...he'll be her Yoda.]

The "X"-tra element? Romijn actually appeared in the X-Men film trilogy...as the villain Mystique.

Toby O'B said:

In the Halloween episode of 'Castle', Detective Esposito showed up at the costume party dressed in the combat gear currently being worn by our troops in the Middle East. It could be that was the same costume worn by Jon Huertas, who plays Esposito, when he was in 'Generation Kill' last year as Sgt. Espera. At the very least, it certainly was a reminder of that past role....

Toby O'B said:

After sending you that possible in-joke about Jon Huertas' costume in the Halloween 'Castle', it got me wondering if the costume worn by Seamus Dever as Detective Ryan could have been an in-joke as well. He was dressed as a surgeon with a bloody lab coat, and his two major roles before this series were Dr. Chris "Getti" Ferlinghetti" on 'Army Wives' and Dr. Ian Devlin on 'General Hospital'.

It's an idea, anyway.....

Abraham said:

On the October 26th Halloween themed episode of Castle. Nathan Fillion's character of Castle dressed as another of Fillion's character. Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds of Firefly. He also mentioned Buffy, as in Buffy the vampire Slayer in which Nathan also appeared.

Mark T said:

Medium last Friday did a "Night of the Living Dead" themed episode. The middle daughter tells the father that they are running a zombie movie marathon and he asks her if they are showing the one where the people are trapped in a mall. Jake Weber plays the father and he also played one of the people trapped in a mall in Dawn of the Dead from 2004.

Andrew Grutman said:

I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, but on the pilot episode of Flashforward, there were at least 3 different extras. The first one was a billboard for Oceanic Airlines, the second was a bus ad for Desperate Housewives and the last one, for one unexplained reason was Seth MacFarland (Peter Griffin). Anyone else notice any others?

Sam Tomaino said:

I don't know whether this counts as an "Extra" or just a "naughty bit."

In last night's episode of "Bones" ("The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken"), Angela & Wendell are locked in a passionate embrace. Cut to a scene of Washington DC at night with the Washington Monument prominently in view.

Feel free to reject this one!

Tim said:

On this week's 30 ROCK (the "Audition Day" episode), Jenna (Jane Krakowski) says she doesn't want to work with Jayden because they had a bad experience working on a play years ago.

Cut to a backstage flashback... with Krakowski wearing the same silver costume she wore twenty years ago when she played the roller skating "Dinah the Dining Car" in Broadway's STARLIGHT EXPRESS.

Then we return to the present, and a confused Liz says, "What play was THAT?!"

John D. said:

I was watching an old episode of Bonanza a few weeks ago, and was surprised to see that the cook, Hop Sing, had been replaced by his unnamed "Number One Cousin," played by James Hong. Hong was the maitre'd in the famous "Chinese Restaurant" episode of Seinfeld -- and now I finally realize why the maitre'd calls out "Cartwright, party of four" instead of Costanza. It never made sense to me because I didn't remember him being on Bonanza.

Toby O'B said:

In last night's 'Fringe' ("Grey Matters"), there was mention of a mysterious Dr. Paris who had operated on people's brains in the past, including Walter's. By the end of the episode we learned Dr. Paris was really William Bell, Walter Bishop's old partner - played by Leonard Nimoy.

In 'Mission: Impossible', Nimoy played an IMF agent named Paris......

Michael Hart said:

Dear Dave:
In Thursday's "Fringe" episode (12/10/09) the plot involved around mysterious forces conducting brain operations on unsuspecting people(who had memories implanted). In one scene, Joshua Jackson's Peter Bishop character talks to Anna Torv's Agent Olivia Dunham character about two of the people involved, their names were Stuart Gordon and Mrs. Crampton. I have to believe this was a sly reference to Director Stuart Gordon's great flick (1985) "Re-Animator" which involved gruesome brain transplants and co-starred Barbara Crampton.

Toby O'B said:

With the passing of Gene Barry last week, I was reminded of an in-joke I saw in an episode of 'Burke's Law'. Captain Burke is investigating a murder at a two-bit sideshow museum and he arches his eyebrow when he sees a tombstone that reads: "He called Bat Masterson a liar". And of course, Gene Barry played Masterson in his previous series.....

Will Ambrose said:

I'm watching a rerun of Desperate Housewives.

It's the episode with the Halloween party when a pregnant Danielle (dresses as Bree) goes into labor..

Also in this episode, Mike takes the pregnant Susan to meet his father in prison, and she asks him why he's in prison and he tells her he killed his boss.

Seems he worked on a loading dock, and one of his co-workers "Arnie" gets promoted, and then becomes his boss walking around in a suit in tie.

That's the plotline of the '70's sicom "ARNIE" starring Herschel Bernardi and SueAnn Langdon as his wife...he was a blue collar loading dock worker, who gets promoted to management, and has to adapt to the suit and tie world and being boss to his former co-workers.

Toby O'B said:

On last week's episode of 'Bones' ("The X In The File"), Agent Booth was hyper-excited to see a publicity picture from a local kids show out of Buffalo called "Rocketship 7".

The picture showcased the host, Dave Thomas, and several puppets - but Dave Thomas was just his stage name. His real name is David Boreanaz, father of the more famous David Boreanaz who plays Agent Booth. So it was no wonder he was excited at seeing the picture!

Linda said:

Dave -- I'm sure many, many people caught this but I didn't see it mentioned on your website so... In a recent episode of "Bones," Booth (played by David Boreanaz, of course) and Bones went to New Mexico to investigate the discovery of a body. The body was eventually identified as a local "alien hunter." In their search for answers, Booth and Bones went to the local UFO museum. Booth came across an old (authentic) picture of a kids TV show, "Rocketship 7," and talked about how he used to love the show when he was a kid. He told Bones about the host and the characters. The host, Dave Thomas (as he was known at the time), is David Boreanaz's father. Dave Thomas became known as Dave Roberts and, until the end of 2009, was the beloved weather forecaster for WPVI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. He had been with the station since the late 1970s.

Just a small but meaningful note... When Dave Roberts retired, the station had a studio full of employees, friends and family. And David Boreanaz and his family were there front and center to support his dad.

Dana said:

So, I find myself watching Moonlight re-runs on SyFy (Don't ask why!). I come across the episode entitled "Sonata" and it starts with an honoring ceremony at a college named Hearst. The student being honored was a former member of the college's basketball team called "Rough Riders" and is being honored by retiring his Maroonish-red jersey. The now-Pro basketball player is being honored by some guy and Jason Dohring's character called Josef Kostan. Josef "founded" Hearst college and that is why is one of the presenters.

In Veronica Mars, Jason's Character Logan Echolls attended Hearst College. Also, Hearst College's Football team name is Rough Riders although not very prominently displayed. The only place you see the name and log "Rough Riders" is the wallpaper on the Coach's PC in the episode entitled "Wichita Linebacker" - Season 3.04. Both of Hearst's Basketball and Football Teams wear Maroonish-red colored uniform, the exact color in the Moonlight episode. Also, Hearst College and Basketball were an important part in Veronica Mars.

An interesting find for your Extra section....


NJ said:

In the seventh episode this year Chuck calls Brandon Routh's character "strong superman type". Need I say more?

Randolph King said:

This one is several months old already, but on the premiere episode of "V" the heroes tracked down the aliens in a Brooklyn warehouse with an address street number of 4400 which seems to be a nod to Joel Gretch, who was played one of the main characters on USA's "The 4400."

More recently, in the pilot episode of "Justified," someone commented on Timothy Olyphant's cowboy hat. He said it was an "old hat." It made me wonder if perhaps it was the same hat he wore as Seth Bullock in "Deadwood."

[Not the same hat, but that was a nod of the hat, so to speak, to that series. -- David B.]

Ron from Jersey said:

An extra from a commercial.

There is an IRON MAN 2/Dr. Pepper add commercial currently running featuring a janitor who the computer mistakes for Tony Stark, and then suits him up as a cross between Iron Man and a Dr. Pepper soda machine.

The other, older janitor in the commercial is Stan Lee, co-creator of Iron Man (and the rest of the original Marvel Universe).

[Good catch. You win a completely appropriate No-Prize. -- David B.]

mutuelle said:

i used to watch Doogie on tv as well. this makes me think about my childhood

Toby O'B said:

In one of this week's episodes of 'Leverage', Elliott took on the role of reporter for a faked news story and he gave himself the name of Guy Hamilton. Guy Hamilton was the genre director who did four of the James Bond movies, including "Diamonds Are Forever". And diamonds were part of the prize in bringing down their mark......

[Good call, as always, Toby. And in that same batch of "Leverage" episodes, Richard Chamberlain guest starred as a jewel thief named Archibald Leach -- Cary Grant's real name. And Grant, of course, played a thief several times in the movies... -- David B.]

Toby O'B said:

As a matter of fact, I just finished watching that other episode of 'Leverage' titled "The Inside Job". And it looks like the scriptwriter had all sorts of Avengers on the mind. First, two of the characters used the names of Emily Peel and Jonathan Steed as their aliases. These are a play on the names from the 'Avengers' TV series - top professional John Steed and talented amateur Emma Peel. But there's also a nod to the comic book Avengers by naming the building security system "Steranko". Jim Steranko is one of the legendary names among Marvel comic book artists.
[Well done on both, Toby! Thanks! -- David B.]

Tim said:

Last week on "L&O: Criminal Intent," in the episode "Love On Ice," the detectives are investigating the past of a murder suspect named John Silvestri. As they page through his two-decades-old high school yearbook, they come across a page where a teenage Silvestri is standing next to his best friend, who died at the age of 15. Detective Nichols (Jeff Goldblum) points to the friend's photo and says, "Who's that kid on the end? Looks like a young Tom Cruise."
The joke here: Silvestri (as an adult) is played by William Mapother, who is Cruise's first cousin.

Toby O'B said:

I'm just back from vacation and while watching some of the accumulated shows in my DVR queue, I found an Extra for you!

In the "Three Card Monte Job" episode of 'Leverage', Hardison and Elliot escorted Sophie into the police station as their prisoner, in a riff on that old ploy perhaps best remembered in 'Star Wars' when Luke and Han did the same thing with Chewbacca.

Elliot identified themselves as Detectives Moffat and Davies.

Russell T. Davies is the producer who rejuvenated 'Doctor Who' and Steven Moffat took over the reins on the show with this past season. And if I'm remembering correctly, this wasn't the first time they used 'Doctor Who' as a source for their aliases.....

Casey Nez said:

The 8/11 episode of Hot in Cleveland featured Wendie Malick claiming to have Flett-Giordano disease. Anne Flett-Giordano wrote several of the series' scripts as well as Frasier. Frasier scripts were also written by Suzanne Martin, who writes and produces Hot in Cleveland.
Great website Dave !

Frank Marchitelli said:

Hi David. I loved reading your articles in the NY DAILY NEWS and EXTRAS was a fave. I thought of them tonight watching SONS OF ANARCHY. Not to give up too much to any fans that have not as yet caught the episode, which aired 09/21/10. But anyway, it involves disposing of a body and a character, similar to HARVEY KEITEL'S "MR WOLF" in PULP FICTION, is called upon to take care of the disposal. It is none other than fright master STEPHEN KING in the cameo role of BACHMAN, which if anyone who follows King's career is him, RICHARD BACHMAN -- the alias he has used to write, among others, THE RUNNING MAN and THINNER.

[Nice -- I even pointed out King's macabre cameo in BEST BETS, but didn't catch the Bachman connection. Good for you! -- David B.]

Linda said:

Hi Dave -- There were a few extras in the season premiere of "Chuck." Among them... The opening sequence was clearly a tribute to "I Spy" and beautifully done. Secondly, Chuck had an interview at Vandalay Industries...George's fake architecture firm in "Seinfeld." Too bad Jason Alexander wasn't the one to interview him!

[Ah, good old Vandalay Industries! Thanks, Linda. Good catches. -- David B.]

Toby O'B said:

I have a 'Supernatural' Extra for you. In the episode "Live Free Or TwiHard", the show opened with a pretty boy vampire and the girl he met online finally meeting face to face. Her name was Kristen; his was Robert. As in Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the lead actors in those "Twilight" movies.

Dana said:

Watched an episode of In Plain Sight entitled, "When Mary Met Marshall" where Allison Janney guest stars. Her character makes a mention that she doesn't like wearing her ID/visitor pass because it crimps her clothes. Also, her character drops the fact that she doesn't have to wear one when she is in the West Wing with President. Could it be A reference to her character, CJ, on "The West Wing" who worked closely with the President and didn't like to wear a badge?


Peter B said:

"Amy Fowler Kane" was the name of Grace Kelly's character in the western classic High Noon. "Amy Farrah Fowler" is the woman former Blossom actress Mayim Bialik plays on Big Bang theory. Cool choice.

Toby O'B said:

Two shows dealt some Extras this week - 'Hot In Cleveland' and 'Community'.

The ones in 'Hot In Cleveland' were pretty obvious considering the guest star was Mary Tyler Moore.

Mary's character chalked an "M" in the style of the wooden "M" on Mary Richards' wall. (She claimed it was for "murder".)

She told Betty White's character that she had spunk. After the expected pause, she added, "I hate spunk!" just as Lou Grant once told Mary Richards.

And Betty White's character told Mary's character as she was being taken away that they shouldn't wait 33 years before seeing each other again. Thirty-three years before this episode was filmed, Betty and Mary did the final episode of the 'MTM' show together.

As for 'Community', Malcolm Jamal Warner was the guest star as Shirley's ex-husband. When Jeff complimented him on his sweater, Warner's character said, "Thanks. My dad gave it to me."

I think this was a reference to Bill Cosby's character on 'The Cosby Show' who was known for his really colorful sweaters. Warner played his son Theo on that show.

Tess said:

Hi, Dave...

I believe I caught an Extra on 'Community' last Thursday. Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theo on 'The Cosby Show,' was the guest star. He was wearing a sweater, which made me think of the sweaters that Bill Cosby often wore on that show. Toward the end of the episode, Jeff, the main character on 'Community' is having a conversation with Warner's character and kind of gives him a look and says 'Nice sweater.' The response? 'Thanks, my father gave it to me.' Extra, right?


Stephen Truhon said:

On last week's episode of Castle, his mother (Susan Sullivan) tried to get him to go away for the weekend to a retreat. She asked him whether he knew serenity (the name of the spaceship on Fillon's Firefly).

[Great one! And great show, too... (Firefly, I mean.) Thanks. -- DB]

HipByProxy said:

On rewatching the one (and sadly, only) season of Terriers, I noticed a nice reference. In episode 8, Britt and Hank at are a golf course to serve papers. While Hank works on his putting, Britt says, "Dude, I didn't know you were a bowler."

Now, in The Big Lebowski, when The Dude is ambushed at the beginning, one of the guys grabs a bowling ball, saying "What the *bleep* is this?" The Dude quips back, "Obviously, you're not a golfer."

[Nice one. A bit foggy, too -- just like The Dude. - DB]

artie from howell said:

On the March 10th Episode of CSI, "Bombshells", one of the suspects was implicated by a series of payments made to a legal firm. The name of the legal firm was Morelli & Kaczmarek...the names of the partners in the Jim Belushi/Jerry O'Connell CBS series, The Defenders.

[Oh, that's a good one -- even if it melds a decent show to a bad one. Thanks! - DB]

Dana said:

Just watched the CSI episode "Fracked" which centers around Contaminated water causing health issues for town members. At the end of the episode, the head of CSI ("Conrad Ecklie", played by Marc Vann) tells Marg Helgenberger's Character Catherine Willows, "You are a CSI not Erin Brokovich!". The extra in this case is that Marg played, "Donna Jensen" in Erin Brokovich who was one of the main Plaintiffs in the case against PG&E.

Also in this episode, Katee Sackhoff plays a detective. She used the word, "Frack" often on Battlestar Galactica. Could the title be an homage to the sci-fi series?

[Great catch on the Erin Brockovich connection. As for "Fracking" and Battlestar, that's pure coincidence. Fracking is, indeed, the term used for this type of invasive drilling -- and as an all-purpose expletive on Batltestar, it was spelled "frak." We aim to please. And to parse. -- DB

Ann said:

On the next to last episode of Californication David Duchovny is getting ready to go to court dressed in a suit, tie with his hair slicked back - he looks in the mirror and says "I look like a f***ing FBI agent".

[The truth IS out there! Good catch! -- DB]

artie from howell said:

Is it cheating to claim an extra from a preview? This one was too easy to pass up. In the 4/29/11 Episode of CSI:NY, detectives Taylor and Flack are walking down a city street when they encounter NY Jets coach and GM Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum exiting a taxi. After a brief exchange, Det Flack offers some unsolicited and unappreciated personnel advice to the coaching tandem, and as they leave, Mac suggests they "let's go get a snack", an obvious homage to the infamous scene from the HBO Hard Knocks coverage of the Jets' training camp, where Coach Ryan dresses down the entire team for a poor performance, and after ripping them a new one, ends the rant with a snarled "Now let's go get a g-ddamned snack!".

[Hey, it's HARDER to catch an Extra from a preview -- and it's more timely. Good one! -- DB]

Tess said:

Toward the end of the season finale of NBC's 'Community,' the students are celebrating winning the paintball game and the camera pans the crowd and there, just for a second or two, were Busy Philipps and Dan Byrd who are not in the cast of 'Community,' but star in ABC's 'Cougar Town' as Courteney Cox's friend and son Laurie and Travis. They even have a few spots of paint on them, as if they had participated in the paintball game. I don't know if this qualifies as an actual Extra, but I thought it was odd enough and cool enough to mention here.

[DEFINITELY an Extra -- and a sharp-eyed one at that! Nice work. -- DB]

Toby O'B said:

On Sunday night's episode of 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' ("Icarus"), the plot used the mishaps of the "Spiderman" musical as the springboard for their plot. That sort of thing is nothing new for a show "ripped from the headlines", but they did give us an Extra that's movie-related: The theater critic from the Times was named DeWitt, which was probably a tip of the hat to George Sanders' character of Addison DeWitt in the classic "All About Eve".....

Toby OB said:

The 'Leverage' episode for the Fourth Of July weekend - "The 10 Li'l Grifters Job" - had an extra that will probably remain my favorite of the year.

It took place at a murder mystery game where all the guests were dressed up as famous fictional detectives. And the best was Timothy Hutton's Nate Ford as "the greatest detective of all time". His opinion.

No, not Sherlock Holmes, but Ellery Queen. He's entitled to that opinion since it was his late father who played Ellery Queen back in the 1970's.

And with the hat, the tweedy jacket and the red sweater, he looked like Jim Hutton had come back to play the role once more......

Ron from Jersey said:

On a recent LEVERAGE, the characters were to attend a mystery costume party as famous literary detectives. I first thought that Timothy Hutton's Nate Ford might be dressed as Archie Goodwin, who Hutton played in NERO WOLFE. Instead, they did one better, and had him dressed as Ellery Queen, who was portrayed on TV many years ago by Jim Hutton, Timothy's father.

Toby O'Brien said:

You've probably already received a couple of emails about this one....

On the season premiere of "Body Of Proof", Dr. Megan Hunt looked around the neighborhood of the latest crime scene and remarked that she used to live on a cul de sac like this... and that you never know what goes on there. Then, at the end of the episode, when her young assistant expressed an interest in living in such a place, she told him that he couldn't handle a desperate housewife.

Megan Hunt is played by Dana Delaney, who spent some time in such a cul de sac in the series "Desperate Housewives".....

Len F. said:

On "Body of Proof" the other night, Dana Delaney made at least 3 references to her old show, "Desperate Housewives". Upon arriving at the crime scene, she said "I once lived on a culdesac like this..very strange people". She also made a statement alluring to her wifeswapping neighbors. And finally, she said to her partner that he "couldn't handle these desperate housewives"!!!

Tess said:

On one of the last days of the soap All My Children, Erica Kane and her daughters discussed the details of Erica's memoirs. After Erica leaves, the two daughters discuss who might play them in the movie. Kendall says, 'Maybe Sarah Jessica Parker, or how about Sarah Michelle Gellar?' A little in-joke because many years ago, Sarah Michelle Gellar played Kendall.

[And, the last week of the series, Gellar showed up to play a mental patient who mistakenly thought she WAS Erica's daughter. Sort of gives the soap's title a whole new meaning. -- DB]

Robert said:

I just saw the pilot episode of "Once Upon a Time" on HULU. I noticed Storybrooks clock was stopped at 8:15. I was thinking this might be a reference to "Lost".

[It is indeed. There are a few other references buried within as well. Two of the show's producers are veteran writers from Lost. -- DB]

Len said:

Last night, on "Law & Order SVU", there was a nice reunion of Richard Belzer & Andre Braugher...Munch and Pembleton from "Homicide - Life On The Street". They both had a little grin when Braugher asked Munch "have we met before"? Now all we needed was the blackboard with 'Bianculli' in black!

[That blackboard reference would be WAY too inside -- but yes, my name was put on the board in "The Hat" episode of Homicide. I remember it as being in red -- unsolved -- but I'll have to go back and look. But, yes: As another of our long-time readers, Toby O'Brien, will tell you, Belzer's Munch is all OVER the place in TV... clocking, perhaps, more series appearances than any other character. - DB]

Mike Crane said:

Here's a double extra - On the Monday 11/21/11 episode of Hawaii Five-0, which guest starred Jimmy Buffett as Frank Bama (which is a character from his book, 'Where Is Joe Merchant'), Jimmy's character asked Danny if he wanted a shot as he poured an alcoholic drink for a colleague and Danny said no he preferred a margarita and Jimmy says, "Can't argue with you there.", which of course would be in reference to his big hit record, 'Margaritaville'.

[Very nice, in both cases. Good catches. Good to know your time spent listening to Buffett wasn't time spent "wasting away"... Thanks! - DB]


I tracked down an old episode of 'Remington Steele' via streaming Netflix because I found out Tom Baker of 'Doctor Who' fame was the guest baddie. And apparently the writer was a fan of Baker in that show as well - it was revealed that his character's alias was "John Smith" and that he was staying in bungalow #4. "John Smith" is an alias used on occasion by the Time Lord known as the Doctor, and Baker was the fourth actor to play the Doctor on television......

[Sometimes you scare me, Toby. Very well done. - DB]

This in-joke happened on the latest episode of 'Hot In Cleveland', so by now I'm sure somebody else has sent this in. But anyway, Victoria Chase was reading an old interview she did for Soap Opera Digest in 1988 and she quoted herself: "If I'm still doing television when I'm 35, just shoot me!"

Well, she shaved off a couple years, but Wendy Malick, who plays Victoria, was a member of the cast for the TV show 'Just Shoot Me'.

[Nice one. I also loved Malick in 'Dream On,' that HBO series that has yet to be released on DVD. My guess: Clearance problems with all the film and TV clips used in the fantasy sequences. Though it DID come out once, in part, on VHS, so who knows? Meanwhile, another good Extra! Thanks. - DB]

I have another 'Doctor Who' Extra for you - on last night's episode of 'Leverage' ("The Radio Job"), Parker and Hardison were arguing over the existence of a time machine in the US Patents building when she noticed something around his neck. "It's a bow tie," he told her. "Bow ties are cool."

This is something the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor has said a few times when defending his choice of wardrobe.

[I liked that one, too, Toby. And stick with us -- we have some fun plans for Extras ahead, hopefully next month! - DB]

Sarek said:

If oldies are allowed, may I add the following:
1)We remember that Honor Blackman, as Catherine Gale, preceded Diana Rigg on "The Avengers."
She left the series and became the Bond girl in "Goldfinger"

In one of the Mrs. Peel episodes, Steed remarks to Emma that he had received a postcard from Catherine, and wondered what she was doing at Ft. Knox.
In another, Emma entered a room full of cats and exclaimed, "pussies galore!"

2) In an old "NCIS," Kate asked what Duckie looked like when he was young. Gibbs replied,
"Ilya Kuryakin."

In another "NCIS", some of the characters are talking in the background, and one mentions "St. Elsewhere."

[These are oldies, but still very goodies. And before long, we'll be moving Extras to Facebook, so come along! - DB]

Dana said:

I preface this submission by saying that my extra has to be THE most obvious extra of all time, but it NEEDS to be said. I was watching the season 2 finale of Cougar town and there was the character "Ted Buckland" played dangerously well by Sam Lloyd. One of his lines in this episode was "My girl Gooch ran away with Hooch" {paraphrased}.

On Scrubs, Sam also played "Ted Buckland" whose girlfriend was called "Gooch" played by Kate Micucci. In his Cougar Town appearance, he also mentions that "Hooch is crazy". "Hooch" on scrubs was played funnily by Phill Lewis. "Hooch is Crazy" was often said by JD and Turk.

Too Obvious but funny nonetheless.


[Dear Dana -- Very funny, but not obvious at all. This is a VERY cool Extra! Thanks. - DB]

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This one is the best article that I have ever read.
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Jan 3, 2023   |  Reply
Chuck M
Always loved this when it was in the Daily News and glad to see it lives on here. Was just watching an episode of Superior Donuts and Judd Hirsch's character comes back to the shop after failing his road test complaining the questions are rigged. He then proceeds to put a mock voice on saying, "what does a yellow light mean?" This is the same question that Judd's and the rest of the cabbies on Taxi tried to help Rev. Jim with on the classic episode of "Taxi."
Apr 19, 2018   |  Reply
S1ep7 of "Bull" title "Never saw the sign" - there is talk about Michaelangelo's David. Bull pronounces it as "Daaaveeed" as in Ziva David.
Jan 3, 2017   |  Reply
Mike Gordeuk
The Wagon Train episode, "Colter Craven Story" was directed by John Ford.
In scene where Adams(Ward Bond) meets General Grant at Shiloh, other officers approach.
General Sherman rides up and says, "Sam, Buells up. Means we can resume fighting in the morning."
The credits say Michael Morris played Sherman but it is without a doubt Duke Wayne.
Wayne's real name is Marion Michael Morrison.
Wayne previously portrayed Sherman in How the West Was Won where he is seen talking with Grant at Shiloh in a scene staged so like this episode there can be doubt the Wagon Train version is an in joke as both were directed by Ford.
Ford also includes in this episode, as he did in many of his films such as The Searchers, a lingering shot of Ward Bond from behind to highlight his enormous rear end, just to tick Bond off.

Mike Gordeuk
Garwood, NJ
Jun 28, 2016   |  Reply
Watched some episodes of The Flash and noticed an interesting extra. Amanda Pays plays Dr. Tina McGee in the new series. What is interesting is that she also played Dr. Tina McGee in the 90s version of The Flash TV show. This character was specifically created for the TV series and was never part of the comic. Also interesting is the person who plays Flash's dad. He is played by John Wesley Shipp who was The Flash (Barry Allen) in the 90s TV series. I am absolutely fascinated by this extra.
Nov 7, 2014   |  Reply
Yes was a great episode.
Feb 17, 2024
Kevin Dale
Watching Avengers on Cosi- episode Too Many Christmas Trees
Emma is looking at Xmas cards at Steeds.. She says here's one from Kathy - Steed says... I wonder what Mrs Gale is doing in Fort Knox!
Reference to Honor Blackman (Kathy Gale in Avengers) playing Pussy Galore in Goldfinger!
Jul 14, 2014   |  Reply
Back again with one last 'Psych' Extra from the series finale which aired last night. Near the end of the episode, with Shawn and Gus reunited with Jules and Chief Vick in San Francisco, the two "psychic" detectives offered their services to the department. But Chief Vick told them that they already had a guy who was at that moment in the kitchen, alphabetizing the pantry. Since they were in San Francisco, and this was a guy already working with the department, it had to be Adrian Monk, the OCD detective who shared airtime with Shawn in several USA Network promos when his show was on the air.
Mar 27, 2014   |  Reply
one of the movie you must seen..
Mar 26, 2014   |  Reply
i will look up more..
Apr 20, 2014
i will look up more..
Apr 20, 2014
i will look up more..
Apr 20, 2014
nice article...
Mar 26, 2014   |  Reply
i think this the best movie i ever seen
Mar 26, 2014   |  Reply
very interesting movie...
Mar 26, 2014   |  Reply
On this week's episode of 'Psych', Bruce Campbell was the guest star and he offered up a two-in-one Extra with his character, Ashford N. Simpson, wrote a book about dreams. Not only is it a play on "Ashford and Simpson", the R&B duo, but the nickname for Ashford would be "Ash". And that was the name of his character in the "Evil Dead" movies.

Also, as Gus wandered through his family's house in one of his dreams, he said "Pop?" when he saw a framed picture of Martin Sheen. Dule Hill, who plays Gus, used to work for Martin Sheen as President Bartlet on 'The West Wing'
Mar 21, 2014   |  Reply
Going through Alex Kingston's IMDB page, noticed that on L&O SVU she had a guest spot in 2009. There, her character's name was Miranda Pond. Now, that was long before Amy Pond was introduced on Doctor Who. Alex Kingston's character name is Professor River Song on Doctor Who and she is Amy Pond's .... Ok, I won't finish that sentence because of, to borrow a phrase from the professor, SPOILERS!
So, can I safely assume that this qualifies as an Extra?
Dec 12, 2013   |  Reply
SPOILER!!!! I just saw the series finale for "Burn Notice" and in the final scene there was a snow globe in the foreground. As every TV fan should know, another snow globe that was central to the final scene of "St. Elsewhere".
Sep 12, 2013   |  Reply
Last night's episode of 'Endeavour' ("Rocket") had a family of suspects who added up to something of an in-joke I think. The Broomes ran British Imperial Electric and their small dynasty could be seen as reflecting "The Lion In Winter" - the parents were Henry and Nora; their oldest son Harry was dead, but Richard and John were on the company's board. So their historical counterparts would have been Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine; the dead son was Henry the Younger (Harry being short for Henry as well as Harold); and the giveaways were Richard, as in the Lion-Hearted, and Prince later King John. What sealed the deal was Henry's personal assistant, with whom he may or many not have been having an affair, was named Alice Vexin. She'd be the counterpart to Princess Alais/Alys of Vexin, Henry II's mistress. And Nora, like Eleanor before her, was brought out of "exile" and back into the family fold for matters of state/family business......
Jul 22, 2013   |  Reply
David Bianculli
Dear Toby, I hesitate to say this, given your astoundingly long and fertile track record, but I think this is your best and most involved and impressive Extra of all time! Wow!
Jul 24, 2013
In the background for one scene in 'Elementary', there were some books in a case, and one of them was "House Of Silk" by Anthony Horowitz (creator of 'Foyle's War'). "House of Silk" was a Sherlock Holmes pastiche
May 27, 2013   |  Reply
Toby O'B
Oops - hit the submit button too soon. Just wanted to add that I don't deserve credit for finding this. Here's the Tumblr link that has the screencap and the book....
May 27, 2013
David Adams Murphy
In an episode of ANGEL, John Rubenstein(the original Pippin) plays a Senior Partner of the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. He says "This is My corner of the sky!" just before getting beheaded. Has anyone ever noted this Extra?
May 25, 2013   |  Reply
Alan Rappaport
On a recent episode of Psych Gus was wondering what it would be like to work at the White House, Sean called him Charlie the character Dule Hill played on West Wing.
May 13, 2013   |  Reply
This week's episode of 'Psych' was titled "Office Space". And when Gus was moving into his new office, there on his desk was a red stapler - just like Stephen Root's character Milton had in the movie "Office Space".....
May 9, 2013   |  Reply
On the latest episode of 'Raising Hope', Virginia talked about the "shelf life" of child actors: "Child stars go downhill no matter how good they act. They could star in a Spielberg movie and still end up playing the nutty mom on some sitcom."

This would be a reference to Martha Plimpton's own situation. She's now playing Virginia on the show, but was also in Spielberg's "The Goonies".
Feb 8, 2013   |  Reply
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