Television crossovers are not exactly new, and typically come during sweeps week and are advertised as big “events” to try to draw big ratings. It’s not out of the ordinary for, say, Ray Romano to crossover onto King of Queens since they’re made by the same people, and the characters clearly exist in the same world. However, now and then you get some television crossovers that are so out of nowhere or just flat out weird that it causes a second, or even third look to realize what the heck is actually happening. 7.
St. Elsewhere and Cheers
If you’re at all a student of television theory, you no doubt know that, via numerous connections between certain characters and shows, there’s a huge theory that everything you’ve ever seen on television takes place in a snow globe in the hands of an autistic kid named Tommy Westphall. Most of the time these connections are huge reaches, but one instance where it actually does fall into place is when some of the doctors from St. Elsewhere, the show that was revealed to be all in the head of young Tommy, find their way into Cheers during one episode. If you subscribe to the Tommy Westphall Theory, this confirms that everything that happened on Cheers, and by extension Frasier, and even Wings (on which characters from Cheers appeared) was completely the invention of a catatonic child.
Mad About You and The Dick Van Dyke Show
This one is just bizarre because of the ridiculous disparity between when the two shows were actually on the air. The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the all-time classic TV shows, and in a relatively minor role, Carl Reiner played a television personality named Alan Brady. Apparently, Mad About You star Paul Reiser had used The Dick Van Dyke Show as part of his inspiration for Mad About You, so there actually is some foundation right there. However, the whole thing winds up just more or less being an homage to Van Dyke’s classic series, with the fictional character of Brady being brought in to potentially narrate a project for Reiser’s character. Out of all the shows that could cross time and space, we’d never have assumed Mad About You would ever be one.
Family Matters and Full House
When you talk about the most famous shows of the 1990’s, two sitcoms that immediately spring to mind are Family Matters and Full House. Both were on ABC’s one-time hit Friday night lineup called TGIF, and both dealt with obnoxious people dealing with familial problems in unorthodox and kooky ways. And in one early season episode of Full House, the guy who was arguably the most obnoxious character in TV history, Steve Urkel, showed up on Full House for no apparent reason to let Stephanie Tanner know it was okay to wear glasses. Seriously, that was the entire purpose of his visit. It was so awkward and such a clear ratings ploy it just makes you feel dirty on behalf of the writers to even think about it, in retrospect.
The Fresh Prince and Blossom
A couple of other 90’s classics are The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and, to a much lesser degree, Blossom. One of those shows produced a gigantic megastar whose been in some of the biggest blockbusters of all-time, and the other basically became known as the show where Joey Lawrence said “whoa” a lot. Yeah, not a lot of quality there. In a really strange and kind of uncomfortably out of place crossover, Fresh Prince’s Karyn Parsons, better known as Hilary Banks, popped up on Blossom. Making this even more bizarre? Will Smith actually appeared on a different episode, but as Will Smith, the star of Fresh Prince. That’s some serious Inception stuff right there.