2013 Update: John Munch retires, Tommy lives on

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With the reigning king of crossovers, John Munch, retiring from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – after twenty years on television – we thought it might be best to bring you up-to-date on the Tommy Westphall Universe.

John Munch first appeared in the pilot episode of Homicide: Life on the Street in 1993. Since then, Munch has appeared in Arrested Development, Law & Order, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, The X-Files, The Wire and The Beat drawing all of these series into the same fictional universe.

Belzer also appeared playing the character on 30 Rock and the character of Munch exists in the BBC series, Luther.

We’ve been archiving the Tommy Westphall universe for nearly 15 years. It grew from a list of crossovers from Homicide and St. Elsewhere – which had direct character crossovers to at least a dozen different series – to a list of nearly 400 different television shows.

We stopped updating the grid and the key six or seven years ago. It had grown so large we had to stop and let it keep going all by itself. No longer did we need to archive the Tommy Westphall Universe to prove that it was real – it was a meme and something to be objected to.

Here’s the legacy of our work:

The Grid (jpeg, last updated: 2007)

The Key (PDF, last updated: 2007)

The List (Excel, last updated: Oct 28, 2013)

The earliest show is I Love Lucy (1951-1962) and there are currently twenty-six shows still on the air that connect to the Tommy Westphall universe in some way: whether by characters, by fictional companies, fictional brands or fictional universities.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “2013 Update: John Munch retires, Tommy lives on

  1. johnkzin

    In your key, you mention Yoyodyne and Weyland-Utani …

    Yoyodyne is a reference “Buckaroo Banzai” (I’m willing to bet all of the other references are homages to Buckaroo Banzai). I know you’re focused on TV shows, but this plainly ties in a movie as well.

    Weyland-Utani is, similarly, a reference to the Alien franchise (the mega-corporation behind everything going on in the franchise). Which is referenced in the Predator franchise (an Alien skull in the trophy collection of Predator 2, as well as the Aliens vs Predator movie). Which, of course, brings in the Prometheus movie (in Prometheus, the company hasn’t yet merged with Utani, so it’s just the Weyland corporation).

  2. Dark Jaguar

    I’ve had an epiphany.

    Mickey Mouse visited Cheers, linking Mickey to it (and through Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mickey’s House of Mouse, the entire Disneyverse). Kingdom Hearts stars Mickey Mouse and various Final Fantasy characters, which links the whole Final Fantasy universe through the Dissidia crossover game. Final Fantasy 1 characters cross over with Mario characters in the DS Mario Basketball game. Mario crosses over with the rest of Nintendo through Smash Bros. Smash Bros clearly takes place in the imagination of a child. That child… is Tommy Westphall…

    My mind has been blown!

  3. On ‘Mork and Mindy” when Mearth was ‘beaming’ to and from Ork for school, one day William shatner, in metallic bathrobe and en route to the Jacuzzi, is also beamed to Earth with Mearth’s packages. He lingers along enough to collect his champagne and complain about the beaming problems before he is returned to Ork.
    Now, unless that was william shatner and people in that universe are now beaming to and from an alien planet for recreation, then it had to be captain Kirk. Mork’s line “Wait a minute! You gotta tell me if they kill off Spock or not!” lends belief to Shatner and not Kirk, though.

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