A very young Melissa Gilbert plays with a vintage GIjOE Astronaut figure in an episode of NBC’s Emergency. What we want to know is: Who owns Melissa’s Joe today? (Photo: NBC)
GIjOE on “Emergency”
In our first article documenting GIjOE’s appearances on television and in motion pictures (see April, 2012), we knew that we had only scratched the surface of an immense acting career. It’s obvious that our favorite 12″ action figure loves show business and craves the spotlight, as he continues to pop up, time and time again, in shows and films of all types.
Since that article appeared, several “eagle-eyed” readers of The Joe Report have written in to detail their own unique “sightings,” most of which we never knew existed. For example, “Chris” recently spotted our hero in an old episode of NBC’s Emergency. In the episode, a young Melissa Gilbert plays with an Astronaut GIjOE while her alcoholic (and probably terminal) father is being treated by EMTs. Here’s Chris’ description of the sighting…
“I saw an astronaut on one of the early episodes of “Emergency” yesterday. While Gage and De Soto were working on the drunk Daddy, a little girl was shown several times holding/playing with an astronaut figure.
Joe had on all his equipment, so I couldn’t see how many zippers were on the suit. The best part was, as they took the father to the ambulance, the little girl dropped Joe on the steps, and as the scene ended, the camera moved in for a great close-up on the astronaut by itself! I think this episode was from 1972 or 73.”
Thanks to Chris’ description, we were able to track the episode down. It can be viewed on Hulu.com (for free!) in its entirety HERE. Melissa and Astronaut Joe make their first appearance approximately 17 minutes into the episode.
In this screenshot from an episode of South Park, a cartoon version of Bulletman is depicted amongst dozens of other pop culture characters. Run, Bulletman, Run! (Photo: Comedy Central)
GIjOE on “South Park”
Our next new sighting comes courtesy of Eagle-Eye Ace Reporter, Doug Gamble. In what has to one of the most unusual cameos EVER for a GIjOE character, an animated Bulletman appears briefly on Comedy Central’s South Park. In the episode, Bulletman is seen crossing the screen (from left to right) during a terrorist attack on the show’s fanciful, “Imaginationland.”
Unfortunately, the episode doesn’t show our hero saving the day (actually, he runs like a little chicken), but we’re sure ol’ “chrome dome” did all he could…as he was running away <cough>. Anyway…What an unusual GIjOE sighting. It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack. Great job, Doug! We’re sure members of GIjOE fandom’s elite group,”Defenders of Bulletman” (DOB) will also be thrilled to learn their favorite Joe was on TV again, albeit briefly, as he…ran away <cough>. Here’s Doug’s description of this very unique sighting…
“I just watched an episode of South Park. Terrorists take over Imaginationland. During the attack, the crowd of imaginary figures scatter, and across the front of the screen runs…. BULLETMAN! Helmet, chrome arms and all. (even the cheesy elastic belt).”
We used Doug’s description to track down this episode of South Park. A rough copy of it can be viewed (for free) over on YouTube HERE.
In this screenshot from the “Burying a Grudge” episode of NBC’s Frasier, Martin’s dog, Eddie, chews on a hapless Duke GIjOE. Oh, the humanity! (Photo: NBC)
GIjOE on “Frasier”
In this next sighting, Joe really “takes one for the team” as he allows a 1:1 scale Jack Russell terrier named, “Eddie,” to gnaw on his legs during a scene from NBC’s sitcom, Frasier. An unknown Eagle-Eyed fan wrote in (anonymously) to tell us about the discovery. Here’s his account…
“On Frasier, GIjOE is mentioned when Martin (Frasier’s dad) attempts to get the dog to switch from chewing on a Barbie found in the park to chewing on a Joe. He wants Eddie to be more of a DOG, after having been fixed. Joe is seen during the end credits being chewed on.”
We found this episode of Frasier over on YouTube, and you can watch that brave Duke GIjOE “give his all” for show biz HERE. A big thank you to these three eagle-eyed fans for their help in creating this article. Please keep those GIjOE “sightings” coming in!