Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Det. Munch: A Threat To The Multiverse?


Though I'm a proud NYC nerd, my geek roots rest firmly in Baltimore... and as a prouder son of Baltimore, Homicide: Life on the Streets remains one of my all time favorite shows. So I found it particularly intriguing when fellow g'nerd, Bishop, pointed out that Richard Belzer has played the character of Det. Munch on a record breaking 8 separate shows-with 10 credits on the character's IMDb page.

I'm not entirely surprised; the character's great. I was thrilled to learn he was going to outlast Homicide and move on to the Law & Orders (though I can't say I've ever watched a full episode of SVU). And I was ever further delighted to spot his cameo in the last season of the Wire. However, once I looked at the credits on his IMDb page, a terrible truth became clear: Det. Munch is going to obliterate all of Space and Time.

How? Read on.


Its no shock that he has appeared in Law & Order since Homicide-the two shows clearly exist in the same fictional universe as they've enjoyed a handful of crossovers. And it doesn't require too much of a leap in logic to assume the Wire exists in the same universe-though the world is considerably grittier and... Wire-ier than both L&O and Homicide.

But Munch's diabolical show spanning isn't limited to cop show universes. No, he's appeared in an episode of Arrested Development, an episode of X-Files; Hell, he's even traveled into the Muppetverse and has been featured as a Munch muppet on an episode of Sesame Street! He's opted to explore the furthest reaches of what has been called the Westphall Universe, a fictional universe that comprises at least 60% of all television. The crux of the Westphall hypothesis being that the entire series of St. Elsewhere (created by Homicide showrunner Tom Fontana) took place inside the mind of a minor character-an autistic child named Tommy Westphall. This wouldn't be too big a deal, except for the fact that St. Elsewhere characters appeared in an early episode of Homicide... implying that Homicide, too, took place in Tommy Westphall's head... implying that ALL of the Law & Orders took place in Tommy Westphall's head... and, as prof. Brian Weatherson has pointed out, Law & Order has featured real life figures such as NY mayor Mike Bloomberg... implying that... um... we took place inside Tommy Westphall's head? You can see where the theory gets sticky.

But clearly, none of the great minds piecing together this delicate theory of the Westphall universe have accepted the obvious fact that the Westphall Universe is in fact, the Westphall MULTIverse. Surely, you can't expect us to believe that the Wire, Arrested Development, the X-Files, and Sesame Street all exist within the same fictional universe. It Must be a Multiverse! And Det. Munch is slowly eroding away at that Multiverse, WHICH INCLUDES OUR OWN UNIVERSE! As the Monitors of the DCU have pointed out, time and time again; all this inter-universal travel isn't healthy for the multiverse!

Something must be done, and fast! If his cross-universal travel continues unchecked, who knows what untold destruction he may reap. Even as we speak, Det. Munch is set to appear in an episode of Paris EnquĂȘtes Criminelles-the french version of Criminal Intent... which apparently takes place in some strange universe where cops speak french. Richard Belzer, I implore you, stop your nefarious counterpart! Pick a universe, and stick to it! Save our Multiverse! Otherwise, I'm not responsible for any action a rogue Monitor may take...

May God help us all.

10 comments:

Ajani said...

This brings up some questions about universe hopping...when you go into the muppet universe are you supposed to become a muppet version of yourself? Why couldn't Munch exist as human like the few human residents and various special guests on sesame street?

AHR said...

This theory is entertaining as it is plausible as it is terrifying.

Also, cops speaking French?! God help us all.

Devin said...

Is this maybe a clue to the nature of autism itself? That, perhaps, all people with autism have crumbling television multiverses in their minds, with rogue Richard Belzers hopscotching across their synapses?

Maybe this is the true reason kids with autism have a hard time socializing "normally." You would, too, if you have the success of multiple television franchise-behemoths depending on you.

AHR said...

I just have to add this may be my favorite article ever on Geekanerd.* I laugh every time I read it.


*that wasn't written by me.

Nick SantaCroce said...

Another example of your razor sharp wit, Dave. And you even worked in some Baltimore pride. That's my boy.

Nick said...

I've always wondered whether it was the series finale of St. Elsewhere that was taking place in the kid's head, not the rest of the show.

Bishop said...

Detective John Munch: Many Lives, Many Worlds. I think this indicates that we need to have crossovers where we get to vote on who wins in a fight. Stabler from SVU or Pembleton from Homocide. Grover from Sesame Street or Prezbo from the Wire. All shows Munch have appeared in deserve an epic crossover.

Degan said...

That's a very good point... people go in and out of the muppetverse and maintain their usual human form... why munch? Also... oh man... this keeps getting crazier; I think the Star Wars Universe if officially a part of the Westphall universe now... cause there's a muppet show episode that features chewy, the droids and luke... i'm gonna rewatch those movies and keep a keen eye open for munch... hell, he could be one of those storm troopers! In fact, we should all keep an eye out for munch! Who knows within which background extras he may be lurking...

Degan said...

Also, I'd love to see Job Bluth go up against Marlo Stanfield... May be as lopsided as the Wolverine/Lobo matchup... but let's see where the fans take it...

CATHERINE said...

After reading this article, I think I have Munchphobia.