Douglas Booth, the creator of the infamous “toll” booth, dies at age 89
Posted October 02, 2018 07:13:46 Douglas Booth’s first major hit was his 1955 hit “The Wonder Years.”
But in 1954, the film had an even bigger impact.
In it, a man named Douglas Booth (Tom Kenny) is a writer at a publishing company whose office is a toll booth.
He’s also an old man, so he has to deal with the toll booths daily.
He eventually starts a toll-free line called the “Toll Booth.”
When the toll-booth is closed, it’s not always easy to find a new driver.
But Booth’s wife (Toni Collette) finds out that a man has been passing through, and she starts an investigation.
After a few days, she meets a guy who’s been paying a toll.
“I’ll just call him a ‘toll guy’ until he can get through,” Collette said of Booth.
“He’s a great guy.
And he’s an amazing writer.”
Booth’s story is typical of early 1950s movie theater fare.
It was a time when theaters had no set-top boxes, so patrons had to use their own televisions to watch the movies.
This meant a lot of people were getting lost, and they had to call a tollbooth.
“They had no idea what they were doing,” said Mike McDaniel, author of the book “The Last Frontier” and the film “Downtown.”
Booth, a former railroad man, wrote scripts about people paying tolls, which he would write in person.
But he also wrote scripts that depicted ordinary people paying the tolls for amusement.
Booth was also a comic book creator, drawing and illustrating stories for many of his movies.
But his most famous creations were the comic strips “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Wonderful World of Gumball,” “My Little Pony: The Movie,” “Fantasy Island,” “Star Wars” and “Fantastic Four.”
The strip, which ran for 10 years from 1959 to 1962, featured a cartoon version of the Wizard of Zork, an imaginary city where the rich can live for free.
Booth created a version of that strip, called The Wizard of Fandom, for the 1980 film “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”
“The Wizard and Fandom” ran in more than 70 newspapers across the country and inspired hundreds of thousands of fans, including “Saturday Night Live” writer Lorne Michaels.
Booth’s “StarTrek” strip, too, inspired hundreds.
It showed the famous Enterprise-D, a space ship with the motto, “It’s a Star Trek!
It’s a starship!
It belongs to the Federation!”
In the strip, Captain Kirk and the crew were fighting over a space station, but they ended up at the same location in the future.
Booth was inspired by his favorite cartoon, “The Adventures of Super Mario Bros.”
Booth had a close relationship with creator Tom Kenny, who called Booth “one of the most wonderful people I ever met.”
“We worked together for a long time and I knew Tom very well,” Kenny said.
“It was just that I knew him so well, and I couldn’t think of a better way to say, ‘This is going to be one of my best jobs.’
He was one of those people who had a real passion for the craft and a deep appreciation for what was being made.
And I just fell in love with him.”
A man named Doug Booth, who wrote “The Wartime Toll Booth,” died in May.
Sources: PBS, ABC News, Smithsonian Institution