Posts Tagged ‘Twilight Zone’

Someone asked Ken Levine, who wrote for the TV sitcoms Cheers, Frasier, MASH and several other shows: “What’s your dream three-hour night of television, including any shows from any decade, including now.” He explained: “I’m going to cheat. I’m just going to concentrate on comedies. Dramas take up two slots. So here are my all-time favorite sitcoms.”
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My fondness for actor Jack Klugman, who died on Serling Day Eve, was quite great. He appeared in four different episodes of the classic television show The Twilight Zone, which I own on DVD. Watch a couple minutes of In Praise of Pip.

I also possess, on DVD, the classic 1957 murder trial film 12 Angry Men, with a cast that was, or would become, name actors. Klugman was juror #5, the soft-spoken young man, who provides pivotal insight. Watch a brief clip.

Much later, using his fame as Quincy, the fictional medical examiner, the actor Read the rest of this entry »


Someone who knew Ray Bradbury, the writer who died last week, noted in Salon magazine: “Ray was the last living member of a “BACH” quartet — writers who transformed science fiction from a pulp magazine ghetto into a genre for hardcover bestsellers[, along with] Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke and Robert Heinlein…”

My buddy Steve Bissette “heard the news of his passing as I drove… Instantly, a flood of memories Read the rest of this entry »

One of the things I was able to do in the Adirondacks a couple months ago was to read the bulk of the book Rod Serling: The Dreams and Nightmares of Life in the Twilight Zone – a biography by Joel Engel. I wanted to finish it because I had borrowed the book from my father-in-law and I wanted to return it; that was my internal message, not his external one.

In the Methodology and Sources section of the book, author Joel Engel expressed surprise that in 1985, a full decade after the death of the celebrated television writer Rod Serling, there had not yet been a Serling biography. So Engel made inquiries and ended up writing a book about a man whose fans adored him, but who, despite his considerable success, was riddled with self-doubt. As Engel notes in the Prologue re Serling in 1967: “Submitted for your examination: a man who’s dying inside. Not so many years ago, he rode the crest of a golden wave he thought would never end…But that was before giving birth to the Creation…Each day, he hears fewer whispers of his greatness, and those still heard cannot be believed from inside the private hell to which the Creation has doomed him.”

The Creation, of course, was the seminal series The Twilight Zone, whose writing and hosting made him both a success as a writer but also a celebrity; yet he doubted his writing abilities, and scorned his own celebrity.
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I’ve enjoyed seeing composer Steven Sondheim, lyricist for West Side story, a funny Thing happened on the Way to the Forum, and many, many other musicals, a couple times on television recently, promoting his book “Finishing the Hat: Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes.” I’ve ordered the book if only for the lyrics themselves, and what he’ll have to say about them. I enjoyed hearing about the strong tutelege of family friend Oscar Hammerstein. He has appeared on Stephen Colbert‘s program and on The Newshour on PBS. Part of the latter interview is here:
JEFFREY BROWN: And the greatest focus is on words that rhyme….He uses an old rhyming dictionary and a 1946 edition of “Roget’s Thesaurus.”
STEPHEN SONDHEIM: A rhyme draws the ear’s attention to the word. So, you don’t make the least important word in the line the rhyme word. So, you have to — and also a rhyme can take something that is not too strong and make it much stronger…
BROWN: And…he believes words that are spelled differently, but sound alike, such as rougher and suffer Read the rest of this entry »

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