Rodman Edward Serling, or Remember the Twilight Zone Where…?

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A popular conversation-opener at Unit VI Elementary in the mid-60s was “Remember the Twilight Zone where…” The Twilight Zone was the gold standard of Cool TV Shows. How tragic that its creator, narrator, and author of the majority of its episodes, Rod Serling, died long before his hair turned completely gray. He would have been Serling Silver.

The sad fact is that Rod Serling was hopelessly addicted to cigarettes and work, work, work. He died in a hospital of a different kind of broken heart. But his family life, as described by his daughter, Anne Serling, was rich with love and high good humor. I’ve just read an advance copy of Anne’s memoir, AS I KNEW HIM: MY DAD, ROD SERLING, and good Heavens, I wish I had met and known him. Read the book, which is heartily endorsed by Carol Burnett, Robert Redford, and Betty White, and you too will wish my wish.

Appropriately for a page dedicated to the six-Emmy-award-winning creator of The Twilight Zone, I write this at 4:14 AM local time.

At the upper right is an ersatz Twilight Zone intro, which, if you’re a fan of the show, you will not be able to read without hearing Mr. Serling’s unforgettable narrative voice.

Here are the words to the acrostic:

Risky business, television–hey, ask a man who knows
O those censored teleplays–the jerks would predispose
Dimwits dumbing down unto a low denominator
Mangled messages with wounds so often proving fatal
Ah, but this man persevered with WORK fulfilling wishing–in
Noting his sad passing we must add that he’s gone fishing

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2 comments
  1. I may be wrong but I believe the Twilight Zone was not available in french in Quebec when I was a kid. What we did see was The Outer limits, which was called ‘Au delà du réel’; on a small black and white TV. I was very impressed when they ‘Took control of my television’. I remember the prologue, and the ending, much better than the shows themselves. ‘Nous vous redonnons maintenant le controle de votre appareil de télévision, jusqu’à la prochaine émission de Au delà du Réel!’

    Very paranoid, or perhaps paranoia inducing, in retrospect.

    • “WE will control the Horizontal. WE will control the Vertical.” I like TOL too, especially “Demon with a Glass Hand,” starring Robert Culp and written by Harlan Ellison. 🙂

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