Friends, if you have been kind enough to stick with the Saturday Frights podcast over the years – you might notice that the Projectionist and myself have a tendency to tackle episodes of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. The reason for that is pretty simple, those two television series produced a stunning amount of entertainment for all of us fans of horror and science fiction. And with The Twilight Zone in particular, you had Rod Serling, the creator and host writing the lion’s share of episodes. In fact it has been pointed out that he wrote almost two thirds of the episodes of the original series – which is a staggering amount of work when you consider there were 156 episodes.
We devoted an entire episode to The Twilight Zone episode on the Saturday Frights podcast – the second Halloween Special – all the way back in 2015. A popular one I should add thanks to the amount of special guests we had on the show and if you will forgive this shameful plug, why not give it a listen… things might have changed over the years -like the Projectionist’s voice – but it stands as a nice tribute to Rod Serling to say the very least.
Sadly Rod Serling passed away in 1975 – at the far, far too young age of 50 years old. Just a mere two years after Night Gallery had finished it’s run – a series that Serling had some issues with. In particular the comedic elements that were the idea of Producer Jack Laird, used beginning in the second season of the series – in fact Serling is quoted as saying in Nicholas Parisi’s Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination:
“I thought they [the blackout sketches] distorted the thread of what we were trying to do on Night Gallery. I don’t think one can show Edgar Allan Poe and then come back with Flip Wilson for 34 seconds. I just don’t think they fit.”
Rod Serling was no stranger to doing advertisements on television although as I understand it he didn’t feel comfortable about the work – especially since he was vocally against them interrupting the TV shows he worked on. Obviously a soul must make ends meet which is why he took on the commercial jobs like this one for Radio Shack – which should have been around 1973 – with Serling explaining why kids might want the 65 in 1 Electronic Project Kit!