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The Twilight Zone

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Weirdo Zone

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Piggy sees something on the wing in Muppets Tonight

The Twilight Zone was an acclaimed, science-fiction themed anthology series, created and hosted by Rod Serling, whose deadpan delivery and phrases such as "Submitted for your approval" entered the popular vernacular. The series ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964, and was typified by weaving social commentary and themes within the sci-fi context, and often featured ironic endings. The series led to several spin-offs, including Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), with segments directed by John Landis and Steven Spielberg; a CBS revival series (1985-1987); a syndicated revival series (1988-1989); a UPN revival series (2002-2003); a syndicated radio series adapting the original episodes; and such diverse items as pinball machines and a theme park ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, located at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

References

  • On Sesame Street, Gordon hosts "The Crossing Zone," in which a boy named Johnathan Wilson has to find a way to cross the street. Susan helps him across.
  • The third season Muppet Babies episode "The Weirdo Zone" is an extended Twilight Zone spoof, initiated by Baby Gonzo in the Rod Serling role. The episode involved a "reversed point of view" device, a frequent motif on the original series, as the other babies find out what it's like to be weird. In the prior episode "I Want My Muppet TV", Baby Gonzo proposes the initial "Weirdo Zone" idea at the very end of the episode.
  • Neat Stuff To Know & To Do features Rodney (a caricature of Rod Serling), who takes viewers into an area known as "The Curious Zone." Marius Constant's Twilight Zone music is also spoofed.
  • The Dog City episode "Rocketship K-9" features a Twilight Zone influenced ending. Ace Hart finds himself in a city surrounded by aliens, as Eliot Shag delivers a Serling-style ironic epilogue about what Ace has discovered in The Hydrant Zone.
  • In the tag scene for Muppets Tonight episode 109, Miss Piggy is on an airplane when she spies a gremlin through the window, tearing up the wing. The scene spoofs the 1963 Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." The original star of the episode, William Shatner, makes a cameo.

Connections

Many cast or crew from Muppet/Henson or Creature Shop productions have been involved with The Twilight Zone or its spinoffs.

  • Jason Alexander played Death in "One Night at Mercy" (2002) and several roles in the 2002 Twilight Zone radio adaptation, including Romney Wordsworth in "The Obsolete Man", Jonathan West and Little Caesar in "Caesar and Me," and one of "Five Characters In Search of An Exit."
  • John Astin played Charlie in "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim" (1961)
  • Dan Aykroyd played a passenger/ambulance driver in frame scenes for "Twilight Zone: The Movie" (1983)
  • Jason Bateman played Scott Crane in "Burned" (2003)
  • Theodore Bikel played Oliver Crangle in "Four O'Clock" (1962)
  • Bruce Bilson directed an episode of the 1986 revival.
  • Albert Brooks played the driver in the prologue of the 1983 movie
  • Carol Burnett played Agnes Grep in "Cavender Is Coming" (1962)
  • Art Carney played Henry Corwin/Santa Claus in "The Night of the Meek" (1960)
  • James Coburn played Major French in "The Old Man in the Cave" (1963)
  • Sally Cruikshank provided animation for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
  • Peter Falk played Ramos Clemente in "The Mirror" (1961)
  • Harold Gould played General Larrabee in "Probe 7, Over and Out" (1963)
  • Mariette Hartley played Sandra Horn in "The Long Morrow" (1964)
  • Pat Hingle played Horace Ford in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" (1963)
  • Russell Horton played Bartlett in "The Changing of the Guard" (1962) and George Reynolds in "In Praise of Pip" (1964)
  • Ron Howard played the Wilcox Boy in "Walking Distance" (1959)
  • Arte Johnson played Irv in "The Whole Truth" (1961)
  • Mimi Kennedy played Christie Copperfield in "Aqua Vita" (1986)
  • Ted Knight played Adams in "The Lonely" (1959)
  • Martin Landau played Dan Hotaling in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" (1959) and Major Ivan Kuchenko in "The Jeopardy Room" (1964)
  • John Landis producer, writer, and director for the 1983 movie
  • Cloris Leachman played Mrs. Fremont in "It's a Good Life" (1961) and its sequel, "It's Still a Good Life" (2003)
  • John Lithgow played John Valentine in the fourth segment of the 1983 movie
  • Jean Marsh played Alicia in "The Lonely" (1959)
  • Tommy Morgan performed the harmonica for Andy Devine's character in "Hocus Pocus and Frisby" (1962)
  • Howard Morris played George P. Hanley in "I Dream of Genie" (1963)
  • Brian Muehl played the father in 1985 remake of "Night of the Meek"
  • Leonard Nimoy played Hansen in "A Quality of Mercy" (1961)
  • Don Rickles played the gambler in "Mr. Dingle the Strong" (1961)
  • Mickey Rooney played Grady in "The Last Night of a Jockey" (1963)
  • Telly Savalas played Erich Streator in "Living Doll" (1963)
  • William Schallert played a policeman in "Mr. Bevis" (1960) and Father in segment #3 of the 1983 film
  • William Shatner played Don Carter in "Nick of Time" (1960) and Bob Wilson in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (1963)
  • Olan Soule played an IRS man in "The Man in the Bottle" (1960) and Mr. Smiles in "Caesar and Me" (1964)
  • Steven Spielberg was a producer and director for the 1983 film.
  • George Takei played Taro in "The Encounter" (1964)
  • Robin Ward narrated the series from 1988 to 1989, and also redubbed narration on syndicated versions of the 1985-1987 episodes
  • Jack Warden played James Corry in "The Lonely" (1959) and Mouth McGarry in "The Mighty Casey" (1960)
  • Fritz Weaver played William Sturka in "Third from the Sun" (1960) and the Chancellor in "The Obsolete Man" (1961)
  • Forest Whitaker hosted the 2002 revival
  • Jonathan Winters played "Fats" Brown in "A Game of Pool" (1961)
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