It’s Twilight Zone Day … today!

For some reason … it’s Twilight Zone Day today. The show premiered October October 2, 1959, and the show’s creator, Rod Serling, was neither born nor died on May 11th. Only one episode originally aired on this date (in 1962): “Young Man’s Fancy” written by Richard Matheson.

Season 1 title card for THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

Season 1 title card for THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

But since when does there have to be a specific reason to celebrate THE TWILIGHT ZONE? It’s the greatest show in broadcast television history, generating such timeless classics as:

  • “A Stop at Willoughby” by Rod Serling
  • “Time Enough at Last” by Rod Serling (based on a short story by Lyn Venable)
  • “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” by Rod Serling
  • “Eye of the Beholder” by Rod Serling
  • “The Obsolete Man” by by Rod Serling
  • “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” by Rod Serling (based on a short story by Marvin Petal)
  • “To Serve Man” by Rod Serling (based on a short story by Damon Knight)
  • “It’s a Good Life” by Rod Serling (based on a short story by Jerome Bixby)
  • “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” by Richard Matheson
  • “Living Doll” by Charles Beaumont

That’s a whole lot of Rod Serling, but he didn’t do it alone-not by a long shot. When THE TWILIGHT ZONE won it’s second Emmy, Serling singled out Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, and George Clayton Johnson as the “gremlins” responsible for crafting the series’ stories, and said, holding up the award: “Come on over, fellas, and we’ll carve it up like a turkey.”

Other notable contributors include National Medal of Arts-award winner Ray Bradbury, STAR TREK: TOS scribe Jerry Sohl, and THE WALTONS and FALCON CREST creator Earl Hamner, who wrote eight episodes for the series, and also contributed “Come Down to the Store, Minerva!” to SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE, which is probably more in line with your expectations if you’re a TWILIGHT ZONE fan.

But however you choose to celebrate (watching your favorite episode tonight at twilight, playing the pinball game, or leafing through archived issues of the magazine), May 11th is the day to do it … for some reason.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of  LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.
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One Response to “It’s Twilight Zone Day … today!”

  1. It’s a mystery even to me. Then again, I consider every day “Twilight Zone Day.” Like you said, who needs a reason to celebrate it? Good post!

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