The 50th Anniversary of the original Twilight Zone was celebrated December 12 at Mystery & Imagination Bookshop in Glendale, CA:
By John King Tarpinian: Sunday was the first of what portents to be a number of Twilight Zone get together events. It was an afternoon of praise for Rod Serling and all he has done for the little screen.
At this first event was (left to right in photo):
Robert Butler (who directed George Takei in the Twilight Zone episode “The Encounter”) He has a long list of directing credits that cannot due justice him so I suggest you do an IMDB search.
Renee Aubry, who was in “Sounds and Silences,” directed by Richard Donner. She was also in the movie Gypsy.
Marc Zicree, author of the Twilight Zone Companion was our moderator. He is probably the foremost authority on the Twilight Zone. Marc has the distinction of interviewing surviving people from their related TZ episodes for the still unfolding Blu-Ray editions of the TZ.
George Clayton Johnson, if readers don’t know who George is by now there is something wrong…
Arlene Martell was in two Twilight Zones with her scene stealing line being, “Room for one more, Honey” in the episode titled “Twenty-Two.” She also is most famous for having played T’Pring, Spock’s betrothed in Star Trek and played the love interest to Robert Culp in the Outer Limits, “The Demon with a Glass Hand”…written by Harlan Ellison.
- Left to Right: John Tomerlin, William F. Nolan, Marc Zicree, Jason Brock, Sunni Brock and George Clayton Johnson.
Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater screened Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man on March 27. On hand were John Tomerlin, William F. Nolan, Marc Zicree, Jason Brock, Sunni Brock and George Clayton Johnson, Earl Hamner Jr. and Norman Corwin.
John King Tarpinian reports:
The premiere of the documentary was well attended with a book signing preceding the 90 minute documentary and a Q&A afterwards.
John Tomerlin related a story about the time he, Bill Nolan and Charles Beaumont returned to New York from an auto racing event in Nassau with only $1 among them. At the end of the taxi ride the taxi driver gave them money.
Bill Nolan related a story about Charles Beaumont and Ray Bradbury. They were driving somewhere around Los Angeles and they passed a cemetery which had a sign out from advertising FREE DIRT. They both agreed that would be a great title for a story. They argued over who should write the story. Beaumont won the coin toss and wrote the story first, years later Ray wrote his story.
The 50th anniversary of Twilight Zone will be celebrated at American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre on October 30th (click link and scroll to bottom of page), with showings of Emmy-winning episodes and discussions with Carol Serling (schedule permitting), Richard Matheson, Earl Hamner Jr., George Clayton Johnson, H.M. Wynant, Robert Butler, and Arlene Martel.
Marc Scott Zicree, author of The Twilight Zone Companion, told the Los Angeles Times:
“He created a new form of television… Science fiction was basically viewed as kids’ stuff,” [Zicree] says. “There is a great interview that Mike Wallace did with Rod just prior to ‘The Twilight Zone’ where he says to Rod, ‘Now you are doing this kind of kids’ stuff, are you giving up writing anything important?’”
Among the episodes tentatively scheduled to screen Friday are: “It’s a Good Life,” by Serling, starring Billy Mumy as a 6-year-old boy who is a little monster; “Kick the Can”; “The Howling Man,” by Beaumont, about a scholar who unleashes the devil; “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” by Matheson, about a young man (Shatner) recovering from a nervous breakdown who sees a monster on the wing of the airplane; and Serling’s “Time Enough at Last,” about a bookish man who survives a nuclear holocaust.
By John King Tarpinian: The 80th Birthday Party for George Clayton Johnson at Mystery & Imagination Bookstore on July 11 went off very well. I stopped counting at 53 people in attendance, one person reported to me that she had counted 70. The party lasted about four hours. Fans and old friends brought gifts. Stories were exchanged, there was an ‘open mic’ where people got to tell stories about George. (Google Café Frankenstein in Laguna Beach if you wish to know about the naked lady and the arrest) Purely by coincidence, during the middle of George talking about how Ray Bradbury was his mentor he got a call from Ray to wish him a happy birthday. George was told by Ray to start back up writing short stories, George said “Yes sir.”