If Harlan Ellison Worked
In Tin Pan Alley

Reading about the plan to base an Outer Limits movie on Harlan Ellison’s “Demon With A Glass Hand” started me free-associating about the titles of his greatest stories.

Do you realize that if Harlan had become a writer of Broadway musicals, he could have given his productions practically the same titles?

Consider these matches —

A traveling salesman cons parents in a small Iowa town into buying musical instruments by promising he’ll teach their kids to play. Only his love for the local librarian keeps him from making a getaway.

  • Demon With A Brass Band

Ethel Merman stars as the well-meaning but ill-informed U.S. ambassador to fictional Lichtenburg who spends her time urging the monarchy to borrow oodles of cash from America.

  • Call Me Maggie Moneyeyes

Sky Masterson is in a battle for men’s souls – will one roll of the dice change the future?

  • City on the Edge of East River

This musical about a supercomputer that thinks it’s a god ends with a terrifying scene in which AM complains, “Too many notes!”, seals his victims’s lips, and forces him to hum the wordless tune, “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Sing.”

  • Am A Deus

I’ve left a few choice ones for the rest of you in case you feel like playing along….

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In Tin Pan Alley

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