Welcome back all of you fear fiends to a new installment of Saturday Frights! Tonight we offer for your enjoyment a duo of Night Gallery Episodes entitled “Make Me Laugh” as well as “Clean Kills and Other Trophies”.
Our first of the two offerings this evening “Make Me Laugh” was written by Rod Serling and directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Godfrey Cambridge delivering a powerful performance as a comedian who has seen his best days pass him by but thanks to a chance meeting with a miracle worker by the name of Chatterje (Jackie Vernon), the comedian might find you should be careful what you wish for. The episode also has appearances by Tom Bosley (Happy Days) and Al Lewis (The Munsters).
The second segment entitled “Cleans Kills and Other Trophies” is also written by Rod Serling and deals with the rigid Colonel Archie Dittman (Raymond Massey), a big game hunter who is disgusted by his sensitive son Archie Dittman Jr (Barry Brown) and his refusal to hunt. The disgust that the Colonel bestows on his Son goes beyond mere insults and browbeating, he has changed his will to stipulate that if Archie Jr. hasn’t killed a beast with a gun within 15 days his multimillion dollar inheritance will be forfeit.
So dim the lights and grab your favorite snacks and join us for Saturday Frights as we pay a visit to the Night Gallery.
As always I wish to thank Sean Hartter for the impressive artwork you see up top. Make sure to visit his site and check out all of the many wonderful works there.
After too long of a wait in my humble opinion, Universal Studios is releasing the third and final season of Night Gallery to DVD on April 10th!
In the third season of this classic television series, the hour long running time had been cut to 30 minutes by the heads of NBC. The 3 disc set will include 19 episodes starring the likes of Vincent Price, Patricia Sterling, Bill Bixby, James Farentino, John Astin, Joanna Pettet, Mickey Rooney, Raymond Massey, Sandra Dee, Dane Clark, Christopher Connelly, Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Nelson, Roger Davis, Michael Lerner, and Leonard Nimoy to point out just a few.
I’ve not been able to find any information concerning the special features but if it’s anything like the second volume of the Night Gallery DVD, I hope there will be further commentary by the authors of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: An after-hours tour, Jim Benson and Scott Skelton.
This creepy episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery originally aired on the NBC network on the night of February 23rd, 1972. The first tale stars Richard Thomas (The Waltons), Michael Dunn (The Wild Wild West), Geraldine Page (The Rescuers), and Barbara Steele (8 1/2). It deals with a young man (Thomas) who must pretend to be a Sin-Eater at a nobleman’s wake.
The second tale in the episode deals with an abusive couple who mistreat their maid, in this case a robotic servant. It stars Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Broderick Crawford (Highway Patrol), Henry Jones (Vertigo), Severn Darden (The Six Million Dollar Man), and Lana Wood (Diamonds Are Forever). I have to say that I’m always very moved by Dr. Kessler’s (Darden) righteous anger towards the couple in this tale, he really does a great job with it.
One of my favorite segments from Night Gallery is a piece based on the 1934 Conrad Aiken’s short story, Silent Snow, Secret Snow. While this version of Silent Snow, Secret Snow is probably the better know their is a lesser seen short film that was was produced by Gene Kearney, who also wrote some episodes of Night Gallery. Whichever one you watch, you will find a wonderful and at times heart wrenching story of a young man who is having some troubles with the real world.
You can read a lot into this tale, some have said it is a purely symbolic rejection of the real world with the fantasy world, while others have looked at is as an allegory for mental illness. I have rewatched it dozens of times and I am still not sure which I feel is right. The best way to decide of course, is to watch it yourself. So please enjoy both versions of my favorite corner of the Night Gallery, Silent Snow, Secret Snow.
Silent Snow, Secret Snow – Part 1 of 2 (1966)
Silent Snow, Secret Snow – Part 2 of 2 (1966)
Silent Snow, Secret Snow (Night Gallery) – Part 1 of 2
Silent Snow, Secret Snow (Night Gallery) – Part 2 of 2
Originally airing on Oct. 27th, 1971 this second season episode of the Night Gallery presented the viewer with two tales. A Question of Fear stars Leslie Nielsen (Creepshow) as Col. Dennis Malloy who pits his courage against the boast of of Dr. Mazi (Fritz Weaver, also of Creepshow) that he cannot stay a night alone in the good Doctor’s house where he witnessed something so horrible that his hair was turned white. If he can stay the entire evening and not perish from fright he will be awarded $15,000.
The Second portion of the episode is entitled, The Devil Is Not Mocked, and stars Francis Lederer (Lux Video Theatre) and Helmut Dantine (Hollywood Canteen). Helmut plays General von Grunn, a Nazi officer during WWII…who is confronted by an evil greater than himself.