Anthology Series Closings

Anthology Series Closings

In the mid-80s, there was an anthology series craze on TV. I believe this craze began with The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which first aired on NBC and then moved to USA. Then there was The New Twilight Zone, Tales From The Darkside, Amazing Stories, The Hitchhiker, Monsters, Ray Bradbury Theater, and probably others that I’ve forgotten. I actually created a “Scary Scale” for these shows. On the one end, the always terrifying end, was Tales From The Darkside, which was always terrifying in the beginning, and on the other, the never terrifying end, was Amazing Stories, which was usually more fantastical than scary. In between, from more scary to less, was Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Bradbury, and Twilight Zone (I never saw The Hitchhiker or Monsters enough to rate them).

Each of these anthologies had killer openings. We all know that. But they had killer closings, too. These closings, complete with their credits, themes, and production/distribution company identifications, became as much a part of the show as the openings and the stories. They were kind of like the afterglow; after traumatized you with whatever atrocity they had showed you during their 30 minutes, they brought you down with these more genteel closings. It really was something strange and intriguing to watch these closings in the dead of the night after having been nearly scared dead yourself. They seemed like missives from another, scary world, one that was related to the world I had just experienced on my TV screen but more real and yet somehow more foreign as well. Here are a few of my favs:


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Great post, Doug!
    Nothing can beat the ending to Tales From The Darkside…I still get goosebumps from that, friends.
    I mean…that’s pretty threatening…”TRY to enjoy the daylight.” Yikes!

  2. All of those endings make my brain happy. They need to bring back anthology TV.

  3. Unfortunately, these days closing credits are sped up and forced into a quarter of the TV screen while some annoucer blathers on about what’s coming up next.

  4. So true about the afterthoughts about a creepy show sinking in during anthology end credits.
    Twilight Zone and Outer Limits were like that for me.
    Since these shows took me for a ride in another realm of unreality, it was only fitting they gave me a lift home after warping my brain.
    On that note, I was always (still am) put off by announcers cutting off the end credits’ music, or shrinking it into a smaller picture-in-picture while unrelated promos dominate the screen.
    “Gah! I’m still reeling here! Lemme get back into my skin!”

    Amazing Stories, though, brought back the Spielbergian magic of the 80s back to mind as the uplifting John Williams music closed up the viewing.
    Always had a good feeling afterwards because of it, despite my level of enjoyment over the weekly story.

  5. That speeding up drives me nuts. Especially then they have a guest or character actor who I want the name of. I guess they just would prefer I go to the internet more often.

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