Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"The Twilight Zone" interviews: child actors from classic episodes

My formative years were an odd crucible of pop culture influences. The big three were DC Comics (perhaps you've heard), The New Yorker, and The Twilight Zone. Okay, so "odd" may be an understatement…

Other teens had outgrown superheroes (or so they said before superhero blockbuster movies made it cool for anyone to like capes), decorated their bedrooms with heavy metal band posters, and secretly got up in the middle of the night to watch softcore movies on Showtime. 

But I still (secretly) looked at comics, openly decorated my room with the covers of a highbrow journalism magazine, and secretly got up in the middle of the night to watch Twilight Zone reruns (while eating ice cream sandwiches and drinking Ocean Spray cranberry-raspberry juice…ah, the invincibility of youth). 

I devoured The Twilight Zone Companion (a well-researched episode guide).

I wrote a Twilight Zone-style story called "Pulse by the Roadside" and worked hard to set up but not give away the twist. (It involved lightning and eyeglasses.) 

And when I organized the fall 1988 convention for the Connecticut region of BBYO, my Jewish youth group, the theme was…doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo. Note my T-shirt:

Drop T-Zone references, girls flock to you.

Close-up on that design:

Can you spot the "typeface" inconsistency? Bugs me to this day.

Though this early '90s photo of my bedroom is a bit fuzzy, you should still be able to make out both New Yorker covers and the Twilight Zone T-shirt on the walls.

So it was only a matter of time (enough at last) till I would find a way to feature original interviews pertaining to the original (1959-1964) series. I located child stars from five of the most iconic episodes and they kindly agreed to revisit the Twilight Zone. In most cases, they are the last surviving cast members from their respective episodes.

Submitted for your approval…

There's the signpost up ahead…

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