★★★★ May 20, 1960 Season 1 Episode 32
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This show was written by Rod Serling
Jack Klugman was a great character actor and he was always excellent in the four Twilight Zones that he was in. In this one he conveys depression, suicidal behavior, and alcoholism.
This is a touching episode that works well. It shines the spotlight on a down on his luck alcoholic trumpet player…and this visit in The Twilight Zone gives a chance for salvation if he takes it . This is not a scary, weird, or funny episode…it’s a well written story that works outside of the Twilight Zone.
John Anderson who plays the Angel Gabriel is believable as a jazz goatee wearing Gabriel. Rod Serling must have been a lover of jazz music because there are a few episodes that feature jazz players and he has the lingo down.
When Baron is talking to Joey in the alley, he compares him to three famous trumpeters of the big band era. Harry James was a trumpet playing band leader known for his technical proficiency as well as his tone. Max Kaminsky played with big bands like Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw, his style was full toned and economical in the style of Louis Armstrong. And Billy Butterfield played trumpet, flugelhorn, and coronet with Artie Shaw, Les Brown, and Benny Goodman.
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, whose life is a quest for impossible things like flowers in concrete or like trying to pluck a note of music out of the air and put it under glass to treasure…Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, who, in a moment, will try to leave the Earth and discover the middle ground – the place we call The Twilight Zone.
Musician Joey Crown is down on his luck. An alcoholic, he can’t find work because no one trusts him. Broke, he hocks his trumpet but then steps in front of truck which knocks him onto the sidewalk. He awakens in a strange world where no one can see him and he presumes that he has died. He eventually bumps into someone who can in fact see him, a fellow horn player who tells him that it’s still within Joey’s power to decide on life or death.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Joey Crown, who makes music, and who discovered something about life; that it can be rich and rewarding and full of beauty, just like the music he played, if a person would only pause to look and to listen. Joey Crown, who got his clue in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Jack Klugman … Joey Crown
John Anderson … Gabriel
Frank Wolff … Baron
Mary Webster … Nan
James Flavin … Truck Driver
Ned Glass … Pawnshop Man