Twilight Zone – The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank

★★★★  February 23, 1962 Season 3 Episode 23

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This episode has the look of a 1940s movie to me. Jeff Myrtlebank was supposedly dead but he had other ideas. James Best played this character well as did his girl Comfort Gatewood played by Sherry Jackson. It’s set in the 1920s in rural America where Jeff Myrtlebank was pronounce dead. After Myrtlebank popped up out of his coffin, the small community began talk about an evil spirit invading Jeff’s body.

Edgar Buchanan plays Doc Bolton and there is a little “Uncle Joe” (Petticoat Junction) in his performance which works in this episode. Ralph Moody and Ezelle Poule play Pa and Ma Myrtlebank and they are very authentic. I’ve seen this episode as a comedic The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street because of how rumors and ignornace can cause a mob mentality. I do like the ending of this episode…it keeps you guessing.

This show was written by Montgomery Pittman and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Time, the mid-twenties. Place, the Midwest, the southernmost section of the Midwest. We were just witnessing a funeral, a funeral that didn’t come off exactly as planned, due to a slight fallout from the Twilight Zone.

Summary

Everyone at Jeff Myrtlebank’s funeral service is shocked when he pushes the coffin lid open and steps out, seemingly in perfect health. Old Doc Bolton mumbles some ridiculous explanation and the people there settle down a bit. Obviously his family is happy that he’s back with them and his fiancée welcomes him as he is, with no questions asked. They do notice that he’s a bit different. As time goes on however, rumors begin spread and the locals decide to take action.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Jeff and Comfort are still alive today, and their only son is a United States senator. He’s noted as an uncommonly shrewd politician, and some believe he must have gotten his education in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling… Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
James Best…Jeff Myrtlebank
Sherry Jackson…Comfort Gatewood
Edgar Buchanan…Doc Bolton
Lance Fuller…Orgram Gatewood
Dub Taylor…Mr. Peters
Ralph Moody…Pa Myrtlebank
Ezelle Poule…Ma Myrtlebank
Helen Wallace…Ma Gatewood
Vickie Barnes…Liz Myrtlebank
Jon Lormer…Strauss
James Houghton…Jerry
William Fawcett…Rev. Siddons

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

8 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank”

  1. This is one where I really wanted to know what was going to happen. He seems like such a happy-go-lucky guy, which makes this scarier than it should be for me. Not sure if I care for the way he coerces his girlfriend either!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It reminded me of the Devil and Daniel Webster… the same feel almost. I have no doubt something was different about him… not evil necessarily but different. The match at the end kept you guessing.

      Liked by 2 people

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