Remembering the Twilight Zone Premiere with CNY Native Rod Serling
October 2, 1959, was the premiere of The Twilight Zone. Rod Serling, a CNY native, wrote 92 of the 156 episodes. He was known as the 'angry young man' of Hollywood.
Rod Serling was born on Christmas Day, 1924 in Syracuse. He described himself as a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped. He graduated from Binghamton High School in 1943. He worked all over the country after serving in the Army as a paratrooper in WWII. The quote below shows his love for Binghamton and Upstate New York found at Binghamton.org.
“Everyone has to have a hometown, Binghamton’s mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive makeup of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat, or kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that’s familiar because that’s where you grew up. When I dig back through my memory cells, I get one particularly distinctive feeling and that’s one of warmth, comfort and well-being. For whatever else I may have had, or lost, or will find, I’ve still got a hometown. This, nobody’s gonna take away from me.” – Rod Serling
Biography.com reports: In May of 1975, when he was 50 years old, Serling had a heart attack while running on a treadmill. A couple of weeks later, he had a second heart attack, at his cottage on Cayuga Lake, and was sent to the hospital for open-heart surgery. On June 28, 1975, Rod Serling died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.
Rod Serling wrote 92 of 156 episodes for The Twilight Zone and was also the narrator. This script was the intro for all episodes except the final five.
"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space, and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone."
The Twilight Zone won numerous awards including 3 Emmys and a Golden Globe. Rod Serling was nominated for a total of 9 Emmys and won 6 for various writing achievements. Some other honors bestowed to him after his death according to Wikipedia:
1985: Inducted into the Television Hall of Fame
1985: A star honoring Serling can be found at 6840 Hollywood Blvd. on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2007: Ranked No. 1 on TV Guide's "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" list (the only non-fictitious person on the list)
2008: Inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame
Since The Twilight Zone went off the air in 1964, it has been in rerun, re-created and re-imaged. IMDb says "It's been released in comic book form, as a magazine, a film, and two additional television series from 1985 to 1989 and again from 2002 to 2003. In 1988, J. Michael Straczynski scripted Serling's outline "Our Selena Is Dying" for the 1980s Twilight Zone revival."
Famous Rod Serling quotes:
“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
“There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”
“Being like everybody is the same as being nobody.”
“Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.”
“For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized”
“Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse.”
― Rod Serling
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