Nick, Jack Klugman, George Clayton Johnson discussed on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory


And welcome back Nick for EC with us broad sherline his life work in imagination. Nikki for rod, Shirley and were alive today watching television. What would he say about the current state of TV? Well, I think in in one regard, I think he would be thrilled with how adult television has become in, you know, in the in the realm of drama during the time that you out songs writing. Obviously, we talked about some of the censorship. But not only the issues, but also the language, and and just the specific matter in general, even if it wasn't a social issue, you know, today, there's so many shows that are that are are so adults in scope, you know, I don't even have to name them. But, you know, mad men and breaking bad, and, you know, not just cable, but, but but network television, I think he would be thrilled with how how with the quality of those shows. Now, of course, we have many channels now, and he does certainly a whole lot of you know, of of junk too, but. But I think in general he would be happy with it. And one thing I can tell you for sure he he would hate reality television. He and and I don't say that just you know, that's not just me saying that at the time. I, you know, I guess reality television for its time rod has some very negative things to say about a show called this is your life. If you remember, this is your life. This is your life was the show where they bring somebody onto the show normal everyday person, and they trot his family members out there, and they would go through his, you know, scrapbook and look at you know, it was kind of reality television for the time, and he just despise the the show, you know, he thought it was just an invasion of privacy and everything else. So a reality television. You would hate, but, but I think there was so many shows now that he would absolutely love woolen all time television to neck really did not understand racial mix ups demographics. When you look at some of these old shows way gone back, even the comedians the game shows, they were all older white guys, you know, in and I'm not I'm not talking. Like middle age. I'm talking older white guys where today and television, you know, it would be difficult to get that kind of a purse like Jimmy Durante, for example, you think he him? He was a big superstar very talented. I don't think he would make it today. You might be right. Yeah. Yeah. You could be right. I mean, well, listen to the Mark the the field has has grown so tremendously. There's so much more competition that yeah. That'd be that'd be kind of like talking about. Now. Major league baseball before the before. Jackie robinson. You know, they didn't have the competition from the from the black player from the Latin player from all these places, and they were certainly people who played in the major leagues in nineteen forty one. Who may not have made it in nineteen fifty one because there was so much more competition. What would rod say about all the different channels available now in his day? There was just the three major networks. Now. My God you've got hundreds of channels. Yeah. Well, he would he would love the freedom that it that it gives to to writers and creators, that's you know, have been his day. You know, if those three networks didn't want wanna hear it that was it. I mean, you know, and in some cases, if he was, you know, had on the contract to CBS said, yes didn't wanna to it. That was it nowadays, you know, you can go to so many different outlets to get your creation seen and heard. So yeah, he would be thrilled with that aspect of it for sure I mean Netflixing Amazon truly rival the networks now, don't they? Oh, absolutely. I have some of the best television being made right now is on on those platforms. It's amazing. Let's take some calls. Let's go west of the Rockies Kirk in Boise, Idaho to get us started high court. Hey, George glad he got Nick. I can't wait to read the book, you mentioned earlier when you were talking about the impact of the fact that the entire series is in black and white. And of course, Nick mentioned that, you know, the film, but I've always been amazed at what rod was able to do with regarding the size of the sets, which to me was as far as the visual impact was which is a testament to the, you know, the cinematographer, and the lighting directors, which I just I'm just blown away with what they were able to accomplish watering from Nick if he knew how many cameras they used during the actual shoots. Okay. Nick, do you know, I do not know the answer to that question, by will absolutely agree with curt that it that's one of the striking things about the series is is that, you know, of course, the production level of in terms of budget. You know, it was a fairly generously budgeted show at the F for the time. But of course. In terms of special effects? They weren't going to be able to give you the brilliance, you know, spaceships shooting across the sky, and that kind of thing so they so rod hat to work with a, you know, more relatively modest set. And so, and he he got the most out of out of those particular sets, and and every now and then to actually because budget was always a concern. He would write a particular show that only took place on in one one room because it was going to be cheaper to make factors one room. And that's it. And he would do one of those after they had a couple of expensive shows like I have the beholder or, you know, nightmare at twenty thousand feet or something. And then he will do one of these shows that we've got kind of got the budget back on the control. He jump started many careers to did you not? Yeah. I think so I mean, certainly there were a lot of you know, stars and soon to be Robert Redford. Yeah. Actually got his first job not on the twilight zone, but in another show that rod sterling written called in the presence of mine enemies on playhouse ninety. It was the very first appearance by Robert Redford on television. And that was a great great show when he was very good in that too. Yeah. In the twilight zone episode. He was a cop in the lady thought he was a death coming to get her. I'm not gonna say what the ending news. But that was a great show. Yeah. It was it was very that was written by George Clayton Johnson, actually. And that's a terrific show. What was the name of the show nNcholas were Agnes Moorehead was are you woman in her house in a small flying saucer landed insider house or something like that? And she beat it with a broom. It's called the invaders and and that was written by Richard Matheson, the late great, Richard Matheson. He wrote several episodes of the show, and that's one of the most well remembered episodes of the series, it's it's largely dialogue free. There's almost no dialogue in it. And so the very end when this when he, you know, up person says a few things we found out who they were and the other one I like to was the lady who was having plastic surgery because everybody thought she was ugly in she wanted to look like everyone else, and we found out what everyone else look like in the eye of the beholder. And that is you know, there's a quintessential twilight zone episode. I think that's that's it. That's that's the one. And again, one of the most well remembered episode in the one that really gave me the message of people was the shelter about that fallout shelter. Yeah. The shelter is a great great episodes Serling wrote that. And yeah, it's about the idea that there's gonna you know, there's a there's a bomb threat of a nuclear threat. And what is what does this community do when there's only one bomb shelter, and they all want to get into and they can't get into it. And they turn on each other. And it was yes. That was a terrifically. Well, done episode Renee in San Francisco's with us. Hi renee. Go ahead. Hi, are you know, there's an episode. That's a very rare episodes that he was finally released years later that was called miniature miniature. I don't remember that nNcholas do rather devolve. Absolutely, right. Another great great actor who one of his early early performances Robert Duvall that was one of the hour long episodes the fourth season of the twilight zone, they were all an hour long as opposed to half hour. I'm really, yeah. Okay. Yeah. And then you sure was one of the hour long episodes, and it it was involved in a lawsuit at the time that the series went into syndication. So it was not initially syndicated. So it was not seen for decades about at least twenty years. And so that was long long settled. And there was a special on pull the twilight zone silver anniversary special, and they showed that particular episode along with a couple of others that had been similarly left out of the syndication package. What was the tragedy when they were doing the twilight zone movie a helicopter crashed or something like that? Oh, yeah. It's horrible horrible incident. Yeah. Helicopter crashed after an explosion, you know, special effects explosion and killed Vic Morrow who was starring in that particular story and two young children. Who are on the set is. Yeah. Yeah. Cast a pall over the entire movie, of course, horrible horrible situation. Joe in Long Island, New York is with us. Hey, Joseph go ahead like a couple of questions. One would be the first one would be that seems like it was very escapist. Then maybe someone stay back in the sixties. I'm just speculating if you had a regular job, and he came home and watch the twilight zone that would be. Almost like an escape from your daily reality. And I guess people might have wanted that. I'm wondering if there are any other shows really liked that my second question would be about the mysterious endings, which I think a lot of that could be almost not necessarily ethic, but could have unfolded into actual movies additional scenes where someone could take twilight zone episode and kind of unfolded into an actual movie, you know, like a planet of the apes. Yeah. I I agree with you on that. And and to get to the first question, you know, the the escapist aspect of this. Well, I told him that I think that is part of all science fiction and fantasy of course, is that that escapist tone to it. But you know, it's funny that you mentioned that because that is actually something that rod sterling often pointed to about nine gallery in the early seventies. During the end of the Vietnam era. He felt that night gallery was giving people in escape from the nightly news, and seeing you know, the stuff on stuff on the news about war and everything else that they go into the night gallery and escape through that. So he never really said that about the twilight zone, but I think is similar point can be made about the twilight zone as well. And it is surprising that that that someone hasn't taken a twilight zone episode and expanded into a feature film. Although there's been there have been plenty of films that are certainly twilight zone in, you know, influenced that could very well just as just as well be twilights on movies that aren't called the twilight zone. Was it Jack Klugman on one of the twilight zones? He started four twilight zone. He actually started one with Bill movie in praise of tips. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. And he was terrific. I Jack Klugman probably gave my favorite performance is on the twilight zone in three of the episodes that he was was he a trumpet player and one of them. Exactly. Yes. There's one called a passage for trumpet rod wrote that one and I'll tell you a quick story about that episode. You know, he the director Jack club was so good in that episode. This just so good that the director actually wrote or called rod and said, listen, I don't want to take the camera off of this guy. I just wanna keep filming. Any way we can make this into a two part episode. He wanted to expand to now it just because Jack Klugman was so good..

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