8 Funniest Twilight Zone Episodes, Ranked

Among the bizarre tales of The Twilight Zone, these episodes stand out as some of the show’s funniest.

There’s a timeless show that’s amazing to watch even if it’s in black and white, and these days the episodes are available in various locations if you want to step into The Twilight Zone. The writing, acting, and unique settings and stories captured the imagination of audiences and laid the groundwork for modern science fiction and drama.

The Twilight Zone isn’t a comedy show as a rule, and you won’t find it by using “funny” as a search term. That doesn’t mean that Rod Serling’s timeless writing doesn’t have its lighter moments. The funny episodes have the usual memorable characters and plot twists, and there are just a few jokes to lighten the mood or move the story along.

Updated March 21, 2024, by Kristy Ambrose: Not all television shows have the staying power of The Twilight Zone, but thanks to great writing and casting, most of the episodes from this classic franchise have aged well. The humorous selections stand out in what is mostly a dark, serious, and sometimes even chilling library of mysterious urban legends. The 2019 remake features some remade and revamped versions of the old shows, plus a few entirely new plot twists.

Split image showing images from The Twilight Zone: the episodes

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8
Cavender Is Coming

IMDb Rating: 5.9

TWILIGHT_ZONE_Cavender is Coming

  • Episode: Season 3, Episode 36
  • Air Date: May 25, 1962
  • Starring: Jesse White, Carol Burnett, and Howard Smith

Carol Burnett is the star of this episode, which guarantees a few laughs anyway, but the whole story is a parody of the trope of a helpful angel. Cavender is supposed to be the guardian angel of Burnett’s character, Agnes Grep, but he’s not exactly a shining example of elegance, goodness, or moral grace.

Cavender appears next to Agnes on a bus, and it scares the driver so much he quits by jumping through a window. People jumping out of windows and through mirrors seems to be a running joke, and it’s so random that viewers can’t help but laugh. Some of the physical comedy makes this episode more like a Three Stooges short.

The angel’s attempts to improve Agnes’ life and earn his wings are both overblown and hilarious, involving material wealth and money. When these things don’t make her life better, he takes them away and returns Agnes to her old life. Finally, she’s happy, and he gets his wings.

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7
The Whole Truth

IMDb Rating: 6.4

whole-truth-the twilight zone

  • Episode: Season 2, Episode 14
  • Air Date: January 20, 1961
  • Starring: Jack Carson, Loring Smith, and George Chandler

There was a movie called Liar Liar that borrowed the plot of this episode, but used a lawyer as the main character instead. This time it’s another profession notorious for playing fast and loose with the truth, a used car salesman, and his habit of lying about his wares changes abruptly when he buys a haunted car.

title image sentient cars benny the cab optimus prime herbie

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The “haunting” is more like a curse that makes it impossible for the owner to lie, and since Harvey Hunnicut spends all day telling fibs, his life grinds to a halt. To Harvey’s credit, he figures out the problem very quickly after he finds out that he can’t only lie to potential customers, but also can’t lie to his wife or co-workers. He manages to sell it, and viewers will have to know something about Cold War history to get the final punchline.

6
Escape Clause

IMDb Rating: 7.3

Escape Clause The Twilight Zone

  • Episode: Season 1, Episode 6
  • Air Date: November 6, 1959
  • Starring: David Wayne

Remember in Family Guy when Death sprained his ankle and ended up on Peter’s couch, thereby making it impossible for anyone to die? Here’s an earlier version of the same idea, but in this case the clever man is the cynical Walter Bedeker, played by recurring actor David Wayne. Walter has found what he thinks is a loophole that allows him to cheat death.

The result is that Walter is having some fun jumping in front of subway trains and drinking bleach. It’s hard not to laugh at his antics as he dreams up more and more creative ways to kill himself and collect life insurance money. Of course, this is a deal with the devil, and Walter is so obnoxious that it’s also funny when the time comes for him to pay the piper.

5
Once Upon A Time

IMDb Rating: 7.2

Buster Keaton and Stanley Adams in Once Upon A Time, Twilight Zone

  • Episode: Season 3, Episode 13
  • Air Date: December 15th, 1961
  • Starring: Buster Keaton, James Flavin, and Stanley Adams
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One of the more notorious and well-known “feel-good” Twilight Zone episodes is the whimsical “Once Upon A Time,” the story of an emotionally reserved, elderly janitor from the year 1850, who travels to the future. He comes across his employer’s experimental time-travel hat and is transported forward to the present day (in this case, 1961). Hilarity ensues.

The story follows a “city mouse and country mouse” theme, in which the janitor, the humble Woodrow Mulligan, expects to find a utopian future and is disappointed by modern life. His new friend Rollo, who lives in 1961 but imagines life in 1850 as more simple and idyllic, asks to go back with his friend and is similarly discontented. The episode contains plenty of physical comedy, and the misfortunes and misunderstandings of the protagonist are played for laughs.

4
Night of the Meek

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Night of the Meek Twilight Zone

  • Episode: Season 2, Episode 11
  • Air Date: December 23, 1960
  • Starring: Art Carney, John Fiedler, and Robert P. Lieb

“Night Of The Meek” is a bittersweet tale, as most Christmas stories are, and it has some profound moments along with some funny ones. The kids have some especially hysterical lines. One wayward tenement child requests a gun, and another unfortunate lad, Percival, asks for a new name as a present.

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Sad and drunk mall Santa, played by Art Carney, wishes that just once, he could get everyone anything they wanted for Christmas. In other words, the meek would inherit the earth. He stumbles across a mysterious bottomless sack in an alley and proceeds to do just that. Just when it seems there’s nothing left for him, he receives the greatest gift of all.

3
One For The Angels

IMDb Rating: 7.6

The-Twilight-Zone-One-for-the-Angels

  • Episode: Season 1, Episode 2
  • Air Date: October 9, 1959
  • Starring: Ed Wynn, Murray Hamilton, and Dana Dillaway

Ed Wynn, star and voice actor of Disney fame, carries this sad but whimsical episode. This was the second Twilight Zone episode ever, and its light and funny tone is in stark contrast to the previous one that debuted the series, “Where is Everybody?”

Wynn plays the main character, Lewis J. “Lew” Bookman, a fast-talking but well-liked neighborhood salesman. He loves to pitch so much that he even has a sales rap prepared for Mr Death when he comes to town. It’s time for Bookman to go, but he makes a deal with Death to make one more sales pitch, or as he puts it, “One For The Angels.” He makes his pitch, but not how he originally planned.

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2
To Serve Man

IMDb Rating: 9.0

To Serve Man The Twilight Zone

  • Episode: Season 3, Episode 24
  • Air Date: March 2, 1962
  • Starring: Lloyd Bochner, Susan Cummings, and Richard Kiel

One of the most well-known Twilight Zone episodes is also among the funniest, but it contains some dark humor that not all viewers will appreciate. Like many other episodes, this one has a unique take on the concept of alien visitors that hinges on what might be a misunderstanding…or a deliberate trap.

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When a large but mild-mannered alien shows up on earth with a book entitled “To Serve Man,” the humans think it’s about how to make human beings happy. Nothing else in the book can be deciphered, but all it takes to fool humans is a bit of flattery. By the time mankind figures out that the tome is a cookbook, it’s too late.

1
Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?

IMDb Rating: 8.7

will the real martian please stand up the twilight zone

  • Episode: Season 2, Episode 28
  • Air Date: May 26, 1961
  • Starring: Jack Elam, John Hoyt, and Jean Willes

A funny episode for its twist on the concept of extraterrestrial visitors and alien colonies, “Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?” is about an alien posing as a human but hiding among the motley patrons of a diner. Jack Elam plays a quirky old man who spends most of the episode and does have some scary moments, as the comic relief and his outspoken nature are also intended to make him a red herring for suspicion.

The funny twist at the end is that there isn’t one alien in the diner. There are two of them, one from Venus and the other from Mars, and the rivals are on a scouting mission as part of their colonization plans.

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

HorrorMysteryDrama Sci-Fi

Release Date

October 2, 1959

Creator

Rod Serling

Network

CBS

Seasons

5

Number of Episodes

156

Fuente: successacademy.edu.vn
Categorías: Trend

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