Weirdo Zone

Weirdo Zone


Piggy sees something on the wing in Muppets Tonight


"The After Hours" from the 1980s Twilight Zone revival

The Twilight Zone was an acclaimed science-fiction and fantasy-themed anthology series, created and hosted by Rod Serling, whose deadpan delivery and phrases such as "Submitted for your approval" entered the popular vernacular. The series ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964, was typified by weaving social commentary and themes within the sci-fi and fantasy context, and often featured ironic endings.

The series led to several spin-offs, including Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), with segments directed by John Landis and Steven Spielberg; multiple TV revivals; a syndicated radio series adapting the original episodes; and such diverse items as pinball machines and a theme park ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, located at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.


  • The second season Muppet Babies episode "I Want My Muppet T.V." ended with Baby Gonzo, imitating Rod Serling in a suit, saying "You are entering another dimension... a dimension of sight and sound... a dimension of blue-nosed baboons," and he then sings the "doo doo doo" Twilight Zone theme.
  • The idea was expanded on in the third season episode "The Weirdo Zone," this time an extended Twilight Zone spoof, again with Gonzo in the Serling role. The episode involved a "reversed point of view" device, a frequent motif on the original series, as the other babies find out what it's like to be weird.
  • When the babies' vehicle runs out of time in "Back to the Nursery", the time station attendant gives them directions to the past and reminds them not to park in a Twilight Zone.
  • Neat Stuff To Know & To Do features Rodney (a caricature of Rod Serling), who takes viewers into an area known as "The Curious Zone." Marius Constant's Twilight Zone music is also spoofed.
  • The Dog City episode "Rocketship K-9" features a Twilight Zone influenced ending. Ace Hart finds himself in a city surrounded by aliens, as Eliot Shag delivers a Serling-style ironic epilogue about what Ace has discovered in The Hydrant Zone.
  • In the tag scene for Muppets Tonight episode 109, Miss Piggy is on an airplane when she spies a gremlin through the window, tearing up the wing. The scene spoofs the 1963 Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." The original star of the episode, William Shatner, makes a cameo.

Muppet Mentions

  • In the second season of the 1980s Twilight Zone, the 1986 segment "The After Hours" (a remake of an original series story) takes place in a mall. One of the shops, a toy store, has a Baby Kermit from Muppet Babies on display, and a Cookie Monster toy (mostly obscured) is glimpsed a few times.



Future Muppet Show guests zone out: Cloris Leachman (in the classic "It's a Good Life"), Jonathan Winters, Carol Burnett, and James Coburn


In the Zone, 1980s style: Gerry "Doc" Parkes, Muppeteers Brian Muehl and Dan Redican, and Paul "Mad Painter" Benedict

Many cast or crew from Muppet/Henson or Creature Shop productions appeared during the original run of The Twilight Zone, and a few of these also performed in later spinoffs and remakes.

  • John Astin played Charlie in "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim" (1961)
  • Theodore Bikel played Oliver Crangle in "Four O'Clock" (1962)
  • Carol Burnett played Agnes Grep in "Cavender Is Coming" (1962)
  • Art Carney played Henry Corwin/Santa Claus in "The Night of the Meek" (1960)
  • James Coburn played Major French in "The Old Man in the Cave" (1963)
  • Peter Falk played Ramos Clemente in "The Mirror" (1961)
  • Joe Flynn played the second claims adjuster in "The Escape Clause" (1959)
  • Harold Gould played General Larrabee in "Probe 7, Over and Out" (1963)
  • Mariette Hartley played Sandra Horn in "The Long Morrow" (1964)
  • Doug Heyes, Jr. played a farm boy in "Dust (1961)
  • Pat Hingle played Horace Ford in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" (1963)
  • Russell Horton played Bartlett in "The Changing of the Guard" (1962) and George Reynolds in "In Praise of Pip" (1964)
  • Ron Howard played the Wilcox Boy in "Walking Distance" (1959)
  • Arte Johnson played Irv in "The Whole Truth" (1961)
  • Ted Knight played Adams in "The Lonely" (1959)
  • Martin Landau played Dan Hotaling in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" (1959), Major Ivan Kuchenko in "The Jeopardy Room" (1964) and William Cooper-Janes in "The Beacon" (1985)
  • Cloris Leachman played Mrs. Fremont in "It's a Good Life" (1961) and its sequel, "It's Still a Good Life" (2003)
  • Jean Marsh played Alicia in "The Lonely" (1959)
  • Joe Messerli designed the logo
  • Tommy Morgan performed the harmonica for Andy Devine's character in "Hocus Pocus and Frisby" (1962)
  • Howard Morris played George P. Hanley in "I Dream of Genie" (1963)
  • Leonard Nimoy played Hansen in "A Quality of Mercy" (1961)
  • Don Rickles played the anonymous bettor in "Mr. Dingle the Strong" (1961)
  • Mickey Rooney played Grady in "The Last Night of a Jockey" (1963)
  • Telly Savalas played Erich Streator in "Living Doll" (1963)
  • William Schallert played a policeman in "Mr. Bevis" (1960), Anthony's father in the "It's a Good Life" segment of the 1983 film, and Father Grant in the 1985 remake of "Shadow Play"
  • William Shatner played Don Carter in "Nick of Time" (1960) and Bob Wilson in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (1963)
  • Olan Soule played an IRS man in "The Man in the Bottle" (1960) and Mr. Smiles in "Caesar and Me" (1964)
  • George Takei played Taro in "The Encounter" (1964)
  • Jack Warden played James Corry in "The Lonely" (1959) and Mouth McGarry in "The Mighty Casey" (1960)
  • Fritz Weaver played William Sturka in "Third from the Sun" (1960) and the Chancellor in "The Obsolete Man" (1961)
  • Jonathan Winters played "Fats" Brown in "A Game of Pool" (1961)

Others appeared in the various Twilight Zone sequels and remakes, from the 1980s onward.

  • Jason Alexander played Death in "One Night at Mercy" (2002) and lead roles in several 2002 Twilight Zone radio adaptations, including Romney Wordsworth in "The Obsolete Man", Jonathan West and Little Caesar in "Caesar and Me," and one of "Five Characters In Search of An Exit."
  • Dan Aykroyd played a passenger/ambulance driver in frame scenes for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
  • Jason Bateman played Scott Crane in "Burned" (2003)
  • Paul Benedict played Hoakie in "Song of the Younger World" (1987)
  • Zachary Bennett played Brian Harris in "There Was an Old Woman" (1988)
  • Bruce Bilson directed "Welcome to Winfield" (1986)
  • Jack Blum played an advisor in "The Wall" (1989)
  • Albert Brooks played the driver in the prologue of the 1983 movie
  • Pat Crawford Brown played Mrs. Finnegan in "The Little People of Killany Woods" (1986)
  • George Buza played Gus in "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich" (1989)
  • Nancy Cartwright played Ethel in the "It's a Good Life" segment of the 1983 movie
  • John Cho played Raff Hanks in "The Wunderkind" (2019)
  • James Coco played Maury Winkler in "Act Break" (1985)
  • Alyson Court played Beverly in "The Mind of Simon Foster" (1989)
  • James Cromwell played Obediah Payne in "A Message from Charity" (1985)
  • Sally Cruikshank provided animation for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)
  • Morgan Freeman played Tony in "Dealer's Choice" (1985)
  • Sherman Hemsley played Sam in "I of Newton" (1985)
  • Danny Kaye played Gaspar in "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (1985)
  • Mimi Kennedy played Christie Copperfield in "Aqua Vita" (1986)
  • Robert Klein played Bill Lowery in "Wordplay" (1985)
  • John Landis wrote and directed the prologue and "Time Out" segment and produced the 1983 movie
  • Jeffrey Lampert played mechanic #1 in in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" segment of the 1983 movie
  • John Lithgow played John Valentine in the "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" segment of the 1983 movie
  • Ian McShane played Chandler in "Cold Fusion" (2003)
  • Tommy Madden played the first creature in "Personal Demons" (1986)
  • Helen Mirren played Betty Duncan in "Dead Woman's Shoes" (1985)
  • Brian Muehl played the father in the 1985 remake of "Night of the Meek"
  • Richard Mulligan played Henry Corwin/Santa Claus in the 1985 remake of "Night of the Meek" and Ernie Ross in "The Toys of Caliban" (1986)
  • Kumail Nanjiani played Samir Wassan in "The Comedian" (2019)
  • Rockne S. O'Bannon wrote eight episodes and served as story editor or story consultant (1985-1987)
  • Gerard Parkes played Monsignor Perot in "The Crossing" (1988)
  • Julie Payne played a clerk in "Wish Bank" (1985)
  • Jordan Peele serves as producer, writer, and host for the 2019 series
  • Lou Diamond Phillips played Ritchie Almares in "The Pool Guy" (2002)
  • Dan Redican played Norman's co-worker in "The Call" (1988)
  • Clive Revill played Rockne S. O'Bannon's agent in "Personal Demons" (1986)
  • Guy Sanvido played a poolroom owner in the remake of "A Game of Pool" (1989)
  • Avery Schreiber played the landlord in "Act Break" (1985)
  • Adam Scott played Justin Sanderson in "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet" (2019)
  • Steven Spielberg was a producer and directed the "Kick the Can" segment for the 1983 film.
  • Patrick Warburton played Azoth in "Azoth the Avenger Is a Friend of Mine"
  • Robin Ward narrated the series revival from 1988 to 1989, and also redubbed narration on syndicated versions of the 1985-1987 episodes
  • Forest Whitaker hosted the 2002-2003 revival
  • Thick Wilson voiced Volkerps in "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich" (1989)
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