A Self-Imposed “Silence”

Rod Serling, as fans of The Twilight Zone well know, was a master of dialogue. Veteran actors such as Jack Klugman (“A Game of Pool”) often spoke of what a treat it was to act out one of his scripts, which were filled with pithy observations and stinging critiques.

Interesting, then, that he also wrote an episode titled “The Silence.” It concerned a memorable wager: Stay silent for a year, and win $500,000.

The Silence2

Of course, in real life, the silent treatment isn’t quite as hard to coax from some people. They’ll do it for any number of reasons.

So when the hashtag #ReasonsWeStoppedTalking popped up on Twitter recently, I thought of several TZ-related conditions that might prompt the cold shoulder. I huddled with my intrepid “Gal Friday,” Wendy, and here’s what we came up with:

Reasons We Stopped Talking, TZ-Style

  • Little Anthony wished you into the cornfield.
  • That third arm made you a BIT too grabby.
  • You wouldn’t let me into your bomb shelter during the last air raid.
  • I asked the Mystic Seer if I should stop, and he replied, “There’s no question about it.”
  • I “accidentally” tossed your dictation tape in the fire. Oops.
  • No house on the block has power … except yours.
  • You locked me in a cell, then told everyone not to let me out.
  • The 11th operation to make you look normal didn’t take.
  • We planned a trip to Willoughby, but you missed our stop.
  • It was MY turn to leave the store, and YOU stayed away an extra week!
  • You’re apparently too busy having fun on the Kanamit home planet.

3 (4)


Photos courtesy of Wendy Brydge. For a daily dose of Serling, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. You can also get email notifications of future posts by entering your address under “Follow S&S Via Email” on the upper left-hand side of this post. WordPress followers, just hit “follow” at the top of the page.

Hope to see you in some corner of the fifth dimension soon!

About Paul

Fanning about the work of Rod Serling all over social media. If you enjoy pics, quotes, facts and blog posts about The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Serling's other projects, you've come to the right place.

Posted on 07/12/2013, in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Ha! You’re too much fun, Boss! Thanks for being my constant bright spot every day! ;)

  2. “I wasn’t sure which #12 was you.”

  3. “The Silence” goes in my Top 25 (I only listed 20 earlier, so I have five more coming)! I would guess this episode is often overlooked by fans, but being a classic movie enthusiast, the casting of Franchot Tone is what makes it for me – considering he has such a rich, deep baritone (albeit, obviously a bit nicotine-scarred) – that makes him a perfect casting choice (as usual), IMHO.

    • Tone brings a welcome gravitas to the role, no question. “The Silence” is also one of the few TZs to employ no supernatural elements; the events it depicts really could happen. And what a great twist at the end.

  4. You dumped me off the Lady Anne!

    You torpedoed our boat…over and over and OVER again….

    You—YOU left the rest of us to suffocate in a thirty-fathom grave while YOU got to live your life!

    I unwittingly chose all evils-at-sea. Huh, that was—{Twilight Zone theme plays out…}

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