Twilight Zone Day: Right Idea, Wrong Date

I know a lot of Twilight Zone fans (big surprise, right?), and many of them are excited about the fact that May 11 is “Twilight Zone Day.”

national-twilight-zone-day-may-11

I guess you can tell from that opening that I’m not really one of them, right?

Not that I mind it. How could I? This blog, after all, along with the Twitter page that preceded it, is dedicated to the fifth dimension. I’m always happy for an excuse to fan over what I consider the most entertaining and thought-provoking TV series of all time.

And yet … the May 11 thing kind of annoys me.

Why? It’s simple, really: Because I don’t know why that date has become known as Twilight Zone Day. No one knows, and believe me, I’ve looked high and low. It just sort of … is.

perchancetodream1

It’s not the date the show premiered (October 2). Or ended (June 19). Or anything else of particular note. The episode “Young Man’s Fancy” aired on that date in 1962, but it’s no classic, and even if it was, no one is claiming that’s the reason. Frankly, no one has an explanation.

The natural reply is, well, isn’t that kind of appropriate? TZ is a spooky show, filled with inexplicable occurrences, so perhaps it’s fitting that its “official” day be cloaked in mystery.

That still doesn’t satisfy me, though. I’m a huge fan of odd twists and enigmatic endings, but when it comes to things behind the camera? Not so much.

Another reason I’m not all that into the May 11, um, festivities? I think it’s because every day feels like Twilight Zone Day to me. Seriously! Not a day has gone by in the four and a half years since I set up my Twitter page that I haven’t paid tribute to Rod Serling’s work.

TZ ad

For me, in other words, May 11 feels a lot like May 10 and May 12. And the rest of the 365 days of the year. Celebrating TZ is what I do!

My counter-suggestion? Let’s designate October 2 as Twilight Zone Day. For my money, it makes a lot more sense to pay tribute to the series on the day of its debut in 1959.

It was the start of our journey into a land of “shadow and substance”. What better day to raise a glass to the great Rod Serling and thank him for serving as our tour guide?

Okay, I’m done being a wet blanket. For now, anyway. ;) In the end, what matters is TZ, not when you celebrate it. And if you’re bingeing on the best today, I hope you have a blast. Enjoy! :)

SerlingManInTheBottle

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About Paul

Hard-working, hard-playing fan of all pop culture, especially the Twilight Zone. Which led to a Twitter page. And then to a blog. And then to ... stay tuned. Yes, that's a picture of Rod Serling, not me. You can find the real me under the "Your Host" tab on my blog, along with biographical details that, while 100 percent accurate, sound kind of boastful and braggy. Sorry.

Posted on 05/11/2015, in Twilight Zone and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. That is a mystery, isn’t it? Although I honestly hadn’t heard about it before now! (It’s not even Serling’s birthday… I had forgotten that was December 25!)

    Apparently, in some parts of North America, 5-1-1 is a kind of road condition hotline. So maybe it has to do with the idea of traveling, and spottting the signpost up ahead….?

    If you ever want to head up a campaign to get October 2 recognized as “Official Twilight Zone Day,” I’ll do whatever cheering I can for the cause!

    • Good to know, Mike — thanks! I doubt I’ll do it, though, mostly because I’m not all that into these National Whatever Day things. To me, they seem kind of pointless. “It’s National Sea Otter Day!” Um, okay.

      Today is also, no joke, “Eat What You Want Day.” Gee, thanks for freeing me, however briefly, from those draconian rules that prevent me from eating what I want the other 364 days of the year!

      You’re not alone in being unaware of today’s “significance.” But enough other people know, though, judging from what I’m seeing on Facebook and Twitter. As for that 5-1-1 thing, ha, as far-fetched as that is, it’s about the best explanation I’ve heard yet!

  2. I’m not a big fan of “Days” for things, Paul, but I could get behind the October 2nd thing. At least that makes sense. I will probably celebrate though. I’m making my way through the DVDs again. I’m in the 4th season. Last night, I watched “Miniature” — “Printer’s Devil” is on deck for tonight.

    Maybe Burgess Meredith set the type for the “Twilight Zone Day” before that accident.

    • Ha! It would be just like him to do that, Dan. Glad you’re enjoying your latest tour through the discs. I should write about “Printer’s Devil” soon, considering that it was Meredith’s last TZ (and such a good S4 episode).

      • Since getting the DVDs an being able to watch whole episodes, I have really come to appreciate season four. Death Ship, Thirty Fathom Grave, Valley of the Shadow, Mute, Miniature (fav), Passage of the Lady Anne, “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville” and “The Parallel” are all ones I’ve recently watched or remember from the initial viewing last fall as being very good. Some I don’t think I ever saw.

      • It’s definitely underrated, and a big part of the reason is that the running time makes it hard to show on a channel that’s airing half-hour reruns. The only time it works is when you have a channel that airs two episodes back to back — then they can air one hour-long ep where they would normally put two half-hour eps.

  3. Agreed. October 2 is the only logical date for it!

  4. As I said on Facebook, I completely agree… But hey, I’m at Disneyland TODAY for Tower of Terror… We can change it later!

  5. CardinalIron

    I feel similarly. I don’t know when Twilight Zone Day started, or what committee designated it. I’m all for giving this series, and Rod Serling acknowledgement. His contributions to early television, his great writing deserve such remembrance. Certainly his birthday would be overshadowed, and I’m not a fan of remembering the day a person died (another thing twitter seems to enjoy). The fans are what keep this series in the public consciousness, who keep Serling’s legacy burning, through social media and fan sites.

    • Well, his birthday is Christmas Day, so I don’t think that would work! October 2 makes much more sense. But yes, I agree — it’s the fans that keep the series alive and well all over the Internet.

  6. I agree that every day is Twilight Zone day. At least it’s felt that way since last November.

  7. May 11 = 5/11 = 511 PIR RHQ Radioman, WW2.

    • That is your answer. He served with 511 Parachute group. Easy, and makes sense as his war experience lead to creating The Twilight Zone! :)

      • I’ve heard that theory, too. I don’t buy it (I know it “works”, but I don’t think that was the stated rationale for the establishment of this day by a person or persons unknown), but hey, whatever works. As long as people are fanning over TZ. Thanks for posting this, though!

  8. Some said it has something to do with the number of his paratrooper regiment. Had you heard that? Weird.

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