Only the “Best” Coffin for the Star of TZ’s “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank”

You don’t have to be the most eagle-eyed Twilight Zone fan to notice that the coffin in “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” has holes in the side.

If you assumed they were there for star James Best’s peace of mind, you’d be correct. And who could blame him? Even if you knew that your “resurrection” was imminent, it would be hard not to feel anxious with that lid closed.

And you know what? It turns out it wasn’t closed — at least not all the way. As Best relates in Martin Grams Jr.’s The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic:

“I’m not known [for] being claustrophobic, but when they closed that lid, I stuck a pencil or something small under the lid and told them to leave it there. I didn’t get scared lying in there, but the pencil did keep the box from getting stuffy.”

I guess, to quote the name of Jeff’s girlfriend, the pencil and the holes brought him some much needed “comfort.” Get it? Comfort? Okay, I’ll just show myself out …


To read what James Best thought about his time in the Zone, click here.

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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 06/18/2021, in Twilight Zone and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. You wouldn’t be Paul if you hadn’t made that pun ;-)

    His work in the Twilight Zone was so much better than the Dukes. My favorite is “The Grave” but there are so many great actors in the episode, it’s hard not to like it. When you consider that almost the whole episode takes place inside a small bar, it’s amazing.

    • Yes, I’m incurable! 😜

      You’re right about Best. His, ha, best work was on the Zone, as even he himself later said. The Dukes was a good paycheck for him, but creatively it was hardly a challenge.

      I’d say “The Grave” is my favorite of his, though he makes “Jess-Belle” and this episode here more enjoyable to watch as well.

      • E.Tristan.Booth

        My favorite James Best appearances will always be on The Andy Griffith Show, with TZ a close second.

      • Yes, as a huge TAGS fan, I enjoyed his guitar-picking appearances on that show as well. :)

  2. That’s so interesting, I never noticed the holes. I love reading all the TZ trivia and articles on here.

  3. Uh, yeah, NO! That pencil stuck there wouldn’t give me comfort. 😀

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