Friends, after posting the 1989 launch of the Sega Genesis earlier, I felt that the second article for today should be more in line with the Season. As I was watching the Projectionist, my co-host on the Saturday Frights podcast, preparing his Facebook page post for the morning – I suddenly realized what I needed to share with you all today. What could be more perfect for this time of year than getting a chance to listen to Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery) chatting with Bob Crane on the latter’s extremely popular radio show on KNX from 1961. This was as a matter of fact the same year that Crane would further dip his toe into appearing in television and films, first with an uncredited role in The Twilight Zone episode entitled Static, then followed by another uncredited role in Return to Peyton Place, Man-Trap, and a return to the General Electric Theater series (He got his first acting gig with the iconic series in ’53).
It would be another four years after this interview with Rod Serling before Crane landed the role he is probably best remembered for, that of Colonel Hogan in Hogan’s Heroes. Bob Crane however got his start in radio back in 1950, beginning WLEA in Hornell, New York – before heading to WBIS in Bristol and then landing at WICC in Bridgeport. It was in 1956 when CBS lured him to Los Angeles, California to act as host for the KNX morning show. Thanks to his quick wit, the fact he was amazing on drums, and his easy going manner, to say nothing of landing big name guests like Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, and Frank Sinatra – that The Bob Crane Show became huge to say the very least.
This interview with Rod Serling on The Bob Crane Show was originally broadcast on December 11th of 1961. Which meant that The Twilight Zone was well underway on their third season – in fact four days after the interview – the episode Once Upon a Time starring the legendary Buster Keaton would air on CBS. In the interview, Serling talks about his early work as a writer for television – including for Playhouse 90 and Studio One. As well as what sounds like a little ‘bad blood’ between Twilight Zone producer Buck Houghton (Mission: Impossible, The Wraith) on who was being credited for doing the everyday work for the series – and much, much more.
Rod Serling in my personal opinion was an incredible writer – one that was never afraid to celebrate the best and publicly condemn the worst of humanity – which is why I believe that The Twilight Zone is still such an entertaining and informative television series.