Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NIGHT GALLERY - Season 2, Episode 8, Part 4 "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture" (1971)

After a little over seven years now, we've covered something from almost all of the mysterious television shows of the 50's, 60's, and 70's including "Far Out," "One Step Beyond," "Tales Of Tomorrow," "Tales Of The Unexplained (The Veil)," "The Twilight Zone," and "The Outer Limits," but I think this is the first time we've ever done anything from that other Rod Serling monsterpiece, "Night Gallery!" "Night Gallery" never seems to get the accolades heaped on it's older sibling, "The Twilight Zone" but it definitely had some moments worthy of discussion!! I think tonight's presentation will prove that point!

Genius writer and host of "Night Gallery" Rod Serling was a Jewish man born on Christmas Day in the year 1924! Something seems vaguely familiar here!  He wasn't a big man at 5'4" but he sure had a massive imagination! It was a sad day when he passed away from complications of a coronary bypass at the age of 50 in 1975!  The good news is that he left behind a body of work that will never be duplicated, and tonight's feature is a good example! So without further delay, here's the story of.....

This is only one segment from the show that aired on November 10, 1971! This particular episode featured four tales, "The Diary," "A Matter Of Semantics," "Big Surprise," and lastly "Professor Peabody's Last Lecture!" It starts off as just another boring day in the classroom!

It's a very simple but effective story! Too bad it's lost on the good Professor's students! Take notes kids, there's going to be a test later!!

Professor Peabody is played by one of the most brilliant comedic minds of the last 200 years, Carl Reiner, and the funniest thing is that while this role is over the top, it's not really a comedy!

 I thought it interesting that I found this episode of "Night Gallery" streaming for free on HULU! It might be free, but there is a price to pay, even more commercials than regular TV!

Professor Peabody is convinced that there is no such thing as evil beings from the past, so as the weather becomes increasingly bad with each word, he reads on from the scriptures of evil! The sweat continues to build up on his forehead!

The students were hoping to get out of class early because of the bad weather, but that's not about to happen!

In a wild soliloquy of pain and evil, Professor Peabody works himself up so much that something very strange happens!

All the students are like ?"WTF!?"

I'm not quite sure what the moral of the story is, but you get the idea that maybe Professor Peabody should have paid a little bit more attention to his lesson plan!


Randall Landers said...

I always get a kick out of Night Gallery. There are some really good, creepy, TZ-ish stories to be found. This one's cute and creepy. I watched one on ME-TV last month: "The Messiah on Mott Street." Terrific show with Yaphet Kotto, Edgar G. Robinson and Tony Roberts.

BTW Hulu is terrible. Commercials were killer, and it would hang up and go back to the commercial I had just seen. So I paid for it because I thought I'd get rid of the commercials. Nope. Still got them.

Right now I'm using At $4.99 a month, not bad. Just watched "Tales of Frankenstein" which starred Anton Differing and was written by Curt Siodmak. Pretty darn good TV.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Well, I didn't have that much trouble with Hulu, except for the 3 full commercials proceeding the broadcast, after that it was fine, especially for free! I love "Creepster TV" but I wish their quality was just a little bit better! I'm seriously thinking about letting Netflix go, and get Amazon Prime. I keep getting kicked by movies I've been looking for and bought that are on Amazon! So for $8.99 a month, I think I'm going to give them a shot! Seems like a pretty good deal!

TABONGA! said...

I have all 3 seasons on DVD, watched every episode, enjoyed the 3rd season the most because they got even weirder - But, what bugged me was the one short piece I wanted to see the most was not included!!!!! That really bummed me out.

Richard S. said...

You're slipping! (grin)

The theme for "Night Gallery" for its first two seasons was by Gil Mellé, who also wrote the theme for "Kolchak: The Night Stalker". He was all over TV in the 70s and 80s, with over 100 scores and soundtracks to his credit. And that's in addition to a couple of jazz albums!

For it's third and last season, "Night Gallery" turned to Eddie Sauter. Sauter didn't do much work in TV or movies, but he did get to work with a lot of jazz legends like Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, and Stan Getz.

Randall Landers said...

Which short are you looking for, Tabonga?

TABONGA! said...

Hi Randall, I saw it in the eighties so I know it exists - I don't know the name, but, at the end of the story, the character goes into a back room and there is this super weird charcoal demon with red glowing eyes behind a barred window, done in choppy stop animation - It was the coolest thing I had ever seen - Hope that sounds familiar, so disappointed that I didn't find it on the DVD..

Eegah!! said...

You're right Richard! I got lazy! Thanx for the info I left out!

Grant said...

This was probably my first exposure to Lovecraft (even if it's a tongue-in-cheek one). Either it or COOL AIR or PICKMAN'S MODELS, two other NG episodes of course.

MDG14450 said...

I'm mixed on Night gallery--loved it when it first came out, but now a lot of stories seem either padded or rushed. I've been holding back on really diving in 'cause i don't want to get caught up in a binge watch.

I also got rid of Netflix because between Amazon Prime and Hulu, I have plenty to choose from. To be honest, though, I end up watching a lot of oddball movies that show up on YouTube, though quality varies.

Also hanging on to DigiDev to get the Something Weird movies, but I may swap that out for Creepster.

Eegah!! said...

Yeah MGD, it is truly amazing what's on Youtube, It blows me away sometime! I've been a big Netflix fan for a long time, but they're not streaming nearly as many old movies as they used to, so I think I'm gonna have to let them go! I have been truly shocked what shows up on Prime, and the quality is lot better than Creepster, bless their souls!

Douglas McEwan said...

Even though Night Gallery never had the quality of Twilight Zone, it was enjoyable weird. And it was the first TV show to expose Lovecraft to a wide audience. I saw this fun little vingette on METV just a few weeks ago. Of course, I'll watch The Master, Carl Reiner, the World's Biggest Mensch, in anything. I worship and adore Carl Reiner.

Grant said...

I definitely agree about Carl Reiner.

When it comes to SOME of the episodes, there's a reason for that padded quality that MDG mentions. Most of you might know this already, but some reruns of Night Gallery were not only edited like so many other reruns, they were also padded with stock footage for some reason! It's true of one that I've always been fond of "The Different Ones." I saw it the way it was ORIGINALLY shown a while back, and there's a world of difference between it and the syndicated rerun version.

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