The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 30 – Hocus-Pocus and Frisby

Now this is more like it.  After those last two clunkers I was wondering if Season Three was all done.  But this will do.

Frisby (played by the unique Andy Devine) is a general store owner somewhere in the southwest named Frisby.  He is a spinner of tall tales and a terrible braggart.  According to him he has invented just about everything and has studied almost every field of science and engineering.  The customers of his establishment (one of whom is played by Howard McNear who was Floyd the Barber on the Andy Griffith Show) tolerate his lies because while he is pontificating, they are able to steal small pieces of candy behind his back.  We are subjected to an almost constant barrage of these tall tales in the first scene of the show.  Then a car pulls up to Frisby’s gas pump and while he fills their tank and regales them with the story of how he invented the rear mounted engine in their car the two men identify him as the man they are looking for.

Later on, as Frisby is closing his store he hears voices in the dark telling him to walk down the road to embark on a great adventure.  When he timidly refuses, he is levitated into the air and toward the destination that he was invited to.  On the desert floor we see a flying saucer (of course the one from Forbidden Planet) and the same voice invites him to enter.  Once inside, we see the two men from the car we saw earlier surrounded by other crew members.  They tell Frisby that they are aliens come to Earth to select a superior specimen for their menagerie.  After hearing of all his exploits and accomplishments they assume he is one of the most remarkable humans alive.  Frisby tells them that all the stories are lies.  But they do not understand the concept.  His lies have finally caught up with him.

When Frisby tries to leave they block his way.  When he resists and punches one of them in the face, the face cracks and is seen to be a mask hiding a strange non-human visage.  Seeing this Frisby faints.  When he comes to, the unmasked alien talks to him and declares that they will be leaving Earth momentarily.  To console himself Frisby begins playing his harmonica.  But the music has a toxic effect on the aliens and as they stagger back from the sound Frisby dashes for the door which they gladly open to allow his exit.  The saucer takes off to allow their escape from the “Death Sound” of Frisby’s instrument and he heads back to his store.  When he gets there the customers are throwing a birthday party for him.  He tries to tell them of his adventure but they laugh it off as just one of his wilder stories.

It doesn’t get much goofier than this one.  But it’s a great farce. A-

4 thoughts on “The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 30 – Hocus-Pocus and Frisby

  • May 21, 2019 at 10:06 am
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    Ah yes. This is one of my favorite episodes.
    I think we’ve all known at least one Frisby in our lives – why tell the truth when a lie will do?
    But with the caveat that no-one is hurt by the lies.
    And Andy Devine does a great job portraying the character.

    Reply
    • May 21, 2019 at 11:34 am
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      Yes, that is a fun episode. In my opinion the Twilight Zone was most successful when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

      Reply
  • May 21, 2019 at 9:52 pm
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    And it was mirrored by “Mars Attacks”, in that the aliens cannot stand a certain screechy record. And the Killer Tomatoes likewise were averse to certain sounds.

    And then Al Gore stole Mr Frisby’s thunder by inventing the Internet.

    Reply
    • May 21, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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      Hollywood can’t help but re-use any good idea. Nowadays that’s all they can do. But I will admit that Tim Burton is one of the most creative men left in Hollywood. Weird but creative.

      “And then Al Gore stole Mr Frisby’s thunder by inventing the Internet.”

      Good line. But I’ll Andy Devine every time over that Gore lunatic.

      Reply

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