Skip to main content

Tales From The Darkside Season 1 Episode 1 The New Man

 The first episode of the series proper (the pilot aired the year before) of Tales From the Darkside is definitely not it's strongest episode. Alan is a former drunk who is now doing great in real estate. Things go wrong when his young son Jerry shows up at his office. See, he doesn't have a young son Jerry. His wife Sharon and his son Petey seem to remember Jerry, but Alan does not. SHaron becomes convinced that Alan is drinking again. Days go by without his realizing it. His work suffers.

Sharon decides to leave Alan. He comes home and hallucinates Sharon telling Jerry about what a disappointment Alan is. He goes in and begins trashing Alan's room. In the process he finds a bottle of whiskey hidden in a drawer. He gets drunk and wakes up with a greasepaint beard. There's a new guy working at his old job. His boss offers him a drink, like he did Alan at the beginning of the episode, and we discover that he is a recovering alcoholic. As the boss leaves Jerry shows up to meet his "dad" at the office. So, Jerry is not a manifestation of Alan's psyche, he is obviously some external force. Is the boss in on it? We're not really sure. Jerry does end the episode with a great creepy kid smile.

Alan is played by Vic Tayback, who is best known for playing Mel in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Alice (which we'll be getting to here soon enough). He also did a lot of one shot t.v. appearances. A lot. Chris Hebert played Jerry. He was in The Last Starfighter and did some other t.v. work (including an episode of the 80's version of The Twilight Zone), but doesn't seem to have done anything since 1996. Kelly Jean Peters (Alan's wife Sharon) also did a lot of t.v., and was in Little Big Man, Poltergeist II, and Jack Frost. She does not appear to have made anything since 2001.  The boss was played by Paul Jenkins, who was in Chinatown and Network, besides having a host of t.v. appearances of his own. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 74. Finally, Petey was played by Billy Jayne, who was in Cujo, did a voice over on The 'Burbs, and whose numerous t.v. appearances include a regular cast spot in the highly thought of Parker Lewis Can't Lose. 

The episode aired in syndication on September 30, 1984. Also on the air that night were Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Hardcastle and McCormick, and the t.v. movie Heartsounds on ABC.  Over on CBS they had 60 Minutes, Murder, She Wrote and Trapper John, M.D. And at NBC (remember a lot pf people still only had a few channels to choose from back then) they were showing Silver Spoons, Punky Brewster, Knight Rider and the pilot episode of Scene of the Crime. I plan on covering a few of these here. The best thing about this episode, quite honestly, is you get the feeling that the show can only get better from here.


Popular posts from this blog

Nancy Sinatra Gets Nude

Nancy Sinatra was known for her song These Boots are made for Walking. Her musical career didn't  last nearly as long as her famous crooner father's did, but she remained a real looker. In fact, she did a photo shoot for Playboy in her 50's. Another thing that lasted into her 50's, she remained daddy's little princess. This is illustrated by the fact that she got Frank's permission before doing the shoot. The most surprising thing is that the Chairman of the Board agreed to let her show her goods in a nationally published magazine.

The Original Shrek

Chris Farley was originally cast as the voice of Shrek, and even began work on the movie. Unfortunately he passed before finishing recording his dialog. He was replaced by his friend Mike Myers, who took the character in his own direction.

A Salute To Elvira

Cassandra Peterson was born in Kansas in 1951. That is a very bland statement of fact for the arrival into this world as the Queen of Halloween. Of course Peterson wasn't born as the seductive Mistress of the Dark. When she was just a small child, she was scalded by boiling water and had severe burns on 35% of her body. She was teased for the scars this left as she was growing up, She says that as a child she was more interested in horror themed toys than the Barbie dolls the other girls were playing with. It apparently didn't take her long to find at least some of her talents. As a teen she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Dancing was to be her gateway to becoming an icon beloved the world over. At 17 she went on a trip to Las Vegas. She convinced her parents to let her see a show, and the story has it that the producers noticed her and approached her about becoming a performer herself. Since she was underage she had to get her parents' permission, but they agr