One For The Angels

‘One For The Angels’ is the second episode of the original run of the Twilight Zone. It originally aired on October 9th, 1959. ‘One For The Angels’ stars the legendary Ed Wynn.

Ed  Wynn played Lou Bookman in the second Twilight Zone episode ‘One For  The Angels.’

Ed Wynn was also the voice of the Mad Hatter in Disney’s Alice In Wonderland.

Memorably, Wynn also was in the ‘I Love To Laugh’ segment in Mary Poppins.

Just The Facts

  1. Murray Hamilton (who played Death) was a career character actor perhaps best known for his role as Mayor Vaughn in the Jaws films.
  2. Dana Dillaway (who played Maggie in the episode) would later again star in the Twilight Zone episode 'I Sing The Body Electric.'
  3. Jay Overholts (who plays the Doctor in �One For The Angels�) is actually credited in more Twilight Zone episodes than anyone outside of Rod Serling.

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'One For The Angels' was the second episode of the Twilight Zone. It is also an early emotional favorite. One For the Angels stars Ed Wynn and borrows from his early vaudeville experience. In the episode, Wynn plays Lou Bookman. Bookman is a small time dealer of trinkets who is a favorite among local children for his devices. On the last day of his life, Bookman meets the personification of Death. Bookman convinces Death that he has 'unfinished business.' Bookman's unfinished business is to make a real pitch or sale. The sale would be so big that the angels would notice. Hence 'one for the angels…'

Death realizes that he is being scammed, and devises a counter scam. Death states that he has to take a soul at midnight. The soul can be Bookman's or can be someone elses. Death decides on a little girl Maggie as a replacement. The girl is a favorite of Bookman's. In order to stop Death from taking Maggie, Bookman stalls Death until past midnight by selling him trinkets. Since Bookman has stalled the Angel of Death with his pitching ability, the pitch is literally 'One For the Angels.'

Alfred Hitchcock would generally put famous actors in roles. If you saw Jimmy Stewart, you immediately cared about Jimmy Stewart because it was Jimmy Stewart. If you see or hear Ed Wynn, you automatically feel warm and fuzzy because Ed Wynn is wonderful. Walt Disney once said that no matter what the movie was, Disney wanted Ed Wynn in the movie. If there was a fire truck, Disney wanted Wynn as the fire captain. Currently, Pixar uses John Razenberger in a similar capacity.

In addition to the gravity of attracting Wynn (who turned down being the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz because it was a 'minor' role) . The episode also established a lighter more sentimental corner of the Twilight Zone. It is the same type of role which would eventually be done is episodes such as the 'Night of the Meek' which starred Art Carney. The episode established an early sharp contrast to the suffocating horror of 'Where is Everybody?'