Tuesday, April 7, 2015

He's in The Twilight Zone!

Actor James Best passed away last night at the age of 88. As he predicted, he's being remembered for playing a bumbling fool on a less than cerebral TV show. But before he spent seven years as a hapless hick, he was featured in three memorable Twilight Zone episodes: "The Grave" (with Lee Marvin), the titular role in "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" (as a guy who wakes up at his own funeral) and lastly as the bewitched beloved of "Jess-Belle".

Best was incredibly blunt about the difference between working on The Twilight Zone and Dukes of Hazzard:
“I did The Dukes of Hazzard series for seven years and we had a chain of writers over there — there was so much nepotism they wouldn’t have allowed any good writers to come in other than their own, which is unfortunate. So consequently, I worked seven years for writers who had the imagination of a banana. 
“Now on Twilight Zone, it was really a pleasure working on something that had the quality and the marvelous writers.
“I am going to go to my grave with ‘Rosco P. Coltrane’ on the headstone. I’d much rather go to my demise with ‘He’s in The Twilight Zone‘!”
Full interview/quotes are here.

I can see where he'd rather be remembered like this:

Than this:

Having never seen a moment of Dukes of Hazzard, he's totally "in The Twilight Zone" to me. Consider it done, Mr. Best, and rest in peace.

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