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    The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling Played A Reclusive Writer In This Forgotten Sitcom

    According to Tucker’s research, “Ichabod and Me” seemed promising from the start due to the involvement of “Leave it to Beaver” co-creators Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly, who made this show together and would go on to helm another big hit with “The Munsters.” The series also had the aid of popular comic Jack Benny’s production company. Yet early reviews for the series — which was rebuilt after a failed pilot — were abysmal. Descriptions of the show call to mind the exhausting townsfolk subplots of modern series “Gilmore Girls,” only much less funny and without beloved characters to ground the scenes. Columnist Harriet Van Horne wrote one of the most scathing reviews, quoted in Tucker’s book: “A network that would buy ‘Ichabod’ for prime evening time would buy the Brooklyn Bridge from a tavern drunk — and pay cash.”

    The eventual cancellation of “Ichabod and Me” came as no surprise, but the show still made history in one small way with a key guest star spot. Serling, by then already working on fellow CBS show “The Twilight Zone,” appeared in a single episode of the show as a very private writer named Eugene Hollenfield in 1962. A year earlier, Time magazine had declared author J.D. Salinger a recluse, and the topic of antisocial literary geniuses was apparently on America’s mind. The episode saw Bob and the former newspaperman’s daughter Abby (Christine White) cornily pretend to be beatniks to try to score an interview with Hollenfield, but according to Serling himself, the whole thing was a wash. “I never had a line that resembled the English language,” he’s quoted as saying in Rick Du Brow’s Television in Review column (per Tucker).

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