"Tales from the Darkside" The Devil's Advocate (TV Episode 1985) Poster

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Radio Hell, a station meltdown!
Danny Blankenship30 January 2007
This TFTD episode is well done, it has humor, a good story, good acting, and teaches a good moral lesson. Jerry Stiller stars as a late night radio talk show host who takes listeners calls, and boy does he take it to the listeners! Stiller is very arrogant and rude as the host who always gives callers a hard time blaming them for all of the world's problems from social to economic and even for his bad luck of life! Simply this is a radio man with a big chip on his shoulder! However the calls go back in time from years ago, then slowly they take to work causing the station to blow up in smoke, and he changes slowly into the devil! This tale teaches a good lesson of guilt can haunt you and the past can come back to destroy you. A well done story with a good job from veteran funny man Jerry Stiller.
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A man and his demons
sol27 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** Abrasive radio talk show host Luther Mandrake, Jerry Stiller, known to his radio audience as the Devils Advocate is really ready for action tonight at his 12 Midnight to 4 AM time slot. Almost missing starting his show because he found a dead homeless person on the driver seat in his luxury car parked in his high security luxury apartments parking lot Mandrake was now fit to be tied in his precious privacy being invaded even by a dead man and was more then ready to let his frustration out on his abused audience. Whom Mandrake was really mad at was not the dead man in his car but the police response to his call in getting the stiff out of it. This almost made Mandreke miss starting his show for the first time since it premiered some 13 years ago.

Now with the call coming in hot and heavy Mandrake is at his nasty best making anyone who's willing to call him's life a living hell. Showing no sympathy to any of his callers Mandrake tears into them like the woman who's husband was just laid off from his job or the night watchman who despite being a big fan of his being made to feel like dirt in the menial job he's doing! As if Mandrake talking for four hours a night and abusing those who call him was contributing to society more then he was.

As the show goes on it becomes apparent that something isn't quite right about it and its host Mandrake. It's the callers who are now getting the best of the shows host not the other way around! Mandrake turning out to look like the devil himself starts to pour his heart out in why he's the nasty and unfeeling creep that he is. Also the callers seem to be calling not now in the present but from the past many before Mandrake was even born!

***SPOILERS*** We as well as Mandrake then get the truth to what's really happening on the Devils Advocate Radio Show from the person who's really in control of it with Mandrake being only his faithful and obedient servant: The Devil himself! Yes Luther Mandrake had really made it big on radio but he paid a heavy price for it. Mandrak's wife had ended up in a coma after blotched operation with his teenage son as well as parents who died tragically over the years was the high price he paid for his success. With Mandrake now having outlived his usefulness he was just about to join them: Only in death but not where he was about to go. A place that he earned for himself after years of working for the "Man" who was now sending him there!

P.S As for the dead man in Mandrake's luxury car whom he was so mad about Mandrake would have been a lot less nastier and far more sympathetic towards him if he realized whom that person really was!
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Jerry Stiller is the man!!
Tommy Nelson2 August 2006
Guest starring Jerry Stiller.

Mandrake is a radio host known as the Devil's Advocate that taunts and treats all of his radio listeners like dirt. This episode is just Jerry Stiller talking to people in his work place, but things change ever so slightly each time we see Mandrake. His hair gets longer, his nails get sharper, he starts decaying. This episode will be known for it's disgusting makeup effects especially towards the end. It will also be remembered for it's twist ending, and morbidity. It can be found on VHS volume 2.

My rating: Excellent episode. 23 mins. TV PG LV
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Outstanding episode
Woodyanders16 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Hateful and egotistical late night talk radio show host Mandrake (a bravura performance by veteran comic actor Jerry Stiller) has a massive meltdown while doing his show. Mandrake gradually begins to transform into a grotesque demon as he eventually learns that he has died and has been condemned to eternity in hell where he shall be receiving calls made throughout the decades. Director Michael Gornick relates the deliciously twisted premise at a swift pace and makes the most out of the claustrophobic radio booth setting. Moreover, George A. Romero's trenchant script offers a barbed critique of arrogant and resentful shock jocks who abuse the airwaves by insulting their listeners instead of addressing current timely issues in a smart, thoughtful, and provocative manner while also making a spot-on central statement on the corrosive influence bitter toxic cynicism has on the human soul (it's revealed that Mandrake has inspired many of his listeners to go to the dark side thanks to his constant on-air spewing of venom and invective). Stiller really sinks his teeth into his juicy lead role; it's basically a one man show that Stiller pulls off with remarkable bite and skill. Ed French's superbly hideous make-up f/x likewise warrant major kudos. One of this show's strongest half hours.
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Tales from the Darkside--The Devil's Advocate
Scarecrow-887 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Jerry Stiller is literally a one-man show in this episode of Tales from the Darkside as a radio host of a program called "The Devil's Advocate" where he rips to shreds callers going through crises or just wanting to comment on topics he might address (like cops, unemployment, his lack of sympathy, politics, his inability to find that depth of feeling that offers a positive outlook on the difficulties of life, etc.). This night is unlike any other as his engineer (Todd Oleson, the only other on screen actor in the episode) seems disinterested, soon falling asleep, and eventually is missing from his post as Luther Mandrake (Stiller) takes the extra airtime to just relentless batter his callers and listeners. As he does, his physical appearance becomes more monstrous. Soon he's the absolute mouthpiece for the Devil, his fate leading to his new switchboard and radio station outpost in a place quite fitting for his toxic personality and hateful rhetoric. He even gets a welcome from the very one he advocates for! Written by George Romero—no stranger to commenting on the society he sees from a standpoint that can loud and abrasively vocal—with his Dawn/Day of the Dead cinematographer, Michael Gornick, stepping out to direct, "The Devil's Advocate" gives Stiller a chance to really tear into his part, which in turn, allows his character to hold nothing back towards an audience looking for a calm in the storm, instead getting the violence and destruction as the storm reaches its zenith. A woman's husband loses his 24 year job after getting laid off and Mandrake tells her they should celebrate considering the position he held! A watchman is ridiculed endlessly by Mandrake for allowing himself to be stuck in such an unflattering job. Voices across the phone offer contempt for Mandrake due to his cruelty, but he is undeterred in lashing out. His eventual transformation is befitting such a monster. Stiller, even as he's buried under make-up (my wife said he started to look like a werewolf…), still leaves all out there, and he turns in a tour de force performance, too. This episode demands a lot from Stiller since he must carry most of it from one room, and he is up for the task and delivers.
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Wow! A good episode!
Leofwine_draca5 June 2015
THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE is that rare beast, a genuinely good and entertaining episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE. In fact it's my favourite episode yet, one which contains good acting from the lead (Jerry Stiller), some great situations, and a quite wonderful twist.

For once this is an episode which makes the very best of its low budget as the host is a radio phone-in presenter who works alone in his studio. It turns out this guy is one of the angriest around, a chap who belittles and berates everyone who phones in to him with their problems. Given that this is a George Romero-produced show, listen out for one of the voices; it's the opening doctor from DAWN OF THE DEAD, David Early, with his instantly recognisable voice.

Stiller's constant put-downs are hilarious in the extreme, and even the twist is adroitly handled; what a shame that the majority of this series couldn't feature episodes of the same quality as this one. It's a real zinger.
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One of the best Tales from the Darkside episodes.
Paul Andrews25 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Tales from the Darkside: The Devil's Advocate starts just before 12AM one night as radio talk-show host Luther Mandrake (Jerry Stiller) turns up for another shift, known as the 'devil's advocate' to his listeners he is rude, abrasive & bitter as he criticises everyone & everything over the airwaves. However tonight strange things begin to happen, he gets calls from people who claim to be from the past & he slowly turns into the monster that he is as he gets an unexpected visit from his boss...

Episode 7 from season 2 this Tales from the Darkside story originally aired in the US during November 1985, the third of three Tales from the Darkside episodes to be directed by Michael Gornick one has to say The Devil's Advocate is one of the very best from this generally hit & miss series. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that legendary horror film director & regular Tales from the Darkside executive producer George A. Romero wrote the script, it's witty, it makes several good points from several perspectives & has a really neat twist ending which although a bit silly I really rather liked. The character of Mandrake is brilliantly fleshed out despite the scant 20 odd minute running time & there's a strong moral message about not losing hope & trying to remain positive which is commendable in itself I guess. A great episode with a great ending, a must if your a fan of the show.

Unlike many Tales from the Darkside episodes The Devil's Advocate actually has a horror & supernatural based premise which makes a nice change. The special make-up effects on Mandrake as he literally turns into a monster are impressive & look very good. Like many Tales from the Darkside episodes this is set entirely within one location & has the minimum number of cast members, in this case just two to keep the budget down. The only really cast member who has to act is experience TV star Stiller who has appeared in the likes of Seinfeld (1990 - 1998) & more recently in 170 episodes of the comedy series The King of Queens (1998 - 2007) & he puts in a great performance here that really brings Mandrake to life in a short space of time.

The Devil's Advocate is one of the better stories from this series in my opinion & it's a good way to spend 20 odd minutes if your into these horror anthology themed show's. Well worth a watch.
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