A reformed alcoholic is visited by his young son. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a young son.



(teleplay), (short story)


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Episode credited cast:
Sharon Coombs
Paul Jenkins ...
Brad Johnson
Petey Coombs (as Billy Jacoby)
Paul Sparer ...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself - Host (only UK version)


A reformed alcoholic is visited by his young son. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a young son.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 September 1984 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Since there is no clear explanation as to what Jerry is, fans of Tales from the Darkside have come up with a number of theories for Jerry's meaning. Some of the most popular theories are:

That Jerry is a personification of booze, trying to make Alan lose his mind so that he'll start drinking again.

That Alan's whole family, Jerry included, isn't real, and that Alan is dreaming them up while he's drunk.

That Alan's boss who offered him the booze is the mastermind behind the whole scheme, and that he's sent Jerry to bother Alan. This theory came from the scene where Alan drinks and then says "waste not, want not". Jerry also looks like a younger version of Alan's boss.

That Jerry is some sort of monster that feeds on the souls and minds of alcoholics.

That Jerry is an allegory for all the torment Alan caused his family.

That Jerry is Alan's tulpa, or more simply put, his imaginary friend that has come to life and now wants to be part of the family.

That Sharon wants her marriage to Alan to end, so she and Petey teamed up and hired Jerry to drive Alan crazy.

That Alan is hallucinating Jerry.

That Jerry is Alan's conscience come to haunt him.

Laurel Productions has never confirmed that any of these theories are true, or what Jerry is supposed to be. See more »


Tales from the Darkside Theme
Composed by Donald Rubinstein
Written by Erica Lindsay
Co-written by Donald Rubinstein
See more »

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User Reviews

Uh Huh...So what exactly happened?
30 July 2008 | by (Long Beach, California) – See all my reviews

The first episodes of Tales from the Darkside must have been finding their footing, because after some early mediocre episodes, the series was great all the way up to it's ending. This episode was the first to air, after the pilot from a year earlier, and this was certainly not a good way to start the series off. Though this does have the feel of a Darkside episode, it's never explained in the end (Similar to another better episode later in the season, The Tear Collector). The story kind of gives up halfway through and then the ending comes. I suppose the ending was trying to be a twist or something, but it comes off instead as a cheap way to cut half the plot off.

Alan Coombs (Vic Tayback) is a recovering alcoholic. One little problem and his wife wouldn't think twice about leaving him. At work one day, a young boy named Jerry claims to be his son. When he gets home, Jerry is there, and Alan's wife and other son both recognize him as part of the family. Alan has no idea who this kid is.

The reason for the very brief episode description was the very brief story. It cuts out too soon to know what was going on and why this kid was claiming to be Alan's son. The half a story featured here is okay. The acting is alright, nothing special, though. The direction, is adequate, I guess. Everything is okay, except for the lack of story, so it's turned from an okay forgettable episode, to just forgettable.

My rating: * 1/2 out of ****. 30 mins. TVPG

10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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