Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 21

Kick the Can (9 Feb. 1962)
"The Twilight Zone" Kick the Can (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Reviews: 9 user

An old man living in a rest home thinks he's found the secret of youth in children's games.



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Title: Kick the Can (09 Feb 1962)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ernest Truex ...
Russell Collins ...
Sunnyvale Superintendant Cox
Hank Patterson ...
Earle Hodgins ...
Agee (as Earl Hodgins)
Marjorie Bennett ...
Mrs. Summers
Lenore Shanewise ...
Mrs. Densley
Anne O'Neal ...
Mrs. Wister


Charles Whitley is an elderly resident of Sunnyvale Rest, a home for the aged. It's not a happy place and Charles' hopes of moving in with his son David are dashed when he's told they can't take him in. He wistfully recalls his youth where they played kick the can and didn't have a worry in the world. His close friend Ben Conroy begins to worry him when Charles suggests all you have to do is wish it, and you can be young again. Ben is worried his friend will end up in the loony bin but it's Ben who is in for a surprise. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

9 February 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title refers to a children's game related to tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag which can be played outdoors, with as many as three to a few dozen players. The game is one of skill, strategy, and stealth as well as fleetness. See more »


Charles Whitley: [addressing his fellow senior housemates] Are you the same ones that used to skip rope - and hunt for polliwogs? Huh? And run through sprinklers - huh?
[sees the lawn sprinkler running]
Charles Whitley: Run through sprinklers.
See more »


Spoofed in Weird Science: Sci-Fi Zoned (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Kick the Can
14 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This Twilight Zone begins in the Sunnyvale Rest Home. Seniors are slowly creaking about, rocking their chairs, sewing, looking on, - perhaps thinking of their younger days.

In contrast, resident Charles Whitley is full of excitement. He thinks he's discovered the secret of youth. Children's games!

Inside the old folks home, Charles can hear the neighborhood kids shouting. They're out playing kick the can. It's an old summer ritual. Charles and the other seniors used to play it this time of year.

Kick the can, tiddlywinks, hide and go seek... Charles wonders if there isn't some magic in these games. We play them as kids. And the moment we stop, we grow old. But maybe, just maybe, if we keep playing them, we can keep the magic working. We can stay young.

Charles's tries to explain his theory to his friend Ben. But Ben has a different view. "Old people need their rest!" he says. Disregarding his cynical friend, Charles goes off to corral the other seniors to play children's games with him.

Quite simply, this is one of the best pieces of television writing I have ever seen. This simple story about youth, mortality, and the basic need to be silly, is for everyone. What a classic this is. If only TV could always be this good. 10 out of 10. Bar none.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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