Lou Bookman is a street vendor; a pitchman, making a living selling what he can from his valise - radios, toys, ties and the like. After a long day, he returns to his shabby apartment to find someone waiting for him, someone he saw near where he had been selling that day. That person turns out to be Mr. Death who is there to tell Lou that his time on Earth has come to an end and that his "departure" will be at midnight. Lou tries to forestall his death by asking for a delay until he's able to make a big sales pitch. It's all a ruse however and Mr. Death shows him that his actions have consequences. As a result, Lou makes the pitch of his life. Written by
Lewis J. Bookman was born in September 1890. See more »
Rod Serling - Narrator:
Lewis J. Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July. But, throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore, a most important man. Couldn't happen, you say? Probably not in most places - but it did happen in the Twilight Zone.
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An angel of death, looking like a corporate executive, notifies an elderly pitchman that his time has come, unless, that is, he can qualify for an extension. In the salesman's case, the extension involves making a career topping big pitch.
Slightly whimsical entry. Perhaps that's to lighten a storyline that deals with the possible death of a sweet little girl. Of course, there are no laughs, but Wynn plays sidewalk pitchman Bookman in somewhat whimsical style, while even Mr. Death (Hamilton) softens up toward the end. My guess is the producers wanted to follow up the white-knuckle first episode "Where Is Everybody" with a softer second entry. Note too, the implied references to heaven and hell, which suggests a respect for standard Christian theology, a not irrelevant concern given the series concentration on metaphysical themes. Anyway, Wynn's charming, Hamilton's well-dressed, and little Dillaway is cute.
On the whole, the script is well thought out, with a good ironical ending. And though the 30-minutes may have helped build an audience, it's not particularly memorable, at least in my book.
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