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"The Twilight Zone: The Dummy (#3.33)"
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"The Twilight Zone" The Dummy (1962)

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The Twilight Zone: Season 3: Episode 33 -- A ventriloquist is convinced that his dummy, Willie, is alive and evil. He makes plans for a new act with a new dummy: plans that Willie doesn't support!


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Rod Serling (teleplay by)
Lee Polk (based on a story by)
View company contact information for The Dummy on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
4 May 1962 (Season 3, Episode 33)
Ventriloquist Jerry Etherson is convinced that his dummy, Willie, is alive and evil. He locks Willie in a trunk and makes plans for a new act with a new dummy. Too bad he didn't clear those plans with Willie first. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Yet another episode involving a ventriloquist and his dummy...but at least it's the first. See more (9 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Cliff Robertson ... Jerry Etherson

Frank Sutton ... Frank

George Murdock ... Willie
John Harmon ... Georgie
Sandra Warner ... Noreen
Ralph Manza ... Doorkeeper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rudy Dolan ... Emcee (uncredited)
Bethelynn Grey ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Rod Serling ... Narrator / Himself - Host (uncredited)

Edy Williams ... Chorus Girl (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Abner Biberman 
Writing credits
Rod Serling (teleplay by)

Lee Polk (based on a story by)

Rod Serling (created by)

Produced by
Buck Houghton .... producer
Cinematography by
George T. Clemens (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jason H. Bernie 
Casting by
Robert Walker 
Art Direction by
George W. Davis 
Merrill Pye 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason  (as Keogh Gleason)
Henry Grace 
Makeup Department
William Tuttle .... makeup artist
Production Management
Ralph W. Nelson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
E. Darrell Hallenbeck .... assistant director
Sound Department
Bill Edmondson .... sound
Franklin Milton .... sound
Editorial Department
Scott Lawson .... colorist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

25 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Influenced by a 1945 British film entitled Dead of Night (1945), in which Michael Redgrave played a ventriloquist convinced that his dummy was coming evilly to life. Further inspiration was taken from an episode of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955)' entitled "The Glass Eye", in which Jessica Tandy plays a woman who falls for a handsome ventriloquist (played by Billy Barty), only to find that the ventriloquist is in fact the dummy, while the hideous dummy is the actual ventriloquist. Also, R.L. Stine wrote a book titled Night of the Living Dummy, which got 4 sequels also featuring the same dummy but with new owners, in which a girl named Lindy finds an old dummy named Slappy with a slip of paper in his pocket with strange words (Karru, Marri, Odonna, Loma, Molonu, Karrano) which, upon being read out loud, bring the dummy to life hell-bent on making Lindy and her sister his slaves.See more »
[opening narration]
Narrator:You're watching a ventriloquist named Jerry Etherson, a voice-thrower par excellence. His alter ego, sitting atop his lap, is a brash stick of kindling with the sobriquet 'Willy.' In a moment, Mr. Etherson and his knotty-pine partner will be booked in one of the out-of-the-way bistros, that small, dark, intimate place known as the Twilight Zone.
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I Only Have Eyes for YouSee more »


List: Ventriloquists who have disturbing relationships with their dummies
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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Yet another episode involving a ventriloquist and his dummy...but at least it's the first., 29 June 2010
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Episode 5.28 and this one, 3.33, are about living ventriloquist dummies--dolls that seem to have a life of their own! This idea was pretty creepy and I must applaud this particular episode--not the re-tread of season five. The idea, by the way, was used in the movie "Magic" as well as in many of the Goosebumps stories for kids.

In this particular show, the guy with the dummy is played by Cliff Robertson. He's a down-and-out guy--thanks to too much booze. In an odd twist, Robertson blames all this on the dummy--telling his agent (Frank Sutton) that the drinking and act will improve if only be can use a different dummy! Naturally, being the Twilight Zone, the old dummy has plans of its own!! This is a very creepy episode. The only serious negatives are that the dummy's lip movements are often out of sync and the performance is a tad over the top. Still, it's a very good episode and the first of its kind for the series.

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