The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
14 user 2 critic

The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank 

A young man wakes up at his own funeral and wants to know what the heck is going on. The townfolk are glad to see him back, but they begin to wonder if he's a man.. or something else?


Montgomery Pittman


Montgomery Pittman, Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
James Best ... Jeff Myrtlebank
Sherry Jackson ... Comfort Gatewood
Edgar Buchanan ... Doc Bolton
Lance Fuller ... Orgram Gatewood
Dub Taylor ... Peters
Ralph Moody ... Pa Myrtlebank
Jon Lormer ... Strauss
Ezelle Poule Ezelle Poule ... Ma Myrtlebank
James Houghton ... Jerry (as Jim Houghton)
Helen Wallace ... Ma Gatewood
William Fawcett ... Reverend Siddons
Mabel Forrest ... Mrs. Ferguson
Vickie Barnes Vickie Barnes ... Liz Myrtlebank
Patrick Hector Patrick Hector ... Tom (as Pat Hector)


Everyone at Jeff Myrtlebank's funeral service is shocked when he pushes the coffin lid open and steps out, seemingly in perfect health. Old Doc Bolton mumbles some ridiculous explanation and the people there settle down a bit. Obviously his family is happy that he's back with them and his fiancée welcomes him as he is, with no questions asked. They do notice that he's a bit different. As time goes on however, rumors begin spread and the locals decide to take action. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

23 February 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was set "in the 1920s" and according to Doc Bolton (Edgar Buchanan), Jeff Myetlebank (James Best) died from Influenza. The 1918-20 "Spanish Flu" outbreak of Influenza killed 50-100 million people worldwide (3%-5% of the world's population). Throughout the 1920s outbreaks of Influenza continued to kill thousands of people across America each year, so a death from Influenza would be something both feared and not unusual. See more »


When Doc Bolton is eating a pickle at the general store, the amount of pickle eaten changes from scene to scene. See more »


[closing narration]
Narrator: Jeff and Comfort are still alive today, and their only son is a United States Senator. He's noted as an uncommonly shrewd politician, and some believe he must have gotten his education - in The Twilight Zone.
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User Reviews

'I'm getting' sick and tired of the way everyone's treatin' me like a vampire'.
9 January 2014 | by darrenpearce111See all my reviews

Writer-director Montgomery Pittman wrote three TZ stories, all for series three and all fairly good ('Two' and 'The Grave' being the others), and all dealing with something beyond death or destruction. Pittman was a very short time away from death from cancer when he made this entry about a young country man who sits up in his coffin at his own funeral service.

Jeff Myrtlebank (James Best) is a much liked but undistinguished member of an unsophisticated community that starts jumping to a bizarre conclusion over his resurrection and character transformation. Odd things are happening around Jeff. Clearly an allegory addressing superstition, prejudices, and ignorance, this is a timeless, gentle tale well told.

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