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The Twilight Zone: The Chaser

A love potion brings unexpected results to a lonely man trying to woo the woman of his desire.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x31
Production Number: 173-3636
Airdate: Friday May 13th, 1960


Guest Stars
Duane GreyDuane Grey
As Bartender
George GrizzardGeorge Grizzard
As Roger Shackleforth
J. Pat OJ. Pat O'Malley
As Old Man
Marjorie BennettMarjorie Bennett
As Old Lady
Patricia BarryPatricia Barry
As Leila
Barbara PerryBarbara Perry
As Blonde Lady
John McIntireJohn McIntire
As Prof. Daemon
Rusty WescoattRusty Wescoatt
As Tall Man
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Roger Shakleforth buys a love potion from a Professor Daemon to win the affections of Leila. Soon he realizes it worked too well; he grows sick of her never-ending adoration towards him. Roger returns to the professor to buy a new potion, a "love cleaner." He slips it into her champagne, but drops the glass when she tells him she's pregnant. On the patio, Professor Daemon, smoking a cigar, blows a heart- shaped smoke ring and disappears...

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Episode Notes
John McIntire was best known for his role of wagonmaster Chris Hale on Wagon Train. He was married to actress Jeanette Nolan.

George Grizzard is a distant cousin of the late humorist and syndicated columnist Lewis Grizzard.

Duane Grey would return in "Dust."

J. Pat O'Malley was seen in many Zone episodes including "Walking Distance," "Back There," "The Fugitive," "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" and "Mr. Garrity and the Graves."

Marjorie Bennett returns in "Kick the Can" and "No Time Like the Past."

Patricia Barry returns in "I Dream of Genie" but is best known as a veteran of soap operas including Days of our Lives as Adelaide Horton Williams (#2), [1971-1974] , All My Children as Peg English, [1980-1981], Guiding Light as Sally Gleason, [1984 - 1987] and Loving as Isabelle Dwyer Alden (#4), [1992-1994].

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Mr. Roger Shackleforth. Age: youthful twenties. Occupation: being in love. Not just in love, but madly, passionately, illogically, miserably, all-consumingly in love, with a young woman named Leila who has a vague recollection of his face and even less than a passing interest. In a moment you'll see a switch, because Mr. Roger Shackleforth, the young gentleman so much in love, will take a short but very meaningful journey into the Twilight Zone.

Prof. Daemon: What is it you want?!
Roger Shackleforth: Oh, nothing.
Prof. Daemon: Nothing I don't supply. Something is my specialty. Anything is what you get here.

Roger Shackleforth: I don't know why I came. You see, I was in this phone booth and...
Prof. Daemon: Of course you know why you came!! You want what I've got!
Roger Shackleforth: But I don't know what you've got.
Prof. Daemon: Ointments, salves, powders, sovereign remedies, nectars, lotus blossoms, toxins, tonics, detoxins, antitoxins, concoctions, and potions. All guaranteed.
Prof. Daemon: For instance, this little bottle costs one thousand dollars.
Roger Shackleforth: Are all your prices like that?
Prof. Daemon: Some are, some aren't.
Roger Shackleforth: But that thing that's gonna make Leila love me??
Prof. Daemon: Oh, that. That's only a dollar. Love potions are my cheapest items, and they're overpriced at that.
Roger Shackleforth: A dollar for my Leila's love?!

Prof. Daemon: I promise you, she'll never leave your side. When she isn't telling you she loves you, she'll be gazing at you lovingly. She won't even eat before you do and nothing will be too much for you to ask of her. She'll worship you. She'll beg for kisses and weep for joy at your touch...and if in time you should happen to look at another girl, or even do a little bit more than look, she'll be hurt, but she'll forgive you and love you just the same. Frankly, you can get the same shake from a cocker spaniel.
Roger Shackleforth: But that's wonderful! That's all I want is my Leila's love!
Prof. Daemon: If it isn't his Leila's love, it's his Dorothy's love, his Rhea's love, or his Gwen's love. The world goes on ad infinitum and all he wants is Leila.

Roger Shackleforth: How are things with you?
Prof. Daemon: Things haven't changed with me in years.
Roger Shackleforth: Kind of an ugly situation we've got...with China.
Prof. Daemon: You don't look so good, either.
Roger Shackleforth: That potion of yours sure works.
Prof. Daemon: I know, I know.
Roger Shackleforth: You don't know what it's like! All the time, just love, love, love!
Prof. Daemon: I do know what it's like. How do you think I came to invent the glove cleaner?
Roger Shackleforth: Professor, I am going out of my ever lovin' mind! I can't stand it anymore! Isn't there a way we could just quiet it down?
Prof. Daemon: No.
Roger Shackleforth: But she's so nice to me, she's so very good!! Isn't there such a thing as too much love? Isn't there a way we could transfer some of this love to, say, a nice cocker spaniel?
Prof. Daemon: Not a chance, she's yours.
Roger Shackleforth: There must be a way.
Prof. Daemon: This is the way.
Roger Shackleforth: Glove cleaner, huh? Say, you sell much of that stuff?
Prof. Daemon: Now and again.
Roger Shackleforth: By the way, what's in it?
Prof. Daemon: No trace, no odor, no taste, no way to detect its presence. And it's sure. One thousand dollars.
Roger Shackleforth: But that's all my savings!
Prof. Daemon: It's always that way. (Shackleforth hands him the check) Ah, all made out, eh?!
Prof. Daemon: One thing I must caution you about...you must use it immediately. Do you hear me? Immediately, and you must use it all.
Roger Shackleforth: Why, will it spoil?
Prof. Daemon: No, but you will. Once you delay, you're lost. If you fail the first time, you'll never have the courage to use it again. Never.
Roger Shackleforth: It won't hurt her, will it?
Prof. Daemon: If anyone gets hurt, it'll be you, but I don't expect you to believe me. Put it in soup, coffee, water, anything. You'll get exactly what you say you want.
Roger Shackleforth: Goodbye, Professor.
Prof. Daemon: Farewell. (a beat) It always happens the same way. First the stimulant...and then the chaser.

Leila: I've got news for you...sweet little rabbit!
Roger Shackleforth: Rabbit?!
Leila: Oh, well, we won't worry about it.
Roger Shackleforth: I could never have gone through with it...I could never have done it.
Leila: We're going to be like this for the rest of our lives.
Roger Shackleforth: Rest of our lives…(he faints)

Closing Narration
Mr. Roger Shackleforth, who has discovered at this late date that love can be as sticky as a vat of molasses, as unpalatable as a hunk of spoiled yeast, and as all-consuming as a six-alarm fire in a bamboo and canvas tent. Case history of a lover boy who should never have entered the Twilight Zone.

Cultural References
This episode is based on "Duet for Two Actors" by John Collier.

"Duet for Two Actors" originally appeared on television on The Billy Rose Show in February 1951.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorBill Mosher
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  Keogh Gleason
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorMerrill Pye  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorDonald C. Klune
Sound Effects EditorVan Allen James
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