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The Twilight Zone: Mr. Dingle, the Strong

Visiting Martian scientists choose a timid earthling as the subject of their experiment, endowing him incredible superhuman strength.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x19
Production Number: 173-3644
Airdate: Friday March 03rd, 1961

Director: John Brahm
Writer: Rod Serling


Special Guest Stars
Don RicklesDon Rickles
As Bettor

Guest Stars
Burgess MeredithBurgess Meredith
As Luther Dingle

Co-Guest Stars
Michael FoxMichael Fox
As 2nd Martian
James MillhollinJames Millhollin
As Jason Abernathy
Eddie RyderEddie Ryder
As Joseph G. Callahan (as Edward Ryder)
Douglas SpencerDouglas Spencer
As 1st Martian
Donald LosbyDonald Losby
As 1st Venusian
Gregory IrvinGregory Irvin
As 2nd Venusian (as Greg Irwin)
Douglas EvansDouglas Evans
As 2nd Man
Phil ArnoldPhil Arnold
As 1st Man
Frank RichardsFrank Richards
As 3rd Man

Bob DugganBob Duggan
As Photographer
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Vacuum cleaner salesman Luther Dingle is at the local bar while an obnoxious bettor is arguing with the bookie over a bum call about a foul ball and refuses to pay up. When he insults the bookie, Callahan, the barkeeper breaks it up and the bettor appeals to Dingle to give his opinion. Dingle admits he watched the game but makes the mistake of disagreeing. The bettor punches Dingle over the counter and as they argue, they're unaware that a two-headed Martian has invisibly entered the bar. They think that Dingle is just the specimen they're looking for: an abject coward with minimal muscles. They prepare to give him the strength of 300 men. Meanwhile, the bettor punches out Dingle again, but the salesman is more confused by the sudden energy blast. The bartender, O'Toole, advises him to stay out of trouble and Dingle practically throws his vacuum cleaner out of the door with his new strength. As he leaves, he pulls the door off his hinges and O'Toole is irritated that Dingle is wrecking his bar. Dingle has no explanation and quickly leaves...

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Episode Notes
Burgess Meredith also appeared in "Time Enough at Last," "The Obsolete Man" and "Printer's Devil."

Michael Fox also appeared in "Nightmare as a Child" and "Sounds and Silences" and later appears in the 1985 version of Twilight Zone in "A Message from Charity."

James Millhollin also appeared in "The After Hours" and "I Dream of Genie."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Uniquely American institution known as the neighborhood bar. Reading left to right are Mr. Anthony O'Toole, proprietor who waters his drinks like geraniums but who stands foursquare for peace and quiet and for booths for ladies. This is Mr. Joseph J. Callahan, an unregistered bookie, whose entire life is any sporting event with two sides and a set of odds. His idea of a meeting at the summit is any dialogue between a catcher and a pitcher with more than one man on base. And this animated citizen is every anonymous bettor who ever dropped rent money on a horse race, a prize fight, or a floating crap game, and who took out his frustrations and his insolvency on any vulnerable fellow barstool companion within arm's and fist's reach. And this is Mr. Luther Dingle, a vacuum-cleaner salesman whose volume of business is roughly that of a valet at a hobo convention. He's a consummate failure in almost everything but is a good listener and has a prominent jaw. And these two unseen gentlemen are visitors from outer space. They are about to alter the destiny of Luther Dingle by leaving him a legacy, the kind you can't hardly find no more. In just a moment, a sad-faced perennial punching bag who missed even the caboose of life's gravy train will take a short constitutional into that most unpredictable region that we refer to as the Twilight Zone.

Bettor: When a guy calls me a liar, there's my honor to be considered.
Callahan: Your honor? You've got nothing in you from the bottom of your arch to the part in your hair. Which is pretty tough to find. And when you die, my friend, they're going to have to screw you into the ground.

1st Martian: You're sure we're invisible?
2nd Martian: Beyond any doubt.
1st Martian: I wish they were.

1st Martian: I think we should be off. Three planets on tomorrow's itinerary. One should be particularly interesting. Contains only females.

Closing Narration
Narrator: Exit Mr. Luther Dingle, formerly vacuum-cleaner salesman, strongest man on Earth, and now mental giant. These latter powers will very likely be eliminated before too long, but Mr. Dingle has an appeal to extraterrestrial note-takers as well as to frustrated and insolvent bet-losers. Offhand, I'd say that he was in for a great deal of extremely odd periods, simply because there are so many inhabited planets who send down observers, and also because, of course, Mr. Dingle lives his life with one foot in his mouth, and the other in the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
The breaking table sound effect in the bar starts before Mr. Dingle has actually hit it.

In the bar the newscaster is carrying a microphone with a long rolled up cord. The cord is not attached to anything, so the mic is not actually plugged in.

When Mr. Dingle tosses aside the boulder he's just broken in half, it gently lands on the grass.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
Associate ProducerDel Reisman
EditorBill Mosher
CastingEthel Winant
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  H. Web Arrowsmith
Director of PhotographyWilliam V. Skall  |  George T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerE. Darrell Hallenbeck  |  Ralph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Charles Scheid
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorHenry Weinberger
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