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The Twilight Zone: The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank

A young man is suspected of being evil after awakening during his own funeral.

Episode Info

Episode number: 3x23
Production Number: 4811
Airdate: Friday February 23rd, 1962

  • Currently 8.3/10
8.3/10 (4 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
James Best
As Jeff Myrtlebank
Sherry Jackson
As Comfort Gatewood
Edgar Buchanan
As Doc Bolton

Co-Guest Stars
Jon Lormer
As Mr. Strauss
Ezelle Poule
As Ma Myrtlebank
Lance Fuller
As Orgram Gatewood
Dub Taylor
As Mr. Peters
Ralph Moody
As Pa Myrtlebank
Helen Wallace
As Ma Gatewood
William Fawcett
As Rev. Siddons
Mabel Forrest
As Mrs. Ferguson
Vickie Barnes
As Liz Myrtlebank
Main Cast
Rod Serling
As Narrator/Host


The townspeople have gathered at the church for the funeral of Jeff Myrtlebank. Rev. Siddons speaks on his behalf as everyone mourns and speaks on Jeff's behest. However, everyone stares as the casket opens and Jeff sits up, alive and well. Everyone runs outside in terror as Jeff looks around and then comes up and wonders who put him in a coffin. Siddons believes a mistake has been made but everyone insists that Jeff was sick of flue and then he died. Jeff is hungry and goes to his parents, but they're frightened of him as is everyone else, including his fiance Comfort. Only his little sister Liz finally runs to him and the others accept to him. Comfort apologizes for reacting badly and says she's glad to have him back...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Sherry Jackson was Pittman's daughter-in-law.

In one scene, a row of mailboxes is shown. One of them has the name "M. Pittman" on the side of it, a reference to the writer/director of this episode.

Dub Taylor was a veteran actor who appeared in Little House on the Prairie and Don't Eat the Daisies.

Edgar Buchanon is best known for his appearance on Petticoat Junction as Joseph P. 'Uncle Joe' Carson.

Ezelle Poule is also in "The Howling Man."

James Best appears in two more episodes, "The Grave", "Jess-Belle." and as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltraine on The Dukes of Hazzard.

Jon Lormer also appears in "Execution" and "Jess-Belle."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Time, the mid-twenties. Place, the Midwest, the southernmost section of the Midwest. We were just witnessing a funeral, a funeral that didn't come off exactly as planned, due to a slight fallout from the Twilight Zone.

Doc Bolton: I know what it is. I know what it is. The miracle that happened here in our country. The medical term for it: Ipso suspendo animatus. Very rare. In fact there's only been 30 cases in the last 1,500 years.
Pa Myrtlebank: You just covering up for your own miscalculations, Doc? I ain't never heard of no sickness like that.
Doc Bolton: Ain't likely you would, with only 30 cases in 1,500 years. all them in Europe. Best thing for you to do is quit slandering my name, take that boy home.

Closing Narration
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.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorBill Mosher
MusicTommy Morgan (2)
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith
Director of PhotographyJack Swain
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 3 episode 23 guide may contain spoilers
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