“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
We’ve all heard that idiom countless times and with the collosal amount of films, radio shows, television programmes (including animation) that have directly immitated, payed homage to or spoofed The Twilight Zone, it becomes incredibly obvious just how awesome this show was and still is. Over the years The Twilight Zone has been acknowledged an an influence by countless writers and filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg (“I was a complete obsessive-compulsive Twilight Zone follower.”), J.J. Abrams (“The Twilight Zone at its best is better than anything else I’ve ever seen on television.”), Joe Dante, John Landis, Wes Craven, George Miller, Clive Barker, Steven King and Michael J. Straczynski. One only needs to take a look at any of these name’s work to see the influence that The Twilight Zone has played on them.
Since it’s original debut in October 1959 – a whole 52 years ago! – the series has been adapted numerous times. From the feature length film in 1983 (Staring Dan Aykroyd and directed by Landis and Dante) to the new TV series in the 1980s and more recently, the 2000s. The show has also been adapted several times into radio dramas, graphic novels (which are available in PDF format on the new DVD/Blu-Ray box sets – click HERE for a sneaky peak!), books and of course the Twilight Zone Pinball table. Take a look at the original Twilight Zone Pinball Promo below from 1993.
The show has also been the ‘victim’ of many loving spoofs and paradies. Perhaps most familiar are the animated spoofs, from Futurama‘s frequent nod to the show with the constantly re-appearing ‘The Scary Door’ spoof (see HERE) to, most famously, the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror parodies (see here), which often have whole segments dedicated to seperate Twilight Zone episodes. Not to mention the spoofs that have appeared in live sketch shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Dick Van Dyke Show. After a quick look on IMDb, on the more dodgy side of things theres also been a whole host of adult ‘spoofs’. Porn. From titles such as Twilight Pink II: The Erogenous Zone to The Sexual Zone and the more recent Clown Porn hosted by Rod Swirling…Yeaaaah.
And thats just the tip of the iceberg – theres a whole load of spoofs and homages and immitations of The Twilight Zone which just goes to show yet another reason why The Twilight Zone is so awesome!