Night Gallery

Season 1 Episode 11

Make Me Laugh

Aired Unknown Jan 06, 1971 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Make Me Laugh
A desperate comic turns to an inept miracle worker who needs to make a miracle before midnight or lose his powers. However, the comic soon learns the age-old lesson to be careful what you wish for.

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  • Be careful of what you wish for, and of how you phrase your wishes.

    This was a disappointing segment of the series, and what's most noticeable about it (and about several other stories in the series) in that it actually belongs in another Rod Serling series. It's a typical "Twilight Zone" yarn, and it doesn't belong in what is supposed to be an anthology of horror stories. There's nothing ghoulish in this morality tale about an unsuccessful comedian who can't stop people from roaring with laughter at his every unfunny remark, and there's nothing provocative or stimulating or even just humorous about it, either. The presence of a tyro director named Steven Spielberg counts for little - Spielberg's earlier segment, "Eyes", was vastly better.moreless
Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley

Jules Kettleman

Guest Star

Al Lewis

Al Lewis

Myron Mishkin

Guest Star

Sidney Clute

Sidney Clute

David Garrick

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Per Serling's original script, Chatterje was supposed to be a wizened little man who looks like Sam Jaffe. This generates an error when the script isn't rewritten, because Chatterje describes himself here as an "undersized guru," but Jackie Vernon is anything but undersized.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Host: On display this evening a pastiche of painting from oddball land. The poet Sir Max Birbaum observed that no one ever died of laughter. Object of brush and palette, the rebuttal. The clown is Jackie Slater, his occupation, a comedian. His aspirations, to collect funny bones and hang them on the walls of his life to hide the cracked plaster and yellowed wallpaper that is part of the interior decoration of failure. Poor Jackie Slater, a bad joke told in a foreign language in an empty hall, the comic unable to coax laughter. The painting is called Make Me Laugh and this lifeless limbo is called the Night Gallery.

    • Jackie: Hey, uh, how do you like this suit, huh? Sort of a chopped-liver gray, huh? Uh, the wife.. well, it's a nice fit, you know, but the wife says it looks more like a convulsion, huh?

    • Jules: He warms up slow, Mr. Mishkin
      Mishkin: It's 102 out there. This stiff couldn't warm up in a boiler room.

    • Jackie: I want to make people laugh.
      Chatterje: I have in mind an ill-starred venture, having to do with a retired schoolteacher in Spokane, Washington. A Civil War buff. Passionate admirer of the Great Emancipator. Wanted only one thing, to be in Lincoln's shoes. Wound up in an insane asylum, claiming he was a woman's sock. Had to be restrained from sticking darning needles into his head.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Jeannot Szwarc did uncredited directorial work on the two scenes involving Tom Bosley. The role of Jackie's agent was originally cast with Eddie Mayehoff, but Mayehoff was removed at the request of production executive Paul Freeman, who hated director Steven Spielberg's work and insisted that he be removed from the production and that Mayehoff be replaced with Bosley to improve what Freeman saw were the flaws in the episode.