Today, June 3rd, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1960 premiere of "Mr. Bevis."
Comedian Orson Bean portrays the title character, one James B.W. Bevis, a free spirit who loves everyone and everything and would rather stop to share a moment with a neighborhood youngster than make it to work on time. In the space of a few hours, he wrecks his ancient car, loses his job, and faces eviction from his cluttered apartment. Will he end up on the street?
Nah. It’s time for his guardian angel (Henry Jones) to start turning things around.
Orson Bean is delightful in this role and even inspired Serling to turn this episode into a series pilot, which unfortunately didn't take. Nearly 90, the witty Bean continues to perform on stage, most recently with his wife. Long before Peter Jackson engineered his Middle-earth epics, Bean was the voice of Bilbo Baggins in the animated TV adaptation of The Hobbit... and he voiced Frodo Baggins in the follow-up, The Return of the King.
So as we enter the summer season when TZ went on hiatus, let's remember a comedy king who brought his gifts to that odd universe that sometimes avoided the dark, humorless approach and instead gave us a reason to smile... a welcome respite in The Twilight Zone.