Twilight Zone Cavender is Coming hero

April 26 in Twilight Zone History: Happy Birthday to Carol Burnett, who turns 85 today

Contributed by
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Steve Rubin
Apr 26, 2018

Today, April 26th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birth of actress/comedienne Carol Burnett who turns 85 today.

The multi-talented Burnett starred in "Cavender is Coming" as clumsy movie theater usher Agnes Grep, a poor doofus who suddenly finds herself blessed with a guardian angel named Cavender (Jesse White). When Agnes loses her job, Cavender senses that Agnes could use a boost, so he rewards her with riches, property and sophistication – none of which she really wants.

Many of the movie theater moments in "Cavender" were provided by Burnett, who worked in a movie theater run by a tyrannical manager who treated his employees like infantry recruits. She was indeed fired, and years later when she was rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she decided it should be placed right in front of that theater.

A San Antonio, Texas native, Burnett has received, to date, 22 Emmy nominations (winning six), and her hit comedy sketch series The Carol Burnett Show is considered one of television's finest.

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Apparently unbeknownst to her guardian angel, Agnes Grep (Carol Burnett, left) is perfectly happy living poor and giving candy to children in "Cavender is Coming."

Incidentally, on this same date in 1962, Daily Variety reported, prematurely, that The Twilight Zone had been canceled. Anti-anthology programming chief James Aubrey replaced it after three seasons with the comedy Fair Exchange, which promptly bombed in the ratings, forcing Aubrey to reluctantly return the Zone to the airwaves for an abbreviated fourth season of one-hour episodes, followed by a full fifth season of half-hours.

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Carol Burnett is truly adorable as the klutzy Agnes Grep in "Cavender is Coming," a bit of which was inspired by Burnett's own experiences as a put-upon movie usher. 

So let's hoist a jumbo-sized movie concession counter soda to Agnes Grep, the true genius of Carol Burnett, and the magic of The Twilight Zone.

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