Today, July 10th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birth of two marvelous TZ writers: George Clayton Johnson, born on this day in 1929, and Earl Hamner Jr. born in 1923.
Johnson wrote four classic episodes: "A Penny For Your Thoughts," "A Game of Pool," "Nothing in the Dark" (which introduced Robert Redford to the Zone) and "Kick the Can." Johnson (1929-2015) also contributed the original story material to four more: "The Four of Us Are Dying," "Execution," "The Prime Mover," and "Ninety Years Without Slumbering." An amazing story teller, raconteur, personality and humanitarian, Johnson was Zone gold.
Earl Hamner, Jr. (1923-2016) wrote eight episodes, including "The Hunt," "Jess-Belle," "A Piano in the House" and "Stopover in a Quiet Town." Both "The Hunt" and "Jess-Belle" allowed Hamner to do what he did best – weaving stories from his home, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, into his work. He later created The Waltons, a huge TV hit.
So let's celebrate the episode bounty of two gentlemen from different worlds who brought their expertise to the show that toasted the ultimate different world: The Twilight Zone.