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March 21 in Twilight Zone History: Celebrating the 1963 premiere of 'I Dream of Genie'

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Steve Rubin
Mar 21, 2018

Today, March 21st, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1963 premiere of "I Dream of Genie."

Comical Howard Morris stars as George P. Hanley, a lonely office worker who's infatuated by the company hottie (Patricia Barry). Of course, the only way for George to seek fulfillment is to somehow acquire a magic lamp – and this being The Twilight Zone, poof, he's got one. However, his wise-cracking genie (Jack Albertson) must be on a budget this week because he only grants our hero one wish. George decides to think carefully about it... and we proceed to three dream scenarios, which go terribly awry. In one, George is the President of the United States.

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Comedian Howard Morris was perfectly cast as office worker George P. Hanley, a man who is desperate to make a move on the woman he adores - but needs a magic lamp to do it. 

Howard Morris (1919-2005), who once co-starred with Sid Caesar on Caesar's Hour, later carved out a long career as a cartoon voiceover artist. Patricia Barry played nearly the same character in another comedic TZ: "The Chaser," in which she was sexy Leila to George Grizzard's Roger. And prior to "Genie" duties, Jack Albertson had co-starred in the decidedly dramatic Season 3 episode, "The Shelter."

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Lovely Patricia Barry gets to play a number of characters in "I Dream of Genie," including the seemingly untouchable source of George P. Hanley's (Howard Morris) obsession.

Honestly, I tend to shy away from being the critic, but "I Dream of Genie" is not very good, and it just goes on… and on… and on. But that doesn't prevent us from wishing you a Happy Spring and raising a sour grape soda to the actors who endured this one – and the show that returned to form two weeks later with "The New Exhibit."

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