Today, May 8th, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the 1964 premiere of "Mr. Garrity and the Graves."
John Dehner returns to the Zone as Jared Garrity, an Old West con man who comes to Happiness, Arizona – ironically the deadliest town in the west – with an outrageous proposition. He will raise the dead at midnight – unless, of course, the townspeople pay him money not to.
Dehner is perfectly cast as a flim-flam man who fleeces town after town, having previously starred as civil engineer Alan Richards in the deadly serious episode "The Jungle." John Mitchum, who had earlier co-starred as a gold train bandit in "The Rip Van Winkle Caper," returns as Garrity's assistant Ace.
Stanley Adams, who accompanies Buster Keaton on his time travel journey back to 1890 in "Once Upon a Time," returns to the Zone as Jensen the bartender, and J. Pat O’Malley, so good as the benevolent alien in "The Fugitive," is Gooberman, the gentle town drunk who definitely wants to prevent his late wife from returning – she had a tendency to beat him up.
Kudos to director Ted Post for keeping the pistons firing on all cylinders for this tongue-in-cheek episode, one of the last original episodes aired.
So let's raise a glass of rot-gut to the citizens of Happiness, who woke up one morning in the Old West and later found themselves way down the dusty trail in The Twilight Zone.