Mr. Bevis is the 33rd episode of The Twilight Zone, first broadcast in June of 1960. It starred Orson Bean as the titular Mr. Bevis, and the episode was perhaps written as a vehicle for his talents. It also feature roles for Charles Lane, Henry Jones and a minor role for William Schallert, who would later go on to become the president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Mr. Bevis is a quirky young man, the type of man who wears bowties and listens to zither music and drives an old roadster. While he is well-liked by dogs, women and children, his boss (Charles Lane) at the firm where he does data entry is less enamored of his tardy habits and messy desk. After being fired, a dejected Mr. Bevis goes to a bar, where he meets his guardian angel (Henry Jones) who offers to show him what his life would be like if he was "normal", reliving his day in a cross between Its a Wonderful Life and Groundhogs Day. He finds out, as we suspected, that he would rather live his zany life than conform to society's expectations.

To me, this episode seems more like a "fable" than a story. Although he is a great comedic actor, and much like Burgess Meredith did in "Time Enough At Last", he gives a physical performance of his character that makes the episode come alive. But the twenty odd minutes we see of Mr. Bevis don't really allow any character development: he is an "oddball" and will remain one, and that is all we need to know. Also, from my perspective, the entire concept of "it is okay to be different" became the moral in so many pieces of entertainment over the following decades that this one doesn't tell us anything we didn't know already. Also, in a small piece of values dissonance, the episode ends with Mr. Bevis drinking five shots of hard alcohol at a bar, and then driving away, without comment.

As with many Twilight Zone episodes, the later careers of the actors provide an interesting footnote. Orson Bean and William Schallert are still alive and active in entertainment, and indeed have in the past few years have acted together on Desperate Housewives. I find it amusing that two actors who had a two minute scene in The Twilight Zone episode in 1960 should still be acting together fifty years later.

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