He wasn’t born in another dimension, but The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling was certainly unique. The screenwriter and television producer was born on December 25, 1924—“I was a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped,” he once said. As you probably know from the many insightful Twilight Zone episodes he wrote, Serling had quite the way with words. Here are a few of his best musings.
“Television is very much like the weather: Much can be said of it, but very damn little can be done about it.”
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every 12 minutes one is interrupted by 12 dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
“There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy ... The pity of it is, these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.” — “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” The Twilight Zone
"In almost everything I've written, there is a thread of this: man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself."
“That’s the easiest thing on earth [is] to come up with an idea ... The hardest thing on earth is to put it down.”
“Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”
ON CONCENTRATION CAMPS:
“All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard, into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance—then we become the gravediggers.” — “Deaths-Head Revisited,” The Twilight Zone
"For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized.” — "The Shelter," The Twilight Zone (Listen to Serling discuss "The Shelter" here.)
“Hollywood’s a great place to live ... if you’re a grapefruit.”