A Passage for Trumpet

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"A Passage for Trumpet"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 32
Directed by Don Medford
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Lyn Murray, including trumpet cues
Production code 173-3633
Original air date May 20, 1960
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Chaser"
Next →
"Mr. Bevis"
List of season 1 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"A Passage for Trumpet" is episode thirty-two of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


Joey Crown (Jack Klugman) is a down-and-out, alcoholic trumpet player in New York, looking for a chance to work again. After being turned down by the manager at his old club, and insulted by a pawn shop owner (after he is forced to sell his beloved trumpet for cash), Joey decides that his life is worthless, and steps into the path of a speeding truck.

When Joey comes to, he finds that the people around him cannot see or hear him, and assumes that he is dead. Returning to his old night club, he meets another trumpet player (John Anderson), and is startled to discover that the other man recognizes him.

The other man explains that Joey is in "a kind of limbo"; while the people he encountered are actually dead, he can still return to the living, if he so chooses. With the player's encouragement, Joey remembers that even at its worst, life still has enough good in it to be worth living, and he chooses to go back. As the other player leaves, Joey asks his name; he answers, "My name? Call me Gabe. Short for Gabriel."

Joey wakes up on the street, just after his collision; he is shaken but otherwise unharmed. The driver of the truck, not wanting his driving record tarnished, pushes some money into Joey's hand, enough for him to buy his trumpet back.

That night, while Joey is playing to himself, a girl (Mary Webster) approaches to express her appreciation. Introducing herself as Nan, she explains that she is new to the city; excited to be connected to another human being, Joey offers to show her the town.

Production notes[edit]

  • In his "limbo" state, Joey's reflection is supposed to be absent from any mirrors. But his reflection is clearly seen twice: once in the window of the theater ticket counter and the other in a jukebox he was leaning against.
  • Beginning with this episode and lasting through the end of the season, a new title sequence featuring a blinking eye was shown. It featured shorter narration than the original opening. Also, these episodes featured a different starfield at the conclusion which looked more like blinking light bulbs than stars. This episode seems to have been re-syndicated with the earlier lagoon opening.[1]


Further reading[edit]

  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor 5 Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0

External links[edit]