Cavender Is Coming
|"Cavender is Coming"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Christian Nyby|
|Written by||Rod Serling|
|Featured music||Horst Jankowski's A Walk in the Black Forest|
|Original air date||May 25, 1962|
Agnes Grep is unemployed and behind on her rent. She is visited by Harmon Cavender, her guardian angel who has to make Agnes happier in 24 hours to "earn his wings" (in other words, become a fully vested angel).
At one point, Cavender tries to change the bus in which Agnes is riding into a convertible with a chauffeur. However, Cavender makes errors twice, so they decide to get back to the bus, causing the bus driver to resign. Cavender provides riches and friends, a luxurious apartment, and an active social life, but while it is a dazzling run Agnes realizes she is happier with her normal life, despite all its shortcomings. Cavender reluctantly restores everything to the way it was and returns to Heaven.
To his surprise, he earns Head Angel Polk's approval when he sees Agnes's happiness. However, the head angel determines that before Cavender can earn his wings he must help "other deserving subjects down there" and "those" will be his assignments for future evaluation. Polk muses, "In a strange way, I feel sorry for them..."
- Jesse White as Harmon Cavender
- Carol Burnett as Agnes Grep
- Howard Smith as Polk
- Frank Behrens as Stout
- John Fiedler as Field Rep #3
- Sandra Gould as Woman
- Donna Douglas as Woman #1
- Albert Carrier as Frenchman
- Barbara Morrison as Matron
- Danny Kulick as Boy
- Jack Younger as Truck Driver
- Maurice Dallimore as Man
- Pitt Herbert as Field Rep #2
- Stan Jones as Field Rep #4
- Adrienne Marden as Woman #2
- Robert McCord as Waiter
- Rory O'Brien as Little Boy
- William O'Connell as Field Rep #1
- Norma Shattue as Little Girl
- Roy N. Sickner as Bus Driver
|“||Submitted for your approval, the case of one Miss Agnes Grep, put on Earth with two left feet, an overabundance of thumbs and a propensity for falling down manholes. In a moment she will be up to her jaw in miracles, wrought by apprentice angel Harmon Cavender, intent on winning his wings. And, though, it's a fact that both of them should have stayed in bed, they will tempt all the fates by moving into the cold, gray dawn of the Twilight Zone.||”|
|“||A word to the wise now to any and all who might suddenly feel the presence of a cigar-smoking helpmate who takes bankbooks out of thin air. If you're suddenly aware of any such celestial aids, it means that you're under the beneficent care of one Harmon Cavender, guardian angel. And this message from the Twilight Zone: Lotsa luck!||”|
This episode was originally broadcast with a laugh track – the only Twilight Zone episode to feature one – because this episode was intended as a backdoor pilot for a regular comedy series featuring the Cavender character. The version included in The Twilight Zone – The Complete Definitive Collection DVD set has the laugh track removed. Reruns airing in the U.S. on Sci Fi Channel and ME-TV also have the laugh track removed.
The essential premise of this episode is exactly the same as the first-season Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Bevis". Both episodes are comedies about well-meaning guardian angels who try to help kind-hearted but hapless human beings by magically giving them everything they think they desire – only to discover the humans are happier with the way life had been previously. Both episodes were written by Rod Serling.
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor 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