The Last Night of a Jockey

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"Last Night of a Jockey"
The Twilight Zone episode
Mickey Rooney The Twilight Zone 1963.JPG
Mickey Rooney in "The Last Night of a Jockey"
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 5
Directed by Joseph M. Newman
Written by Rod Serling
Featured music Stock from "The Big Tall Wish" (by Jerry Goldsmith) and cues from "The Lonely" by Bernard Herrmann
Production code 2616
Original air date October 25, 1963
Guest appearance(s)

Mickey Rooney: Michael Grady

Episode chronology
← Previous
"A Kind of a Stopwatch"
Next →
"Living Doll"
List of season 5 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The Last Night of a Jockey" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The only actor in this entire episode is Mickey Rooney. Rod Serling wrote this episode specifically for Rooney.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

A jockey named Grady is lying alone in his room after being banned from horse racing for life for fixing races by horse doping. He drinks in his depression, and rues his five foot height, which horse riding had served to compensate for. He then hears a voice. The voice introduces himself as "the alter ego" and claims to live in Grady's head. He argues with the alter ego, trying to justify his life and his actions, even lying about his crimes, but the alter ego knows all about him. Grady is offered the chance to change his life with one wish. Grady says his greatest wish is to be big. After Grady wakes from a nap he finds his wish has been granted; he is now close to eight feet tall.

Ecstatic, Grady calls his ex-girlfriend over the phone, but she dismisses him. He boasts that he can find more girls who will appreciate him because of his newfound height. The alter ego remains unimpressed, feeling Grady hasn't made good on any of his promises. He derides his dumb and "cheap" wish, and says that Grady could've wished to win the Kentucky Derby, or perform a heroic act.

A telephone call from the racing commission informs Grady that he has been reinstated and can jockey again. Grady joyfully thanks everyone who petitioned to give him a second chance, but the alter ego laughs at him. Grady realizes he has become even larger, about 10 feet tall — too tall to ride a horse, or properly fit in his own apartment. Devastated, the now-giant Grady wrecks his room and pleads with the alter ego to make him small again. The alter ego denies the request, and instead replies, "You are small, Mr. Grady. You see, every time you won an honest race, that's when you were a giant. But right now, they just don't come any smaller."

Closing narration[edit]

Censorship[edit]

CBS's Program Practices department criticized this episode for use of the word "dwarf" in a negative context, suggesting that instead the terms "half-pint", "runt" or "shrimp" could be used.[1]

References[edit]

  • 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
  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
  1. ^ Hal Erikson. "Censorship: Another Dimension Behind the Twilight Zone", published in the October 1985 edition of The Twilight Zone Magazine

External links[edit]