Original Story by Chris Hubbell and Gerrit Graham
Directed by Robert Downey
Original Airdate - October 11, 1985
Lorna Luft - Sheila Cunningham
Steven Keats - Martin Cunningham
Jaclyn Berstein - Debbie Cunningham
Sydney Walsh - Melody
Al Alu - Caged Man #4
Pamela Brown - Caged Woman #3
Jack Taloe - Caged Man #3
Wes Craven - Caged Man #1
Kerry Slattery - Caged Woman #1
Don Paul - Caged Man #2
Sandy Brown Wyeth - Caged Woman #2
Virginia Morris - Caged Woman #4



A little girl, whose parents continually fight, receives a free pass for the "Children's Zoo" from a friend. She takes her parents there the next day. Parents enter the zoo from a separate entrance, that looks suspiciously like a heavy metal gate. The little girl goes in and passes many sets of parents, in various stages of denial or anger, all within secure cages that have large, circular windows. They've been put there by their children, who were tired of the arguments or the childish behavior. Parents stay there till they've worked through their issues, which might never happen, and are picked by a new child. The little girl settles on a mother and father who promise they've learned their lesson, and the new family happily leaves. The little girl's old parents see her go off, in amazement, and realize they have to live in a small room with each other for a long, long time.

No opening or closing narration



"Children's Zoo" is a delightful take on dysfunctional families. In this case it's the children who abandon the parents, leaving them locked up to work out their issues, while the kids choose new parents who will treat them better. Jaclyn Berstein is adorable as the child who takes her parents for a ride. Lorna Luft is a shrewish nag, just the kind of mother you hope you don't get. Steven Keats turns in the best performance as the father, though; he's funny and incredibly clueless. His idea of being a father is smiling idiotically at his daughter, speaking in a smarmy baby-talk way, with nothing behind it. He's a crass, male chauvinist pig, and revels in it. He even propositions the zoo keeper, while his wife is right in front of him. Another fairly short episode, "Children's Zoo" is in the vein of the classic Twilight Zone teleplays, where a 180 degree turn shocks, or in this case satisfies, the audience.