Original Story by Rockne O'Bannon
Directed by Paul Lynch
Original Airdate - October 11, 1986
Glynnis O'Connor - Dorothy Livingston
David Faustino - Micah Frost
Parley Baer - Grandfather Frost
Nike Doukas - Heather
Ellen Albertini Dow - Old Woman
Robert Britton - Bus Driver
Patricia Allison - Roberta Dockweiler
John Saint Ryan - William
Tony Anton - Daniel Ellidge
Billy Anton - Nathaniel Ellidge
Melissa Clayton - Pig-Tailed Girl
Billie Joe Wright - Farmboy
Bill Sak - Doctor
Frank Moon - Man with Scar



A teacher in the South during the Depression finds that one of her students has an unusual gift for storytelling, and has an even more unusual reason to keep writing the stories.



Based on a story by Rockne O'Bannon, "The Storyteller" is just the kind of script the original Twilight Zone would have been comfortable with. It's got a double twist ending on it, and is one of the best of the second season.

Part of the appeal of this episode can be ascribed to the casting. Glynnis O'Connor fits her role perfectly. She's always been an interesting actress, with many unique mannerisms. Here she uses all that to good effect as a teacher who is clearly puzzled by the actions of one of her students, while trying to keep the other students engaged and occupied. She becomes more and more involved in what this student is doing, and eventually can't help herself when she's given a chance to pay a home visit, the day the child is hurt at school.

David Faustino plays the young boy, Micah, who is writing when he should be studying. Faustino was a gifted child actor who was not well-served by "Married with Children." While he was always enjoyable, it just seemed like his talents were cheapened by the series. While I still enjoy watching some of the "Married with Children" episodes, on the whole it was the same joke every week, just with different dialogue and some funny one-liners. TV may not have been well-served by the series, either, and it may have hastened TV's downward trend as it started Fox's ascension.

The surprise of the episode is Parley Baer, one of the great character actors of all time. Baer had long been in TV and movies, and continued acting until his mid-80's. He had been in just about every series since 1950 except for the original Twilight Zone; he had parts in the Outer Limits, Thriller, Wagon Train, etc., and I remember seeing him all throughout my childhood on TV. He was perfectly cast as the cuddly old great-great-great-grandfather, who might have been 150 years old or 300, in the episode.

The makeup in this episode was well done. O'Connor has to age from early 20's to her 80's, and she does a credible job between the makeup and her body language.

David Faustino from "The Storyteller"


Parley Baer Obit, November 11, 2002

Parley Baer, Character Actor Voice Of `Gunsmoke's' Chester, Keebler Cookie Elf

LOS ANGELES - Parley Baer, a character actor who was the mayor on "The Andy Griffith Show," the voice of the Keebler cookie elf in TV commercials and the voice of Chester on radio's "Gunsmoke," has died. He was 88.

Mr. Baer died Friday night at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, said his daughter, Kim Baer.

Mr. Baer, who lived in Tarzana in the San Fernando Valley, entered the hospital Nov. 11 after a massive stroke. He had only partially recovered from a 1997 stroke that affected his speech, she said.

The jowly, balding actor appeared in more than 50 movies, including 1950s Westerns and 1963's "Gypsy." He was the Senate majority leader in the 1993 movie ``Dave.''

Mr. Baer also made scores of TV appearances in shows ranging from "Bonanza" and "Hogan's Heroes" to "L.A. Law" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

He was the voice of Chester Proudfoot, Dodge City deputy, on radio's "Gunsmoke" in the 1950s and early 1960s. During the same period he was Darby, Ozzie Nelson's next-door neighbor, on TV's "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."

On Nov. 1, he was guest of honor at a convention for lovers of old-time radio shows.

"Everybody rose and gave him a five-minute standing ovation," longtime family friend Roger Smith said "It was his last ovation."

Mr. Baer was born Aug. 5, 1914, in Salt Lake City and got into radio there in the 1930s as an announcer and news director at a local station.

He also was a circus publicist and ringmaster before joining the Army Air Corps in World War II, where as a captain his Pacific service won him seven battle stars, Smith said.

In 1946 he married Ernestine Clarke, a former circus aerialist and bareback rider. She died two years ago.

In addition to his acting career, during the 1950s Mr. Baer trained and worked with lions and tigers at the now-defunct Jungleland compound in Thousand Oaks.

He had a talent for taming Hollywood disputes as well, Smith recalled.

"On every set and every location, Parley was a target," he said. "They went to Parley with all their problems. He would give them his wisdom."

"When Parley was around, he was never a lead. . . . But everybody around knew that they could seek him out and talk to him. He was a gifted friend."