Directors: Robert Parris and Alvin Ganzer
Writer: Rod Serling
Cast: Jack Warden, Abraham Sofaer, Robert Sorrells, Alan Dexter, Don O’Kelly, Jonathan Hole, and Rusty Lane
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 6/17/1960
Production Code: 173-3617
When Mouth McGarry (Jack Warden), the manager of a fictional baseball team, prepares to give up after a horrendous losing streak, an eccentric doctor named Stillman (Abraham Sofaer) offers to sign his robot pitcher, Casey (Robert Sorrells), to the Hoboken Zephyrs. While Casey’s exceptional talents provide the aforementioned team with a much-needed boost, a National League authority later rules that Casey must be given a human heart in order to continue playing. Unfortunately for McGarry and the Zephyrs, Casey’s operation results in a debilitating “condition” that permanently affects his pitching abilities.
“The Mighty Casey” should appeal to viewers who prefer family-friendly entertainment over The Twilight Zone’s creepy and macabre offerings, though casual fans may wish to avoid this episode due to its mediocre premise. Likewise, Rod Serling’s excessive reliance on screwball humor will undoubtedly annoy viewers who enjoy this show for its intelligent dialogue and thought-provoking situations.
“The Mighty Casey” offers a certain upbeat quality that stands out among the generally bleak and depressing themes featured throughout this series.
Like the majority of clunkers contained in season one’s lineup of entries, “The Mighty Casey” lacks a compelling narrative and fails to end on a strong note despite its positive conclusion. This problem is compounded by the fact that Serling’s ridiculous comedic efforts fall flat at practically every turn, resulting in an outcome that more closely resembles a rejected Three Stooges short than a typical Twilight Zone presentation. Though not as cringe-inducing as the atrocious humor in “Mr. Bevis,” the almost constant emphasis on slapstick gags and juvenile acting at the expense of great storytelling significantly detracts from what could have been a decent, albeit highly forgettable, episode.
Perhaps by turning Casey into an incompetent but more compassionate person after receiving his heart, Serling wished to demonstrate how human qualities such as empathy and kindness occasionally come at a grave cost.
In spite of its heartwarming (pardon the pun) elements, “The Mighty Casey” lacks the intellectual and philosophical profundity of Serling’s usual efforts. Additionally, an overabundance of stale humor drastically hampers the execution of a potentially cute concept.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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