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"Mr. Dingle, the Strong" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
From the CBS Video Library cover:
"Vacuum-cleaner salesman Luther Dingle is a timid failure who finds life more than he can cope with—particularly a bar-room bully hot to find a scapegoat for his perennial losing streak. But Dingle hasn't counted on the two-headed unseen Martian looking for a subject on which to try a strength-enhancing experiment. Before he knows what hit him, Dingle has the strength of 300 men—he can crush alarm clocks, lift statues and tear boulders in two. "Mr. Dingle, The Strong" is an overnight sensation...but the experiment isn't over yet."
Uniquely American institution known as the neighborhood bar. Reading left to right are Mr. Anthony O'Toole, proprietor, who waters his drinks like geraniums but who stands foursquare for peace and quiet and for booths for ladies. This is Mr. Joseph J. Callahan, an unregistered bookie, whose entire life is any sporting event with two sides and a set of odds. His idea of a meeting at the summit is any dialogue between a catcher and a pitcher with more than one man on base. And this animated citizen is every anonymous bettor who ever dropped rent money on a horse race, a prize fight, or a floating crap game, and who took out his frustrations and his insolvency on any vulnerable fellow barstool companion within arm's and fist's reach. And this is Mr. Luther Dingle, a vacuum cleaner salesman whose volume of business is roughly that of a valet at a hobo convention. He's a consummate failure in almost everything but is a good listener and has a prominent jaw. And these two unseen gentlemen are visitors from outer space. They are about to alter the destiny of Luther Dingle by leaving him a legacy, the kind you can't hardly find no more. In just a moment, a sad-faced perennial punching bag, who missed even the caboose of life's gravy train, will take a short constitutional into that most unpredictable region that we refer to as The Twilight Zone.
Luther Dingle is a timid vacuum-cleaner salesman who often gets punched by a bettor for having different opinions on sporting events. A pair of unseen Martians choose Dingle for an experiment in superhuman strength. They give him the strength of 300 men and it isn't long before Dingle is renowned as a 20th-century Hercules. The Martians show disappointment in Dingle for using his newfound strength for show. They take it away from him just as he's about to lift a building live on television. Before departing, the Martians are greeted a pair of Venusians who are conducting experiments on increased intelligence. The Martians recommend Dingle, who is given the intelligence of 500 men and the first thing he does with his new mental powers is accurately predict a home run in a baseball game.
Exit Mr. Luther Dingle, former vacuum cleaner salesman, strongest man on Earth, and now mental giant. These latter powers will very likely be eliminated before too long, but Mr. Dingle has an appeal to extraterrestrial notetakers as well as to frustrated and insolvent bet losers. Offhand, I'd say that he was in for a great deal of extremely odd periods, simply because there are so many inhabited planets who send down observers, and also because, of course, Mr. Dingle lives his life with one foot in his mouth—and the other in The Twilight Zone.
Preview for Next Week's Story
Item of consequence: a radio, a carryover from that other era when quiz shows only went up to $64 and entertainment was aimed only at the ears. Mr. Charles Beaumont has given us a most unusual story called "Static". We invite you to watch Mr. Dean Jagger fiddle with a few of these knobs, change a few stations and find a couple of programs that are broadcast only in The Twilight Zone.
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
- Burgess Meredith had prior played Henry Bemis, in the episode "Time Enough at Last. He would later go on to play The Devil in the episode "Printer's Devil".
Notes and References
- CBS Video Library: Twilight Zone #0327 "Mr. Dingle, The Strong/Of Late I Think of Cliffordville/The Four of Us Are Dying" ; UPC: 000327060008, EAN: ?, ASIN: ?; Format: NTSC, VHS, Collector's Edition (1987)