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"The Bard" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"You've just witnessed opportunity, if not knocking, at least scratching plaintively on a closed door. Mr. Julius Moomer, a would-be writer who, if talent came twenty-five cents a pound, would be worth less than car fare. But, in a moment, Mr. Moomer, through the offices of some black magic, is about to embark on a brand-new career. And although he may never get a writing credit on the Twilight Zone, he's to become an integral character in it."
Julius K. Moomer is a screenwriter who has gotten into a dry spell. His scripts are turned down by the executives and he's in desperate need of brilliantly written scripts that will please his bosses. Having overheard a mention of black magic, he decides he has nothing to lose. With a book on black magic, Moomer manages to perform a ritual that conjures up the form of William Shakespeare. Moomer now has the greatest writer that ever lived produce his scripts for television! The first script that Shakespeare creates is adored and the unlikely team of "Bill Shakespeare" and Julius Moomer appears to be a success. This lasts only until the filming of the screenplay begins, when they're informed that the sponsors of the production have demanded a great deal of revisions, removing things they feel the viewers—potential customers—might find offensive such as suicide. Shakespeare greatly objects, but is calmed by Moomer. The legendary writer is soon angered once more, when he is introduced to the cast, all of whom are different from his vision. The lead actor introduces the bard to method acting and askes what his motivation might be for walking through a door. Shakespeare strikes the young actor, storms off the set, and out of Moomer's life in anger. Moomer's submitted script is a success with the modern audience. However, he soon finds himself tasked with providing more scripts about American history. Lacking motivation, he again turns to black magic and conjurs up historic figures George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Pocahontas to assist him with his writing.
"Mr. Julius Moomer, a streetcar conductor with delusions of authorship. And if the tale just told seems a little tall, remember a thing called poetic license--and another thing called the Twilight Zone."
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
Home media release
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1593931360
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0970331090