A Passage for Trumpet

"A Passage for Trumpet" is episode 32 of the American television series The Twilight Zone.

"A Passage for Trumpet"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 32
Directed byDon Medford
Written byRod Serling
Featured musicLyn Murray, including trumpet cues
Production code173-3633
Original air dateMay 20, 1960
Guest appearance(s)

Opening narration


Joey Crown (Jack Klugman) is a hapless trumpet player in New York City, with no money, no girlfriend, and no job prospects due to alcoholism. Looking for a chance to work again, he is turned down by the manager at his old club. His life seems to be worthless. He sells his beloved trumpet at a pawn shop for cash, then impulsively steps into the path of a speeding truck. When Joey comes to, he realizes that nobody can see or hear him, and assumes that he is dead. None of the people he sees are ones he recognizes, though he goes to places he is familiar with.

Joey makes his way back to the night club, where he is surprised to meet another trumpet player (John Anderson) who can not only see him but also recognizes him. The other man explains that Joey is in "a kind of limbo"; it is all the people he encountered who are actually dead. He offers Joey a choice to return to the living if he so chooses, while reminding him of the good things in life. With the man's encouragement, Joey then decides that he wants to go back. But first he asks for the man's name and the answer is, "Call me Gabe. Short for Gabriel."

Joey wakes up on the street after the collision, and is shaken but uninjured. The nervous driver of the truck quickly pushes some money into Joey's hand, indicating that his driving record is on the line. Joey buys his trumpet back. Later that night he is on the roof of his apartment building, playing to himself, until a young woman (Mary Webster) whose laundry is hanging there approaches him to express her admiration. She introduces herself as Nan, and says that she is new to the city. After seeing that she is romantically interested in him, an excited Joey offers to show her around the town.

Closing narration

Production notes

Beginning with this episode and lasting through the end of the season, a new title sequence featuring a blinking eye was shown. It featured shorter narration than the original opening. Also, these episodes featured a different starfield at the conclusion which looked more like blinking light bulbs than stars. This episode seems to have been re-syndicated with the earlier lagoon opening.[1]

In his "limbo" state, Joey's reflection is supposed to be absent from any mirrors. But his reflection is clearly seen twice: once in the window of the theater ticket counter and the other in a jukebox he was leaning against.


Further reading

  • 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 5 Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
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