Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Adapted by Rod Serling from a story by Jerome Bixby, "It's a Good Life" stands the test of time as one of the best-ever Twilight Zone episodes -- not to mention one of the series' most frightening efforts. The terrified citizens of Peaksville, Ohio, are held in thrall by a "monster" in the form of angelic-looking youngster Anthony Fremont (Billy Mumy). Possessed with the ability to read minds, coupled with mysterious destructive powers, Anthony bristles whenever he senses that someone is thinking bad thoughts -- and whenever he bristles, something really bad happens (yes, this is the one with the cornfield and the jack-in-the-box). Understandably, this episode has always been a favorite of youngsters, who would give anything to wield Anthony Fremont's awesome powers over their own parents. First telecast November 3, 1961, "It's a Good Life" was later reworked in the 1983 theatrical film Twilight Zone: The Movie -- and a few years after that, it was delightfully lampooned on one of The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" episodes.