Tales from the Crypt – The Switch (S2E2)

Holy crap, I remember seeing this one 23 years ago.

Sadly, the first shot is of the grating William “fingernails-on-a-blackboard” Hickey who made his Outer Limits episode just about unwatchable.  He tells his butler, Mr. Pitt from Seinfeld, that he is hopelessly in love with a young woman.  Demonstrating that he has learned nothing about women in his 114 years on earth, he has kept his wealth a secret from her just to be sure she really loves him.


Mrs. John Travolta. Maybe I should reconsider this Scientology thing.

He proposes, but the woman, Kelly Preston, tells him she can’t because he is old enough to be her grandfather — and she is being charitable at that.  He vows to change for her, and goes to a plastic surgeon.  The doctor refers him to a mad scientist who can actually do a face transplant with a handsome young man.

Hickey has to fork over $1M for the surgery, having gone out-of-network.  $100k is for the surgery, and $900k is for the donor.  Sporting his new mug, he goes to see Kelly again.  His new face is a little strange.  It appears that they just made Hickey up to look younger.  His face is fuller, over-sized in a paper mache sort of way, like a Mardi Gras float.  Also, in this procedure, “face” apparently includes the hair.  But that same biting-on-tin-foil voice is there.

She says the face is weirdly OK, but that his old decrepit body is a turn-off.  Back to the mad scientist for a torso transplant at a mere $2 million.  Hickey checks himself out post-op and is amazed by his physique.  He still has the sliding-down-a-razorblade-bannister voice, though.

tftcswitch05Kelly is impressed by stud-boy.  At the beach, however, she gets a gander at his scrawny legs.  So back to the mad scientist.  $3 million will finish the job at $1 million per appendage.  Sadly, he can no longer afford Mr. Pitt, so let’s him go.

Fully transformed, he rushes to see Kelly.  She has married the donor who has been transformed into an old man — now portrayed by Hickey.  The difference is, he is now rich from the surgeries, which is what she always wanted.  And Mr. Pitt works for them.

Great episode.  Even the repellent William Hickey could not ruin it.  Season 2 is on a streak.


  • Writer Richard Tuggle wrote Tightrope and Escape from Alcatraz for Clint Eastwood.  Then nothing.  Absolutely noting.  IMDb has no date of death.  Very mysterious.
  • One of Ahnold Schwarzenegger’s 2 directing credits.
  • Rick Rossovich as the donor was best known to me from the excellent film Roxanne.
  • Hickey, playing Carlton Webster here, played Carlton Blanchard on a few episodes of Wings.  If there is a reason for this coincidence, I am not interested enough to find it.
  • The mad scientist is the guy who played Data in Stratagema on Star Trek TNG.  For some reason, I always thought that was Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley.

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